There was plenty of fun to be had at Bonnie and Toby’s picnic wedding. Relaxed and informal was the aim for the day, with a red double decker bus to ferry everyone from the church to the venue, picnic blankets and baskets on the grass, a “most creative pocket square competition” for the groomsmen, and even a sports day! The day was full of sunshine – the couple walked back down the aisle together to “Bring Me Sunshine”, complete with the congregation waving little yellow sunshines at them.
To celebrate their 1st wedding anniversary we thought, we’d share some more gorgeous details with you on our blog too!
WEDDING DATE: 21st June 2016
WEDDING VENUE: Piggy Back Barns, near Fakenham
WEDDING PHOTOS: Beth Moseley Photography
We asked Bonnie to tell us about their big day and share her tips with the future couples. Here’s Bonnie and Toby’s story.
We’d just arrived back from a lovely family trip to London in August 2014. I’d found it tough because I was pregnant and it had been really hot. We’d just dropped my daughter Izzy off at her Dad’s and Toby said he’d brought me a present to cheer me up. The only catch being that if I loved it I had to take him out for dinner because he was too tired to cook. And then he produced a Jewellers bag, and inside was a box, a ring sized box. I nervously undid it and there was the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen. It was just perfect. But before I could say yes there was a very important little girl that I had to ring and ask if she’d mind if Toby and I got married. After checking with her Dad for some advice on what she should do Izzy gave us her blessing and I said ‘yes’. (Toby still paid for dinner though )
Apart from the excited phone calls and initial conversations with friends and family we decided to put plans on hold until after the safe arrival of our new beautiful bundle of fun. So planning started in earnest in January 2015, it really helped being on maternity leave as it meant I could plough through the internet looking for everything we needed to book and make appointments for Toby’s days off.
Thankfully because of the job I do I had a lot of wedding supplier contacts already, it was great to contact them and tell them all about our plans. They were also a key source of information and advice. We also got the family on board to help us with ideas and organising. Having lost my Dad 4 years ago I really wanted my brothers involved and we made the decision to ask them to be Brides Men, this was the start of the wedding party planning and each person involved really helped us pull our day together.
So Toby had come up with the idea of having picnics. Izzy loves a picnic and it would be a great way for us to ensure the day was the relaxed and easy day we wanted. We used this idea and built the rest of the day around it.
We knew from the start we wanted a DIY wedding, we wanted control of our own bar with no corkage fees, we wanted our own caterers for the picnics and we wanted to keep the decorating of the venue in line with our picnic theme.
The Wedding Dress
I wanted a dress that would suit the picnic theme. There was no way I’d be able to sit on a picnic blanket in a large ball gown style dress and because it was hopefully going to be warm I didn’t want anything too heavy.
So my Mum and I booked some appointments, the first destination was Pure Brides and a wonderful lady called Margaret. It was great fun to try on so many beautiful gowns and watch my mums face and reactions to each one.
The final dress of the appointment and I just got that feeling as I looked at it that it was going to be perfect. And of course it was nothing like I imagined, it was strapless and I hate my arms! It had beautiful lace and diamante detailing, but I didn’t want bling! It had a train and I hadn’t wanted anything too long! But it was perfect, it wasn’t ivory, it wasn’t heavy, it wasn’t anything I’d thought of but it was just perfect.
We cancelled the rest of my appointments and placed the order, a size too small of course to give me some motivation to tone up and look my best.
WEDDING PLANNING TIPS
- Get the big bits out of the way first.
- Don’t assume the Groom won’t be interested in the planning.
- Accept help when it’s offered.
- Stick to your theme and don’t allow others to side track you.
- If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t.
- In the end I brought myself a beautiful notebook and titled the pages week by week for the last 3 months and put all my jobs on them.
- For the last 3 days work your timescale backwards and ensure you have enough time to enjoy those last minute tasks. Go for a massage, have a last date night before being husband and wife, go for breakfast the day before and enjoy the crazy.
The Wedding Day
|I woke up at the venue about quarter to 7, completely excited, overwhelmed, nervous and full of energy. My sister in law had stayed the night with me and I remember jumping on the bed before running down the hall way waking everyone else up.
Bottles of bubbles were opened and I found the time to have a quick shower before we turned my room in to the beauty salon for the morning. Beth our photographer and her second shooter Kat arrived, they were a calming influence and so professional but great fun too.
Claire arrived to do make up and Emma arrived slightly after to start my hair. Some of the girls from work arrived to set up the bar and brought with them fresh pastries from Dozen’s in Norwich (they were amazing!)
I could hear friends outside my barn who’d also stayed doing some finishing touches for me. Then my daughter Izzy arrived from my Mums along with the dress. (It was an awesome feeling to get it out of its bag and know today was the day)
It all became a bit real, and then Caroline turned up with the flowers. This was a real turning point in the morning for me. The flowers were gorgeous and a huge hug from Caroline was just what I needed, everything started to come together and I knew the day was going to be amazing.
Then my sister in law Steph gave me a gift, it was a locket with 4 beautiful pictures inside, my Dad, my Nan and Grandad and my dearest friend Caroline who sadly passed away in January. The tears flowed but what a wonderful gift and it allowed me to take the time to remember them all and know they’d be with me all day.
Toby had stayed in one of the other barns the night before and was having a slightly more stressful morning as he was looking after our youngest daughter Tilly, his reward would be our babysitter arriving at 11 and a trip to the pub before the ceremony.
The morning flew by but I had great moments with all of my girls, and then my Mum arrived to help me get dressed, she also had the most important job of giving me away. Mum had also hand made my garter, it was beautiful and she lent me her gorgeous pearls to wear.
All dressed I finally got to see all the girls and my flower girls dressed up. Navy blue dresses for the older girls and tutus for the little ones. Izzy was my Chief Flower Girl and had chosen a beautiful ivory Marilyn Monroe style dress with navy accessories, they were just all breath taking. I could not have been a prouder Bride to have such gorgeous girls and ladies walking with me.
So to the church in a beautiful red double decker bus from Bus & Us. I loved the journey, hanging out with all the girls. My Brides Men had gone on ahead with the Groom to have a quick pint in the village pub. As we arrived at the church they were there waiting, my nephew Alfie was ringing the church bells and the local residents had come out to wish us well.
After organising the dress and the line of procession my brothers and I were handed a shot of Jim Beam by Nicola, our usher as a toast to my Dad. Deep breaths and a little tear later it was time to head for the aisle.
The church was full and all of our family and friends were smiling back at me, and there was Toby. He didn’t look, I saw Mike whisper to him and then I was by his side. We spent the whole ceremony pulling faces at each other and smiling, I remember Toby smiling and laughing the whole day.
We signed the registers and then got ready to walk back down the aisle, as ‘Bring me Sunshine’ started to play. As we walked out of the church the whole congregation started to wave little yellow sunshines at us. A perfect moment.
We all then took the bus back to the Barns where a drinks reception was waiting, followed shortly by picnics.
I remember looking across the gardens and seeing our guests sitting/lying on blankets, eating and drinking and I knew we’d achieved what we’d wanted.
Then it was on to the Sports Day afternoon. Arranged for us by our friends and Games Masters for the afternoon, Dan & Billie Hawes.
Have you ever tried skipping in a wedding dress ? J There was an obstacle course, tug of war and sack racing. A great way to liven everyone up after some delicious picnics.
Then it was on to the speeches, where we utilised the balcony in our room and sent the boys up to talk from there. My step dad produced an outstanding speech, lots of love, tears and laughter throughout. Mike, Toby’s best man, managed to find some stories none of us knew and Toby finished it off perfectly.
This led us on to the cutting of the cake, Emma from Buns of Fun had produced an outstanding display of cakey goodness and the children couldn’t wait to bling up their cupcakes with sauces and sweets (the adults too).
The disco started up and Toby and I were called for the first dance, ‘The You & Me Song’, it was the perfect mix of sentiment alongside the quirkiness of the whole wedding. I then got to have a second song with my brothers to my Dad’s favourite song ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’. It was a beautiful way to honour my dad and we asked everyone to join us.
And then the evening faded in to great conversations with great friends, delicious burritos from Chihuahua Burritos, dancing under the stars, sparklers and lots of vodka and pink lemonade.
And Toby and I got to walk back to our room hand in hand as husband and wife, the perfect end to a perfect day.
Your tips for the wedding day
- Take the time to enjoy it, know in your mind how you want each part of the day to be and have someone you trust to help you achieve it.
- Find some quiet times to just breathe and look what’s happening.
- Eat little bits throughout the morning and even if you’re straight on the bubbles make sure you keep drinking water.
- Be yourself, make each other laugh, don’t stress if things aren’t perfect, your guests will enjoy your day because of you not because you forgot to attend to a small detail.
- Hold hands, talk to guests together, have a drink together, eat cake together.