Leanne and Tom got married in July at their parent's house in rural Essex. We couldn't resist sharing their fun festival themed wedding and some of Leanne's words.
What was your vision for your wedding day?
We just wanted to throw a really fun party for all our friends and family, and to have a day that really reflected us, our relationship and our values.
Finding the dress
I didn't want a traditional wedding dress or to look too much like a 'bride', but equally I was aware of the risk of blending in with the other wedding guests. I toyed with wearing a bright green dress I found on Asos.com, but in the end I decided to go slightly more traditional by having the green dress re-made in ivory by a colleague's mum. My best man Rich and I went shopping for the fabric on Goldhawk Road in London. I love the fact that this meant my dress was unique, but for a tiny fraction of the cost of a traditional 'bespoke' dress. My shoes were also a one-off as I got them from Shoes of Prey (https://www.shoesofprey.com/) - an online shop where you can design your own shoes - hours of fun were had with this website!
Finding the suit
Tom didn't want to go full morning-suit formal, and as it was a July wedding he wanted something quite light and summery. He actually bought the first suit that he tried on in Ted Baker! No messing, no fuss; he liked it, it fitted - job done! He also treated himself to some new brogues from Dune, but added some bright blue laces to spice them up a bit. He and the ushers also had matching pocket squares from Mrs Bow Tie (https://www.mrsbowtie.com/) which was a great way to tie them all together without them having to all wear the same.
The planning process
We starting planning in September last year, and the main things for us were getting the venue and food locked down. We looked at a few venues in London, where we live, but in the end settled on having a DIY outdoor wedding at my parents' house in Essex. And we chose one of our favourite London street food vendors, Up In My Grill (http://www.upinmygrill.co.uk/) for the catering. Once we had booked the marquee, caterer, band - and of course, photographers! - we chilled out for a bit and took a break from planning as we knew everything else could wait. The most fun part was our trip to Burgundy in France to taste and buy the wine! After that we just drew up a timeline for what needing doing, spreading everything out so we didn't leave it all until the last minute. This kept it relatively stress free - and meant we could have a life outside of wedding planning!
There wasn't one! We'd been together 10 years already, and lived together for most of that, so for us it wasn't about 'when' we'd get married, but rather 'if'. However, after numerous really fun friends' weddings over the past few years, and my sister deciding to get married in 2018, we realised there was a wedding-free opening in 2017. So one Friday night after a few too many navy strength gins at home, we finally bit the bullet and decided to do it!
Overall we were just really happy to see so many smiling and laughing faces in all the photos - we had so much fun and were just pleased that our guests clearly did too! Of us, we love the one taken at the end of the confetti run, where we are both laughing. This was such a great moment as Tom's best main Neil had, as a surprise, bought a load of confetti canons and the ushers set them off at the same time as the main confetti. (My parents were picking that stuff out of the trees for weeks afterwards...) So not only do we look happy, but it brings back a great memory as well.
As already mentioned, we had it at my parents' house in Essex. Doing it this way allowed us to make it more personal, as essentially we had a field and a marquee as our blank canvas. Most of the decorations came from local vintage shops or from salvage yards in France, and we built a lot of props ourselves too. It also meant that we could source all the booze completely corkage free, and that there was no curfew! One of my favourite memories is sitting around the fires at 2am seeing some of our favourite faces through the flames - and this is something that we just wouldn't have been able to do with a traditional venue.
Too many to list! It sounds like a cliché but we genuinely enjoyed every moment from start to finish. From our self-written ceremony performed by our friend, to dancing to my mum's band, right through to jumping up and down like idiots on the dancefloor with our best mates around us - we just had so much fun and didn't stop laughing or smiling the whole day.
Advice for other couples
Sounds obvious but - enjoy it! And not just the day itself, but the planning too, and everything that goes with it. I lost count of how many bemused faces I encountered whenever people asked 'are you stressed?' and I would reply 'no, why would I be?'. Despite what everyone thinks - weddings don't need to be stressful. The whole reason for doing it is to have fun, so don't let unnecessary things worry you. The key to this is only doing the things that matter to you. Don't follow the herd - question every part of the process and only do what's right for you. Tom and I decided to spend the time before the ceremony together, along with our ushers and bridesmaids, and these moments were great fun, so I am glad we didn't worry about tradition and just did what was right for us.