This post will be a little different to my normal hiking adventures. I was going through some old photos, so would like to share what it was like to get married in my teeny village. I can also share my tips for having a fantastic wedding without breaking the bank. Most of our money saving tips, involved getting family and friends to help us with the preparations, so this wedding was a truly a joint effort.
Venue – beautiful agricultural barn
Isn’t this barn gorgeous!? It belongs to friends of our family. When we were little they would hold concerts here, but it had slowly filled up with junk. They allowed us to use it as a venue (for free!!) In return, our family and friends spent time cleaning it up. The best part is since the wedding, they have started to use the barn again for other village events and dances.
We were married in the middle of June, but I LOVE the way the village looked a few weeks earlier when the cow parsley was in flower.
Barn cleaning time
It took us four weekends to clean out the barn. It was actually a really good way for our families to get to know each other better. My brother, one sister, Marc’s brothers, and our parents all came to help.
Senbazuru 千羽鶴 – 1000 origami cranes
There is an old Japanese legend that if you fold 1000 origami cranes, you can have a wish. Some of my Japanese friends and family were kindly coming to join us, so we were keen to add some Japanese elements to the wedding. Folding senbazuru meant I’d have something to decorate the barn, aaaand I could wish for a happy marriage. My friends helped me fold some of these, but I folded most of them. It got to the point that I could fold 10-20 while walking to work. Once I had 1000 cranes, I hung them up on strings with beads to help weigh them down.
Whenever we had breaks we got to play with this cutie. 😺
One of my bridesmaids is the best florist in the world, so we decided it made sense to have minimal decoration and just fill the barn with flowers and fairy lights. It made sure the barn smelled great too!! She did SUCH a good job. If you’d like to see more of her work, you can see her wedding here.
Other bits and bobs
My sister created an play area for all the kidlets, and my mum made a huge amount of bunting!
Teru teru bozu – てるてる坊主
Teru teru bozu are little handmade dolls that children make in Japan, to keep the rain away. My friend Megan made special bride and groom teru teru bozu for us, so I hung those in the barn as well. They worked perfectly so we had a sunny day.
All ready for revelers
This barn scrubbed up pretty well eh!?
I was really happy with my wedding dress. When I first went shopping, I was pretty shocked at the prices for dresses. “Cheap” dresses are still close to £1000, and the one I really loved was nearly £2000! I couldn’t spend quite that amount on a dress that I’d only wear for one day, so in the end I ordered my dress online from a tailor in Hong Kong. It cost £180, then another £40 for import taxes and about £40 to have it altered slightly. I blooming love it.
My mum was super cheeky with our wedding car! She asked one of our neighbours (I used to babysit their children) if they would mind driving me to the registry office, as they have a pretty vehicle. Sometimes being cheeky pays off, as they were happy to help!
The Registry Office
We were married in the Courthouse in Oundle. It is not very big, so we couldn’t fit everyone in. It was a sweet, non-religious ceremony, so in no time at all, we were married! Squeee!
My sister, my mum and my aunt all have gardens full of roses. They all dried rose petals for us, so back at the barn, we could be showered with lovely-smelling confetti.
I had to find a photographer at the last minute, luckily I stumbled upon Dani from Ferri Photography. She was a complete sweetie and fit right in with family and friends as we got ready. I am so, so glad we found her! She captured the barn beautifully and took so many good photos of our friends!
Tea Party – Crockery
You can’t have an English wedding without tea! Rather than matching crockery we decided to go for a mishmash of pretty plates, tea cups and saucers from various charity shops. My mum had great fun finding them all.
We didn’t want people to get hungry, so mum found a local baker who made 12 large cakes for everyone to munch while we chatted and took photos.
Bubbles, cocktails and tea
One of my sisters, Emmy, lives in the South of France, so obviously we had French wine. I left this job to dad, who valiantly went to France to taste and choose wine, then drive it all home. For bubbles dad bought as much prosecco as he could whenever it went on sale(!) In the end he bought so much that there was enough for a bottle per person(!) Lastly, as well as tea, we had three different cocktails, which we served in teapots.
Marc’s mum, Araceli, was in charge of our wedding cake. Her neighbour, baked this amaaazing cake for us. You can’t quite see it in the photo, but she created lace-like icing, then Lisa (my bridesmaid) decorated it with fresh flowers.
Our wedding favours were small pots of marmalade made by my sister, Rosy, and honey made by her husband, Simon (well, made by his bees!)
Purikura corner – プリクラ
Purikura is another thing I LOVE in Japan. Real purikura are from photo booths, where you can doodle all over the photo, then print them out as stickers. We had a budget version of this; We used a polaroid camera, and sharpie pens. People could dress up, take photos then leave us messages.
I love this book of messages – it is such a fun way to remember our special day.
Group photo time
While everyone drank cocktails and ate cake, we took a few group photos. I have kept photos of my friends and family to a minimum in this post, but I can’t help sharing a few.
There was an old cart at one end of the barn, so we stood on top of it to give the wedding speeches. Marc and I are not particularly traditional, so we decided to give a speech together.
Dad gave a great speech that made me cry, while Marc’s brothers, Alex and Tomas were a fantastic comedy act!
After dinner (a hog roast) we had a cèilidh dance. It was a perfect way to get everyone up and dancing as the band has a caller who gives instructions for each dance.
So, that is how we finished our wedding day! I had so, sooo much fun dancing the night away!
This is my favourite piccy of the day. I managed to get Marc to jump with me.
There are always hiccups
We were meant to take a taxi to our hotel at midnight, but the driver never showed up, and all our friends and family were too drunk to drive us. We had to order a second taxi, so we didn’t leave until 2am. In the end, I didn’t mind as it gave us a chance to dance and enjoy the crazier part of the celebrations!
Anyway, I hope you like taking a peek at our wedding. Now we’ve been married for five years it’s fun to look back at how much fun we had!