How is it the first of November already?!
It's bloomin' freezing tonight, so I thought i'd cheer myself up by perusing our wedding album and writing a little post about the marvelous time we all had at our gloriously warm and sunny village wedding fete.
There are some fabulous fete hire companies in the Midlands (Pollyanna's is our fave), but as you should all know by now - there was no way we weren't going to DIY our own!
Our venue (Rock Village Hall) has a gorgeous village green, which on a sunny summer's day like we had - just screams out for games! So for 12 months we collected tin cans, made enough bunting to cover an actual football pitch and collected a heap of fun things for our guests to do during our big day. Be warned - the diy route isn't for the feint hearted and it took me MANY hours to make everything (including trudging about in a field at 6am on my wedding morning laying it all out!) but it was TOTALLY worth it!
Our Games List
Bean Bag Toss - I used two of my lovely old step ladders for this. I made score cards for each step and 4 bean bags from rice bags and old fabric.
Basketball Shootout: On the back of the ladders I hung a kids basketball net (from poundland!) and it worked a treat!
Coconut Shy: My super talented father in law made this for us and we used a windbreaker with some vintage lace and bunting as the backdrop.
Tin Can Alley: 12 old food tins, spray painted black with the score written on the front in chalk pen.
Hearts and Crosses: I used pieces of hessian and sewed some lace ribbon on top to create the boards and then some x's and hearts i found in a charity shop.
Hula Challenge: Hula hoops - enough said!
Welly Wang: We had two sizes, big for the grown ups and little for the kids and this game was definitely the creator of some of our fave wedding pics!
Egg and Spoon Race: We set up a race area by marking the lanes and start/finish lines with bunting. Rather than actual eggs (not great with pretty dresses and expensive shoes!) I got some plastic fillable eggs (the ones you get at easter) and added a little cut out with Mr and Mrs on the inside. I also tied them to the spoons with string for the little ones which worked really well.
Sack Race: From a £20 piece of hessian I managed to make 4 adult sacks and 4 kids ones with my trusty old sewing machine. I used a good old sharpie marker to stencil on the Sack Race and Mr and Mrs quotes which look fab in the pictures.
Skittles: Our gorgeous maiden of honour managed to get hold of a set of pub skittles for us and we used two folded down trestle tables for the alley.
Hoopla: I collected glass bottles in different sizes, painted them with spraypaint and added a chalkboard label to each one with the socre on the front. We used plastic kids bangles as the rings and stacked the bottles on some cable reels to give them some height.
We also laid out some garden games like badminton, frisbee and space hoppers which were great fun in the sunshine.
Hopefully you all agree that the photo's speak for themselves when it comes to how much we all enjoyed our little village fete...and on that note - thanks again to the AMAZING Amy Taylor Imaging Photography for capturing it all for us.
Have a fab evening lovelies! xx
Happy Friday folks!
Apologies again for the stupid amount of time that's passed since I blogged, it's all been a bit manic at Jam Jar HQ. However, today I got our wedding snaps from our amazing photographer Amy Taylor Imaging Photography so I just had to make some time to do another post with some of our piccies!
3) Glass jars and bottles are a super duper cheap way to hold your flowers and if you plan in advance won't cost you a penny as you can plan your shopping to include them over time. We decorated ours with white and peach lace (which you can buy on 25m rolls for less than £10) to match our theme. We (and our friends and family) collected over 300 jars for our big day and it cost me less than £30 to decorate them all :) You can go for a mis-matched approach or do what we did and find a cooking sauce you like and eat A LOT of it over a year or so and you'll have a more consistent look for your tables. Twine is always a perfect finishing touch as it looks gorgeously rustic.
4) Top table. We had 10 of us on our top table so it was pretty long! I knew I wanted it to look different from the other tables but with the same theme, so we added a few more blooms to each of the jars to make them a little fuller and a spray of eucalyptus and gyp between them all which gave it a lovely natural green feel. Both hold up well without water so are perfect for this kind of garland effect with very little effort! Just cut the stems quite short (you don't want stems all over your dinner plates!) and arrange them AFTER you have set out the rest of the table and arrangements so you don't have to disturb it.
5) Centre Pieces. We opted for long rows of tables as it fitted our venue style much better than round tables so we didn't have centre pieces as such. We arranged the jars and bottles in a line down the centre of the table in clusters (around the picnic baskets and MASS of bits and bobs we had made for our guests to play with - post on that to come...) but whichever way you decide to go - odd numbers are the key and we think 3 is the magic number!
6) Church/Ceremony. We didn't want to spend lots of pennies on florals for our ceremony as sadly - you are only in there for half an hour! We carried our theme of gyp and peach through into the ceremony and we used our collection of lovely demi johns as our pew ends (we also printed up cards to tie to them so they read "and they all lived happily ever after" as we walked down the aisle!). We also lucked out as there was a wedding in our church the week before and their standing arrangement was still there so we were more than happy to make the most of it! Waste not and all that!
7) Bouquets and button holes. As I said earlier - we were lucky enough to have Maggie - our AMAZING maid of honour's mom, make our bouquets, crowns and button holes for us as we just wouldn't have had time to do them ourselves the day of the wedding (I was setting up our village fete and decorating our wedding cake at 6am - there's only so much a diy bride can take on her wedding day!). This is the one part that I would ere on the side of caution when it comes to DIY-ing flowers. Although gyp is very easy to use - there is a lot more skill involved in creating these babies than venue flowers! However - that doesn't mean AT ALL that it isn't do-able. Get yourself a wrap of gyp (25 stems) from your local wholesaler, hit youtube and have a play with what you feel ok with. As with the centre pieces - odd numbers are the key when adding roses or other florals. You'll need some floral tape (green is best) and something two wrap the stems in on the bouquets - twine is great. I absolutely loved our bridesmaids flower crowns, to get the same look you'll just need to make the crown base with some floral wire and again - hit youtube or pinterest for a tutorial. I may even rope Maggie into doing one for me so I can put it up on the website! I added little keepsakes to our bouquets too - they are for your best girls after all!
So to round up - our £250 budget filled all of our venue jars inside and out, decorated our cake, made our five bouquets, four flower crowns, 11 button holes, our 16 pew ends and our ladder table plan (post on that to come!) and we even had some left over for our vintage bike!
I hope this was useful for you diy couples and if not - well it was a good excuse for me to share some of my fave pics of our flowers!
Peace out folks!
First off - i'm sorry this post has taken me an age to get around to writing - it's been crazy busy at HQ with two gorgeous weddings and mini Jam Jar's 3rd Birthday since our last little ditty!
So here comes the next post in our DIY wedding series - and this one is all about CAKE!
Now, I've always loved baking, so it was on the cards from the get go that I was going to make my own cake for our big day.
Although there are some truly AMAZING cake makers out there (cakes by sian is totes our favourite), it can be pricey to have your cake made by a professional, and when we were working through our budget it just wasn't near enough the top of the priority list to spend too many of our pennies on so I got busy working out the best way to make one.
Most brides definitely wouldn't want the stress of baking a cake two days before their wedding, and most normal brides would shudder at the thought of decorating it THE MORNING OF their wedding...but hey - I'm not a normal bride! And that was exactly what I did for our naked cake.
I'm a big fan of an easy life when I'm busy (and my gosh, busy was an understatement for the two days before our wedding!) so I decided that "from scratch" wasn't an option this time. As such, I had a few practice goes over the summer with some pre-made cake mixes and the winner (by a country mile!) was the Wrights Madeira mix which just happens to be an absolute steal for £1.79 per bag in Aldi! You only need to add oil and water to it and it bakes lovely and moist so I didn't need to worry about it drying out. I played around with adding different flavours to it and the best one for us was to simply add the rind and juice of half a lemon to each mix to freshen it up a bit.
I used 6 bags of cake mix in total, 3 for the bottom teir, two for the middle and one for the top. I baked all of the cakes on the Thursday morning, wrapped them tightly in cling film (after they'd COMPLETELY cooled) and baking paper and stored them in tupperware boxes until I was ready to use them on the Saturday.
When it came to decorating it - I cheated again! I brought 2 pots of Betty Crocker Lemon Buttercream, (which were on offer in Asda for £1.50 each!) and piped the fillings between the cakes. To finish it all, I used a pastry brush to add icing sugar to the outside edges and top of the cake and then filled the gaps with gyp, roses and carnations to match the flowers we had created in the Hall. To get the gap for the flowers between the tiers I used cake pillars to balance the cake boards on. I found them in a charity shop a couple of years back but you can get them in all baking shops for less than a fiver!
So after a few hours work and less than £30 (all in with flowers) we had a lovely three teir cake for our big day. It wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination - but we loved it! The only thing I can't tell you is how it tasted because in all the hustle and bustle of our glorious wedding - we FORGOT TO CUT IT! And when we got back to the hall to clear up on the Sunday an army of wasps were attacking it so sadly it ended up in the bin! It's true what they say - you actually can't have your cake and eat it too!
Thankfully (seeing as everyone was too polite to cut it!) - my cake wasn't the only cake on the menu for our guests. We had a little Bake Off competition and we had some truly awesome bakes from our nearest and dearest. If like us, you're on a budget but LOVE cake, a bake off is a lovely way to get a cracking dessert table if your pals are obliging. We added a little card to our invitations when we sent them with a little note about what we wanted to do and our crew responded in epic fashion. We left voting cards on the cake table and the winner got a little treat in the way of a Thorntons chocolate cup :) Well done again to Emma!
Will try not to leave it quite so long until my next post but after wedding-ing at Merriscourt today for the Watkin wedding and two weddings next week at Swallows Nest Barn and The Mill Barns, i'm thinking it might be October before I find my laptop again!
Thanks again to the lovely Amy Taylor for the lovely photos of our cakes from our big day. Can't wait to see the rest of them and share them with you all when she's finishing wed-iting!
See you all soon xxx
I've been a little bit naff at blogging since I started our little business (it's been a little on the busy front what with styling heaps of weddings, being a mom, running our etsy shop and of course planning our own big day!) But now we're hitched and the end of busy season is approaching for us as winter sets in I thought it was time to set it right!
As such, I'm going to write a little series of blog posts and tutorials to share my experience of planning, making and surviving our wedding at Rock Village Hall in August.
If there are elements of planning you'd like a little advice on that I haven't written - or just fancy being a nit nosey - I'd love to hear from you! Just drop us a line through the contact page and I'll get straight onto it!
First on the list...the venue.
The first thing we worked out was our venue. We knew we wanted to invite all of our nearest and dearest (which includes an army of little folks) and we didn't want to exclude any of our guests from the service either so we knew from the get go we wanted all of our guests there for the whole shabbang as opposed to inviting some people just for the evening. This had consequences on a few sides...it's more expensive as you have to feed and water folks for the day (it seems only fair to throw some lunch at people who have kindly travelled to see you get hitched!), and it's a long day to keep your guests entertained until the evening reception (there's always a couple of hours lull between speeches and the party starting which can sometimes result in a bit of an atmosphere dip).
So we set to work researching venues that would work for us...
We looked at hotels, a castle, barns and pubs and then one day whilst perusing pinterest, I can across a blog on a website of the epic lady who would become our photographer. Amy had captured a wedding at Rock Village Hall and as I scrolled the pictures I instantly fell in love with the idea of a diy wedding. Not only did it mean that we would save heaps of cash, it meant that I would have the freedom to create every little detail (and I do mean EVERY little detail!) for our special day. So I bundled Mr. Jam Jar into the car and off we went to see it.
All village halls are insainly cute for weddings - but Rock is really something else. Mr. J is an Architectural Designer by trade so when he saw this eco friendly beaut of a wooden building it didn't take much persuading to get him on board with my idea. It has all the charm of a village hall, with a bright, modern feel to the rooms and an enourmous village green to boot. For less than £1,000 we had the whole hall from 5pm on the Thursday evening to 3pm on the Sunday to set up, enjoy our day and then take it all down - including the use of a fabulous kitchen, a room for me and my girls to get ready in, another room we used a parenting room, the fabulous hall which seats over 100 people, the bar, a massive car park for our guests and of course the gorgeous decking area and grounds for us all to play in. BARGAIN.
On our visit to Rock, we also realised that less than a 5 minute walk away was the gorgeous St. Peter and St. Pauls Norman Church which, once we'd been in for a cheeky look around, solved our problem of what kind of ceremony to have. Although it wasn't our local church - you can marry in ANY Church of England Church if you are willing to make a connection with it by attending services for 6 months which was exactly what we did. The end result - we got hitched in a glorious church and then our guests pottered down the road behind us in our wedding car to our reception which saved anyone from driving around for hours during the day.
So after an official tour with Ann, the delightful lady who manages the hall, we sent off our deposit and booked the hall for our wedding....2 YEARS away! Fairly quickly after that we went to a lovely service at Rock to meet the parish vicar and church warden to arrange our connection making bits and bobs, and et voila, our wedding plans were officially on their way!
Up next (hopefully over the weekend if I have time between wedding-ing at the Granary Hotel for the Jarrett wedding and working through etsy orders) I'll be chatting all things guest list-ing and stationery.
See you all soon and have a fab weekend my lovelies xxx