Megan Gilbride in Andrea Hawkes: A Tipi Garden Wedding With Twelve Bridesmaids, Street Food & Corgi Flower Dogs

Jamie and Megan Gilbride, a popular digital content creator and health coach, tied the knot on 9th July this year, with a gloriously sunny, summer garden wedding, hosted within the beautiful private grounds of a friend’s home.

After having to cancel their original, more extravagant/expensive plans due to the pandemic, the couple opted for a  much more laid back vision with a loose festival vibe. They were keen to hire local suppliers whilst avoiding formal structure and tradition, incorporating more modern wedding day elements like street food vans, which served their guests delicious food all day long.

The bride had twelve bridesmaids and chose to wear the most sublime, sustainable silk wedding dress by London based designer, Andrea Hawkes. Photographs were taken by the wonderfully talented artist, Rosie Hardy. Enjoy!

Shoes, Veil & Accessories

I wore tbe Andrea Hawkes Meaghan Veil – a long, 90” length single tier, with floral lace applique. It felt like a Grecian dream on the day. My shoes were by Loeffler Randall and I wore a dried flower headband by Pretty Wild Bespoke.

I carried a Shrimps bag and wore a pair of earrings from Alighieri. My earrings are not currently available to buy, but I chose them because I felt they really complimented the simplistic design of my dress. Mixing gold and silver is my favourite and I loved the rougher, earthy textures of them against the softness of my dress.

My engagement ring was by my favourite jewellery designer, Alex Monroe. Jamie picked my engagement ring himself from Alex’s ‘One of a kind’ range. My band was a bespoke twist on their birch band diamond ring and Jamie’s chose their fossil band.

My wedding day scent was a combination of Sandalwood, Amber and Cardamom  – my everyday perfume. I wanted to feel myself.

Dress by Andrea Hawkes

It was a dream come true working with Andrea Hawkes and the team. It’s quite a challenge designing your own dress from scratch with no prior experience – and I felt very supported throughout the process. Nothing was too much and whilst they were clear and concise with their way of working, it felt more like I was designing my dress with my friends. I feel very grateful to have had such a special experience and would recommend Andrea a million times over.

I have never really been the girl who dreams of her wedding day – but I do have a very confident relationship with my wardrobe. So when it came to choosing a wedding dress, although I hadn’t spent my childhood dreaming what my dress would look like, I had a very clear vision in my mind for what I’d love and feel comfortable in.

I had some lovely experiences trying on dresses with multiple designers, but I never got that ‘feeling’ and I think that was ultimately because what I wanted didn’t exist. When Andrea approached me about designing a dress together, the ‘a ha’ moment came – it felt like it was always meant to go this way.

I loved absolutely everything about my dress. But mostly it was that it was the most me thing I’d ever worn. I felt 100% comfortable, and didn’t need to give the dress a second thought the whole day, it worked with my body and that was our goal!

A Garden Wedding Ceremony

We had little to no styling at our reception– the garden really spoke for itself. The only thing we added was some candles to line the aisle

I walked down the aisle to the Frank Ocean cover of ‘Moonriver’.

My best friend and maid of honour Charly wrote us a personalised ceremony, which was one of the most special moments of the day. We were legally married a few days before at a local registry office, giving us free reign for the actual wedding day. It made such a difference having someone who knows us both so well officiating – I couldn’t recommend going this way more.

Both Jamie and I wrote our own vows, and kept them as a surprise for the day. The only thing we liaised on was the word count, and by some stroke of luck we’d married up almost perfectly. We both took a very different stance in our approach. Jamie wrote his as a story, which read almost like a poem that linked back to our initial meeting – and I wrote about our journey of love and what he means to me. Both were accurate depictions of how we express our love for one another on a daily basis and certainly proved that there is no right or wrong way to write your vows – whatever is in your heart is absolutely the way to go.

We had two readings, the first by my bridesmaid Judith. Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poets and ‘Coming Home’ felt a beautiful way to demonstrate how we see our love. Our second reading was less of a reading and more of a performance! One of our favourite songs is Beyonce Love on Top. So we had one of Jamie’s friends start off with reading the lyrics to the first verse, before bursting into song. Much to the surprise of our guests, it was hilarious!

Find more beautiful wedding readings here.

Photography by Rosie Hardy

Rosie Hardy is an absolute angel. I knew Rosie personally before our wedding through a mutual friend and when it came to picking a photographer it just felt a natural fit to have someone I knew and trusted capturing the day.

Rosie is incredibly talented, kind and effortless in her ability to capture special moments in time. She truly felt like a guest and every single photo oozes the joy and beautiful atmosphere from the day. I couldn’t recommend her enough.

Twelve Bridesmaids

I had twelve bridesmaids (!) and knowing my women so well, it didn’t feel right to pick their outfit for them. They’re all individuals with their own sense of style.

So I pulled together an inspiration board on Pinterest with a loose theme and colour scheme and asked everyone to pick their own outfits that they would feel comfortable in. They absolutely smashed it.

Our flower girls were our two Corgis!

They Met on Tinder

Jamie and I met on Tinder! I had been in a long term relationship in my late teens / early twenties and missed the start of online dating becoming the new way to meet people. I didn’t really feel comfortable with the premise of swiping on people’s profiles to determine whether they were a good fit for me, the whole thing made me feel a bit icky.

But at a girls night in, one of my best friends twisted my arm to set up a profile. ‘Even if it was just for the night!’ she said. I matched with Jamie that night, and deleted the app the next day, the rest is history as they say.

Jamie proposed during the first lockdown. He hadn’t planned to – but my Nan had recently been given a terminal diagnosis and Jamie knew how important she was to me. That if there was anyone I wanted to know I’d be getting married, it was her.

So he decided to go for it. It was incredibly special to be able to share that news and time with my Nan, and I’m so grateful Jamie gifted us that experience. We were due to be in Paris, the place we would always visit on our anniversary – but due to restrictions we were very much at home instead.

Jamie left a note on my pillow that morning, saying the Eurostar would be leaving for Paris shortly and that I should get ready and meet him downstairs. I opened the kitchen door to find our dining room dressed as Angelina’s, our favourite Parisian spot for breakfast. With a projector on the wall of photos from our previous trips to Paris. It was the loveliest, most intimate proposal – and although we couldn’t share it with people in person, it was the perfect time and place. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

We were engaged for just over 2 years before the wedding.

 

The Reception

We didn’t have a sit down meal – our two street food vans were open and serving as soon as the ceremony finished, so our guests could visit as many times as they liked throughout the evening. We hired Santina’s wood Fired Pizza and Two Old Goats, who provide homemade nutritious ‘GOAT’ bowls – made up of three salads with a choice of Halloumi, Prawn or Sweet Potato falafel skewers and dips.

Our vintage bar was provided by The Windsor Boys and we had Peanut Butter Bourbon Brownie’s and Miso Flapjacks made by
Bake off winner and baker, Frances Quinn. Fran is one of my dear friends and it was a no brainer to have the best baker in the world (un-biased opinion) create our wedding bake! We wanted the ‘cake’ to double up as dessert, so decided against a traditional tiered cake and instead went for the flapjack and brownie bake tower, personal favourites of Jamie and I!

We didn’t supply favours as such, but we did supply a polaroid camera for our guests to take photos as a keepsake from the day.

Evening & Dancing

Our first dance was Love Cats by The Cure – one of our favourite bands and songs.

Neither Jamie or I felt comfortable with anything too traditionally romantic, and we didn’t really want to dance on our own either – so we chose our favourite song that meant our guests could get on the dancefloor and start the party immediately. Since the wedding, we’ve both had lyrics from the song tattooed.

Words of Wedded Wisdom

When we got engaged, with it being the height of the pandemic, we had a lot of time to focus on the wedding, and went full steam ahead with wedding planning. We booked a pretty big wedding, and the costs were mounting up. With the pandemic, we really felt the financial strain and ultimately had to make the difficult decision to cancel the day. It also gave us the realisation that actually spending that kind of money wasn’t something we wanted to do. We just wanted to have a special day with the people we loved, and that could look like a whole host of things.

in the lead up to our day, I had so many people give me beautiful advice that most certainly went in one ear and out the other. I was so overwhelmed with everything that it felt people could tell me anything and I just wouldn’t believe them. But the one thing that is an absolute certain for me is – please, just do it all for you and your partner.

No-one will care as much or be as invested as you are in any element of the day. Of course people will love to be there to support you on such a special day, but the things you are worrying about?

Chances are you’re probably the only one worrying about them. Give yourself a break, take a step back and really try to picture what the best day looks like for both of you. If you go with that, you can’t go wrong.

I wish I’d have worried less! It’s in my nature to panic about pretty much everything – but we had planned everything as well as we could have and I spent a lot of time in the lead up to the day incredibly anxious. If there was any way I could’ve trusted myself it would all be fine, I’d definitely have a the process more.

Our budget was £11,000 and we spent just under £12k.

andreahawkes.co.uk

Credits & Thanks

Annabel

Annabel View all Annabel's articles

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.

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