Wight Wedding Blog

Real Wedding: Hayley and Lee Dyer

July 14th 2012 - Rookley Country Park

We feel privileged to be able to bring you another real wedding from an Isle of Wight couple. Hayley has been kind enough to let us talk over the details of how she planned her wedding day at Rookley Country Park (one of our listed suppliers, don’t you know) and the way everything turned out. I think it is probably safe to dub her the DIY and eBay queen, as she managed to create a wedding day she wouldn’t do differently and all within an approximate £4.5k! No mean feat that required a lot of work from Hayley and some additional DIY from her husband Lee. All of the great images are provided kindly by their photographer Emma Watts.

Again I did have the pleasure of attending this wedding and had the chance to talk to Hayley at different stages throughout her planning process, including the Wednesday before when she had started to come down with a chest infection days ahead of her wedding day. But let’s go back to some of the beginning stages of her planning process.

Lee proposed to Hayley in February of 2011 on Valentines Day, which was 11 years after they first got together. It was the second proposal by Lee as since the first time, they hadn’t gotten round to actually setting a date and in the meantime had also decided to have their first child, a beautiful little girl Keira. They had actually wanted to try and get married on their anniversary but it wouldn’t have given them enough time to save and opted for July 14th 2012. So the date was set in April and by May Hayley had bought her dress, a second hand version of a new one she had tried on and loved (to keep the costs down) and from May 2011 onwards, the planning began. It took about a year and 2 months to plan and they saved along the way.

I asked Hayley if she had a dream wedding day when she was growing up or in recent years even, and two things were a given. A church wedding was on the cards and getting there had to be in a horse and carriage. The idea of a manor house was an additional dream of hers but keeping to budget wouldn’t have allowed it and it wouldn’t have been in her to go against her budgeting personality to splash out on it.



Hayley and Lee were able to book a date to be married at St Blasius church in Shanklin and they needed to attend a number of times over 6 months before they were married. They then chose Rookley Country Park for their reception as it offered a lot of what they needed for their day in-house. A bar, accommodation if it was needed, good value and quality catering options with an in-house co-ordinator all at a price that fit their budget.  As you can see it also offered some lovely photo opportunities by Emma Watts Photography and seated their daytime and evening guests with a good sized dance floor. Hayley and Lee were more than happy with their choices.

At the same time as planning her wedding Hayley was working full time and looking after Keira, who wasn’t even a year old yet. So free time to research and plan was hard to come by and Hayley utilised the hours of 8-11pm when dinner was done and Keira was fast asleep. So inevitably she found herself on the laptop searching the Internet for ideas and bargains. Now this is where she began to become the eBay queen! With a tight budget and a good idea of what she wanted, this woman was on a mission to keep to it.



Picking a theme came easy as Cadbury purple was Hayley’s favourite colour and when looking at the options it also turned out to be the most striking colour for her. Throw in some diamante and Hayley was on her way to being a happy bride. The Internet proved to be the easiest way to shop and Hayley found a lot of what she needed and wanted at bargain prices. This also meant taking on a lot more stress as it got closer to the wedding date, but more on that in a bit.

Lee left a lot of the organising to Hayley, as a laid back guy who would be pleased with what made Hayley happy on the day. He was helpful in the days before as he printed and put together all of the order of service. A time consuming task taken off his bride’s hands. His most important task was to arrange the surprise transport for the bride to the church from her mum’s house. He came through trumps when he fulfilled one of Hayley’s wedding day dreams with a horse and carriage! Hayley didn’t know until she heard hooves coming up the street and realised her husband-to-be had put the icing on the wedding day cake for her.




Mid-week before the wedding Hayley came down ill with a chest infection. Something she thought was probably caused by being a little run down after organising so much over the internet and in person, being excited and getting less sleep than normal and probably ending up too close to an ill person at some point.  Doing so much yourself and using online suppliers was quite stressful as there can always be an element of uncertainty that things will turnout the way you thought and that they will even turn up at all. Days before the wedding her table plan still hadn’t turned up, lost in the post. A new one was dispatched and arrived just in time. Little hiccups like that can put more pressure on you, but all turned out well.

So organised was this wedding day that Hayley could genuinely spend the Thursday before the wedding with her bridesmaids in Newport picking up last little bits. The day before the wedding all venue dressing items were dropped at the venue, they had a wedding rehearsal at the church, Keira was dropped back home with the Groom for the night whilst Hayley went to her mums house to try to relax with her bridesmaids and get some sleep. This was one excited woman though!  



The morning of the wedding Hayley woke up quite early excited and nervous. Lynsey-Marie of Isle of Wight Beauty (ahem, another listed supplier on WWD’s) came to apply the bride’s make-up and to style her hair. They had a test-run previously and had made decisions on what she would have. Hayley decided to go for a slightly darker eye make-up than is typically seen. Hayley knew what suited her, how she liked to apply her make-up for a night our or event and wanted to convey that on her wedding day.  Lynsey-Marie came a little earlier than first planned as Hayley wanted time to have some pictures taken by Emma Watts Photography before leaving and didn’t want to feel rushed in any way. Hayley loved her make-up and hair but had only one wish to have changed something about her day. She didn’t even think about which side of her shoulders her hair should fall on and at the time had no preference. Once she came to put her dress on, she realised that her decorative strap would be covered by her hairstyle. A small shame but nothing that didn’t stop her enjoying every other part of her day, and she looked amazing anyway!

Everyone had lots of time but was a small rush occurred just before being picked up when her family started ushering everyone along. As it turned out there was plenty of time to get to the venue but probably some excitement around the surprise transport from the groom, and they turned up a little early. Hayley wasn’t expecting to see all of her friends and family outside and found it a little overwhelming.


Now although Hayley relied on many suppliers on the Internet there were still a few local friends and suppliers that were able to help.  Hayley had a great friend who works for a local florist and was able to take care of her centrepieces completely, using some of the items Hayley had bought on the Internet. A great friend who was able to take the worry of arranging centrepieces on the day off of her hands, a retrospective godsend in the bride’s eyes. The cake was another bargain as they bought a cake iced from a local supermarket and decorated it themselves with flowers from the same florist and ribbon in Cadbury purple. In addition to the main cake there were some scrumptious cupcakes made by a friend of the Mother-of-the-bride.

Hayley was over the moon with her experience with Emma Watts Photography. In the lead up to the wedding Emma called to arrange the pre-wedding shoot which put Lee and Hayley at ease ahead of their wedding day and gave them some great images in a relaxed casual setting. Emma also called to catch up with Hayley and was able to talk through a few planning issues and make some suggestions of what to remember to factor in on the day. Hayley’s main concern was the weather forecast. As most of the summer had been rainy and many couples have had rainy wedding days on the Isle of Wight, Hayley was concerned that it would mean that all her wedding day photos would be inside and wouldn’t take advantage of the setting at Rookley. One phone call from Emma put her at ease and re-assured her that with a pretty umbrella and some wellies in the boot they would get some fun and great looking shots outside, even if it rained.



All of her guests were very pleased with Rookley Country Park and after two knife and fork buffets made by the in-house catering team, they were very happy indeed. Jo Scott, who sings as part of Joey & the jivers was Lee’s best man who gave a very funny speech and sang their first dance, Lonestar – amazed by you. He then went on to perform a personal set for them both before handing the reins over to the in-house DJ.

Having a tight budget and keeping to it didn’t mean Hayley and Lee had to sacrifice or miss out on what they wanted, it was just how it turned out to be. As bagging a bargain and budgeting was part of Hayley’s lifestyle anyway it wasn’t hard to keep to her personality when planning the wedding.  Being able to sit and look at all the elements that she had worked so hard to bring together to look so good for herself, Lee and all their friends and family was pleasing.

However, keeping expense down took a lot of Hayley’s time and effort over the year and 2 months, which was stressful at times. Her advice is not to give in when planning to keep to a budget because it’s easy to be swayed. Also, give yourself plenty of time to prepare ahead of your wedding so you have time to relax the day and night before. Hayley wouldn’t change a thing, apart from maybe having her hair swept to the other side to reveal her decorative strap on her dress, but something that doesn’t niggle her now after seeing all of her wedding photos.

A beautiful bride and groom that accomplished a DIY wedding that looked great, even if it was a little stressful at times. Congratulations to Hayley and Lee Dyer!

Wight Wedding Days X

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