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TNWC Real Brides: Vicky's homemade pallet bar and giant polaroid photobooth, and a DIY illuminated letters

We’re back with TNWC Real Bride Vicky today, catching up with the final details she created for her wedding. Having a super handy Mr, they put their skills to use with wood and metal and paint creating all manner of fab wedding things. And that bar – definitely a keeper for the garden post-wedding I reckon!

Over to Vicky…

The handy thing about having a fiancé who is a builder is that you can talk them into making a lot of the things you’ve seen on websites. They have all the tools, know people who can get them things and various mates who can wire things up. It’s very very handy!

Homemade rustic wedding signs // The Natural Wedding Company

On my wish list were – a bar, various signs, big letters spelling out ‘wedding’, a photo booth of some sort, a giant frame to hang photos from and an illuminated “S” and “V”. Steve rather sweetly agreed to all of these things.

The best thing he made were definitely the illuminated letters. We scoured the internet for ideas on how to make them and had no luck, meaning that we had to muddle through on our own. After we made them, another brilliant illuminated letter DIY appeared on this blog from another TNWC groom – if only we’d waited! Like Jon, our only worry was where on earth they’ll go after the wedding – they are massive!

DIY giant illuminated wedding letters // The Natural Wedding Company

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Lizzy and Graeme's country fete inspired Cheshire wedding with vintage ice cream van and cottage garden flowers // Photography Bohemian Weddings // The Natural Wedding Company

To describe this wedding at a country fete inspired wedding is really to do it a disservice, because it is so much more than just that. The bride, Lizzy, told me that her photographers “truly captured the happiness and love felt”, a wish that I imagine most of us have for our wedding day. Lizzy has put into words so many of those feelings we have in the lead up to our wedding day, so if you are a bride-to-be then I encourage you to stop a while and read as well as soak up all the pretty details.

For an overview of this beautiful wedding this slideshow put together by photographers Bohemian Weddings gives you a little of the magic these two shared on their wedding day, and includes lots of extras captures. A lovely alternative to a wedding film, and I get all teary watching it despite not knowing these two…

As a quick aside, you might also notice that we’ve changed up the format of our real weddings a bit, we have crafted a new questionnaire for our couples which we hope gives them more freedom to tell us the story of their wedding in their own words. For this reason I imagine that the appearance of these features will change from wedding to wedding, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it will truly allow the stories to shine through.

Natural wedding photography // Photography Bohemian Weddings // The Natural Wedding Company

Country garden wedding flowers // Photography Bohemian Weddings // The Natural Wedding Company

VW ice cream van // Photography Bohemian Weddings // The Natural Wedding Company

Natural wedding photography // Photography Bohemian Weddings // The Natural Wedding Company

Beautiful wedding photography // Photography Bohemian Weddings // The Natural Wedding Company

Plant pot wedding table plan // Photography Bohemian Weddings // The Natural Wedding Company

Lizzy + Graeme, July 2015

So many of the real weddings I share have extra special meaning to me, and today’s wedding is no exception. I was contacted by Lizzy after her wedding photographer cancelled just 8 weeks before her wedding, asking if I could help. After I emailed all of the wonderful wedding photographers in our directory, Lizzy received over a dozen replies, and from those she fell in love with one couple – Michael and Andrea of Bohemian Weddings. I understand the four of them really connected and I am just so delighted to be now sharing Lizzy and Graeme’s wedding with you. Over to Lizzy…

Lizzy and Graeme's country fete inspired Cheshire wedding with vintage ice cream van and cottage garden flowers // Photography Bohemian Weddings // The Natural Wedding Company

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Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

This beautiful summer woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding is a delight to share, not only because it’s full of lovely details that will undoubtedly inspire many of our brides, but also because it’s the wedding of one last years TNWC Real Brides, Fern (find all her blog posts here).

Fern and Dominic planned a natural down-to-earth wedding in their home village Montacute in Somerset. This idyllic rural village provided a pretty backdrop against which they celebrated their marriage, and wove into their wedding day some of the things they love most – woodland birds and country garden blooms. Over to Fern to share her wedding day…

Fern + Dominic, August 2015

Our wonderful August wedding was everything that we had hoped for. It was really important to us right from the beginning for our day to be really welcoming, intimate occasion to share with our family. We had a very small wedding party with only one bridesmaid, best man and one usher, but this was right for us. Lots of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed the relaxed family atmosphere.

Woodland and country flower wedding table centres // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Gypsophila and pink rose wedding hair flowers // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Floral wedding napkins with bird pin wedding favours // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Country garden flowers and herbs // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

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Hanging teacup lanterns // The Natural Wedding Company

Hanging teacup lanterns instead of jam jar lanterns

There are so many ideas out there now which have been done over and over – jam jar lanterns and bunting spring to mind – but who says that means you still can’t use them if you love them? I’ve never been one to follow trends much, preferring to just go with what I love, so naturally that’s what I’d always encourage you to do to when it comes to planning your wedding.

I do, however, love it when I see a twist on a popular idea, as it just goes to show there’s still room for you to put your own stamp on an already common idea. That’s why I wanted to share these hanging teacup lanterns – at least that’s what I’m calling them! We hung jam jar lanterns around the edge of our wedding tents, and whilst it takes a fair amount of time to wire up jam jars and I imagine these teacups too, if you haven’t got a huge expanse to decorate then I think they’d be wonderful.

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The Crafted Garden book review by The Natural Wedding Company

Rustic autumnal wedding decor inspiration from The Crafted Garden

You know how fond we are of a crafted, hand-made project here at The Natural Wedding Company, and a crafted project made with natural, seasonal materials either foraged or homegrown, well that ticks every box in our eyes. It is wonderful projects such as these that you will find in The Crafted Garden: stylish projects inspired by nature a beautiful book by Louise Curley that we are sharing with you today.

We also have a special reader offer for those who’d like to buy the book – you’ll find all the details at the bottom of the post.

Rustic autumnal table display with pumpkins, dried flowers and leaves // The Natural Wedding Company

Book review of The Crafted Garden

I was a excited to receive this book based on the brief synopsis and beautiful cover alone, and although I will admit I was a tiny bit sceptical that it wouldn’t offer anything more than what I could find scouring Pinterest, I will say straight away now that my scepticism was unfounded!

The Crafted Garden winter squash vases // The Natural Wedding Company

The book has been cleverly put together and Louise clearly has a passion for the great outdoors and how you can incorporate it in your home, for a celebration or as a unique gift idea.

I approached the book from a wedding point of view (whilst also already planning how I was going to use each one some how in my home) and excitedly flicked through the pages thinking how each craft could be used or adapted for wedding décor, accessories, gifts and so on and how all the ideas could be adapted through the seasons.

Dried autumn leaf 'Mr & Mrs' wedding garland // The Natural Wedding Company

Although some of the projects may seem simple or obvious, I was surprised at how I hadn’t ever thought of doing them before and it really makes you look around and consider the natural resources you have around you.

The Crafted Garden foraging // The Natural Wedding Company

The book offers 50 crafting projects all inspired by nature and whether you are a crafting amateur or gardening pro it contains a plethora of information beautifully presented to make it easy to read and follow. Broken down into seasons, not only does it provide instructions on craft ideas but really useful tips such as guidelines for foraging ethically, how best to dry flowers (great for after your wedding if you wish to preserve yours) and the best seasonal flowers.

Rustic twig picture frame for an autumn wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

Autumnal wedding craft projects

To give you a little insight into a few of the fab craft ideas in the book we tested a few of the autumnal projects out to hopefully offer a bit of seasonal wedding decor inspiration.

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TNWC Real Brides: Fern shares some of her handmade wedding details from napkins to paper garlands

Real handmade wedding details

I am terribly behind for various reasons with my lovely Real Bride posts, so here is a post from Fern that she wrote in the run up to her August wedding sharing some of her handmade details like paper garlands, napkins, and table centre making. The photo of her little boy helping to paint the blackboards is just too sweet!

>> View Fern and Dominic’s woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding here <<

Over to Fern…

It’s all in the details

It’s less than five weeks to go to the wedding and I’ve officially turned into a crazy person. Not in a angry, bite your head off way, (ok only once) but in a running around the garden at 5.00 in the morning looking at pieces of wood and measuring how long my garlands are, and trying to work out which of my plants will be flowering in August kind of way.

I have had my first wedding dress fitting and we have all had our hair trial at the salon. So it’s all getting very real now. We are still working on lots of projects for the wedding so here are some sneak peeks, without giving away too many secrets.

Paper heart garland // The Natural Wedding Company

Paper decorations

After making the envelopes for my invitations I was left with lots of strips of paper where I had trimmed the papers down to size. I was determined not to throw them away but find some way to use them to make something for the wedding. Then I found this idea (above) on Pinterest for paper garlands. I borrowed a die cutting machine and got to work changing all my strips of paper into little hearts and I have stitched them together on the sewing machine.

For the larger pieces of paper I have made some paper rosettes which, although beautiful, have required some deep engineering to stay in place.

Handmade paper rosette decorations // The Natural Wedding Company

Handmade napkins

I really don’t want too much of a colour theme at my wedding. There is some pink sneaking in to places where it counts, but I really don’t want it to be too “in your face”. I was really inspired by this find for patterned napkins on “Show Me The Pretty” and decided to make my own for my wedding.

Handmade napkins // The Natural Wedding Company

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TNWC Real Brides: Vicky tells us about her locally sourced wedding meal and 'help yourself' popcorn dessert table

Locally sourced wedding meal details from real bride Vicky

A weddig topic close to my heart – food! In the past I think wedding food has often been an after-thought, but more and more it’s becoming something that couples really put a lot of thought into. Here are Vicky and Steve’s plans for their wedding feast!

>> View Vicky and Steve’s DIY village fete wedding here <<

Over to Vicky…

A hog roast with handmade cutlery packages for guests

The food and drink we’ll be serving at the wedding is at the forefront of my mind at the moment as we firm up numbers and start to make the final purchases.

We decided from the very start that we wanted to keep it quite simple to help save the budget for other areas and keep the day relaxed. In the end we settled on a cream tea reception followed by a hog roast is the evening.

The hog roast was easy to organise as our best man’s father-in-law does these as a sideline to his farming. A quick chat on the beach, followed by an impromptu dance lesson (only in Devon!) and we had booked a hog and ram roast with a few roast potatoes thrown in the bottom for good measure. Excellent!

We’ve put together a little bag for each guest to pick up before they eat which have a napkin, wooden cutlery and a hand wipe in. They have been decorated with a personalised stamp which we found on Etsy.

Paper bag eco-friendly wedding picnic cutlery

A cream tea wedding reception

After that came the trickier task of finding a company to do the cream tea for us. Lots of the caterers we approached seemed keen to sell us their idea of what we wanted rather than what we wanted. A simple cream tea became a full-scale afternoon tea. It all sounded amazing but it wasn’t what we wanted.

Thankfully a friend then recommended the lovely Hannah and Sima from The Kitchen Table in Totnes. They have been brilliant, sticking to what we wanted, answering many questions about scone sizes (seriously, how did I turn into someone who worried about the size of a scone?) and even talking us down on quantities.

Even better they are advocates of using local produce, which fits our day perfectly. They will provide the mini pasty canapés, sit down cream tea and all the salads and rolls for the evening do, plus some vegetarian options. Their food looks beautiful and I can’t wait to try it all.

Salad with edible flowers

Victoria sponge wedding cake

They also put us in touch with Queen Bee Cakes, who make the most amazing wedding cakes and are a supplier on The Natural Wedding Company. Sadly they were already booked for our weekend leaving us with no choice but to try and re-create something similar ourselves.

So my lovely Mum and Aunt have gamely taken on the challenge of making the cake. From reading about other weddings I know this is quite common but my Mum is not the most expert of cooks, once serving up a dessert of sausage pie and custard – don’t ask!

Her cakes, however, are normally really good and with the amount of practice runs she’s been doing I’m sure it’ll be great, even if we won’t fit into our dresses any more! She will be making two sponges, which will sit on top of a fruit cake which my Aunt is busy soaking with brandy.

I’m planning on adding a liberal scattering of flowers and icing sugar to make it look pretty! Hopefully it will eventually turn out something like the cake below.

Victoria sponge wedding cake tower with roses

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