Weddings like this one always make me so sad I grew up near a city. And that no one I know has a big back garden I could take over for a few days!

Jay and Jules married in East Yorkshire in England with a beautiful DIY wedding they describe as English, homemade, and charming.

Held in the pretty garden of Jules’ parents’ home, they gave their backdrop a wedding make-over with a gorgeous marquee, reams of bunting, and lots of painstakingly-created homemade details.

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From getting ready at home and confetti toss outside the church, to a ride in a red convertible and canapés and cocktails in the garden, the fabulous Helen Cawte Photography was on hand to capture it all.

Take a look at her beautiful work, along with Jules’ notes on creating their perfect DIY wedding day.

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The Theme

We were lucky enough to have our reception in my parent’s lovely garden in East Yorkshire, so we channelled a bit of an English Country Garden “theme”, keeping the style and colours very soft, subtle and simple – to stay true to the natural beauty of the backdrop.  

We wanted to bring as much of the outdoors indoors, so we filled the church and marquee with beautiful flowers and foliage in pinks, creams, whites and greens.  

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The Dresses

I wore a Pronovias dress, Jimmy Choos, pearls and my mother’s floral head piece which she wore on her wedding day.

My bridesmaids wore bespoke Reiss dresses. 

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The Ceremony

For the ceremony, we had a Blessing of the Hands and Song of Solomon 8 v6-7. 

Church music wise, we had Music for the Royal Fireworks for the processional, and March from the Occasional Oratorio for the Recessional. 

Good job I have an order of service handy still because I’d never have remembered those!! 

Later on, our first dance was Ella Fitzgerald, The Very Thought of You. 

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Favourite Moments

It really was a perfect day, we just didn’t want it to end. 

The car was a complete surprise for me – even though I walked right past it before we went into the church – but it was amazing to speed off down the country lanes and just stop for a loud “oh my god” scream and glass of Champagne.

It’s quite an overwhelming feeling just seeing how happy all of your family and friends are for you, on your wedding day – it’s amazing just standing back and watching everyone having a great time. 

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The Refreshments

We did make a signature drink; “Rhubarb on the Beach”, a mixture of Rhubarb Cordial (which by the way took weeks and copious mountains of rhubarb just to make just three bottles worth!), Gin and Prosecco.

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The Photography

Generally we find that all of the best photos of us are ones taken where we are unaware, just caught in a moment, relaxed and having a laugh. 

This is exactly how we wanted our wedding day to be captured, and from looking at Helen’s work it was clear she was able to take very natural and un-staged shots. 

Helen is also fantastic with outdoor photography and it was important to us that she captured the natural beauty of the setting.  

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Decor & Details

There were lots of homemade touches – we displayed miles and miles of beautiful homemade bunting in subtle pastels.  

We brought in lots of lovely hand picked wild flowers which we displayed in jam jars of all shapes and sizes.  

We made place our settings out of lavender and luggage tags, and we made our menus from MDF, thanklessly cut, sanded, primed and painted with chalk board paint – a serious labour of love!

We also made our table plan out of a random selection of plants, jazzing it up with plant naming sticks, a table cloth and a little bunting banner!

Seriously budget but rather modest and quirky.

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The Flowers

The bridal bouquet was cream peonies and roses, and lily of the valley and the bridesmaids bouquets were cream peonies and roses

The buttonholes were cream roses and a blue thistle for the groom.

And the centrepieces we arranged jam jars with a mixture of flowers from the garden, and lots of cow parsley scavenged from the road sides! 

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Advice for Other Couples

Blogs are great for inspiration, especially as you can usually find themes which are similar to your own. 

Pinterest is really useful for pulling ideas together too. 

Homemade touches are not only a great way to save money, but they are also very rewarding – the combined hours of threading lavender through luggage tags, preparing and painting MDF for menus, and tying ribbon around jam jars suddenly becomes worthwhile when you look around at the wedding breakfast and see how much your guests are admiring the finished result!

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It’s all just so pretty, the florals are fabulous, and I love the herby seating chart and lavender escort cards, so chic yet simple to do.

Thanks so much to Helen Cawte Photography, and of course to Jules and Jay for sharing their beautiful garden wedding with us.

For more ideas on creating an effortlessly gorgeous day, see Chic + DIY Real Weddings.