Laura & Kevan's perfect woodland wedding

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The day of Laura and Kevan’s wedding dawned gloriously hot in June at High Billinghurst Farm, set within the beautiful Sussex countryside. Laura and Kevan had fallen in love with this stunning area and venue when they first visited it and knew it would be the perfect spot for them to celebrate with their family and closest friends, and give them the woodland wedding they were dreaming of.

Set up started on the Thursday morning before the wedding when Beautiful World Tents arrived at the venue to build the tipi arrangement. The majestic peaks of the tipi’s could soon be seen rising into the air and the three giant hats looked wonderful in the party field, letting the summer sun warm and light up the inside, whilst comfortably providing plenty of room for Laura and Kevan’s day guests. Round tables and cross back chair seating finished off the look, as well as the all important dance floor and stage area which would later become the platform for Kev’s band to take over the party.

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The day before the wedding saw all the months of hard work by this lovely couple come together as the bride and groom to be, along with friends and family to help, arrived at the site to add those all important finishing touches and dressing items to make their wedding truly personal and unique.  

Fairy lights, hops, foliage and flower posies were strung around the inside and hung from the wooden tipi beams, while tables named after festival stages were laid with beautiful flower arrangements in individual crates. Festoon lights were strung in the trees and along the mown pathway through the long grasses to the camping village, where bell tents were set up for overnight guests by Great British Bell Tents.

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The morning of the wedding dawned bright and sunny, and we were busy with final preparations; setting up the hay bales and lawn games, arranging flowers for the ceremony area and putting the finishing touches to the tables and the tipi dressing.

Moving Venue were busy on site from early in the morning preparing canapes for the guests and a fantastic wedding feast of sharing Spanish Tapas boards to start, slow cooked shoulder of lamb for mains, followed by a delicious dessert of glazed lemon tart topped with crystalised zest. Prosecco, beers and soft drinks were chilled and set up for guests to quench their thirst in the July heat; and then we were ready for the festivities to begin.

Laura and Kevan had chosen to have their wedding ceremony in the beautiful woodland glade next to the party field and this naturally stunning area was transformed into a space adorned with seasonal flowers and ribbon by the fantastic floristry team at All for Love London. Rustic bench seating in and around the trees gave the guests a lovely viewpoint to see Laura walk down the woodland aisle we had created, to meet her groom in front of a floral archway which has been masterfully constructed around a tree. Kevan and his groomsmen were the first to arrive, looking extremely smart in their navy suits and dark green ties from Ben Sherman, with contrast waistcoats from Heart & Dagger and took their places. Laura arrived just before the ceremony was due to begin at 1pm, looking stunning in her Vicenta Dress by Pronovias, purchased from Teokath of London, accompanied by her four bridesmaids, flower girl and page boys, and her extremely proud brother who had the honour of walking her down the aisle.

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Friends Jay and Caz performed an acoustic version of “Love You Till The End” for Laura to arrive to, and after a personal and heartfelt ceremony was conducted by celebrant Miranda Ash, they exited as husband and wife to “Love Train”, again performed by Jay and Caz.

Leoni from Something Blue Photography was on hand to capture the happy couple and their families during and after the ceremony, and as the blessing finished, guests were treated to canapes and fizz in the sunshine.  This was a wedding centred around the couples love of music, so as the guests left the woodland ceremony and arrived at the reception, a brilliant acoustic set began by guitarist and vocalist Luke Ferre to entertain the guests.

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Mid-afternoon came around, and the guests were invited inside the tipi to be seated for the wedding breakfast by Samir, Master of Ceremonies and friend of the couple. All the hard work that had gone into dressing the tent and the tables was worth it as the guests gasped in delight at the lovely interior before them.  Laura and Kevan made their entrance to deafening cheers and applause, and then it was time to take jackets off as the sun was making the inside of the tipi rather toasty, and the wedding breakfast began.

With tummies full and wine in full flow, it was then time for speeches. Cue lots of laughter and a few tears as the friends and family of Laura and Kevan celebrated and toasted this wonderful couple and their future life together. An emotional and touching speech from Kim, Laura’s sister and Maid of Honour, was followed by speeches from Kevan and finally his best man and groomsmen. One of the high-lights of the speeches was a surprise performance by Kevan and his brothers and groomsmen of a couple favourite track, ‘As Long As You Love Me’ by The Backstreet Boys, which had Laura and all the guests cheering with delight.

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Meanwhile, The Chaps who were providing the first set of evening entertainment had arrived and were setting up ready to get the party started. Once the speeches were over, evening guests started to arrive in time to see the cake be cut and then Laura stepped outside with her female guests to toss her bouquet which was caught by a close friend.

Back inside, everyone was ready for the first dance and the couple swayed to an amazingly personal track written and recorded by Kevan, dedicated to his new wife. And then, it was time for the party to begin! The Chaps were quick to get guests up and joining in and so followed a few hours of fantastically fun dancing and merriment. The couple were able to truly let their hair down, and had an unforgettable evening of dancing and singing along with their family and friends. Two sets from The Chaps were followed by a brilliant set from The Function, Kevan’s own band, and the evening finished with a DJ set from DJ Jordan Hallpike.

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The firepits were lit, and after the sun had set, the guests also gathered outside to enjoy sparklers which lit up the evening skies and looked magical. An unforgettable day settled into a blissful evening in a unique setting with friends and laughter to make some lasting memories.  At midnight, once Jordan’s DJ set had finished, the party started to wind down before guests who weren’t staying overnight made their way home, across the field to their waiting taxi’s.

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Laura and Kevan’s wedding was a beautifully personal and magical day and a resounding success. I wish Laura and Kevan every happiness for a long future together – it was an absolute pleasure to work with you and be a part of your day.

After the wedding, Laura and Kevan said;

Kim, thank you so much for all of your advice, guidance, support and effort towards our amazing wedding day. You were absolutely brilliant and made the whole day run seamlessly. You made us feel so relaxed on the day and in the run up as there wasn’t anything that was too much trouble. Every guest at our wedding said how fantastic the day was and we couldn’t have done it without you. Your knowledge of all things ‘festival wedding’ was invaluable, especially when it came to the generator at the last minute! We can’t thank you enough and best of luck for the future. There will be some very lucky couples to have you as part of their day! “

 

Supplier credits:

Wedding Coordination – Bespoke and Beyond Events - https://www.bespokeandbeyondevents.co.uk/

Venue – High Billinghurst Farm - http://www.highbillinghurstfarm.com/ -  

Tipis – Beautiful World Tents - http://www.beautifulworldtents.co.uk/

Caterer & Bar – Moving Venue - https://movingvenue.com/

Cheese Cake – The Courtyard Dairy - https://www.thecourtyarddairy.co.uk/

Menswear – Ben Sherman / Heart & Dagger - https://www.bensherman.co.uk/

Bridal gown – Pronovias from Teokath of London - https://www.pronovias.com/ http://www.teokath.co.uk/

Acoustic singer – Luke Ferre - https://www.facebook.com/lukeferremusic

Bands – The Chaps & Function - http://www.thechapsband.com/ 

Celebrant – Miranda Ash - https://www.celebrationsforall.com/

Floristry – All For Love London - https://www.allforlovelondon.com/

Photographer – Leoni at Something Blue Weddings - https://www.something-blue.co/

Bell Tents – Great British Bell Tents - http://greatbritishbelltents.co.uk/

Furniture hire – Classic Crockery - https://www.classiccrockery.co.uk/

Prop hire – To Have and To Hire - http://www.tohaveandtohireweddings.com/

Generator – Outdoor Event & Equipment Hire - https://www.oeeh.co.uk/

Kim Thackery