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Karen & Tom’s Story

Karen & Tom's Story

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Take the old fashioned notion of meeting ‘the one’ and combine it with a modern twist of a weekend long celebration with relaxed festival vibes. This is Karen and Tom’s story.


How did you meet?

We met at the Lost Music Festival in August 2017 and within a few weeks we knew we wanted it to be forever.  Another festival just a month later and a casual chat on a hay bale led to us deciding on a wedding the following year.  No official engagement and certainly no long engagement. Just ten months after meeting we were married on 30th June 2018 at Chalkney Water Meadows.

What did you want from your day?

We both love festivals and felt this was the perfect inspiration to bring our friends and family together.  A relaxed, weekend long social that both adults and children could enjoy.

We felt really lucky to have some of our closest friends getting involved in the photography, music, cake making and flowers.

We didn’t take any inspiration from wedding magazines or anything wedding-related – just from music festivals and the practical considerations such as providing guests with: blankets for the cold, flip-flops for comfort, games and ice-cream for the kids and alcohol for the adults. Our biggest inspiration was for our wedding to be nothing like all the formal and conventional weddings that we’d both attended.

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Choosing your venue

We knew it was the right venue as soon as we saw it and we did search on line and do a few visits to other venues.  The setting at Chalkney Water Meadows was beautiful and had everything we needed including the tipis set up for food/drink, bridal accommodation at the log cabin and the bell tents for guests. We also knew that we wanted to make a weekend of it if possible and this venue allowed us the opportunity to entertain family at the log cabin on the Sunday after the wedding. The location was good for us as well as we live in London and this was probably as close to London as we were likely to find such a similar venue.  We had lots of guests staying the night before so they were able to book into the bell tents and other accommodation.  They all enjoyed the facilities and the site even has the added flexibility where guests with their own camper vans could come and stay too.

The Preparation

After setting the date we very quickly realised that any type of wedding takes time to plan and this was something we didn’t have in abundance!  Most dress shops want a lot of notice to even book an appointment let alone have the dress ready.  Florists also needed notice so we took the plunge and did them ourselves.  It was helpful to get recommendations from the venue for local suppliers, as this saved us a lot of time.  Despite the style rushing around, especially the day before, we proved that with help from friends and family you can still make everything come together.

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The Day Itself

Getting ready on the day was great for the me because I stayed at the log cabin and there was plenty of room for both bride and bridesmaids to get ready. We also had space to make up the various bouquets and flower arrangements.

What we loved about the day was how relaxed it was, everybody seemed to do their own thing (whether that was the kids playing with the various games provided, or sitting under trees, or talking by the bar, or dancing inside the tipi). I don’t really think that people felt they were at a wedding – most people had changed into shorts as soon as the ceremony was over.

I also remember the children eating ice cream before their main meal which obviously went down a treat.  In fact the day was so relaxed the groom and his best men had a little too much to drink so the speeches never happened.   We had an amazing time and would not change a thing.

Congratulations Karen and Tom on the arrival of beautiful Lana.  A wonderful first anniversary gift!

If you’d like to know more about celebrating at either Chalkney Water Meadows or Teybrook Orchard, please do get in touch to arrange a visit.

Who helped make your day?

Amanda Alexander

Byfords Floristry Wholesale

Event Flag Hire

Ourselves with help from a designer friend

Jason King (friend of the bride)

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