It’s Wedding Wednesday!
So, that can only mean one thing; an inspirational real wedding for you. Now, this one is particularly inspiring, as it includes a variety of fun outdoor games and competitions – all reflecting Gethin & Jo’s love for triathlons and athletics. Fun is the name of the game with this wedding, the photographs evoke that perfectly, too. Gethin & Jo’s wedding was sent to us by Rob Leon, a fabulous photographer over here in the Cotswolds. Their fun-filled wedding took place on Saturday 8th June in Clanfield, Oxfordshire at St Stephens Church, with their wedding reception at Friars Court.
Without further ado, I hand you over to Jo…
Gethin and I had been together for exactly 12 years when Gethin proposed (he proposed on our 12 year anniversary). We met in our first year of university. I’d basically given up hope of Gethin ever proposing! Gethin proposed and got down on one knee in our hotel room just as we were about to go out for a meal at a Michelin star restaurant for our anniversary. I said yes straightaway!
We started to plan the wedding pretty much as soon as we got engaged. We worked together through-out – it was very much a team effort. Our ideas for the day evolved as the months passed by, but we knew from the very outset that we wanted something fun. I don’t think we would have predicted, at the start, quite how personal it would be and quite how much we would create ourselves.
We had just over 90 guests and no extra evening guests. Our aim for the day was to have something really fun that all our guests enjoyed. We had a lot of big elements to the day, including ‘The Wedding Games’ in which our guests competed as teams to accumulate points towards our Wedding Finale relay race which decided our ‘Wedding Game Champions’. We decided immediately that we wanted to play games on the day. I am a competitive athlete and Gethin a competitive triathlete and are known for playing games and being competitive!
We also had the Great Wedding Bake-off in which we invited guests to bake and bring along cakes to be judged by the mums in three different categories – Presentation, Originality and Taste & Texture.
Friars Court was the perfect venue for us because it provided a blank canvas. We could do whatever we liked (within reason) in terms of suppliers, decoration, activities. This enabled us to create a really personal day exactly as we wanted it.
Some of our suppliers were based upon recommendations from Friars Court, otherwise we mostly found suppliers via wedding fairs or the internet. We created pretty much everything ourselves so a lot of what we sourced was raw materials.
Our photographer Rob Leon was brilliant. We felt really comfortable with him and he gave us an amazing set of photos that really captured the day. Our issue has been picking the best photos to print out – there are too many! Rob very much blended into the background capturing some really great natural shots during the day, he also captured our wedding details really well. We would absolutely recommend Rob and have done so already to a few friends.
I had no idea what sort of wedding dress I wanted or what style would suit me. I found my Chanticleer dress early on and knew it was the one, but it was over the budget we’d set so I spent three more months trying on over 30 more dresses, including trying on my dress a few more times! I knew I didn’t want conventional wedding shoes and were really pleased to find Irregular Choice. Because of the style of my dress, I didn’t need a necklace and don’t generally wear much jewellery. My only accessories in addition to my shoes were some real flowers in my hair.
Gethin had his suit made by ‘A Suit That Fits’. It felt wrong to us for only me to be getting a special outfit, so Gethin got one too! I went along to the first meeting when Gethin was getting measured, choosing his suit style and colour, but Gethin knew exactly what he wanted and I didn’t provide too much input. Gethin went to the fittings alone so it was a surprise on the day when I walked down the aisle.
Everything about the day was personal. It all kicked off with our Save the Date video which we sent out 14 months before the big day. This was Gethin’s idea. It did take a lot of effort, but everyone loved it and we were really pleased with what we’ve produced. Gethin pretty much drew everything, apart from the sheep, birds, cat and sun which I drew. Once we had started our wedding preparations like that we had to maintain that level for the day.
We made our Wedding invite from scratch, following the same style as the Save the Date, with everything drawn by Gethin. We (with assistance from family) made all of the venue decoration from scratch, including the 130 metres of bunting (using ribbon sourced and imported from China) and the signs for the games. A lot of the wedding games were loaned to us by Gethin’s dad’s school
Once we’d decided to have our wedding tables set up as teams to compete in our Wedding Games we decided team names and then designed our team logos. Given we were doing competitive wedding games, we themed our team nams around our favourite sports people which also led to the idea of buying celebrity masks matching our chosen sports people. We designed scoring cards for the guests to carry round on the day so they could record their scores as they played the Wedding Games.
In the evening, we had the wedding rave DJ’ed by Gethin and his best men. This was really personal as we chose the music we really enjoy (basically dance music from 90s and 00s). The Wedding Rave was a massive hit, with our guests who loved the selection of glow wear we supplied, including glow sticks, glow bracelets, glow glasses and glow swords.
Our favours for the guests were sweets in little themed jam jars. Every table / team had a different coloured sweet to align with their team logo and team colour. The jars had personalised labels that Gethin had drawn and each had the team logo on it.
It’s really really hard for us to pick the most memorable part of the day. We have so many favourite elements of our day. We both remember getting to the reception venue and seeing the wedding cakes for the first time. We couldn’t believe how incredible they were – so inventive and professional looking. More than 20 cakes were brought along and it was clear everyone had put in huge amounts of effort. Everyone was discussing the ‘Burger and Chips’ cake all afternoon.
We both remember the launch of the wedding games when the first wellies were thrown. We gathered everyone in the Welly Wanging zone and Gethin and I threw the first wellies. There had been a big build up to this part of the day and a lot of excitement across all our guests. I was just pleased to not have a mis-throw with everyone watching!
Our Wedding Finale race to decide our Wedding Games Champions is also a highlight. The top 3 teams took part in a relay race (based upon a triathlon theme – to link back to Gethin’s sport). We’d had space hopper races at our joint 21st birthday party in 2001so thought it would be good for them to make a come-back. The finale was hilarious and has provided some brilliant photos. The Wedding Rave was a real highlight for us – the dance floor was packed through-out and the glow wear went down a storm. It was very disappointing when we had to finish at midnight.
Our first dance was, ‘You’re in my system’ by Nu:tone. This is a drum and bass track so a rather unusual choice. We wanted something different and really like the lyrics and Gethin loves drum and bass. As you might expect from us, we had some dance lessons and performed a routine for our first dance.
We had a mini moon straight after the wedding in Devon. We saved our full moon (as we have called it) until very recently once our race season had ended and went to Mauritius.
Top Tips For Brides-To-Be’s
Decide what is important to you and try to work together as a team to deliver it. We absolutely worked on our wedding together through-out and ended up with a day which was everything we wanted it to be.
Until Next Time xxx