A stunner of a diy village hall wedding
What can be said about this pair that probably hasn't been said before? Well not only are they just utterly gorgeous, lovely people and funny they're evidently creative and very, very savvy which means you should hate them for being perfect but you just can't because they're just so bloody lovely!
From the moment we first met we clicked and when they were describing their DIY wedding my brain was popping all over the place with excitement for their plans and I was not disappointed at all! Not only was the weather incredible but this is the kind of wedding you see on Pinterest and Instagram and just think "I'll never be able to do that"; well you CAN!
The day started with me arriving at Carmel's mom and dad's house for the morning preparations which took place in "Sloanie's" the bar at the bottom of their garden...yes you read that correctly; her parents have a bar at the bottom of their garden and it's bloody amazing! I might ask about hiring it for birthday parties because with a fully stocked bar and a full karaoke system it would be an utter scream.
With the bridesmaids chugging the Bucks Fizz and being pampered by the awesome hair stylist and make up artist (see suppliers list below) it was all very relaxed from the get go. The conversation flowed, we were having a giggle and only one of the flower girls cried so that usually means it's been a success! A very organised morning ended with Carmel, complete with a gorgeous messy plait decorated with gypsophila, being helped into her absolutely stunning dress (apparently now called "The Carmel") which was a perfect combination of detailed and simple.
I popped off to Cheylesmore Manor ready for the ceremony and had a little blast from the past. Whilst doing my NQT year I used to live in the apartments behind this gorgeous building and remember spending lazy Saturdays with a cuppa watching the weddings come and go. With the groomsmen arriving, and promptly having their buttonholes fixed because Google has led them astray, and looking sharp in their suits and sunglasses the guests soon followed. After a minor first aid emergency and the first use of my little first aid kit in my emergency bag, it was time for the bride to arrive.
When I met Jaime and Carmel for the first time I was warned that Jaime kept his heart on his sleeve and was very openly emotional and they weren't wrong. Seemingly calm until his bride walked down the aisle a few little tears fell throughout the ceremony and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a man showing his emotions. A simple, emotional ceremony followed with a beautiful reading which got a few guests crying and whilst the newlyweds signed the register they played their parents first dance songs which, again, got a few tears flowing from the gathered family and friends (True by Spandau Ballet and Hey Jude by The Beatles for you nosey parkers).
The guests congratulated the happy couple as they left the Black Prince Room and headed downstairs ready to cover the new Mr and Mrs Mcilroy in confetti, the newlyweds had their first little break of the day to have a moment to breath and take in that they are now man and wife.
After a little time to chat and mingle the coach arrived ready to take the guests down to the beautiful little village of Preston on Stour for the reception. The village hall had only hosted one wedding reception before but how these two decorated and laid out the hall would put many established wedding venues to shame. Simple, elegant and rustic the room looked stunning with simple white linens, lots of glass and greenery the tables were beautifully elegant with little Mcilroy touches of rum and gin bottles holding the flowers on the tables. However, the piece-de-resistance was the bar outside built by Carmel's insanely resourceful dad from pallets. It fit the venue and the vibe of the wedding perfectly and was VERY well stocked for a hot summer day.
Being a DIY wedding there was no strict plan for the day so because everyone was enjoying a drink and a relax in the summer sunshine we decided to do the portraits later after the speeches and the meal to allow the guests to make the most of the time and enjoy some gorgeously fresh cooked canapés.
The guests took to the tables ready for the speeches starting with the father of the bride. You could just tell from his face how proud he was of this beautiful daughter and the hard work they had put in to the wedding but it didn't stop him giving his new son-in-law a good ribbing. He also was given a good, or terrible, piece of advice for the speech which was; everytime he felt like he was going to get a little emotional to have a shot, so 5 shots down the room burst into applause and the focus shifted to Jaime.
From his words and the way he looks at his new wife you can just tell how madly in love this couple are and it just melts your heart. Speaking so highly of his new wife and the support they've had from both their parents there were bound to be a few tears falling (and not just Jaime!) With thank you gifts given out and a glass raised to members of the family who were unable to be there the speeches were handed over to one of the two best men (the other one didn't want to do public speaking). The best man's speech was simple and not your usual roast of the groom which meant people were set free to go and tuck into the AMAZING food. As a committed carnivore when they mentioned it was a vegetarian curry I was worried but good lord it was bloody delicious! If you're looking to have some curry at your wedding day then check the suppliers list below for their brilliant catering.
After everyone was stuffed we headed out onto the grass bank just outside the village hall to get the group photographs done. Once they were complete, which was relatively efficient, I took Jaime and Carmel for their second break of the day. Being a gorgeous countryside village there were plenty of gorgeous lanes, a bus stop-come barn which I was totally in love with and gates to play with all very close by to the reception venue. With the sun just starting to drop the lighting was beautiful for their portraits and with these two being so adorable and in love the portraits were a breeze and we were accompanied by the village cat, which for this couple was probably a highlight of the day.
Getting back in time for the Mcilroys to have a few more drinks before they cut the beautiful cake (adorned with little versions of themselves and their cats) before Carmel attempted, and failed, to have a sneaky taste of the top layer. Then it was time for the first dance, using Video Games by Lana Del Ray this couple had a gorgeous little moment to themselves before the dance floor lit up for the next few songs getting everyone up and shaking their groove things.
As the sun set on the horizon I said my goodbyes and left the guests to enjoy this absolutely gorgeous wedding day. If you're planning a DIY or village hall wedding make sure you take a look below for what this creative pair did because if you follow their lead you can't go wrong!
Venue | Cheylesmore Manor and Preston-on-Stour Village Hall
Cake | Jodie Hisgett
Cake Toppers | Kat Mann
Stationery | Pure Invitation
Dress | Bea's Bridal Studio
Suits | Christopher Gough
Cars | CG Wedding Cars
Flowers | NuLeaf Florist
Food | Royal Punjab Catering