This summer has been incredible so far and I've been SO lucky to travel (all over the world, Australia counts right?!) to photograph some absolutely wonderful relaxed and happy weddings!
I knew from the moment that I started speaking to Adrienne about her and James' wedding that it would be a dream wedding to photograph. Adrienne and James just wanted to have a bloody good time with all the people they love.
I could talk for hours about wedding traditions. I love it when my couples pick and choose the traditions that actually mean something to them (or abandon them altogether, that's my absolute favourite!) and these guys did just that. They didn't want any posed photographs (but just look below at how BEAUTIFUL they are when I managed to persuade them ;) !), no group photos and definitely no speeches or forced "fun" for their guests.
These guys did everything in a really simple and straightforward way. They hired self-catering barn accommodation for a week (best decision ever), made lots themselves (the seating, all the signs, the wedding arch, a gladiators game - yes like the TV show - and the bar...James is a genius), brought in food (picnic food and a PIZZA TRUCK), stocked their bar with their favourite ale, played a massive game of Beer Pong and even threw one of their wedding guests in the swimming pool fully clothed!
All of the above made this such an amazing wedding but Adrienne and James know who the star of the show was for me (and my husband Russell who joined me to shoot video, more coming soon!)...their Italian Greyhound Sunny. Oh my days, I love dogs at weddings and Sunny might just be my favourite dog in the world. Have a look below and I'm sure you will agree ♡ Sunny loves these guys a ridiculous amount, it's so cute!
As this wedding was so bloody awesome I asked Adrienne to compile a list of tips for any other couples who would like to plan a relaxed and non-traditional wedding and here they are (thank you Adrienne!):
1- Support small local businesses rather than using well known chains for things. I found that they show more attention to detail and it's an all round more personalised experience. That being said we bought our table flowers from our local Morrisons and arranged them ourselves. Just suss out when and where to be savvy. Do as much as you can yourself (within reason and without stressing yourself out too much).
2- Charity shops! These places are amazing for picking up little things you may need for added decoration. such as cushions or throws. We bought a handful of cut glass bowls for nuts for the bar etc. I also found Etsy was great for finding one off cute little extras such as the macrame and my belt.
3- We decided to have a free bar...all day...if we could change this now we probably would. By the time the hired bar man had gone home it became a free for all, at which point I had to step in a be a party pooper and limit people's drinks to beer only. However the other side to this is that the guests REALLY appreciated it! - "this is the best wedding ever"
4- Help is all around you. Try not to stress too much as friends and family will step in to help. Call upon the expertise of those you know. If you know someone crafty - USE THEM! Our favours were made by the mother of the groom, the cake was made by the sister in-law! Fortune saved.
5- Don't get hung up on tiny details like, is that glass vase central on that tiny table in the corner - no one will notice on the day and it's time you're wasting that you could be spending on other things...like drinking! (this is one of my fave tips!)
6- The venue is obviously super important. Again this is about thinking outside of the box. We found a lovely converted barn, self catering holiday let literally 20 mins from our front door. As this wasn't a registered wedding venue it was super cheap in comparison and this meant we had the entire venue for a whole week, guests didn't have the stress of travelling long distances AND it slept 16 people at NO additional costs. We found a humanist celebrant who gave us a blessing which meant we had total control over everything - the wording, the location and live music!
7 - This is your day and you can plan it exactly how you want. We were legally married in the local registry office a few weeks prior to our 'ceremony'. This was just James, myself and 2 witnesses. We turned up in jeans and it cost £40. It's a little nontraditional but it suited us down to the ground!
In addition - we knew our day was going to be super relaxed and for that reason we decided not to have bridesmaids and groomsmen. All our close friends and family helped out and we didn't have to give them a title or a suit/dress for them to volunteer.
8 - Our day started at 10.30am and guests stayed until midnight in the end. Despite this being a super long day, it still felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. My advice is stand back for 30 mins just to adsorb, take some time with your new husband (or wife) to reflect, this really helped us.
9- Don't over plan, or worry if you're behind on schedule or if you forget about things - we didn't schedule in a cake cutting moment but it ended up happening, simply because the cake was too beautiful to not be the star for 15 mins!
10- Last but not least, DO choose your photographer carefully, after all the photos they take will help you remember your day for the rest of your life. I would recommend Tash and Russell to anyone! Their work is amazing and they're literally the nicest people you'll ever meet. I think Tash should add wedding organiser/planner/project manager to her CV!
I really love the approach that Adrienne and James took to planning their wedding and I hope the tips above are helpful for anyone else who is planning their wedding! I think it is so important to have a wedding that reflects you both as a couple, to not worry too much about traditions or what others may expect from you. Just plan the day the way you want it ♡
Venue: Thorganby Hall
Acoustic Musician: Sam Dawson
Stone baked pizza van: Pizza Mamma Hull