Real Bride Lily and Neil Relaxed Forest Wedding

Heather Mills

Posted on July 11 2022

Real Bride Lily and Neil Relaxed Forest Wedding


1.When and where did you get married?

We decided on a Covid-style set up with a small registry office wedding with our immediate family, followed by a party a few weeks later for the wider family and our friends. Our first day was at Salisbury Registry Office followed by lunch on the banks of a lake on the Leckford Estate near Stockbridge in Hampshire. Two weeks later we hired an area of Harewood Forest for the Party with our friends and family. 

2. Tell us about the style of your wedding? 

We were definitely going for a laid-back family day on the day we actually got married. With just our immediate family, totalling 17 of us, and a family-style sharing lakeside lunch we wanted to have the feel of a normal family get-together, just a bit more special! 

Neil was a River Keeper when we first got together and we have spent many happy evenings by the side of the River with our dog, just enjoying being by the water so it was only natural that our day would be by the water in the type of place we're at our happiest.

The party in the woods definitely had more of a Festival feel with animals in party hats, a pop-up free bar and our favourite band. It was a chance for everyone to catch up after so long apart, somewhere fun for the kids to roam and for us to have a knees up!

3. Who was your wedding dress by and where did you buy it? 

Hope and Ivy, The Amelie. Sustainability is really important to us so both my dress and Neil's suit can be worn again at other occasions. It was also really important for me to feel comfortable and be able to dance and go to the toilet on my own!! I love the embroidered floral details on my dress and will be worn for many occasions yet to come.

4. Which Rachel Simpson shoes did you pick and why?

I chose the Mimosa flat. I'm not a particularly short person, nor do I cope well in heels so the flats were perfect for a walk by the lake or wandering through the woodlands. And if you're going to be practical with your footwear you might as well have a stunning pair on your feet! I love the design of all of Rachel Simpson's shoes and I was always going to buy a pair for the wedding, so it was just a case of which colour! The Mimosa is such a gorgeous deep green, I can't wait to wear them at every opportunity! 

5. Tell us about the best wedding moment, something that will be unforgettable to you.

The "We did it, we got married!" moment just after the ceremony. We stepped outside and had the biggest hug! It had been a stressful year for us both with one thing and another so it was such a joy to be finally here, about to start our married life together!

A close second would be sitting round the table at lunch with our siblings and parents just soaking in the sun and the amazing food by Wilds Kitchen.

6. What is your Top Tip for wedding planning, what brought everything together?

Not over planning and going with the flow! 

We didn't have a rigid timeline for either day so we could keep things flexible. We had no seating plan, food was served when we were ready to eat and there was no pressure on anyone in terms of 'wedding party duties'.

We don't like a lot of attention, so let ourselves off the hook with no first dance, cake cutting photo opportunity or big speeches. Both days were completely stress-free and relaxed.

 7. What would your advice be for future brides?

Do what YOU want, not what you think a wedding should be according to Instagram and Pinterest (unless that's your thing of course!)

Don't sweat the small stuff. No-one is going to take home those wedding favours, buttonholes are gone as soon as speacher are done, most women are clever enough to bring their own spare shoes and emergency toiletries! 

Expensive, bespoke invites and save the dates are nice but apart from mums and grandmothers, they're going to end up in the bin so just create a website with everything on it, this also means you can update as much as you need as details firm up.

Scale back on all the little extras and focus on the really important stuff that you and your guests will remember.

We had the two days exactly as we wanted and it was the most 'us' day you could ask for - relaxed, low-key and memorable.

Thanks to Lily and Neil for sharing their gorgeous day with us!

Photographer- Photo Bart 
Wedding Venue: Food Wilds Kitchen, Part of The Greyhound, Stockbridge
Flowers- Buttercup and Bobbins 
Forest Venue- Hare Wood Forest Weddings
Dress- Hope and Ivy 
Grooms Suit - Walker Slater

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