Today I am thrilled to share a beautiful same sex Spring wedding in the Cotswolds with a Pi Theme.
Images were captured by Rob Tarren Photography.
Rob Tarren is a documentary photographer specialising in wedding, newborn and family photography in the Cheltenham, Gloucester and surrounding Cotswolds area.
He works in a relaxed and informal style to ensure the true beauty of your wedding day shines through.
Rob says of the day…
The guys got ready together at the Wheatsheaf in Northleach, where they met up with close friends and family before heading back to the Stone Barn where they both appeared at the entrance of the main hall hand in hand.
It was a really fun and uplifting ceremony, helped by the fantastic celebrant Jenny, who is actually one of their friends!
The day flowed perfectly, and there was great speeches together with a fun variation on the shoe game (I’ve never seen it played with GIANT marshmallows and clothes pegs before!), finished off with crazy barn dancing!
The couple share a little of their story…
How did you meet?
Phil: Toby and I met in 2010; not quite over a Twister mat as Toby likes to tell it.
We were actually in separate Twister games that day. I can’t remember who won Toby’s game; I’m pretty sure I won my match.
Now is a good time to point out that it wasn’t some form of weird Twister tournament. That would be a little odd even for us.
We were both at a barbecue and the host had laid on Twister for everyone to play as part of the entertainment.
Maybe the air of a ‘Twister winner’ is what first drew him to me.
I remember on my part it was Toby’s smile and that cheeky twinkle in his eye that caught my attention.
Our similar personalities and outlooks meant we clicked really quickly, to the point that after only six months of being together we decided that it felt right for us to move in together.
I was living in Birmingham at the time, so I packed up my belongings and my little dog Archie and we headed to Wolverhampton to join Toby and his cat Fatwans.
Toby: What Phil didn’t say that he nearly stood me up on our first date.
A short while after the agreed meeting time I received a text saying he’d had to rush his brother to hospital because of some sort of medical emergency, and he would be late.
“A likely story”, I thought, and then felt bad when I later discovered that the brother concerned had been struck down with acute kidney stones, and had actually been very ill. I’m very happy to say that he’s fine now.
Tell us about the Proposal…
Toby: I proposed to Phil while we were on a wonderful summer narrow boating holiday in South Wales.
We’d hired our own barge, and were given (in my opinion) a worryingly short lesson in how to pilot it before being released to explore the Mon and Brec Canal for a week.
The scenery was stunning; the canal being quite unusual as it was cut high into the local hills, with amazing views.
Somehow we didn’t capsize, and it was as we were moored up one evening beside some beautiful countryside, seemingly miles from anywhere, that I popped the question.
It was a very relaxed moment with a little barbecue on the towpath cooking our dinner, and plastic glasses of wine in our hands.
Neither of us are big jewellery fans, so instead of rings I’d had some silicone wristbands made, that said “Engaged to Toby”, and “Engaged to Phil”.
Thankfully, Phil didn’t push me into the canal at the sight of one of these, and instead said yes, so we continued our boating adventures as an engaged couple, with lots of fun moments to remember, and a wedding to plan.
Tell us about your Wedding Planning journey…
We kept everything else nice and simple.
We made all our own bunting for the decorations, and our flowers were £1 bunches of daffodils purchased from the supermarket.
Our living room was a sea of yellow for a few days before our wedding as we sunned them to ensure they all bloomed for the day itself.
Our suits were bought in the sale from Next, we chose lovely but inexpensive titanium wedding rings, and I designed all our wedding stationery myself.
Our wedding cakes were simple Marks and Spencer plain celebration cakes, with our edible faces printed on top.
We got a kick out of the fact that our guests were going to have to eat our faces on our wedding day. There was even a cake featuring our cat Fatwans too!
We wanted to forgo too much pomp and circumstance, so we left out many of the aspects that sometimes many of us feel we ‘should’ have on our wedding day, and instead concentrated on what we wanted.
We even arrived at our venue with family and friends in taxis together, before Toby and I walked up the aisle hand in hand.
The most important thing to us is that at the end of the day we would be husband and husband, and that along the way we had some great fun and shared that with our family and friends.
Personally we both feel that weddings aren’t all about the dress (especially in our case), how large the diamond ring is, or about arriving in a horse-drawn pumpkin.
Those are all nice things to have, if that’s your thing. But when it comes down to it wedding days are about standing there in front of your family and friends, and saying “Look! I’ve found someone I REALLY love, someone totally awesome, who makes me happy, and we want to spend the rest of our lives together. Thank you everyone for helping us both get to this point”.
I like to think our approach to wedding photography, encapsulates all that.
We try and document each wedding in an authentic and genuine way, with virtually no posing, just capturing the fun and festivities as they naturally unfold. We try to capture the individuality of each couple, the things that make their wedding day unique to them.
I’ll always be glad that we finished our evening with a fabulous ceilidh band too, f you want a fun way to celebrate your wedding day, an unforgettable and very different first dance, and to make sure absolutely everyone feels they can get up and shake their stuff, a ceilidh band is the perfect way to do it.
Tell us about your Wedding Theme…
Toby: We had a Maths/Pi theme for out wedding day. Know this: I am a nerd, and I love the patterns and puzzles of mathematics.
Phil and I originally planned to marry at the Stone Barn on the 13th of March 2015.
Then, as I was looking at the calendar, I saw something wonderful about the next day. Written the American way (month / day / year) that was:
3 14 15.
Full nerd marks if you’ve spotted why I got so excited: that’s the first five digits of pi, the vital statistic for all circles (and wedding rings!).
Pi Day was celebrated all over the world, and there won’t be another five-figure one like that for a thousand years!
Phil took a bit of persuading that a Pi Theme was a good idea, but I think we can guarantee that our mathematical wedding stationery, bunting, and table signage was unique.
Tips for future couples getting married…
Toby: Gut your guest list – It’s not always easy, but try to invite only the people you really love. Does that third cousin twice removed really need to be there?
There can be family politics involved, particularly if relatives are helping pay for your big day, so have those discussions early on.
Also, during your celebrations, try not to feel too much pressure to “do the rounds” with every single one of your guests. Spend the time with the people who matter.
Blitz your budget – Decide on the things that are going to be really important on your wedding day. Obviously having awesome and fun photographers there will be a top priority!
At our wedding I wanted to make sure we also had great food and drink, so some of our budget went there. But you’ll be surprised how much else you can sort out yourselves.
For instance, nothing looks better for a spring wedding than £1 bunches of daffodils from the supermarket in vases from IKEA.
Bond over the bunting – This is what Phil and I did – we bought a cheap sewing machine and made miles of bunting over several evenings at home.
It was surprisingly easy and very therapeutic!
Chuck the chair covers! – There are lots of nice touches you can add to your wedding, but having them all can mean your budget goes through the roof.
You don’t need every single wedding embellishment to have an amazing wedding day.
Prioritise the details that mean the most to you and just choose those.
Forget the favours – Full disclosure, we actually had favours at our wedding day.
Phil didn’t want to spend the extra money, but he’d designed awesome wedding stationery for us featuring our disembodied heads (which were also featured on our wedding cakes).
I loved the idea of having these as badges, so that guests could randomly wear our faces, then take the badges home and randomly wear badges with our faces on at home too!
Who wouldn’t want to wear badges with our faces on?
Beautiful Light – One thing you can’t control is when the sun sets, so love the light you get on your wedding day. Make sure you get out for golden hour – there’s a magical period if you’re lucky enough to get a sunset on your wedding day where cherubs float about in the air, angels pluck at their harps, and the light looks fab!
First Look – Why not trounce tradition and have your photos together before the ceremony. This is particularly useful to do whn it winter as the light starts to fad earlier.
Meaningful messages – Unless you want to risk a book full of ‘Congratulations, thanks for inviting us’ in eighty different hand writing styles consider making the first page of your book instructions to your guests. Such as ‘Tell us something that made you laugh at our wedding’, or get them to fill it with anecdotes of your day that you may have missed out on. It makes it a wonderful keepsake to look back on.
Don’t sweat the small stuff -There may be some things during your day that don’t turn out quite the way you expect.
Phil likes to tell the story of some fairy lights he bought to decorate our venue for our wedding day. After winding the lights carefully around a pillar, he turned the switch on only to find that they didn’t work.
It was disappointing, but they were just fairy lights. A string of broken fairy lights weren’t going to make or break our wedding day, so we just shrugged our shoulders and moved on.
Check the clock – Have an itinerary planned around the time-sensitive parts of your day. Allow lots and lots of time for getting ready, so you can enjoy the process and not get stressed, and think about the possibility of traffic if you’re travelling to your venue.
If you’re having a ceremony with registrars it’s worth being mindful that they may be attending more than one wedding that day, and really need to start on time!
Venue – Cripps Stone Barn
Photography – Rob Tarren Photography
Suits – Next
Flowers – Supermarket daffodils from Tesco in Ikea vases
Stationery and Bunting – DIY
Evening catering: Baz and Fred
To Contact Rob Tarren Photography.
Website – https://www.robtarren.co.uk/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: – 07590 529883