The oh so talented Nicola Casey Photography ran a competition on our very own recommended supplier directory The List for a lucky couple to win their wedding photography, and Katie & James were the lucky winners, meaning we get to pore all over their delightful marquee reception at Bawdon Farm Lodge in Leicestershire. All the vintage details are divine, but none more so than Katie's bridal look. I absolutely love her Catherine Deane gown. But literally making my heart sing is her delicate Feather & Cole hair vine, and fabulous L.K. Bennett shoes. The Groomsmen scrub up well in tweed waistcoats too. With the bridesmaids looking adorable in pale blue dresses from ASOS. Such a sweet country wedding, with delicious details and fabulous fashion. Dont' forget to check out the bridal bouquet too. O.M.G!
CeremonyKatie the Bride: We got married at an intimate church St Mary in Charnwood near our home in Loughborough. My nephew Aidan held up a banner saying ‘too late to run, here comes my aunty Katie’ from Notonthehighstreet when I arrived outside the church and I could hear the giggles from inside which really relaxed me before ‘the walk’ with my dad, Martin. My Mum Anne read the Apache Wedding Blessing with her soft Irish tone and it was such a special moment. My sister Joanne accompanied by our friend Ash on the guitar sang ‘Red is the Rose’ as we signed our registers and they filled the church with the most wonderful rendition of this Irish folk song. The confetti run and my first walk with my new hubby around the church woodlands was one of my favourite moments of the day.
The VenueOur reception was at Bawdon Lodge Farm which is a National Forest site nestled away in the heart of the Charnwood Forest. It was the perfect venue for our marquee wedding with its stunning countryside views. The large oak tree in the middle of the farm simply blew us away and with it being less than a 10 minute drive from our home we knew it was the perfect spot to celebrate the ‘I do’s’ – a special place that we can come back to and visit each year. Because the church was small and our numbers were quiet big, we decided to have a blessing at the oak tree. My God Father Pat-Joe sang ‘You Wedding Day’ by Henry McMahon which was so touching.
Colour Scheme/DécorWith a blank canvas for our celebrations we had lots of fun putting our stamp on the farm and decorating inside the marquee. Our colour palette was fairly understated with whites, greens and metallics. We hung paper pom poms from the Pom Pom Studio which really pulled the colour scheme together. I went for their set of 50 pom-pack which was perfect. My bridesmaid Siobhan is a buyer for Paperchase and their Gatsby style stationery and wedding accessories dotted throughout, gave a subtle nod to the art deco era. Paperchase also supplied the yellow pom poms to give a colour pop on the dance floor. We foraged lots of vintage candle sticks and vintage books from eBay as centre display pieces and had cactus plants and succulents from Ikea on the tables as favours. I hand wrote all of the table place cards (which took me forever) but every name was written with love. I want to thank my amazing family and bridesmaids; Joanne, Cara, Harriet, Siobhan and Kate for helping me decorate the marquee and James’ friends Matt, Bodz and Roxy for all their creative DIY work.
FloristI could never have dreamt up anything more perfect than the flowers Helen at the Flower Mill created. I adored my gathered bouquet which was almost pagan in feel. The mixed tones of greens and whites and the combinations of textures and shapes were magical. The perfume from the bouquet was heady with scented Peonies, Sweet Peas and Lily of the Valley – one of the daintiest in the world of flowers which reminded me of my childhood. My bridesmaids had posies of wax flower, rosemary, Astrania, Scabious, asparagus fern, eupatorium, nigella, delphinium and lastly foraged grasses. The flower girls had matching floral crowns with locally sourced flowers that looked like they picked them straight out of the farm’s hedgerows. For the table centre display I went for ferns interwoven between vintage books and cacti favours, complimented with large white peonies and rose flower heads in the vintage candlesticks. I wasn’t allowed to have candles in the marquee and this was my pretty alternative. In the church Helen used small gold urns which were the perfect size and shape with their wide neck and tapering base. I later placed these on a table which James made from an old door and rested golden framed vintage photos from our parents and grandparents wedding days. This was one of my favourite finishing touches.
FoodThe food and drink was from the brilliant Black Peppermint Food Company. Adam and his team provided us with something different and really personal; we went for a served style feast of BBQ food. This created the little less formal, but certainly no less scrumptious family sharing dinner we were after.
CakeOur wedding cakes were from the talented Natalie at Yummy Little Cakes and they were certainly yummy! They looked so gorgeous too it nearly broke my heart to cut into them, but after I tasted them, that soon mended. We went for three cakes and four flavours; rhubarb and custard, a gluten free carrot cake, rose water and pistachio and lemon curd! Natalie is a baking angel sent down from heaven to fill our tummies with yummy little cakes! I wanted them to have an art deco look and the mint icing tied in with the Paperchase Gatsby wedding stationery and the vintage dresser perfectly.
TransportWe arranged for a vintage bus to take guests from the church to the farm. Buses can be quite expensive, but we hired ours reasonably from the Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre which is run by local motor enthusiasts. Our wedding car, a racing green Bentley was our friends Russ’ Dads. He got dressed up for the day and escorted us to the church and the reception in style.
Bride Fashion and AccessoriesThe second I saw Catherine Deane’s bridal dresses I knew she was the designer for me. Catherine was born in Ireland and her designs take cultural references from her nomadic lifestyle and her passion for long forgotten craft techniques and femininity. My Irish heritage is really important to me and so unsurprisingly I was instantly drawn to the dress when it caught my eye in their sample sale. I was told that it never made it to Catherine’s main bridal collection; so not only was it incredibly beautiful, wearable and unique, it was also a complete one off. I think I had the luck of the Irish in finding it! My veil was from the wonderful bridal veil and accessories shop Britten Weddings. I took a trip from the East Midlands to Sarah Jane’s beautiful bridal boutique in Bradford –on-Avon and had such a fun day designing my bespoke veil with my mum Anne and sister Cara. It felt so luxurious and special on the day and was the perfect match to my dress with four Celtic motif designs. I adored my Feather and Cole hairpiece made by Emily Kent. The hand-made design is delicate, unique and a piece of jewellery I will treasure forever. With a wedding on a farm I initially thought it was wise to go for practical shoes as opposed to glamorous, but turns out I didn’t have to comprise with these striped metallic L.K. Bennett shoes; they were super comfortable and pretty in equal measures. My engagement ring is from the 1890’s and has a real vintage feel and so I wanted my jewellery to compliment this. I felt the old met new wonderfully with these Stella and Dot earrings and their ArtDeco inspired style. With the ‘Casablanca Chandeliers’ you get three in one earrings – so for the evening, I went for the more dramatic chandelier look.
Grooms AttireJames wanted a country style relaxed look; his suit, which matched our Dad’s - Martin and Richard, were from Next and their Harris Tweed waistcoats were from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill. James inherited his great grandfathers pocket watch, which meant a lot to him and complimented his look perfectly. I got my Dad a pocket watch as a keep sake of the day, with the engraving “today a bride, tomorrow a wife, always your little girl” – I won’t forget the look on his face as he proudly presented it to our family and friends throughout the day.
Wedding Party FashionThe bridesmaids wore mint green dresses from ASOS which looked gorgeous against the lush green back drop of the farm. The flower girls, James’ nieces; Chloe and Sophie wore dresses and accessories from Monsoon and Aidan’s outfit was from Zara Boys.
EntertainmentWe both love our music, especially James, and this was a really important part of the day. Up first we had a rockabilly band called Del Ray Rockets who were sensational. Then to get the marquee rocking we had James’ home friends band Erica from Winchcombe – these guys were beyond awesome. To dance the night away we had our friend DJ Pat do his thang on the decks. Everybody really indulged in the music and I didn’t leave the dance floor all evening. For the father and daughter dance we had Heartland’s I loved her first and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. James and I danced to Rise Against’s ‘Swing Life Away’.
The PhotographerNicola Casey is just fantastic. We loved the magical memories she captured from previous shoots and it was a real pleasure to have her there for our entire wedding day. We were really lucky to have won her on a Rock My Wedding competition and want to thank her a million times over for the beautiful light filled images that really evoke the spirit of the day!
AdviceFor your impending knot-tying, everyone will offer you their words of wisdom and let you know what they think is best. Don’t get me wrong, some advice will be hugely valuable, but no one really knows you better than yourselves. So all I will say is ‘dance to the rhythm of your own beat’ and try to make sure the day stays true to and your partner. We had the most fun spending an evening (or two, or three) brainstorming initial creative ideas fuelled by prosecco, beer and post-it notes and would highly recommend the process. It’s your big day after all, so I think it’s important you give yourself the freedom to celebrate exactly as you please. Oh, and if it pours down with rain the day before your wedding and during, don’t you worry one bit! The rain created a wonderful spirit and electric energy that we never expected. It’s the small cracks that let the light shine through, so just focus your energy on soaking up every bit of happiness the day will bring and if you’re lucky enough like us, just maybe, the sky will cry with joy too!
Dress Designer: Catherine Deane | Veil: Britten Weddings | Hairpiece: Feather and Cole | Makeup Artist: Leanne Oswin Makeup | Hairdressers: VM Hair Dressing | Bridal Shoes: L.K Bennett | Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS | Flower Girl Dresses: Monsoon | Page Boy: Zara | Grooms Suit: Next | Waistcoats: The Edinburgh Woollen Mill | Venue: Bawdon Lodge Farm | Marquee: Every Occassion Events | Florist: The Flower Mill | Food: Black Peppermint | Cake: Yummy Little Cakes | Entertainment: Delray Rockets | Erica | Decor: Pom Pom Studio | Jewellery: Stella & Dot