Ciara and Matt’s relaxed outdoor wedding with vibrant red accents, handpicked florals and an amazing eclectic reception
Relaxed outdoor wedding
Well our first real wedding of 2015 is an absolute scorcher, just like the beautiful weather that shone for the gorgeous outdoor wedding of Ciara and Matt, who had the first and only garden wedding at the beautiful Anglesey Abbey Gardens. The setting could not have been more perfect for their vibrant, relaxed day on 31st August. Taking inspiration from wedding blogs (including our very own pages) and Pinterest they created the ‘natural, summery, vintage, outdoorsy, chilled and informal’ wedding they dreamt of.
The day was beautifully captured in the most stunning wedding film by TNWC recommended suppliers Bright Star Films, and as Ciara explained choosing a videographer was a priority for them,
‘For us the video took precedence, and with the help of Sinead and Kieran at Bright Star Films, we are the proud owners of what we consider to be the best wedding video of all time! (we’re biased….of course!) Their video will forever be treasured by us both, and all of our family and friends!’
Wow! Now if that hasn’t bought a tear to your eye!
Read on to hear from bride Ciara about all the lovely details wrapped up in that gorgeous video with great images captured by some talented friends as well as stills from their wedding film by Bright Star Films.
Ciara had her perfect dress in mind, having been unable to find what she was after she turned to a talented designer:
‘I was inspired by a little dress I saw on Pinterest and having searched far and wide but with no joy finding anything similar, I was lucky enough to have my dress made by a designer from Northern Ireland (where I’m also from!) – Una Rodden. Una won NI Fashion Designer of the year previously and a friend of mine provided textiles and materials for her clothing. She didn’t normally make wedding dresses but was delighted to help me create my dress!’
Ciara chose to have a mid-length dress so the decision making process for the perfect shoes was all the more important:
‘Because the dress was mid-length my main priority was finding shoes, as they would be visible for all to see – and I found a beautiful pair of Rachel Simpson heels – cute, vintage and perfect with the dress’
The bridesmaids were given the freedom to choose their own dresses:
‘I wanted the girls to feel comfortable and happy in what they were wearing. They are all very different girls, different personalities, various shapes and sizes so aside from me dictating the colour (red!), I let them choose a dress they loved and could wear again! My sister got hers from Ted Baker, and my two bridesmaids chose two very different styles from Coast, but both equally beautiful and perfectly suited to them as individuals!’
Matt’s dapper suit was a slim-fit blue suit from Next – I love the contrasting navy lapel.
The groomsmen wore matching attire with little touches to complement the bridesmaids:
‘Matt’s best man sadly wasn’t able to be there for medical reasons, so he had no best man, but two ushers instead. The ushers wore the same suit.’
‘As the bridesmaids were in red, the boys donned red socks and red ties! They looked very dapper!’
The Beautiful Blooms
‘My mum, sister, bridesmaid and her sister had a wonderful time the day before the wedding choosing flowers from her beautiful walled garden in Suffolk.’
‘My bridesmaids and I then made the bouquets ourselves, and filled jam jars with her gorgeous meadow flowers.’
The jam-jars used for all the flowers were lovingly made together by Ciara and her girlfriends,
‘I asked all the girls in work to collect Jam Jars for me, and once we had amassed enough, I invited them all round for a “Jam Jar party” (or as they called it, cheap labour!). Inspired by plenty of Pinterest-ing, I had bought lots of materials and offered these, along with pizza and wine, and the creative juices flowed! Each of the girls was delighted to see their jam jars on display at the wedding!’
The ceremony was held in the Copper Beech Circle Garden within Anglesey Abbey. Ciara and Matt used the skills of the venues wedding coordinator to help with the decor,
‘We had a wonderful wedding coordinator at the Abbey who I worked closely with on the decoration and layout of the garden. It was very simple but sticking closely to the informal, summery, vintage theme – we decorated the end of each row of chairs with a little homemade jam jar filled with meadow flowers.
‘We had a little makeshift aisle made out of wicker hearts and lantern stakes, again with jam jars hanging from them. ‘
‘The main focal point was the beautiful flowered arch which myself and the bridesmaids walked through when entering the garden. We used the remainder of the flowers from ForageFor for it, which the lovely ladies from the National Trust helped decorate on the morning of the wedding!’
Following a relaxing morning with her bridesmaids including some necessary bubbles, Ciara drove herself and her dad in her own red polo (such a cute idea) to the ceremony venue.
Ciara shares that her actions spoke louder than any words to explain how she felt on seeing her soon to be husband at the end of the aisle,
‘On watching our wedding film, you can see exactly how I felt by the look on my face when I saw him I was marrying my best friend, I don’t think I could have been happier!’
Ciara and Matt hired a celebrant for their outdoor wedding ceremony which is a fantastic alternative if you wish to have your ceremony in a more unusual setting.
‘We were lucky enough to have a company called OneLife Ceremonies deliver a bespoke and personal ceremony for us, which we helped create and very much make “our own”. We worked with Christabel from OneLife to ensure we captured all the details and memories that were special to us, over our 10 years together. And rather than a formal “ceremony” it was more like “the story of us” and our life as a couple so far.’
‘One of our bridesmaids, my best friend, Jess (who was the one that introduced us at Uni) read an excerpt from a book called “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. This book was very special to us both when we spent a year apart in France and Spain, and has so much hidden meaning which kept us going when we were struggling with the separation.’
‘We also had a local Cambridge musician Ben Smith and a bandmate of his play our favourite Ben Howard song “Only Love” on acoustic guitar as I was walking down the aisle.’
‘One of the highlights for me in terms of handmade details were our wedding rings, and my engagement ring – made by a very talented friend called Les, based in Cambridge, and who is better known as The Hairy Growler . Matt’s wedding ring was an old Palestinian coin, being that he is very passionate about and has spent time in Palestine. And my wedding ring was made from an antique Irish Shilling! Les also made my engagement ring, which he and Matt designed in partnership.’
I love the sentiment behind their wedding rings and how personal they are to them as individuals as well. I can vouch for The Hairy Growler jewellery making talent having personally bought some pieces in the past, I am sure you will adore his work. It’s 100% recycled and handcrafted, and what he can do with an old coin or piece of cutlery is amazing, you really must check out his website and Facebook page!
‘After the ceremony we had a drinks reception in the garden, spent a bit of time chatting to everyone and getting pictures taken.’
The celebrations continued at another fantastic venue:
‘We went to a local bar/restaurant called The Missing Sock. A quirky, unique venue that gave us the freedom to create the kind of reception we’d been hoping for!’
‘We had no seating plan and a banquet style set-up so everyone was together and could sit where they preferred.’
‘The menu was an eclectic mix of world food (which The Missing Sock is known for), which was served by way of big sharing platters passed round the table.’
‘My good friend Liz made us a fabulous Victoria Sponge tiered wedding cake.’
How scrummy does that cake look!?! So simple but so effective!
Memories from the day
Ciara recalls some of their favourite moments from their day:
‘Our wedding dance is favourite for us both! I don’t think anyone was expecting an Otis Redding classic and some seriously funky shapes being thrown! Matt and I share a passion for music, particularly funk and blues and having had little or no practice, aside from some kitchen dance-offs at tea time, we just took to the floor and went for it! I remember seeing the faces of our guests round us, a mix of shock and utter delight!’
‘Another one that sticks in my mind is Matt’s speech. Due to the fact that he knew our guests would be missing out on a “best man speech”, he decided it would be a good idea to turn the tables on me… so HE did a “best man” speech about me! Completely cringe-worth but hilarious! He’s lucky I can laugh at myself or it would have been the shortest marriage in history!’
‘Thanks to the perfect weather we were able to fully enjoy all that we had planned at The Missing Sock. The Ben Smith blues band in the marquee, drinks served from the bar inside the big double-decker red London bus out in the gardens, Stonebaked pizzas at night and a sing-song round the campfire to end our wonderful day!’
And it truly does look like the most wonderful day!
Ciara and Matt are now dreaming up plans to move back to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where they met, to settle down and raise a family, and perhaps even open their own record-cum-coffee shop!
Thank you so much to Ciara and Matt for sharing your gloriously sunny wedding day with, brightening a cold winters day and to Bright Star Films for capturing it so beautifully for us to enjoy it at its fullest!
Videographer: Bright Star Films (TNWC Recommended Supplier)
Photography: Stills from their wedding film by Bright Star Films and a few from friends
Flowers: ForageFor (TNWC Recommended Supplier)
Ceremony Venue: Anglesey Abbey
Celebrant: One Life Ceremonies
Reception Venue: The Missing Sock
Dress: Una Rodden
Brides Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Wedding Rings: The Hairy Growler
Categories: Real Weddings
Tags: bridesmaids > Bright Star Films > Cambridgeshire wedding > featuring our businesses > floral arch > Forage For > handmade wedding > outdoor ceremony > red > seasonal wedding flowers > summer wedding
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