Heather and Mitch's Boheamian Rustic Midsummer Night's Dream Wedding

Monday, February 1, 2021

Mr + Mrs: Syrett 

10th August 2019 | The Oak Grove

 Instagram: @leigh_calligraphy @mrmitch  | Photos: Carrie Lavers

Heather and Mitch held their bohemian summer wedding at The Oak Grove, an intimate woodland venue in Upchurch. Heather had always dreamt of a wedding inspired by A Midsummer Nights Dream, and from the wildflower decor, the beautifully decorated arbor, and twinkling lights, they definitely captured this vision. Heather is actually a calligrapher and created all of their gorgeous wedding stationery - check out Leigh Calligraphy. Read all about their magical day, and some details of the Californian adventure they chose for their honeymoon. 

Tell us all about your wedding theme...

Our wedding was very bohemian and rustic. I’d always dreamt of getting married outside in the woodlands and it being like a midsummer night’s dream so the colours we chose fit around this idea. The bridesmaids wore sage green, and Mitch and the groomsmen wore stone colour suits. Our florist used wildflowers throughout so the palette was very neutral and rustic. 

What kind of ceremony did you have?  

We had an outdoor ceremony and it was a licensed venue so we were able to officially get married there which was a bonus as, at the time, not many outdoor venues were licensed. It was the windiest day on earth and most people were telling me to get married inside the stretch tent at the venue because of the weather – they had even set up a ceremony area inside just in case I changed my mind! But I had it in my head that I was going to get married outside no matter what, so that’s what we did! More out of stubbornness that anything else!! I got blown down the aisle, everyone was wrapped in blankets and it was just hilarious. The ceremony was beautiful, we were married under a beautiful arbor which had been decorated with vines and wildflowers. We both wrote our own vows which were very emotional and personal and both of our Aunties did readings. One reading was ‘Us two’ from Winnie the Pooh and the other was a poem called ‘That still and settled place’ by Edward Monkton. We cried and laughed a lot – it was really special. 

What was your favourite part of the day?  

For both of us, our favourite part of the day was the wedding ceremony itself. It’s interesting when you’re planning a wedding because you tend to focus on a lot of the other ‘stuff’, maybe even things that don’t really matter. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the most important and special part of your day – actually getting married! Just being there with all of our family and friends, laughing, crying, reading our vows to one another - I will never forget it and I will cherish every moment of it forever.  

Song you walked down the aisle to: ‘Engagement Party’ from La La Land, this was played by our best man on the piano who is an incredible pianist. We were very lucky he played the piano for us during the ceremony. 
Ceremony Songs: ‘When you wish upon a star’ was sung by one of my best friends and accompanied by our best man on the piano. They performed while we were signing the register.  
Song for walking back up the aisle as a married couple:  ‘This will be’ (an everlasting love) by Natalie Cole. We danced back down the aisle to this song! Its such a fun song. 
First Dance: We both love Gregory Porter and found a beautiful bbc live lounge cover of him singing ‘You Send Me’ (a song I’ve always loved as it’s at the end of the film ‘The Holiday’ when they’re all dancing on New Year’s Eve!). We actually had to play it via YouTube as it’s not available anywhere else! 
We had an amazing live band called ‘Uptown’ who played awesome Motown music. Having live music was really important to us because Mitch is a jazz guitarist and I am a singer. We actually met when I was singing at a restaurant and he was a chef there! 

Did you make any Wedding DIYs?  

Our whole wedding was basically DIY which is why we chose The Oak Grove as it’s a great canvas to do what you want with the venue. I have a Modern Calligraphy business which actually started because I wanted to learn calligraphy to make my own wedding invites and place settings etc. I ended up falling in love with calligraphy and three years on I have a successful business doing it! I was able to design and create all of my wedding invitations, place cards, wedding signs, the seating plan and teamed up with a wonderful local candle business ‘Green Shed Candles’ who made small candle favours and I wrote the labels in calligraphy. I set up all of the venue the day before with help from my family and had loads of fun making it exactly what I imagined.  

Tell us all about the dress... 

yes yes yes! I had found Rock the Frock Bridal on Instagram years before I got engaged and knew I’d be booking an appointment there straight away! They sell boho and alternative dresses and I had an exact idea of what I wanted before my appointment. I dreamt of long sleeves and lace and this was the dress I came away with. I was a curvy bride and was a little apprehensive about trying on dresses but the team were so lovely, welcoming and helpful – I couldn’t have asked for a more memorable and brilliant experience. I tried on a few dresses but fell in love with the fifth dress I tried on and I knew straight away. I definitely had the ‘this is the one’ moment that people describe when you find ‘the dress’. It was the ‘Honeybear’ dress by Rembo Styling. I felt absolutely amazing in that dress all day and wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Tell us all about your wedding cake...

 My amazing mum made our beautiful naked wedding cake. She is so talented at making cakes and it was the yummiest lemon cake ever. She has even promised to make a small one for all of our wedding anniversaries from now on which I could not be more happy about!! We didn’t actually get a chance to have any on the wedding day so we took a big box of leftovers on our honeymoon and ate it every day on our adventures! Our florist decorated the cake with beautiful wildflowers – it was just gorgeous. 

What food did you have at your wedding?  

We had to source our own catering company as the venue didn’t have catering. We love Italian food and spent a long time researching caterers. We found ‘Squisito Deli’ which is an award winning deli shop in Northampton run by a lovely family. We drove for a tasting at their house and everything was incredible. We went for family sharing style dining where all the food was in the middle of the tables and guests helped themselves. We had antipasti boards and homemade Italian breads to start, lasagna, Trofie a la Genovese and Italian salad for main and a trio of desserts which included homemade tiramisu. They also made an amazing tiered cake made of cheese for the evening food with biscuits and we also had stonebaked pizzas and mini Italian pistachio and chocolate pastries. It was a delicious feast all day and we had lots of leftovers the next day which was amazing! 

How did you choose your venue?  

Visiting the Oak Grove was a bit similar to trying on my wedding dress for the first time. The minute we arrived, we just knew. The venue only offer 22 dates a year – one a week during the spring and summer months. We loved this as they really took time to get to know each couple and we didn’t feel like we were ‘just another couple’. We had the flexibility of styling the venue how we wanted and bringing our vision to life. The venue is beautiful and secluded, surrounded in woodlands and oak trees. The ceremony area had wooden benches for the guests and it felt so intimate and naturally beautiful. You could even see the sheep in the surrounding fields! The venue is right on the coast too so we could have photographs by the sea. This was a winner for us as we live by the coast in Leigh-on-sea and go on coastal walks nearly every day. For the reception, there was a huge stretch tent nestled amongst the trees with rustic trestle tables – it was just perfect in every way and we decorated it with wildflowers and candles. It was such a romantic venue.  

Worst wedding planning moment... 

The seating plan was an absolute nightmare. We sat down with a glass of wine to plan it all thinking it would be really fun! We ended up getting really stressed, screwing up many pieces of paper and having to leave it! I had no idea having to sit 12 people at tables would be such an ordeal! I asked my mum to take a look at it a few days later and of course she ended up solving it in minutes!  

Tell us about your Honeymoon...  

We are adventurers and walkers and love to go exploring. Although we enjoy a beach holiday, we both prefer to be active. We love America and decided to go on a Californian adventure! We started in Los Angeles for five days, we spent a day at Disney California which was so much fun and did lots of sightseeing. We then drove to Yosemite National Park for 5 days where we did amazing hiking, explored the redwoods and bear spotting! We then drove to San Francisco for another 5 days where we ate incredible food, saw the Golden Bridge and went whale watching. We then went to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-sea – it was just the best holiday. 

What was your wedding budget – and did you stick to it?  

Our budget was £17,000 and we went over budget by about £4,000. I’m sure there were things we could have paid less for, but we didn’t compromise on what we wanted and went for the best suppliers. We wouldn’t change a thing.  

Venue: The Oak Grove 

Photographer: Carrie Lavers 

Stationery:  Leigh Calligraphy (me!) 

Flowers:  Bloomingayles 

Catering: Squisito Deli 

Cake:  Homemade by Mum 

MUA/Hair: Poppy Tallulah Hair & Makeup 

Dress: Rembo Styling – Rock the Frock Essex 

Bridesmaids dresses:  Two Birds New York 

Suits: Moss Bros 

Wedding Rings: Warburtons of Leigh 

Band: Uptown (function central) 

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