Rianne + Callum: A Priceless Real-life Fairytale On A Budget
I know I say this every time but I'm lucky enough for it to be true every time - we have an absolute stunner of a real wedding on the blog for you today, courtesy of the uber wonderful Joanna Cleeve. It's a gorgeous and light celebration of love held at St Johns' Church in Southbourne - which we can still sneak in this week thanks to 2017's late summer (thank you weather!) before it becomes all dark autumnals once more - with the happiest bride we've EVER seen. It was full of handmade elements, and every aspect was steeped in love from the community. To say this wedding was a real labour of love seems perfectly appropriate.
Rianne and Callum's was effortless and relaxed, and with a £3500 budget (including the honeymoon), they delivered an Oscarworthy display of love and affection. But who am I to tell you about it?! Instead, Rianne tells their story:
We met on the 11th October 2013. We were both 18 and doing the same course in London but in two different places - in Ealing and Woodford, so opposite ends of the travel map! There was a weekend away planned for everyone that did the course anywhere in the country. As in my hub there were 7 of us, 5 went by car and I and another guy needed to travel down to Ealing to get on a minibus with the people who did the course there. When we arrived there, after some waiting, Callum arrived, and the first thing I though was, "out of my league". We got on the minibus, and what I heard later of him is that he made sure he sat next to me. We started chatting and never stopped.
Fast forward to our first date: Callum's birthday is the 16th of October, so when we got back after the weekend away we met up on the Wednesday for his birthday, as we both had our days off. I baked him cupcakes as a present and we together explored London, as we were both new there. It was a very relaxed and fun day, with lots of chatting and laughter.
One really sweet surprise I can remember very well is in our second year of knowing each other we worked for the same church. Every Friday evening he would be at the youth group and often we would go out afterwards to the pub. This time to the pack up took a long time and after the waiting he told me to come to the church. I had no clue what was going on and when I got to the church and opened the church doors all I could see is lit candles in a path and then surrounding a table with very romantic music on the background. Although we ate microwave curry and had Innocent smoothie it was definitely the most romantic thing he has ever done for me.
Almost exactly a year after we first met, on the 8th October 2014, we went into central London to go and have a picnic in one of the parks. We had bought all of our food on Oxford Street and were ready to go to the park when it started to absolutely POUR it down - plan B was going to the house where he was lodging to go and do a picnic inside. But for some reason he decided to light candles and put on a very romantic song: Lovely Tonight by Joshua Radin. And then he got on one knee, and asked me to marry him! I said yes (of course) and started crying (of course). I was super happy and surprised, so we went to the pub afterwards for a drink and the next day called his parents, and Skyped mine.
Ok, wipe your eyes - back to me. After the proposal, what is there to do? Well, plan a wedding of course! Rianne and Callum's day had loads of beautiful handmade and borrowed elements, with the decor coming mostly from Amazon or being completely homemade. Rianne even made the stunning paper flower backdrop for the ceremony! Other handmade elements included empty vases up cycled with fabrics, spray painted flowerpots, and soem flowers and photo frames dotted around the window frames. They also got some bits and pieces from Hobbycraft, including a cake stand, thank you cards for favours, and ribbon for the bouquets. Helpfully as well, the couple had a generous friend who gifted them some table decor from their wedding a few months before.
Rianne's dress was a stunning A-line design from David's Bridal with gorgeous baroque-style patterned lace. It lived up to every expectation, making her feel (and look!) like a princess on her day. Accessorised with a veil, earrings and lace ballerinas from Debenhams, she looked a fairytale dream for a fairytale romance, don't you think? The make-up was super simple, to keep in with Rianne's natural everyday look. Her 9 bridesmaids all picked a short navy dress (whilst they all lived in different countries and she was in Brazil, no pressure then!) with their own blue or black shoes to accessorise, and her flower girl also wore a navy dress from Debenhams. Callum wore a navy suit.
The bouquets, made from roses, gypsophila and coronations, were from a local wholesaler, then lovingly arranged by the people from the church, as well as 10 buttonholes and 2 stands. The three tier floral cake, with 2 chocolate and 1 vanilla layer, was also made by a member of the church as a wedding gift. Little bags of heart sweets - all the way from the Netherlands courtesy of Rianne's parents - formed the favours, tied with a little thank you card. A friend from London provided event lighting and a smoke machine, and a playlist on Spotify was all that was needed to get the party going. With an uber musical ceremony, with Rianne and her Dad walking down the aisle to "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri covered by The Piano Guys, and 5 hymns, the first dance was "Lovely Tonight" by Joshua Radin - which the eagle-eyed among you will notice was the song that Callum proposed to Rianne with.
During the ceremony, readings from the Bible were in both English and Dutch, to cater for both the nationalities of the couple, including Isaiah 6:6-8 and Colossians 3:12-16. At the reception, Callum's brother and dad and Rianne's dad did the speeches, and then, the Dutch tradition of 'stukje'. This is a song or sketch about the bride or the groom, so all Rianne's bridemaids had reworded a song they always used to sing together, and Rianne's sister made a video with loads of good (and questionable!) memories. The food was a hog roast followed by cake and ice cream with multiple toppings (including hagelslag, which I have to admit I had to look up - and it turns out hagelslag is hundreds and thousands. Well, hagelslag sounds about a million times better, so I shall be calling them hagelslag from now on!)
Such a beautiful day, filled with stunning elements of love and laughter! And I started with her, so I may as well finish with her in the interests of symmetry - here's Rianne on what she took away from the big day: "Having a small budget shouldn’t keep you from getting married, we got a lot of help from people we know, to serve and make food, change the venue around to make cakes flowers ect. This really keeps the cost down but makes it just as special, if not even more special. Don’t just do something because everyone does is, see how you can put your stamp as a couple on the day, don’t do things you don’t feel comfortable with of like.
But most of all enjoy! You won’t die if anything goes wrong!"
(Soz symmetry, but we agree completely. Do you, and the rest will follow suit.)
Thank you so much to Joanna Cleeve for the incredible submission and to Rianne for being the most stunning and smiley bride ever - congratulations to you and Callum!