Ellie and Hayden’s super relaxed festival style wedding ceremony earlier this year was packed with personal touches. In a nod to their shared love of music festivals #FOSFEST was a celebration of love, colour, fun and great music!
Their gorgeous venue was Kingsettle Stud on the Cholderton Estate near Salisbury. With multiple spaces to use for the ceremony and party this vast farm is hugely versatile. An arboretum, Victorian walled garden, stables, courtyard and lots of fields, Ellie and Hayden had a great canvas to play with!
THE DREAM TEAM
Family and friends were involved in just about every aspect of the wedding from Ellie’s parents growing the flowers that decorated the ceremony area and stables, to coming together the day before the set up the space with the help of their fabulous On The Day Co-ordinator Beth Allen. Honestly, Beth is worth her weight in gold. She goes the extra mile to help couples have the wedding of their dreams and ensures that everything runs well on the day – so you don’t have to!
The marvellous Alexander Wheeler created beautifully colourful and evocative photos that sum up the day perfectly. Moreso, he is such a chilled and friendly person to work with!
Guests gathered in the tree lined arboretum by an ancient pagan stone circle. Pretty little jars of flowers lined the aisle. Ellie and her friends made their way down the aisle to joyous Hayden who was so excited to see Ellie walk down the aisle on her father’s arm!
In a nod to his Barbadian heritage, the ceremony began with a rum toast to Hayden’s late father who loved a splendid gathering!
Ellie and Hayden met on the first week of their PhD when Hayden was being his naturally chatty and confident self – saving the rest of the group from having to answer any questions! He’d also spotted Ellie from the back of the room and noticed that her chair didn’t have a desk attachment. Ever the kind soul – he offered her a desk attachment as an excuse to introduce himself and get to know her. Ellie then proceeded to take no notes during the following three talks. However, fate was on Hayden’s side when they ended up on the same team for the PhD social quiz. Their relationship then blossomed when Hayden secreted a bottle of the communal wine for their table!!
Ellie’s love of travel was infectious and after many holidays, she persuaded Hayden to take an epic 10-week trip around South America. Now, nowhere is more special to them than Isla del Sol in Bolivia where Hayden proposed, although Hayden often claims it was his least favourite place on their trip. Knowing that Ellie loves sunsets, Hayden had been trying to propose over several evenings but each time his plans were scuppered by the weather. He couldn’t leave the ring hidden much longer. Ellie had become suspicious of his nervousness around South American landmarks and long bathroom breaks where he was composing his engagement poem!
On their last morning on the island, Hayden woke Ellie up early to watch the sunrise. She immediately knew what he was up to as he doesn’t usually care about sunrises or sunsets! It was a magical proposal and of course Ellie said yes! It should be noted that technically, Hayden didn’t get down on one knee (preferring to make Ellie sit down next to him) something Ellie has never let him forget.
We bonded over a shared love of travel and I’ve also visited Isla del Sol while living in Bolivia 22 years ago!
Ellie and Hayden wrote their own personal vows and exchanged rings. Being a competitive couple they had to have a simple game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide who would share their vows first. Ellie won! I love it when couples decide to write their own vows because they are said from the heart with complete authenticity and a touch of humour. Ellie and Hayden’s vows read like a love letter to each other and they were spellbinding.
There was something grounding about the land at Kingsettle Stud – a land of the ancients and a place where countless families have gathered to celebrate marriages and more. It felt only fitting to symbolise Ellie and Hayden’s marriage with a Handfasting – a ceremony that has been used to symbolise unions for centuries. As Ellie and Hayden joined hands and three colourful ribbons where tied together symbolising their life, their love and their eternal connection.
Ending their ceremony on a high after their first kiss, two of Ellie’s bridesmaids held a broom at their feet which they jumped over to seal their union. What a ceremony, full of love, humour and lots of colour!
After the ceremony guests meandered through the arboretum to a little folly where they were served glasses of Pimms and a few beers from a wheelbarrow. Such a fun and relaxed touch.
Later guests walked to the stables where they were entertained with speeches, live music and lawn games – nothing formal – just lots of fun! A noodle truck served bowls of noodles and an ice cream bar provided iced treats for dessert. Guests danced the night away with the help of the fabulous DJ Alan Granville!
Ellie and Hayden organised their entire day and go to show that when you make your own rules and do your day, your way, you create a magical celebration of love that speaks volumes to who you are!
Photographer – @alexanderwheelerphotography
Celebrant – @mirandathecelebrant
Venue – @kingsettle_stud_weddings
Coordinator – @beth_at_the_barn
Hair – @bridalhairinhampshire
Dress – @thebridalmill_botley
Bar – @copperfoxbar
Flowers – @brightbloomsfloralboutique and Ellie!
Games – @thelawngamecompany
Flags – @eventflaghire
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