Ellen and Tom’s Modern, Relaxed and Intimate Outdoor Wedding Ceremony and Marquee Reception
Ellen and Tom – dare I say it – had the most perfect outdoor wedding ceremony in Surrey, in my opinion. I should not really be biased but how often can you get married under a 400 year old oak tree? The childhood sweethearts, who had been dating since secondary school, were lucky enough to be married on their family friends beautiful land. Standing underneath the 400 year oak tree was something kind of magical. The couple recited their own vows and had their best friends marry them under the branches of the fabulous oak tree. Ellen recalled “we’d written our ceremony script with our two friends who married us but unbeknownst to us they threw in a few little personal touches and surprises which had us all crying with laughter!”
Ellen And Tom’s Natural And Relaxed Outdoor Wedding Ceremony
As the couple had hired a space and a venue that was a completely dry hire they had the luxury to design their wedding in the exact way that they wanted. Tom and Ellen said that they “could plan and design it however we wanted to and that was really liberating. But none of it would’ve been possible without the help and support of our friends and family.” From our first meeting together it was very clear that Ellen and Tom wanted to focus their day around their family and friends and ultimately organise a fantastic party. Ellen said “we chose at the very beginning three things that were important to us: good music, good food and plenty of booze! Everything else was going to be a bonus” which I think is a brilliant ethos couples should adopt when planning a wedding.
After their outdoor wedding ceremony the guests walked to the marquee reception where they were met with fabulous food and drink. The day was exactly as relaxed and wonderful as Ellen and Tom had planned. With hilarious and heartfelt speeches, a street food tapas wedding breakfast catered by Vamos Paella and a DJ duo that they had once seen at a festival to provide the evening entertainment it is hard to say which part of the day that Ellen and Tom enjoyed more, so I asked them a couple of questions about their wedding from their perspective.
What was the best moment of your day?
It’s so hard to choose just one moment from a whole day of wonderful moments and memories. People say to you that their wedding day was the best of their life and it’s hard to comprehend just how true that is till you’re experiencing it yourself. Its a cliche but its true!! We asked two friends to marry us for our outdoor wedding ceremony under a 400 year old oak tree and we wrote the script ourselves. Being under that tree with our loved ones and singing and laughing with them as we made our vows to each other stands out as a memory that we will treasure forever.
Is there any advice you would give to other couples?
I think its really easy to get swept up in wedding mania. It starts the moment you get engaged and its really hard to escape it. At times it got a bit overwhelming, especially because we planned everything in a relatively short space of time – about six months – and we were told on quite a few occasions that we were leaving things too late. In our experience, that just isn’t really true and with enough support and enough spreadsheets, anything is possible! We loved being engaged and the process of planning the wedding. It’s a really special time as a couple and it’s important to treasure it. In terms of the wedding day itself, we’d been told by a couple of different friends to take a few moments together, just the two of us. We did that after we’d exchanged vows before we met everyone for drinks and canapés and again while the band were playing. Just taking a moment together to watch on as our guests enjoyed themselves was really important and really special.
How would you describe your wedding?
It was us. 100% us. We had a blank canvas to start from and we made sure that every decision and every touch was personal to us. It was also incredibly relaxed. We laughed throughout the ceremony and didn’t worry about trying to keep a straight face!
Did you break from any traditions?
We got married outside by our friends using a script we’d written ourselves so I guess that counts as breaking from tradition in one sense. But we wanted to make sure we were including the parts of a traditional service that we value and respect, while personalising them to us. We love the tradition of singing in church weddings so we chose three songs for everyone to sing – Stand By Me, It Must Be Love and With a Little Help from my Friends. We still had readings and we wrote our own vows so I’d say the ceremony was our take on tradition.
Is there anything from your day that you are particularly proud of?
We started the process of planning the wedding feeling quite daunting by the prospect of starting from scratch but also really excited by the potential it offered us. My sister made our wedding cake, one of the groomsmen designed and made the table plan, my mum made the decorations, Tom’s dad sourced the wedding favours, Tom’s mum made the groomsmen’s ties. Seeing everything and everyone come together in the days leading up to the wedding was so special and we’ll treasure the memory and feeling of that forever.
ELLEN AND TOM WERE KIND ENOUGH TO SAY SOME LOVELY WORDS ABOUT ME TOO:
“From the first meeting with Jesse we knew she was the right person to photograph our wedding. She has such a calming demeanour and she knows everything there is to know about making a wedding work! In the lead up to the wedding she always made herself available to answer any questions we had and was there to calm any anxieties or concerns we had.
On the day itself, her professional, calming and sweet nature shone in abundance. She was always present but not overwhelmingly so. You can tell that she loves her job and cares as much about you as the bride and groom having the best day of your lives as she does about capturing beautiful photos of you. And the photos are just that – they’re beautiful and they captured the day perfectly.”
Thank you Ellen and Tom
There you have it!
I think that you can agree that no one has ever laughed or been more cheerful than Ellen and Tom at their wedding! How cute were they? An didn’t their outdoor wedding ceremony rock? If you are planning an outdoor wedding ceremony as well for your wedding, why don’t you check out Thea and Henrik’s Outdoor Woodland Swedish Wedding on my blog?
Thank you to the wonderful suppliers that made Ellen and Tom’s day possible:
If you would like to have a chat about your wedding photography why not contact me and we can have a talk about your plans and where you are with planning? Perhaps you too are considering an outdoor wedding ceremony like Ellen and Tom? I would be happy to answer any of your questions firstname.lastname@example.org
SINCE PHOTOGRAPHING ELLEN AND TOM’s WEDDING
Ellen’s sister and her partner booked me to photograph their destination wedding in France! They too had the most amazing outdoor wedding ceremony in a French vineyard and it was sublime. Like her sister, Grace’s wedding was relaxed, fun and was an absolute blast to photograph.
Hello I’m Jesse, welcome to my blog. Here I’ll share about my real weddings, my couple shoots and lots more.
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