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Our handmade wedding

Rachel Horner

Reporter:

Rachel Horner

Stockcross couple Adam and Georgina Badger share memories of their day, which had all the trimmings but, with friends and family helping out, didn't cost a fortune Our special day was a year in the making, mostly surrounded by paper, scissors, wood and glue. We wanted our wedding to be something a little bit different that our family and our dearest friends would remember always. Our heart and soul went into each and every detail, most of which we made ourselves. I knew from the start, I wanted to do something a little bit different. I have always loved rustic things, anything wooden and natural looking. I am also very fond of old-fashioned and vintage items. For the reception, as soon as I saw Pitthall Barn, Ramsdell, I knew we would be able to bring so many touches of our own to it, as it was a blank canvas and we had to arrange everything ourselves. Best of all, it was full of beams and rustic charm. I decided on a chocolate and ivory colour scheme to complement the backdrop of the barn and I searched online for unusual wedding ideas. I had no concept of just how expensive things become when you put the word ‘wedding’ into a search, and my heart sank when I realised how much all the extras were going to cost. We decided that we would have to cut things down to necessities only. It was while I was searching for low-cost wedding invitations that I realised I might be able to make them myself... and so it began. I bought ivory cards in bulk and found a man on eBay who made me a wax sealing stamp with our initials and supplied chocolate-coloured wax. My friend Kelly helped design all the inserts, printed in Olde English font, and they were hand-tied together with chocolate ribbon and handwritten by my dad in beautiful italic handwriting. It took us quite a few weeks to complete them, but we were thrilled with the results. After this initial success, I started to look for other ways of having all the lovely extras at a fraction of the cost. I made the order of service cards and, after battling it out on an online auction I got some real rose petals sprayed chocolate brown for £6, so I could make cones of petal confetti. We chose brown Prince Edward-cut suits for the groomsmen but Adam wanted ‘mod’-style cravats for him and his brother, the best man. I searched everywhere but couldn’t find anything suitable. I decided to buy the fabric and have them made. I finally sourced this from a lady in Thailand, for £8, and Adam’s grandma offered to make them. She also made the cake, decorating it with handmade sugar flowers – it was beautiful. I loved the idea of having a sweet and savoury option, but cheese wedding cakes can be incredibly expensive. I found a family-run cheese shop and staff there helped me to pick the right cheeses. I just needed to assemble and decorate it myself and find something to stand it on. On a rainy day in January, my brother called me to say he had managed to find me some wood which I might be able to use but it was very heavy and needed to be dried out – this was an understatement. The wood was a beautiful shape and just what I wanted but it was enormous and so wet it took three men to lift each piece. I had them sawn in half and, much to Adam’s dismay, stored them in the house to dry them out all over the winter. With the help of my friend Asia and a hired industrial sander, those dirty, wet lumps of wood soon turned into  two lovely cake stands. We also had an old-fashioned tricycle converted into an ice cream cart, to serve our homemade ice cream. I also wanted to make the  place settings. I sourced a job lot of old iron keys. Each one was tied with ribbon to a wooden tag, which was hand engraved by Asia with the name of each guest. These were then stained to give the wood an aged look. The favours were little wooden boxes, again engraved by Asia with each girl’s name. I filled these with a ‘wedding survival kit’ – a plaster, headache tablet, chewing gum, hair band, and a  sunflower seed for them to grow in their garden. The table centre piece were made by Kathy and were rustic baskets filled with cream hydrangeas. The tables were named after some very special people who could not be there on the day. My bouquet and all the button holes were handmade by a lovely lady called Debbie. She took my vintage rustic theme and incorporated it with my love of old buttons and created something which I will always treasure – a mass of ivory mother-of-pearl and porcelain buttons, all wired together and hand-tied with brown velvet ribbon. The groomsmen’s button holes were brown and ivory feathers, wired into a mother-of-pearl button also tied with brown velvet. On September 11, 2010, with the help of some great friends, our quirky, rustic, handmade plans all came together to create something that to us, was totally perfect. It’s hard to give an exact cost of the entire wedding, as I was buying little amounts over a long period of time. I would guess at about £12,000 to £13,000. If we had bought all the things we made, it would have been extortionately expensive and we would never have been able to afford everything. Not only did it save us a lot of money, it also made everything unique.

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