If you were to imagine the perfect country-fete inspired, marquee wedding in rural North Yorkshire – then it would DEFINITELY look like Vicki and Alex’s big day!!
Floral crowns, bunting, beautiful wild blooms in jam jars…hanging from shepherds crooks…over the doorway to the church…honestly, if you’re after a similar look, this wedding executes it to perfection.
Vicki, Alex and all of their family and friends just look so relaxed and happy. There are children playing, people dancing and laughing, and the older generation gazing on wisely as the day unfolds.
I promise that even just looking at the images from Andy Gaines will make you feel all warm inside and put a lovely big smile on your face.
Vicki The Bride:With Alex having such a great surname we had to incorporate it into the day so the wedding was referred to as the VZ wedding. Our vision for the day was for it to be enjoyable and relaxing for everyone, we were aiming for a country fete feel with small modern twists. We wanted it to be informal and to represent us and our lifestyle.
It was a very hands on wedding with the lead up to the big day and on the day itself. We had so many of our loved ones helping, whether it be using my Auntie and Uncle’s farm, homemade pate, friends designing stationery, writing signs, my Mum doing the flowers and making metres of bunting, Alex building a bridge the day before the wedding to ensure guests could safely get from the lawn to the field, myself and Alex making all the name badges and litres of sloe whisky for the toast…we even had guests on the day doing shifts on the bar and carving their own joints of beef!
It really made our day that extra special and most of all memorable. But this is what our aim was for everyone to be involved. We love camping and the outdoors so we knew we wanted a marquee and we wanted as many of our friends and family to help celebrate as we love entertaining. The highlights of the day were – the VW campervan coming to serve ice-cream just before the speeches with the sun beating down, our guests competing in extreme limbo and seeing all our friends under one canvas tent singing, dancing and laughing without a care in the world.
I really thought I would go for a bohemian, unstructured dress with very little detail as my style is quite relaxed. Instead I choose a fitted, heavily laced dress with a sweetheart neck. Giles at Eternity Bride was fantastic from start to finish and it was the only place I went to try on dresses. He suggested adding a beaded belt to the dress which I loved and thought really finished it off. I went for a plain veil.
I wore a gold antique charm bracelet as my something borrowed from my Mum as well as a blue ring my which belonged to my grandma. I also wore my engagement ring which Alex helped design. He knows I love Moroccan jewellery so took a picture of some of my favourite bits and sent them to his friend who is jewellery designer to help create a ring. For my wedding ring I used my Gran’s old engagement ring which is made up of a sapphire and 2 diamonds and had it put into a new setting with a Moroccan feel.
I loved looking at wedding blogs and pinterest for hair inspiration. I always wear my hair down and rarely do anything with it so I wanted to look a better version of myself on my wedding day rather than look totally different. So I decided to wear my hair down and wear a flower crown. I was a bit apprehensive about it, especially when it arrived as it was bigger than I imagined however by the end of the day I absolutely loved it and had so many complements. I wanted to wear it the next day! Sarah Barber who owns Regal Florists did a great job and had lots of great advice with regards to which flowers to use.
I was going to get my hair done professionally but then I decided to do it myself to save money. I just washed and plaited it the night before to make it wavy. My sister is a makeup artist so she did my makeup along with my Mum, Liz my Bridesmaid and herself.
I didn’t want anything too done with the flowers and wanted a country fete feel to go with the country relaxed feel. My Mum did a fantastic job at arranging all the flowers in the church and marquee. She decorated lots of jam jars with hessian and lace for the flowers on the table to go in and then used cream ceramic jobs for the church flowers. She also decorated the flowers to go around the arch at the church and put flowers in jam jars which we hung on shepherd’s crooks to make a walkway. The Bridesmaid’s had pink astilbe for their bouquets and I had roses, waxflower, peonies and the buttonholes were the same with rosemary.
We had the ceremony in the church near the farm. St Lawrence’s, Aldfield. The prettiest church you could find but very intimate. We had to squeeze everyone in and Alex and I did the ceremony in the middle of the church so everyone could see. We had the doors open as it was so hot, but it was lovely having the sun streaming in and being able to hear the birds. I am a primary school teacher and one of my colleagues played the organ and her son sang some songs from school that are close to my heart and a beautiful version of Coldplay’s, Yellow. My uncle and close friend Lucy did the readings. A beautiful piece called ‘Maybe’ anon and Corinthians love.
We had the reception at my Uncle and Auntie’s farm. My Dad passed away when I was a child so it was the perfect place to have it on the farm where he grew up. Mallard Grange, Aldfield, near Fountains Abbey. We had drinks on the lawn and the Alex made a bridge and decorated it with bunting to go across to the field and marquee.
We used Wills Marquees as they provide traditional canvas marquees which remind me of country fetes. We didn’t have a theme as such but we knew we wanted it to be informal and have homemade elements with a country rustic feel. We really wanted people to mix and feel communal so we decided on long tables and it was much easier doing a table plan this way. We also didn’t set out with a colour scheme but it ended up evolving and it was dusty pink, cream and grey.
Our friends love to dance so we had a stack of flip flops and we thought it would be cold in the evening so we had a pile of lovely blankets, but instead it was so hot on the day that they were used for the sunbathers! I hired lots of bits and pieces like the honey pot for the wedding male and personalised crates from my friend Liz who was my Bridesmaid who also has a fab wedding hire business.
Alex’s mum kindly made the cake which was delicious. A 3 tiered fruit cake, lemon cake and chocolate cake decorated with mini bunting.
We cannot recommend our caterers enough. Ainsty Farm Shop were fantastic. To start we had large canapés on the lawn followed by homemade pate which was made by my Auntie Maggie. The caterers then served up joints of beef and pork which were carved at the table by our guests (with chef’s hat and aprons!) and seasonal vegetables and Yorkshire puddings.
We then had a VW campervan as we are big fans of them to serve endless supply of ice creams. The look on our guests was priceless perfect for the hot summer’s day. In the evening the caterers served porkpies and mushy peas and a big cheese board. For the toast we had shots of homemade sloe gin and whisky which was a nice change from fizz.
My friend Rob kindly offered to help design the invites and order of service. We went for a simple design on brown paper which matched the feel of the wedding. Then tied them with string. For our thank you cards we sent personalised photos of our guests which our photographer took on the day.
We had a few hiccups with the music as the band we found ended up cancelling last minute but fortunately my sister’s friend and his band played instead. They were fantastic they got everyone dancing and they even joined in with extreme limbo! Alex put together a playlist of all our favourite songs which went down really well. We had an indie/rock session, old skool hip hop then some club classics!
Andy Gaines is the hardest working photographer you will ever meet and he is such a great guy! The photographs he took were even better than we had hoped for we laughed, cried (happy tears!) and howled with laughter at the photos when he sent them to us. He captured the day perfectly without us even noticing he was there. He was definitely worth every penny.