TNWC Real Brides: Lisa has been getting her guests in the festival mood with quirky invitations

Your ‘save the dates’ and wedding invitations are often the first thing that tells your guests what to expect from your wedding – I remember when we were making ours that I really wanted them to hint at what our wedding would be like to our family and friends. 

TNWC Real Bride Lisa is sharing their quirky wedding invitations with hand drawn illustrations for their festival inspired wedding in Wales. I love how they look like a ticket – perfect!

Over to Lisa to tell you all about them…

Quirky invitations to get our guests into the festival mood

There is nothing nicer than receiving mail; it’s like a little journey back in time. I don’t mean all that junk mail that litters the mat but birthday cards, Christmas cards, good old fashioned letters and my absolute favourite, invitations. I remember getting my first birthday invitation when I was very young and have loved receiving them ever since.

So for me the invitations to our big day were important, they can really set the tone of your wedding. They can fit into the colour scheme; let the guest know if it’s an elegant, traditional affair or a more quirky, unusual celebration and can really get the excitement going.

TNWC Real Brides: Lisa has been getting her guests in the festival mood with quirky invitations

Our save the dates were free printable designs from the company that we used for our invitations, we very simply printed them on some good quality card and made them into bookmarks. I then punched a hole at the top, threaded some pretty ribbon through and made a little tie – that was pretty much it. Very simple, very economical and I felt very effective. It was from here that I explored a bit more about the company Something Kinda Cute.

For the invitations, we did really wanted to push the boat out. In my original blog I wrote that I wanted to make my own invitations to give it a real personal touch, however when I saw these particular designs I fell in love with them and thought they fitted our theme perfectly.

TNWC Real Brides: Lisa has been getting her guests in the festival mood with quirky invitations

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TNWC Real Brides: Emma's been booking urban wedding venues that have that natural 'oh my!' factor

A warm welcome back to TNWC Real Bride Emma this week – she’s talking venues today, and I’m pretty stoked to hear all about the places they have booked for the ‘natural wedding in the city’. We share lots of lovely countryside weddings here on the blog, so it’s exciting to hear from a bride-to-be planning a natural wedding in urban spaces.

Over to Emma…

Love On Hope Street

Finding a venue that works for you as a couple is key to any wedding, and doubly so if you’re doing all the planning long distance: we live in Vancouver but are marrying in Liverpool. I wasn’t sure how much time I would have to decorate venues, so I knew I wanted something that would only need a few personal touches to make it feel like “ours”.

Having a good relationship with your venue organisers is also vital, and the friendly advice and timely email correspondence I had from our chosen venues definitely sealed the deal. As we’re marrying in our home town, we knew we would have lots of beautiful spaces to choose from, Liverpool has so many!

TNWC Real Brides: Emma's been booking urban wedding venues that have that natural 'oh my!' factor

I was even able to visit some of them before I came to be with Shane in Canada. This was really helpful in the decision-making process: I ruled one out straight away when I saw the state of the bathrooms our guests would have to share with the bar next door!

Flexibility was also another important criteria for me: I didn’t like being given a rigid list of suppliers that we had to work with, and I discounted any venue that imposed a minimum spend.

I also knew I was looking for something that would have meaning for us, so I focused my search on the city spaces that were part of our courtship: falling in love with Shane is inextricably tied in my memory with running around the sun-splashed summer streets to meet him for our dates at cafés, bars, galleries, and theatres in the heart of the city.

Rooftops + Secret Spaces – Oh My!

TNWC Real Brides: Emma's been booking urban wedding venues that have that natural 'oh my!' factor

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'Wedfest' bell tent hire from

I love camping. There’s no better setting than the great outdoors to allow you time and space to unplug, live simply and take pleasure in the smallest of details. Writing today’s post reminded me why we chose tipis for our own wedding – the laid-back atmosphere they instantly create and the freedom to choose a location put them right at the top of our list.

Luxury bell tents from Cariad Canvas - photography

These days, families and friends are so often spread out across the country and beyond, it’s no surprise that many couples want to make the most of having everyone in one place and turn their wedding into to a weekend long celebration.

If you’re considering this for your wedding but don’t know where to start, then we have good news for you. Fabulous TNWC business Cariad Canvas, who provide luxury canvas accommodation for guests, have teamed up with Wedding Tipi to create packages that offer couples their very ‘pop up’ wedding festival.

Tipi interior with bunting from Wedding Tipi - photography

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TNWC Real Brides: introducing Ellie and Jon’s relaxed and rustic wedding in the Hampshire countryside

This week I have a few more posts from TNWC Real Brides and a great piece all about a new wedding festival package from one of our TNWC businesses – so stayed tuned!

But first up this week I get to welcome you to our fifth and final TNWC Real Bride for 2014 – her name is Ellie and she’ll be marrying her Mr-to-be Jon in a rustic wedding in Hampshire next May. I hope you enjoy hearing all about her ideas and following her plans with me.

Over to Ellie…

Jon and I met seven and a half years ago, on our first day at Uni. In fact, it would more accurate to say that we met in our first minute of Uni because, as the fates would have it (or maybe it was all thanks to traffic on the M3) he and I pulled up outside our halls of residence within about 10 seconds of each other, got chatting – and, well, the rest is history!

TNWC Real Brides: introducing Ellie and Jon’s relaxed and rustic wedding in the Hampshire countryside

Much of what we have always had in common revolves around the countryside. Both of us are grandchildren of farmers (his grandparents were beef farmers in South Devon, mine sheep farmers on Anglesey) and, for that reason, we’ve spent much of our time together walking, camping, sailing, cutting logs, building chicken houses and generally looking for any excuse to be outside, ideally in foul weather (you can take the girl out of Wales, but you can’t take Wales out of the girl)!

A Proposal in a Thunderstorm

It’s then unsurprising that Jon, in a story that splits audiences down the middle along the lines of a) how mad they are and b) how well they know us, chose to propose after a 12 mile hike, on the top of a hill in the Peak District and in the middle of a thunder storm (the picture below was taken a few hours later)! It was magical and, although few believe me, I will swear until my dying day that the storm cleared and a rainbow came out within minutes of me saying ‘yes’!

TNWC Real Brides: introducing Ellie and Jon’s relaxed and rustic wedding in the Hampshire countryside

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Introducing new TNWC team member Lauren

It’s a pretty exciting day here at The Natural Wedding Company, as I get to introduce you to my lovely new colleague, Lauren. You may remember a few months ago I put out a request looking for someone to join me in writing features for the blog. We received some wonderful applications and the result of that process was finding Lauren.

Lauren had previously popped into my world on a couple of occasions – they designed their wedding stationery inspired by my own, I saw their beautiful wedding on Love My Dress, and lastly I bumped into Lauren on the last day of my TNWC South West Roadtrip last summer at Organic Blooms where she was attending a course.

Introducing new TNWC team member Lauren

It seems often in this world things lead you to meeting certain people, and I feel Lauren is one of those. On reading her application we just had that feeling she was just the right person. I’m so excited for her to get involved with writing for The Natural Wedding Company blog and I look forward to you all getting to know her.

The pictures you see here are from Lauren and Matt’s own wedding captured by one of our TNWC Recommended Suppliers Julie Anne Imaging, and I would highly recommend you go have a read of all the details and soak up how pretty and meaningful it was. 

We’re sending her off this weekend to attend Blogtacular in London to well and truly immerse her in the world of blogging – I can’t wait to hear all about it! All there is left to do is welcome Lauren and hand over to her so she can tell you a bit more about herself and why she came to apply for this role.

Introducing new TNWC team member Lauren

Over to Lauren…

I’m Lauren, a (relatively) newly-wed with a love for nature and the outdoors, beautiful blooms, dainty details and dreamy weddings. I cannot describe how excited and honoured I am to be joining Charlie in writing blog posts for the The Natural Wedding Company.

I’d always had this hazy vision that I’d be a barefoot bride, married in a meadow or in the woodland around a tree, and shortly after I got engaged to Matt in 2011 – overwhelmed with planning a wedding, all the choices on offer and decisions to be made – I came across The Natural Wedding Company.

Introducing new TNWC team member Lauren

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Blackberry and pale peach rose flower crown

For a long time now I’ve been a fan of blackberries in bouquets, ever since I came across this one back in 2011 (old skool!) and I’ve even shared a blackberry bridal flower crown before, but I couldn’t help but feature this one because it’s such a beauty!

I think it’s something about putting together blackberries that are wild alongside the formal garden roses which is so appealing.

Blackberry and pale peach rose flower crown with ferns

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TNWC Real Brides: introducing Kerry and Nick's Somerset festival farm wedding

Our fourth TNWC Real Bride is Kerry, who is marrying her Mr of fifteen years this summer at the beautiful Cowparsley Weddings in Somerset – one of our fab recommended wedding venues and a pretty special place that I visited last summer.

Over to Kerry to tell you all about it…

Hmmmm, how should I start?….Ummm, well – I’m Kerry (Hi!) my friends call me Potts (my surname’s Potter….not for much longer). I’m 36 and I’m marrying my long term boyfriend, Nick this August (eek). We’ve been together 15 years this year, and already have our little family made with our kids; Amber (9) and Finn (7).

TNWC Real Brides: introducing Kerry and Nick's Somerset festival farm wedding

Nick and I met on a Monopoly pub crawl in London back in September ’99. We hit it off straight away, and saw each other every weekend from then on, until I went to Thailand for the millennium with my best friend. Whilst I was away we realised we had something kinda cool going on, so when I got back we moved in together.

After 4 years, 5 house moves, a fair few festivals and a few more crazy nights out, we discovered we were pregnant with our first child; Amber. We suddenly had to grow up, so we bought a flat in Hackney and settled down. Sixteen months later, we were pregnant again, this time with Finn. By now we felt it was time to leave the city and decided to head for the country, so in 2008 we up sticks and move to Taunton in Somerset.

TNWC Real Brides: introducing Kerry and Nick's Somerset festival farm wedding

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