Monday, 3 November 2014

Our Handmade Reception

We wanted a venue that would allow us to do what we wanted.  I knew that I wanted to do as much of the decoration as I could myself, so by hiring a hall it ticked all the boxes.  Don't get me wrong, there were times I had my doubts.  A few tears were shed as I contemplated where we would be going with it all, but I'm so pleased that we stuck with it because I loved how it turned out.  All of the hours of hard work put in to get it how we wanted it paid off.  The emails backwards and forwards sorting out the table and chair hire, the crockery, cutlery and linen plus all the handmade elements were all worth it for this.

I had scoured Pinterest for hours and hours, sourcing ideas and inspiration.  That proved to be my biggest help in all of the planning.  You can check out my Pinterest wedding board here.

I had sewn up metres and metres of bunting which was used to decorate shelves, railings and even some mini bunting to decorate the picnic basket we used for our cards.

Marie is very artistic so I used her skills quite a bit to make up various signs for us.  I really liked the Instagram sign she did for us, but I think my favourite had to be the one at the main entrance, which I just loved.

There was also the table plan that she wrote out for us.  My Dad is a window fitter so when I spotted this idea I just knew that it is what we would be having.  It didn't take long for him to source these.  I was so chuffed with them.  With James being a brewer we wanted beer to be a running theme throughout the day, so our table names were pub names, and were displayed on tags hung from beer bottles.

On the subject of the beer theme, we had some of our flowers in beer bottles and also bought some hop garlands that we hung from the ceiling and above the bar, as well as laid across the top table.

As the ceremony was quite late in the day and with the hall not having amazing kitchen facilities we decided to opt for afternoon tea as our wedding breakfast.  Now I know what you are thinking, afternoon tea is very unlike me ha-ha.  I love a bit of tea and cake.  With James' jam making expertise it only seemed right that he made all the jam.  We picked the fruit together with some help from our niece, he made the jam and I decorated the jars.  Team work at it's finest.

I was really happy with our centrepieces.  We both love the outdoors and that rustic country feel.  I knew I wanted this to be represented in the flowers and our centrepieces, our florist got that from the first time I met with her to discuss my ideas.  What was even better was that she already had the logs that I had wanted (result).  I started collecting various jars and over a couple of evenings with Marie decorated them with hessian, lace, ribbon and my trusty glue gun.  It pulled everything else we had used on the day together and worked really well with that rustic feel.  I couldn't have been happier with how it all turned out on the day, it all looked stunning.  We worked together setting out the tables that morning, it felt amazing seeing all of my ideas and all the hard work coming together, even if I was feeling sick from nerves.

What I was even more impressed with, was the cake.  One of the guys I work with makes cakes so I had known it was him that I would be asking to make ours.  I gave him a small piece of the ribbon I had used on the jars (and our invites) and also a piece of the bridesmaid dress, so that he would have an idea of colours for the flowers he was going to be making for the topper.  The colour match was spot on, and the flowers were mistaken for real ones.  I loved the lace detailing, all edible and the whole thing tasted delicious.  I guess it's true when they say it isn't what you know but who.  The cake was also displayed on one of the tree trunks, again pulling everything in together and instead of a table we used an old barrel, keeping it in with the theme.  And of course I had to use some bunting to decorate.

I managed to pull in everything we had wanted, bunting, pom poms, flowers, a piece of the country and James' love of beer.  Even my sewing machine made an appearance.  I'd happily do it all over again.  I loved our wedding day so much.  It felt so personal to me and James, which is exactly what we had wanted.  If I could do it all again, I don't think there is a thing that I would change, that can't be bad hey.

~ Gem x   


  1. I love all the personal touches it looks perfect.

    Victoria x

  2. It looks so perfect Gem! I love how everything had a meaning in one way or another. The cake looks amazing, your friend did a great job!

    Gemma x

  3. P.s - The sign Marie made is fantastic! How on earth did she do it? Was it by hand?


  4. I am loving all your pictures and the way you made it all so personal and meaningful. Sometimes weddings seem to be taken out of the hands of the participants and I am glad to see people going back to what is best for themselves. All your close family and friends will have known the meanings behind everything too. Thanks for posting.

    1. Thank you Jen, such lovely and kind words.
      It is true about being taken out of your hands. So many venues that we looked at restricted you to use certain suppliers and there was so much red tape around things. That was why we ended up opting for a village hall, because not only did it mean we could do it on a budget, but we could do things how we wanted using the suppliers that we wanted to use. It isn't for everyone I know but it worked really well for us and I wouldn't have changed a thing x x x

  5. Oh wow, that was amazing feat of crafting ingenuity! I truly love it!!! How beautiful!!!!

    1. Thank you Kezzie. All of the hours of planning and crafting were worth it. I loved every second of the planning, putting it together was somewhat stressful but even that was worth it in the end :) x x x

  6. I have just caught up with all your blogs. I absolutely loved your wedding dress, you looked beautiful and you look like you have had the most amazing day!!! What stunning taste you have. I am so glad it all went well my lovely. Xxx x