Our Bow Tie Wedding

A few months ago, on a sun drenched September morning, I woke up a Miss, and fell asleep a Mrs. I've been meaning to write a little more about our wedding, and all of the fantastic suppliers that helped us create such a memorable day. 

Of course, being creatively minded, we both also wanted to add as many handmade touches as possible, and save some money in the process! In the end our invites, bow ties, bridesmaids dresses, favours, bunting, and table plan were all handmade, with lots of help from amazing family and friends. But I'm getting ahead of myself..

VENUE

The ashes wedding venue
The Ashes wedding barn
The ashes wedding barn

We chose The Ashes Wedding Venue in Endon as the setting for our big day. It is ridiculously picturesque and quiet, with the wedding taking place across two converted barns. Charming and rustic, it ticked all the boxes and we knew we wouldn't have to worry about 'dressing' the venue too much, it was stunning all on it's own. The Ashes also offered a mini barn just for getting ready, which was the perfect way to start the day with my bridesmaids!

The Ashes wedding

HIS RIDE

Adam had stayed in a cottage with his best men and family so needed a ride to the wedding. We chose VW Occasion's camper van because in case you haven't noticed we love a bit of retro! 

DAPPER CHAPS

The groom is obsessed with wool jackets, which fitted our rustic, casual vibe perfectly. He and his groomsmen wore dark brown herringbone wool trousers and waistcoats from ASOS, and Adam paired his with a contrasting jacket in a lighter brown. 

There was never any doubt that this would be a bow tie wedding of course, but the bow tie in question was something we deliberated over for a long time. At the point of choosing we had no real clue what was going on colour wise, but ultimately it was the grooms decision, and he opted for a self tie bow tie and pocket square, in a retro floral plum and rose Liberty print, called Poppy and Honesty (On our website as ALVIN.)

GORGEOUS GIRLS 

Making the bridesmaids dresses ourselves became a task that snowballed as the months ticked by. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted, which naturally involved the slipperiest silk imaginable! There were initial measurement sessions, dress, fittings, late night hemming done on the kitchen floor, and one dress that flew together in a couple of days once my last maid had returned from Australia. Thankfully my extremely talented Auntie Rosalie was on hand to help me through it all! 

Looking at the photos I'm so glad we persevered with them, I'm slightly biased but the girls looked incredible! 

FLOWERS

Visually, I think Frances and Rose might just have made our wedding day. I love British flowers, and after a childhood growing up in or around the garden I was keen to incorporate natural looking, 'just picked' blooms into the day. Frances and Rose operate under a 'Grown Not Flown' policy, so they don't create any of the air miles needed to provide brides with out of season flowers, when companies buy them in from foreign countries. 

Frances and rose flowers
british flowers

For this reason, my bouquet was in part a surprise, as Marianne and Alison planned our flowers based on what was in bloom that week, and headed off to local flower farms to source everything. They were so, so beautiful. Marianne thought of every detail, and created stunning arrangements to fill our wedding and reception barns, decorate our cake and chalkboard, and finish off our outfits with buttonholes and bouquet! 

HANDMADE TOUCHES

Bridesmaid tag

We were so incredibly lucky to have so many generous friends and family members who wanted to help out, it made everything so much more personal and special. Our wedding cake, and fruit cake were made by another wonderful auntie, thank you so much Auntie Val! (We have a tier saved in the freezer for valentines day, yay!)

wedding cake
cutting the cake
placecards

We made 52 metres of fabric bunting to decorate The Ashes, every triangle of which was hand cut with stiff, antique crimping scissors by Hannah, a very dedicated bridesmaid! She also made us the most beautiful hand embroidered handkerchiefs for our wedding present.

bunting
embroidered hankies

The bridesmaids and flower girls all wore fake flower headpieces, so they could keep them and wear them again. My maid of honour Nat worked on them tirelessly, in between painting chalkboard signs, organising my hen with the bridesmaids, and making me a gorgeous pin for my garter! She also did my hair and make up, and spent countless hours on Pinterest researching...we have an awful lot to thank her for!

flower headpiece
Old new borrowed blue

Another treasured keepsake, hand embroidered with a silver horseshoe for luck.

embroidered wedding

PHOTOGRAPHY

Definitely one of the most important decisions we made. It meant so much to me that we would be able to look through our album and really remember our day, exactly as it was. We booked Red on Blonde after falling in love with their candid approach, and they were just incredible. We forgot they were even there half of the time, which results in genuine, heartwarming candid photographs.

vintage wedding
bridesmaids

Red on Blonde are a duo, so the bride and groom are both documented getting ready and heading to the wedding, with both photographers meeting as the couple meet at the aisle for shots from both angles.

vintage wedding campervan
barn wedding staffordshire
confetti

Real petal confetti from The Great British Florist.

On top of these action shots, we also took advantage of the weather and had some stunning portraits taken. My dress is from James Bride in Nottingham, who were so lovely and accommodating. The hunt for the dress was exciting and fun without any drama thanks to them!

red on blonde photography
frances and rose flowers
The ashes wedding venue
bride and groom the ashes

We just had to take advantage of the golden hour, we abandoned our dessert for these shots but so worth it! 

The Ashes wedding venue
handmade wedding corn field
groom vintage handmade wedding
Ian stuart wedding dress

ICE CREAM

Did having a late September wedding put us off having an ice cream van? Hell no! We couldn't resist booking Polly's Parlour and treating our guests while we had some photos taken. They were a huge success and we're still rooting for you to start selling by the tub guys! 

Polly's parlour
Polly's Parlour
Polly's Parlour

DOVES

We were also treated to a surprise dove release on the day by my parents!  It was a lovely way of incorporating a tradition into our day, and a very cute surprise! Thank you Special Day Doves for stealthily sneaking around all morning and keeping the surprise.

dove release
dove release

In the end, all the late nights, and extra stress from choosing to go handmade with a lot of our wedding was so worth it. We look back on our day and smile at every detail, as they all remind us how many truly great people we have in our lives. Visually, our wedding was everything we had hoped it would be too; a rustic, casual vintage affair with lots of handmade touches, and lots of local food, decor, and entertainment.

If you're reading this and planning a wedding, hopefully we've given you a little bit of insight, and a few ideas! We'd love to hear what your favourite part of our wedding was.

bride and groom