The entire art and logistics departments of Bridgerton, must be on call for any wedding called ‘simple in a field’.
If you are toying with the idea of a festival vibe for the big day, get ready to become spreadsheet Lil. I mean really, did you know that the countryside is filled with chancers waiting to nick your generator? You will need it to be chained down, or better still placed under armed guard.
How many portaloos does it take to accommodate 120? Not as many as you might think, but it will keep you awake at night doing strange calculations. Will the taxis come? Probably, but there will always be a couple of drunken townies left looking for an Uber at the end. The ones who didn’t realise there aren’t streetlights, or phone signals, or that Manolos will sink into the very earth, as for where they’re staying… unless they’ve tattooed a map into the small space left on their lower back, it will remain forever a mystery.
These days as wedding costs have spiralled to dizzy heights, the ‘recycled’ wedding is having a moment - it used to be called ‘vintage’ pre covid, but it’s nice to give events a new spin. I would prefer to have a ‘collaborative’ wedding. This means you can involve all your nearest and dearest, friends and relatives - who actually love to be part of the event rather than just turn up.
We had one acquaintance who made silver napkin rings from lengths of aluminium pipe - and they looked brilliant, another made the cake, while I spent happy hours on ebay collecting linen napkins. They are always white, which means you can dye them any colour you fancy, these days a pastel mix could be nice.
Friends come with talents, and often useful careers. The graphic designer, the d.j, the interior decorator, the photographer, the actor-who-can-also-eat-fire. Once you start making a list - well it’s endless. It means that all the guests get to do their bit, and it is worth saying again how much they enjoy it. So much better to be part and parcel. It gives everyone a way to engage, and involves both sides of the family, above all it’s huge fun.
The great thing about a country wedding is that you can glean the woods for leafy branches, saving a fortune on floristry. Head of Everything was married in the autumn, so we collected mossy branches, which went into catering cans (sprayed silver, and gold), even those were donated by a mate in the food business who saved the empties for weeks. The dog contributed his food cans to the mix and they appeared (sprayed) on all the tables with mini posies. The metal twinkled in the candlelight, giving a very pleasing glow.
I’ve still got the wedding dress btw, made by Carol, who is also a costume maker of dizzying skill. Head of Everything is not keen to hand it on yet, but as I have pointed out, who wants to be a Mrs Haversham, when you can give someone else their day in the sun?
Wedding parties take forever to plan, and are ephemeral, but the memories remain.
So collaborate, share. It is after all the essence for a successful marriage.
Written by Clare Hastings (Head of Most Things and mother to Head of Everything)
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