Ali and Lee

Sometimes, love is just the tip of the iceberg for a completely awesome wedding and by that I mean, not only are Ali and Lee madly in love with a beautiful story to tell, but they had their wedding reception in a teepee. Yes, a teepee and for that reason alone, they themselves are awesome – wouldn’t you agree? Today’s wedding took place in England, but as with all Australians who end up in England, we shall call Lee and claim him as our own! Hence the beauty of this English/Australian celebration!

Ali explains how she and Lee met. “We met in a bar in London on the night of the football world cup final. My best friend had come in to see me at work earlier that day and said that she had seen a glint in my eye so she knew something was going to happen! Must say I didn’t think that the something was going to be that I would meet my future husband!! Lee had just arrived from Australia to start his stint in the UK after doing a bit of traveling around Europe and was looking for fun. I was going through a difficult time and wanted some distraction so we met each others needs perfectly! I eventually followed him out to Australia (although I always said that I was just going to say hi but he says he knew I would stay). He proposed 3 years after that in the airport car park at 4.30 am on Christmas day.”

Photographs today are by Richard Ford. I love Richard’s fun and vibrant captures from today’s wedding- it’s an adventure to capture a teepee wedding and I think Richard showcased the atmosphere perfectly with his photos.

Ali wore a knee length gown from Thurley with beautifully coloured shoes from Ted Baker. Jennifer Lucy Makeup styled all of the hair and makeup.

Ali and Lee married at Ali’s parents’ home in England. Ali remarks “I had always wanted to get married at home (wherever home was, we had moved quite a bit) in my parents’ garden. They had just bought a new house in Rogate, UK with big plans to renovate inside, redo the roof and redesign the garden when Lee popped the question. I thought that we would have to rethink the venue as it was going to be a massive job and we weren’t in the country to help but they wouldn’t hear of it. They were amazing and after a massive 9 months of very hard work and dust, they managed to pull it off completely and the finished result was beautiful. We actually only saw the house and garden for the first time a week before the big day and it was even better than expected.”

Ali explains the mood for the day “The theme for the day was colour. Everything was based around pink, orange, red and yellow. The groom wore an orange tie and the grooms men had hot pink ties which matched the dresses of the bridesmaids. My Dad wore an awesome yellow bow tie. Even the groom’s Dad wore a pink tie. It was fab, everyone made such an effort”. Ali gave her bridesmaids handmade coloured earrings from Linkeldesigns.

Ali was walked down the aisle by her father and the ceremony was performed by “An awesome man called Jim Trimmer which we found off a Humanist website. We picked him as he seemed good fun (we weren’t wrong) and had nicknamed himself the flying humanist while family and friends played the tunes and pitched in.

Ali explains “My Aunt and Uncle are professional musicians and  they played three jazz pieces throughout the ceremony. One of which was composed especially for us by my uncle which was based on a relationship – the happy times, the difficult times and the make up times. Hannah, a lovely friend who I used to work with in London did my beautiful bouquet and the flowers for my bridesmaids.”

Ali remarks “We actually had two parts to  the wedding as we had to do the legal bit in Australia before we left. The first part was done as quietly and as basic as possible at a registry office in Perth, WA. We only had 2 witnesses and it happened very quickly, followed by cocktails, champagne and pizza to celebrate!

The second part was in West Sussex, UK at my parents house which was organised over many, many Skype sessions! We wanted the day to have a real party atmosphere and for everyone to have a good time. It was at the end of summer and as the ceremony was held in the garden the weather had to be good. Luckily my Dad’s tradition of burying a silver spoon in the garden to ward of bad weather worked. (It poured the next day!)”

Of their photographer Richard, Ali says “He was awesome. He was recommended to us by a photographer that a friend had used for their wedding. We wanted to have a relaxed feel and for the pictures to be a story of the day/ party and definitely not just about us.

Neither of us wanted to be having to wait for ages for all the family shots to be taken as we wanted to spend more time with our guests and he understood that. They were done in record time. He was very professional but had a quirky sense about him that made it all really good fun. The pictures are even better than we thought, I love looking at them and seeing bits that we missed and remembering the day through them. He captured the day, the people and the colours perfectly.”

Ali describes the day as “It was the brightest, happiest day filled with the best people, lots of dancing, laughter and colour.  Massive cliche but it really was a truly wonderful day.”

The second theme may have won my heart a little! Ali says “Shoes also became a theme of the day… I had wanted to have coloured shoes and found pink shoes with red bows which I loved but the real shoes of the day were those of my older sister. They were from a different world with wings and feathers! Amazing!

We had teepee tents in the garden for the reception and they had such a magical feel to them. It was a bit different to the usual white marquee. I think what made them so special was that they had to be erected around a tree which my sisters nicknamed the tree of love!” The couple hire the teepee tents from Beautiful World Tents.

The flowers were beautifully coloured. Ali explains “As I am a florist the flowers were quite important. We had domes of dahlias, one colour per vase that formed a line down the centre of the tables arranged by a local florist called The Blacksmith’s Daughter. The napkins and water glasses were coloured as well.

For their registry, Ali and Lee did something personal, Ali says”We decided to set up a charity page so that our guests could donate to the MS Society both in the UK and Australia. It was a token for my Mum who had suffered from the disease.”

The couple had their wedding catered by Jacaranda Catering. Ali says “It was delicious.  Cheesecake was a must!”

Ali remembers her favourite part of the wedding day as, “Having all of our families together. One sister lives in New Zealand, my brother lives in New York and my other sister lives in the UK so it was so fantastic being together again after 2 years. There was such a party atmosphere in the week leading up to the wedding as gradually more and more of the Aussies arrived.

We had 20 people from the Australian side  make it over and that was amazing. It is such a distance and for there to be so many that made the effort to come was really special. It was a perfect way to catch up with friends and family.”

Their first danced was a classic, but humorous affair, Ali says “My Dad nicknamed it the clutch and shuffle as we were both pretty nervous about it. We danced to  ‘Let’s stay together’ by Al Green which felt very romantic. In the end it went really well and we were able to do something that resembled dancing. Thankfully, everyone joined us on the floor just before we reached the edge where we would have had to have maneuvered a turn, little bit daunting with everyone watching!”


The music kept guests on the dance floor all night light, Ali recalls “Lee loves music and I love dancing so we wanted to make sure we found the perfect band. It was a really difficult decision as it could make or break the evening!  Finally we decided on a band called “SuperNova” who had played at my sister’s wedding a few years ago. They had played at a number of my sister’s friends weddings too and had rave reviews so we booked them. They were fantastic and did not disappoint.

Their breaks were filled by my brother in law who was nicknamed DJ Supreme and kept everyone on the dance floor. It was so much fun and the floor was packed throughout the evening!”
Congratulations on this new stage in your lives Ali & Lee! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Thank you also to Richard Ford for sharing today’s images!