This colourful, charming, family orientated wedding comes with a ‘smile guarantee'.
Yep, I've no doubt that by the time you've finished reading this feature you'll be grinning from ear to ear. Hannah of Funky Photographers did a wonderful job capturing this joyful day.
The couple ensured that Karen’s children Molly & Elliot were incorporated into the day and had important parts to play, including Elliot giving his mum away! Tony’s vows also included a vow to the children. How lovely is that?
Molly looked pretty in pink with a delicate floral bracelet while Elliot was dapper in bespoke Converse he designed specially for the day.
I love that Karen drove herself to the ceremony in a VW Camper with Elliot and the bridesmaids in the back. Proving that just because you're a bride doesn't mean you have to sit in the backseat!
The Outdoors Venue
We’d visited venues that ‘told us’ how our wedding would be and we were determined that it would be exactly as we wanted it, but without spending a ridiculous amount of money. By organising ourselves we kept control but also managed to stay laid back about the details!
We wanted our wedding to be outdoors, intimate, laid back and relaxed, reflecting our own personalities. The invite said as much. The vibrant pinks and oranges in the décor and sprinkled through the clothing were ‘fun’ colours to help this along. We were formally married in a tiny registry office ceremony a few days before, so we were not limited by requiring a licensed venue. Our wedding therefore took place on the Downs in Guildford, where Karen grew up, with a humanist celebrant. We erected two large gazebos on the morning of the wedding in case of rain, and so the ceremony actually took place under cover!
An Intimate Ceremony On The Downs
We loved being outdoors for our ceremony, and because it was raining at the time we were all stood together under cover for our very personal and intimate ceremony, with our family and friends right next to us to hear every word. The sun reappeared as the ceremony ended, perfect timing for the photographs.
Our celebrant, Vivienne Donnithorne, drafted a ceremony after meeting us, and we tailored it in the weeks up to our wedding day to make it intimate and personal. Our readings were, ‘A Lovely Love Story’, by Edward Monkton, read by Molly, Elliot and Tony’s niece Sarah, and ‘Love is a friendship caught fire’ by Laura Hendricks, read by Karen’s sister Jo. We ended the ceremony with a Celtic blessing.
A Wedding Picnic
We had a picnic on the Downs, with sandwiches, cakes and cloudy lemonade so that guests had something to eat and drink while photographs were being organised. There were Mojitos on arrival at the Golf Club. Our meal was Mackerel Pate, Rack of Lamb with seasonal vegetables, and wedding cake with cream and summer fruits. In the evening we provided Cumberland sausage hotdogs and chips.
The Wedding Music
Karen arrived on the Downs to a surprise song for Tony, The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m in Love’ sung by Izzie and Frank. At the end of the ceremony they performed Nick Drake’s ‘Northern Sky’. Our first dance in the evening was to ‘Just Like Heaven’ (The Cure / Katie Melua), also sung by Izzie & Frank. During the disco we played a song specially recorded by Tony’s musician nephew Andrew, The Beatles’ ‘And I Love Her’. The disco ended to Morecambe & Wise’s ‘Bring Me Sunshine’!
A high quality photographer was always a high priority for us, and we saw many during our planning period, at wedding fayres and online. Hannah was recommended to us by another photographer we’d found, (who was unable to shoot our wedding because her child was due to be born the same day!). She visited us at home and we knew straight away that Hannah knew what sort of wedding day we wanted capturing, that she was very high quality, and that our guests would love her too, (and therefore help her get the best photos). Her wedding package was fantastic too, including a pre-wedding shoot so that we could get to know each other better ahead of the wedding day and Hannah could have a reccie of the wedding venue.
Advice For Other Couples
Our advice would be to keep the planning personal but manageable, and remember that family and friends are more than happy to help with the details – don’t be afraid to ask! The day itself will fly by in no time, so make time for yourselves to enjoy each other. Go with the flow, lots of things will not turn out exactly as you imagined them, and that’s fine. Finally, don’t let the British weather beat you – hope for sun but plan for rain!
Thanks so much to Tony, Karen, Molly and Elliot for sharing your special day with us. Wishing you every happiness!
And thanks also to one of the loveliest, most talented photographers in the whole wide world, Hannah of Funky Photographers. (I may be biast as she took our wedding photos but trust me, she's awesome.)
Bride’s Dress: Cymbeline Dolly/Exalto | Shoes & Accessories: Flower in hair by Chez Bec | Bridesmaid's Attire: Monsoon | Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Ted Baker suits from Moss Bros | Photographer: Hannah MacGregor at Funky Photographers | Ceremony Venue: The Downs at Merrow in Guildford, Surrey | Reception Venue: Guildford Golf Club, Guildford Golf Club |Catering: Picnic provided by Lewis Brothers Catering | Formal meal by in-house chef at Guildford Golf Club | Entertainment: Izzie & Frank Acoustic Duo did an acoustic set on the Downs, then an electric set for evening guests | Flowers: Bridal party flowers by The Lavender Hill Compay, Farnham www. Lavender Hill Company | We arranged the flowers for the reception ourselves, a family friend advised, Trisha Squibb | Cake: Family friend Frankie Stott made the cake for us and it was decorated by Ash at the Golf Club | Paper Goods: Helen Shilabeer a designer friend | Hair : Hanna Wildman (bride) Jo Spary (bridesmaids)