Finding the venue was definitely one of the hardest parts of wedding planning, we spent 6 months searching on the internet, looking through magazines and doing visits to find the one. Our wedding was definitely a mix of DIY projects and help from the professionals, which kept costs down but also made everything manageable on the day. Most of the decor I arranged and bought different pieces, some of it was set up by a company and some my husband managed to pull together. In this post I thought I would talk about the venue, decor and our inspiration behind it.
We got married at The Oak Tree of Peover in Cheshire. We found it online and instantly loved it, then they had an open day and I booked it provisionally there and then. The main room where we had the ceremony, wedding breakfast and reception has so much beautiful natural greenery which meant that actually, we really didn’t need to do much more. We wanted to stick with the greenery theme and just add to it if anything. We didn’t really plan to have a theme, our inspiration was taken mainly from the venue itself, so lots of floral elements and candles – that was it!
The wedding ceremony
Apart from the flowers that we used for the table centre piece, everything else used for the ceremony decor we hired from Flossies. It worked out so much more cost effective as we hired pillar candles, petals, an isle runner and clear pillar boxes. The team came and set everything up for us in the morning and the end result was just beautiful. They did it exactly as I wanted it and having their extra help made it so much easier the morning of the wedding. From previous weddings at The Oak Tree I noticed other couples like more of a rustic theme to go with the wooden beams, but we wanted more of a romantic feel, and I think adding the candles and petals really helped us achieve that.
I’ll start with the table plan. We used a gold mirror, added some faux greenery around a corner and Jay some how worked his magic and wrote some beautiful headers using a white pen. I then wrote our guests names, in a not so fancy font, but it was nice to know we had put that together ourselves. For the table places, I couldn’t find anyone that would do a calligraphy style font for less than £2 per person, and that would have upped the cost again and it’s something we thought we could do as a DIY. I’m lucky to have a husband (jay – the husband) who is really good at art, so he did those again. The cards were around £3 for a pack of 100 and the pens cost around £5. We decided on a lot of our decor based on cost, we had the mirror given to us by Jays mum and my auntie already had the greenery we used around the corner. We made use of what we had already.
Another way we saved money was by not having chair cover, or fancy cutlery/ napkins. I knew because we had the blush pink cookies as favours that would add something extra to the table places, and it definitely did. Jay is in the RAF, and we thought it would be nice to have an element of that somewhere. We decided to go for different aircrafts as our table names, something a bit more personal too which a lot of our guests seemed to love. We ordered some table name cards from Etsy and then put them in frames from IKEA. The ikea frames were very last minute (as in, the week of the wedding which I don’t recommend doing), but I’m happy with how they turned out.
For about 9 months up until the wedding me and my mum started collecting candles to go in the middle of the tables. I picked some up in the NEXT Christmas sale, Home Bargains, literally anywhere I could find them! For the flowers in the middle, the hurricane style vases are from Home Sense, and a local florist added the flowers for us.
The welcome sign
Jay also did a welcome sign for us (yep, I kept him busy after he left me for 4 months over Christmas…) We managed to get the board for free, so we painted that up with some gold paint and black chalk paint, then Jay wrote on the welcome message using a white chalk pen. I picked up a silk flower garland to drape over the top of the board, I honestly couldn’t believe how real it looked! I absolutely loved the outcome of this and it probably cost us a total of £35 including the paint and flowers. It was so lovely to see our guests taking pictures of this, especially knowing we had made it ourselves.
We bought another silk rose garland for the mantle piece in the bar area and had Jo Malone candles and a couple of other candles going along it. Jo Malone candles aren’t an essential, but I’m so glad I did buy a few to have around the venue as it really did smell amazing and now whenever I smell peony and blush suede it takes me back to our wedding day. The balloon is from bubblegumballoons, it came already inflated which was such a bonus and made it so much easier, the bridesmaids wore blush pink and we had a lot of gold elements too so I wanted a little something to match that (along with the cookies). One of the candle sticks is from Home Sense, the other is actually from my mums living room. Looking back at the photos I can’t believe how much we managed to actually do with the budget we had for decor.
Choosing a venue you don’t have to do much to is a massive way to free up some of your budget. We are both so pleased with how it looked, it’s always hard to imagine a vision you have for something when it’s just lots of little bits cluttering up your house. Once everything is in the venue set up you realise it’s all worth it.
Catch up on yesterdays wedding blog post “5 Things I Learned Getting Married”
All photos are by our amazing wedding photographer Tom Calton.
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