Esther & Tony Image by Matt Horan Photography
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Esther & Tony

Real Weddings

Esther & Tony

Esther and Tony’s wedding was relaxed and informal and their ceremony was very personal. Esther did a lovely job of sourcing all the different aspects of her wedding and created a truly beautiful day.

Over to Esther to tell you all about her big day…

“The Venue was Garden Farm, Matlock, Derbyshire. I scoured everywhere for our venue (it took me 2 years to find it). The venue suited us down to the ground, it is a real life working organic farm, which also caters for relaxed, bespoke, DIY, weddings, Tim the easy going farmer was quite happy for us to do what we wanted and put our own stamp on the day, from décor to food. It had a very quirky barn (with straw on the floor and wacky vintage memorabilia on the walls and roof) and a basic marquee, amazing views as well as a bell tent in the woods for our wedding night.

The Ceremony was held at Trinity church in Leek, this was a very personal service as I have been attending this church from day one! I have had the ‘walking down the aisle’ moment playing over in my head for forever and finally it became reality. One of my uncle’s played the organ and another uncle gave a reading from the bible, my friend Ellie Wilcox read a passage from Captain Corelli’s mandolin. It was a beautiful, personal and warm ceremony, everyone commented on different and personal it was.

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Our wedding was both Rustic, (shabby shit as my dad would say!!) and vintage, the colour scheme was yellow and grey (with some blue). I also had a thing for wellies on the day, I arranged flowers in them – it sort of carried the ‘garden’ theme on too. I spent hours and hours on the ‘garden theme’ by giving every guest a flower/plant name for their seating plan.- matching the guest’s personality or job to a flower/plant. Some of the outcomes were hilarious. I called each table after my daughters (Autumn and Willow). The guest names were displayed on two white washed old doors and pinned to vintage French flower seed packets (I bought these off Ebay, I also photocopied them so people could take them home on the day).

I also made a magnetic painted tree, where guests left a message on a leaf and stuck their leaves to the board. It is now up in our home on the wall displaying such lovely well wishes.

My dress, a Lusan Mandongas was from Serendipity Brides. I wanted a vintage dress, something unique and something that would fit in with a laid back country theme, it needed to be lightweight and floaty. It took me 9 shops and I tried on over 60 dresses till I found it, a beautiful and very unique Lusan Mandongas number.  I went for some delicate lace gloves to go with it and in the evening I swapped these for a vintage lace/sparkly clasp bracelet.

For the entertainment, we hired Lindsay Caroline, an acoustic guitarist to play on the farm when everyone was arriving and having their drinks and ice creams. She had rave reviews from guests and again fitted in perfectly to the theme and venue. In the evening the disco kicked off at 7pm, our first dance was a medley of a few songs & we encouraged everyone to join in (Tony hates dancing, I love dancing!!). During the evening we also had a Rodeo Bull, bonfires and fire pits going on. The evening came alive with a real buzz and a glow.

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For long as I could remember I wanted to have my wedding on a farm (friends thought I was mad), what was once a dream finally after years of searching and planning became a reality and a fantastic day – ‘epic’ as some people called it! However, one piece of advice I would give is that some things on your wedding list you may have to change/compromise on, BUT there is always going to be a few big things that you just can’t. For me, that was my church (that I grew up going to and still attend occasionally now) and the farm venue. I just wouldn’t budge on these and they were a 50 minute drive apart and I worried so much about the logistics of where guests would stay, would they get lost on the way? (I had to design 2 maps) and in the end they all made it to the farm in time (okay, a few got stuck in pot holes- but it was all worth it in the end).

I loved getting my ideas from pinterest, blogs (mainly american weddings) and etsy/folksy. Infact quite a few guests said afterwards the day had quite an American style to it!!

I kept a scrap book and took two years to plan and execute (in this time I was on maternity leave then went back to work teaching full time so did as much as I could while I was off) I started the planning again in the April before the summer but to be honest I had done most of it, it was just the crafty stuff to get on with. I made all my own signs, table decs, did my own table flowers and the quirky bit and bobs that featured around the farm.

A few friends helped out in the last few days but I was actually quite shocked at how organised and ‘not a bit stressed’ I was. However, 3 weeks after the wedding I did find under my bed a brand new pair of yellow converse trainers that I had saved away for our first dance…gutted!

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{The Lovely Suppliers}

♥Photography: Matt Horan Photography
Brides hair accessories: Veil/Headpiece borrowed from a friend, Lace boot cuff socks by VANAG Screative
Brides hair: Hair styling – Katie Proffitt, DJ’s hairdressers.
Make up– bride and bridesmaids – Claire Arrowsmith – Mua
Bridesmaids/dresses/shoes/accessories Bridesmaid hair clips by Gemmaroses, Bridesmaids Dresses – Dessy Twist wrap dress from 7th Heaven Bridal
Grooms outfit/accessories/shoes: Groom tie from MeandMatilda USA, His suit was a lambretta purchased in Slaters, Manchester. The theme was yellow and grey with a touch of blue, so Tony chose to wear a blue, fitted, quite ‘mod’ style suit. He didn’t really want to wear a suit jacket (he did in the end for the marriage service) as again we wanted it to look quite quirky and informal.
Groomsmens outfits/accessories Best man suit from Next, I asked all the men in the wedding party to wear grey suits and yellow ties with funky spotty socks.-I thought this may make a cool ‘blokey’ group shot.
Cake A very good friend of mine, Verity Lowdon created the most amazing wedding cake to die for. It had a very natural rustic style and was based around silver birch trees. Each flower on the cake represented something to do with love.
DJ/entertainment: Entertainment (day) Wedding singer Lindsay Caroline, Disco (evening) – Jonathon Ford
– Rodeo Bull
– Beer from Thornbridge brewery, Bakewell, Derbyshire,
Stationery:  Designed by a friend of mine, Victoria Stares
– Tea towel invites printed in Wales by an eco friendly screen printing company called Peris and Corr
Catering/food/drink.  Garden farm put on a hog roast for the wedding breakfast, this was followed by pizzas late into the evening, we also had a pudding competition (most people brought a pud) that went down very well indeed.
– Other caterers: Ice cream Dub
Wedding favours: My favourite ‘makes’ were the sweet favour ‘flower pot’ with chalk board place names. Each pot was filled with layers of dolly mixture, popping candy, mini smarties and choc rubble- the guests loved them and most got taken home. Chalk boards featured quite a lot throughout the day (I used to have a little chalkboard business).
Decor/styling: All done by my fair hand except for table runners made by my mum!”

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