Getting married was a labour of love for this creative bride and groom – Lydia and Jamie made almost everything from scratch. A fab example of a DIY wedding that you can all steal some ideas from!
How they met
Lydia and Jamie got to know each other at the primary school where they both worked as teachers. “We soon became great friends, but it wasn’t until later that we became a couple, and the subject of school gossip!” says Lydia. “Jamie made me laugh, shared my love of travelling and came to know me better than I know myself. I feel so lucky that he walked into my life.”
While spending the Summer of 2009 volunteering in a school for children with special needs in Sri Lanka, Lydia and Jamie made the most of the opportunity to explore the country, but were unable to cross one item off their wish list – seeing wild leopards in a National Park. “Two years later, we returned to visit the school, and Jamie had organised a surprise trip to the Yala National Park,” Lydia recalls. “At the end of the day, we were taken to a secluded, lantern-lit camp, and there, Jamie got down on one knee by the stream.”
The bride’s outfit
Lydia lost her heart to Anoushka G’s ‘Loucia’ gown on her very first day of dress shopping. “It was on the mannequin when we walked into the boutique, and it made both me and my sister gasp,” Lydia explains. “I fell in love with the exquisite beading and 1920s-inspired shoulders and sleeves. I stepped out of the changing room feeling amazing.” Lydia let her gown speak for itself, adding some simple beaded hairpins and a veil with subtle detail.
The groom’s outfit
Lydia lent a hand in Jamie’s hunt for the perfect suit, and together, they chose a modern slim-fit suit from Next in a dark charcoal colour, worn with brown leather shoes and belt, and a coral tie.
Lydia was attended by four adult bridesmaids and two flower girls. She chose their coral dresses with an unusual crocheted neckline in a local shopping mall during the year the couple spent living in Australia after their engagement. Creative bride Lydia also handmade the bridesmaids’ hair accessories using feathers and fabric flowers in a contrasting spearmint green.
The couple tied the knot in a garden ceremony at the Coach House at Marks Hall Estate. “My mum walked me down the aisle, as my dad passed away when I was a little girl, and it felt right to have her at my side at such a significant moment,” Lydia says. Jamie managed to take his bride’s breath away by arranging a surprise during the ceremony. “The school choir emerged from their hiding place and performed Gary Barlow’s Sing,” Lydia explains. “It was a magical moment and reduced many of our guests to tears.”
The beautiful flower displays were a labour of love for Lydia and her florist, Floral Couture. “Jamie and I always have lots of hobbies on the go, so we thought those would be a fun focus for the table centres,” Lydia explains. “It was really exciting to scout through vintage sales for inspiration.” The end result was 10 different centrepieces, each consisting of flowers arranged around props from a Singer sewing machine and an old vintage camera, to a pair of vintage football boots. The handmade theme also featured in the bouquets, which were made up of coral roses, soft silver leaves and details such as lace, ribbon and buttons.
Following their outdoor ceremony, the couple’s reception was held in the rustic Coach House. “I was keen to make as many elements of our day as possible, and really enjoyed setting everything up myself and then going to bed knowing that everything was how I had envisaged it,” Lydia explains.
Craft-loving Lydia went to town making all the details for the couple’s handmade wedding. “I spent hours painting, cutting, stitching, sticking, folding and even crying, but it was worth it to see everything come together on the day,” she says. The details included tissue pom poms, homemade bunting and lightbulb fairy lights, along with a photo gallery of everyone who had helped in the wedding planning process.
Lydia made the wedding stationery using hand-painted white flowers, stitched onto card and embellished with beads.
With their budget over-stretched, Lydia and Jamie had the bright idea of inviting their guests to compete in a wedding bake-off instead of having a traditional cake. “With the help of our amazing friends and family, we ended up with everything from cake pops to ice cream-style sponges,” Lydia says.
Lydia’s mum made over 500 of her legendary shortbread buttons, which were sewn together with ribbon and wrapped in cellophane.
The first dance
Lydia and Jamie chose You and Me Song by The Wannadies for their first dance. “We didn’t want a slow, formal first dance – we wanted to have an upbeat song that we could jump around to,” Lydia explains.
Acoustic guitarist Lianne Kaye played during the ceremony and reception drinks, while local DJ Pete May entertained in the evening. “We also had a large blue campervan tent, which we filled with fun props and turned into a photobooth,” Lydia adds.
The newlyweds took a three-week USA road trip from LA to San Diego.