You guys, I had the hardest time deciding which images to share in this post, because there were SO MANY amazing photos and details to choose from! Do not miss the gallery on this one – so much more inspiration from this woodland wedding to see! The bride shared so many great details, and Caught the Light captured the day beautifully – it feels like stepping inside a fairy tale!
Says the bride on the choice of venue: “Both James and I love being outdoors and going on walks, and I’ve always found it incredibly uplifting to be out amongst nature. Being a bit of a romantic, I think I’ve always had a thing for forests and woodlands – there’s a certain magic and wonder about them. The woodland we got married in also runs alongside our home, so this particular location held a lot of significance and personal meaning for us as well.”
(From the photographer: “Marina and James live beside the woodlands, and through the land registry they were able to find out who owns the woods and sought permission to use them for their ceremony.” What a special place to tie the knot!)
The bride shares some of the thoughtful details from the day: “We created a ‘Family Tree’ which we adorned with pictures of our respective family members getting married through the generations through to the present day. It was a sweet reminder of all the different loves and marriages that had led to each of us arriving at the present day and our own marriage. We also hung up little animal masks for children to pick up as they entered the woodland, to add a bit of fun to their experience of the day.”
“We wrote our own vows for the wedding and had a humanist celebrant officiate the event, who also wrote and read a lovely personal statement about us as a couple and our hopes for the marriage and our future together. Before exchanging rings, we also planted a tree in the wood, as a symbol of our marriage, and our family members gave readings before and after. We wanted our guests to feel very much a part of the event, so they all sang ‘Hey Jude’ together under the trees, which was fun.”
Some DIY details: “My cousin’s wife created all of our wedding stationery, which really set the rustic and organic theme of the big day,” shares Marina. “I also got quite hands-on, creating a number of embroidery hoops which we strung up in the garden, along with hanging tea lights. For wedding favors, we gave our guests little saplings that we had grown from acorns after we got engaged. The guests then took these home & planted them in recognition of something that held meaning for them.”
“For the wedding breakfast, we all sat together at long refectory tables, which made it feel like we were all eating together ‘family feast’ style. The name cards at the table settings also contained an unusual fact about each of the guests which was fun for starting conversations. Our florist dressed the tables in the most spectacular floral arrangements that brought the outdoors in and gave the illusion that we were all in amongst the trees.”
“Instead of a wedding cake, we came up with the idea of a ‘Brownie Mountain’ that everyone could take a slab of. I like that it was presented in a very informal style, with the sense that we were all feasting on a something home baked, out of the family kitchen.”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I remember watching the woodland wedding scene from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves when I was young, and being completely taken by the visuals – being married amongst the trees and the natural beauty of it all. Thinking back, it probably was the starting inspiration for our own wedding day. Throughout the wedding planning process, I was also quite inspired by the idea of creating something very organic, handmade and personal that really reflected us as couple. So we did as much ourselves as possible and it ended up being quite a “crafty” project with lots of DIY touches.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? Probably the point at which my bridesmaids and I walked through the woods to the ceremony itself. It was quite overwhelming to see our nearest and dearest gathered together in the clearing and James waiting beside this incredible floral arch. I was excited and nervous in equal measure, but also blown away by the visual impact of the setting, so it was a really emotional moment!
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? For my something blue, I had a piece of my Dad’s tie pinned to the inside of my wedding dress (he passed away 3 years earlier), so that was very meaningful.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? To create a really thorough “on the day” plan, that you delegate to someone else to take charge of on the day, so you can really relax and enjoy the whole day’s experience as a carefree participant, rather than a project manager.
What advice do you have for other brides? To enjoy the process as much as possible, and accept offers of help from friends & family. Not only does that mean you don’t carry the burden of preparation and organization single-handedly, but it’s actually the contributions of others that help make the whole day really personal!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? The best investment we made was on the photography – we’d definitely recommend getting a great photographer whose work you connect with, as the photos really do last a lifetime and have the power to evoke all the memories and spirit of the day over and over again afterwards.