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An Otterly Mad {Hatters} Wedding


I must confess to not being the person behind this fabulously titled wedding – it was stolen straight from photographer Rebecca Douglass’s own summery of the day and perfectly encapsulates what you’re about to witness…Thoroughly creative and an awesome reflection of the couple’s personality I was so excited to scroll through Becca and Sam’s DIY wedding – they just go to show how quirky, cool styling evolves if you let your relationship, taste and humour do the talking on your big day.

From Bride Becca: We’re both quite laid back, and the most important thing for us was to make sure that everyone really enjoyed themselves on the day. The hat competition came about because we were a bit nervous about the serious part of the ceremony, and thought it would add a bit of fun to it. We encouraged people to be as inventive as possible on the invitation,  told them that headwear was compulsory, and promised a prize for the best hat. We bought a couple of packs of party hats for the ushers to hand out at the entrance to the ceremony venue to offer to anyone who had ‘forgotten’ theirs. The registrar even took one to wear, but couldn’t work our how to put it on in time, so ended up leaving it on the table in front of him.

beccasam1 beccasam2 beccasam3 becca4

We chose to hold the reception in Sam’s parents garden, which made things very easy because we could do pretty much whatever we wanted with it. We invited people to camp in a space at the back of their house on the evening of the wedding. We did choose black and white as the main colours, and I made, with the help of various family members and friends, loads of black and white tissue paper pompoms to hang from the ceiling of the marquee.

beccasam5 beccasam6 becca decor

We didn’t really have much of a theme – just chose whatever we thought would look good. It helped that Sam’s parents have such a lovely garden! We both love otters (Sam has just written and illustrated a children’s book about an otter, called Otter, so they ended up being part of the theme – otter cufflinks, an otter on the wedding car, and even otters on the wedding cake! My dear mother made the wedding cake, and it was absolutely everything we could have hoped for and more – the otters were a complete surprise! I just showed her a few photos of the kind of thing we liked, and she went from there.


I hadn’t really intended on spending that much on a wedding dress, but in my typical laid back fashion, I left it until 5 months before the wedding before looking for one. I decided to have a look around a few wedding dress shops to get an idea of what I wanted, and tried one on that I fell in love with! Then there was no time to keep an eye out on eBay so I just bit the bullet and ordered it.

becca dress becca dress2

They [Sam’s parents] have a swimming pool, and the weather forecast had been predicting rain, and about 19 degrees, so we didn’t send out an email suggesting people bring swimwear. The day however, turned out to be beautiful, and apart from a brief rain shower (just as we sat down for food) it was hot and sunny all day – so most people ended up in the pool by the end of the night either fully clothed, or in their underwear! We bought hundreds of solar powered fairy lights to string around the garden and house, so that as it got dark they all lit up.


We left  little notes in each person’s place with a make your own name badge set including instructions – they had to fill in their name, how they were related to us, and something they’d like to talk about – we hoped it would be a way of breaking the ice between people, and giving people something to talk about in the toilet queue – it seemed to work!


We hired a sound system and lights for the venue, then just plugged in a laptop and used a Spotify playlist we’d spent the last few weeks compiling – we chose this option because it meant we could make the music really personal, and make sure there was something in there for everyone (we even told people that they could make a song request on the invitation). We also got Rebecca to set up a photobooth for an hour in the evening – this gave us some really great shots as everyone really played up to the camera!

photobooth1 photobooth2 photobooth3 photobooth4

So there you have it another DIY day that oozes personality…that looked like one heck of a party too!

Suppliers: Photographer: Rebecca Douglas // Flowers: The Flower Corner // Dress: Wedding Warehouse in Ascot // Caterers: Orwells Restaurant // Marquee – Stunning Tents

Love Sarah xx


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  • Nathan @ Artemis Stationery January 2, 2014, 11:58 pm

    That first image is simply stunning, well done to Rebecca. I love seeing weddings that show through the couples true personalities. It looks like it was so much fun, a big congratulations to Becca & Sam.

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