When Alex Linford decided it was time to pop the question to his beloved Robyn Downey, he didn't do things by halves. “I hate surprises so he wound me up for weeks before Christmas saying he'd got me an amazing gift,” says the bride. When the 25th came around Alex pulled out a cardboard box, which he'd wrapped in fancy paper, filled with tissue and confetti and booby-trapped so when Robyn opened it a balloon popped out. At the bottom, was a chalkboard saying 'Will you marry me?' “He stood watching me open it before dropping to one knee,” she recalls. “After lots of tears I managed to muster a 'Yes!'” The happy couple soon set the date for 24th June, 2017 and opted for a celebrant-led tipi wedding at Angrove Park.
Here, the bride tells us more about their informal, bohemian day…
Our venue is a glamping site near a working farm. It has the most stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Every time we visited it was so peaceful and calm – the ideal canvas for us to create our day on.
I actually bought two dresses before I found the one. It was a gorgeous lace Pronovias number, which I teamed with a Sassi Holford veil and super-cool pink leather jacket with 'Wifey' painted on the back. Both my dad and Alex bought me bracelets as my something new.
We pictured a chilled-out day with a big focus on our two loves, food and music. Although we wanted a relaxed day it was planned meticulously. I even painstakingly cut out a miniature tipi layout so I could work out where all our furniture and props would fit!
Our cake had four delicious tiers of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and lemon, decorated with a floral waterfall down one side and copper ribbon.
A lot of our day revolved around food. We opted for a sit-down barbecue as our main meal, with steaks, chicken, burgers, sausages and anything else you can imagine. In the evening, we had a hog roast and stone-baked pizzas. We had a Belgian waffle tuk tuk to provide dessert – it was so good we had to have seconds.
When I asked my best girls to be my bridesmaids I bought them all a necklace with the coordinates of where we were going to wed. They looked amazing on the day with dresses from ASOS – we actually ordered them while I was at Glastonbury – there's no rest from wedding planning.
Bloom Photography and Blooming Lovely Films were wonderful and we can't recommend them enough. The groomsmen would've had a much more stressful morning if it wasn't for the photographer, Chris, as none of them could tie their ties!
I can't thank The Countryside Florist enough; Rebecca completely understood my vision from the beginning and created beautiful bouquets, buttonholes and displays that tied in with our theme.
We scavenged things for months and travelled miles to collect the perfect pieces for our big day. All my wacky ideas worked, although climbing to the top of a ladder to hang a chandelier of disco balls is not one of Alex's fondest memories.
We've got so many incredible memories of the day, but a highlight for me was when Alex and I sat on the top deck of our double-decker-bus bar, looking out over our loved ones.
We started out with a budget in mind but that soon went out the window. Overall, we spent nearly double what we'd planned – but it was worth every penny.
My best piece of advice for anyone planning a wedding is don't try to please everyone, it's your day. Have what you want and do what you want and just let your inner bridezilla or groomzilla out!