Emily and Nathan
Emily and Nathan’s wedding venue in Botley hold as sentimental place in our hearts here at TWFC. Our very own SJ and Simon tied the knot here at their very own wedding festival a few years ago. In fact, it was on this very site where they masterminded the idea for our company. Needless to say we absolutely adore working at this venue so we were especially excitable for Emily and Nathans day!
Emily and Nathan’s wedfest was what we call a DIY wedding festival! Put simply, that means that they brought in a strong crew of their own friends and family to help put together and take down the site alongside our team! Putting on a festival of this scale is A LOT of work you know and often even our own couples aren’t aware of how much goes into the build until they arrive on site the night before. One of our favourite parts of this job is to see the budding couples’ eyes light up when they see their venue all ready and decorated for the big day. Emily and Nathan’s crew were awesome and all worked so hard! By the evening of the first day we were well ahead of schedule, something that can often be a rarity for us!
By the second day of site build we had the main structures up and decorating was set to commence. We just love adding our creative flair to proceedings and it’s this magic that truly transforms a field into a festival! I was really impressed with how the site was looking and as I added the final touches to the locations of the festival flags it gave me a good moment to reflect on how truly stunning our Botley venue is.
I’ve got to admit, every single time a couple of ours gets married a tear (or two) is shed by me, however this blessing made me cry like a baby due to the fact that Emily walked down the aisle to none other than the beautiful ‘at last’ by Etta James, a song that I’ve always fantasized over having at my own wedding, it was a beautiful moment. Oh and this was just after she had arrived in true festival bride style in a vintage olive green VW camper van, we really do have the coolest brides, even if I do say so myself.
Emily’s dad sadly passed away earlier in the year and as a tribute to him, Emily and Nathan decided to name the bar ‘Pete’s Bar’ in his honour. We had two local ales on draft for them from Flower Pots Brewery as Pete was a big real ale fan, they even got a beautiful hand drawn sign made as you can see below. It’s the little personal touches like this that really make every wedding festival different. A field and marquee provides you with a blank canvas for your imagination and adding your own touches and personal memories and photographs really can make all the difference. It’s your personal wedding festival and we had certainly made Emily and Nathan’s theirs. Of course, with the help of their hard working crew (and ours)
As the night drew in and the sun started to go down our magnificent cocktail waiter Joe arrived, cocktail shaker and muddler in hand! This was actually the first time we’d been requested to offer cocktails at a wedding but boy did it go well, we even managed to take five minutes out ourselves and enjoy a mojito, I tell you, after three 18 hour days in a row those mojitos tasted heavenly! The cocktails went down so well that we’ve now decided to make BollyBar into a travelling cocktail bar outside of wedding season, I mean just look at the picture below, it was just meant to be right?! Those stunning ethnic throws may be hard work to hang up but they are a joy to behold. Try taking a moment to relax on those hand painted beds too, the perfect chill zone for a mid afternoon nap ;)
To stick with true untraditional wedding festival style the couples cake was made up of lots of mini Colin the Caterpillars as well as several larger ones, it was true childhood nostalgia and really did make us giggle. The unconventional is what we strive in here at TWFC, who wants to be normal??
The lovely Tom Martin kicked off the music for the day, his vocals are always on point and today was no exception, everyone was starting to get in to the festival spirit straight away. The weather was absolutely stunning also so we got Tom to perform on the hay bales outside the main tent. The Hay Bale sessions we’re calling them next year, weather permitting of course!! The sun was up, the Pimms was in full flow and the music was taking us through the day into the evening sessions.
The Smiley Campbell Band took to the stage for our first evening session and it was the first time I’d seen them play at one of our events and blimey did they raise the roof. Lead singer Molly had everyone mesmerised with her big beautiful voice (not one you'd expect to come out of such a petite little thing), and the musicianship was just awesome, they were seriously rocking the disco vibes, much to my excitement!The live bands are what really make our events special, watching everybody slowly head towards the tent and start throwing their best shapes is always a day highlight for me! I managed to take 5 mins out to have a quick drink and watch the festivities (and the dancefloor) from a far.
Our caters we’re starting to prepare the evenings food, freshly prepared stone backed pizzas!! It was the first time we’ve had fresh pizzas made on site and all I can say is, I hope we find an excuse to have them at every event!! I like mine accompanied with a large dash of Tabasco sauce, how do you like yours?
The sun was down and we were now in full swing into the evening entertainment, Molly was still throwing her shapes on stage and the stunning tent was now rammed with eager dancers, just how we like it the best!! I nearly got caught dancing myself at one point, unfortunately for me our bar was really busy by this point so I was tasked with re-stocking the fridges, Emily and Nathan’s guests sure did have a good thirst, that’ll be the dancing I guess!
Another huge perk about this venue is the land is owned by the lovely Kings family who not only own the land and the equestrian centre on site but also a firework shop…and boy do they know how to put on a firework display. These guys absolutely smashed the firework display for Emily & Nathan, every time we thought it had finished another flash of light rocketed in to the air and had everyone fixated on the illuminated night sky. What a perfect finale (almost) to such a magical day. Ever thought of having a firework display at your wedding? I honestly couldn’t recommend it enough!!
Last but certainly not least came the silent disco and as always this got everyone on their feet for a good old boogie & sing-(or should I say screech)-along, with SJ rocking her cheesy playlist again and getting all the guests going. Sometimes when we first mention the Silent Disco our couples can be a little off put by the idea but if you have ever attended or been a part of one you’ll understand just how much fun they are! The beauty of having a silent disco in a field is that you are not just limited to dancing in a room (or marquee). We had everybody up and dancing around the hay bales and the camp fires! Being careful not to get too close to the fires of course!
It gets to the point every wedfest, where everybody is all danced and partied out! This is a perfect time to relax and reflect as the hardened party goers are still burning out their energy! The camp fires make an excellent place to sit and chat about how wonderful the day was and also a great chance for us to hear everybody’s stories form the day! I loved sitting and chatting with Nathan and Emily’s family and friends and hearing how much everybody had thoroughly been blown away by the day! It happens every time, it’s just so hard to really explain what the wedding festival will be like until you are there. People always just expect a marquee in a field and get completely blown away by the reality of a fully functioning music festival! Same time next year?
As the final stragglers stumbled off to bed and the camp fires were being extinguished I took one last look around at the stunning lights in the dark. What an absolutely stunning day for Nathan and Emily, the friends, family, food, fun, music, dancing.. I could go on forever. I really do wish we could so this every single day.
The obligatory bacon baps we’re served up for breakfast with the odd bloody mary being spotted for those with a slightly sore head before everybody slowly packed up their tents, or just left the behind if they we’re lucky enough to be Glamping with us ;)
For us then it’s just the pack down to go, it’s not as a depressing task as it seems when the day before was so spectacular. Another happy couple for us, I’ll be keeping hold of this smile for weeks.