Caroline’s Free People wedding dress is the perfect frock for her beautiful rustic wedding day at Honeybrook Farm where she wed the man of her dreams, Tony, against wild grass and rambling roses.
There are the most beautiful off-white floral bouquets filled with peonies and daisies, a naked wedding cake, wildflower meadows with hundreds of poppies, bunting and hay bales and signage. Pretty much everything you need for an exquisite country wedding. Oh and lots and lots of laughter and love. I guarantee you’ll adore all of it.
The Bride’s Fashion
Caroline The Bride: I am used to being in jeans, shorts and t-shirts and maybe the odd dress at a festival or special occasions so I didnt want something too glamorous or uncomfortable. I love to dance so I wanted to move and jump about freely! As soon as I saw this Free People wedding dress (not advertised as a wedding dress at £300) I fell in love! I was surprised that New Look had all the lovely accessories that were perfect for the wedding theme. There have been a lot more ‘boho’ style items this year so I had a huge choice and really cheap too!
The Groom’s Fashion
My husband Tony and his groomsmen wanted something simple and fashionable for the setting and theme, not traditional. House of Fraser had everything there.
Honeybrook Farm is fairly local to us. I have lived here nearly all my life and I love fields and woodland. Tony’s daughter had a birthday party there when she was five, and we love the picturesque setting there as well as the park and the animals for the children to keep them happy.
The colour scheme was basically neutral colours, I didnt want all matching colours. I wanted to keep it as natural as I could. Using the countryside as the scheme, and local family feel was the general idea.
I made signposts from old crates which were sawn and I sanded then stained them, then my daughter Leah painted the writing on them. We decorated jars of different sizes with natural twine and wooden hearts/ butterflies and used them for vases and lanterns. (My friends helped collect them for me too).
One of my favourite decorations was a big old picture frame that started off gold coloured. I sanded it down and painted it with chalk paint and waxed it. I then threaded flowers through the holes and hung it into one of the trees in the orchard area. This was really popular amongst the guests as a natural ‘photo booth’ and cost next to nothing!!
I spent months collecting and drying out rose petals of all different colours for confetti.
The favour bags were all bought from ebay and myself and my mum and sisters sewed on wooden colourful buttons and filled them with sweeties and a homemade cookie made by my daughter Leah wrapped in tissue paper and a little personal note popped in each bag. I attached lots of photos of our family with wooden pegs on twine & bunting to make it even more personal.
My sister Louise spent nearly 6 months carefully creating what I can only describe as the most amazing bunting I have ever seen in my life !! My other sister Annie handpainted our wedding invitations beautifully.
As well as it being a ‘Country Boho’ theme, my main aim for both my Wedding and Hen Do was to create a fun festival (we love a festie!) type feeling & for my family & friends to let their individual personalities shine through with ideas, creativity, clothing etc. I think that the whole aspect of the wedding enabled those loved ones of ours to do just that!!
My mum, sisters and I bought flowers from local stores and arranged them all for the tables both in and out of the reception area (on picnic tables and in random jars scattered about). The flowers in the barn for the service were all gathered that morning from the farm. The bouquets for bride and bridesmaids were chosen by each bridesmaid (their favourite colours) supplied by Patricia’s florist in Ringwood, another town local to us. Beautiful bunting was made by my sister Louise. Invitations and Order of Service cards created and hand painted by my sister Annie.
The Wedding Party Fashion
Along with my Free People wedding dress, the bridesmaids also chose their dresses from the brand. They didn’t want all matching dressses, so we chose different styles and neutral colours and asked each bridesmaid, my best friend Julia, our daughters Leah and Cariss and niece Laura, to choose what they liked. The groom and groomsmen all agreed on their simple dark blue shirts and beige trousers all together from House of Fraser. My son Sam (who gave me away) chose his own clothes from Ted Baker.
The ceremony was in the barn. The readings we chose were special to us both. An Apache wedding prayer from me because I love the native American Indian way of life, and for Tony a Irish wedding blessing as it reflects his background. The music we chose was The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – The Wedding Song for the Bride & bridesmaids to walk into, Primal Scream – Come Together while the registers were signed, and David Bowie – Heroes to walk out to.
In the day our friend and local musician Jason surprised us with a song that was personalised just for us! In the evening The Benedicts Wedding band played. We chose them because they are local too & had heard them at an event before. We liked their sound and personalities. We surprised the guests with a little dance we briefly rehearsed a couple of weeks before the big day to the song I feel good by James Brown! Our first dance was our mutual favourite band The Black Keys.
We chose a BBQ featuring locally sourced produce for the day, and in the evening we chose pizza from a mobile wood fired oven to give us that informal festival feel! They came highly recommended from contacts within the catering trade. The wedding cake was a beautiful and delicious naked cake with simple strawberries and flowers made by Tony’s best friend’s sister Liz.
My sister Annie introduced us to our photographer Imogen. We instantly felt happy and relaxed with her after doing our engagement shoot with her in Studland. She is extremely talented, professional and fun!