Joe and Louise were referred to me by the very lovely Anna from Bride & Glory, and I have to admit to being a teeny little bit over-excited when their consultation form came back detailing festoon lighting, mis-matched chairs and street food vans. When I saw that they’d booked the humble, hugely generous and ridiculously talented Ed Peers to shoot the day, I may even have let out a little whoop and a fist pump, and so I am beyond thrilled to be able to share their day in full today.
Although they’d booked me months before, I didn’t meet Joe and Louise until a few weeks before the wedding to walk through the day at their chosen venue of Huntsmill Farm in Buckinghamshire. Essentially Huntsmill Farm is a set of beautiful stone cottages providing holiday accommodation, but with a marquee available to hire from the relaxed owners and 360 degree views of sprawling English countryside, it also happens to provide a glorious backdrop for a relaxed, DIY wedding. Oh, and it has the most perfect tree to have a blessing under.
Their wedding day was a truly DIY affair, with this creative pair crafting all sorts of lovely pieces and getting their guests involved in a number of ways which you will read about below. There were also A LOT of suppliers coming in and out throughout the day as street food vans were a bit of a theme. We had no less than three vintage camper vans turn up providing coffee and scones before and after the ceremony, a mobile bar in the evening and wood-fired pizza for the late-night munchers. Pitt Smoked BBQ Co provided platters of pulled pork and wedges from their converted Airstream, and the photobooth was a black cab called Alfie! As such Joe and Lou made the very wise decision to hire an On The Day Coordinator (that would be me!) to manage all these arrivals, as well as completing the set-up and generally ensuring the day ran to plan. But that’s enough from me. Let’s dive in to this absolute treasure of a wedding, with a few words from the bride and groom themselves. Enjoy…
Louise: My dress was a bit of a mish mash! The base dress is ‘Vera’ by Sanyukta Shresta but then I worked with them to design a series of bespoke overlays: a tulle skirt, a one-shouldered embroidered top, and a lace top all held together by a hemp silk belt. It was a risk but thankfully it paid off! The floral crown was by Rock n’ Rose and worked really well with the bridesmaids’ DIY-ed versions.
Joe: I wanted a less traditional suit that complimented the farm vibe. I opted for a mis-matched suit with texture. My blazer was from Oliver Spencer- it was the first thing I bought and I fell in love with it immediately. My waistcoat was a vintage find from a charity shop that I had repaired and tailored to fit me. My trousers and shoes were bought from Topman after I started having doubts about my original trousers. Although not an exact match, they did go with my waistcoat quite well!
Louise: We had a few ‘must-haves’ when it came to our vision for the day: an outdoor ceremony by a tree, festoon lighting, and food trucks. We got all three! We also wanted everything to feel quite personal and centered around our guests.
Louise: During the ceremony we’d asked Joe’s sister and my neice to choose readings for us. We had no idea what they were going to do and it was such a nice surprise on the day! We love that they went with songs- Beyonce’s Dangerously In Love and Method Man’s You’re All I Need.
Louise: The decor and details… wow, where do we start? It’s probably easiest to break this down in to what we made and what we sourced… :)
We DIY-ed A LOT:
- Tassels (we made about 1000 in total)
- Scrabble place names (Joe collected these over a number of months)
- Vintage Ladybird books chosen for each guest (again collected by Joe)
- A giant string heart held together by nails on wood and made by my Dad and Joe. We wanted a piece of art made by our guests that we could keep forever
- The chalkboard Plan of the Day made by Joe two nights before the wedding
- Messages in a bottle for our 1-year and 10-year anniversaries (Thank you Sama for making sure this happened!)
- Invitations- tea towels designed by Louise with illustrations by a friend, and wooden Save The Date magnets
- Bridesmaid flower crowns which were DIYed, as well as the groomsmen’s boutonnieres.
- Festoon lighting which Joe put up the night before with groomsmen… and then rearranged at 1.30am that morning
- Flowers from a local flower farm; bouquets made by the bridesmaids
- Milk bottles which we borrowed from the sweetest lady we met at a local farmers’ market
- Mismatched chairs from The Poppy Trading Company
- Each and every supplier separately- no package deals here!
Louise: There are a few stand out moments. I loved seeing Joe waiting in the field for our first look, and also seeing our guests contribute to the giant string heart. But then our last song of the night was really memorable- Joe and I had talked about what to play as the final song for months but didn’t end up choosing one. Our friends started singing Wonderwall a capella and convinced the DJ to play it- it was overwhelming as we had chosen 99% of the day, and instead this was chosen/given to us. A very special moment.
Joe: For me I loved it when Lou finally put her arms around me at our first look. Also it was a fairly overcast day until Lou started walking down the aisle and the sun came out as she came towards me! Sitting on top of the camper van was also pretty surreal- definitely a ‘spur of the moment’ moment!
Louise: Our favourite part of the planning process was probably meeting some amazing people- we are so lucky to have found the best team/suppliers for the day. We couldn’t have pulled off the day without them. Also seeing everything come together on the day, and a few hours before – when everyone started arriving and it started to feel like “our wedding” had begun.. Sama was a massive help during this period too :)
Louise: Our advice for other couples would be to research, research, research… don’t go for the first quote / supplier just because it’s easy. There are hidden gems out there, you just need to find them. Also you’ll naturally always prioritise the big things during the planning, but make time for the smaller, personalised things too. They’re the parts you’ll remember.
That last image is increds. If it were me I’d supersize it and hang it above the bed.
See? I told you it was a goodun’. Thank you so much to Joe and Louise, not only for allowing me to share their day on The Utter Blog, but for hiring me as their coordinator. I was a busy, busy bee that day, but thrilled to see it play out just as Joe and Louise had hoped- and I still am in awe of their creativity and general coolness!
A massive thank you to Ed Peers as well who I would work with again in a heartbeat. I get as much pleasure from looking through this set of photographs as I do my own.
So gang, what’s your favourite aspect of this epic day? And who can spot me making a Where’s Wally appearance in one of the shots?!
Venue: Huntsmill Farm
Photography: Ed Peers
Coordination: Utterly Wow
Coffee Van: Monkshood Coffee
BBQ Van: Pitt Smoked BBQ Co
Mobile Bar Van: CamperVin
Pizza Vab: Pizza of Dreams
Black Cab Booth: Alfie The Black Cab Photobooth
Dress: Sunyukta Shrestha