Real Wedding | Sally & Damien

Sally and Damien's wedding festival by Summertown Pictures-78_DerrynSchmidt

A festival wedding? YES YES YES!

When we saw Katie of Summertown Pictures post an image from her cousin Sally’s music festival styled wedding complete with ponies, silent discos and glamping tents, we were instantly obsessed. Why have we not seen this before? According to Sally, it is becoming an increasingly popular thing to do in the UK and we can’t wait for this trend to catch on here in SA.  

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Over to Sally:
When Damien proposed I immediately said yes, but with one caveat – I didn’t want a wedding. I never have. The whole idea of walking down an aisle in a white dress with everyone watching me fills me with horror.   So we got married barefoot on a wild and windy beach in South Africa with just our parents there to share the moment with us.   But we both really wanted a party to celebrate with our all our friends and family back in the UK. And as most of our friends have kids, we wanted to do something that meant people could come along as a family and where numbers wouldn’t really be an issue.  We eventually came up with the idea of finding a field, putting up some tents and having our own private music festival.  We thought we were being incredibly original but of course as soon as we started googling we realised that this is something that is becoming increasingly popular in the UK.  Luckily that meant we could find a great company to work with us on getting all the logistics sorted out and to stage manage the day.  We loved every minute of it. Not having the ceremony or a sit down meal on the day meant we got to spend the whole time chatting and enjoying the company of all our favourite people.  

Surprisingly the best part of my wedding ended up being…

Having all our favourite people in a field and just getting to hang out together for the weekend.  

The best advice I received was…

The details don’t matter – just forget about them.

I wish we didn’t bother with…

the wood fired pizzas. They were delicious but took far too long to cook and meant people spent too much time queueing. On the upside it turned out to be a great way for our friends to meet one another.    

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The biggest mistake I made was…

I can’t think of one! 

Nobody warns you about…

How much people will eat!  We should probably have had at least one more dinner option available!  

The best money spent was on …

the silent disco!  Everyone loved it and it was a great leveller across the generations – we had everyone on the dancefloor. It worked well for the neighbouring houses and kids going to bed too as the amplified music stopped at 11:30 but the party went on.  And the posh toilets!  Having been to lots of festivals I was absolutely insistent on posh toilets!    I would also say that the money we went spent on hiring a company who knew how to do this and ran the day like clockwork was absolutely invaluable:  (http://www.weddingfestivalcompany.co.uk/)  We could not have done it without them.  

Sally and Damien's wedding festival by Summertown Pictures-97_DerrynSchmidt Sally and Damien's wedding festival by Summertown Pictures-98_DerrynSchmidt

The biggest waste of money was the…

We were pretty careful with the budget and I can’t really think of anything that didn’t feel worth the money – even the silent cinema we added for the kids right at the last minute was absolutely worth it. They loved it.  

The coolest ideas I loved executing was…

 getting as many of our friends and family involved in the day as possible. My cousin Katie was our photographer, my brilliant friend Jolene designed and did most of the decorations.  My brother made maps and an programme that people could wear around their necks and the cakes were make by friends and family. Most of the bands and musicians were also friends including my cousin Alex who headlined with his band Invisible Vegas.  

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Sally and Damien's wedding festival by Summertown Pictures-37_DerrynSchmidt

People are still talking about the …

whole weekend.  So many of our guests said it was the best wedding they had been to. That wasn’t what we were aiming for but it’s good to hear it anyway.  We were just glad everyone had as much fun as we did.  

My biggest worry on the day was…

the glamping tents. The supplier really let us down and it was a complete mess trying to work out whose tents were whose. Our guests had paid a lot of money for lovely tents and so I felt awful.  Sally and Damien's wedding festival by Summertown Pictures-1_

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The hardest part of the planning was…

was finding a field that would work and a company that we liked to help us organise all the really hard bits. We chose SJ and Simon from the Wedding Festival Company. They were fantastic – and dealt with all the really, really hard bits like dealing with suppliers and making sure there was water and working loos!  

If my budget was unlimited the one thing I would have added was…

Another day! We would have loved it to have gone on for longer and had another day of bands and fun. There was so much going on that we just didn’t get to experience it all so having another day would have been great! 

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Earlier this week we posted an article on inviting kids to your wedding.  Sally and Damian are SO cool to have made this event about the kids and included so many child-friendly activities. We’re sending them virtual high-fives across the ocean from SA to the UK for having created a wedding celebration that was so perfectly family focused and so very ‘them’.

Sally and Damien's wedding festival by Summertown Pictures-86_DerrynSchmidt

Did you include elements in your wedding that were specifically for the children? We would love to hear about it via the comments section below.  Otherwise email us at info@hoorayweddings.com.

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