Planning a wedding can be such a daunting task, that’s why we decided to elope and have a budget wedding!
Gaz proposed to me in December 2012 and throughout 2013 we searched different websites and visited potential hotels and registry offices, but there was a nagging doubt in our minds about these places, something just didn’t feel right.
Then in January 2014 we went back to the drawing board and made a list, what did we actually want?
We wanted our wedding to include our greatest passions, Volkswagens and camping. We wanted a no fuss, low key day on a tight budget.
We’d already booked a camping trip for a week in August at Combe Martin, North Devon with both our parents and a couple of friends and on valentines day 2014 it suddenly occurred to us – why not get married while on holiday?
Perfect! We’d fallen in love with Devon the previous year, our parents would be there, and our best man, yes!
Quick as a flash we phoned the registry office in Barnstaple and booked the ceremony for Thursday 7th August at 2pm. Lovely.
I’d already decided on my dress, I wanted to get married in blue and had asked Ester and Lydia at Frock in Nottingham to make it for me. They specialise in designing and making vintage inspired dresses and offer a very personal one to one service. In my opinion a wedding dress is for life, it’s the most precious item of clothing you shall ever own and probably the most expensive, so shouldn’t you be able to wear it again, and again? I think so.
My shoes were bought second hand from eBay (only worn once) for £20, the flower in my hair was 50p and my vintage bag £3.50 – both from St Giles Hospice charity shop in Swadlincote and I bought a beautiful vintage style lace garter off one of our stallies Gina Jay Designs.
So, off we all went to Devon for a week of sun, surf and sausages! Oh, and a little wedding in between.
The day before we got married we did a food shop for our campsite BBQ reception, bought cream roses for our bouquets and button wholes and disposable table cloths and plates.
Our friends – Keren and Steve and my mum and dad had bought gazebos which we put up on the campsite and decorated with fairy lights and up-cycled bunting made from Gaz’s great grandmas linen tablecloths and his grandmas pinnies.
Everything was ready.
Shirking tradition I woke up on the morning of our wedding next to my future husband, as usual – when camping – we put the kettle on and got breakfast cooking, the kids went for a play on the campsite park and we had showers. Then Keren (who is also my hairdresser) did my mums, Rosie’s and my hair, we decorated our VW’s with ivory ribbon and made bouquets and button holes with roses and hydrangeas from the campsite.
Gaz put his wedding outfit on and left for the registry office with his parents. I then swiftly leapt into my dress and used my dads campervan window as a mirror to check everything was present and correct and off we went following the groom to Barnstaple.
Our ceremony was perfect, the registrar was so lovely and made it feel very personal to us.
We had fun, happy music playing all the way through and wrote our own vows. My brother Jim did a reading for us…
For two people this dawn brought on a magical day
Now husband and wife they head on their way
As a boat setting sail may their journey begin
With calmest of waters, most helpful of wind
And if they should stumble upon turbulent sea
May it pass them unharming – leave them be.
For here are two people whom love has well bitten
Here opens their book which has yet to be written
As the first page unfolds and their life inks its path
May it write a true story where forever love lasts
Let their journey be happy till death do they part
Of one thousand chapters may this be the start.
After the ceremony we all jumped back into our campervans and headed off to North Devon’s best tearooms (in our opinion – although they have won awards) Hele Corn Mill & Tea Room they made us feel very special and we had the most delicious cream tea.
Then back to the campsite where my new husband cooked his speciality chilli and our dads cranked up the BBQ’s. The bouquets became the table centrepiece and the button holes became our wedding cake decorations – made by my wonderful mum.
We sat there with our 17 guests eating, drinking and watching the sun go down over the sea in Combe Martin and everything was perfect.
Why was it perfect? Because nothing mattered.
It didn’t matter that I had puffy eyes from camping, or a graze on my leg from body boarding earlier in the week. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have matching dinner plates or cutlery or my bouquet didn’t fit in with the colour scheme (what colour scheme ?!!??!) we were married in one of the most beautiful places, not only in England, but the world, we’d not spent £1,000’s on details, we’d spent £100’s on what was important to us.