Way back in May of last year, I’d spent a lovely sunny Sunday at Port Lympne Animal Park with the family. The Utter Blog was only a couple of months old, I was in the throes of wedding planning and Utterly Wow was a work in progress. As we headed back to the car, my phone buzzed with news of an email, and in to my life came a girl called Charlotte.
Charlotte was also in the early stages of wedding planning, had stumbled across The Utter Blog and spotted in me ‘a wedding twin’. After telling me a bit about her plans and venue hunting tribulations, she casually asked if I’d be interested in coordinating for them on the day, and after several squeals of delight from me (the first Utterly Wow booking!), I casually replied with a ‘Sure, I’d love to’. The rest, as they say, is history.
Fourteen months later, Charlotte and John were wed in one of the most thoughtful, creative, relaxed, personal, unique weddings I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. And today I get to tell you a bit about it. Shall we begin?
All images by the awesome Assassynation
The Most Perfect Venue
When Charlotte mentioned they’d chosen a hippy commune in the Oxfordshire countryside as their wedding venue, I knew exactly where they talking about. I’d seen an amazing wedding held at Braziers Park on Rock n’ Roll Bride (coincidently the same blog post that had alerted Charlotte to this hidden gem) and had considered it for my own wedding before finding The Great Barn.
Around 20 people live and work at this rambling, beautiful place, which consists of the main house, a large garden terrace, vegetable and flower gardens, a water garden with space for a marquee, a barn, a campsite, and a variety of ramshackle outbuildings. Wedding parties pretty much have the run of the place, including around 12 bedrooms on the first floor of the house. It’s a true gem of a venue for people wanting a rustic, DIY, bohemian wedding.
A DIY Dream
Even though I was only coordinating for Charlotte and John, I remained in contact with Charlotte throughout the entire planning process, oohing and aahing as she sent me sneaky peeks of their home-made bits and offering up my tuppence worth when an opinion was needed. Not that it was needed very often- this wedding was Charlotte’s baby and she had creativity growing out of her ears.
Together, Charlotte and John upcycled, restored and crafted nearly EVERYTHING that was used at their wedding. Ceremony benches were constructed from wooden pallets; picnic benches were bought from eBay and restored, old dog food tins were stripped and sprayed in shades of copper and gold; runners were made from pieces of lace; soft furnishings were packed up from their living room and transported to a corner of the barn. Perhaps the only thing that was hired in was the amazing light installation in the barn… but this wasn’t before Charlotte had bought and sold on a whole town’s worth of festoon lighting from eBay!
The whole effect was a personal, hand-made, rustic dream, and I don’t think there was anyone there who didn’t appreciate the lengths Charlotte and John had gone to in order to create such a simple (in effect, not effort), beautiful day.
A Delight from Start to Finish
My role on the day was to manage and make sure the sequence of events ran smoothly. The good people at Braziers Park let you set up in the days before so a lot of the grafting and decoration was already done, but I had a ‘walk through’ with Charlotte first thing, before the baton of responsibility was handed over to me and she was whisked away to get well and truly beautified.
My morning was spent putting the finishing touches to the various ‘wedding points’ scattered around the venue. I set out flowers, greeted suppliers, laid out the wedding programmes, attached buttonholes, moved furniture and welcomed guests when they began to arrive at 2pm. I took a brief respite to enjoy the personal and emotional ceremony led by Christabel from One Life Cermonies, before the post-ceremony shenanigans began.
As the rest of the day unfolded I moved more furniture, transported flower arrangements, cued entrances and speeches, styled the cake table (those cakes were something else!), topped up wine and water, directed catering staff, greeted the evening suppliers and was a general point of contact for any questions or concerns.
It was a truly wonderful wedding and a delight to coordinate from start to finish. Charlotte and John are a beautiful couple (with John making more than a passing resemblance to Robert Pattinson, don’t you think?) and I’m so so happy to have played just a small part in creating their dream day.
Charlotte wrote me a lovely testimonial which is over on the Utterly Wow website now, and for more beautiful images of the day courtesy of Assassynation, plus a full report from the bride herself, head on over to Whimsical Wonderland Weddings right now, where their day has been documented in two parts.
Over the next few weeks you may start to notice some changes around these parts. The Utter Blog is evolving now that I’m all gone and married. Utterly Wed will be a recurring feature but there’ll be many more as I start to blog more regularly. I plan to post more real weddings in general, as well as the latest trends and inspiring images from the world of weddings. But I’ll also be talking career-building as my little business grows, and lifestyle as I share my latest fashion faux-pas, beauty woe, or just simply want to share something from the heart. Not forgetting of course, the final part of the Operation Amazing Wedding jigsaw.
Will you join me, Uttersons? I do hope so…