Kathy & Jon’s ceilidh dancing, orchard camping, and game playing wedding

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 | Photography by How Photography
Kathy & Jon (306 of 475)
Photos by How Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Kathy, charity worker, pom pom enthusiast, and cider lover

Her offbeat partner: Jon, recruitment legend and knight in shining armour

Date and location of wedding: Orchard in Somerset, UK — September 7, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Jon and I are both big socialisers, with a love of food, booze, music, and people, so we wanted to reflect that in the wedding. At the church, cookies and Prosecco were served on entry by the bridesmaids, who also handed out glow bands to all the guests. They would give their glow band to either one of us, thus ensuring that we got to socialize with everyone by the end of the night.

Kathy & Jon (083 of 475)

Kathy & Jon (180 of 475)

Kathy & Jon (249 of 475)

Kathy & Jon (207 of 475)

Kathy & Jon (222 of 475)

My wonderful mum, mother-in-law, and friends made bunting for the decor, and we had a cake quilt of 16 cakes made by guests. We also filled picnic baskets with a homemade lunch (complete with three types of cheese and homemade chutney), had a hog roast, and a cider, ale, and wine bar.

Kathy & Jon (241 of 475)

For games, we had space hopper racing, coconut shy, hoopla, limbo, and some very lively ceilidh dancing, and finally an '80s music disco. We were so lucky to be supported by a lot of friends and family who helped in every way they could, from building the coconut shy to attending our pom-pom party in the park and creating over 500 woollen pom-poms to hang from the orchard trees!

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Kathy & Jon (468 of 475)

We decided against a solo first dance as, despite being fairly outgoing, the thought of the two of us shuffling around a dance floor was terrifying, and instead opted to have our first dance as a ceilidh dance with everyone. From our youngest guest to those in their 70s, all 120 guests were up strutting and posing and dancing with people they'd never met!

Kathy & Jon (122 of 475)

Tell us about the ceremony: We walked in to “All I Want is You” by Barry Polisar and exited to “Pencil Full of Lead” by Paolo Nutini. My adored friend also read my favourite poem, “Yes I'll Marry You My Dear” by Pam Ayres.

Kathy & Jon (134 of 475)

Our biggest challenge:
Apparently, it hadn't rained on that day in the local area for ten years, but rain was predicted. A lot of our wedding reception (the games, hog roast, toilet, and pom poms) were outside and, despite asking everyone to bring wellies as a precaution, I admit I was ruin-your-nails-by-chewing-them worried. On the day, however, one of my wonderful bridesmaids told me of a fool-proof way to stave off the rain: take a chili, wrap it in ribbon, tie it to a stick, and then plant in the garden. Who knew?! Apparently it's a Malaysian custom that her family has successfully used for every major event for the past 30 years. It worked for us, too! Thank you, chilies!

Kathy & Jon (238 of 475)

Kathy & Jon (319 of 475)

Kathy & Jon (408 of 475)

Kathy & Jon (449 of 475)

Kathy & Jon (017 of 475)

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
I was worried initially since Jon wasn't as into the planning as I was. But what I originally read as apathy was actually trust. The week before, when all of my planning was becoming reality, suddenly he was all over it. Taking my many lists and making the ideas reality. It turned out he had been listening all along, he's just more of a doer than a planner. Planning a wedding together can be stressful, but it's also an opportunity to grow together and learn more about each others' strengths and challenges.

Kathy & Jon (475 of 475)

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Comments on Kathy & Jon’s ceilidh dancing, orchard camping, and game playing wedding

  1. Those bridesmaid dresses are beautiful, and so fun! Looks like everyone had a blast. Congrats and thanks for sharing!

  2. What a super fun wedding! The cake quilt is a lovely, unique idea!


  3. The ceilidh looks so fun! I definitely want to avoid the first dance too! Would you recommend the band?

  4. Super impressed with the bridesmaids gown choice! It is a really flattering dress that the girl can wear again and again.

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