Real Life Weddings – Grecian Goddess, Tequila and a Campervan

Once upon a time there was a girl called Sarah and a boy Nick in a Thai curry house, despite it being their very first date, cupids bow hit a bullseye and they both knew then and there it would be forever. Fast forward eight years, and a beautiful little family of 5 had been created, comprising of two identical twin girls and a little boy, and they all thought it was about time to tie the knot. Much to the surprise of all their friends and family who thought it was just never on the cards.

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“I totally knew what I wanted, I photograph up to 12 weddings a year, and neither myself or Nick were keen on being the centre of attention. We wanted a day where the children could be a massive part of it, so the idea of a festival was born.”

“Nick loves live music and I didn’t like the idea of a sit down meal, so the idea of doing a laid back, party feel day for everyone started to take shape”.

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“Within a year, I had arranged a main stage (a truck that turned into a huge stage – transformer style), found the perfect local venue and booked St Alphege church, the ancient parish church whose steeple is recognised across Solihull.”

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“With no real theme, no colour scheme and no dress code, it was easy to use locally sourced and cheaper items, which was essential to the feel of the day and as a family of five, and on a budget, the entire two days had to remain cost effective.”

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“Every supplier we used, from the caterers to the staging, the live bands to the fete game company – everyone was local. As a small business myself, I understand what it means to book use employed people and their skills, rather than lining the pockets of hotels and other such wedding suppliers”.

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“The farm that hosted the two day spectacular is a charity that employs adults with learning difficulties and those who are mentally disabled to enable them to work and learn skills safely, I just loved the idea of working with the venue to create a unique, fun filled day.”

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“After the romantic church ceremony we had Attiye Partridge, a singer and choreographer from BiTA, perform the hymns to the congregation, bringing many to joyful tears, ourselves and our gorgeous children, travelled on to the festival in a vintage VW campervan called Bumble.”

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“I’d seen many brides over the years and got some ideas about what sort of dress I would choose, but I knew I wanted my dress to be a one off and sexy, rather than traditional. I was a model for ten years, so I knew what suited me and many dresses had one or two elements I liked, but at the sacrifice of bits I didn’t.”

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“Ellie Alice, our seamstress, just got my ideas and created a stunning deep plunge, backless chiffon dress. It slipped on over my head, giving it a real Grecian goddess feel.  No one but I had seen the dress and everyone was awestruck as I walked down the aisle with my Dad. It was certainly a show stopper.”

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“I chose a square shaped silver Swarovski crystal wedding band, but also had the date of the wedding, 15-08-15, tattooed on the inside of my ring finger, to further cement the marriage. Nick and I also wore his and hers customised Converse in ‘something blue’!”

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“Speeches were made on the main stage. Then Scarlet (a band recently supported by BBC Introducing, who performed with Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats), kicked off the day with an original live set. Perfectly setting the pace for a full on day playing on all the fete games, tucking into freshly made fish and chips, a cheese cheesecake I built myself, a pick n mix station, candy floss and even a cream tea tent with scones and strawberry jam made by the Father of the Bride!”

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“Also on offer was a dessert table, with every cake imaginable, including five individual three-tiered mini wedding cakes made as a gift by my friend Karen. The most fun seemed to be being had in the tequila tent, where guests had to don comedy sombreros and Mexican moustaches before downing a shot and then chalking their name and tally on a scoreboard!”

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“As the sun set, the dancing continued and more bands, Occoeur and the Tovey Brothers, got everyone singing along and even got Nick onto stage as a surprise organised by myself, where he played drums for one song! ”

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“The first last dance was lit up with guests waving sparklers and at midnight, everyone returned to the glamping area for a camp fire with s’mores before retiring to their bell tents provided by The Tipi Hire Company.”

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“Sunday morning as the sun warmed the field once more, guests were treated to a full English breakfast on the decking over looking the field and the countryside beyond, before relaxing with the Sunday newspapers to chilled out music.”

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“Team games including Tug-o-War and sack races, ensuring everyone worked up an appetite before Baked in Brick stoked up the wood fired pizza oven built into a vintage Mini Cooper to serve everyone individual pizzas. With scrummy toppings such as goats cheese and caramelised red onion for lunch.”

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“Late afternoon it was time to go. My beautiful family and I headed off for our familymoon in the Isle of Wight via Peppa Pig World, Longleat Safari Park and an Alpaca Farm before settling into married life back at home in Solihull.”

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“Their was no question over who I wanted to be my wedding photographer. It was always going to be Jen McLucas Photography, my old and very talented school friend. Of course!”

*Roll the Credits*

RJ’s Catering

Newlands Bishop Farm

Silhill Brewery

Scarlet 

DJ Steve Crane (Gatecrasher)

The Tovey Brothers

Occoeur

Wedding Cakes by Cakes by Karen at KC Cakes UK

Photography by Jennifer McLucas Photography

Fete Games and Inflatables by Fete Game Hire

Sunday Pizza provided by Baked in Brick 

Bridal and Mother of Bride and Groom headwear by Event Headwear

Brides hair expertly styled and looked after by Sinead Quinlan

Sarah, Mae and Cleo’s dresses handmade exquistely by Ellie Alice Seamstress

Staging provided by The Little Stage Company

Bridal make up by Sarah’s niece Holly Batchelor

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