Featured Work – Sarah & Tom’s DIY Village Hall Wedding

Featured Work – Sarah & Tom’s DIY Village Hall Wedding

Hey Folks, Excited to share below, a screen shot from Sarah & Tom’s DIY Village Hall Wedding, featured over on “Whimsical Wonderland Wedding” blog. Thanks to Tom & Sarah for being awesome!

If you need some great inspiration for your wedding planning, check out ‘Whimsical Wonderland’ Wedding Blog. You will find some great content and helpful tips!

 Whimsical Wonderland Wedding Blog 

Colourful DIY Village Fete Wedding http://jamesgristphotography.co.uk/

Well, I am spoiling you creative, crafty couple’s today aren’t I? I have a second DIY village hall celebration to share and bride Sarah certainly put a lot of love into creating their special wedding day.

Sarah and Tom were married on the 15th August 2015 in Kent. They opted for a Church ceremony followed by a quaint village hall party. Sarah made 600 meters (yes 600!) of multicoloured bunting, alongside so many wonderful touches which really made their day so unique. Flip flops, fencing, favours for the kids, there wasn’t a single detail missed.

Sarah chose a gorgeous lace gown with sparkly belt, while Tom was suited and booted in navy tweed. The maids wore white with colour pop shoes and pretty ribbon adorned Gypsophila bouquets. Squeal.

James Grist Photography, thanks so very much for sharing these really wonderful shots today.

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THE PROPOSAL | Boxing Day 2013 we had been together for coming up to 11 years and he finally proposed!  He did it before going to work that day by waking me up and asking me there and then when I was half asleep!

I was so happy and spent the day ringing everyone up and telling them.

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THE VISION | Colourful, relaxed, plenty of outside space, lots of DIY, village fete and country feel.

THE PLANNING PROCESS | We first started to look at a big barns or big houses where we could get married and have the reception as well as accommodation for everyone but everything was out of our budget.

When we were out walking out and about in Darenth we then noticed this lovely little church and just down the road we found a village hall! We thought this would be perfect! We went about booking visits with both and it was just what we wanted! The church was amazing as what we thought it would be and the hall had everything we needed especially outdoor space and plenty of it!

After booking the venues, which was in February 2014 we had a year and 5 months to get planning. First we went about booking catering which was a BBQ for the day and buffet for evening and then we booked our photographer who was local and came recommended by quite a few people from Facebook. We then booked our DJ (who decided to cancel on us a couple months before the wedding and luckily found someone in time).

After the main things were booked we then really started planing and went about with slowly getting things in ready for it.

BUDGET | We didn’t have a budget as such but really needed to keep things down to a minimum! And we were so lucky to have some help towards the costs from my mum and step dad and my dad and step mum, which we are really grateful for as without that help the wedding wouldn’t have been as perfect as what it was.

THE VENUE | At Mary the Virgin in Horton Kirby Kent.

The village hall in Horton Kirby Kent.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Mori Lee Blu 5167.

It was a poetic lace ball gown dress with sweetheart neckline, puddle train and very glitzy belt made with pearls and diamontes. The head dress took me ages to find. I didn’t want a tiara I wanted a hair vine and I was after a certain look, after months of looking I found a person on etsy called besomethingnew and they sold hand made hair accessories in Southern California. I found one I really liked that she had made and asked for a few adjustments which she did for me, she was so helpful and got back to my messages very quickly. I was so excited when I received it in the post.

My earrings were from Argos and my necklace and bracelet I got made from a lady on eBay who again was really helpful, her eBay name is redred2004.

FINDING THE DRESS | Well 2 days after being proposed to I went out looking for a dress even though I didn’t have a date!  I went to Bluewater with my sister and found a dress, it was in the sale and they told me that it was the very last one so I got it. Purely an impulse buy as a couple months after that I went back into the store to have a look and I saw the same dress at the same price and then I instantly went of the dress as I knew I was roped in to it by the sales advisor. I then decided to go to another bridal store, so I went to Jacqueline’s House of Brides in Dartford and tried on all the styles. They had to get an idea of what I liked and then I found the dress! I went back the following week after debating about what to do and brought it! I then put the first dress up for sale which sold instantly, which was very lucky and a relief!

GROOM’S ATTIRE | We were first looking for a brown tweed suit but couldn’t find anything. We found a nice navy tweed suit in Next and we were going to team it up with a brown tweed waistcoat but a couple weeks before the wedding we decided to go all navy as we really liked how it looked. Luckily we had bought the matching navy waistcoat at the time.

He wore brown brogues from River Island and hot pinks socks to match my shoes which he didn’t know at the time

Because Tom is Scottish we chose tartan ties which we bought from the Gretna Green website. There was so many to choose from and we decided on one which suited the suit more which worked very well. We were even able to get the same tie in children’s sizes for our three sons which we were very happy about as they could all look the same.

We don’t like the fact that everyone has to look the same as it was too formal ( apart from having our sons and Tom looking the same that is), so we told the best man, ushers, father of the groom and father of the bride to wear any suit that they want. However we did give them all different coloured socks so it went with the same theme as the bridesmaids and their different coloured shoes. We also gave them all the same tartan tie because it looked nice and so they could feel like they are an important part of the wedding.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked in to the church with A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.

We had two hymns first one was One More Step Along The World I Go and the second one was Amazing Grace, luckily we had a choir to help with the singing.

The reading we choose was 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

The recessional music was You Are The Best Thing by Ray Lamontagne.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were my sister, my niece and my two friends.

They wore ivory off the shoulder lace dresses, which were made by Lydia Rose Bright which I loved!

The bridesmaids wore different coloured shoes which I had bought from New Look and for gifts I gave them bracelets to wear which matched the colour of their shoes which they were wearing. I let them do what they wanted with their hair and make up as again I didn’t want it looking formal, I wanted them to look like themselves so they could be relaxed.

THE FLOWERS | My dad’s neighbour arranged our flowers along with the help of my step mum. I met up with the flower lady and we decided what kind of flowers and where I wanted them to go. I choose a mixture of wild colourful flowers for my bouquet with thistles as the button holes were thistles. The same flowers would then be displayed in jars which I had collected over the year on the tables in the hall.

The bridesmaids had gyp with a matching colour ribbon to match their shoes. I was going to give them flowers which matched their shoes but because one of my bridesmaids had mint green shoes and you couldn’t get that colour flower, I just stuck with white gyp instead. I do like gyp as it gives it that country feel.

THE CAKE | My auntie flew all the way from Australia to make my cake! I love Victoria sponge and knew it had to be that, which is called a naked wedding cake. Vanilla sponge with jam filling and as always it looked and tasted absolutely amazing! There was so many comments about how nice it tasted! For anyone living in Australia her business is called Vines Cakes. She made the cake the day before the wedding at my house and put the cake together in the hall on the morning of the wedding and I left some flowers in the hall for her which she was able to use to decorate the cake with.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I am so happy that we were recommend a really good photographer, before booking I had a look at his site and went through all his wedding photos and they were all exactly how I wanted our wedding photos to be. I’m not a fan of formal photos and with James he took natural photos which were unobtrusive and he just seemed to blend in and took photos without people knowing that he was even there! Everyone commented on how professional and friendly he was and the results where amazing, we are both very happy with our photos and will treasure for a life time!

He also recommend us a brilliant videographer, which we didn’t book until a few weeks before as we were unsure of our finances. I’m so glad we did that too, again you didn’t even though he was there half the time and did a fantastic job with the video which we can cherish forever, his name is Jon Cook.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | DIY DIY DIY. You know when you think oh I can make that and this and that…….. Well that’s what we ended up doing! And OMG! So much hard work! But it was so worth it!

I made 600 meters of bunting using 7 different colours, I had never used a sewing machine since secondary school so that was a shock! I slowly made my way through the meters of bunting and finally finished! It did the job perfectly giving the hall a feel we were going for!

We bought hessian and cut out for our table runners. We put together our own festoon lights for outside. I had a flip flop basket full of flip flops with a blackboard style poster telling guests to help themselves and that they can change their footwear if feet get tired. I had a games table with travel games such as connect 4, hungry hippos and pop up pirate with plenty of pens and paper for children again with a blackboard style sign. I made a sweet table with jars I had collected from shops with a blackboard style sign. Tom made our post box, it was a barrel with our names on with a blackboard style sign sitting next to it telling people that it is a postbox. I had toiletries baskets with blackboard style signs in the toilets one for men’s essentials like deodorant, mouth spray, hair gel etc and the same with the women’s by having hair spray, deodorant, body spray etc.

For our guest book I had a Polaroid camera with plenty of films, a scrap book, different coloured metallic pens and sticky corners so basically guests were to get their photo taken with the Polaroid camera and use the sticky corners to stick down the photo in the book and to write something. The guests really enjoyed doing this and we have ended up with an amazing guest book! This also had a blackboard style sign explaining what to do.

For welcome drinks we had Pimms and lemonade in 8 litre Kilner dispensers so guests could help themselves and I had a cocktail list made up on a blackboard style sign which was wedding themed. Guests were able to ask for them once the mobile bar arrived in the evening as it was help yourself for drinks during the day.

I made bubbles for favours for children, which were also used as name placements by using a ready made fluid and bottles I collected and pipe cleaners were used for making the bubbles. I used chalk board stickers on top of them with their names on top. I had used glass jar cups for adult favours which also doubled up as name placements as I brought chalk board labels to stick on them and wrote names on them with chalk pen. Guests were able to take this home as a little memento of the day and they were able to use them for their drinks throughout the day if they wanted to.

We wanted a tree trunk cake stand, so we went to a farm in Orpington and hunted through piles of wood for the perfect piece. After a few visits we found it, brought it home and Tom sanded it down and varnished it.

Tom made the light up initials. He is very good with making stuff and this was a great centre piece and talking point at the wedding.

We collected lots of jars to use for table décor to put flowers in, I tied brown raffia around every jar.

I had brought face mats which look like beer mats but have a photo of a different lower face part up to the top of the lips, there was a space of the nose and people would put this on for a laugh, these proved very popular with everyone again as a talking point and for selfies!

Part of the hall needed to be covered as it wasn’t that nice so what I did was use left over fabric from the bunting and sewed onto curtain wire in strips and I used a white bedsheet behind it, we hung this up over the area which was also used as a photo booth type area,

Outside we had a huge bouncy castle as we had a lot of children, and we had hay bales delivered to the hall which we stuck outside with table cloths on top so people could sit outside if they wanted to and they did as it was such a nice day.

As the hall backed in to a public field, we were told that we had to have the BBQ on the public field and that we would have to corner it of so members of the public wouldn’t go near it or come into the hall. So Tom decided to make free standing picket fencing which went around the BBQ and and area for everyone to queue and get food, it also had a little door so people could go out on to the field if they wanted to and we did for photos.

We had the hall the day before the wedding and the day after. We went in the day before and set everything up apart from a few bit which couldn’t be done in the morning. Tom’s work friend kindly offered his services to do this, so he opened up and carried out a list of jobs such as letting the bouncy castle people in and the BBQ people in as well as some setting up of things. Whilst this was going on my auntie set the cake up and my step dad got the Pimms and lemonade ready for guests when arriving.  Throughout the wedding day people were kindly tidying up and making sure things where going right which I’m so grateful for. At the end of the night it was just me and Tom in the hall waiting for a cab, it was the strangest feeling. The next day we went back and tidied up.

The night before the wedding Tom stayed at home with his brother and I stayed in a B&B in Eynsford called Tabsfield with my bridesmaids. We ordered pizza that night and stayed up talking till quite late.

In the morning my mum arrived with my three boys and we all got ready there.

THE HONEYMOON | No traditional honeymoon as we have three sons and I don’t like leaving them. So instead we all went away in October to the Lake District and had family time walking and climbing mountains.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole day was memorable. One moment in particular was when me and Tom were left in the hall all by ourself waiting for our cab it was the strangest feeling, everything was so quiet and we sat there looking at the mess of the hall and thinking how fast it all went. It was like a whirlwind and as we sat there it actually sank in, as it was our first time alone as husband and wife!

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy your day! It goes so quickly!

Don’t worry about whether you have spoken to every body, just let guests come to you.

We supplied our own drinks for the day time and then had a mobile bar come in in the evening, this caused a bit of a problem as we didn’t communicate clearly enough that this would happen to our guests so a lot of confusion happened for a bit. If doing this make sure all guests know what’s happening or if you can have a help yourself bar for the evening too, I wish I did this. I could have hired someone to keep the area tidy and collect glasses and bottles etc and maybe even put up an honesty box and ask for £1 per alcoholic drink, which could of helped towards the cost of the drink and the help.

Also if you need lots of glasses we hired ours from Waitrose for FREE which saves money! I’ve been told Sainsburys does this service for free also.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Photography | James Grist Photography

Film | Jon Cook Wedding Films

Hair Vine | besomethingnew

Hand Made Jewellery | eBay the sellers name is Redred2004

Dress | Jacqueline’s House of Brides

Village hall | Horton Kirby and South Darenth

Accommodation |Tabsfield B&B

Fantastic BBQ | Ridgeway Catering 

Oh my, so much gorgeous!

Thank you to Sarah and Tom for sharing their brilliant wedding story today xo Lou

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