A DIY Backyard Teepee Wedding
Nothing could prepare us for the Teepees. After a drive through the glorious Sussex countryside, we knew we had arrived at Bex&Tom’s wedding when the magnificent canvas structure appeared over the narrow country lane! A fun and emotional ceremony filled with songs and writings performed by their friends in a chocolate box church that could have been lifted from a movie, was followed by a homely but spectacular reception held at Bex’s parents’ house in Plumpton, for which Bex made many of the decorations by hand. (Tutorials for which are to be featured on Boho Weddings Blog).
“We met 11 years ago at drama school (Guildford School of Acting) when I was 19 and Tom was 21! Tom was on the acting course and I was doing Musical Theatre but we soon became friends and a year later decided it was more than that and got together properly!”
“The ring was from Fidra, an antique jewellers in Brighton which we later discovered was the same place my dad had bought my mum’s engagement ring 32 years ago!… 10 years ago on one of our first trips to London together, we drove over the Albert Bridge at night and I said it was my favourite bridge in London and I either wanted to be dumped or proposed to on that bridge. I never mentioned it again. Tom remembered it all that time and when he decided he was going to propose he decided that was where he’d do it… A few days before, he suggested going out for dinner on Thursday night, saying he’d got a Square Meal deal that was only valid after 9pm. He got the taxi to drop us off at a side street, and we walked up and down the road unable to find the restaurant. He looked it up on his iPhone and said that it must be the other side of the river. We walked up to the bridge, covered in scaffolding, and Tom started to run a bit, saying we were late. I told him to run on without me as I was wearing heels. He slowed down, then started to run again, tripped up and fell down. I was worried he’d hurt himself and bent down to check on him but he had got up on one knee with the ring. He reminded me that I had said I wanted to be proposed to or dumped on this bridge and he had known even then that one day he would propose to me here. After a lot of tears and a big Yes we walked over the bridge and into Chelsea as an engaged couple! Tom had booked Gordon Ramsey’s Royal Hospital Road for dinner which was incredible and we drank champagne and ate the amazing food on cloud 9.
The next day he woke me up at 6am and told me to pack a bag – then whisked me off to Rome for 4 nights for what we decided was our enga-cation!”
“Our wedding rings have design details echoing the engagement ring, mine has 13 diamonds and Tom’s has 10 – the anniversary of the day we got together, 13th October.“
“We’ve always loved vintage furniture, clothes and style… so we knew we wanted it to have an old school elegance and lots of individual touches. I work in the wedding industry myself, as I sing in a band that plays at lots of weddings, so I didn’t want it to feel like a normal Saturday night at work! This ruled out a normal white marquee – but we did want to have the reception at my family home in Sussex. Luckily enough, one of the first gigs I did after we got engaged was in teepee style marquees – I fell instantly in love with them and Tom felt the same as soon as I showed them to him. My mum thought they needed softening and de-beige-ing to make the prettier so we decided to hang oversized organza bows and weave ivy around the poles – it worked brilliantly!”
Wedding dress: Nora (great name!) by Maggie Sottero from All that Glitters in Croydon. I tried on LOTS of dresses and loved lots of them but this one felt the most like me.
Wedding shoes: Glittery silver and gorgeous from Kurt Geiger
Stand out moments… “There were so many but seeing Tom for the first time as I walked down the aisle; the choir (made up of our musical friends) singing Glory of Love while we stood with our families at the front of the church and the speeches as a whole were stand out moments for me!”
“After 10 years together we have a whole album worth of “our” songs… so we had to do some editing! Music was obviously incredibly important to us during the day.
Tom wanted the song I walked down the aisle to to be a surprise so I chose “Falling in Love with You” played on the piano by one of my best friends. This was the song Tom used to sing when we were at drama school and one of the reasons I fell in love with him!
During the service, we had the choir sing the John Rutter arrangement of “All things bright and beautiful” and their own arrangement of “Glory of Love”. We walked out to “You’ve made me so very Happy” by Sammy Davis Jr – it got everyone dancing early!
Our first dance was “Nothing’s going to Harm You” by Jamie Cullum. It’s his version of a song from Sweeney Todd, one of our favourite musicals, and it’s such a beautiful piece of music.”
♥ “You were unobtrusive and fun to have around… I had played at a friend’s wedding where you were photographing, saw the pictures and loved their informal style and artistry. Choosing the right photographer was important to us as we knew the day would go so fast and we wanted to have lasting memories. The service we got was just fantastic – starting with a preliminary meeting to get to know each other, see the venues and discuss our plans. On the day, you were unobtrusive and fun to have around – we got the group shots we wanted quickly and painlessly and then had a lovely 15 mins getting the shots of us two – totally relaxed and a nice bit of time to talk to each other without someone coming to see us! We are thrilled with the pictures and everyone we have shown them to loves them.”
We’d like to give a massive shout out to the super-lovely, super-talented film-makers Matt&Peter of Rozier Wilkinson who made this refreshingly cool wedding video for Bex&Tom…
Venue: Hamsey Church and reception in Becki’s mum and dad’s garden in Plumpton, Sussex
Accessories: My mum and dad gave me my earrings the night before the wedding – they had them made by Alexis Dove and included diamonds from my great aunt’s ring. Hair comb from Glitzy Secrets
Hair & Make-up: I did my own make up after having a trial and getting a few bits from Space NK. My friend helped do my hair and I had a full length veil from All that Glitters
Groom’s outfit: Tom has always wanted to have a three piece suit made for his wedding day so he went off to Savile Row and got his dream suit – a navy pinstripe three piece which was relined with a purple silk he found on Berwick Street topped off with a fob watch I bought him for his 30th and a pair of cowboy boots he purchased whilst drunk at the Isle of Wight Festival.
Bridesmaid’s dresses, shoes & accessories: The girls’ dresses were from Coast and we added the ribbons and fabric roses – my bridesmaid Ashleigh is very handy with a needle!
Engagement ring: a vintage ‘20‘s ring from Fidra in Brighton and wedding rings were designed by us with Sam at Exclusive Jewellery – he was fantastic at getting our ideas into designs.
Flowers: The church flowers and our bouquets were by Vintage Flower House in Sussex. The reception flowers were done by a friend of my mums and the buttonholes by another friend – we were so lucky to have so many talented chums!
Caterers: Food Glorious Food – the food was incredible! We had antipasti to start with on sharing boards, then belly of pork with crushed potatoes and the croque en bouche and sweets table for pudding!
Cake: A pretty fabulous croque en bouche by O Delice Bakery in Haywards Heath
Stylist/planner: My amazing mum! She is an events planner and was totally brilliant at pulling all our ideas together. She never accepted the first quote we were given and sourced the various elements from all over the place to make sure they were the best we could get.
Entertainment: A choir made up of our musical friends in the church, Charlie Myers Jazz pianist for the drinks reception, and then Oomph band for the evening, who are a fantastic Brighton based funk band. Being in a band myself I was under a bit of pressure to get this part right but they were just perfect – we didn’t leave the dancefloor all night!
Teepees: Beautiful Tents
Dancefloor: Funky Floors – having a lit up dancefloor and mirror ball made the dance tent totally amazing!