a real wedding ‘by alex’
At notonthehighstreet.com we love a good wedding, especially if we’re sharing one of the beautiful weddings of our sellers. Alex, from ‘by alex’, and Andy tied the knot over the May Bank Holiday, turning their special day into a weekend full of personal, handmade touches and family fun. We don’t want to hold you for too long from admiring this wedding, so trust us when we say this is a great one! Over to Alex…
How did Andy pop the question?
I am a textile designer and the run up to Christmas is my busiest time of year. On the last postal day before Christmas I came down with my first dose of the flu – ever! Not great! I spent most of the Christmas period feeling really poorly and positioned on the sofa all wrapped up.
On Christmas Eve, Andy forced me to go outside for a walk and get some fresh air. There had been a lot of snowfall so I layered up in wellies, massive knitwear, socks and coat to brave the cold.
Where we lived at the time in the Northamptonshire countryside, there were a lot of walks on our doorstep, so off we went on a normal route in the snow. It was lovely and the fresh snowfall was really pretty. We then arrived at a massive tree that we always walk past and Andy mentioned about wanting a photo of us there in the snow. Not feeling or looking my best I was very reluctant. Then as we got to the tree setting up the photo, Andy got down on one knee and told me he had an ulterior motive for bringing me out. He then popped the question! It came as a complete surprise. My initial reaction was ‘I look horrible, I can’t believe you are asking me when I look like this, full of flu and in my wellies!’ I then of course said yes!
It was such a lovely place to get engaged and is a beautiful spot that means a lot to us, so actually, it was the perfect time in the perfect spot, made all the more beautiful with the snow, regardless of the wellies! What an amazing Christmas present.
Where did you get married?
Neither I nor Andy are religious so we really wanted a wedding that reflected us and didn’t just follow the traditional route of a church wedding. We were quite ‘budget aware’ and getting married in a hotel or licenced venue was also proving to be an expensive option, what with venue fees and ‘wedding packages’. So with all these factors in mind we both needed to think outside of the box.
Both of us wanted a small, intimate wedding and something that we could hold over a weekend and make a real celebration of. After looking at various wedding venues we decided to look at holiday homes. We wanted something that we could hire and have all to ourselves, but was big enough to have about 50 guests for the day.
We found a beautiful farm house in the Cotswolds that well and truly ticked every box. It had seven bedrooms, so we could accommodate our family, beautiful gardens and a perfect barn in the garden that would be ideal for our reception. Our venue was found!
As our venue was not a ‘typical’ wedding venue, it wasn’t licensed for weddings, so we decided to look into a Humanist ceremony and found the amazing Zena Birch who is a Humanist celebrant. We were able to make the ceremony completely personal to us as well as get married outside in the grounds of the property.
How did you decorate the venue?
We hired the wedding house for three days: the Friday, Saturday and Sunday over the May Day bank holiday. With the house not being a wedding venue we had to start from scratch, turning it into what we had imagined.
The Friday was spent transforming the barn, from a spider-webbed games area into our reception that would comfortably sit 55 people. The walls were brushed down, calico curtains were made to fit the doorway, festoon lighting and heaters were set up, miles of bunting were hung from the beams in the room, paper bunting and stag and hen-do photo bunting was made and the tables and chairs were positioned and laid out with all my handmade bits and bobs. I also prepared all the flowers and made an alternative altar for the ceremony. A fairly tiring day!
On the Saturday of the wedding, being the bride, I took it a little easy and let my groom and the family finish off the preparations! The weather had been terrible for the whole of April and the beginning of May, so the ceremony area in the garden could not be set up until the morning as the threat of rain was always close by. The boys set up the altar, the chairs and the flowers and did a fantastic job! Andy proposed to me under a tree so it made perfect sense to get married under a big tree in the garden.
What did you wear?
My dress was by Claire Pettibone. I enjoyed the process of looking for my dress. However, I did find it a little stressful. The problem was I knew what I didn’t want – I just didn’t know what I did want! Nightmare! The only thing I did know I wanted was something lace.
The Queen Anne by Claire Pettibone had the lace I was looking for and was a simple, bohemian styled dress perfect for our venue and garden wedding. That was until about three weeks before the wedding when it started to rain and didn’t stop! Total stress! I have never checked the weather forecast so much in my life as I did in the run up to the wedding.
Three days before the wedding and in serious meltdown about the arctic spring we were having, I found a true gem of a shop called Vintage Mishka. The amazing owner had a mink fur stole that she lent to me for the wedding. The colour was perfect with my dress and being fur, it kept me warm! A true wardrobe saviour at the eleventh hour!
Were there any key styling items?
Being a textile designer and having my own business designing and making gifts, I couldn’t not make the decorations for my wedding. I loved making so many elements of our day. To sit back at the wedding and look at everything that I had made was a real sense of achievement.
I made the bunting and family who stayed over in the house gave some of the bunting a new home after the wedding weekend so it will be used again for further celebrations!
I then made my own bouquet, bridesmaid posies and buttonholes from various fabrics in various pastel colours. They turned out really well and unlike flowers that die after a while, my bouquet has taken pride of place in my house and is still as fresh today as it was on my wedding day! My bridal bouquet consisted of 12 flowers in various pastel shades and patterns of cotton fabrics. I also hung one of my bouquet tokens from the bouquet which was personalised with our wedding date.
I made the buttonholes to match the bouquets with mini versions of the flowers attached to a badge pin. My gorgeous groom, his best man, ushers and the guys from the bridal party all had a buttonhole in different colours. I have since found out that all of them have kept their buttonhole, which is really lovely as you don’t expect the boys to bother with things like that! Thanks boys!
And on that note we’d like to say a massive thank you to Alex and Andy for sharing their beautiful wedding story with us. We just love ‘by alex’s collection of fabric styling items and if you’re as envious of their wedding decorations as we are, you can get your very own here.