There was festival fun aplenty at Jess and Harry’s tipi wedding featuring toasted marshmallows and a pie and mash reception…
How they met
Harry and Jess went to school together, although Harry claims that his future bride had slipped under his radar until later years! “We hooked up just before I went travelling, and being so far away made me love him even more – I knew I would marry him one day,” says romantic Jess. “My best memory of our time together was when I surprised him by returning from my travels without telling him of my plans.”
Harry proposed to Jess on their first Christmas morning in their own home. “I had bought Harry a huge sack full of really thoughtful presents, so was slightly disgruntled by his boring gifts to me, which included socks, slippers and filofax dividers!” laughs Jess. “But then he said he had one more present for me, and pulled the ring out of his dressing gown pocket. I was so shocked!”
The bride’s outfit
Reluctant shopper Jess found searching for her wedding dress to be an awkward experience. “It made me feel really uncomfortable, so my mum suggested we went to see her friend Jenny, who can do anything with textiles, and within about 30 seconds she’d sketched my perfect dress,” Jess explains. The bespoke gown by Jenny Harrison Designs featured a duchess satin bodice with a French lace overlay, scalloped edging, a dupion silk and organza skirt and a dramatic bow at the back. “Having my dress made for me meant I got to be closely involved in the whole process – I loved everything about it,” Jess adds.
The groom’s outfit
Harry hired traditional tails from Moss Bros, adding a dove grey waistcoat and coral tie. “He looked amazing – classic, handsome and very relieved to see me!” Jess smiles.
Jess was surrounded by an entourage of six bridesmaids and two flowergirls. The adult bridesmaids were dressed in striking one-shoulder coral maxi dresses from New Look. “They are all different sizes and colourings, but the dress looked amazing on all of them,” Jess says. The younger maids and flowergirls wore ivory dresses from Debenhams, accessorised with coral sashes.
Jess and Harry were married in the village church. The ceremony featured readings from Colossians 3 and a passage taken from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. “We also asked my 12-year-old cousin to write something for us – she wrote a beautiful story about Harry and I, ending with a poem. It was a real tear-jerker!” Jess adds.
Jess’ sister-in-law Kim was in charge of the bouquets, buttonholes, headdresses and table flowers, working to Jess and Harry’s rustic countryside brief. “She used a mixture of white hydrangeas, asparagus leaf and gypsophila, which fitted our theme beautifully – I loved them so much,” says Jess.
The celebrations were held in a tipi in the grounds of the bride’s family home in Somerset. The guests tucked into pie and mash followed by a trio of desserts. “The entertainment was Harry’s bag,” Jess explains. “We had an acoustic duo playing during the reception, then the Hope Street Busking Band later on – they were amazing! We also had a fire pit for toasting marshmallows, and a Jägermeister ice luge.”
“As we held our reception at home, it was all very relaxed, and felt like a festival wedding,” Jess says. “We used a lot of decorations that were already hanging around at home, such as a vintage police bicycle from my dad’s shed, and an old gate that we turned into our table plan. My dad has a huge collection of vintage glass bottles in different colours, shapes and sizes, and we used these as our table centres, standing on carved slices of tree trunk.”
Instead of a traditional sweet cake, the newlyweds decided on a five-tier cheese cake topped with a Godminster heart, which was served with crackers and fresh bread for the evening buffet.
Jess and Harry enjoyed the sunshine on their minimoon in Majorca, and are planning a trip to Canada next year.
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