how to have a rustic rural wedding

My husband and I were married almost two years ago now.  I can't believe it has been two years, the time has passed by so quickly and here we are with a Baby George keeping us on our toes.

It is amazing how much weddings can cost, I thought I share some of our wedding ideas with you here, which include some money saving tips.  

Our wedding was a rustic country Alice in Wonderland Labyrinth style, a mixed bag of magicness.

Teamwork makes the Dream Work
One of the most memorable things at our wedding was how many of our family and friends pooled together to help make it the event of a lifetime.  People gave up their time to help prepare things beforehand, and help get things organised. 
We wouldn't have been able to have the wedding of our dreams on our own.  Its not unusual for a bride to want to oversee everything, with lists upon lists of intricate details, but at the early outset, I decided not to sweat the small stuff.  Much to the consternation of some family members who worried that my then-fiance and I weren't worrying enough!  I guess that's one of my main tips, try to relax, let things go and if they don't go quite to plan it really doesn't ruin the whole day.

Our fantastic family did things like fetching chairs and tables from the village hall, helped decorate the barn, prepared canapes, packed up wedding favours and more besides.

I wanted the wedding to feel that it was the best day it could be for everyone, not just the bride and groom, I wanted everyone to feel a part of it, and I hope they did.  Hopefuly not just because we all mucked in!

I came up with a design on a well-known internet business branding site, but opted for a local printers in Hawick, Richardson & Son who could offer something a little more personal for me.  The price wasn't all that different, and what I got back was unbelievable.  Completely unique to us, really great quality, and at a reasonable cost.  If you need printing done, try them.  Shameless free advertising, I'm happy to shout from the rooftops when I receive good service.

The Ceremony
We chose to get married in our local church, my husband's family have close ties with it and generations of their family have frequented there.
Our local minister was amazing.  We had a Northumbrian Piper - these are slightly softer sounding than traditional Scottish Bagpipes - see me into the Church - I was only ten minutes late! And one of our friends knew an organist who we hired to play Somewhere Over the Rainbow during our signing.  
We forgot to print out song sheets for the hymns, but I had chosen my favourite hymns which almost everyone knows the words to, after attending a wedding where not a single person sung the hymns that were chosen and I knew I didn't want that on our day.
Flowers in Hobkirk Church Getting Married in Rulewater
Flowers in Hobkirk Church

The Flowers
A friend did our flower arrangements, for free, by gathering flowers from all different friends and family members' gardens.  And what arrangements they were!  I wasn't specific about my flowers, I had sunflowers on the invitations, and pale rose garlands on my dress, and this allowed her the freedom to be creative with her displays.

The Wedding Car
Initially I had hoped that my gypsy cob would pull us in a carriage to the church, as we live only about a mile from the church, but I would have had to train him to pull, and have been at home where I was planning on being at my sisters with my bridesmaids, and ... the list of negatives grew.
My cousin happened to own a beautiful white soft top VW Beatle.  She attached the white ribbons, and didn't I feel like a princess being driven to the church door in her car!
The thing is, on the Bride's arrival to the church, all of the guests are inside waiting for the bride to finally come through the door and walk up the aisle.  That's her moment there, when she walks through the door.  Then there's photographs, and quite often, the guests have left the church to go to the reception while the Bride and Groom remain for photographs.  Then your guests will be in your reception venue when you pull up.  So is it worth spending hundreds hiring a car?  

The Wedding Cake
getting married in rulewater
Wedding Cake
A friend made our cake for us.  I found one that I liked on Pinterest, and she copied it.  The top tier is a fruit cake, which is in our freezer waiting for Baby George's Christening.  One was chocolate orange, and the other was white chocolate and passion fruit.  I have never tasted a more delicious cake in my life, and I had only a tiny piece.  It was all gone by the morning, so at some point I will be commissioning her talents again!
The base is a wood slice that my husband prepared, the table cloth was in a sale at work.  The sword is real, my father-in-law is a Royal Archer and it was with gracious honour that we were allowed to slice the cake with it!

wedding bunting getting married scottish borders
Wedding bunting
The Decorations
My sister sewed a lot of the bunting, beautiful works of art adorned each flag, she sewed the initials of our names, wedding rings, and hearts into them.  They now hang in our nursery room.
My friend gathered up jam jars, and with a little glue, affixed ribbons and small decorations to them for table tea-lights.
I gathered branches / driftwood from the river bank, let them dry out and myself and a friend painted them white and gold.  These were hung in an arch above the barn entrance.
We hired the tables and chairs from the local village hall.  The barn was strewn with pot plants from neighbours gardens of all shapes and sizes, they were painting the exterior of their house at the time so needed somewhere to put them!  

The Favours
I spent a lot of time looking at wedding favours online.  There are so many to choose from!  But the cost quickly mounted up. I was really taken with the Alice in Wonderland themed decorations, like keys, or miniature Drink Me bottles.  I would have blown the budget on them!  Luckily before I did, my friend got in contact to say she was making wedding jam (lavender) for us, she personalised the jars with one of my favourite quotes from The Princess Bride (The Princess Bride - Special Edition [DVD] if you've never seen it, please check it out!) and an image of one of my favourite places in the world, where my husband proposed to me.  For the third time, but that's another story.  I made the favour boxes myself, finding a basic origami pattern online.  My niece made "Eat Me" labels and my mother-in-law made lavender scented bags with seed pods from her garden.

wedding favours getting married rustic wedding scottish borders
Wedding Favours

The Expensive Bits:
We decided to hold our reception in a barn rather than the local village hall.  The barn had to be cleared out, the floor flattened and wooden flooring hired.  Despite the best efforts, there was a comedy-placed dent on the dance floor.  So flooring was one of the things we couldn't avoid paying for.
Catering was another.  Initially we had wanted a small wedding with few guests and we would have a barbecue where guests brought a plate of food for a big supper, but the list of guests grew, so we decided for ease to out source the catering.  We struggled to find what we wanted, which was a decent hog roast.  We found The Juicy Meat Co who were fantastic.  Hidden extra costs to catering can include hiring of plates, cutlery, etc and having to pay for any breakages or losses.
The Band.  Unfortunately our band no longer exist in the same format.  They made the night amazing. Perfect sound, perfect lighting and a fantastic line up of songs.  
Alcohol we thought about hiring a bar, or asking our guests to bring their own booze, but went with buying in a fair few bottles of Prosecco, some cases of wine and beers, which worked well.
The Rings - dare I say this, we regret the rings we chose.  Indeed.  We found quite unique rings, but they weren't "Us".  Mine scratched easily and it was upsetting me wearing it watching how worn it got so quickly.  I now wear a plain Titanium Rose Gold Ring a bit like this one: 
Blue Palm Jewelry - Wide Classic Rose Gold IP Solid Titanium 6mm Width Band Ring R662 (J 1/2)
It cost me £16.00 and still doesn't have a single scratch on it.  My husband settled for a similar ring but with a wooden band set in it, due to his love of woodworking, and cost him about the same.
The Honeymoon - It was expensive, but I did find it through a discount luxury holiday site.  We don't take alot of holidays, maybe going up North or to the West Coast and camping out for a couple of nights once a year, so this was worth every penny.  Zanzibar.  Ah the memories!

The Dress - third time lucky
getting married scottish borders
The Ian Stuart Dress
So, with my budget awareness going well, my cousin suggested I borrow her wedding dress.  I had a great time visiting her and trying it on, reliving her moments in the dress with her.  The dress was hung safely at home.  Then I came across lace dresses on ebay which would be made quite cheaply in china and shipped over.  So I thought, its not blowing the budget, its fine.  That was dress number two.  Then my sister suggested we go into a local wedding dress shop, Border Brides. as every bride should experience a day trying on dresses in elegant surroundings.  As we walked up to the shop, there it was, in the sale window, the most beautiful dress I have ever laid eyes on  My sister saw it at the same time, we just looked at each other and knew.  It had the air of fairy tale magic around it.  

As I tried it on - and I tried on no other dress - the sales lady explained that this dress had an unusual back story, whereby a woman ordered it, but her wedding was delayed, then further delayed, then she didn't get married, and eventually the dress fell to the back of storage in the cellar where it lay forgotten about for seven years.  It had come out in the sale that very day.  So we shared our wedding together, the dress and I, and it truly came to life for me, especially during it's enchanted first dance (Dress by designer Ian Stuart, first dance was a mash up of Bryan Adams Everything I Do and One Republic's Love Runs Out).

The dress was more expensive than I originally intended, but the feeling I had wearing it was like no other.  It rests safely in our house now, and I like to think it is still smiling.  
getting married scottish borders

The day passed in a whirlwind.  I didn't stress when there was a power cut, I simply said that the band would have to play acoustically.  And the power was fixed.  Nor when my Labrador escaped from the house and couldn't move for three days due to the amount of food people snuck to him!

All of which has been captured for us by some fantastic photographs.  Our friends posted lots on facebook, through their mobiles and digital cameras.  And a fantastic couple Shirley and David Kilpatrick took some extra special photos for us.

So here we are, two years later, and I choose to remember what a fantastic day I had, not the stresses.  I hope my guests had a great time too.  They set us up for a lifetime of happiness, witnessing our vows in the church "Your Awful Wedded Husband...."!!  the speeches, our first dance and the sparkly fairy light magic of the night beyond.

I hope you make your wedding truly yours!

If you're into Pinterest, why not check out my Wedding Board there, which features some of the ideas that inspired me for our wedding?


Popular Posts