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Bride: Alex Moore, 29 Groom: Andrew Willis, 31 Home: St Albans Ceremony venue: St Albans Registry Office Reception venue: North Hill Farm Date: August 13th, 2011

If you go down to the woods today... For relaxed couple Alex and Andy, celebrating their love has always been about the simple things in life. So when it came to their wedding, what mattered most was sharing it with the special people in their lives. With tipis, a tree house and a blue petticoat, this was a real summer celebration. Andy and I got together at a friends’ party 12 years ago when we were both at sixth form college. Who knew back then we would end up getting married! We were together about eight years before we moved in together and then got engaged about eight months before the wedding. The night Andy proposed to me was very personal and intimate. He’d cooked me a delicious dinner at home of steak wrapped in pancetta and blue cheese – a special meal we both love at our favourite restaurant, Darcy’s in St Albans. He popped the question in front of a roaring fire which was just so romantic. Although it was a surprise, we’d talked

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about marriage a lot so I knew it would be on the cards at some point but I had no idea he was going to do it that evening. I was over-the-moon with excitement. Our main priority of our wedding day was to share a sunny day with all our friends and family. We didn’t want anything too formal, just fun with good food and music so everyone could enjoy themselves. We didn’t feel we needed a long time to plan it so started searching for our venue straight away. We knew we also needed to do it on a budget and were keen to do as much as we could ourselves. When we thought about a venue, we wanted somewhere where the music didn’t have to finish at 11pm and where everyone would have the option to stay if they wanted to. We looked at several venues, but as we’re big fans of camping the flexibility at North Hill Farm was ideal. I planned the rest of the wedding myself with help


from my bridesmaids and family. We sourced all the individual suppliers and I actually really enjoyed the whole experience. There were lots of ideas we had along the way and things we discovered at wedding fayres and on the internet that helped us to create the day we wanted. We didn’t have very specific ideas so it meant we could be quite flexible along the way. There are so many details to plan in a wedding, though. We found sorting out the timing and calculating the catering were the hardest and we actually ended up with so much food left over everyone went home with a goodie bag of cake and flowers! We were so lucky to have so much help from family and friends. My uncle was our chauffer, my cousins helped organise all the catering on the day, friends and family all made cakes and food and helped us to decorate and clean up. A family friend arranged all the flowers and I had the most beautiful arrangement of bright summery colours in my bouquet; it was perfect for the occasion. I tried on a few dresses, but fell in love with the lovely blue petticoat and vintage feel of my Candy Anthony dress. The night before our wedding, we were at the tipi tents until late afternoon with lots of our friends and family decorating the venue and stocking the bar. I left and spent the evening with my parents and bridesmaids watching Father of The Bride and undergoing some lastminute beauty preparation. Andy stayed at North Hill Farm with some of his best men and a few of our guests who had arrived to camp the night before. We got married at the registry office at 12pm. From there, we all went back to North Hill Farm where we had an afternoon tea as our sit down lunch, then later

in the evening we had a delicious hog roast. For music, we had created our own play lists for background music throughout the day and in the evening we had a fantastic Cuban band called Tumbao Tivoli and then a friend DJ’d into the early hours. The majority of our guests camped overnight or stayed in local B&Bs. We spent the wedding night in a tree house at North Hill Farm which was like a dream. In the morning, we BBQ’d bacon and sausages for everyone. I think our wedding day was quite personal to us, we wanted something that reflected our personalities, rather than following the traditional route. Everyone commented on how much they’d enjoyed it. It was just as we’d pictured it would be. Neither of us wanted a very formal wedding, we just wanted a huge celebration with all our family and friends, something that everyone would remember. Having a wedding is such a huge expense that we wanted to spend the money on things that really mattered to us and it made it even more special that so many of our friends and family helped out with various part of the day, like the cakes, flowers, and setting up the venue. It was amazing to share our special day with all our friends and family, but my favourite moment was holding Andy’s hand and saying our vows. The only hitch on the day was me forgetting to give the best men the plan of the day so nothing really ran to schedule! We enjoyed a three-night minimoon in Somerset at Orchard Farm after I won a voucher at Glastonbury last summer to spend at canopy and stars. We’re hoping to have a longer honeymoon this year for our first anniversary. In the meantime, we’re enjoying married life and decorating an extension on our house.

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Recreate

Alex and Andrew's Wedding Tipi

Tipis4hire 0203 005 9954 info@tipis4hire.com

Dress

Candy Anthony 0207 803 0898

Hog roast

Neil Masters 07778 467695 info@pigroasthire.co.uk

Photographer

Parkwin Photography www.parkwinphotography.co.uk

Band

Tumbao Tivoli 07882 517748 leochambo@yahoo.co.uk

Fridge trailer

Kool Trailers 01256 703687 info@kooltrailers.co.uk

Toilets

Superloos 01727 822120 info@superloo.co.uk

Generator

Generated Power Services 01920 877171 jim@generatedpowerservices.com

Flowers

A family friend did the bouquet and button holes, Alex and Andrew did the table arrangements themselves

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Alex and Andrew