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Alex and James' intimate natural wedding with vintage French lace wedding dress, local pub reception and pavlova wedding cake // Oxi Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

We’ve got a treat for you in this week’s intimate natural Real Wedding.  This couple decided to do things their way and it turned out to be all about friends and food.

They dug up their garden the day before the wedding to fill rusted tins with sweet peas, rosemary and lavender, saved the partying for the weekend after their big day, and ceremoniously cut into a berry-topped wedding pavlova at their reception. Intrigued? You should be.

Luckily it was all captured beautifully by TNWC recommended Oxana Mazur of Oxi Photography, who is renowned for her natural and intimate documentary style. So let’s delve into the rosy-hued pictures and learn more from bride Alex…

Alex and James' intimate natural wedding with vintage French lace wedding dress, local pub reception and pavlova wedding cake // Oxi Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Simple rustic wedding table decor // Oxi Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Alex and James' intimate natural wedding with vintage French lace wedding dress, local pub reception and pavlova wedding cake // Oxi Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Alex and James' intimate natural wedding with vintage French lace wedding dress, local pub reception and pavlova wedding cake // Oxi Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Pavlova wedding cake // Oxi Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

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. // Kelly Hearn Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Today’s Southend Barns autumn wedding inspiration shoot is bound to cheer up any ‘January blues’. Think soft glowing lights, trailing foliage in vibrant autumnal hues, jewel-toned seasonal flowers and ethereal bridal style evoking visions of Elven folk from a Tolkien novel.

This beautiful shoot was dreamt up by the rustic farm venue Southend Barns in Chichester and To Have and To Hire wedding stylists. The shoot aimed to showcase local and ethical wedding businesses which of course we always love to see.  The styling was a celebration of autumn to reflect the beautiful textures, forms and colours it has to offer. Everything was perfectly captured by award-winning wedding photographer Kelly Hearn.

Autumnal boho bridal style // Kelly Hearn Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Autumnal aisle decoration of lanterns and leaves // Kelly Hearn Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Rose gold floral bridal hair slide // Kelly Hearn Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Autumn wedding table setting // Kelly Hearn Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

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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

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Ethical man-made diamond engagement ring from KinetIQue Jewellery // The Natural Wedding Company

We are bringing you another instalment of our Meet the Maker series today. As we proudly support independent businesses we feel that it is always great to get an insight into the people behind them. We love to hear how they started out, their inspiration and how the service or products they provide are extra special for a couple planning their wedding day.

Today’s makers are husband and wife team, Elaine and Jason Foreman. They are the founders and designers behind the innovative hybrid ethical man-made diamond rings company KinetIQue. Their story and products are both fascinating so lets find out a little bit more about them.

Ethical man-made diamond engagement ring from KinetIQue Jewellery // The Natural Wedding Company

Hi Elaine and Jason welcome to our Meet the Maker series. To get started, as your business is so unique, how would you explain a man-made diamond? Are you able to tell us a bit more about what they are?

A laboratory grown diamond is a diamond. There is no difference between a diamond occurring naturally and a laboratory grown diamond except ‘origin’. Pure man-made diamonds, are literally grown from a seed crystal and are pure Sp3 Carbon, like mined diamond.

We have co-created the world’s best Hybrid Diamond – The IQ Diamond which is simply the evolution of the diamond. They benefit from excellent eco credentials. They can also have greater clarity than most retail earth-mined diamonds and are less expensive.

The IQ Diamond, which is currently only available through us, consists of two components, hence why it’s called a Hybrid Diamond®. We have explained the complex process on our website if you wanted to know more about how they are created.

Ethical man-made diamond engagement ring from KinetIQue Jewellery // The Natural Wedding Company

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Rachel and Lee’s autumn lake house wedding with outdoor ceremony and sunflower bouquets for this boat loving couple // Davey and Krista Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

The first Real Wedding of 2017 is a little different because this time we travel across the pond to the beautiful East Coast of America. Rachel and Lee’s early autumn lake house wedding is a feast for tired January eyes. They held their wedding at Rachel’s family’s Lake House in Maryland under the hazy September sun.

Before we catch up with bride Rachel to learn more about this rowing boat-filled, sunflower-adorned day, a few words from to TNWC’s Charlie…

This wedding feels close to my heart, which might sound strange when I’ve never met Rachel or Lee, but I have got to know Rachel a little over the past year. Firstly she shared with me her nautical wedding invitations inspired by my own save the dates. I especially loved that the “tying the knot” element (inspired by this version of mine) had such relevance to their love of sailing.

Since their wedding, Rachel and Lee have been on the most incredible 12 month adventure sailing around America in their yacht. I have followed their adventures on Instagram and have kept in touch following their return to dry land, where Rachel has set up her own business Rachel Kendall Events. I am so thrilled that we get to share their wedding with you.

Rustic eco-chic nautical ‘tying the knot’ save the dates and invitations with hessian, lace and twine // Davey and Krista Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Rachel and Lee’s autumn lake house wedding with outdoor ceremony and sunflower bouquets for this boat loving couple // Davey and Krista Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Outdoor lake side wedding ceremony // Davey and Krista Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Succulent buttonholes // Davey and Krista Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Purple bridesmaids dresses and sunflower bouquets // Davey and Krista Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

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An earthy woodland wedding shoot with exquisite animal masks and a seasonal winter bouquet of seedheads and ferns // Megan Duffield Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

What better way to kick off the New Year than with a seasonal appropriate earthy woodland wedding shoot. It’s full of winter wedding inspiration – think feathers, seedheads, foliage and pine cones. Plus the most exquisite animal masks we’ve ever seen. These are proper grown up masks, perfect we reckon if you want a quirky detail to add a twist to your wedding photos.

So what do I love most about this earthy woodland wedding shoot? I love the attention to seasonal details like the pine cone and pheasant feather hair decorations. It’s over to photographer Megan Duffield to tell us more about what inspired the shoot…

An earthy woodland wedding shoot with exquisite animal masks and a seasonal winter bouquet of seedheads and ferns // Megan Duffield Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

An earthy woodland wedding shoot with exquisite animal masks and a seasonal winter bouquet of seedheads and ferns // Megan Duffield Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

An earthy woodland wedding shoot with exquisite animal masks and a seasonal winter bouquet of seedheads and ferns // Megan Duffield Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Winter wedding hair with feathers and pine cones // Megan Duffield Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Winter wedding flower crown // Megan Duffield Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

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Why you should ignore everyone's wedding planning rules (including ours): An alternative guide to planning your wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

We felt it was about time that we put together our own alternative wedding planning guide, one that encourages and empowers you to create a wedding that reflects you as a couple. Many couples that stumble across our eco wedding directory and blog tell us they suddenly feel at home amidst the often crazy world of weddings.

“I felt I had an affinity with your blog that inspired me to be confident in creating a wedding day that was meaningful to us as a couple.”

Here are our top 10 tips to create an alternative wedding planning guide. Take what you want and leave the rest. We’re not here to tell you what to do or how to do it, we just want to empower you to make your own choices and create a wedding that reflects you.

1. Pinterest – The Bane Of A Newly Engaged’s Life?

Don’t get us wrong we really do love Pinterest (<< go see if you don’t believe us), we can get lost on it for hours and it really is a great source of inspiration. HOWEVER, please don’t let all the beautiful styled images freak you out and suddenly make you think you need to have things you hadn’t even considered. Use it as a tool for ideas and leave it at that, don’t get wrapped up in recreating every styled image you see. Unless of course DIY is your bag and you have the time to do it stress-free.

Wedding quote // Pinterest - The Bane Of A Newly Engaged's Life? // The Natural Wedding Company

2. Your Wedding Should Not Be Used As An Excuse To Spend Money You Don’t Have

Your wedding in not an excuse to spend more money than you have or are prepared to spend. Lots of couples will have a budget (in 2016 the average UK wedding cost – in our opinion an eye-watering – £25,000), but just because you set your budget at X amount doesn’t mean you need to find things to spend it all on.

Why not try working the opposite way. Start with no budget and by listing out the big things you’d love. Find out how much they cost, then list out your essentials and find out how much they cost. Add it all up. Finally, work out how much more you can, need or want to spend on your wedding. This might help you to focus on what you really want rather than just spending (or blowing) your budget.

It’s also worth accepting early on that (some of) your dreams will likely be dashed by “lack of money” (whether you are spending £2,500 or £25,000). Instead of feeling disheartened, see what you can dream up when you are forced to be creative and think outside the box, you might just get something even more wonderful.

An alternative guide to planning your wedding // Your Wedding Should Not Be Used As An Excuse To Spend Money You Don't Have // The Natural Wedding Company

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