OUR DIY WEDDING

Like many kids of the 80s, if I was asked to name the most beautiful wedding ever I would probably name the iconic wedding of Charles and Diana. The unforgettable yards of raw silk, the sparkling tiara, the Cinderella carriage gliding through the crowds outside St Paul’s Cathedral: completely and utterly the stuff of fairy-tales.

However….our day will be the polar opposite of all that pomp and circumstance. Our wedding will be what some call ‘DIY’ or ‘home-spun’ because, to Steve and me, that means personal – just what we want our wedding day to be!

While we’re hiring a brilliant photographer and I’m having my hair dressed professionally, we’ve decided to do a lot of the other stuff ourselves:

Car

We’d rather drive from Kirk Ireton to Shottle Hall in my darling Mini which has loyally transported us on adventures all over England than hire a driver and a fancy car with no sentimental meaning. We have plans to polish up the Mini and decorate it with gypsophila and some ribbons and I think they’ll look very fetching against the red paintwork! We won’t need a car to carry the bridal party to church either because we’re planning to walk down the lane from Mum and Dad’s cottage.

Flowers

We’re not bothering with a florist either; Mum designed and created all the flowers for my sister’s wedding (pictured above mid-way through the creative process!) and that’s what we’re doing for mine too. I’m growing Claire Austin roses, blue cornflowers and love-in-a-mist in my cutting-garden for the bouquets and Mum will source blue delphiniums, white lisianthus and peonies for our table centres from an online wholesale flower supplier called the Triangle Nursery. I mentioned here that Mum is somewhat of an amateur wedding florist; Mum and I are going to do the wedding flowers for her friend’s daughter in May, so that will be a good warm-up in preparation for August 6th!

Makeup

I’ve been obsessed with makeup since I was a teenager and adore whiling away time watching makeup tutorials on YouTube. I’m Lisa Eldridge’s biggest fan and have been watching her tips for brides who, like me, want to be in charge of creating a photo-ready makeup look that will have the longevity to last all day. To be honest, I feel happier being in control of my own makeup on the day as I’ve got very fixed ideas about what I like. Also, I have really dry, sensitive skin and worry about how any new products will react on my face and how they’ll perform on a balmy August day.

Cake

There’s this lovely coffee and cake shop in Belper called Beaurepaire Patisserie and the guy who runs it is making us a gorgeous, informal naked wedding cake which will be decorated with strawberries, redcurrants, David Austin roses picked from our garden and a tonne of icing sugar. It’s going to be the perfect summer wedding cake and I’m so excited about it! We’re planning a cheese wedding cake too but we’re going to make that ourselves which means I’ll be pillaging the cheese counter at Morrisons in the near future (and trying not to nibble my purchases before the wedding).

Favours

Nana and I are going to make lots of little jars of marmalade for the wedding favours. Nana is eighty-seven now but she still makes the best marmalade ever. I’m hoping that there’ll be extra left over for my pantry because I can’t get enough of it; my favourite breakfast is Nana’s marmalade on toast with a big mug of Yorkshire Tea. I only hope we don’t burn this batch; there have been previous disasters! I’m looking forward to having a lovely kitchen-session with her soon. I wonder how many oranges we’ll have to buy?

Stationery

My cousin’s clever girlfriend, Meg, is studying graphic design and she’s designing and printing our stationery. She’s making little labels for the jars of marmalade and also designed beautiful save-the-dates tied up with string and pale grey invitations with a cutter machine to look like a wrought-iron gate opening. Meg is so clever and knows my tastes so well. She’s such a talented designer and has such vision with her work. Now I just need to get into gear and get those beauties posted out!

Music

Finally, our evening entertainment will be provided by none other than Steve and all his friends! For years he has played both guitar and keys in various cover bands and has performed at so many gigs and other people’s weddings. It only seemed fitting that all his band-mates should come together with him to play with him at his own wedding. Steve is not keen on dancing but he’s agreed to do me the honour of stepping down from the stage to do a traditional first-dance with me.

There will be lots of other little ‘made-with-love’ touches that bring everything together on the special day, but they’re still in the pipeline. Do you have any tips or advice?

-Sarah- x

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