Congratulations to Virginia and Greg who got married yesterday after a two year quest for an open air wedding. “So many people want to get married out of doors, but it’s illegal! You can only legally tie the knot in a licensed venue, and this has to have a roof,” says Virginia.
On July 14th, after signing bits of paper under a roof, a party of 20 close family members will follow them on foot into the woods in a secret location in South Devon, where they will be greeted by Hetti and Pip of Babes in the Woods who are doing the food, accommodation and games. “Our humanist will perform the ceremony on a beautiful shingle river-beach, then we’ll have a wedding breakfast with champagne and after we’ll play games like welly-wanging, boules, coconut shy and ball-in-bucket. The children can also play in the woods and there is a swing which they will love.”
The couple searched for two years to try and find a venue they liked, and had practically given up when they heard about Babes in The Woods, http://www.babesinthewoods.co.uk; the inspiration of owner and founder Hetti Dysch, who saw what fun and how memorable it would be to have Hen Nights in the woods. Her clients come from all over Britain to sit around the campfire, go foraging, enjoy organic beauty treatments and indulge in woodlounging. But this is the first time the venue has been used for a wedding.
“What we liked about it was the fact that we felt we were creating the wedding ourselves, in this amazing setting,” says Virginia. “So many yurt-type places have become commercial. Here we decided everything with Hetti and Pip’s help. It’s all been so easy and natural. They have been fantastic.”
The Outdoor Wedding has become something of an obsession for Virginia. In the course of the last two years of searching in vain for the right location, she started collecting vintage items like picture frames, candle holders and wooden trays which would look right in an outdoor scene. “I was so appalled by what I saw at a wedding fair I realised I had no choice!” she laughs. Then in a moment of supreme bravado she bought 280 traditional chairs with trestle tables in an auction. With no wedding of her own as yet, she decided to hire them out and set up her own specialist company www.virginiasvintagehire.co.uk.
“We’ve seen quite a few unusual weddings now, including one in a fort overlooking the sea, a barn wedding and farm wedding. What they all have in common is a rural vintage atmosphere.”
But not many have been as rural as her own. After the ceremony, lunch and fairground games, a fiddle duo are coming to play so that the family can dance in a clearing by the campfire. The guests are all staying in Hetti’s bell tents and the next day will be having a slap up woodland breakfast before heading out for a big walk. An appetite thus created, they will take woodland cream tea with local Devon clotted cream before heading home.
Thank you for the photo Hetti, we are so glad you had sunshine for the big day!