How utterly exquisite is the image of this morning’s beautiful maids dressed in blue with equally delicious pastel florals at the top?! Isn’t it wonderful!
I am in love with every single aspect of Katie and Alistair’s rustic farmyard wedding held at Brick House Farm that it’s impossible to know what to tell you about first. Let’s start though with Katie’s gorgeous gown – the Stacey by Modeca – which has tonnes of frothy, gorgeous, lace amazingness complete with blush pink bow. I know! Immense.
And then there’s the piles of hydrangea, the baby blue dining candles, the oversized balloons, the trestle tables and rustic buttonholes and the chintzy hay bales. It’s pastoral heaven.
All the action was snapped by the wonderful Frances Sales.
The Bride’s Fashion
Katie The Bride: I always knew I wanted a relaxed wedding dress and loved the more floaty boho styles. Being very petite and just 5ft 2 I was aware that I wanted a dress that suited my small frame and yet still felt stylish. I love an interesting back so that was something I loved about mine too. Emma Elizabeth Bridal were so helpful and kind and had stunning dresses. When I found the one – Stacey by Modeca – I knew it was right for me as I couldn’t stop smiling. I added a belt for the evening and loved the large soft pink bow of the back. The dress didn’t need much jewellery so I borrowed my mum’s earrings and wore my late grannies antique ring which was very special on the day.
The Groom’s Fashion
Ali wanted to wear tails and feel different to his everyday work wear! He was keen to have something a bit different to traditional tails however and so bought very fine dogs-tooth grey trousers and a dark navy jacket and waistcoat (with an added blue and white stripe back to make it fun for the evening!). We bought his suit from Jermyn Street at a small but lovely shop called Favourbrook. Ali wore antique cufflinks that I had bought for him as a gift, given on the morning of the big day.
We both grew up in Kent and knew we wanted to get married close to home so it was easy for all our family and friends to join us. It was also important to us to actually get married on the day and so a licensed venue was needed. As both of us are not religious we opted for a barn wedding and after much pinterest stalking and googling I found Brick House Farm and loved the relaxed farmyard vibe. We visited on a cold wet January day but fell in love with the farm’s rustic asthetic, the piglets, the stunning ceremony barn, the old pole marquee. Also the fact we could bring in our own decorations and booze (without corkage) and make it our own was a huge appeal. The fishing shack on the lake where we stayed on the wedding night and the gorgeous little cottage that family and bridesmaid’s could stay in all made it a perfect choice for us.
We didn’t really want a strict colour theme but I knew I wanted some pretty colours, without everything being too matchy so the whole look tied together well. We decided upon a blue and soft pinks /peach with soft greens for flowers and we were lucky enough that the venue had so many decorations scattered around the farm naturally, with pot plants and rustic details that suited the look.
For the tables we chose blue candles from Brixton market, in the same tone as the bridesmaid dresses, and I collected more old books to add to my growing collection, and we placed these under each candle setting. We selected books that mean something to us or that we enjoyed reading as children, plus quite a few written by a Mr or Mrs Gray!
We collected slate from the beach we got engaged on, and where I spent most of my childhood holidays and hand wrote everyone’s names in chalk for the place settings.
I also have a bit of a map obsession (perhaps due to my grandpa working in a map shop all his life!) and so my mum and I cut out table numbers from maps of places that were special to Ali and I.bThen we added giant balloons and handmade all the tassels to add some colour and bring the height of the huge marquee down.
Our favours were little pots of home-made honey. Ali’s auntie Di has her own bees so kindly made us 140 pots of honey as a wedding gift, which we added stickers and raffia too and had a fun afternoon with Ali’s family bottling. I was so happy with the finished look!
The couple who owned our venue’s niece is a florist and so she created all the bouquets and brought my wish of herbs and buds, with Juliette roses and blue touches to life. I LOVED them! She also provided us with buckets of gorgeous flowers and herbs (thyme, mint etc) and all the bridal party and family friends put together the table flowers in jam jars the day before, that was probably the best part of the prep!
The Wedding Party Fashion
I wanted to bridesmaids to feel comfortable in their dresses overall so let them choose what they liked best. We planned to all have different dresses but three of them liked the same one from Jarlo and we happened to find a very similar one that suited the other two girls (plus some sleeve alterations) and it meant they all matched really nicely. I loved the colour too. Ali wanted the groomsmen to wear tails but was happy with them all wearing suits they owned so it meant they didn’t match perfectly but we gave them all blue ties as a thank you and to link them all to the wedding party – they all looked gorgeous.
The ceremony was so special and more intimate and fun than I had imagined. Guests sat on hay bales in the stunning ceremony barn, which had a really magical vibe too it. Guests kept describing it like a fairy tale or a nativity play! The ceremony was really relaxed and there were lots of laughs throughout, included the biggest cheer when we kissed! Ali’s sister read Bob Marley ‘He’s not perfect’ which suited us down to the ground as we didn’t want anything too cheesy and every time we read it, one of our Mum’s burst into tears! My brother Matt also read an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which also suited us so well, given that we had been together for 11 years on the day we got hitched!
We spent quite a lot of time picking suitable music too for the ceremony and I loved walking in to Ben Howard and walking out married to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’.
We kept entertainment to the evening and chose Rednote after much googling – it was a bit unknown but they were brilliant and kept the party going all night. My favourite part was when they split the girls and boys for a Justin Timberlake sing off!
In the day, there were games spread around the lawn with a coconut shy and cricket –which the boys got very competitive about, until I joined in on midway through our couple photo-time and smashed the ball into the lake!
Brick House Farm also do all their own catering, which meant it was very easy and decision was quite helpfully made for us. Caroline, the lady who runs the farm with her husband Rob, is a very talented caterer and we wanted hog roast and salads anyway, so it all worked out very well! The food was simple but delicious and everyone commented how great the crackling was.
We had pimms and fizz with canapés on the lawn to start, followed by a hog roast and salads with homemade bread. Dessert was a choice of chocolate brownies and fruit or lemon tart.
The cake was one of my favourite things at our wedding. Ali’s mum Julia made it lovingly with her own hands, after many trials, and it was delicious and looked stunning. On the day, Julia and Ali’s sister Laura decorated it with flowers from the garden and it was a lovely surprise for me on the day when it looked so gorgeous.
When we cut the cake, Ali decided that he would harpoon the strawberries with the giant knife, so it wasn’t quite the romantic moment but made it all the more fun!
Frances Sales was our photographer and we were so lucky to find her. I actually first saw her through Rock my Wedding and applied to a competition to win a free shoot. We didn’t win but loved her style so met up with her and booked her as one of the first things we did in the wedding planning year. She was so relaxed and unobtrusive on the day and captured not only our special moments but all our family and friends having fun around us too.
We didn’t have an official videographer as we wanted to keep costs down as much as possible, but I did want to remember the day more vividly so my dad, Grandpa and oldest boy-pal (who is a whizz on the video camera) captured content all day and we are now lucky enough to have three different edits of the day!!
Most of our wedding was a DIY project! However something unique that I haven’t yet mentioned was probably the mud and animals! The week before the wedding it was horrific weather, 14 degrees and pouring. So when we arrived the farm the grass was pretty wet, however the sun came out and it shot up to 21 degrees and the ground dried out. I did finish the night with a rather muddy dress, however I think that shows how great it all was. By around 6pm the sky was clear blue and two beautiful hot air balloons drifted overhead and I felt so lucky how everything had turned out.
We then ended the night by handing out sparklers to everyone and had an amazing moment where everyone waved sparklers as we headed off to the little fishing shack over the lake (with me crying as I couldn’t believe it was over and so magical!)