English Backyard Wedding by Shell de Mar Photography
December 7, 2011
Outdoor Weddings

Good morning, SMPers!  Are you ready for another fabulous Wedding Wednesday?  We sure hope so, because we are about to brighten your day with EIGHT stunning soirees simply brimming with delightful details, gorgeous inspiration and a plethora of special moments guaranteed to make you smile.  So, prepare yourselves for an entire day of lovely and be sure to check out those galleries where even more gorgeous awaits!

Up first in our pretty parade is an uber-charming backyard affair by Shell de Mar Photography that will most certainly warm your hearts with its eclectic vibe and sweet as can be garden setting.  Even better, these two adorable lovebirds crafted each and every detail of the big day themselves, right down to the Polaroid escort card display.  (Best. Idea. Ever.)  Oh, and did I mention the VW van converted into an ice cream truck?  Yep, this wedding is all kinds of awesome and you can see every last moment in the full gallery of images!






Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride... After only six weeks of being engaged we had found and booked our perfect wedding venue – a lovely converted barn surrounded by stunning countryside complete with its own small lake and rowing boat. Soon after that we confirmed out caterer, photographer, registrar and had sent out our save the dates – everything was going perfectly and we were ecstatic.... until we got a phone call from our venue cancelling our wedding just 6 months before our date. We spent a solid week searching for a new venue but when we told them we wanted a Saturday wedding in July they mostly just laughed at us.  We were just about to lose hope of getting married that year when Stu’s parents offered to let us get married in their garden.  We considered it for probably all of a minute.  The amount of work and the thought of planning almost an entire wedding in 6 months was daunting but we didn’t have to wait any longer to get married and we’d get to do it in a place that meant so much to us both - so we started working hard to create our DIY backyard wedding!

In the months before the wedding Stu and I made most of the details and decorations.  We wanted everything to have a personal touch with a rustic homespun feel.  We made the tissue paper pompoms, table numbers, place names, wooden signs, photobooth and props, jam jar glasses for the reception, cake topper, invitations, save the dates, orders of service, table runners, menu chalkboard, bunting, rubber stamped paper cocktail napkins, made 100 fabric napkins and our favorite DIY project, the Polaroid escort card display with pictures of us with each one of our guests.  We also spent many a weekend in the garden perfecting our ceremony area which included lots of clearing, planting of grass seed, falling trees and stumbling across a rat nest!  I think at times we both thought, “what are we doing?!” but on the day, seeing it all come together and all our guests enjoying themselves, it really was worth every second.

One of the things we both always wanted was to get married outside.  The laws in the UK are very strict and you can’t get married outside or in a private place so we decided to have a small registry office wedding the day before with our closest family and then had a humanist service outside in the garden with all our guests.  Apart from being able to get married where we wanted another benefit of having a humanist ceremony was that it could be personalized, we weren’t restricted in our music and readings and we could write our own vows.  Our celebrant spent a lot of time with us planning and writing the ceremony which turned out perfectly.  The ceremony was my favorite and most memorable part of the day by far (as you can see from the goofy grin on my face!). I will never forget that feeling of standing with Stu in a space that we had created together, listening to his vows for the first time.

We planned and created every single part of our wedding day together and as a result it felt 200 % personal. All our guest commented on how “us” it was which is all we ever wanted.  During the reception we served our favorite cocktails that my brother-in-law made that morning and our friends surprised us by dressing up their old VW camper and turning it into an ice cream van from which they served our guests 4 different flavors of wedding themed homemade ice cream.  Instead of a formal 3 course dinner we asked our favorite deli to make picnic hampers full of our favorite foods and afterwards we had a dessert table full of goodies made by some of our family and friends.

I know it’s a total cliché but it really was the best day of our lives and everything turned out more perfect that we ever could have hoped for.  I cannot put into words the sheer joy and love we felt that day surrounded by all our nearest and dearest, it is something we will both cherish forever.

Wedding Photography: Shell de Mar Photography / Day-of Coordinator: Louise of Bow Occasions / Tipis: Tipis4Hire / Catering: Delilah / Floral Design: Maison Fleur / Wedding Dress: Tibi via Little London Boutique / Bride’s Shoes: Vivienne Westwood / Bridesmaid Dresses: Coast / Flower Girl Dress: I Love Gorgeous / Decor: DIY