“Where to start? James is honestly a wizard with a camera. He was a pleasure to deal with from the very beginning and we are so so thankful to have had him as part of our day on both a personal and professional level. From the initial phone call we had with him, we knew that he was the person we wanted to capture our wedding. He understood our vision for the day so well and was able to get on board with what we wanted. We loved our engagement shoot as it was a chance to get to know each other and see his (simply breathtaking) photography. On the big day itself, he was an absolute dream. He was always there to get “that shot” but never in an intrusive way. He was an absolute winner with all of our guests and fitted in as part of the party. Putting your trust in someone to capture your special day is huge and it completely paid off with James. The photographs really capture the day, the feeling, the vibe and us. The day is over in a flash (as everyone told us it would be), but by having such gorgeous photographs we can relive the day again and again. We could not recommend James highly enough-he is honestly just the best. His photography is breathtaking; his use of light to capture special moments is exquisite; his eye and timing capture the most fleeting of moments and his personality is truly heartwarming.5 stars isn’t enough for this one of a kind human…so here’s another one ⭐️”-Amy & Andrew
Amy and Andrew’s wedding day on the Tournerbury Woods Estate got off to a great start! Everything took place on the estate, so that’s where we began our day. The happy couple actually got ready in the same house on the grounds of the Tournerbury Woods Estate. It made for a great morning as it meant I could have ample time with them both- I loved every minute! These two are so relaxed and fun, it was a pleasure to be around them both and their families as they got ready for the biggest day of their lives.
Now that’s enough from me, let me handover to Amy & Andrew to tell you a bit more about their wedding.
Tell us about your engagement?
We had bought our first house the week before. It was snowing and we were going over to the house to do some more decorating, or so I thought! Andrew ran upstairs and told me to follow him in a minute. I was irritated as he trod snow up our new carpet staircase but when I got to the top of the stairs, he was down on one knee in our new master bedroom surrounded by dust sheets and step ladders. It took my breath away and definitely made the decorating more enjoyable!
Your Venue/s and Location
Tournerbury Woods Estate, Hayling Island
How did you find your venue/s and why did you choose it?
We knew we wanted to be outdoors, with trees and woodland, be able to camp ideally and also be wheelchair accessible. With nearly 200 people on our list, we were too large for many venues but this one ticked all our boxes, as well as offering the bonus of being by the seaside which is our happy place. It was the first and only venue we saw and it was a done deal!
Did you have a marquee/tipi/tent?
There is a permanent marquee on the site which was just perfect – we could make it exactly how we wanted.
What was the inspiration behind your ideas?
Fun and bright colours! We knew we weren’t going to be having a conventional wedding and we just wanted it to be fun, colourful and us. A rainbow, bright colours and the outdoors were the key inspiration to our wedding.
How would you best describe your wedding theme?
Colourful, quirky and fun.
Ceremony Details (e.g type of ceremony, décor details, music and readings)
Our ceremony was in a stretched tent to keep us all in the shade in the August sun. We hand made all of the decorations which made it really personal. We had colourful ribbons blowing in the wind on all edges which added great movement. We tied artificial flowers and ribbons to the chairs on the edges and had a huge rainbow ribbon curtain as the backdrop to the ceremony area. As I walked in with my parents, I loved how colourful it all was. My entry music was Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, we signed the register to Come What May from Moulin Rouge and Walking a Tightrope from The Greatest Showman. Our readings were I Choose You, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton. Our exit music was For Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder.
Reception Décor/Details/Props (how did you dress the venue and use the space? Did you have any DIY elements?)
The venue looks stunning as it is a manicured lawn, large trees and the sea in the background but we wanted it to be bright and colourful. We hung streamers and paper lanterns everywhere to tie all the different areas together. Straight after the ceremony and the confetti tunnel (which went on for ages!) we had a drinks reception by the sea with an ice cream van (Fat Sam’s www.fatsamsicecreams.co.uk). We bought everyone a mason jar with their name on it and then had cans of cider and beer for the drinks. This really fed into the festival feel and got everyone involved. Unlimited ice cream on a summer’s day was a godsend. In the marquee we made some homemade ribbon chandeliers using hula hoops and lots of ribbons. We definitely put the hot glue gun to work. We hired some gorgeous candelabras which were on each table with bright candles in them and glass vases filled with orbeez. One of my gorgeous friends did some fresh flower arrangements in glass vases as well to make it a bit more lively. It looked fun, colourful and very us which is what we wanted.
Bride’s Dress and why you chose it
I knew I wanted a shorter dress so I could run about, dance the night away and be free. I’m a curvier girl, so I needed it to be flattering and help me feel my best on the day. I went to Fairy Godmother in London (www.fairygothmother.co.uk) where she had some incredible dresses. The one I chose is by Loulou Bridal (Lillie-r Ivory Brocade Tea Dress) and was in the sale! I fell in love with it and it had pockets! When I swirled around it lifted up and that was just too fun to not have. I liked the elegance of the jacquard fabric whilst being short and fun. I had it altered to be even more colourful by Kerry at Very Me (www.veryme.co.uk), who put colourful buttons all down the back and a huge bow. It was just perfect.
I got married in a pair of cobalt blue Mary Janes, but as soon as the ceremony was over I was straight into a pair of purple Converse, to match my husband’s orange converse. The whole wedding party were in trainers – it was just more us.
I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, so my mum very kindly commissioned a local jeweller to craft a large opal pendant to wear on the day. I know opals are bad luck – but this didn’t stop us. I coupled this with some beautiful drop opal earrings which complimented the necklace perfectly.
Following on with the relaxed vibe of our wedding, Andrew wore a pair of chinos, a white linen shirt and a waistcoat from Debenhams. We just wanted it to be colourful and its orange silk back just fitted the bill perfectly.
My maids of honour’s dresses were an absolute bargain! We went to the Lanes in Brighton and found the perfect, colourful 1950s inspired dresses for £12 each! It was a very successful shopping day and fitted the theme and my dress perfectly.
I got the girls opal earrings to match mine and then a personalised locket necklace with their initials on. The girls shoes were ivory Mary Janes from the Rainbow club. We also bought the bridesmaids, gushers (girl ushers) and myself personalised insulated cups for the day to keep our cocktails chilled! Definitely recommend this purchase as we always knew whose drink was whose. We had a lot of flower girls who were all different ages. We said they could wear any white dress they wanted with colourful Converse. This allowed them to all look appropriate for their age and in their own style. They all carried a single faux flower with ribbons on to tie in with my flowers and the décor.
Where do we start with our photographer?! We knew from the moment we saw the work that we needed him to capture our day. James Richard (www.jamesrichardphotography.co.uk) was so fun, enthusiastic and keen to give us the exact vision we wanted. Having him at the wedding was a real pleasure as he just fitted in as one of the guests. He went down a storm with all our guests and this was even before anyone had seen his stunning photography. He listened so well to what we wanted and captured some really perfect shots. He managed to capture moments which we wouldn’t have seen otherwise, use light beautifully and really get a sense of what our wedding was about which was colour and fun. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough and will be using him for any of our future needs. We hope he can work his magic on family portraits in the future.
We didn’t do favours as such but everyone got to take their personalised mason jar home with them at the end. Having been to lots of weddings where little treats were left over at the end, we wanted our favours to be functional; so many of our friends and family have them in their houses still. And it cut down on the huge cost of hiring glassware.
What was your first dance and why?
We didn’t have a song that was particularly us that we needed to include but we knew we wanted it to be a fun one that would get lots of people onto the dance floor as well so we chose Frankie Valli Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. This had a lovely slow and sentimental start but then it invited lots of people onto the dancefloor for a big sing and dance in the chorus. It’s also lovely as whenever we hear it out and about it feels special to relive those memories; it catches you off guard when you don’t expect it. It was a lovely way to get all ages involved too as even my 90 year old grandma knew it!
What was your favourite moment of the day and why?
I loved walking in and seeing everyone and then seeing Andrew at the end of the aisle – wonderful but very overwhelming! We made sure to take a couple of moments out just for us when we could just observe everyone and the fun they were having which was awesome. It was lovely seeing all our hard work pay off as we had done all the setting up and decorating, not to mention all the personal touches. Seeing all our friends and family having a great time was just the best.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding day?
Do what makes you happy and don’t be swayed by others. We were very clear that all our decisions were ours and we made sure we were 100% happy with everything. The day goes so quickly so be aware of the start time of your ceremony – we moved ours forward an hour to have more fun! Also, just take time to enjoy it as it will be over so quickly. Make sure you eat – it’s so easy to get distracted but keeping up food and drinks (even the occasional softie) will help you keep going for longer. We put a lot of effort into the planning stages and it paid off as it was a very “us” wedding.
Prioritise what is important for you and use this as your starting point. We knew we wanted to be outside with nearly 200 people, including wheelchair users. This really focused our search as it was important for us to have everyone we loved there – other things came secondary. Remember the most important thing is that you’re marrying the person you love. That needs to be at the front of your mind as it’s easy to get swept away by the occasion. It’s a party to celebrate love – what else really matters?!
Anything else you would like to add? Wedding stories/planning details/budget? Feel free to write as much as you like!
We didn’t want the wedding to be over so soon so we organised for a Survivor’s Brunch the next day at the Northney Tea Rooms (www.northney.farm) This was to allow everyone to mingle some more, regale tales of the night before and fill up before driving home as the campers wouldn’t have had breakfast etc. We used some of the decorations from the day before to tie it together and keep with the “brand” of the wedding.
It also helps to be super planned! As a primary school teacher, I like things to be organised and everyone to know what they were doing. We printed off the wedding party a timetable with what needed to be done by who at what time. This left us free to enjoy the day, knowing that we had delegated everything. Also – we have awesome friends and family who wanted to do everything they could to make it the best day for us, which they did. It was very much a team effort but that made it all the more special and personal for us.
Have a vision. Use Pinterest to help you scaffold what you want and pay attention to the little things. It’s definitely the little things that mount up to create the whole vision.
We didn’t really have a budget as such, which we maybe should have. But if you are willing to put in the time and effort there are lots of things you can do yourself, especially if you have a glue gun and willing friends and family.
Amy had also planned ahead and got the flower girls preparing those final few details for the big day. They had put so much time into creating their festival vibe and it all came together perfectly. She rounded off the morning with personalised flask gifts for her bridesmaids- it’s all the little details like this that make up a day to remember!
A Tournerbury Woods Estate Wedding
The ceremony was held in a quaint cabin on the grounds of the Tournerbury Woods Estate, which was completely idyllic. With the registrar keeping us all chuckling throughout, it was then out into the confetti line with an explosion of colour.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your own colour packed wedding, look no further! Confetti was just the beginning, giving way to streamers, pom poms, lanyards, flowers- the marquee was picture perfect with all of it’s beautiful details. I really can’t think of a better way to spend time with your family and friends than how Amy and Andrew spent their wedding. Round a BBQ, ice cream in one hand, a drink in the other and games to keep you occupied well into the evening- perfection.
Just before the facepaint was brought out, I took Amy and Andrew for their couple portraits. I love these photos because they’re just a little bit different but 100% true to the bride and groom. The details on Amy’s dress were amazing, and they had the converses to match. And we managed to get photos by the sea and in the woods- some of my favourite places to be!
To round it all off, just take a look at the party they had planned for the evening. I defy anyone to say that it doesn’t look like a heck of a lot of fun! For another colour inspired wedding, check out Tom and Rosa’s wedding!
Supplier Shout Out:
Dress – Loulou Bridal
Hair and Make Up – Faye Carter
Face Painter – Funky Faces by Tina