Step aside Glastonbury and V Festival, today I’m bringing you WEDGEFEST! Nik and Ali chose a festival style wedding as they longed for a fun, relaxed wedding day. Cue a bride in a pretty summer dress, a groom in shorts, straw bales, a coconut shy, personalised Jenga, sunglasses, yummy food, music, beer, a silent disco, camping and THE most incredible view… now THIS is what I call a fun, relaxed wedding!
If you fancy a summer festival wedding then you will love Nik and Ali’s ideas. Their wedding was just one big party with their nearest and dearest. The couple chose an amazing location, Lower Hill Farm in Shrewsbury, for their wedding celebration, which gave them a blank canvas to create their own set-up and styling. So, with a number of stretch tents and cool lighting, they created their perfect wedding venue.
I love how relaxed and informal Nik and Ali kept their day. This wedding shows that if you don’t fancy a big traditional wedding, you don’t have to have one. Forget Glastonbury, why not have your own summer festival wedding?
A huge thank you to James Griffiths Photography for sharing these fabulous pictures of Wedgefest.
“Ali and I had known each other for some time before we became a couple, having worked together for around six years. After spending some time together outside of work, things developed into something special!
“We went on holiday to explore Montenegro, and whilst we were there I became consciously aware of what I had known sub-consciously for some time – that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Ali. Monty is a beautiful place and perhaps not the first place that comes to mind for a proposal. Both of these factors made it seem highly appropriate for us!
“We found an amazing viewpoint which overlooks the Tara Canyon. It’s the second deepest canyon in the world and an absolutely beautiful spot. We had spent the previous day rafting down the canyon, admiring both its scale and beauty. Without prior preparation (and without a ring!), looking upon the 1,300m deep canyon in tranquil surroundings, I got down on one knee and asked Ali to be my wife.”
“Whilst still on holiday in Monty we discussed what we might like to do, and fairly quickly decided we didn’t want to follow the same format as most of the weddings we had been to. We wanted something different which involved family and friends, very little formality, and lots of fun. As people who enjoy the outdoors, camping, music, and all things rustic, a festival wedding seemed the perfect way to achieve this.
“To suit our festival theme we went for a rustic style with lots of home-made touches. We created our own wedding venue on an existing campsite at Lower Hill Farm, and so had a blank canvas to work with.
“A stretch tent provided some shelter for the ceremony and entertainment, and we used this to frame the amazing view from the Wenlock Edge. We used straw bales and wooden pallets for seating and festival furniture, festoon lighting, bunting for decoration, bee-friendly flowers planted in reused food tins, musical instruments, hops in the bar, vintage bikes, lots of details made from reclaimed wood… and of course, our giant ‘Wedgefest’ letters, lovingly crafted from reclaimed pallets in our back garden! We absolutely loved the reaction of our guests when they saw what we’d created, and how it was so different from anything which they could have imagined.
“To maintain the theme we chose vintage/festival style clothing. Comfort and unique style were definitely the order of the day. Seeing my son, Jamie, dressed in vintage style festival gear was priceless too!
“For our festival wedding entertainment we had three bands and a silent disco, games (giant Jenga, giant Connect Four, coconut shy, diablos etc), and an area for creating forts from straw bales! Continuing our theme of breaking the ‘traditional’ wedding mould, we didn’t have a formal first dance.”
The Real Junk Food Project
“One of the finest achievements of the day, we invited The Real Junk Food Project to cater for our 150 guests. It is a charity organisation that sources food that supermarkets can no longer sell but is still perfectly edible. It’s food that would otherwise go to waste. They use this food to create amazing tasting meals, and cater for a range of special dietary requirements. They did an amazing job, with extremely tasty options for all.”
Workforce of Suppliers and Guests
“Don’t forget your wedding day should be fun for you, as well as for your guests. We were so focused on the guests and making sure everything ran smoothly that we almost forgot about our own desires! For anyone planning a bespoke event like ours, the best piece of advice we could share would be to recruit a reliable workforce of suppliers and guests to help with the setup, help make the day run smoothly, and to help clear up at the end. Many hands make light work! We could not have achieved our goals without the hugely generous contributions from our festival team, who were guests first and volunteers second.”
Photography: James Griffiths Photography
Venue: Lower Hill Farm Campsite, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Stretch Tent and Lighting: Freestretch
Catering: The Real Junk Food Project, Coopers Gourmet Food and The Shropshire Ice Cream Company
Entertainment: The Innocent, Odette Mitchell, Northern Quarter and Silent Noize
Styling Details and Finishing Touches: Home-Made
Local Ales and Cider: Salopian Brewery, Orchard Pig and Westons Cider