Charlotte Balbier

dare to do it yourself. a family-focused diy wedding on ullswater, penrith – louise & david

November 28th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s real wedding is a testimony to the power of DIY. Louise and David did what so many of us dream of doing (if only we were brave enough!): they hired a village hall on Ullswater in Penrith, created a bright, white blank canvas and went to town with personal touches and pops of pastel colour.

Family is everything to this gorgeous couple and there’s plenty of inspiration here for family-focused wedding planning; from kids’ goody bags to their relaxed honeymoon in Pooley Bridge.

In need of some pretty on this Monday morning? Sit back and enjoy.

With images by Jenna Carpenter Photography.

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louise says: We got engaged while on holiday in Tenerife with our little girl Alice and our friends. I had been making several (fairly obvious!) hints to David but he seemed oblivious. One evening we went to a restaurant and everyone was just chatting away when David started talking to me, at first I didn’t realise what he was saying or what he was taking out of his pocket! It didn’t register until our table fell silent and I saw that everyone had massive smiles on their faces. It was so lovely and just the kind of proposal I’d dreamed of. He said some lovely things and I said yes, of course! I later found out that he’d gone to my parents and asked for their blessing and then asked my friend Sarah to take care of the ring for him as we went through the airport!

Our wedding date was Saturday 20th August 2016. We chose it as we thought a summer wedding would be lovely and the date just jumped out at us.

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We got married in Ullswater, Penrith at Watermillock Village Hall. We absolutely love the Lake District as a family and have lots of ties with the place so we knew it was meant to be.

The venue we chose was actually where my sister’s wedding reception had been held. We checked that she was ok with it first and thankfully she was. It’s a great little place: completely versatile, large rooms and a nice big field for a marquee for our ceremony.

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We used a celebrant on the day as the hall wasn’t licensed for weddings. We had such a personal ceremony conducted by Louise Burns from The Ceremony Company. There were several different ceremonies we could choose from and then personalise and Louise spent lots of time asking questions and finding out about us. We went for a traditional service with the vows included and it all came together in the most amazing service, full of tears and laughter. My sister read from A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton, which was lovely! Louise did an amazing job and we are so thankful for the care and attention she put into our ceremony.

The style of our wedding was laidback and relaxed. We just wanted everyone to have a good time, enjoy the day and let their hair down. I think the theme could perhaps be described as ‘love and fun’ in the end!

Our colour scheme was white with bright pastel colours. I knew straight away that I wanted a bright, white backdrop. Then the pastels could be integrated in different ways, from flowers to table decorations.

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bunting & blooms. johanna hehir for a pretty springtime wedding at the ashes – tracey & neil

October 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

Keen to give their guests a day to remember, today’s bride and groom put great food and drink and fabulous entertainment high up on their list of priorities.

They styled their day with cute bunting, colourful blooms and a sprinkling (or two) of gold glitter, and enjoyed celebrating within their stunning rural venue, whilst also seizing the opportunity to make the most of its surroundings too!

We love bride Tracey’s stunning sleeved gown, topped off with a pretty paper flower crown.

With images by Paul Joseph Photography.

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

tracey says: Neil proposed to me at Castle Howard in York, at the end of December 2014. It’s one of my favourite places in the world! We visited York as part of our very first weekend away together in the infancy of our relationship – we stopped off at Castle Howard because of my obsession with the novel Brideshead Revisited. We had such a brilliant time there and it’s so incredibly beautiful – Neil later told me, once he’d proposed, that for a long time he knew he would propose to me there. He’s a good egg!

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

As I’m a teacher, we were slightly constrained when it came to picking a date for the wedding. I didn’t want to get married over the summer as I don’t like the heat at the best of times. We also wanted to get the wedding done and out of the way so we could go on a massive holiday of a lifetime over the summer (this was our attitude in the early days of our engagement: the wedding was an excuse for a big party and a means to going on a huge holiday adventure together). We thought Easter might make a nice time and started looking at venues with that two week window in mind. When we mentioned Easter to close family and friends, they started to swoon at the idea of spring and the flowers about – and so we ended up getting married on Wednesday 6th April.

Finding a venue proved to be really tough. We visited a couple in our area that were not really ‘us’. At that stage, we didn’t really know what we wanted, we were just going on gut instinct. Fortunately, Neil found The Ashes one night whilst he was reading about wedding awards online – the venue, which is located in Staffordshire, had won one award a few years on the trot and so we thought it might be worth visiting. We liked everything about The Ashes; its informality, its beauty, the organisation of it all. We booked it that day.

Tracey + Neil's Rustic Spring Wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire

I tried to steer away from themes and just did things I thought might look nice. We ended up with pastel colours because of the season. There was also a lot of gold glitter. Ask my dad about gold glitter and he’ll tell you that he’s still finding it in the boot of his car almost six months on! We hoarded jam jars and interesting glass for months before the wedding and then used PVA glue and gold glitter to decorate them – it doesn’t sound that impressive but we were really pleased with how they turned out and people were able to take jars home at the end of the night. This spread the gold glitter love even more!

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understated elegance. stella york for a diy wedding in north yorkshire – gillian & james

March 16th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A DIY Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Louise Jacob Photography (28)

This morning’s real wedding just goes to show what can be achieved when people pull together and combine their skills.

Keen to keep costs down while getting creative, bride Gillian and groom James, called upon their friends to help style and decorate their wedding venue whilst rolling up their sleeves to pitch in with the pretty too.

The result is a simple yet stylish wedding, filled with meaningful homemade touches that were totally unique to Gillian and James’s big day.

With images by Louise Jacob Photography.

A DIY Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Louise Jacob Photography (35)

gillian says: We got engaged on the 23rd August 2014. James proposed at our home with a ring box that was made out of a log and had the words ‘Marry Me?’ inscribed on the top. He’d planted it amongst real logs and asked me to light a small fire while he made breakfast. I thought it was strange as it was August and pretty warm but he was very insistent. When I found the box and realised what was happening I was over the moon. When I looked round he was holding two glasses of champagne. It was perfect.

We got married on 26th September 2015. We knew we didn’t want to wait too long to get married as we’d already been together for nearly eight years when James proposed.

A DIY Wedding in Yorkshire (c) Louise Jacob Photography (11)

We had our ceremony and reception at The Red Lion in Burnsall, North Yorkshire. It’s a lovely rustic style venue nestled in a beautiful part of Yorkshire. It was important to be able to have our friends and family stay over with us and they have a number of rooms available as well as cottages next door.

We didn’t have a theme as such but were going for a look of simple understated elegance. I’m not overly creative but to keep costs down I wanted to do as much of the decorating as possible. I set up Pinterest boards for the different areas of the wedding and enlisted the help of my friend Ros and together with James, we decorated jars and made bunting. The day before the wedding the three of us and my chief bridesmaid Michelle, were busy cutting flowers and putting up fairy lights. It was manic but immense fun.

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fabulous florals. a pretty & personal homemade wedding in oldham – jennifer & warren

March 10th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Homemade Wedding in Oldham (c) Tim Simpson Photography (39)

Some may think that staging a big day at home makes the whole planning process that bit easier, but as this morning’s real wedding goes to show there’s a lot to consider and organise when hosting the celebrations in your own back garden.

Bride Jennifer and groom Warren, chose Jennifer’s parents’ garden as the perfect location for their wedding, enjoying an open-air humanist ceremony followed by a marquee reception.

Though thoroughly beautiful from beginning to end, the element that stands out to us most is all the fabulous florals, from the arch on the lawn to the suspended arrangements in the marquee and the beautiful 3D detailing on Jennifer’s dress – we’re in love!

With images by Tim Simpson Photography.

A Homemade Wedding in Oldham (c) Tim Simpson Photography (37)

jennifer says: We got engaged on 11th October 2013, at Rex Lookout, East Coast Australia, which is located approximately half way between Cairns and Port Douglas. We were embarking on a tour of the East Coast and had just collected our campervan from Cairns. On route to our first stop of Port Douglas we came across this amazing beauty spot and this is where Warren totally and utterly surprised me by asking me to marry him.

We set the date for 27th June 2015 as we wanted an outdoor ceremony and thought this time of year was our best chance for dry weather. We set a date pretty quickly as we had guests from Australia, Sweden and France and wanted to make sure that we gave people as much notice as possible.

A Homemade Wedding in Oldham (c) Tim Simpson Photography (28)

Due to us having a humanist ceremony it was necessary to also have a legal ceremony at our local registry office – we did this one week before the actual wedding day. It was an intimate affair with just family and two close friends. It was just lovely, a very simple ceremony and then a pub lunch which brought everyone together to mark the start of the official wedding week!

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moroccan magic. maggie sottero for a colourful diy wedding in the north west – jen & marc

January 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Moroccan Themed Wedding in the North West (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (85)

Though the temperatures outdoors are dropping, we have something guaranteed to warm up your day – the Moroccan themed wedding of Jen and Marc. Taking inspiration from her travels in North Africa, bride Jen chose vibrant colours and authentic décor, such as ornate metal lanterns, to style their big day.

We love the warm rich tones that feature and also have a huge soft spot for Jen’s Maggie Sottero gown and gorgeous bouquet!

Though Jen says she felt the pressure when planning her big day, we think she did a sterling job!

With images by Kyle Hassall Photography.

A Moroccan Themed Wedding in the North West (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (31)

jen says: Marc proposed when we were on holiday in Barbados. It was completely unexpected!

We got married on 15th August because Marc’s dad offered us the use of his beautiful garden for a marquee wedding and so it had to be a summer date to accommodate UK weather! I didn’t want to spend too long planning the wedding and felt I could turn it around within eight months.

A Moroccan Themed Wedding in the North West (c) Kyle Hassall Photography (49)

Our ceremony was at Chester Town Hall. We chose it because it was close to Marc’s dad’s house where our reception would be reception.

The wedding had a very loose North Africa/Morocco theme. I really wanted to incorporate such influences into our traditional English country wedding as I lived in the Middle East and North Africa for a time and still travel there. The colour scheme was slightly out of control as I’m a big fan of bright colours! I wanted all the flowers and décor to be warm and bright. So orange appeared to be the dominant colour but it was more of an evolution than a conscious choice.

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minted. a handmade wedding in the shetland islands – rachel & david

December 10th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Pretty & Personal Wedding (c) AnnaJoy Photography (38)

This morning’s real wedding couple decided to focus their handmade wedding day on three important factors – their faith, family & friends.

So after a traditional service at their church of choice, David and Rachel went to a local hotel for delicious food and entertaining speeches followed by tea and cake, giving them plenty of time to spend with those nearest and dearest to them.

With images by AnnaJoy Photography.

A Pretty & Personal Wedding (c) AnnaJoy Photography (26)

rachel says: David knows how much I like a good treasure hunt, and so set me one as part of our engagement in December 2014. He had me drive around all our favourite places in Glasgow where he’d placed clues, including the church where we first met, the King’s Theatre where we had our first fancy date and our favourite Subway! The last clue led me to Bothwell Castle where he was waiting with the ring, which we had designed ourselves. It was so romantic!

We set the date for 22nd August 2015. David works through the summer months of June and July and I started university in September. We wanted enough time for a two week honeymoon and just about squeezed it in!

A Pretty & Personal Wedding (c) AnnaJoy Photography (30)

I’m from the Shetland Islands and I have a ginormous family, so we decided getting married up North would be better! Getting married in a church was very important to us because we wanted God to be part of our marriage from the very beginning. We chose the Lerwick Baptist Church because it’s beautiful and has enough space to seat all the afore-mentioned family members! The church was built a few years ago and so is nice and modern and beautiful inside and out. Our wedding breakfast was held at The Shetland Hotel.

We love vintage, rustic and wild things, and so wanted to incorporate these into our special day. We thought that reflected our personalities better than super chic or blingy!

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