This fun-filled festival wedding was a three-day celebration! Bride Leilah tells us all about it…
How did Nick propose?
Whilst living out in Canada, Nick and Josh (one of his 2 best men) built what Canadians call a “barge.” Kind of like a large raft, but with an outboard motor! On my 30th Birthday, and our 10 year anniversary, he told me to wait for him on the side of the lake and that we were going to have a picnic on the bank. As I was waiting, I saw the barge crossing the lake towards me; decorated with fairy lights, balloons, candles and a dinner table. He cooked me a 3 course meal in the middle of the lake, as the sun set, creating a rosy “Alpenglow” over the surrounding snow capped mountains. Nick’s a musician and as we finished our dinner, he recited a 6 verse poem, dropping to one knee in the last verse as it concluded with his proposal. It was now pitch black; a beautifully clear starry night. With no clear landmarks on the shore, Nick then steered us “the scenic route ” to a dock where our friends greeted us with fireworks and fizz! They jumped aboard and partied with us for a bit before a friend drove us to a hotel. Another friend had prepped the room with rose petals, bottles of bubbly and chocolates. A load of our (amazing) friends helped Nick pull it together. It was an elaborate team effort. A miracle they all kept it secret for 2 months!
What dress did you wear?
The dress was called Jasmine by Laudae. I bought it from Truvelle in Vancouver, but there is also one stockist in the Uk, Heart A Flutter. Which is a haven for any boho bride.
And the accessories?
Silver daisy earrings from my mum’s shop, Nomads, in Wales. White and gold glittery Puma trainers, as you’ll never see me out of a pair of trainers.
What did Nick wear?
A blue Alexandre of England suit. With matching blue Nike Air Max trainers. He looked dreamy!
How did you feel when you saw him up the aisle?
Ecstatic. Nick is my world and I could not wait to marry him. We’ve had the most incredible, adventurous 12 years together and seeing him then filled me with such joy and excitement. Another adventure lay ahead and this moment topped everything we had shared so far.
Who were your bridesmaids and what dresses did they wear?
Best friends from different walks of life. Bron and Beth from school; Lottie, Lou and Marte from University, Laura and Lucy from living in Canada and my sister, Emily. So 8 in total! They all got to choose their own dresses from wherever they wanted. I wanted them to feel happy in what they wore and they all have such different characters that I wanted to shine through. I gave a colour scheme, but was pretty relaxed with it. They all came together perfectly.
What was your theme?
We wanted a relaxed, casual festival vibe but with the elegance of a wedding. We created a festival feel, with a 3 day affair and lots of entertainment. Our venue was perfect for this. All the essential infrastructure was there, but we could bring in whatever we liked and were given free rein of the place to do what we liked. We had close family staying in the house and guests stayed in bell tents in our glamping village.
We had an international theme, which represented our love of travel and adventure. A “Where in the world are you sitting?” seating plan directed guests to one of 14 different tables, named after countries we’ve travelled to. We had luggage tags for place cards, flags for centre pieces and a travel themed photo booth. We showed our love for skiing with ski boots as vases and a shot ski on the bar!
The main thing that brought the whole theme together was the décor and styling. We spent months collecting and making everything ourselves. We made bunting, a willow hoop for the alter backdrop, a seating chart, chalkboards, signage, order of the day pallet sign, wood rounds, a huge statement piece for behind the head table, a photo booth, garden games (giant jenga, limbo, cornhole,) a glitter station, our own favours which were CD’s of a DJ mix Nick had done. Nick built a wheel-able 12 volt soundsystem, which we used for music during the ceremony. We spray painted and upcycled picture frames and candle holders. We used lace curtains from charity shops and made them into throws. For the rustic look we used hessian, hay bales, collected all the greenery ourselves. With the fairy lights, lanterns, candles and fire pits a bohemian feel was created. Locally grown wildflowers were used for the bouquets, buttonholes and my flower crown.
After the success of our festival vibe wedding, and our many years of event experience, we have now set up our own wedding planning, décor styling and bell tent rental business – www.instagram.co.uk/unityeventdesign
What was the highlight of your day?
With years of adventuring and travelling, it was having all our friends and family from all over the world coming together, meeting and dancing like crazy with us for our first dance. We chose ‘Sweet love’ by M Beat & Nazlyn. It starts slow, sampling an old soul tune, and breaks out into a lively jungle/drum and bass tune.
What was your best buy?
Well it was more of a make, but it was the slip and slide we had the next day. Young and old loved it in the hot sunshine.
What’s your saving tip?
Not having a three course sit down dinner. You can choose so many different catering options to go with your budget. We asked all the guests to bring a dish (savoury or sweet) and had it alongside a hog roast. It was great as everyone put in so much effort and thought into each dish. There was so much, it even lasted until the bbq the next day. Also, choosing a venue where you can bring your own alcohol. I honestly think choosing the venue carefully (that allows outside catering and byob) can make or break your budget.
Date: 2nd June 2018
Venue: Ash Barton Estate, Braunton, in North Devon
Photographer: Craig Barker
Leilah’s dress: Laudae
Nick’s attire: Alexandre of England
Accessories: Earrings from Nomads, Puma trainers