Danielle and Benedict- Photography by Tupou

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

15/06/2015 at the Isle of Wight Festival. I saw Benedict; walked up to him and said ‘I like your beard’. We danced and I jumped on his shoulders, we knew then, this was it… We had a wedding to plan!

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…

Decorating the tables was MY BIGGEST AND MOST FAVOURITE PROJECT EVER and photos and my description will not do it justice! Fairytale, story telling tables. Like midsummer nights dream. I had a vision and I was determined to create it. I sourced rustic wood benches and tables and decided to place them in three long lines to give it the banquette effect.

I ordered 50 boxes of fresh, live moss and I covered the tables in moss. Notable cloth, just moss all over the tables. I decorated the tables with hundreds of gold ornaments and gold candle sticks which I had collected for this purpose. Some of the items belonged to me, some I made by hand and some I purchased for this décor purpose. I went to vintage markets and bought lots of gold items like trinket boxes, and displayed them across the tables.

Candlesticks were gothic and dark green. Wow. I bought 12 glass dome clotches, and created beautiful things to go inside. One had a vintage ink well, the other dried roses, the other, I had printed my wedding vows and made them into scrolls, vintage books wrapped in vintage lace, and whole eggs placed on moss in the other, and so on. I ordered our glasses from Duchess and Butler; very regal and dramatic with gold detail round the top. I also ordered our plates from D&B, vintage style lace plates, gorgeous. We had gold cutlery also from D&B. I picked 120 leaves, and wrote with gold pen each name and used them as name places. I weaved mini fairy lights on the tables, it looked magical. I added old family photos; anything old went onto the tables. It was the most magical thing I have ever created and I am so proud of my wedding tables, it was my main project.

To match the tables, I bought two chairs from a vintage fayre for £5 each, and we wrapped them with moss, twine and purple flowers to create fairy type chairs. These were used during the ceremony, and during dinner, like fairy thrones!

I always knew I wanted to get married outside. I love nature and being outdoors, no other style of wedding would have suited us. We knew from the offset we wanted a tipi at our outdoor wedding as we love that style and it suited us.

Fairy lights and festoon lighting was one of the most important styling points of our wedding, we took this very seriously. The lighting effect was key, to make it the magical atmosphere we wanted. We used Darren and Kim Parker from DPL Production Lighting LTD, who have accolades such as Glastonbury. They were the best people to work with and we are thankful that they are now our friends. We couldn’t have created the magical atmosphere without them! We thought DIY wedding would be easy, it was the biggest challenge as we did everything ourselves. It was one of the most challenging times planning this wedding. We even created the wedding itintery, which had a minute-by- minute order of the day; it was so precise, the timing of each song etc.

We literally turned into wedding planners. We didn’t hire any wedding décor companies to set the venue up, we decorated the entire wedding ourselves and sourced everything ourselves. But I wouldn’t change that at all, I loved that me and my fiancé worked as a team to create the most perfect wedding ever, together. Our invitations were a story book called ‘The story of Danielle and Benedict’, and we wrote about how we met, and then the wedding details were under Chapter 2- The Wedding, we continued this theme with the order of services.

While the guests were seated for our ceremony, we played ‘Sweet Disposition’. I walked down the aisle to ‘LAVA’, a Disney Pixar song. I had a hessian aisle, lined with festoon lighting. We had two firepits outside the tipis, with logs for guests to sit on. We provided marshmellows to roast in the evening. The songs we played during our ceremony were Ho Hey- Luminaires And L O V E by Nat King Cole- all of our guests sung along and it was a really special moment, it was at that moment I knew that we had pulled this wedding off! Confetti song- Paulo Nutini Pencil full of Lead

Our wedding speeches took place after dinner, as the sun was setting. The sky went an incredible shade of blue, and by the time is was Benedicts speech, it was pitch black, and the entire area was lit up by festoon lighting, it couldn’t have been more perfect. One of my best friends and bridesmaids Maria Ferguson is an award wining and nationally acclaimed writer and Performer, and she read out a poem she had written for our wedding day- it was dusk and the sun was just setting our our beautiful day, was really special. First dance- Tenderness by Otis Redding. Our guests stood in a circle holding sparklers. It was dark, and the festoon lighting above us really set the scene while we danced under the trees.

Teamwork between me and Benedict was the best part of our wedding day. Using our imagination and creating a magical, and beautiful wedding day. From a blank, natural canvas to a fairytale, bohemian dream.

Tell us about your main outfits:

We initially were going to have a festival wedding because we met at a festival, but this quickly changed. Then organically, the theme quickly changed as I kept referring to my dress being bohemian and fairy life, not festival like, and how I wanted us to be at one with nature on our wedding day, and embrace the natural setting and decorate the trees in a more beautiful way rather than a festival way. Then before we knew it, the theme had organically changed to our vision, which is true to our own personal style and taste.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

SO…being the Disney fanatic I am, whenever we discussed our wedding meal, I always hummed ‘Be our Guest’ from Beauty & The beast to myself. This turned into a bit of a joke day, and planned to play ‘Be Our Guest’ as our MC introduced us to the wedding reception. Our barman who was in charge of volume played Be our Guest louder than we had planned, but good job he did because we had every guest on their feet clapping, singing and dancing as we walked to our seats and as dinner was being served. The atmosphere was amazing, it was incredible, one of the most memorable and wonderful moments of our lives and we are so happy it happened.

Photography: Tupou Photography | Videographer: Jeff Wodd Visuals | Ceremony and Reception location: Flemings Farm, Leigh on Sea, Essex | Bride’s dress: Katya Katya | Bride’s shoes: New Look | Bride’s hair: Aimee Hair | Bride’s make-up: Leanne Gabriel | Bride’s fragrance: Santal Royal by Guerlain | Bride’s ring: Tiffany & Co. | Bridesmaids dresses: H&M | Groom’s trousers: Hackett | Groom’s jacket: Jack Wills | Groom’s tie: ASOS | Groom’s shoes: Russell and Bromley | Groomsman’s suit: ASOS |Groom’s cufflinks: All Things Brighton Beautiful | Floral: Bunched Flower | Entertainment singer: Cameron Fellows and The Confidentials. | Styling: The Bride | Hire: The Duchess and Butler | Lighting: DPL Lighting | Marquee: Tipi hired from The Magical Tipi Company | Food/beverages/catering: James Buckley, and Benedict- The Eastbourne Cocktail Club | Cake: Made by the Groom | Transport: Grey VW Van |