A Pie And Mash Wedding.

Sarah and Jon met at university in Bath ten years ago and despite living in London together ever since, Somerset was their chosen location for a relaxed summer celebration. Court Farms‘ relaxed ethos gave them the opportunity to make the day exactly how they wanted it.

I was amused to read that Sarah often refers to Jon as “Sweets” as he is made up of 95% Haribo.

I’m not far off that myself – at last count I was 72% fizzy cola bottles.

Photography today is by my unashamed man crush and camera master, Mister Phill.

It Fit Like A Glove

Elizabeth Avey saved the day! Me and my Mum had been to a couple of shops before but I had left them feeling cold and very worried that I would never find something I’d feel comfortable in. I’m not much of a figure hugging/glamorous/sophisticated/‘look at me’ dresser and I just felt silly in all the ones I tried on. There seemed to be rails of stiff white satin and diamante ruffles that whilst being a lot of fun to peruse, just weren’t up my street.

I spent a lot of time drooling over the American websites like Saja and was frustrated that you couldn’t get the more laid back girly (and a lot more affordable) dresses here. I did at first panic buy a similar ethereal Monsoon number but my heart wasn’t in it and I resold it soon after!

Having come across the lovely Elizabeth Avey online, we made an appointment to visit her North London studio. Good job we did. Looking at the rails, my eyes lit up. It was a treasure trove of inspirational vintage lace and it felt a bit like being allowed behind the scenes at the V&A. ‘The’ dress had just been put out that morning and hadn’t even been steamed yet. But it fit like a glove and made my Mum cry. Definitely the one. Sourced from L.A, it was a 1950s beauty that had just the right amount of simplicity and classic old-school glamour I was after. The bow at the back and the unique ribbon detailing was a sweet little twist that made me smile too!

Once In A Lifetime

I knew I wanted to wear a veil as it’s the only time in your life you get to! My Mum has kept hers in the attic for the last 38 years and it just happened that the aged flowers & and colour of the netting matched the dress perfectly. Being so close to my Mum, it felt very special to be wearing it on the day. We did shorten it slightly so that the proportions were right with the dress. At the suggestion of Heidi the hairdresser, my Mum also removed some of the flowers and attached them to a satin covered pipe cleaner that could be intertwined with my plaits (to be revealed later in the day when the veil was removed).

Jewellery wise, I wore my Nain’s (Welsh for Grandmother) engagement ring and a delicate bracelet I bought from Gillian Million in Teddington to add a bit of sparkle. I’m pretty minimal in my jewellery wearing and felt that a necklace would interfere with the scalloped neckline of the dress.

I mustn’t forget to mention the incredible surprise Jonny had planned on our big day. During the morning preparations, there was a knock on the bedroom door.. I opened it to find a giant Sylvanian squirrel looking up at me, clutching a beautiful handbag. As if the giant sylvanian wasn’t enough of a surprise (who knew they existed?!), inside the dreamy tan leather shopper, was a hard backed, dust jacketed book of our travel blog that he’d worked his socks of to produce in the months before. I had wondered why he’d suddenly have to do lots of late nights and early starts at work… He actually took my breath away with it’s lovingly crafted detail and I’m sure you can imagine the amount of squealing six bridesmaids can achieve at such a romantic gesture. If you’re wondering what the deal is with Sylvanian squirrels – I was rather a big fan as a kid and when we were first dating, he’d given me one as a gift for my birthday. Inside the little creature’s satchel was again, the most unexpected surprise of a diamond ring. What can I say, he’s good at suprises!

What led me to that story was that alongside the treasured book, was another squeal inducing Kate Spade giftbox containing a stunning pair of pearl bow studs that couldn’t have complimented my dress more perfectly. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

Dandelion Pumps

As I said before, I don’t have the most sophisticated of wardrobes and high high heels aren’t my thing. I needed something to give me a little bit of height and elegance but still wanted to have to reach a little bit to kiss Jon (we’re both pretty short). I ended up going with a pair of suede dandelion coloured pumps that I ordered online from J Crew. I did have shoe wobbles in the final weeks before the big day which led me to late night dazed frenzies in Selfridges after work trying to find another more classicly weddingy pair. I shouldn’t have worried as I wore the yellow ones in the end and received lots of compliments! Doh. I also had a pair of gold glittery flats for a bit later on when I was tired of sinking heals in the grass.

A Right Of Passage

Heidi Vince did my hair, who I found online. She did a great job on the day. I wanted something loose and natural, as I’m not one for wearing my hair up.

We did our own makeup. I was extremely lucky that my bridesmaids had treated me to a suprise girly night in, complete with champagne, cupcakes, sushi and a professional makeup artist a couple of months before the big day. As with my hen do, I was completely blown away by their meticulously thoughtful planning and generosity. I also had a few tutorials at Mac and Bobbi Brown counters, so doing my own makeup was a good excuse to treat myself to some nice new kit and to learn the proper ways of doing things. Hopefully I did ok..

With 6 of us, it was good fun getting ready! I had imagined that I’d be a quivering bundle of nerves, completely unable to wield an eyeliner wand with any degree of accuracy but it turned out to be a magical morning with my bestest friends that I will remember forever. Having grown up with a lot of them, it felt a like a bit of a right of passage having them there and I’m really glad they were all part of it.

Floral Fancies

We used The Walled Garden in Mells for our florals. They were brilliant. We went for a selection of white wild flowers with little accents of mustard/golden yellow. They delivered the buckets the day before and gave us a quick lesson so that we could arrange them in our own Habitat vases. They understood exactly what we were after from the chats we’d had and moodboards we’d provided. We were very happy when the bouquets and button holes arrived on the big day – the sweetpeas and mint smelt incredible and they were put together just as we’d hoped.

So Very Dapper

What a hottie. Jon/Sweets was more handsome than I ever could have dreamed of. He wore a gorgeous suit from Reiss, which was the perfect shade of bluey grey for a summers day. As he never needs to wear a suit for work, it was quite a treat seeing him look so very dapper. All the men in the wedding party wore our invitations, (which were printed on handkerchiefs) in their breast pocket. It was nice little detail to bring them all together, along with their navy ties.

The moment I saw Jon I felt completely at ease after hopping about and taking the obligatory deep breaths outside the ceremony room. When I was little, I hadn’t wanted to get married for fear of having to stand up in front of everybody and I was a little bit terrified in the weeks before! That fear and shyness evaporated as soon as I was standing next to my husband. It felt like just me and him (apart from the bit where I had to fight the giggles because I noticed that my little niece was posting leaves from the bouquet into my Mum’s mouth). It makes my tummy flutter thinking of him standing there holding my hand.

Hello Mister

The incredible (and now infamous amongst our friends) Mister Phill was our one and only choice when it came to capturing our big day and the first decision we made. We’re not the best at making decisions and it turns out there are lots to be made when planning a wedding, but that one was unquestionable. Luckily he was available and willing to help!

Phill had been my brother’s tutor at university and had shot his winter wedding a couple of years ago. We knew then that we’d never want anyone else responsible for documenting every little detail. Being visual people ourselves, the style of photography and the way the day that we’d put so much into, would be captured for eternity was a big deal.

It was such a weight off to have complete faith in somebody to take care of it. He really is a magician and never ceases to amaze in the work that he does in such a sensitive, accommodating, visually awe inspiring and incredibly witty way. Genius.

Sweet Treats

There was certainly no shortage of sweet treats. We had a three tired, triple flavoured wedding cake made by Bath Baby Cakes, decorated with wildflowers picked from the garden that morning and toppers we’d painted from Goose Grease on Etsy (me, Jon and Buddy our cat who featured in quite a lot of the décor, namely Buddy’s Bar).

We also invited guests to take part in a bake off, to which the response was totally magnificent! The creativity and talent displayed amongst our friends was fantastic and very touching indeed. From a green tea flavoured Mount Fuji, a German Friendship Cake, to the winner – a Giant replica Tunnocks Teacake. Mary Berry would have been proud.

Mosh Pit Mayhem

Entertainment was tricky as our budget wasn’t massive but we really wanted a band. We love going to festivals and felt that the barn was begging for it. We came across Rockit online and decided to go with them despite never having heard them live – they had a set list that we knew would get our friends on the dance floor without the cheesy wedding classics we wanted to avoid. The gamble paid off as the guys made our day complete, with a mosh pit and many an encore that led to me and jon being hoisted onto friend’s shoulders to a soundtrack of Sweet Child of Mine – an end to the night we will never forget!

Tickets To What You Need

The band very kindly learnt our first song, which was Badly Drawn Boy ‘Tickets to what you need’. We played it a lot in our first year at Bath University and will always remind us of those early days. It just seemed very apt.

Pin badges

We didn’t have favours as such but did get lots of little pin badges made up, each featuring the illustrations from our invitation. Everybody had one of these stuck to their place cards at the meal and they also filled bowls on the bar. They went down a treat.

Making And Planning

As we’re graphic designers, we felt it was super important to have every little detail reflect us as a couple – from the ceremony to the shape of the confetti. Between us, we had a lot of ideas and had a lot of fun doing all the making and planning together.

There was no end to Helene and James’s (the owners of Court Farm) generosity when it came to transforming their grounds into a wedding venue. We loved the way that it had lots of little areas that we could use for different parts of the day. It felt just right for us and enabled us to put our stamp onto every element – from the highly personal ceremony (we got ‘officially’ married at Chelsea Old Town Hall two days before with just my brothers as witnesses), to the twinkly Dawson’s Creek style lighting.

We had trawled the internet for different locations and as soon as we stood in the blank canvas of the old barn with it’s dramatically framed view of the rolling hills meeting the wide Somerset skies, we knew it was the place for us (they even arranged for a double rainbow to be added to that equation on the day).

The blank canvas also meant that we had LOTS to do. We both turned into recluses in the months before the big day, as we had great visions of what we wanted to achieve to fill the vast spaces. We didn’t buy a lot in terms of décor apart from reams of paper and cloth in varying shades of white. We nailed together wooden signposts, cut up metres of ribbon, folded hundreds of origami cranes, painted giant banners, stitched garlands of circles, printed order of ceremonies with their secret envelopes of bird shaped confetti and all manner of other paper ephemera. My Mum was incredible, wiring up jam jars for tealights and sewing the invitations… not to mention MAKING THE BRIDESMAID DRESSES! We couldn’t have done it without her and also the help of our friends and family with all the putting up and taking down. Hopefully they agree that all the hard work was well worth it.

Informal Speeches

It was small, intimate and lots of fun – just how we wanted it and a true celebration of our marriage with the people we love best. Having it in a venue that our family could stay at made it extra special. We were really pleased that we took the opportunity to serve the pies at dinner, it meant that we had a proper chance to speak to our day time guests without the formality of a receiving line. Also, we wanted to take the pressure off the guys a bit and have quite informal speeches, gathered in the barn before dinner. They were hysterical; Jon, Neil and my Dad did themselves proud and it was definitely one of the highlights.

At the time of the wedding, we would have probably said that we’d taken on too much doing it all ourselves with full time jobs, a never ending Teux Deux list of things to make (that App was indispensible), no event planning experience and nobody helping to coordinate between suppliers (apart from hugely supportive parents), especially on the day itself. It was daunting and quite stressful at times! However, looking back, all that disappears into insignificance. Thanks to the help of Excel and my Dad, it was a hiccup-free and better than all the site plans, spreadsheets and Pinterest boards we could have envisaged. A paper engineered day of love and laughter and truly the happiest time of our lives.

Venue – Court Farms

Dress – Elizabeth Avey

Bracelet – Gillian Million

Shoes – J Crew

Hair – Heidi Vince

Flowers – The Walled Garden

Photographer – Mister Phill

Cake – Bath Baby Cakes

Band – Rockit

Love the fact that the bride and groom served up pie and mash for all their guests – What a great way to ensure that you get to speak with all of your loved ones, whilst making sure they get fed at the same time.


Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

34 thoughts on “A Pie And Mash Wedding.

  1. I saw this a while back on Phills blog and knew it would be gracing these polka dot pages! They’re both so gorgeous and everything is so personal and perfect. I was beginning to get a bit impatient to read the write up! So thank you very much! X

  2. I love that Sarah wore her mum’s veil. I love the picture with her dad looking at her wearing the veil her mum wore when he married her 38 years before, how sweet!! Beautiful bride x

  3. Oh man and oh my. I think that Sarah and Jon might actually be the slightly more nimble fingered versions of Mr C and I. I present the evidence:
    Dress from Elizabeth Avey – check
    Obsession with California (look at the table plan) – yup
    Clear love of food – oh yeah
    Travel mad – indeedy do
    The list goes on…

    Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that this is a super duper buttons couldn’t be cuter wedding. I love everything about it and really, really want to eat the ninja bread man!

    Congratulations to you both and I take my hat off to your design and how happy everyone looks.

    Big love for Sarah and Jon from Beckie K x

  4. Oh my this might be one of my favouritist weddings ever! Can I just have this one please???

    Serving pie and mash to your guests is just about one the best ideas I’ve ever heard and I’m a bit worried to tell Chris about this as he will want to sack off our whole menu and do that! I’m not even kidding, he would eat pie every day if I let him!

    This wedding is so creative and beautiful and looks so much fun and I love that you guys did it all yourself!!

    Congratulations xxx

  5. I often look at weddings on here and think ‘how gorgeous’ but for this one I thought ‘I wish I had been invited to that!’. Amazing wedding and quite possibly my favourite wedding dress ever, it suits the bride perfectly.

  6. My goodness Sarah you make such a beautiful bride! I love your and Jon’s vision for your day, it’s resulted in a truly magnificent wedding, full of your individual style.

    PS. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see the Sylvanian teddy as my sister and I were obsessed with them – I’ve just ordered her one for Christmas, she’s going to LOVE it!

  7. THOSE banners are amazing are they not? How wonderful would it be to have them framed back at home once the day is over. I’m coveting them oh so much.

    And that love heart cake is amazing – please will someone make me one just like it.

    Sarah and Jon are both cute as buttons – congratulations you gorgeous pair.

  8. Oooo, amazing! What a gorgeous bride! Love the freshness and fun of it all. Love the thought of them being recluses for months beforehand making everything and wearing the mum’s veil. Everything is fab! Congrats. x

  9. What a fun, beautiful wedding. Gorgeous dress, I’m London based so am going to be making myself an appointment at Elizabeth Avey! The bride just looked stunning, and this post has also convinced me that I’ll be doing my own makeup. After umming and ahhing over it, I think it’s do-able with a couple of lessons and Sarah looks so polished and pretty! Also the lady I had booked just put her prices up by over 50% for next summer!

  10. Oh how I love Elizabeth Avery dresses!! I went there in the beginings of my search but unfortunately it was not to be for me! But boy the studio is amazing! 🙂

    Sarah is a stunning bride and the dress just looks perfect on her! Gorgeous! 🙂

    There is just too much pretty here! The badges, LOVE. The loveheart cake, AMAZING. The photography, STUNNING. AND the Pie & Mash dinnner…..well let’s just say I am now starving!! Mmmmm….pie! 😉

    right, now to ‘pin’ it all!!!


  11. This is everything I dream our day will be. Un-ending happiness ozzing from every pore. Beautiful decor and clearly designed perfectly to compliment both personalities. xx

  12. All in the best possible taste! No detail too small – beautiful. I would expect nothing less from the talented Box family. You looked lovely Sarah and as for those bridesmaids dresses – amazing!

  13. Wow! My worry about this post was whether I have time to list all the fab things I love!
    Ok, let’s start…LOVE the story of the veil and it looks so beautiful, perfect length.
    And the story of the bear, the bag, the travel photos – gulp, too romantic…
    Loved the signs throughout the venue (‘ahha!’ I thought when I saw you were both graphic designers – makes all the sense in the world)
    And what a transformation from the curlers shot to you stood there with your Dad wearing THE veil – amazing.
    I LOVE the shoes! I have a pair of mustard satin shoes which from this day forth shall hence be known as a shade of dandelion…
    Such a pretty dress, just perfect on you.
    I didn’t hear enough about the origami – more details! How long did it take, who made them, just more please!
    Love the pie and mash service – such a great idea…
    Loved the bridal bouquet – beautiful…
    Did I miss anything out..? Probably, so let me just say I loved it ALL!

  14. @Nicola yes I’d love to hear more about the origami details too!

    @Steven Carter Hewson – great to have a man commenting on the blog. And yes Mr Phill sure knows how to take some cracking snaps!

    Also I would like those large letters in my house…now where to put them…

  15. That is completely the nicest wedding, with the best details I have seen for ages.

    Mr Phill……oh how gutted was I he was booked for mine. Complete genius!

    Lovely, lovely, lovely (have I said that already?!) xx

  16. Oh my this wedding looks so lovely and is just down my street. Our wedding reception is going to be in a barn called court gardens too but in Sussex. I love barns!! I also love tea length dresses and the bridesmaids dresses are exactly the kind of thing I want for mine. So gorgeous. Beautiful pictures and I love the daisies, cakes and basically everything. :0)

  17. What a feast for my tired Friday eyes!!I have a definite girl-crush on Sarah, what a drop-dead gorgeous bride! And this post makes me doubly-tripley excited that we have Phil booked to capture our day too – he is just too fabulous. Xxxxxx

  18. All the personal touches made this wedding truly one of a kind! I absolutely love the bake-off idea! It’s a fun way to get your guests involved plus I’m sure most brides would agree that there’s no such thing as too many sweets!

  19. Wow this wedding is stunning! I am loving the venue- thanks to this blog for bringing my attention to it as it’s just what we’ve been looked for! Do you know where the had their actual ceremony before the reception? Great personal touches in this one!x

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