Today we have the most gorgeous, chilled out and relaxed wedding day to share with you. It’s a festival style wedding that took place in beautiful South Molton filled with lots of homemade details and decoration including a giant LOVE sign, along with all the flowers. This wedding is bright, fun and full of laughter, complete with space hoppers, a photo booth, giant bubbles and so much bunting! The outdoor ceremony that takes place next to the stunning lake really sets the wedding off to perfection. Big thanks to Fiona Walsh Photography for these fab images.
It was an amazing day and everything was just perfect. There was nothing that we would change.
Dianne and Sam were married on the 10th September 2016 at Deers Leap, West Anstey, South Molton, Devon. ‘We wanted a somewhere that gave us the freedom to create the day we dreamed of. We fell in love with Deers Leap when we first visited. It just felt right & as we walked down towards the gazebo I had butterflies, I knew that it was the place we would get married. Heather the owner was also so knowledgeable and filled us with confidence that we would be in good hands if we decided to book our big day with them. we had 100 guests and the wedding took 17 months to plan.’
How they met
Sam and I met through mutual friends while on a night out in 2007. It was almost 10 years to the day after we met that we got married.
Sam booked a romantic night away at a local boutique hotel and restaurant on the edge on Exmoor. There was a bottle of champagne waiting in our room when we arrived. When we had finished getting ready for dinner we sat and enjoyed a glass of champagne and that’s when Sam got on one knee, produced a beautiful diamond ring and asked if I fancied sharing his surname. Of cause I said yes!!
How did you allocate your budget?
We didn’t really have a strict budget but we had a general idea how much we wanted to spend in total and how we wanted to spend it. At the start of our planning we made a list of what we thought we were going to need to spend money on and decided roughly how much we were happy to spend on each area. In the end we did go slightly over budget but we both agree that what we spent money on was absolutely worth every penny.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
The venue and food were the biggest expenses but they were both so worth the money. Leisa our caterer was very well recommended and we had sampled her food at a friends wedding so we knew that we were paying for quality. We spent more on music than we had originally planned, but for us the music was such an important part of our day. We decided as well as a live band during the evening reception, we wanted a mariachi band as well to surprise our guests in that lull after the wedding breakfast.
I made a lot of the decorations by hand which saved a lot of money. I used scraps of material to make rag bunting that we hung outside which was really pretty & festive. As Sam’s mum grew a lot of the flowers from seed.
How did you choose your photographer?
I met Fiona by chance while at university. We hit it off and always kept in touch. I had watched as her wedding photography business grew and always knew that when the day finally came, Fiona would be the perfect person to capture the magic of our day. Fiona is such a lovely person and I always felt happy and comfortable in her company which I feel is so important when choosing the right photographer. She’s also full of so many ideas, I knew she would capture some truly magical memories for us.
I choose an Ellis Bridal dress which was love at first sight. It instantly felt like “the one” when I tried it on. I loved the floaty tulle skirt and felt like a princess all day. My shoes were Irregular Choice coconut mushroom heels. I have always loved the brand and Sam has always brought me a pair for my birthday so it felt right I got married in a pair. My head piece and earrings were made by a local bespoke bridal jewellery maker “Jey Jules” to my specifications.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
The bridesmaids wore Kelsey Rose tulle dresses in silver with Irregular Choice heels. The groom and groomsmen wore navy trousers, pale blue shirts, mismatched Moss Bros tweed waistcoats, silver ties and grey vans trainers. The flower girls wore pale pink tulle dresses from next, with a homemade underskirt to puff the skirts out and sparkly pink shoes from accessories.
Theme or Colour Scheme
Sam and I are keen festival and gig goers. We both agreed that we would aim for a relaxed festival feel for our day. We didn’t want to conform to all the usual wedding traditions. It was really important to us that the day represented us as a couple. We both love music and it was very important to us to have that as a constant through the the day with a carefully chosen play list for different times of the day with songs that had meaning or memories for us both.
I didn’t have a particular colour scheme as I didn’t want to tie myself down to certain colours. I just chose colours I liked as the planning went along. I had a lot of people warning me that I was risking it looking mismatched but I was so happy with the final look of everything.
My mother-in-law grew most of my flowers in her garden. She brought a few last minute to bulk out what she already had. I didn’t want anything too formal with the flowers and let her have a free reign. I just asked for soft muted colours with a “just picked from a meadow” look.
I wanted the entire venue to feel like a mini festival so I made sure I made enough bunting to drape inside and out to add that festive touch. I also made 3 large festival flags which were placed in a line overlooking the gazebo and lake. I designed a large wooden “LOVE” sign which Sam’s Dad cut out with his jigsaw which was then painted and mounted in the grass to the side of the gazebo; this was a great backdrop for photos. I wanted to create different areas around the venue. We had a large bell tent full of circus games and bean bags which we decorated with rag bunting and 2 fabric teepees for the little ones which we set up with fairy lights and bunting. For inside the barn I made a large wall hanging sign of lit up marquee lights of our blames as a backdrop to the head table.
We started with a sharing plate of breads, hams and cheese followed by pie and mash, Sam and mines favourite festival food, finished by a trio of mini deserts. We could pick one favourite sweet treat, so we ended up with three. In the evening we had pulled pork in fresh baked rolls with salad. All food was supplied by our caterer Leisa who was very amenable to our particular requests.
We both agreed that we didn’t want a traditional wedding cake. We didn’t want to cut the cake. Instead we asked out guests to bring a homemade sweet treat with them which we served in the evening . We had such a fantastic selection of cakes and treats. The feedback from our guests was brilliant, they really enjoyed making something that was a part of the day.
During the day we booked Maraichi UK to surprise our guests. As we finished our deserts the band arrived playing an acoustic set outside on the patio. It created a fantastic atmosphere with many of the guests dancing along.
We booked a London based function band called Smith & Sons for our evening entertainment. They offered 2 sets, the first being a mum ford and sons style vintage set and the second being an electric set.
During the months leading up to the wedding we gathered circus games such as diabolos, poi, stilts and spinning plates. At the venue there was a large astro turf tennis court which we used to create a new area for space hopper and pedal board racing which was a huge hit with guests all ages. We also hired a manned photo booth which was available in the evening. This was one of the first and best bookings we made.
We designed and made all out own stationary including the save the date cards, invitations and place settings. Sam was in charge of the design and we spent many evenings leading up to the wedding cutting and sticking over a glass or two of wine. We also made order of the day lanyards with a timeline of events and a map of the venue, much like ones we have had at music festivals. Our guests really loved these and they made nice mementos to take home.
Both Sam and myself didn’t want the wedding to feel too serious and stuffy so we tried to add a bit of silliness wherever we could. Our favours were little brown pouches with name tags that doubled as place settings. Inside we gave each guest a stick on moustache, temporary tattoos and body gems. My hens got a special key chain with a picture of their celebrity crush relating to a game we played on my hen night. Each table also had a goody bag containing more temporary tattoos, body glitter and a game of jelly bean roulade. Wrapped in each guests napkin was a toy glider to add a bit of fun to the wedding breakfast.
Special Moments or Highlights
An impromptu glider fight in between the main meal and desert was fun. Everyone got involved and it just gave the entire room a fun and relaxed atmosphere. As it began to get dark, James from the venue paddled out on a little rowing boat into the middle of the lake and lit 50 floating lanterns. They looked so magical and made the lake look like a dream. Once of my favourite photos from the day is a picture of us both on the edge of the lake with all the beautiful lanterns glowing on the water.
Advice for other couples
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We had so many people help make our day special, whether it was from the guests who brought cakes or our friends who helped assemble the favour bags, everyone was really happy to help. It made people feel like they were really a part of our special day.
We were expecting rain on the day but after a short shower in the morning we had beautiful sunshine all day. The Mariachi band were the biggest surprise for our guests.
Supplier Shout Outs
- Venue: Heather at Deers Leap Retreat, www.deersleapretreat.co.uk
- Bridal jewellery: Hey Jules. www.heyjules.co.uk
- Wedding bands: James Bishop Jewellery. www.bishopjewellery.co.uk
- Caterer: Leisa at Devon Catering, www.devoncatering.com
- Bridal wear: Frilly Frocks. www.frillyfrocks.co.uk
- Wedding band: Smith & Sons www.smithsonsband.com
- Mariachi band: Mariachi UK, www.warble-entertainment.com .
- Photo booth: the Remarkable Photo booth www.mattstockman.co.uk
- Hair: Rachel at Steven & Laurent Hairdressers, www.stevenandlaurent.co.uk
For more information on Fiona’s work please go to:
www.fionawalsh.co.uk / www.fionawalsh.co.uk/news / 07790 838589 / FACEBOOK / I: @fionawalshphotography / PINTEREST