I’ve been planning, designing and creating my wedding!
On Thursday 21st June I got married to the gorgeous Mr.Matthew Laws! And became Mrs Sarah Laws!
We had a lovely simple registry office ceremony at the town hall followed by a meal at our favourite restaurant. It was a beautiful day, very relaxed, shared with family and a few close friends.
We could have happily stopped at that but we really wanted to create a bigger celebration to share with as many of our combined friends and family as possible, so on the following Saturday, we enjoyed a big party with 100 of our nearest and dearest!
Everyone says how much time and effort it takes to plan a wedding and they’re not wrong- especially if, like me, you’re determined to DIY as much of it as possible! For me creating a DIY wedding wasn’t so much about saving money, although that was a welcome bonus, it was about creating a truly unique day for me and my husband and all our family and friends and enjoying sharing the creativity in the run-up to the big day!
We decided on a large village hall in a picturesque village in Leicestershire as the venue. The hall was a new build, big and with lots of space outside too. Although it was a bit bland, I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was unattractive and it had bags of potential for decorating and prettying up!
With the canvas set, we were ready to get creative!
I always knew I wanted to add lots of personal touches to our special day so I started by doing lots of research and gathering it all together in a mood board. It’s a technique I picked up from working in design and it really helped to work out all the details.
I also set up an Instagram feed to gather images. I set this as a private feed so I could share the progress of my dress and other things that I wanted to keep as a surprise from my other half and any friends or family who wanted to wait for the big day. It’s really nice to have it to look back on and see how it all came together.
Gathering all the images together made defining a colour palette a lot easier.
I also wanted to work with what we had already so we included the red of the curtains to save from paying out to cover them up and I knew Matt wanted a navy blue suit so blue became a feature of the colour palette. I love the sunshine so yellow had to be in there too!
We hired a company to hang drapes and festoon lights to add welcome cosines to the cavernous hall and we added bunting, made by my mum and new mother-in-law, to bring all the colours together.
We supersized the bunting in the main hall for dramatic effect and made small flags for the entrance hall.
The gorgeous schedule board was illustrated by Paul from Bread & Honey
Matt is a graphic designer so he was in charge of the save the dates and invites and thank you cards for the gifts.
He also designed gorgeous gifts for the groomsmen- engraved tankards
And presentation cards for the bridesmaid’s gifts, which were necklaces I made using a combo of a chain, findings and charms from a fab Etsy shop. Plus a little enamel paint!
The mums got simple but effective bracelets with bee charms on.
The bee theme was continued in the table runners which were in bee print and honeycomb print cotton with cotton lace trim.
I knew I wanted sunflowers in my bouquet and we had lovely daisies growing in our garden so that was a start. Me and mum went to the Flower wholesalers and I have to say I found it more than a little overwhelming! But we came away with a few bunches of pompon chrysanthemums, gypsophila, a few sunflowers and lots of ideas! We put together a few small arrangements and were able to settle on a design for a simple buttonhole.
We then went to see the wholesalers again to place the order for our flowers. I added Viking Santini to the mix which are a bit like mini sunflowers. As well as cut flowers, I also ordered my wedding bouquet to be assembled by them.
On the Friday we picked up the flowers and I was surprised by the colour of the sunflowers! They were orange! Apparently, this is because they were English rather than European. The pompom-mums were also a bit paler than I expected. I’ve tried hard not to get hung up on specific colours through-out the wedding planning but with emotions running high I felt something just wasn’t gelling. I totally understand why so many people leave it to the professionals! I took a deep breath and looked at all the shades of yellow-orange together and I decided to add some mid yellow germinis, which helped to blend everything together perfectly.
Mum had also raided a local field to gather ox-eye daisies and some greenery.
At the hall, we trimmed and spilt the flowers and assembled around 30 jam jars and 15 vases- which the family had been gathering from antique markets and charity shops for us!
Victoria, my new sister-in-law, cross-stitched this gorgeous ring presenter and Emma added the text in fine thread embroidery.
Outside, we had straw bales and outdoor games including giant Jenga and hook-a-duck which my sister compiled!
After a windy disaster with the gazebos- I won’t reflect on that too much- we were very lucky with the weather for the rest of the day and we were able to really make the most of the gorgeous grounds. The boys even enjoyed a game of footy and a spot of tree climbing!
We really enjoyed encouraging everyone we know to contribute creatively too.
Dad made the cake and I iced it. It was 2 layers of rich chocolate sponge which I knew was delicious because he’d made a practice one for me to practice icing a few weeks before!
The little figurines were made at my Crafty hen do in the shop along with crepe paper streamers, the table runners and a few other finishing touches.
As well as the main cake, I asked some of my brilliantly talented baking friends to make some deserts.
Emily made a gorgeous chocolate orange cheese cake, lois made a luscious lemon tart and Victoria crates a brownie and blonde mountain. Not wanting anyone to be left out, my dad made dairy and gluten-free lemon cupcakes which went down very well with everyone!
The main wedding breakfast was provided by Las Tapitas. We started with a selection of substantial canapés- pintxos- little skewers of meat, cheese and other delicious tastes- and tapitas- little tasters of wonderful Spanish cuisine!
These were followed by 3 paella’s- seafood, chicken and chorizo and vegetarian with delicious beans. I think the vegetarian was actually my favourite!
We rounded off the night with cheese- of course as me and Matt are a bit obsessed! Matt ordered this from Leicester market and it was fantastic! The section included my favourite- Blacksticks Blue, amongst others!
We had our first dance to Electic Dreams.
We were blessed with the most outstanding sunset in the evening too!
It was a truly wonderful and magical day with lots of happy memories created. Most of all I will remember how everyone came together to make it happen in their own personal ways.
Find out more about my dress in my Vlog over on the Crafty Sew&So channel and stay tuned for the next blog post all about the other outfits!