Ellis had always dreamed of a bohemian wedding in a field somewhere, and despite finding that her original thoughts that it would be a “cheap and easy” option were not entirely correct, she managed to create the wedding of her dreams. Read on to find how she did and view some of the stunninhg wedding photos and video.
How Did you meet
We’ve been together for almost 6 years, but knew of each other for about 4 years before that.
Our parents actually live next door to each other, though we’ve never actually both lived there at the same time or really spoke to each other. When both our paths ever did cross we were both in relationships too, so we definitely have our parents to thank for our relationship!
I (Ellis) was at university in London and my Mum thought she’d play her hand at cupid. I was looking to buy a bike and she’d seen Michael riding to and from work at times, and was forever commenting that he was ‘such a nice boy’. She thought he might be able to offer a helping hand (or a little more) and asked if he’d get in touch with me to help. It transpired that he knew very little about bikes, but after a few back and forth emails to try and help, asked if I might consider a drink or dinner sometime. Given that I lived in London and he in Norfolk this wasn’t quite as simple as we’d thought, so he actually came down to London where our first date became a weekend date. 2 weeks later and he came down again, at which point we decided we’d “see how things go” (Michael’s words), which were short-lived when the next day he suggested we might make things a bit more formal! We had a long distance relationship for 2 years before heading off travelling for 10 months together, and came back and have lived in London since.
For my Birthday he’d booked us to visit Paris- we’d gone there on our very first holiday so it was a bit of a romantic trip from the start!
We started the day with some champagne on the EuroTunnel and quickly made our way to the greens by the Eiffel Tower where we continued with another bottle. He had me pulling silly poses as a bit of a laugh to the other tourists who were busy perfecting their selfies, and when I turned around was on one knee. I didn’t actually realise what was happening until he asked me to marry him. That wasn’t all though, as shortly after when we were sat on the grass I turned to see my parents and his sat with wigs on who had seen the whole thing; I’d always said I didn’t really know how people celebrate engagements on their own and that I’d loved to enjoy it with loved ones, and we’d had family bereavements on both sides, so he’d asked them to surprise me and come out too. They didn’t know he was going to pop the question though so he’d managed to surprise quite a few of us!
THE WEDDING PLANNING
We started planning soon after we came back, so about a year before the wedding. We focused on the big jobs- the date, the reception venue and whether we’d get married in a church. All of which are much more difficult to decide and time consuming than you might think! We spent a lot of time visiting venues and working out costs on top of whether it would be the kind of place we’d like to get married (what time did music have to finish; could we have our own caterers; how far was it from the church?)- We wanted to be able to add our own stamp and not be too restricted. Visiting the places was actually really fun, though it did mean quite a few visits up to Norfolk at weekends to look round and then look round again, and you can end up feeling a bit overwhelmed.
My dream had always been a bit of a bohemian, festival vibe in a field somewhere but we’d had trouble trying to find somewhere that would work. Almost at the last minute a farmer who owned land behind our parent’s house said that he’d be happy for us to use his field, so then it was a case of looking at the logistics, such as the marquee, lighting, tables, cutlery, caterers- almost everything you can think of had to be considered.
We have a local church just minute’s from our family home which is really beautiful, so we decided we’d marry there. We then had to incorporate in our perfect dates for the field (the farmer’s field had barley as the crop which we wanted to be long and golden), which needed to be at the beginning of July at the latest with the availability of the church, which sounds a lot easier than it is!
Around the same kind of time (September) we thought about caters and marquee providers, and my Mum was amazing at scoping this out. We approached a local hotel and restaurant and asked if they’d cater, to which they agreed (sample menu tasting also being a great part of planning!), and found a marquee provider who had a brand new tent. Unfortunately they dropped out (though actually just dropped off the face of the earth, not replying to any calls, emails, texts, just before we were about to pay) so my Mum was frantically trying to find a new supplier which wasn’t easy 6 months before the date. Luckily we did and they covered everything from tables to toilets, whilst the caterers covered off all of the food essentials like plates, tablecloths and cutlery.
The florist was chosen at the start of the year too which is a big part of the day. I found them on the internet and met them at the same kind of time to talk about the style, colours and any particular flowers I was thinking of. I don’t think you realise how important they are until you see them on the day and realise how necessary it is for them to compliment your dress and those of the bridesmaids.
Despite the hype around the dress I actually found this the least enjoyable aspect of the planning. There’s so much stress to find the ‘right’ one and to look your best that I found it all a bit daunting. That and the fact that you’re stared at by people you don’t know who offer their opinion on your best and worst features! I think some brides have an exact idea of what they want but I didn’t, just that I wanted something more relaxed. I must have tried about 30 dresses on and looked at home in Norfolk and in London before deciding on my dress in January. I was cutting it fine with timing so I’d probably recommend looking sooner rather than later for that! My other advice would be to go with someone that you really value the opinion of. I went with my Mum and she had a similar idea to me in what kind of look I was after and helped me feel a bit more at ease. She also encouraged a glass or two of bubbly which helped me feel a bit more relaxed (don’t pass up on the free wine!). Whilst many take bridesmaids, because I was apprehensive anyway I thought that having quite a few conflicting opinions could make things difficult, so kept that as a surprise for them on the day.
My favourite parts were the bits which allowed me to be a bit more creative- the save the dates and wedding favours were a lot of fun, though I bought these through Etsy and you need to take into account the delays in communication and postage if your seller is overseas (as well as the tax you might face if it’s stopped through customs-both were for me and cost a small fortune). We also had to think about the decorations on the tables and in the field (hay bales, fairy lights, that kind of thing) and music. We opted for some jazz music on arrival played by three very talented local musicians, and had a more folk band in the evening called Addison’s Uncle who we had to book about 6 months in advance.
DID YOU HAVE A WEDDING THEME?
Our theme was relaxed bohemian I’d say. We had very rugged flowers with lots of green and cream in the bouquets, combined with ivy and bright bustling flowers in the marquee. We brought in hay bales for guests to sit on during the day and evening which helped make sure the atmosphere was really casual and relaxed- which is ultimately what we wanted everyone to feel. The tables were trestle tables in rows to give more of a communal feel, and we had cake pops rather than a fruit cake to continue on that theme. The food was sharing platters for both the starter and main which meant that people could pick and choose what they really wanted and chat away to other guests in the process, with bacon butties and hotdogs in the evening. The music was meant to inspire everyone to get up and have a good dance, and was meant to be a bit of fun (which it was).
THE BIG DAY - YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS
The church was actually a really memorable part for us both- we’d chosen hymns and a reading which were personal to us (or Ellis, I should say). Given that you only hope to do this once it was lovely that the church gave us the flexibility to build these in, giving a reflection of us and our story together.
Walking into the field from the church was really special. Guests threw confetti on the way down which was the longest confetti walk I have ever seen! But when we got down to the field and walked in, it was almost magical. You saw how everything had come together, the sun was shining and instantly people walked to sit on the hay bales which were spread all over the field. You worry that people won’t spread out but they did instantly which was not only a relief but also really lovely to see.
I loved heading back into the field later on in the evening for photos with my bridesmaids. There was a fantastic sky and we were all quite merry so how our amazing photographer (James Rouse) caught us is beyond me. He had to contend with us all making Barley Angels or falling over, but it was a really special moment for me. That and dancing with all of my friends and family. Everyone looked like they were having such a great day and we had no hiccups- listen to people when they say it’s the best day of your life, because it really was for us.
WEDDING VENUE: Barley Field, Bradwell
WEDDING CAKE: POP bakery
WEDDING FLOWERS:Bramble and Berry
WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT: Addison’s Uncle
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: James Rouse Photography
WEDDING VIDEO: Thompson Granger Films
HAIR & MAKEUP: Lesley Vye
GROOMSWEAR: Dress 2 Kill