Your Real Wedding
Dawn and Matthew were friends for three years before they got together. They used to meet up every year at Leeds Festival, and on the last night of the festival in 2009 they had their first kiss. They realised they had always liked each other but had never done anything about it. That changed in 2009.
Dawn and Matthew got engaged in Bali in 2013. Matthew got down on one knee on the beach during a sunset walk. He'd carved 'Marry Me?' into a beautiful piece of driftwood and had hidden it down his shorts! As Dawn was looking at the sunset he got down on one knee, holding the driftwood.
"I was so surprised; I had no idea!"
The Wedding Theme, Styling and Details
As Dawn and Matthew got together at a festival they based their wedding styling around this theme. They used the farm venue to their advantage, using things like milk urns, watering cans and wheel barrows in their decor, as well as lots of hay bales. The festival theme ran all the way through with camping for guests and an outdoor vibe.
They chose pastel colours as they wanted flexibility with colours rather than being restricted to two or three colours, and this worked well with the venue and surrounding countryside.
Everything was handmade; the place names were on luggage tags, as they are passionate about travel, and also had buttons on them as Dawn loves buttons! They decorated hundreds of recycled jam jars with lace, buttons and burlap string, and put flowers and tea lights in them. Matthew made lots of wooden signs to go around the venue, which looked fantastic, and their invites were designed by a good friend to look like festival fliers.
The Bride and Groom's Outfits
Dawn's dress was gorgeous and pretty much what she'd imagined; she knew what she wanted from the off. Dawn found her dress in a local shop, having visited three other shops beforehand, and although she'd seen some gorgeous dresses waited until this appointment as she had looked at their dresses online and knew it would be worth the wait. Dawn chose 'Rosella' by Sally Eagle, a stunning dress with lace keyhole back and pearl buttons.
The Bridal Party
Dawn and Matthew had four bridesmaids, two flower girls, a ring bearer, best man, master of ceremonies and two ushers. The bridesmaids wore long chiffon dresses from different UK stores, and Dawn and Matthew asked them to pick a pastel colour that they felt most comfortable in, as they all had different skin tones. The flower girls wore little pink dresses with buttons on the front, from Monsoon.
The men wore stone coloured chinos from ASOS with white shirts and braces, and Dawn and Matthew's little nephew, the ring, wore the same.
The Wedding Transport
Dawn and Matthew hired an olive VW Campervan as their wedding transport. Before they emigrated to Australia they used to own one, but had to sell it, so when it came to deciding on their wedding car it had to be a VW Camper!
The Wedding Flowers
Dawn's mother arranged all the flowers. They chose hydrangeas for the centrepieces, buttonholes and corsages as they are local to Cornwall and come in a variety of gorgeous pastel. Dawn's bouquet was a simple arrangement of white roses, gypsophila and white freesias, and they also had watering cans with sunflowers in as they suited the venue perfectly.
The Ceremony and Reception
The ceremony and reception both took place at Woodland Valley Farm in Ladock, Cornwall, which Dawn and Matthew chose as their venue because it allowed them to be very flexible and have the two days they wanted. The day before the wedding they had a family and friends get-together on the farm, with three bands, a barbecue and silly games like beer pong and a Cornish pasty eating competition.
The wedding ceremony took place in a barn, which looked gorgeous with bunting handmade by Matthew's granny, lots of fairy lights and flowers. Guests were seated on hay bales and Dawn walked down the aisle to 'I Giorni' by Ludovico Einaudi. The ceremony was very beautiful and relaxed, with Dawn's mother reading a poem she'd written for them.
The reception took place in a larger barn, where they had a three course meal which included gourmet pies, catered for by the venue. Desserts were made by family members and they had a giant cheese board too.
In the evening Dawn's uncle provided the food from his hot dog stand, which fitted the festival theme perfectly, and they had a band for entertainment.
The Wedding Cake
Dawn's nana, Elaine, made their wedding cake, which is a family tradition. They asked for a lemon cake, but that was all they knew; Elaine just asked them what their theme was going to be, and created a gorgeous cake which included some fondant icing buttons.
The First Dance
Dawn and Matthew chose 'Higher Love' by James Vincent McMorrow as their first dance song, as it's very romantic.
"We did the traditional slow dance. It was difficult to pick one song as we have so many!"
The Wedding Photographer
Dawn and Matthew chose Tyron Craig Mackenzie Photography as their wedding photographer, who Matthew found online. As Matthew is very passionate about photography it was particularly important to him to find the perfect photographer, and he did.
"Tyron was very professional and took stunning pictures which we are over the moon with. I think our favourite is the one of us stood on top of a hill at dusk, although it's hard to choose!"
As Dawn and Matthew love travel, so in true style decided to do a six month honeymoon around Central and South America!
"As we live so far away it was really important to have as much quality time with our loved ones as possible, which is why we had two days. Our best memories are simply being with our favourite people and having the best time celebrating the biggest day of our lives. Looking around and seeing them all enjoying themselves in a venue that you've all worked together to create is amazing."
The Wedding Community
"The real weddings were really helpful; reading tips from people who have done it is invaluable."
Tips and Ideas
"Plan ahead; do as much as you can as early so you can relax during the run-up without feeling too overwhelmed."
Bride's Top Tips
"Do what makes you both happy. We did a completely handmade wedding, which concerned our families a little as there was so much to do, but together we pulled it off and everyone said it was the best wedding. Don't be afraid to take a little risk rather the safe option; you will reap the rewards.
Groom's Top Tips
"Don't get too stressed and don't be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. Try not to worry - it will all be alright on the night!"
"2,500m of fairy lights for £100! Use eBay, Amazon etc instead of wedding sites that can charge a fortune."
Money Saving Tips
"Do as much as you can yourselves. You don't need to spend a fortune on decor, lighting, flowers etc. Plan ahead and ask friends and family with skills to help out and make things. It makes your wedding that much more special looking around and knowing people you love have helped to create it. Pinterest is great for inspiration."
Bride's Beauty Tips
"get plenty of sleep beforehand, in the week before not just the night before! Wear make-up that you feel comfortable in and trial your make-up and hairstyle so you know exactly what you want."
See more beautiful pictures from this wedding by viewing the 'A Festival Wedding in Cornwall' post on The Wedding Community Blog
Photography: Tyron Craig Mackenzie Photography
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