Rheannie and Samuel’s Beautiful DIY Garden Wedding…
We love all sorts of colourful & unique weddings on The Outside Bride, however there is something to be said for sticking with a very simple botanical colour palette, which can look just breathtaking! This beautiful understated wedding makes clear the old age saying, that weddings are not about how much you spend, but rather how you spend the money which counts. Rheannie and Samuel with the help of family and friends lovingly made many aspects for their day, from planting plants in Winter to drinking alcohol out of customised decorative bottles for guests. Photographed by the talented Elena Popa, who captured some wonderfully intimate moments throughout an emotional day.
Rheannie says ” The reception venue was at Ben’s parents’ back garden. They have a massive garden which is conveniently split into three parts: the lawn with a big and smart patio, an orchard with a large middle area where we had the marquee set up, and a vegetable garden plot. Almost immediately after our engagement and both families agreeing that logistically, it makes most sense to have the wedding in Solihull and the reception at the Maddens, my Mother-in-law proceeded to planning the garden and the planting, as well as the remodelling and enlargement of the patio and the instalment of a new arch between the first and second gardens. Many family friends dropped in and helped with the planting and donated several flowering plants and trees.”
Did you have a specific theme for your day?
We had a mixture of many different themes. We had some elements of botanical, romantic, shabby chic, woodland, natural themes. We kept the palettes classic and simple by sticking to white, blue, and green. We considered heavily what flowers would be available and in season to make the most of the garden setting.
Tell us a little bit about your dress and its details
Being a self-professed thrift Queen, the cost of the dress including alterations £150. I then asked my mum to add appliqué flowers all over the dress and my mum very kindly hand made the veil and added some of the appliquéd flowers on the veil. The dress has a sweetheart neckline and is sleeveless. The general shape is A-line with a slight train. I didn’t want it to have a long train or be too pouffy and princess-ish as I am only 5 ft 1 and could very easily disappear in a cloud of pouffy dress.
Could you give us a little detail about any of your accessories?
To give the dress a chance to shine, I kept the accessories simple and understated. I bought a pair of drop silver with pearl earrings and I also wore my engagement ring on the right hand.
Who did your make-up and hair?
My now sister-in-law’s boyfriend’s mum and sister helped out. We met them a few months before the wedding and they had very kindly offered to do our hair and make-up for free provided that we buy our own make up which I was very happy to do seeing as I would benefit from the collection of makeup!
Ben bought his suit from Jaeger
Flowers and Florist details
We bought the flowers from the Birmingham Flower Market the day before the wedding and spent roughly £300. This was the most cost-effective efficient way. All the flowers and foliage bought were used for the making of the bridal bouquet, the bridesmaids’ bouquets, the bride’s, bridesmaids and flower girls’ floral crowns, groom’s and groomsmen’s buttonholes, floral archway at the reception venue, centrepieces, the wedding cake, and decorations in and around the house. Not only was this cheap but it was also fun and everyone took part.
Could you describe your ceremony and details?
Ben and I are Catholics and have come from a Catholic family so it wasn’t a surprise that we decided to have a church wedding.
The ceremony wasn’t your typical church wedding. For starters, we had three priests! The Parish Priest presided over the majority of the ceremony but the other two priests hold important places in Ben’s family and so we asked them to also take part. Ben’s family is active in the church (albeit at a different Parish) so we had our very own servers and choir all made up by our own family and family friends.
Did you have any specific readings?
First Reading: Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 ‘Two are better than one’
Second Reading: I Corinthians 13: 1-13 ‘Love does not come to an end’
Tell us a little bit about your bridesmaids/ groomsmen/ flower girls/ page boys.
We had 6 bridesmaids (3 university friends and 3 sisters) and due to their very varied sizes and heights, and also to avoid turning into a Bridezilla, I asked them to buy their own dress which they think will make them feel comfortable but asked that they consider the ceremony taking place in a church and that they keep the pallets either pale green or blue. We hadn’t seen their dresses prior to the wedding day so we were surprised that half of them turned up in blue and the other in green! We did exactly the same with our two little flower girls and they looked adorable!
We did exactly the same for the 6 groomsmen/ Best Man comprising of Ben’s friend who amazingly had travelled all the way from Zimbabwe for the occasion, and our 5 brothers. We asked them to provide their own black suits but we gave them a tie each which Ben had picked out.
A day before the wedding, we had the bridesmaids and some of the groomsmen help out with making the floral crowns and bouquets for all the bridesmaids and the bride.
All in all, I think it was a success as everyone was comfortable in whatever they were wearing, thus avoiding the awkward grimacing faces on the photos!
Can you tell us about your reception venue?
The reception venue was at Ben’s parents’ back garden. They have a massive garden which is conveniently split into three parts: the lawn with a big and smart patio, an orchard with a large middle area where we had the marquee set up, and a vegetable garden plot.
Details and decor, were there any personal touches?
The buntings which decorated the drive , the drinks gazebo and the inside of the wedding reception marquee were all hand made by my mum. She also collected jam jars and decorated each of the 50 jars with hessian and random buttons. My sister-in-law collected nicely shaped clear, blue, and green alcohol bottles and bought bottle lights. An ingenious way to light up the garden in the evening.
What did you do for food?
Due to the restriction presented by the garden size, we ave had to hold the celebration over two days to fit and entertain as many guests as possible. This was part of the reason why we chose a bank holiday weekend to hold the wedding on.
The sit down meal on the 27th of May was for 130 guests and these were traditional English comfort food with chicken, and beef, and we chose to also add a vegetarian option just in case. We provided our own tea and coffee to try and save as much as we could.
The second day dubbed the “garden party” catered for about 150 guests which came and left at different times. The food were traditional Filipino food and felt more like a fiesta with a hog roast, informal setting and glorious weather. The guests were free to roam around the garden and the house as they pleased. We travelled to the Champagne region in France and bought the Champagne there straight from the vineyard owner. There certainly was not a shortage of Champagne, wines, ciders, or beers during the weekend celebration! We did however decide to forgo the spirits as we knew these would be very expensive and unnecessary given the amount of alcohol already available.
How was your cake?
My sister-in-law baked the cake which had three tiers and all in all made up of 9 cakes sandwiched together. We used some of the hydrangea flowers to decorate the cake.
What did you do for entertainment?
Neither Ben nor myself are keen dancers and I certainly was not one to show off my non existing dancing skills. We had a dance floor installed in the marquee as we know many of our guests will want to dance around, certainly after the alcohol!
We asked our siblings to put together a playlist which was then played throughout the evening of the wedding day.
Where did you save money and how did you splurge?
We splurged on the food and drinks but saved on everything else.
How did you both meet as a couple?
Ben and I met while we were studying our undergraduate degrees at Royal Holloway, University of London. We met via mutual friends. We started dating in December of 2009 and never looked back!
Tell us a little bit about the proposal
Ben proposed at the Savill Garden in Windsor which was a few miles walk away from our old university. This was the first garden we visited together and the proposal happened exactly 4 years after our first visit.
The proposal was in a quiet and secluded area in the garden, just past the famous Rose garden and underneath the beautiful wisteria flowers.
The stunning ring was given to Ben by his grandmother, who received it from her aunt. We found out later that the ring was then 115 years old. It’s a beautiful and classic round sapphire surrounded by diamonds and with delicate engravings on either side of the gems.
What were your three most memorable moments from the day?
Getting ready, the emotional readers, and coming out as Mr and Mrs after signing the marriage certificate.
What are your top tips for other couples getting married outdoors?
Be realistic (and slightly pessimistic) when it comes to the weather. Its better to be prepared and have a gazebo or a marquee just in case the ever unpredictable British weather turns on its head and give you showers on the day.
Provide your girls and yourself with a cover in case the temperature lowers or is lower than anticipated.
Alcohol bottles with lights are cheap and easy way to light up the evening!
We decided to get married in May because spring/beginning of summer because of the plants and flowers in season- make note of this to save yourself thousands of pounds in flowers. It’s expensive to want flowers which are not in season.
We would like to wish Samuel and Rheannie every happiness in their future as husband and wife, wish a special thanks to you both for reminding us how important family and friends can be when planning a DIY wedding. Not forgetting Elena Popa photography for allowing us to share her beautiful images.
Ceremony Venue: Church wedding at the Olton Friary, Solihull, West Midlands
Photographer: Elena Popa photography
Bridal Designer: Dress unknown, additional extras Brides Mother
Grooms Attire: suit from Jaeger
Hair: Sister-in-law’s boyfriend’s mum
Make up: Sister-in-law’s boyfriend’s mum
Catering: Filipino food caterer- http://nonongscatering.co.uk
Wedding reception sit down dinner caterer- http://www.gourmetfood.co.uk
Flowers:Birmingham Flower Market
Thanks for Reading
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