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Elena and Simon’s colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn

Joanna / 24 January 2017

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

This week’s Real Wedding is vibrant and carefree. There’s a marquee bedecked with sweet felt heart garlands and hundreds of handmade pom poms, and wildflowers and hay bales adorning the open-air ceremony space. This colourful handmade wedding is an inspiration for anyone who wants a laid back and fun vibe for their big day.

Beautifully captured by one of our TNWC recommended photographers, Emma Stoner, on a horse rescue farm. Join us as we find out more about this September wedding from bride Elena…

Colourful felt heart garland // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Colourful cheese wedding cake // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

A colourful handmade wedding with a small environmental impact

“We were inspired to have a wedding that used as many local businesses and resources as possible. We were keen to have a wedding that had a small environmental impact and wanted to use small businesses and charities as much as possible, rather than huge corporations. We used all biodegradable plates, cutlery and cups producing just two bags of lnadfill waste for the entire day and evening.”

Rustic outdoor ceremony with hay bale seating // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Rustic country summer wedding flowers // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Country groom style // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Comic book paper flower buttonholes // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

An outdoor wedding with a relaxed feel

“The wedding ceremony and reception were held at Ash Rescue Centre, in Dartmouth. We looked at several different locations; we wanted an outdoor wedding with a very relaxed feel that we could completely make our own. We found some lovely venues but knew instantly that Ash Rescue Centre was the one for us.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Boho country bride and bridesmaids // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Mismatched bridesmaids dresses and flower head bands

“The night before the wedding, I stayed in a house with my mum, aunties and two of my bridesmaids. My other two bridesmaids joined us the next morning. It was lovely being with everyone and getting ready together, but I also had my 7 month old daughter with me so wasn’t very relaxing! I did my own make up and one of my bridesmaids is a fantastic hairdresser so she did my hair.

“My bridesmaids were my two cousins and two close friends, four women who are incredibly important to me. I let the bridesmaids pick their own dresses; I gave them each a colour and £50 towards their outfit, so one was in pink, one light blue, one yellow and one green. My main thought was that I wanted them to be comfortable in what they were wearing and the flower head bands bought everyone together. They looked so beautiful.”

Boho bride and mismatched bridesmaids dresses // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

A rustic outdoor ceremony

“We actually wanted the ceremony to be fairly quick so it was quite basic, with standard vows. We were eager to start to celebrate with our guests and have a Pimms! It was held at the wedding reception venue in a beautiful handmade wooden structure.

“The venue decorated the ceremony area with flowers and we had hay bales for our guests to sit on that formed the aisle. We loved that the ceremony and reception were in the same place, this was vital to us when choosing a venue.”

Rustic outdoor ceremony in Devon // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

“The first glance calmed me”

“Seeing Simon for the first time was so lovely, I had felt a bit nervous and it had been a bit of a rush to get to the venue, seeing him standing in front of me made me feel calm again.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Pimms in jam jars with paper straws // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Pimms reception

“After the ceremony we all went to the flower garden for Pimms (I had to pop off for a bit to breastfeed my daughter, which was a little tricky in a wedding dress). The Pimms was very much appreciated after this and the perfect drink for a gloriously sunny day.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Precious moments captured perfectly by Emma Stoner

“Our photographer was Emma Stoner. She was fantastic to work with and made us very comfortable. We got some wonderful photos that perfectly captured the day.

“There was one of me, Simon and our daughter on a bench that I just love. Emma also managed to capture a few breastfeeding pictures that I love too.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Breastfeeding bride // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Breastfeeding bride // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

The venue allowed us freedom to be creative

Ash Rescue Centre was a blank canvas of absolutely stunning countryside, with beautiful flower gardens. We could adapt the site by hiring the marquee and equipment that suited us. It also came with a wedding planner to help with everything, she turned out to be an absolute life saver and was fantastic to work with.

“The flowers were all grown and arranged by the wedding venue. We wanted a natural feel so having flowers that had been grown around us was so perfect. They looked incredible and had lots of bright flowers included in them.”

Country marquee wedding // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Colourful marquee wedding with pom poms // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Comic book paper flowers // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

A colourful handmade wedding

“We had a lot of handmade decorations, from hundreds of handmade pom poms on strings to hundreds of brightly coloured felt hearts (lovingly made by my mum) that covered the marquee. Simon made comic book flowers that sat on the tables and we spray painted jars bright colours to put the bouquets in.

“We spent a lot of time painting and making things so that they fitted in with our colourful wedding but also enlisted a lot of help from family and friends as had slightly over estimated what we could get done whilst also looking after a young baby!”

Colourful felt heart garland // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Local cheese wedding cake

“Our wedding cake was made from cheese from the cheese shop in Totnes and we included as many local cheeses as possible. We wanted a savoury cake as it suited us better and could be used for food in the late evening (the two hour cheese tasting session to choose the cheeses was also a bonus). The venue decorated the cheeses with flowers and it looked so lovely, was a real centre piece.”

Colourful cheese wedding cake // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

An ethical venue

Ash Rescue Centre is a horse rescue charity who do incredible work with horses and also conservation management. Knowing that the venue cost would be going to a charity was the decider for us, it was like it had been made for want we wanted and was local to us too.”

Unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Our relationship evolved in Australia

“We met at Christmas time in Sydney 7 years ago. Simon was living with some mutual friends and after an amazing two weeks together, moved to the central Queensland outback to work on a cattle ranch. I went to visit him a few weeks later for a 2 week holiday and stayed for 5 months. We’ve been travelling and living together ever since.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Last minute dress change

“My wedding dress was quite last minute as the original dress I had bought before I was pregnant with my daughter just didn’t look right any more. Luckily Truly Delightful Bridal Shop in Totnes came to my rescue six weeks before the big day. They had a range of dresses that were available to buy straight away and did all the fittings and alterations in six weeks. I was so happy with the dress; I felt so comfortable in it. Jenny from Truly Delightful was an absolute star.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Wedding magazines weren’t ‘us’

“Originally we used wedding magazines to inspire us but they didn’t really show weddings that were us, so we just tried to work out what we wanted. We decided we wanted something very relaxed. Pinterest was a great help when it came to making our own decorations and inspiring the look of the wedding, we wanted something colourful and there were loads of ideas on Pinterest to inspire.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Relaxed barbecue wedding feast

“We had food from the Kitchen Table, Totnes who use all local ingredients. We had a barbecue and some wonderful breads and salads. It went perfectly with our ‘local’ theme and we were able to keep it relaxed as we had no seating plan so people served themselves and sat where they wanted, we had tables and hay bales to sit on.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Informal wedding drinks

“We had an open bar with local ale from the New Lion Brewery in Totnes that people really loved, and we had enough Prosecco  and Cava for people to drink all day. Then we had wine and bottles and cans of lager and cider for the evening. We didn’t have set drinks for people at different times, people could drink what they wanted, when they wanted.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Advice – do your own thing

“Mostly I would just say do your own thing! Don’t worry about pleasing everyone as it’s your day and having the things that you love makes it such a special time, people will see that and love it too. It’s an opportunity to go to a great party that’s been designed especially for you with the food and drink that you love so don’t forget to have fun.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Colourful country wedding marquee // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Dancing into the night

“We had a band in the evening called Bill Ding and The Skyscrapers. They were so fantastic and fun, people were talking about them for weeks afterwards.”

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Elena and Simon's colourful handmade wedding with rustic outdoor ceremony, felt heart garlands and a unicorn // Emma Stoner Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

We can’t thank Elena enough for giving us so much lovely information about her colourful handmade wedding. I just love the bright felt heart bunting; what a clever mum Elena has for making it all.

Thanks also go to photographer Emma Stoner, who sent us this gorgeous wedding (you can check out other weddings we’ve featured by Emma Stoner here).

{ Details }

Photographer: Emma Stoner Photography
Venue: Ash Rescue Centre, Dartmouth
Bride’s Dress: Truly Delightful
Flowers: Ash Tree Farm, Dartmouth
Wedding Food: Kitchen Table, Totnes
Wedding Cake: Country Cheeses, Totnes
Entertainment: Bill Ding and The Skyscrapers
Decorations: Handmade

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