This ridiculously stylish and handsome pair had me on board from the word go with their atmospheric and moving engagement shoot, shot by the one and only Jason Mark Harris and his lovely wife, Sarah of Harris Films. I just knew their River Cottage wedding was going to be gorgeous and full of fun and let's just say it doesn't disappoint! With understated rustic styling, incredible fashion, the fabulous food River Cottage is renowned for and even a surprise salsa dancing session for guests, it's pretty much the perfect wedding day. With a little welly wanging and kimono wearing thrown in for good measure. I have a feeling Andrew and Scott are going to steal your hearts, so sit back, relax and soak up all of the joy...

The Photography & Videography

We circled Jason Mark Harris right at the beginning of our search for a photographer, falling in love with his style and approach to documenting couple’s big days. After countless hours of reviewing other photographers work, we knew he was the man for the job and booked him in as soon as we could. Through our research for a photographer, we came to realise the value of having a wedding film, and asked Jason for recommendations for a film maker. Luckily Jason’s wife, Sarah, was available and after watching her work we knew instantly that there would be a synergy and great working relationship between the two. Part of our package included a pre-wedding shoot, so we decided to go to Iceland earlier in the year (as featured on RMW here), so we both felt instantly at ease with their presence on the big day. An example of Jason’s attention to detail was spotting Scot had forgotten to take the tack stitching out from his jacket. It’s the little things like this that put you at ease and make you feel your photographer has got it covered and you’ll be in good hands for the rest of the day!

The Venue

We stayed at Old Park Hall, a grand Georgian house that has been transformed by owners Daisy & James into a boutique bolthole bursting with character, and is just five minutes away from River Cottage. We hired the whole house for a couple of days, enjoying the amazing views across the valley and tasty range of breakfast options freshly prepared by Daisy. We decided at the beginning of the wedding planning that the venue should be somewhere that reflects both our West Country roots. Whilst researching wedding venues in Devon we stumbled across River Cottage, the famous farmhouse made famous by chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. We soon discovered that the there was more to River Cottage than the kitchen where Hugh does his cookery show from. In fact it’s part of a larger complex including a cookery school, a converted barn, a large yurt, and a series of outdoor spaces including a walled garden. We were sold by the idyllic setting at the bottom of a secluded valley and the variety of spaces available to use. Of the different packages available to choose from, we chose to hire the whole farm for the entire day so guests could feel at home and wander freely exploring all River Cottage has to offer.

The Outfits

It took us a while to decide on what to wear, but knew at the start of our search that we wanted to show our individuality and not wear anything completely matching. My suit jacket, trousers and shirt were from Reiss. Scott’s suit jacket, trousers and shirt were from Hugo Boss. Rather than flower button holes, we made reference to our country roots with feathered pins that use old recycled gun cartridges from Feathers & Fluff. I wanted to change my look a bit for the evening, and managed to source a Kimono from TOPMAN in the CHARLIE CASELY-HAYFORD X Collecttion.

The Decor

We didn’t impose a dress code, but did provide ideas and cues in our choice of stationery using tropical and botanical references to reflect our love of travel. We fell in love with the laid back country charm of River Cottage, and didn’t want to mask or cover that up in any way, so decided to focus our time on the smaller details that would add a touch of our personalities and interests to the overall look and feel. For the tables we decided on a naked approach, with gin bottles as vases containing either giant cheese plant leaves or eucalyptus stems from Flowerbx. We both love trying out new gins, so sourcing the boLles wasn’t an issue! For the place names we bought a bag of large slate pieces from our local builders merchant, washed them, and then wrote each of our guests names. We made a more rustic version of the peg board table plans we had seen on wedding blogs, created using small wooden letters available at local craft shops glued to a black painted plywood sheet. To add a touch of glamour, we painted our names in left over metallic paint from the place names!

The Ceremony

The ceremony was held in the walled garden in front of the farmhouse, and by August was in full bloom. The wedding organisers at River Cottage have all weather plans if uninvited rain clouds turn up, but luckily the rain held-off (it had been one of the weLest weeks that year prior to the big day!). We walked together though the walled garden to Magical Cloudz ‘Downtown’, arriving at the front of the farmhouse where our guests were seated on rustic benches laden with fur throws. Ring bearing duty was bestowed upon our liLle pug called Ruby. She has been in our lives for 12 years, so we saw it as only fitting for her to have the opportunity to have a starring role in the big day.
{Watch The Film}

The Food

Anyone that has ever heard of River Cottage knows that it is famous for it's food, so one of the highlights in preparing for the wedding was meeting with one of the River Cottage chefs six months beforehand to plan our own menu. It was fantastic learning what would be in season and could be sourced directly from the farm...August doesn’t provide too many constraints! We bounced around ideas that would showcase what we liked and also give our guests a culinary experience, something to talk about and remember! Following the ceremony, we had a selection of canapés doing the rounds including chorizo scotch eggs, hummus dips, lamb chips and the slightly more unusual crispy squirrel on toast (so tasty!). The dinner was held in the old converted Threshing Barn. We chose to have mackerel caught fresh that morning or grilled halloumi as our starter choices. In choosing the main we opted for pork cooked three ways (roasted, slow cooked and chorizo sausage) served with new potatoes and summer greens. One of our guests who is vegetarian was offered a River Cottage garden plate that featured edible flowers and looked incredible! For dessert we had fennel meringue with roasted damson, oat crumble and salted caramel ice cream... delicious! Following the dinner, guests were invited to have drinks and petit fours in the large yurt whilst the barn was prepared for the evening entertainment. Think straw bales, fairy lights and a large wood burner in the centre. In the evening we offered freshly prepared wood fired pizzas for those that still had some space!

The Entertainment

After the ceremony we hired a vintage games package that was set up in the paddock next to the walled garden including a skittle alley, coconut shy and, of course, a welly wanging range! We wanted to bring an element of surprise to the occasion and had a helping hand from Jason our photographer to set up our guests. After the dinner, Jason called everyone back into the barn which had been cleared for a ‘group photo’. Once all our guests had lined up, the surprise was revealed...we had booked a Salsa instructor to kick off the evening party! Angus from Abanico Salsa was a real pro, extremely professional and fun at the same time! I would like to say we locked the doors so no one could escape, but it went down a storm and kept everyone on the dance floor! As an interlude to our friend who we asked to DJ for the remainder of the evening, we called everyone out of the barn for a screening of our pre-wedding video projected onto the Farmhouse and also a surprise video message from friends we met whilst travelling in the Philippines earlier in the year.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Videography: Harris Films | Accommodation: Old Park Hall | Venue: River Cottage | Suits: Hugo Boss | Reiss | Buttonholes: Feathers & Fluff | Flowers: Flowerbx | Salsa Dancing:

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