Today I am thrilled to share the wonderful colourful Staffordshire Wedding of Carrie Anne and Olly with a wild upcycled theme at Himley Hall.
Images were captured by The Dignums.
The Dignums are a husband/husband team of two fun and friendly wedding photographers, based in Wolverhampton.
They shoot all over the Midlands, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, and beyond.
The couple say of their day…
How did you meet?
Carrie-anne: Olly and I met in 2009 in the students union bar at the University of Sheffield, over a period of about 6 months.
We weren’t in the bar for 6 months straight; we had a friend in common through my PhD and Olly’s scuba diving club.
This friend loves to point out that the scuba diving club made Olly “boyfriendable”!
Our first official date was in a terrible Indian restaurant, where drinks are bought from the pub over the road and carried to the restaurant (anyone who went to the University of Sheffield will know where we’re talking about).
We’d agreed to meet in said pub beforehand, and I’d just been to the hairdressers. I’d love to describe my hair as curly, but in reality it seems to spend most of its time eating paperclips and small birds.
In any case, the hairdresser had straightened my hair, and I walked into the pub at the allotted hour trying to find Olly, who looked straight at me, with absolutely no recognition and walked right past me and out of the pub.
Not a great start to a first date. After finally finding each other, we carried our drinks over the road to the restaurant, and ate some perfectly reasonable curry.
The waiter bought the bill and the Indian version of After 8 mints, sugar coated fennel seeds.
Strange as it sounds, I’m mildly obsessed with these things and mentioned this to Olly who picked up the plate of seeds and tipped the entire contents into his shirt pocket which had a hole in the bottom.
The fennel seeds came pouring back out of the hole, which I found hilarious and I’m pretty sure Olly found mortifying!
Olly did get his own back a few days later when I was in the midst of PhD thesis writing madness.
We’d agreed to meet for a drink and I got a phone call from Olly, asking me what I was up to and where I was.
I was in my lab and having a particularly successful few hours of writing, so I was a little confused by this phone call.
To my horror, Olly then gently reminded me I was supposed to have met him about an hour before he phoned!
I dashed down to the pub, and found Olly sat with a nice cold glass of beer waiting for me.
What I later found out was that my nice cold glass of beer was the third one he’d bought for me; the first two had got warm and so bless him, he’d replaced them to keep me happy!
Olly: Addendum: “replaced” meaning “drunk”.
Carrie-anne: Further addendum: mine was definitely wine. And I didn’t find out you’d drunk them until much later.
Tell us about the Engagement…
Carrie-anne: In 2018, we moved out to a lovely city in the Netherlands called Leiden.
Sometime in October, I noticed that I couldn’t find a ring I always wore on my right hand.
This had been a Christmas present from Olly, so after a few days of searching I mentioned t him that I couldn’t find it. He told me not to worry, it would certainly turn up.
A few days later, I found my ring in the throw on the sofa and thought nothing more of it.
In November, he suggested we go out for a meal. Now Olly’s usual attire is a brightly patterned shirt, chinos and Doc Martens but while getting ready, I noticed he had put on a pair or smart trousers and a smart shirt. “That’s a bit odd” I thought, and carried on getting ready.
Next time I looked, he had on a waistcoat and smart shoes. I felt really underdressed at this point, and with a little irritation, changed my outfit to something a little more dressy.
We finally managed to leave the flat and went to a tiny little pub, where we were introduced to a Dutch spirit called genever (best described as the lovechild of whiskey and gin).
Then we tootled off to an amazing fish restaurant and had a fantastic candlelit meal.
Olly proposed in between two of the courses, fortunately not down on one knee since in his words he “knew I’d have hated that”, and according to him my reaction was something along the lines of “of course I will, you idiot!”
Needless to say, he’s the romantic one out of the two of us!
Olly: She says I’m the romantic one, but after the meal I took us straight to the local Dutch-Aussie sports bar where we enjoyed irresponsible quantities of lager/gin.
Tell us about your Wedding Planning journey….
Carrie-anne: Since I’m half Indian, we always knew we would have two weddings.
The plan was to have a relaxed, low-key English wedding with a big fat Indian wedding sometime afterwards.
I knew I wanted the reception outside and we are very lucky that I have an Aunty and Uncle in the wedding business so a marquee seemed the perfect solution.
We had around 6 months to get everything arranged, and trying to organise a UK wedding from Netherlands was not the most straightforward of things to do.
After a lot of ringing round trying to find a field that was willing to let us put a marquee up on it, Himley Hall agreed to let us hire some of their stunning grounds.
We’re both science geeks, and I love natural materials and textured glass so a kind of wild, upcycled theme seemed to fit both the setting and the type of wedding we wanted.
We wanted to turn the day upside down a little and have speeches and main meal in the evening when more of the people we wanted to spend time with where there,
so we decided on an afternoon tea and then Indian food for the evening.
Fortunately for us, the torrential rain of the entire week before the wedding day stopped, and we had a gloriously sunny day so we filled the gap between afternoon and evening with outdoor games, mostly bought from Aldi!
We also knew early on that we wanted all of our distinct groups of relatives and friends to mingle, so we ditched the seating plan.
This led to some weird and wonderful table companions but everyone had fun! We mainly knew that we just wanted a day where we got to celebrate being married with all the friends and family we loved.
Olly: There was a pocket square. We don’t talk about it anymore.
Did you do any DIY/Personal touches?
Carrie-anne: I knew I wanted to use as many natural materials as possible, and upcycle as much as I could, so I raided a lot of charity shops for small vases and jars, and bought lots of little glass containers from Home Bargains.
I used coloured Kilner swing top bottles, and even a few repurposed cheese shakers and cocktail glasses as vases!
Then I noticed my dad cutting down some trees in the back garden and thought it would be nice to use the wood, so I made bundles of twigs and old test tubes, then wrapped wire string lights around them. Honestly, they looked better than they sound!
Myself and Olly then spent a wet evening a couple of nights before the wedding cutting down grasses to go with the wild theme; you can find a surprising amount of interesting and pretty grass by the sides of roads and in overgrown grass verges.
To most people’s surprise, they looked beautiful with weird and wonderful flowers in lots of small random mismatched flower containers so the evening spent looking like crazy people was definitely worth it!
What was the best bit of your Wedding Day?
Carrie-anne: Aside from the actual getting married bit, I don’t think I can choose a single best bit, the whole day turned out perfectly.
It was so relaxed and everything just flowed really naturally, which was exactly what we wanted.
Olly: I think the best bit (other than marrying my delightful wife) was seeing all our friends and family mingle and have fun.
The weather was lovely and there were (as far as I can tell) no interpersonal wobblies. How often does that happen?!
Would you change anything about the day?
Olly: Doing it again I’d properly brief the DJ on our eclectic tastes in music. Sorry, but Ed Sheeran can **** right off! 😉
Carrie-anne: Don’t leave the pocket square/tie situation to be sorted out by your husband!
What Advice would you give to other couples getting married?
Carrie-anne: Everyone in the wedding business is so friendly, so if you’re unlucky and your first choice of supplier is unavailable, ask them for suggestions for a replacement.
If your photographers offer a pre-wedding shoot, do it! We both hate having our photos taken, and our fantastic photographers pointed out that the ideal time to learn how not to look like an idiot in photos is not on your wedding day!
You don’t have to spend a lot to make your decorations look fantastic; our cake stand was a tree root sold as a stool.
A couple of days after I decided to buy the “stool”, I came across a nearly identical tree root sold as a wedding cake stand, and it was more than 4 times the price!
The same goes for vases and tealight holders; in the same shop I found tealight holders in the wedding section that were three times the price of identical tealight holders in the garden section!
Don’t get stressed by the little things. If something goes a little bit wrong, the chances are high that no-one else will notice it apart from the two of you. Ignore it and move on, and enjoy getting married!!
Olly: Don’t rush! I hear of so many people saying they’re nervous about the big day, but so much of that goes away when you know exactly who you are marrying.
That said, ten years is probably taking the sentiment a little to the extreme.
Carrie-anne: A huge thank you to the Dignum boys for being fantastic, both as photographers and as incredible human beings.
As soon as I saw their website, I knew they were the ones I wanted and reading Toby’s jokes at the bottom of each page just confirmed it!
They felt like part of the family rather than photographers and they captured the day perfectly.
Everyone at the wedding thought they were the two of the loveliest people they’ve met, and they didn’t stop running around like crazy people all day.
Another huge thank you to my amazing aunty and uncle. My aunty was responsible for all the wedding flowers, table decorations and basically all the stuff that made the marquee look fantastic.
Huge thanks to my uncle for the marquee, lighting and all the other hardware that goes with erecting a marquee and kitchen in a field.
Without them, the day wouldn’t have been possible, let alone perfect!
Olly: Tremendous thanks to the wedding project manager (coincidentally, my wife) Carrie-anne.
She pretty much sorted the lot and she’s the main reason the day went so well. To quote myself, “she organised everything with ruthless efficiency.
Also the Dignums, superb team. Just the right mix of tasteful and playful. Also, they gave us flapjacks.
Ceremony Venue: Dudley Register Office
Reception Venue: Himley Hall
Dress: The Dressing Rooms
Shoes: Irregular Choice
MUA: Preeti Bains
Transport: Strawberry Field VDubs
Marquee: Berkshire Marquees
Venue dressing/ signs and menus/ and planning: Ivy Designs
Cake: Gail’s Cake Pantry
Stationery: Child Paper Co
Catering: Mango Lounge
Toilet hire: Sweet Pee
Entertainment: Higher Class DJ
To Contact The Dignums
Website – https://thedignums.com/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org