Claire and Andrew’s secluded woodland wedding with rustic chic handmade details, giants tipis and festoon lighting
Secluded woodland wedding with giant tipis and festoon lighting
Set among the woods with a swoon-worthy sunset as a backdrop today’s beautiful rustic chic wedding of the gorgeous Claire and Andrew is pure wedding magic! Stunning creative homemade details, tipi tents from TNWC recommended supplier Papakata with festoon lighting and page boys in bow ties are just a few of the many things I am sure you are going to love about this wedding.
A summer wedding in Yorkshire
Claire and Andrew were wed in the summer in South Yorkshire on a gloriously sunny day. Their reception venue having never before been used for that purpose, required meticulously planning from scratch to create the beautiful day we are sharing with you today.
With bride Claire being a designer by profession, you can understand how it all was executed so perfectly and you are guaranteed to find some fantastic do-it-yourself inspiration along the way. So on that note it is over to the lovely lady herself, beautiful bride Claire with all the details from their big day.
Nerves on the morning of the wedding
The morning of the ceremony was a relaxed one for Claire despite a slight on set of nerves,
“Everything was organised on the Thursday and Friday before with lots of family and friends helping. So this meant that on the morning although I was slightly nervous I managed to relax and enjoy the build-up with my parents and my bridesmaids. The hairdresser, make up artist and photographer arrived and we all had a great time.”
A dream wedding dress
Claire found her dream dress fairly quickly and it was everything she had imagined:
“It was in the third shop I had visited with my mum and mother in law and it was the shop I had hoped was how I had built it up in my head – it didn’t disappoint! Emily Bridal – such a wonderful little shop with great service.”
“My wedding dress was a classic dress that Emily Bridal in Sheffield have had stocked for a few years. The designer was Paloma Blanca, made from a pale champagne Dupion silk with ivory lace & beaded detail to the bodice and train edge. It had a mild sweetheart neckline which was balanced with a delicate, thin silk band and bow under the bust line. Silk buttons ran down the entire length of the dress at the back.”
Elegant wedding accessories
Accessories were kept simple and elegant,
“I chose a beautiful pearl and diamanté headpiece that I bought from Etsy. My shoes were Filipa Scott and had a pearl cluster which tied in with my headpiece. I wore a single pearl bracelet with pearl and diamante pendant earrings, I chose to not wear a necklace as my headpiece and cathedral veil were just enough.”
Blush coloured bridesmaid dresses
The bridesmaids wore variations of the same stunning dress,
“My best friends, Rachael & Kat and my sister-in-law Jen all wore in different ways the Two Birds full length dresses in Rosewater. Their necklaces were made by my sister-in-laws friend back in the States where Jen lives.”
Beautiful blooms in neutral tones
Claire chose beautiful neutral blooms to compliment their natural rustic theme:
“I’m a designer so I had Pinterest boards coming out of my ears for every aspect of the wedding…the flower boards were extensive but I knew exactly what I wanted. I used Connells ‘The Florist’ at Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough as my mum always buys her flowers from there and they just have great style!
Joanne was amazing and just got what I wanted straight away, she took me to her storage unit to show me these amazing huge white hydrangeas and I just fell in love with them. I wanted them for my bridesmaids and as table centres. She was able to identify the flowers I loved from the Pinterest images and pulled it all together for me.
I had a hand- tied bouquet of white lilac, pale peach blousy roses, white peonies, rosemary, buplerum & lambs ear. Tied with rustic burlap and satin ivory ribbon. The bridesmaids each carried a single large white hydrangea with foliage attached.
The groomsmen had a single vintage white rose with lambs ear and a twine bow.”
The simple button holes were the perfect choice to coordinate with the the groomsmens attire:
“My husband and the groomsmen wore dark brown/grey suit with a pale blue shirt and slim tie in the same colour as the suit. The pale blue shirt worked amazingly with the suits and complimented my champagne dress and the bridesmaids rosewater dresses. I chose to place a bespoke hand embroidered love note for the inside pocket of Andrews suit jacket. The stitched love note was from Extra Special Touch.”
Church wedding ceremony
The ceremony was held at the beautiful St Mary’s Church, Tickhill, South Yorkshire:
“Neither of us is particularly religious but we loved our church as it is a significant and beautiful community building that we see every day of our lives, whether we pass it in the car or take the kids passed it to get to the duck pond…it means something to us all.”
Church wedding decorations
Claire didn’t just leave the creative details for the reception but incorporated the theme around the church as well:
“A personalised hand written blackboard sign greeted guests at the church entrance and guided people to take a seat wherever they wanted to – I wanted it to be relaxed and not formal. On the approach to the church we lined the path with cotton and hessian bunting that I made with my mother in law, again more of this was used to decorate the tipis.”
“Natural flowers with large burlap bows on the ends of the pews. I made hundreds of jam jar tealight holders with twine bows and lined the church porch with them as well as the reception venue so that the theme carried through.”
First look in church
Upon seeing her husband-to-be waiting for her at the end of the aisle:
“I felt a little nervous but nothing like I thought I would, I’m a very nervous person when the spotlight is on me but actually I really enjoyed it and it just felt like the most natural thing in the world. At that time we already had our eldest son Ollie (3) and we just wanted to make the family complete by being married.
Before Ollie was born I had never had the urge to be married, we had been together for years but were so happy and busy in our life together that it hadn’t really ever come around. When Ollie was born we both immediately had this feeling that we wanted to be married. Andrew gave me a lovely big smile and I knew I was about to marry my best friend.”
“The ceremony was simple with hymns that we loved and were strong, well known English hymns, we wanted people to belt them out!! The organist played Scottish songs whilst guests arrived and when we signed the register.”
‘I’m a huge control freak so the idea of only having one run through a few days before the actual ceremony freaked me out a bit but actually it really does all flow naturally and your vicar is so good and won’t let anything go wrong, if it does everyone will laugh through it with you and not at you, everyone who is at your wedding is there because they care for you both, so with that in mind I think it helps with the nerves. Holding tightly onto your dads arm helps lots too!’
A magical wedding reception in the woods
After the ceremony everyone made their way to the magical reception venue set hidden amongst the woods.
How gorgeous is this moment between the bride and her bridesmaids?!
“We fell in love with tipi tents as a venue at a friend’s wedding; it was the first time in 12 years of being together that we felt we had found something that was us! They were so unique and there’s something special about being under canvas, so we quickly got in touch with Papakata.”
“After securing our tents we searched and searched for a plot of land that we both felt gave us that rustic, outdoor backdrop to site the tents in. After several attempts at viewing some local farmer’s fields we thought we would try Hodsock Priory, a local historic country house. We knew the estate had some magical woodland so we organised to meet up with owner George Buchannan who showed us his beautiful woods that are locally famous for snowdrops and woodland walks.’
A secluded woodland spot
“We fell in love with the area but the bombshell was our keenness to have a live band. George explained there would be an issue with noise affecting a wedding which was already booked in at the main house for the same day. He went on to describe a more ‘secluded’ wood that he had up past the estate farm, only used for dog walkers.
We drove up together to have a look but with slight disappointment and not much hope for this other wood. It was very wild and I had to pop on my design goggles to visualise what could be, but we both looked at each other with big grins & shook George’s hand & said ‘this is the spot!!’”
“We had an acoustic solo singer who sang whilst guests arrived and mingled and during our meal.”
Claire put her designer hands to good use when it came to all the decor and details with her vision of “natural fabrics and recycled materials, coupled with crisp white linen and large white flowers”:
“It seemed like I made everything!! But that’s the way I wanted it to be. I knew what I wanted and as a designer I had the skills to design and make everything. I had a great team of friends and family that helped out loads, from making homemade biscuits for favours to piercing heart shapes into 300 tin can lanterns!”
“Items that I made included, all wedding stationery, pom poms, bunting, bridesmaids tote bags, jam jar tealights, table plan blackboard, twig chandelier above bar, favour boxes for guests and sourcing local timber & moss for decorating the venue.”
A Yorkshire inspired wedding meal
“We chose an amazing caterer Feast Yorkshire which is run by Siobhan White – amazing woman who just got me!!! She liked similar things to me and her food was just perfect! We chose a mix of food that meant things to us with a Yorkshire slant too. Chunky canapes were handed out as we stood up mingling with guests and then we sat down for posh pies! Dessert was our chocolate orange wedding cake with Yorkshire ice cream and berries.”
“After the meal we played Aunt Sally which is a game we play with family and everyone loved the competition. We had a bar in the Kung (small tepee) and a live band in the evening.”
Love these two alternative lighting options for a wedding venue, such a fab and effective idea for recycling unwanted cans.
Claire scoured the internet for inspiration rather than wedding magazines, and when Claire contacted us she shared that our very pages were a great inspiration to her, which we just love to hear!
“I was on your blog all the time and got so many ideas, mainly my wedding invitations and save the dates were inspired by your blog so thank you!! Pinterest and generally I got a lot of inspiration from American weddings. I loved the southern rustic weddings that had a refined style to them.”
“I also took inspiration from previous tepee weddings and our supplier Papakata had a lot of real wedding case studies which was great. I never bought a wedding magazine as I found them to be expensive and didn’t find them helpful, I also never went to any wedding fairs!”
Natural wedding photography
Claire and Andrew’a gorgeous images were captured by Andy Hook of Barnby Moor:
“I found his details through the reception venue and instantly loved his style. We met up with him and just loved the simplicity and quality to his work.”
“Like the caterer, we gelled with Andy straight away and could relate to him so we knew he was the photographer for us, I think its key to find suppliers that are in tune with you, this ensures you can relax about the service they are going to deliver as they have the same standards and expectations as you do.”
Favourite wedding moments
Reflecting back on the day Claire shares their favourite moments:
“Seeing my little boy wave at me just before I went into the church. Being greeted by the piper at the church, which brought a lump to my throat. Driving up to the venue we created from nothing in the woods and seeing all our hard work come to fruition. Having our photos taken in the fields at the back of the woods whilst watching the sun go down. Taking a step back with my husband and watching all our friends and family enjoying our day.”
That sunset is just perfect isn’t it? I wish that lighting could just follow me around everywhere and make everything look that fabulous all the time! What a truly beautiful and inspiring wedding and an absolutely gorgeous couple!
Thank you so much to Claire and Andrew for sharing their day with us and we wish them luck in the development work they are doing on their 300 year old cottage to make it their special forever home for bringing up their two little boys!
Photography: Andy Hook
Dress: Paloma Blanca from Emily Bridal
Brides Shoes: Filippa Scott
Bridesmaids Dresses: Two Birds
Groom & Groomsmen suits: Racing Green
Tipis: Papakata (TNWC Recommended Supplier)
Reception Venue: Hodsock Priory
Flowers: Connell’s ‘The Florist’
Caterers: Feast Yorkshire
Categories: Real Weddings
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