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A DIY Wedding With Village Fair Feel

There’s so much about today’s wedding that embodies the ethos of Boho Bride. A couple who’ve been together for forever (13 years to be precise) who want their day to be a celebration not only of their love but the love and support they’ve received over the years from their family and friends…the rest, was simply an extension of the day, directly inspired by their tastes and surroundings, what could be more perfect?

matt and jen boho wedding

Jen and Matt’s wedding took place in Pembrokeshire on the last bank holiday in August, a relaxed affair created in collaboration with their nearest in dearest their personalities shine through every aspect of this beautiful day with incredibly personal touches carried right through to the rose Jen carried in her bouquet. Here’s what Bride Jen had to say about the day…

“Matt and I had been together for a long time before getting engaged and we knew straight away that we wanted a very relaxed wedding, full of fun and laughter. Neither of us is very into formal events and we decided very early on that we just wanted a day that celebrated our love for one another with people who in one way or another were part of the journey we have already made together and also in the one ahead of us. As the venue was small it required us to be very strict with who to invite; for some a wedding of only 50 guests would be a bit small but it was perfect, it gave us a chance to speak with everyone who was there and for them to actually be a big part of the big day.

When we found the barn we knew it was the place for us and we knew we wanted to not only get married there but also have our party there. When thinking about the type of day we wanted we decided on an informal, village fair/party as the overall ‘feel’ of the day, with space hoppers, hula hoops, sack races, plenty of food and drink and of course a killer band to make us dance the night away.

matt & jen boho matt & jen boho

My mum was instrumental to the whole day, without her it just wouldn’t have been the happy day it was. Everything apart from the music and food was made by my mum or us. Mum and her friend Rachel made all the bunting, the paper flowers, favours, signs, bouquet, you name it they made it! All the plants and flowers we had were grown by either Matt and I, my mum and dad or Rachel and Harvey.

The stationery was made by myself and Matt, we are both a bit eco so we went with recycled card and picked a very simple tree design that we used on the invitations, thank you cards etc. All printed on our trusty home printer.

jen & matt diy boho jen & matt diy

When we were planning the wedding I kept being asked ‘what colours are you going for’, to be honest I had no clue what people were asking me. Colours? I had to limit myself?! To pick only one or two colours would have been impossible; the rainbow is full of colours for a reason.

We decided to have lots of colours through the decorations and reflected in my wedding bouquet. It was made up of; sweet peas, dahlias, ox-eye daises and a rose that was my grandmother’s wedding anniversary rose. This was especially important to me because sadly my gran (known as Nog) died the Tuesday before we got married. Nog played a huge part in my life and having her rose in my hand as I expressed my love for Matt made me feel like she was standing right there, alongside me.

mat & jen diy wedding jen boho bouquet

As for the dress…that was an adventure. My normal style is 1950s glam and I thought that would be my wedding dress, and that’s what everyone else thought my wedding dress would be also. When I tried on these types of dresses though they just didn’t feel that special, something was missing.  Then I realised I wanted something that reflected my ‘fairy’ side. I was recommended a dress maker by my boss and upon meeting Vanessa a match was made. I produced a book called ‘Fairyality’ and she didn’t run scared! We came up with a dress that was soft and floaty, with silk and tulle cut in petal shapes. I also didn’t want to be married in white or ivory and the dress is actually a really pale pink.

I didn’t want a traditional veil or train but the back of the dress needed something. Vanessa found inspiration in the Lord of the Rings and Galadriel, which worked perfectly. As I walked down the aisle the tulle fell in soft waves, exactly what I wanted. I also was able to take the veil off which was important as I knew I would be jumping around like a loopy later on. My mum made a flower garland for after which was decorated in the same material flowers and fresh lavender, with ribbons at the back.   The dress was perfect, reflecting my personality. I adore it. I wish I could wear it every day it was so comfy!

matt & jen

Matt ended up, much to his surprise, having a handmade tweed suit from Martin David in Shrewsbury. He knew that he wanted a 3-piece suit that he could wear again, but he wasn’t keen on tweed, he thought it was an old man’s material. He was very surprised when he found all the different blends. He settled on one that had blue, orange and red in it. He is very happy with his suit and he looked very sexy.

As for my hair and makeup, it was done by me, with help from my best friends. I don’t really wear much make up so having it done professionally didn’t really occur to me. I kept my make up very simple, brown eye shadow and bit of mascara. I did treat myself to a new lip gloss. I know, so exciting! My hair was simple, two little side plaits pulled together at the back where the veil/train thing could attach.

matt & jen venue matt & jen decor

In terms of venue decoration, the architecture of the barn was so beautiful we didn’t want to disguise it so we decorated it simply with bunting and at the end where we were to be married we had any ivy garland and star fairy lights. Matt also found a sign that said ‘Bride and Groom’ which hung perfectly in the middle.

We used the chairs that came with the barn and we decorated them each with an individual ribbon. The aisle was marked out by lavender which filled the room with an amazing fragrance. On each chair there was a ‘celebration’ bag this contained the order of service, a print out of ‘A lovely love story’ by Edward Monkton and then a noise maker. We also had flags for people to wave at the end of the ceremony. We wanted people to celebrate with us the vows we had just taken.

I decided not tell Matt the music I was going to walk down the aisle too as I wanted to surprise him.  I chose to have the song ‘All I Want Is You’ by Barry Louis Polisar. Incidentally this was the song that was playing when Matt proposed to me and it made the beginning of this very special day perfect. We then walked out to ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, the Morcambe and Wise version as everyone cheered us on our way!

matt & jen eco matt & jen diy decor

We didn’t want a formal meal and decided on ‘family style’ setting where the food would be bought out in bowls and people helped themselves, like a banquet. We also wanted to have food that was in season, free range and as local as possible. People found their seats via a rustic window frame (we couldn’t actually find one so my dad made me one!) and the tables were identified by old fashioned seed packets. People’s chairs were identified by little terracotta pots with cress grown in them and a seed label with their name on it.

I decided that I wanted to make the wedding cake myself, the reason for this is because I love making cake but also it had to be gluten free, due to my intolerance. I made the cake on the Friday evening before the wedding. It was a simple sponge with butter cream filling, the idea was it would be decorated in fresh fruit, red currants, raspberries, blueberries. Only issue was the fruit wouldn’t stay on the cake and I also forgot the cake stand. So it didn’t end up looking like the beautiful cake I wanted but it didn’t matter, the cake tasted good and that is the really important bit.

eco favours gluten free cake

When Matt and I were thinking and talking about our first dance we knew that we didn’t want to have a slow, romantic song, it just didn’t suit us. We decided that we should embrace our quirkiness and came up with a dance routine. We spent a long time thinking about which songs we wanted as part of the routine, Matt downloading and mixing them all on our laptop. In typical ‘us’ fashion we decided four nights before the actual day that we didn’t like part of the mix so we changed it.

first dance boho bride jen

It’s hard to describe the dance, it began to Jack Johnson’s ‘Do you remember’ and then a scratch before transitioning suddenly to Thelma Houston singing ‘Don’t leave me this way’, then a bit of Barry White’s ‘My everything’ onto Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, followed by House of Pain’ ‘Jump around’. To really make people laugh that was followed by some ‘Bad touch’ from the Bloodhound Gang and ended where it began with Jack Johnson. People couldn’t believe what was going on.  Then the band kicked in. We ended up renting The Fall Guys who were amazing.

As we were in a beautiful venue and because this summer was so lovely (luckily) we arranged seating outside and when darkness fell we lit candles that were dotted about.  We arranged some seating under the old tree that was decorated with long colourful ribbons and we placed some candle lanterns in the tree; when they were lit it was like we were in something from Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The whole day was awesome, so many things just came together to make it the wonderful day it was.”

Suppliers: Photographer, Rob W May Photography // Venue, Canolfan Pentre Ifan // Catering, Holden’s Catering // Grooms Suit, Martin David // Marquee, Dingle Marquee Hire // All other details were homemade & homespun.

So personal, so pretty…so free-thinking! A big thank you to Boho Bride sponsor Rob W May Photography for sharing.

Love Sarah xx


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