Every wedding has its own individual spin – and when it came to mine, the pressure was on. Being a creative by trade, the expectations from friends and family were high.
With no theme in mind and no desire to read countless wedding magazines, I went back to basics – what didn't I want? That might sound like an odd place to start, but it links back to the key to planning any successful party: what are your loves and best memories of past events, and what would you hate to have on your big day?
I asked myself a few simple questions and from the answers, came up with the overall mood and atmosphere that I wanted to create.
The theme I chose was ‘Prohibition,’ but not as everyone thinks or expects it. I wasn’t interested in Gatsby, or in glitz and glam (that certainly isn't me!), but in recreating the underground, back room, speakeasy jazz clubs that thrived during this time. The main feature was to keep it all-American – South America to be precise, where moonshine is still an underground drink found in jam jars and paper bags to this day. My fiancé and I had both travelled the States, and the local bars with their backyard games offered the best times to be had.
Once this thought was in my head, the ideas just kept on coming. Bath tubs for drinks, reclaimed rusty furniture and even baked bean tins for our centre pieces! We wanted a relaxed environment where the music was live and the drinks kept on flowing – a typical expression of who we are. For wedding favours, we had our homemade Raspberry Gin (our own version of moonshine), which is renowned amongst our friends, and even cigars for guests who were of age.
An outdoor venue might seem like a crazy idea for a spring wedding. But we wanted to stay true to our theme, so we went for something hidden well away from the beaten track with plenty of land and a real backstreet, invitation-only feeling. Jodie from Sami Tipi was the best choice we made, helping us find the perfect location, supporting our ever-growing wedding and even helping us get ice for the big day. If you’re looking for a genuine wedding partner and not just a venue provider, then Sami Tipi is the only choice.
Every aspect of our wedding day was a reflection of us as a couple, our journey together and our shared tastes. The food was no exception. Thomas the Caterer, winner of Wedding Caterer of the Year for goodness knows how many years, really got to know us and created some gourmet taster courses that were just what we had in mind. His dedication to making your food exactly how you like it is second to none.
After what seemed like years of sourcing, collecting and repainting Prohibition-themed props from all over the country, I had a clear idea of what I wanted the venue to look like. Tara from Ticketyboo Events helped make my vision a reality with her amazing venue-dressing skills. The support she provided on the days running up to the wedding should be available to every bride; it even extended to managing my family (now that’s tough!). With the addition of what felt like bucket loads of stunning flowers from Tineke, the venue felt intimate and handcrafted – exactly what we wanted.
It really was our greatest day, with all the little details I got so hung up on fading into the distance. What’s important is that it was an event which our friends and family still talk about now. We certainly threw one epic party!
A wedding should reflect you as a couple, not whatever the latest trend might be. So when you start to think about your own wedding, think of what you don’t want first and work your way back.