We didn’t have a specific theme for the day – all we knew is that we wanted to host an amazing outdoor party. We live in Abu Dhabi and so don’t get to see our family and friends that often – instead of a stuffy, formal event, we created a fun and relaxed space to hang out with them.
Neil and I also decided pretty early on that we didn’t want a formal dinner. Instead, we had a family-style sit-down meal with guests helping themselves. For the main course we had cast-iron bowls of coq au vin with button mushrooms, baked salmon and Spanish port meatballs. For dessert there was fresh fruit and citrus tarts, and chocolate mousse.
Neil was adamant he wouldn’t wear a suit or tie for the wedding. Instead he opted for a waistcoat, checked shirt with rolled-up sleeves and a floral bow tie to bring a splash of colour to his outfit.
One of the hardest things to source were our vintage champagne glass favours. In every shop we looked they were so expensive. In the end we went to charity and thrift stores, and ended up getting 100 glasses for under £200.
My top tip: See if some of your vendors can double up on services. Our catering firm provided us with linens, cutlery and servers, while our florist, Passion For Flowers, also sourced props such as rustic wooden crates.