Marketing Manager Abbie married Accountant Josh on Saturday 21st May at Dovecote Barn in Oxfordshire.
This lovely couple’s wedding was full of rustic charm; whilst the venue provided a honeymoon yurt, they hired in mini-yurts for their guests to stay in, so to create a festival atmosphere. There were lovely detail and decor touches dotted throughout the day. We love that Abbie discovered her three wedding readings through these very pages too – have you explored our wedding readings section yet?
Images by the very lovely team over at The Kensington Photographer.
Venue & Vibe
Wanted to get married in Oxfordshire as Oxford is my hometown. Dovecote Barn was the dream venue as it had everything we wanted for a festival themed wedding, it was so beautiful had both a barn and an amazing tipi so the day felt it wasn’t all in one location.
The tipi was owned by the venue as well as the honeymoon yurt. We did hire mini yurts however for some of the guests to stay over in, via Posh Bells.
Josh wore a Moss Bros three-piece suit with Dune loafers, and all the groomsmen wore the same suit in a two-piece version.
I got my Pronovias dress from Rachel Ash Bridal in Atherstone. They were lovely and not pushy, let me take my time and photos, were very set in getting the dress perfect. I would definitely recommend.
They had a beautiful range of dresses and lots of Pronovias choices.
I had always loved Pronovias dresses and went to different stockists across the west Midlands. I did try a range of dress brands and styles but went back to the kind of original style I wanted, a fitted, strappy one.
I loved the lace on my dress, it was so unique and very ‘me’. I loved the low back and the train and the fact it was forgiving on the areas I don’t like.
My Dad walked me down the aisle and it was such a proud moment. We walked down the aisle to a piano version of Stand By Me – Ben E King.
We didn’t tailor our vows, we just chose ones from the options that reflected us best. We didn’t think we would hold it together reading our own vows!
We hired The Kensington Photographer. We just loved the style of the photography, the photos were beautiful, they , they were very friendly. The photos and videos are amazing and we couldn’t be happier.
We would 100% recommend (in fact we have an our friends are using them for videography for their wedding next year).
How They Met
We met in September 2014 on our first day of university at Nottingham Trent at when Josh was 18 and I was 19. We were flat mates and have lived and been together ever since.
We graduated in 2018, bought a house together and Josh proposed on new year’s eve 2019 in Disneyland Paris in front of the castle. So we were engaged for just under 2 and a half years before the wedding.
We’ve been big festival goers and love music and gigs, and have been to a tonne of festivals across the UK and Europe. We also have a very relaxed/boho style in how our house is decorated and in the way we dress so the boho rustic theme was what we wanted. We’re not actively religious so a church wedding wasn’t really what we were looking for. We had lots of different colours but wanted pink for the dresses, ties and flowers because it’s just a nice colour!
Covid didn’t impact our wedding planning as we were always planning a 2022 wedding, and there was no real procedures required at the time of our wedding. Although we didn’t have to wait, if you have had to postpone, it will be worth the wait. Your wedding will be the best day of your life and if you have had to wait it just means you’ve gotten to enjoy the build up a little longer as it goes so quickly.
Our flowers were from an Etsy shop called HBotanicsWeddings for all bridesmaids and bridal flowers. Wanted dried flowers as they had the boho feel and are so beautiful.
Table flowers were also from Etsy, a shop called StudioBotanicalsArt, blended with white pampas stems from OfficialWildFlower on Etsy. Also dried flowers and beautiful.
We provided mini bottles of Jack Daniels/Gin/Captain Morgan etc, jars of sweets (mini jam jars from hobbycraft and sweets from Amazon), ‘festival’ wristbands that said “Abbie & Josh – The Big Day – 21.05.22” to go with the festival theme from Etsy, flower crowns (amazon).
I work in marketing so I designed the menus, table plan, order of the day and other signs myself.
My favourite thing was a ladder shelf that we put foliage and lights on and photos of family and friends who had passed away, with a lovely sign from Etsy that said “We know that you’d be here today if heaven wasn’t so far away.”
Initially we were hoping around the £20-25k mark and it quickly spiralled and so we ended up spending just over £35k. We stopped being so precise with budget after a while and just went for what we wanted. We took the approach that we wanted the perfect wedding and that money always works out in the end, and it did.
We were grateful to have some support financially from parents, had save some ourselves, and the rest is exactly what credit cards are for haha.
Evening & Dancing
Signature Moments provided an excellent DJ with a lovely rustic set up. We would 100% recommend them. We had a rustic set up magic mirror photobooth, giant Jenga and candy cart from Sweet Brothers Events.
Our first dance was to ‘You’re All I Need to Get By’, by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel. We love this era of music and there was a theme for the music throughout the day, lots of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder etc. But also the song is so beautiful.
The evening reception was just amazing. The music was so good and the dance floor was so full, all the people we love dancing together and having so much fun was the best experience ever and wish we could bottle that feeling up so we could open it whenever.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
It’s your day and you can’t/don’t need to please everyone. Plan the day you and your partner want. Don’t worry what other’s think, choose the décor/theme/venue that you love and the day will be perfect.
You don’t need to lose weight for your wedding. If you want to and can do it healthily, go for it. But crash wedding diets aren’t healthy or necessary.
Plan everything well ahead of time. I’m so grateful for past me for being organised ahead of schedule as it meant I never had that major last-minute stress a month before the wedding, it was just so exciting. It’s so important to try and enjoy the planning and the run up because it’s over in a flash. Obviously, somethings can’t be planned too early, but whatever you can do earlier just go for it. You can also take time aka you don’t need to get married a year after your engagement. You will just stress yourself out.
Choose the things you actually want. For example, we initially bought faux flowers for the centre pieces to save a bit of money. They were nice however we ended up replacing them with real dried flowers as I panicked about them looking fake (even though no one realistically would have cared!). We still used the faux flowers for around the venue so didn’t waste them, but wish we would have just gone with the dried ones initially.
Etsy is the best thing in the world. We got so many beautiful bespoke things from there, such as our guest book, ring boxes, some wooden signs, favours, dried flowers. Honestly, I love Etsy so much and it’s also supporting small businesses.
Enjoy the day and try to remember it all and absolutely, and 100% get the videographer!
Annabel is the founder of Love My Dress. She has a passion for photography, walking, yoga, nature, and loves to support talented artists and creative businesses. In 2013, she became a published author. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters Eska and Leanora and menagerie of furry hounds. Annabel supports Philip in the running of the family flower farm at at Moonwind Flowers. She is also co-founder of What About Weddings.