Kid-Friendly UK Wedding: Rachael + Dave

UK wedding

Since Rachael + Dave were marrying later in life and had two kids of their own, they knew they wanted their wedding day to be relaxed, kid-friendly + full of fun! They chose the South Allington House in Chivelstone, Devon, England for its beautiful gardens + picturesque backdrop, but also for its massive grounds that allowed the kids to run, roam + climb trees. :) Food was also important to Rachel + Dave, so guests dined on fish ’n chips + pizza from food trucks, enjoyed delicious ale from two local breweries + were served freshly made Devon cream tea + scones, made on-site by the property owner. And the fun-loving couple was sure to keep everyone entertained with tons of fun games + activities – for both the kids and the adults!

Sounds like a blast, right?! And be sure not to miss the very unique aisle they created for their ceremony! Big thanks to Knot and Pop for the lovely event design and to Ed Peers for the absolutely gorgeous images – and of course, congrats to Rachael + Dave!

UK wedding

boutonnieres

groom

UK wedding rings

bride with flower girls

wood branch arch

wedding program


Our invite was a tea towel that my friend helped me transfer as art deco style tree motif, which acted as both invite and a permanent “save the date.” Design by RegDesign and printing by Countryside Art.

hay benches

bunting tent

lawn games


Rachel + Dave created a spiral aisle out of hay bales, which gave the ceremony a magically intimate + unique feel. I just love it…

circle hay ceremony set up

flower girl

flower girls with bride

ceremony

UK ceremony

UK ceremony

flower crowns

UK ceremony

bouquets

rope ceremony

Processional: Here Comes the Sun (Nina Simone version), sung by a friend

Recessional: Islands in the Stream – Dolly Parton + Kenny Rogers

First Dance: I’m in the Mood for Ska – Lord Tanamo

UK ceremony

bride and groom

groom and son

groomsmen

bridesmaids in skirts

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bouquet

bride and groom

bride and groom

UK wedding

flower girls


From Rachael, It was very important to us to create a fun family festival with food vans serving at no set time + LOADS of activities. Food vans are a relatively new concept in the UK so it was a bit of a struggle sourcing local vans. Both vans were proper vintage vehicles that had to drive VERY slowly + VERY far to make it!

photo cut out

balloon seating chart

fish and chip stand

fish and chip stand

fish and chip stand

bride with dog

signs


How cool are the trees inside the reception tent?!

tent wedding

heart and balloon settings

heart place setting

balloon tags

balloons

better together signs

UK reception

cheese cake

UK cheese cake

UK wedding

I have a few!
1. As I reached the brow of the hill I saw everyone stand up. I nearly looked behind me to see what they were standing up for before realizing it was me!
2. Looking into the eyes of every single person from my entire life as I walked around the spiral aisle – I loved that spiral!
3. Watching my 7 year old son stand up in front of 170 people and deliver a word perfect best man’s speech that had every single person crying + laughing.

grooms son speech

first dance

Start early! Use Pinterest. Don’t expect the groom to be as involved as you! Don’t worry about spending a fortune on food / flowers / drink – people just want food that is tasty + fills them up – our fish’n’chip van and pizza cost less than £15 head and were both award winning caterers. Don’t obsess about the dress – there are so many out there that you will be able to find at least 10 that would all look great. Do not skimp on a really good photographer. The photos will capture all those moments you missed as well as act as a living memory. Go to at least one wedding fair – whether huge or small and niche – it really gets you into the planning mode and is a great day out with your friend or mum!

photography: Ed Peers // venue: South Allington House Chivelstone, Devon United Kingdom // event design: Bride, with grateful help streamlining all my ideas & running the day from Knot and Pop // event planner: Knot and Pop // floral design: Blue Geranium // wholesale flowers: Flowers 4 Florists // wedding dress: RKBridal NYC – Wtoo “Emerson” // hairpieces: an off the peg veil from RKBridal NYC // shoes: barefoot & SALT-WATER sandals // bridesmaid dresses: maxi skirts made in sari material from an Indian tailor on Turnpike Lane in London. Plain white tops from Zara and I bought them a necklace each from a market stall in Greenwich NYC // flowergirls + best man: Embroidered bird feather brooches and a fox medallion from Coral and Tusk, Off the peg white Edwardian style lawn dresses from La Redoute // celebrants: Ru & Claire Callender // hair: Sara Antoniades at HAC Hair And Beauty // make up + beauty treatment: Rachael Gaunt // groom suit: Darcy Clothing // catering: Fish and Chip Catering, Jalopy Pizza, Quercus Devon Ales, South Hams Brewery // cake: The Cheese Shed, fruit cakes made by Bride’s mother // cake topper: Animal head wedding cake topper by MelaboWed // music: a Lindy-Hop Lesson by Martin at The Swing Land

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DIY: Avocado Dyed Tassels

DIY_Avocado_Tassels

We have a fun DIY today from our DIY contributor Christy of One Handspun Day using natural dyes! I’ve been super interested to learn more about using natural dyes, so I’m excited that Christy is sharing a fun project using avocado pits as the dye – pretty amazing! I’ll let Christy explain more :)

This summer I spent a week in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains learning about the fascinating world of natural dyes from  Sasha Duerr. The beauty of natural dyes is that the color will vary for every plant and may change completely depending on the season. One of the many exciting things we learned was how to use what are often considered kitchen waste materials as sources for natural dyes.

I am an avocado lover and eat them daily, so I was particularly interested in the use of avocado pits as dye material. Avocado pits can produce colors ranging from dusty pinks to burnt oranges – both of which we ended up with in our class and the latter of which was the color I created in this project. 

Materials:
Avocado Pits (Tip: Ask friends or a local Mexican restaurant to save avocado pits for you.)
Wool/Natural Fiber Yarn
Stainless Steel Pot
Knife & Cutting board
Scissors
Dowel
Thread
Trinkets & Trimmings (optional)

avocado_dyed_yarn_materials

DIY_Avocado_Tassels_step01

avocado_dyed_yarn


Step One: Make the dye
The weight of dye material should always equal the weight of fiber material when you are making natural dyes, so you will need enough avocado pits to equal the weight of your yarn. I used five avocado pits for one ball of yarn and had more than enough dye left over for future projects.

Thoroughly wash the avocado pits and roughly chop them. Watch how quickly the color changes from light beige to orange-red as oxygen hits it. Fill a stainless steel pot with enough water to cover all of the yarn (rainwater is ideal, but you can use distilled or tap in a pinch). Add the yarn and chopped avocado pits (wrap them in cheesecloth for easier cleanup). Bring the water to a gentle boil for 20 minutes. Reduce to a simmer and cover for at least 40 minutes. Continue to simmer until the yarn reaches the desired saturation then turn off the heat and allow everything to sit overnight. Tip: test the dye color by carefully squeezing part of the yarn between your fingers and seeing what color remains in the yarn.

Remove the yarn and lay out to air dry. Gently rinse with PH neutral soap and allow to air dry again.

A few notes on safety when working with natural dyes: Always work in a well ventilated area, wear gloves, and do not use pots or utensils that you cook with – keep a set exclusively for creating dye.

DIY_Avocado_Tassels_step02


Step Two: Create the tassels
Wrap yarn around a piece of cardboard or similar object until it is approximately an inch wide. Cut from the skein and tie the top with a small piece of yarn or thread. Cut the side opposite the tie to remove the yarn from the cardboard. Hold the tie and pull all of the yarn pieces down together to shape the tassel. Wrap yarn or thread around the top of the tassel and tie to secure. Repeat for as many tassels as you desire, adding pieces of non-dyed yarn for variety.

Step Three: String the tassels
String the tassels from the dowel using thread and add some beads, trinkets or other trimmings if it tickles your fancy!

DIY_Avocado_Tassels_step03

DIY Avocado Tassels - Finished Closeup Horiz


DIY created by Christy of One Handspun Day exclusively for Green Wedding Shoes. Check out more of her designs at One Handspun Day

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Lighthearted Palm Springs Wedding: Nicole + Vince

ace wedding

Nicole + Vince’s lighthearted Palm Springs wedding took place at one of my absolute fave SoCal spots: the iconic + charming Ace Hotel in Palm Springs! Agreeing to forgo many of the formalities of a traditional wedding, Nicole + Vince focused on certain aspects that were important to them – like serving yummy food + throwing an epic dance party! And since Nicole was completely inspired by the beautiful mid-century modern decor + old Hollywood glamour inherent to the hotel’s design, they worked with what was already available, and added small + purposeful details throughout. I’m super in love with their pink ombre ribbon ceremony backdrop + the perfect use of gold + sparkle in the reception design. Here’s a bit from Nicole about why they decided to throw a Palm Springs wedding:

Palm Springs is one of our favorite places. We love to vacation there and we even got engaged there during an amazing weekend in March of 2012. Vince proposed to me over drinks at The Parker on a Friday night and of course I said yes but the best was yet to come… Little did I know that Vince and our two best friends, who later became our Maid of honor and best man, had been planning a surprise engagement party with all of our friends for the following night!  Needless to say, Palm Springs is a special place for us and when it came to planning our wedding it was the perfect choice.

Such a fun engagement story! Big thanks to EP Love for the gorgeous photography and congrats to Nicole + Vince!

ace wedding chevron invitation

ace wedding first look

I was initially opposed to seeing each other prior to the ceremony, BUT Vince was very adamant that we get through pictures prior to the ceremony so that we could spend time enjoying ourselves afterwards. He is, at times, the more rational one in our relationship, so I eventually agreed and it was a really great decision. Seeing each other for the first time was better than both of us could have imagined. Vince had seen my dress, I had seen him in his tuxedo, but when we locked eyes on that day it was like we were in a movie. He looked so handsome and my dress was sparkling in the dessert sun. Our eyes both filled up with tears of joy and then we quickly moved in to our silly secret handshake and laughed and all of our nerves melted away. It was such a beautiful moment.

first look

pink and gold boutonniere

ace wedding

ace wedding

ace wedding

ace wedding

ace wedding

ombre backdrop

ombre backdrop

ace wedding

ace wedding

ace wedding

ace wedding

ace wedding

ace wedding

ace wedding

pink bouquet


I’m crazy about the gorgeous floral design by Chelsea of Hello Gem. And Nicole, Vince and their wedding planner, Courtney of LVL Wedding and Events, handmade all of  the flower vessels themselves by collecting over 100 bottles, scraping the labels, and spray painting them with different gold patterns. Love how they turned out!

gold painted bottle vases

table numbers

gold painted bottle vases

ace wedding

gold painted bottle vases

mrs sign

mr. sign

ombre ace wedding dessert bar

bundt wedding cake

Processional: Bridal Party: Montezuma – Fleet Foxes; Bride: Sea of Love – Cat Power

Recessional: Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen

First Dance: That’s How Strong My Love is Covered – Otis Redding

first dance

This is probably a common theme with brides but if you can do it, get a planner, even if it is just a day of or partial planner, it's totally worth it. I would have been lost without my planner, Courtney. I started a brand new job two months before we got married, talk about stress. Courtney was so helpful and amazing and I could not have done it without her.

In addition, if friends and family want to help, let them. My family was all the way across the country in Ohio so I was lucky enough to have my best friends Tara and Erin and their mom Linda that were nearby to help. Last but certainly not least, our mothers were a HUGE help by being supportive about all of our decisions and being there every step of they way through the process. A wedding is a true labor of love when you want to make it your own and you choose to DIY a lot of elements. So many people came together to make our day so special and I cannot thank them enough for that. Accept help and let go of control when you can and it will make things a lot easier and less stressful.

photography: EP Love // venue: Ace Hotel and Swim Club Palm Springs, California // event design + planning: the bride and Courtney Caplin Cotter of LVL Wedding and Events // floral design: Chelsea Kline of Hello Gem // wedding dress: Thiea from the Nordstrom Wedding Suite // hairpieces: hair comb by Nina from the Nordstrom Wedding Suite // shoes: Christian Louboutin // bridesmaid dresses: Amsale from the Nordstrom Wedding Suite // hair + makeup: Jennifer Naideth and her assistant Danielle // groom suit: J Crew // paper goods: Paper Source and Linda Pionkowski (family friend of the bride), ceremony programs by Chelsea of Hello Gem. All other paper goods by The Pionkowski family and the Bride // catering: The Ace Hotel – King’s Highway // cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes // music: DJ Chris Paul //  garland + balloons: The Flair Exchange // glitter letters for the Mr. & Mrs., cheers, etc: Natalie Xanthakis

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