Each and every single wedding is as special and individual as the couple. There’s no ‘package’ that is able to capture all that’s special and important to them both.
Last Summer, I had the honour and privilege of helping Danielle and Harry plan their wedding decor, right the from the initial ideas stage, through to the planning to implementation. They had their heart’s set on a woodland wedding.
Unfortunately the closest venue which hosts woodland weddings was booked up for the whole of Summer of 2019! So they searched further afield and discovered Umberslade Adventure Park in the Midlands. There was ample space for a Tipi of their choice, a dedicated area amongst the trees for their ceremony and a lodge, which was perfect for the welcome drinks. It was a relief to have found their perfect venue. The date was set!
As we walked around each area on a warm, sunny Autumn afternoon, ideas started flowing. They imagined the wedding day of their dreams it to be, plus an all-important Plan B in case of inclement weather. Hard to visualise on such a beautiful day! It was important to them that family and friends should be involved in some way. Whether it was by making something, helping set up (or taking down afterwards), to make it personal and close to their hearts. This is not a job for the faint-hearted! Planning and executing a wedding required people who you can rely on.
A top priority for Harry & Danielle was that their wedding should reflect their love of nature and have minimal impact on the environment. We used of up-cycled, re-purposed items and seasonal plants and flowers wherever possible.
Responsible foraging of Hazel was cut to make hoops, to be decorated with trailing Ivy and Gypsophila and hung behind the head and cake table. Lichen covered twigs which would be placed in recycled Fever Tree bottles with a Rose and Fern to decorate the tables in the Lodge area. Moss covered bark was collected to cover plant bases secured with twine, to be used on the cake table and entry way decor.
It was decided to dress the trestle table in white, and Danielle ideally wanted fresh garlands to run centrally down each table. This is an amazing look but unfortunately we didn’t have a team of florists to make these beforehand. Plus, they would leave little room on the tables for wine bottles, glasses etc. I suggested a compromise of designing narrow wooden toughs made from old pallets, which were fully lined with waterproof material. The troughs were then filled with small potted plants of trailing Variegated Ivy at each end featuring a central glass hurricane lamp with a white candle, surrounded by small ferns, miniature white Rose, white trailing Lobelia and Bacopa ( both grown from seed) and topped with moss to hide the pots.
All living plants which would be used in gardens for the summer, and beyond in some cases. The troughs were centrally placed on each table with space in between for essentials such as bottles and table numbers. It also meant that the troughs could be created beforehand and just placed on the tables. The wooden troughs can be re-used again and again afterwards, filled with seasonal flora and fauna. The head table flowers were arranged in hollow bark, punctuated by white candles in glass hurricane lamps. It was no mean feat transporting them all on the hottest day of the year!
For the Tipi entrance, we arranged Fruit crates with potted trailing Ivy, Ferns and a seletion of white annual flowers displayed on top. Willow toadstools with LED lights and candles were artfully added for extra effect.
Rustic arches were decorated following the theme with LED lights, trailing Ivy and white plants. One flower we was a type of Pentstemon aptly named ‘Wedding Day’, a beautiful perennial that can be planted in Danielle and Harry’s garden as a reminder of their wedding. Walkways were lit with lanterns, and trees hung with LED lights to dazzling effect.
The Outside Ceremony Area was approached through the wood following a winding path. We set out rustic benches each side of the aisle, with white potted Hydrangeas wrapped in hessian and tied with twine were placed at the ends of the benches leading to an arch. Marion and Rory, the Bride’s parents, designed, constructed and decorated the arch themselves – it was beautiful. Unfortunately, the wedding itself was too wet so a stressful, last minute decision meant we had to revert to Plan B for the ceremony and the wedding arch couldn’t be used as intended.
A mad dash was made by the groomsmen and guests to retrieve the Hydrangeas from the woods to form an aisle in the Tipi. Thank goodness for Plan B! The rain eventually stopped and the wedding arch made a wonderful addition in the photographs so all that effort was not lost.
To make the exterior of the lodge area more intimate, and to screen the adventure park’s outdoor equipment, a screen was made using hessian cloth which was decorated with an oversized fern leaf stencil.
A pallet was sprayed green and the order of the day was hand painted by the Grooms brother Charlie. A basket of blankets was provided should guests get chilly, and Great Granny’s recipe for Date and Apple Chutney was made as an accompaniment for the cheese board. The personal touches really made it stand out.
Danielle is of German heritiage and a fluent German-speaker, and Harry works in sports media so it was a superb choice to have German and British sports personalities as table names, rather than traditional numbers. The wedding cake topper was made by brother-in-law Satinder, who is a professional Prosthetic Artist. It featured Harry wearing an England football shirt and Danielle in a German football shirt. The cakes were made by both mothers, each tier being a different cake, Lemon Meringue, White Chocolate and Raspberry, Strawberry and Champagne and included a Black Forest Gateaux of course! These were served as dessert along with a cheese board.
Danielle and Harry’s Wedding Day
Getting Ready – The Boys
The Woodland Wedding
It was quite a party!
Dancing went on late into the evening with music provided by a wedding band and D.J. Outside, guests were provided with a bar, street food wagon serving Bratwurst and chips and a ire pit and taxi photo booth provided plenty of entertainment and fun!
A huge thank you to all family and friends who helped and supported Danielle and Harry’s wedding, and made it so special in so many ways.
List of Suppliers
A special thank you to Catherine Jones of Flowers by Catherine for sourcing the fresh flowers and helping in my hour of need. http://flowersbycatherine.com/
Wedding Styling, floristry, and execution Sarah Maidment Interiors https://www.sminteriors.co.uk/Services/WeddingStagingServices.html and with help from my friends.
Umberslade Adventure Enchanted Woodland Weddings https://umbersladeadventure.com/occasions/enchanting-woodland-weddings
Photographer Jamie Dodd https://www.jamiedoddphotography.co.uk/