Sopley Mill Wedding Dorset Rustic Woodland Spring DIY Mint & Pink
Oh I do love a creative wedding and today s nuptials are a real feast for the eyes. WWW readers Rosie (from UK fashion blog A Rosie Outlook) and Tom decided to get married on the 17th April 2015 at Sopley Mill in Dorset. They envisioned a wedding that reflected themselves and ditched traditional elements which didn t work for them. Tom didn t make a speech, there was no first dance or suits and Tom s dad was best man isn t that lovely? They had a subtle mint and pink colour scheme with oodles of DIY d cor creating a pretty rustic style. Then there was the guest cake bake off, their ring bearer was their dog Bodhi and the business cards order of service were a really clever touch.
Rosie looked absolutely gorgeous in Mia Mia Estelle which was perfectly nipped in at the waist. She teamed her gown with a statement flower crown and converse. WOW. Thanks so much today to the wonderful Assassynation for sharing these super happy shots with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Tom proposed in a yurt in Wales in October 2013. We were staying in a beautiful yurt in the middle of nowhere with a copper roll-top bath, outdoor shower and wood burning stove. As I went into the kitchen area to make a pot of tea, Tom filled the yurt with candles and had secretly had a bottle of champagne chilling. The dog snoozed away on the rug and I had to be told to put down my mug of peppermint tea! We had bought the ring a few months before as Tom wanted my input in the sort of thing I would like so I knew the proposal was imminent, but the moment itself was perfect. THE VISION | We ultimately just wanted something that reflected our personalities and felt like the sort of wedding we would love to go to. We live in the New Forest so we liked the idea of rustic woodland as a theme. We originally really loved the idea of getting married outside in the forest, with marquees for the reception afterwards, but it turned out to be a bit out of our price range (and we were scared about the weather!)
Originally we wanted to get married in the Autumn but it was a little close to Autumn 2014, so we finally settled on Spring 2015 for our wedding date. We wanted to intertwine Spring in with the woodland theme and for it to be a bit DIY and with little details that felt like us (I am avoiding using the phrase Pinterest wedding but of course by now I had done a lot of pinning!) We wanted a folk band to play, and we fancied the idea of a hog roast or food that we ourselves like to eat basically we just wanted everything to be fun and easy and informal, with nothing included just because we felt we had to.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We started the initial planning after we got engaged, so there was a flurry of activity at the end of 2013; booking the venue, photographer and researching options for catering. I ve never been the type of girl who thought about what her wedding would be like growing up; in fact I was never hugely into the idea of getting married, so I had no must-haves except for the photographer! I d been following Sassy s work for some time and thought her photography was amazing, so that was the only non-negotiable for me. We also decided that we wanted a videographer, and Sassy frequently works with Frank, who we also booked. I knew I wanted to spend a bit more on the photographer and videographer so we had those memories of the day to keep forever. After that, planning really dropped off for about a year we d got some of the big things ticked off and it wasn t really until September 2014 that we started to think about it again. I m usually an incredibly organised person and I love planning things (colour-coded spreadsheets are my thing) but although I was excited to be married, I wasn t hugely enthusiastic about the planning process and saw it all as heavily administrative. The venue we d booked just handed you the keys and it was yours for the day, so we had to book everything individually, and it just seemed like a mountain of research, emails and phone calls. I work in an office and blog in my spare time so it seemed like I was going to end up just chained to the computer! I was excited about the fun things making things, scouring Pinterest for inspiration, thinking about decorations; but I did see some of the more wedmin elements as a bit of a chore, I must admit! Around January of this year (three months before the wedding) we did get ourselves in order and I created a huge spreadsheet with things that needed ticking off. My Dad suggested getting an on the day wedding coordinator so we weren t running around on the day directing people and thinking about the running order, and this turned out to be a great suggestion. It took a long time to nail down the order of the day and the various activities though we didn t want there to be long periods where people weren t doing anything, and as the Mill where we got married was over three floors we had to think of the logistics of where people would be, and when!
My Mum was absolutely amazing with helping with planning and thought of so much that I never would have thought of. She sewed hundreds of metres of hessian bunting, made table runners, made the ring pillow (for our ring-bearer, Bodhi the dog!) and handmade all of the place holders I couldn t have done it without her. She also sorted out lots of things like ordering crockery, cutlery and table linens, and other things she could just take off my plate (if you ll excuse the pun!) without me having to have lots of input. Near the end of the planning phase I did get quite stressed, and having someone to come along and do things for me really made a difference. There were some things we probably left quite late I didn t get my wedding ring until about a week before the wedding, and although we d sent out Save The Dates, some of our invites went out later than planned, but it all definitely came together in the end! BUDGET | I think in total we spent around 12,000. We prioritised what was important to us (photographer and videographer, food etc) and saved money on the things that weren t my shoes were from ASOS, as were Tom s chinos, and our friends baked cakes so we didn t have to pay out for dessert (cheeky, I know!)
THE VENUE | We only went to see one other venue before we fell totally in love with Sopley Mill. When we went to visit it, it was still being renovated and they hadn t had any weddings yet, but it is so breathtakingly beautiful that we knew it would be perfect for our wedding. With views over rolling hills, a river meandering by outside (and running under the Mill, as it was an old water mill), fireplaces and cosy chairs if it s cold, and then a terrace outside if it s warm, we just knew it was the place for us. It was also five minutes up the road from us so we were able to do a couple of visits to help with planning, and set up the day before (we got married on a Friday). Because the venue has all of its original features, like beautiful oak beams and original fireplaces, it meant there was little decorating to do as we didn t want to take away from how stunning it was inside.
The Mill s greatest strength is also the thing that generated the most work for us they don t get involved in any of your planning or with any of the suppliers, so you can choose exactly what you want. It wasn t until late in the day that we thought about things like crockery, cutlery and tablecloths, and every supplier had to be found and booked individually. It did mean that we were able to put together our perfect wedding without being influenced or hampered by restrictions though, which was a huge win for us as our priority was creating a day that felt very us . We didn t pay corkage so immediately after the ceremony we had huge vintage tin baths filled with ciders and French stubby beers (and stripy straws of course) and we planned to get all of the wine from France to save money (in the end we were actually given all of the wine for the tables as a wedding gift from a friend who visited France before our wedding, and the toasting champagne was a gift from Tom s parents friends who live over there, so we were really lucky!)
On the day people did seem wowed by how stunning the venue was, so we knew we d made the right choice. It was a beautiful day, so people played garden games and drank their ciders and beers outside in the sunshine, and then we had our photos taken in the woodland and fields surrounding the venue, which was such an amazing location to have our wedding photographs taken. We felt like rock stars on a photo shoot! THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I originally had in my mind that I wanted a 50 s style short dress my Wedding Pinterest board was full of them and I d even picked out the one I thought I wanted. I wanted a short dress, and some cute heels. I didn t really want a veil or tiara or anything like that, and I didn t think of other accessories until the day before (it hadn t occurred to me to think about what bracelet to wear, or whether to wear any other rings oops!)
FINDING THE DRESS | I went to London with my Mum to a shop that specialised in 50 s and retro style short wedding dresses and I tried several on, but they weren t right for me. I was 110% sure that that was what I wanted but trying them on, I just didn t feel like they were wedding-y enough; there felt like something missing. I adore them on other people but in the end I just couldn t find one that gave me that wow factor. I booked another appointment at a local bridal shop and went along with my two bridesmaids, Kate and Nicole. We agreed that I would choose some to try on, and then they had to choose some wildcards that I wouldn t usually pick, but had to try on. When I said to the lady in the shop that I had originally wanted a 50 s style dress, she instantly dug out the Mia Mia Estelle which had a 50 s shape (nipped in at the waist) but a long train. When I tried it on, I knew it was the one . It was exactly the style that suits me but it felt like a very special dress! It s not like anything I would have ever chosen, but it just felt right. Seeing myself in the mirror wearing a wedding dress with a long train was such a surreal moment!
I was really nervous about taking my Mum to see me try it on and she was nervous too as she knew I d fallen in love with it and was scared that she wouldn t like it! Luckily she loved it just as much I did. I knew it was totally different to what Tom thought I would choose though, so I was excited to see his reaction when I walked down the aisle! GROOM S ATTIRE | Tom is a keen surfer and windsurfer who is found in flip flops for the majority of the year and abhors anything that he perceives as fashionable . Usually found in board shorts and a hoody, I knew it would be a stretch to get him into a suit! Our priority was that we were comfortable on the day though, and that we didn t do anything we didn t want to for the sake of tradition, so Tom decided he wanted to wear chinos, a shirt, and Converse (I managed to convince him to wear a tie, but the waistcoat and bow-tie ideas were immediately veto-ed!) Tom s groomsmen wore the same his Best Man was his Dad (he was very uneasy about the idea of wearing chinos and Converse but he went along with it!)
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Readings is something I did want, but in the end we just ran out of time to think about it. I had a reading I would have liked, but it was a time when there was a huge flurry of other activity and it just dropped off the list. The music however, was a priority for us! We knew we wanted a folk band, and luckily some of Tom s friends are in an amazing band called Stealing Whiskey. It was an easy choice to book them, and so many people on the day said they were the best wedding band they ve ever seen everyone was on their feet dancing, and the atmosphere was amazing.
We had a DJ after the band who do most of the DJing for the venue we came up with a big song list and they also provided lots of lighting that was in keeping with the venue and suited our vision for what the disco would be like (we wanted to avoid a cheesy Grease-megamix school disco-esque situation!)
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My two bridesmaids were two of my best friends, Kate and Nicole. They were amazing throughout the planning process and helped me no end by stopping me having a complete meltdown in the final stages of the planning! They looked absolutely stunning on the day too the mint green dresses suited them both perfectly. On the day I couldn t have done without them nothing was too much trouble and they both helped and supported me no end. THE FLOWERS | Flowers was something that neither Tom nor I had a huge interest in, but it was something we actually really enjoyed choosing! We had a meeting with Lauren from Concept Flowers and she was totally amazing. Our chat with her was loads of fun and we went through some ideas we had had about the woodland style flowers and my desire to have a floral headdress, which she was really excited about making! She was so creative and knowledgeable and the flowers she created for us were totally breathtaking. Literally when I saw the floral headdress I was speechless, it was everything I d imagined and more. THE CAKE | We didn t fancy a traditional wedding cake, but we liked the idea of having wedding cupcakes. We got a quote from a supplier per cupcake which I just went along with until my friend Sarah was flabbergasted by how much we were paying and offered to do them herself she really is a star! She created stunning cupcakes (not to mention delicious) in pink and mint green in keeping with our colour scheme.
The caterers provided BBQ style food but we decided against dessert and instead had the idea of doing a Great Wedding Bake Off . We had friends and family provide cakes and then produced voting slips which were handed around whilst everyone was trying out all of the cakes. The winner (announced by the DJ later in the evening) won a bottle of champagne. People were amazing and brought some absolutely delicious creations with them and it really did add a lot of fun into the day! YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Sassy was an obvious choice for our photographer I didn t look at any others and we kept the wedding date unconfirmed until we found a date when she was free! She frequently works with Frank Millar who did our videography, and together they were just even better than we imagined the photos and the video are just utterly perfect. I was really excited to meet Sassy as from her emails and phone calls I just knew she was going to be so much fun and she really was amazing on the day. I can t thank her enough she captured so many moments that were the really special parts of the day; Bodhi the dog lifting his ears up when he first saw me, my Dad when he came in and saw the dress for the first time, my brother with his hand on my Mum s shoulder during the ceremony it was just so wonderful to see our photographs and relive the day when they came back. (And I think my Mum might have burned out the DVD with the amount of times she s watched it!)
THE DETAILS & D COR | I had a few things I quite fancied in terms of the d cor some pastel pink and mint pom poms (that was the colour scheme we went for and it turned out perfectly), hessian bunting to keep with the rustic theme, lots of stripy straws and kilner jars, and fairy lights wrapped around the beams in the venue. We picked things up on eBay but my Mum was the real star she sewed all of the bunting, handmade every individual place name, made all of the table runners, made hessian and lace borders for all the jam jar candle holders; she was basically chained to her sewing machine for about four months (she now sells many of these items on her vintage website). She also made the most beautiful ring pillow for our careful ring bearer, our dog Bodhi!
I designed the order of service and we had them printed on MOO Business Cards so people could slip them in their wallets lots of people seemed to love them and kept them afterwards! My Dad made signs for the wedding for the roadside, and for outside the venue and a sign to the drinks after the ceremony, from driftwood they looked so good! We made the table plan out of a vintage map, and had the tables as surf breaks around the world (that was the one thing Tom got his way on!) The florist kindly lent us milk jugs and bark slices for the flowers for the table that really added to the vintage theme. THE HONEYMOON | We spent a month in Bali for our honeymoon and travelled around a lot it was perfect, and after all of the wedding planning it was just the right way to unwind and relax. We couldn t wait to get back and see our photographs and video though!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Seeing all of our planning and hard work come together was just so special for both of us. I m not going to lie and say that we didn t find the planning stressful, because we did, but seeing our vision for the day come to fruition made it all worthwhile. The venue looked even more stunning than we anticipated, and seeing the tables laid with all of the handmade details, the gorgeous flowers, the fairy lights and those views from the top floor just took my breath away. I think the best thing for me was that everyone (including us) just had huge grins on their faces the whole day it was such a happy, fun, easy day, which was exactly what we wanted. When my Dad first came into the bridal room and saw me in my dress (and had a little cry!) it was very emotional. The same when I walked down the aisle and saw Tom though it was very surreal, I was much more nervous than I expected to be! My Dad s speech was also amazing; there wasn t a dry eye in the house! I have to also mention the food, which was some of the best food I ve eaten in my life certainly the best steak I ve ever had! There were a lot of satisfied moans and groans as people tucked into their food!
(Oh and seeing my Grandma on the dance floor, totally out-dancing most of my friends and staying there for the duration of the evening, was an impressive sight!)
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | I think if you have, say, a year before you get married then I would use that time wisely and space out the jobs maybe do the caterers one month, the dress another, and so on. Trying to fit almost everything into the months before the wedding was too stressful, and we could have used our time more wisely. Let other people help you though if I hadn t had the help from my parents and bridesmaids I don t know what I would have done! Stay true to your vision and don t do anything you don t want to do it is your day. It s a clich but it s true Tom didn t want to do a speech so he didn t, he didn t really want a first dance so we didn t have one. A lot of the things we did differently, like the ciders and beers in the vintage tin baths, the wedding bake off, the Mini Eggs in heart bowls on the tables (had to sneak them in somewhere!) really made the day, despite some raised eyebrows at some of the things we wanted to include. Don t be influenced by anyone else (if possible!)
Also one practical tip if you re leaving the venue early and other people offer to help you clear up, make sure you have a list of things you want to keep. We wanted to try some of the pasties we had as evening food the next day (as we were having too much fun to eat it on the day!) but they had all been binned, the cupcakes were all given away, and I would have loved to keep one of the Order of the Day cards, but they were all thrown away too there were also some decorations that didn t end up coming back to us. It would have been a good idea to have an inventory or a tick list to make sure we got everything. Oh and don t stress about what you don t do, or don t have time to do no one will know! No one will have any idea about that beautiful banner you planned to do, the reading you liked, or the wedding favours you planned to make, so don t put pressure on yourself to get everything done.
CATERING | I want to also mention the caterers who were phenomenal. They cooked the most amazing spread of steaks, hot dogs, breads, salads, burgers and they came all the way up from Cornwall to cater for our wedding. So many people said it was the best food they d ever had at a wedding (and we had a guest there who writes about food as his profession, and judges food awards!) It was so, so delicious. They also cooked pasties for our evening food (as I am Cornish), which got many thumbs up from guests and was something we hadn t seen at a wedding before. I owe a huge thanks to them as they really were amazing.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Food | Nomad Bars
How utterly lovely.
Rosie and Tom many thanks to you both for sharing your amazing story with us today xo Lou
- ^ blog (www.whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com)
- ^ A Rosie Outlook (www.arosieoutlook.com)
- ^ Sopley Mill (sopleymill.co.uk)
- ^ Assassynation (assassynation.co.uk)
- ^ Amazing Face (www.amazing-face.co.uk)
- ^ Assassynation (assassynation.co.uk)
- ^ Mia Mia (www.miamiabridal.co.uk)
- ^ Chameleon Bride (www.chameleonbride.co.uk)
- ^ Sopley Mill (sopleymill.co.uk)
- ^ Concept Flowers (conceptflowers.co.uk)
- ^ RSVP Wedding (www.rsvpwedding.co.uk)
- ^ Oh So Vintage (www.ohsovintage.co.uk)
- ^ Etsy (tidd.ly)
- ^ Wedding Save The Dates (tidd.ly)
- ^ Stealing Whiskey (www.facebook.com)
- ^ We Perform (www.weperform.co.uk)
- ^ A Million Dresses (www.amilliondresses.com)