The Shropshire Yurt Wedding of Natalie & Simon.
Another beautiful summer wedding to lift the winter mood. Beer, Pimms, Yurts, Picnic Food, Hot Air Balloons, Amazing Bands & a Poo Bag.
The Shropshire Yurt Wedding of Natalie & Simon was a stand out wedding in so many ways. Pretty much everything about the day went against tradition. There were no speeches apart from a few thank you’s from Simon before the very informal picnic meal. Simon got out of his warm three-piece tweed suit and into his shorts and a light shirt as soon as the formal family photographs and the bride & groom portraits were out of the way.
The whole day had a mini music festival feel with two amazing bands – Mr Kanish and then later The Chip Shop Boys providing the entertainment. And the really friendly guys who drove down all the way from Liverpool in their vintage french van converted into a pizza van to serve amazing pizza in the evening. Read all about the day below…
So, how did you meet? – tell us a little more about yourselves.
It was my friend’s birthday and we went out to celebrate with friends in Bridgnorth. My cousin (Adam) met us there with a group of his friends (Simon being one of them). Adam had been telling me about Simon for some time, saying we’d be perfect for each other but we just hadn’t managed to meet. Adam – being the true matchmaker – was right and we hit it off from that night!
The proposal – who proposed, where, when & how?
“We’d just moved into our second home together and Si had fetched a beautiful tree from his dad’s nursery called a ‘Liquid Amber’. Its leaves turn the most amazing autumnal colours in October and are a stunning reminder of our engagement – although at this moment in time I thought was to celebrate moving in.
As we walked over to this tree in the garden, there was a spade in the ground and Si said to me “go on then, dig a hole”. At this stage I thought ‘you cheeky sod, why can’t you dig the hole!’
But as I lifted up the turf, I saw a dog poo bag. I picked up the bag to find a ring box inside. I opened the box (laughing as he’d put it in a poo bag!) and asked him if this was his proposal?! Still, half-laughing at the poo bag and half-crying as he’d really caught me off guard I obviously said yes.
I still to this day have the poo bag!
How was the wedding planning process for you?
“We had 18-months to plan the wedding, so pretty stress-free to be honest. I’m an events planner graduate, so I put my degree to some good use!
The most frantic aspect was the final week before the wedding. Si, my mum and I worked our socks off. I even towed a long flatbed trailer fully loaded with trees to the church the day before, when I should have been having my nails done!
Where did you get married and what was it about the venue(s) that appealed so much?
“We got married at the church where my dad is buried, it was important to us that he was a part of the day in some way and the Church was where we remembered him.
The party was at Si’s parents’ plant nursery on the front field. It has stunning views of the Clee Hills. I’d always said I’d love to get married up there.”
How would you describe the style of your wedding and what made you decide to go down that route?
“We always said we wanted a very non-traditional and relaxed wedding, doing only and exactly what we wanted to. Not simply doing things to tick a box – so no speeches, no first dance, no wedding cake and no throwing the bouquet!
Our wedding formula was always good food, great music and the right people – and that’s exactly what we did.”
Cuisine. What kind of food and drink was served and why?
“We wanted informal but delicious picnic food and bought the picnic hampers for each table, they looked fab! Si even cut 10 tree trunk stumps for the hampers to sit on in the yurts.
Drinks were – again, informal. Bathtubs full of beer, big glass urns with colourful cordials and a beautiful wooden bar serving botanical gins and cocktails!
Si loves the local beer brewed in the village so we also had barrels of Hobsons for guests to enjoy. I’m a big lover of Pimms so it was Pimms on arrival.”
What were the most memorable part(s) of the day and what was the funniest moment?
“To be honest, we can’t pick one moment in particular on the day. Si says the first moment he saw me in my dress was the most memorable for him, but I’m pretty sure he’s just trying to win brownie points!
One of the best moments for us (admittedly post-wedding) was watching the photo slideshow Ian put together to the music we’d requested – it just summed up the whole day perfectly and we love it!
The boys not being able to tie their bow ties on the morning of the wedding has to be one of the funniest moments and I wasn’t even there to see them all stressing! Ironically Simon always ties his own bow tie for black tie events and never has an issue – so this must have been due to the nerves that morning.”
Did anything go wrong on the day and were there any surprises?
“The caterers let us down – but that’s another story!
We had a random group of men crash the wedding towards the end of the night – Ian even managed to take a few pictures with them in! And there’s a picture of me telling someone about it after we’d thrown them out!
The best surprise was the hot air balloons! Just as the sun was setting, a collection of hot air balloons flew right over the wedding yurts, much to all of our amazement! It was the most surreal moment, we’ve never seen this up at the nursery before and for it to happen on our wedding day was truly special.
Ian took a beautiful picture that we’re in the process of having blown up onto canvas to go in our stairway – we love the picture so much!”
Is there anything you would have done differently?
“Given the chance again, I would have had a send-off. Everyone gathered and waving us off from the wedding party at the end of the night, perhaps with sparklers or fireworks would have been brilliant.
I actually ended up driving us home, with our neighbours all squeezed in the car. I don’t really drink, so was sober and instead of waiting for our taxi (who was doing numerous runs for family and friends) we just jumped in the car and tootled off down the lane home – singing and laughing as we went. I only got halfway home before I realised I hadn’t turned my lights on!
Do you have any advice for other couples in the stages of planning their own dream day wedding?
- “It’s your day, so do exactly what you want to do – don’t do anything just because it’s the ‘done thing’.”
- “Remember to spend time together, it goes so fast and you’ll be so busy talking to everyone that you’ll forget to talk to each other.”
Ian was by far the best person we worked with for our wedding day!
Everyone instantly warmed to him and he quickly became ‘one of the gang’ – my mum thought he was absolutely brilliant and she said she felt like we’d gained another guest and not just a supplier.
His photos from the day are everything and more that we could have hoped for. They feature in almost every room of our house!
He was not only our wedding photographer but also helped taxi my friend from the church to the venue when she was left stranded as we’d filled all the cars with flowers!
I would never hesitate in recommending him and feel so privileged that he was able to photograph our wedding day.
It is only a shame that in the nature of what he does, we won’t get to work with him again – all being well!
Thank you so so much, Natalie & Simon
- The Yurts – Wedding Yurts – Lizzie and Jim (and their team) were absolutely amazing!!
- The Dress – Pronovias – Loved my dress!
- The Shoes – Rachel Simpson – The most beautiful vintage shoes ever!
- Daytime Band – Mister Kanish – Awesome – fun – loved by everyone
- Evening Band – The Chip Shop Boys – We see the Chip Shop Boys at The Cheltenham Festival every year, so they always remind us of good times with family and friends
- Florist – Jenny Fleur – Jenny is so talented. Her floral arrangements were the talk of the church parish for months after the wedding!
- Toilets – Posh Potties – Great local business based right here in the village
- Pizza Van – Pizza Peddlers – THE best Pizzas!!