Real wedding: A DIY summer marquee wedding

Following a surprise engagement in Greece, Nicola and Leon Coombs celebrated their DIY summer wedding in a marquee in the glorious grounds of Frampton Court Estate.

The lowdown

The happy couple: Nicola Furlong, 36, a retail auditor, and Leon Coombs, 33, a customer service manager, who live in Bristol.
Wedding date: Saturday 5 August 2017
Ceremony venue: St Mary’s Church, Thornbury
Reception venue: Marquee by the lake at Frampton Court Estate, Frampton-on-Severn
Marquee: Bisley Marquees & Hire Co.


The suppliers

Photographer: Lee Hatherall Photography, Weston-super-Mare
Flowers: By Nicola’s step-mother
Dress: Allison Jayne Bridalwear, Bristol
Bridesmaid dresses: Handmade by Pia Pispa of Heartfelt Vintage, Bristol
Cake: By Nicola’s step-mother
Catering: Napier Catering
Stationery: Handmade by the bride
Transport: Ken's Kars, Chipping Sodbury
Entertainment: The Moon Loungers, Bristol
Favours: Handmade by sister-in-law
Hair and beauty: Hair by Kerry from Browns Boutique, Stroud, make-up by Kerry Makepeace, Bristol


The details

When and how did you first meet?

It was the 26th March 2011! We were both separately on a night out with friends, I spotted a handsome looking man and plucked up the courage to ask for his number!

Who popped the big question and how did they propose?

Nicola says: ‘We were on a much-needed holiday in Crete, staying at Leon’s family’s holiday home, when Leon surprised me with a two-day trip to Santorini! I just put it down to him being nice after we’d had a rubbish year.

We took a ferry and arrived at the most beautiful hotel with a private jacuzzi and balcony overlooking the Caldera. As the sun was setting Leon got down on one knee to propose. He did an amazing job picking the ring, I said yes straight away; it was very unexpected and romantic!

How long did it take you to plan your wedding?

We set the date of 2017 so had two years to plan for the big day. Pinterest was my best friend! It took us quite a while to find the perfect venue and a fair amount of time planning. It was important for us to create a personal touch so lots of time was spent making invites and props to create the desired look.

A DIY summer marquee wedding

Why did you choose your venue?

The setting was beautiful and absolutely breath-taking. We fell in love as soon as we visited. It allowed us to do whatever we wanted as we were starting with a blank canvas. The bonus of providing your own marquee means you have no worries about having a multi-coloured carpet to work into the theme!

A DIY summer marquee wedding

A DIY summer marquee wedding

A DIY summer marquee wedding

Was there an inspiration or theme for your wedding?

Romantic, shades of grey and dusky pink.

What flowers did you have?

A DIY summer marquee wedding

It took forever to decide on the perfect flowers. It was important to get the right shade of dusky pink so it took numerous visits to the flower market looking at different roses and ranunculus. I was being quite particular but the time spent paid off and we fell in love with our flowers!

The David Austin rose plant centre in Wolverhampton were so helpful and went above and beyond, giving us endless advice. We chose Miranda and Carey David Austin roses with white lisianthus, and different grey tones of eucalyptus. They turned out exactly as I had envisioned.

What made you choose your photographer?

Lee had covered some of our friend’s weddings in similar settings, we liked his work and the fun and relaxed vibe he brought on the day.

How did your wedding photographer capture your big day memories?

Perfectly! We loved every photo, it was amazing how he captured all our guests throughout the day and they are great to look back on the day they had whilst we couldn’t be everywhere!

He had some really imaginative ideas to capture something a little different. A great mix of posed photos and relaxed.

A DIY summer marquee wedding

Did you hire a wedding planner or was it a DIY affair?

It was a DIY affair. This was important to us as I enjoy being creative!

Did you make, design or create anything yourself?

Save the date cards, invites, lace chair back covers, all props and decorations, including the painted ladders, apple crates, table plans, table names, menu cards, personalised games, and the child’s outdoor seating, which was made from cable drums.

A DIY summer marquee wedding

Tell us about the wedding dress

It was the Pronovias Olmedo in silk satin. It’s a classic-inspired princess-style dress with gemstone details.

A DIY summer marquee wedding

A DIY summer marquee wedding

What did the groom wear?

A single-breasted lounge suit in mid-grey with a dusky pink satin tie and handkerchief.

A DIY summer marquee wedding

Did you incorporate any special family details or heirlooms, for example?

I had my nan’s wedding ring sewn onto my garter.

Did you have something old, new, borrowed and blue?

Yes! I like to follow tradition… it’s good luck! Old, borrowed and blue was my bridesmaid’s garter and the new was my dress!

What song did you walk down the aisle to?

‘Canon in D Major’ by Pachelbel.

Did you have any special readings during the service?

Nicola’s brother and sister read ‘The One’, while Leon’s usher read Corinthians 13.

What did you have for your wedding breakfast?

To start we had Greek-style fillet of seabass or grilled halloumi with a green tapenade and roasted Mediterranean vegetables. The main course was roasted rump of lamb served with a feta and olive ratatouille, Greek potato galette, baby fennel and lamb jus or butternut squash and tomato tagine with spiced couscous. For dessert we had Greek yogurt panna cotta, with pomegranate drizzled with orange blossom honey.

A DIY summer marquee wedding

What kind of cake did you go for?

We had a three-tiered fruit cake in grey icing with white lace, decorated with icing and David Austin roses.

What was your first dance song?

‘The One’ by Kodaline.

A DIY summer marquee wedding

What was your favourite part of your wedding day?

Everything! We loved every minute and can’t chose a favourite part!

Did everything go to plan?

We can honestly say everything was perfect! We were a little worried about the weather, as we know the British weather is unpredictable, even when you’re getting married in August!

Our venue was chosen to make the most of the outdoor space, the beautiful well-kept gardens for drinks reception to the park with geese roaming and a spectacular view of the lake right next to the marquee.

The day started a little gloomy but held off. We were at the church singing to the hymn ‘All things Bright & Beautiful’, one of Nicola’s grandparents’ favourites, when the heavens opened and down came the rain and thunder!

We believe this was their way of letting us know they were with us as they had both passed away. Within 30 minutes, the day turned into glorious sunshine and ended up being a hot day. We couldn’t have wished it to be any different!

A DIY summer marquee wedding

What advice would you give anyone planning their big day?

Personal touches give you a real sense of pride. The planning and time spent is all worth it. Do it your way, be brave to stand by what you want and remember it is your day! Enjoy every minute of it, and don’t let any stress take over!

A DIY summer marquee wedding

And finally, where did you spend your honeymoon together?

We went to the family holiday home in Crete with our one-year-old daughter, Neve. It was a peaceful, relaxing holiday. We plan to have our special child-free honeymoon in The Maldives in a few years!


If Nicola and Leon’s DIY summer wedding has inspired you to have a marquee wedding, see Bisley Marquees & Hire Co., call (01452) 770613, email info@bisleyhire.co.uk or visit bisleyhire.co.uk directly.

© SoGlosWeddings
Tuesday 12 December 2017

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