"It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project" Napoleon Hill

I'm sure you know that we've never been the hands-off types. And we're pretty slow to learn as well! So it may come as no suprise that through a combination of creative flair, demanding tastes, budget constraints and downright optimism we wanted to do as much of this ourselves as possible. The inevitable fallout resulted in the involvement of numerous lovely friends (some old, some new)  and family along the way...

One ring to rule them all...

One advantage of picking & choosing traditions is that when you do keep one, it means a lot to you. After some furious Kingston-Upon-Thames ring shopping, we decided that they all kind of looked similar to us. So how to make it special?

To this end we travelled to Herefordshire, and in the studio of a lovely jeweller called Sue (and her black labrador Tasha) we drank coffee, ate cake and blowtorched two palladium rings into existence. Voila!

If anyone is thinking of making some jewellery or even buying something shiny, then we can really recommend Sue. Find her at: http://www.suelanejewellery.co.uk/

"Jus' blowin' in the wind..."

Calling all bunting makers! To complete the village fete feel, we really wanted some bunting. And by some, we mean lots! To that end team Erica has made a storming start, with team Rosie falling quickly behind. Team Alex is shortly to enter the race. We will keep you updated...

An in-tents experience

As with the rings, we decided that there were some traditions that we didn't want to keep - in particular ones such as "you'll only have 28 seconds to talk to each guest" and "lights off at 11". In order to avoid the need for a mass exodus, we decided that we would like to offer people the option to stay with us for the night!  Just let us know if you'd like a tent and you'll have your own little canvas castle waiting when you arrive, yours for the whole weekend... (pictures are for display purposes only - your tent may differ slightly...!)

Let them eat cake!

Everyone likes different cake, and by different, we mean some that are not even made of flour! So it looks like there may be a number of variations in the offing including an 'alternative' wedding cake...

A picture tells a thousand words...

Don't expect too many formal shots, we're keeping those to a minimum. Our lovely photographer (conveniently named Alex as well) was chosen instead for his reportage style and experience snapping flames...

They'll be dancing in the street..

As you may know, our muscial tastes swing from 80's rock to Ukranian-folk-disco. So when finding a band we really needed something that could get everyone on their feet and keep them there! Way back in Alex's childhood days there was such a band who could turn an entire field full of quiet guests into a stomping, jigging mass. Lucky for us they are still going strong - the Hookey band!


Food, glorious food

To keep in line with the rest of the wedding, we decided to go as local as possible for our caterers. The food will be provided by a family friend, the wine from a local supplier and the beer - well - there is no finer than from the brewery over the hill behind the house


Dress to impress

The outfits fall into two camps - the simple and the less simple! For the boys, we'll be using an old friend of Alex's hire company in Banbury. For the girls, South West London has given up it's finest wares and in one case an outfit is being custom-made in Kuala Lumpur!

 Ticket to ride

Neither of us are the Bentley types, but we do need to get  from the venue to the ceremony (and back!) Watch this space for a rustic twist and a nod towards Dode's London roots...

The best is yet to come...

We hope the above gives you a feeling for how personal this is to us. But there is much, much more! The aisle music, the evening entertainment, the Friday dressing and the Sunday games. We'd like to say a big thank-you to everyone who has so generously given their time, money, enthusiasm and expertise to help us  build a day that we hope will mean so much to so many. Thank you.

x A & D