You are my sunshine: an al fresco spring celebration
Cathryn & Alex: In the beginning
Artistic duo Cathryn and Alex first met at Plymouth College of Art and Design so a DIY wedding was always on the cards. "I did lots of research on blogs and fell in love with American weddings - I love all the detail that goes into them," says Cathryn. "Our aim was to put such a personal stamp on our day that people could tell it was our wedding as soon as they walked in!" <p><em>Photography: <a href="http://www.mariannetaylorphotography.co.uk/" rel="nofollow">Marianne Taylor</a></em></p> <em>For more ideas, pick up a copy of our <a href="http://www.buysubscriptions.com/realweddings" rel="nofollow">real wedding special issue</a>, packed with gorgeous celebrations and inspirational mood boards. Out now!</em>
Cathryn & Alex: The great outdoors
After a romantic al fresco proposal against the backdrop of a frozen Serpentine in Hyde Park, the couple started planning an outdoor celebration for their big day too – this time a warmer spring do in Cornwall. “We looked at so many venues, but they just weren’t us,” Cathryn explains. “But the beautiful setting of <a href=" http://www.lantallackweddings.co.uk/">Lantallack</a> made us feel relaxed right away.”
Cathryn & Alex: Special ceremony
"We both wanted to write our own vows for the civil ceremony," says Cathryn. "We're so glad now we decided to do this. We kept it a surprise from each other and it made the ceremony so special. I couldn't wait to hear Alex's vows and I couldn't wait to say mine to Alex either. That moment was my favourite part of the whole day."
Cathryn & Alex: Colour contrast
"Our theme was grey and yellow with a dash of country," Cathryn says. "We were getting married in a barn in Cornwall... we couldn't ignore that fact." The couples colour scheme was inspired by Cathryn's love of chrysanthemums and craspedia. These sunny flowers along with David Austin roses, ranunculus, succulents and hyacinths created Cathryn's theme-perfect yellow and grey bouquet. For a personal touch she also chose freesia, the flower both her mother and grandmother carried in their wedding bouquets.
Cathryn & Alex: Homemade touches
To create a day that was uniquely theirs, Cathryn let her creative juices flow and made everything from the table plan and doily menus (“to match the lace on my dress”) to the 55 pom poms and signs.
Cathryn & Alex: Personalised places
Handmade illustrations of each guest, which were displayed in cotton reels and used as place names, got everyone talking.
Cathryn & Alex: Fruity favours
The couple blended their theme with the location by using rustic touches like homemade jam favours with hessian covers, candles in sand-filled jars and twine-wrapped flower jars.
Cathryn & Alex: Bright bridesmaids
The DIY didn't end at the décor. Cathryn got crafty with her maids outfits too, by accessorising yellow H&M cardigans with grey felt flowers to match their tea-length dresses from <a href=" http://www.dessy.com/">Dessy</a>.
Cathryn & Alex: Dream dress
For her own big day look Cathryn knew she wanted a lacy number. After trying on lots of styles she fell in love with a slim-fitting fishtail dress from Pronovias. And to go with it fashion designer Cathryn took no chances and bought four pairs of shoes. "I ended up wearing a pair of silver glitter Jimmy Choos. They were so sparkly - I'm a bit of a magpie!"
Cathryn & Alex: Romantic rings
"Our wedding rings mean a lot to us," says Cathryn, "they were a wedding gift from my Nana." And Cathryn was just as taken with her engagement ring - a princess cut platinum ring from Tiffany's. "I've loved Tiffany's ever since I watched <em>Breakfast at Tiffany's</em> when I was younger. I loved that Alex remembered this!"
Cathryn & Alex: French connection
"Alex is half French so when we visited his family in France we chose our own wine to bring back for the wedding and I designed the labels to match the rest of the stationery," explains Cathryn. To make their continental guests feel even more welcome, the menus, invitations and programmes were all translated into French too.
Cathryn & Alex: Tasty tiers
"The cake was a family collaboration - it was made by my mum using walnuts from Alex's grandparents' garden," says Cathryn.
Cathryn & Alex: Teeny toppers
Cathryn designed and created the cake toppers and miniature bunting. "I painted the cake topper couple in our outfits, which I had to hide from Alex otherwise he'd know what I was wearing!" she says.
Cathryn & Alex: Say cheese
The couple also had a locally-sourced cheese cake from <a href="http://www.thecheeseshed.com/" rel="nofollow">The Cheese Shed</a>, which went down a storm with the French guests.<p>For more ideas, pick up a copy of our <a href="http://www.buysubscriptions.com/Product/all-products/real-weddings" rel="nofollow">real wedding special issue</a>, packed with gorgeous celebrations and inspirational moodboards. Out now!</p>
<b><em><p>Real wedding: <a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/real-weddings/spring/the-darling-buds-of-may/18602.html" title="real wedding">a springtime celebration in Richmond</a></p> <p>Mood board:<a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/ideas/mood-boards/mood-board-lace/18707.html" target="_blank" title="mood board"> Lace</a></p> <p>Venues:<a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/venues/top-10-barn-and-boho-wedding-venues-for-2013/18494.html" target="_blank" title="barn venues"> Top 10 barn wedding venues</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/ideas/diy-and-craft/make-your-own-wedding-invitations/18696.html" target="_blank" title="DIY invites">Make your own wedding invitations</a></p></em></b>