TBT – Wedding in the Woods!

Hey WeWiners

Hope you have enjoyed reading Shay’s fantastic Wedding post. It was a simply stunning day filled with games, champagnes, sunshine and dancing! To have stayed in the most quirky of Shepherds’ Huts (lush!!) really was the icing on the wedding cake (also lush!).

Throw Back Thursday and what do you know, three and a half years ago I married a tree surgeon too!

Forest Wedding Holton Lee

It just so happens that my tree-fella is also a Keyworth. We Keyworths are quite an outdoorsy bunch to be fair. There’s nothing we enjoy more than a chance to party to our hearts’ content with a good tune and glass or three. Or four… We’ll get to that  😉

When Alex proposed to me in the woods, I knew the wedding was to be a woodland wedding too. What I didn’t realise was how hard that would be to do in England. A wedding right in the woods?? ‘Not gonna happen’ I was told. England’s best forests are public spaces, so an organised event, especially a wedding, is a no no.

Unless of course we wanted to risk a pop-up flash wedding. Let’s face it. THAT would be an expensive gamble!

We opted for a wedding just next to a forest in the end and we couldn’t have found a more lovely or helpful venue. We chose the stunning backdrop of Holton Lee‘s rugged wilderness. A nature reserve on the outskirts of Poole.

Holton Lee Wedding

Sangria DIY Wooden Sign

Unbeknown to me at the time, the field we were to be married in was completely flooded in the rainy July of 2012 (the year the olympics was on home soil). This was kept a complete secret from me leading up to the wedding (thanks to my v. sensible sister). I mean – somehow I had NO idea! Rain? Where?

Holton Lee were amazing throughout all of this and found the ideal solution. They relocated our wedding site right into the trees. The perfect spot!


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We had an incredible Tipi for our reception from Beautiful World Tents. These guys were amazing; came two days before the wedding and set it up to perfection, given the size limitation the forest gave them.


My husband-to-be, Alex, and Shay’s hubby Toby spent the week before cutting 200 charger plates and name places for the banquet tables. An apt job for a couple of lumberjacks! I do still have a few that I held onto (much to Alex’s dismay). They make for great centrepieces under a shrine of candles or a nice chopping board if you can be bothered to sand one!


I got the idea for the name places from this image, and decided to leave out the paper  altogether and just write directly onto the wood.

DIY Wooden Name Places

In hindsight, I think I would have soldered the names into the woodgrain. It would make for a cleaner, crisper finish and have been much longer lasting (a lot of guests kept the nameplates so they doubled up as favours).

My beautiful bridesmaids concocted a delicious (albeit slightly potent) aqua coloured cocktail for the favours. We served it up in mini-jars tagged ‘Drink Me’… An ode to Alice. Non-alcoholic ones were made for teenagers and non-drinkers. Whilst the little ones had goody boxes to keep them occupied.

Drink Me Favours

I spent weeks before the wedding collecting glass bottles from wherever I could. Given that I had no car, my train trips to collect them were a little interesting and there were certainly a few moments where I must have looked like a very avid drinker. Which of course I am, so a few of these bottles had to be emptied into our wine glasses first – much to my delight.

I painted them with glass paint and popped them in the oven to set. I must say, not all glass is oven proof and (empty) Chanel perfume bottles are absolutely not! But what a sumptuous smell to freshen your whole home up with! The fragrance was still there when we returned from honeymoon two weeks later!

Painted Blue Bottles DIY

Our flowers we sorted out a week before, after some persuasion on my part – I did assume a forest came with them! We got them from Maries Florist in Winchester and saved a few pennies buying in bulk and asking some lovely friends to bring the flowers with them to the wedding.



A very precious friend made 200 meters of ethereal bunting, which very much made our wedding. I simply love it, and it comes out for every party! It even comes out at Christmas to turn our whole home into a winter wonderland! (Bear in  mind, this is before Disney’s Frozen came out – I have never watched it and this was not a Frozen-themed wedding).


My incredibly talented mother in law made a lot of the finishing touches, as well as the beautiful invites. I am told an entire production line was needed for them, and am so grateful to all involved! I created a ‘shadow box’ (Shay tells me) to frame it, along with our engagement cork, wedding cork and a couple of other ones that seemed special… but I forget why. Maybe one cork too many!


Just don’t use blue-tack! GLUE those memories down! There’s no getting in the shadow box once it’s done….. Maybe I should sort that out! I do love looking back on this day and remembering the best promise I ever made. To love this guy forever…. I definitely got the easier end of the deal!


There is just so much to say about this incredible day, my wonderful groom and so many special people that made it happen for us. I will simply have to do another wedding blog to fit it all in! Guys, we haven’t even spoken dresses… there were many!

Just one last shout out, John Thompson: our wonderful photographer who stayed well into the evening to get some awesome party shots. We love that he captured the heart of the day. You just don’t realise how special all those candid shots will be to look back on in years to come and I’m so glad we didn’t go for a traditional guy!

So thanks for reading, WeWiners. Please enjoy these last shots of the brave wedding guests who show cased their awesome dance moves for the camera.

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Much love,



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