#PughFest at Alcott Farm

Hayley & Scott’s Festival at Alcott Farm

The Idea

After meeting Scott back at V Festival 2011 we had dreamed of creating the same vibe as that sunny tipsy Saturday afternoon sat on the grass in a relaxed atmosphere. Since that day I have imagined a whimsical, romantic, festival styled wedding which would include all the fun of that first meeting complete with tipis, and camping for all our guests and not to mention the invite of our four legged fur baby spaniel.

Festival Wedding

Scott and I scoured the internet for local wedding venues and knew we had struck gold when we came across Alcott Farm. Scott had always wanted to marry as close to our first meeting anniversary date as possible, so when we visited Lucy at Alcott Weddings and the only date available was 1st September the following year we knew it was meant to be.  The location was also easy for our northern guests to travel to and find easily.  Our dream was happening.

We imagined hay bales and glamping for our guests, flowers, amazing food and the most important ingrediant was music, as,no matter where you are from, everybody loves music. We knew from the very start the key to our wedding was to be a constant flow of live music as we really didn’t want to have one of those standard weddings that gets that afternoon lull and everyone is bored waiting for the night guests to arrive. We needed to stay true to our love of music and create a great atmosphere for everybody to enjoy.

 

 

 

Credits

Venue:  Alcott Farm Wedding and Events

Celebrant: Justine Wykerd at Just Celebrations

Tipi : Big Chief Tipis

Flowers and table styling: Tuckshop Flowers 

Lighting and sound : Key Event Network

Bands:

Day Band: Valley Road Acoustic Duo

After Dinner Saxophonist: Carlo Saxophonist 

Evening and Party: Brohemian

The Cake

After a crazy hen party dressed as a full on feathered flamingo it seemed only right that these were incorporated. My mum took control of the cake as `I had previously said wasn’t that fussed but I am so glad she did. It was made by a lady ‘Up North’ from a company called Buttercream Cakes based in Rotherham.

The layers of choclate orange and lemon drizzle sponge were just divine.

For those that didn’t like cake we chose to have flavoured pork scratchings from The Snaffling Pig in help yourself jars. These turned out to be a great hit with the men and quickly disappeared once the first guest opened the jars.

(which Hayley doesn’t realise was actually the photographer oops)

Entrance

Vintage Tractor Hire Shropshire – The little Fergie. I always wanted to make an entrance – it was my wedding after all! Everyone around me were doing the whole vw camper van route. This wasn’t me. I was on a farm so the perfect answer was a tractor!! After searching I found these gentlemen that not only had a tractor it came with a cart so i could transfer all my wedding party from the farm house to the field. Rolling down the hill from the field was just amazing seeing all my guests located on the hay bales was just perfect

 

The Ceremony

When imagining the ceremony originally, the whole idea terrified us. We don’t attend church, we are not usually ‘over the top’ kissy cuddly and the idea of being the centre of attention was quite daunting. We decided we wanted something different, this is where we found Justine from Just Celebrations. She offered something different and this is where it all began. The ceremony turned out to be amazing our guests were all lined up on hay bales with Scott waiting with Justine (in front of the tipi structure he had built that morning). The sun was shining and Eli and Ali played out the Lumineers Hey Ho! The feeling was unimaginable (pure happiness). Little Reggie (the spaniel) walked me down the aisle with Scott’s dad which was perfect.

Justine then told our story. She made it personal, quirky and most of all entertaining, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. We decided to do something different and actually Tie the Knot. If you have ever seen the Mel Gibson film Braveheart this is an old ritual for couples who want a visual expression of tying the knot for everyone to see, the simplicity and the vision and words spoken felt like a fairy tale and made it feel like it was all a dream.

 

The Ceremony – Hayley and Scott Tie the Knot by Justine

 

Hayley & Scott’s outdoor wedding ceremony was a dream to write and deliver, and they were a treat to work with.  They met at a music festival and carried the festival theme through to their ceremony and #Pughfest. That included haybales as guest seating and the tipi-style centrepiece that formed the backdrop for their ceremony and tying the knot.

They truly embraced the opportunity for a personal celebrant-led ceremony which started with Hayley and her bridal party arriving by tractor drawn trailer (what a start!) and followed with her being escorted down the aisle and accompanied by Reggie Pugh – their adorable (but mad and highly excitable) Spaniel.

When Scott and Hayley first met, he told her that he was a dolphin & seal tamer, so how could we not include this as part of their love story during their ceremony?!   It brought much laughter to all of the guests and set the scene for a relaxed and enjoyable ceremony that was sprinkled with love and of romance.

Their guests had arrived to watch them tie the knot – so they did just that.   Hayley & Scott opted for a symbolic handfasting as part of their ceremony. Their handfasting ribbons were made in the colours of their choice and adorned with personalised charms including a fireman’s helmet, a dog, a slice of pizza, their initials and a musical note as a nod to how they had met.

By forming the figure 8 with their hands, Hayley and Scott created the symbol of infinity; their hands were bound together and tied by their nuptial knot in a declaration of unity.  

Here’s to love, laughter and happily ever after.

Congratulations both – you rock!

Love, Justine xx

Alcott Farm

With British weather being ever so unpredictable we knew we needed to find the perfect marquee to ensure we had the perfect day. This is where Big Chief Tipis came in for our festival type structure, and even helped supply all the furniture inside to enable our guests to be able to sit comfortably inside.

The venue was lit by Chris from Key Event Network. He provided a 5 star service on the evening and undertook the role of events manager and organised all of our suppliers coming in on the day and ensured our day ran smoothly. As nightfall fell it became apparent how far they had gone to help us when more atmospheric lights appeared on our earlier ceremony structure.

The ceremony structure and the table decorations were all styled with fabulous flowers provided by Tuckshop Flowers. Carole is just a gem, she literally takes the ideas out of your head and makes them happen. We found her at an Inspired Brides open day and her natural ‘no hassle’ charisma won us over. She was all about taking control of ideas and ensuring she could do them for as little cost as possible from re- using the bridesmaid bouquets for outdoor table vases to the extra floral buckets to scatter around on the day. Nothing was a problem for her to tackle, from climbing up heights to decorate the chandelier to arriving both the day before and on the morning to decorate.

With the wedding itself being in a field we knew we had to up our game with decorations, with the help of family and friends we were able to make our own outdoor tables from re used pallets and after taking advantage of the brides brother in-law the amazing wooden PUGHFEST sign was made (which just made us think of that weekend away together at Glastonbury). The wedding stationery was printed by our sister law after the launch of her little printing shop on ETSY and Instagram (EVA VINCENT DESIGN) we knew she would put up with our demands and nothing would be too much trouble when it came to designing the table numbers and plan in order to suit the rest of the decor. Whilst Scotts dad took charge and created the banners it felt like a proper family effort.

The day wouldn’t be complete without the props we provided entertaining sunglasses, ponchos (incase) and flower crowns for our guests to enjoy, we found as soon as the ceremony was over the basket was soon empty and as you looked around the guests were all getting involved in that festival fun. Scott had always wanted a six foot real life bear for the venue but unfortunately this was just not practical as it may have eaten our guests so after debates I gave in and as an alternative allowed him to have an 8f t cardboard cut out of a bear to prop up the bar.

 

 

Food

Food! Where do we start? After music our second love is food, we had to have good food. We didn’t want that buffet style (if you have ever experienced been that person at the end of the queue you will understand why!) It had to be the sit down meal with a twist. This is where Savva Bars and Catering Co came in they provided both the bar services and food. With our upcoming honeymoon in Greece we found that a Mediterranean themed feast would be perfect. We wanted the guests to socialise and have fun so we had Italian meat sharing board starters followed by Greek beef stifado accompanied with a Greek salad. We found at previous weddings we both never really finish the three course meal so rather than a sit down meal we chose to go down the vintage Ice Cream Cart from Avant Ice Cream Tricycles so that guests could leisurely enjoy their ice creams in the evening sun whilst listening to Karlo on his Saxophone. The ice creams were delicious and we found out some guests went not only for seconds but even thirds to ensure they tried a variety of flavours.

Music

We knew from the very beginning this was key to creating our dream, no matter if it was to rain or shine we had create the atmosphere from when we first met. Our first choice of the day was Ell and Ali who form an acoustic duo called Valley Road, we had just returned from a crazy weekend in Ibiza when I found them. Their YouTube demo was literally a clip of a song by the Chainsmokers which we had heard all that weekend and the repetoire was just filled with upbeat acoustic songs of our favourite hits.

The plan was for them to start the day from the ceremony and relax people into the festival vibe up until the time to feed their bellies.

The second artists of the day was Karlo Sax (Carlo Fraccalvieri). Our love of Ibiza continued with this choice. We knew after many evenings sitting watching the sunsets on the sunset strip in Ibiza we had to bring in the element of the ‘Deep House, Ibiza Lounge’ set and Carlo fitted this bill perfectly. The idea was to have our guests leave the tipi after dining, feeling fat and lazy and enjoy the sunset with a cocktail in hand and relax with the Ibiza sax sound.

Our last band had to be special for those guests wanting to party until the very end. It had to be a floor filler. I kept having nightmares or empty dancefloors and dreaded that scene. One day I was just scouring facebook and there they were! Indie/rock festival band called Brohemian (my love of Mumford and Sons and Scott’s Oasis and the White Stripes rolled into one) They were the ultimate party band which every generation would love. They even agreed to sing for my first dance which was really important to have as it was by the band Courteeners which is who we were watching when our paths crossed.

The Outfits

Whilst most brides struggle to find ‘the one’ that ‘perfect dress’ I knew what I wanted after scouring the internet I found two perfect dresses by a designer called Justin Alexander. After scouring stockists it happened that a shop called The Dressing Rooms in Halesowen (TDR Bridal) stocked this designer, so they ordered the dress in. So off I went with my mum, sister and niece and after trying on numerous dresses we came back to the one knew all along and it fit like a glove! I looked in the mirror and gone were the ripped jeans and Dr Martens and there stood me!! Feeling like a princess!

The older bridesmaids all wore ISSA dresses from House of Fraser I first saw the brand on Kate Middleton and knew due to their varying sizes these dresses would be perfect.

The little flower girls both wore John Rocha from Debenhams, and flower crowns made by Carole at Tuckshop Flowers. After watching Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding both had been overly excited at the prospect of finally walking down the aisle!

When it came to the groom it was,in fact, him who was the worst in finding his outfit which was still coming together the day before the wedding. His suit was from Heart and Dagger at Asos and his sunglasses (which he refrained from taking off were Armani) anyone would have thought he was the bride!

Photographer

After all the planning, the wedding was finally taking place! It was vital that we were able to treasure these memories forever and record our story. We only had one shot at this so it was important when counting up costs that a photographer was in our budget. After looking on the internet we came across reputable photographers who were either booked, too expensive or wouldn’t shoot for us due to our little four legged furbaby being at the ceremony.

This is when we found Sheryl from Oobaloos Photography. It was meant to be, not only was her work stunning she was also amazing at shooting her four legged clients, and what more she was available for our day. As a bride I was usually a control freak however when it came to photography I was the opposite. Not a girl usually for the modern day ‘selfie’,  the whole photo situation was quite scary. So with little help (which means none) from myself or Scott, Sheryl literally had to sort everything for us. This made our day even more perfect as we went through the day seamlessly. We just wanted to enjoy the party with our guests and not miss out on all those moments you usually miss spending hours doing posed photos. With no help she managed to herd a party of 100 drunken guests and provide us with a gallery which is out of this world and we will cherish it for years to come.

Having Oobaloo Photography has let us relive our ‘best day ever’ all over again.

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