Sam The Bride:
Although we live in London we knew we wanted to get married somewhere rural and closer to where we're both from. We are so happy we came across the The Gathering in Edale
as our venue. We wanted to make a weekend of it too so not only is the The Gathering set in a beautiful spot in the Peak District, near to where we both grew up, the accommodation it provides (the safari tents) is absolutely brilliant and enabled our guests to stay for two or three nights. Other guests also stayed locally.
Our wedding day was very much a group effort thanks to friends and family who helped us prepare, set up and decorate the day before. The owners and staff at The Gathering were extremely laid back and allowed us to use the site as we wished, this included making a last minute decision to clear one of the barns in order to house our ceremony, as the field we had planned to have it on was too wet. It looked incredible and surprisingly cosy!
For the decorations we wanted a natural and rustic look so various members of our families gathered foliage/ greenery for us which we bunched and hung in various places, I also brought some ruskus as it has straight stems which looked great hung to create a feature. It was very simple and low in cost but effective. On the tables I had collected and borrowed various sized vintage bottles and placed stems such as eucalptus, matricaria and chrysanthemums in them. Buying the flowers for the tables was very last minute from the supermarket but they turned out really well! The shooting lodge which we used as the main space didn't need much decoration it has beautiful exposed stone walls. We had to hire everything in including the enamel plates, cutlery and glasses but I quite enjoyed the freedom of choosing every tiny detail.
I'm fortunate enough to have access to a laser cutter at work so made plywood magnets as favours for the guests. I also designed and cut the table names and table plan labels and had previously made our invites using the cutter. It was a lot of effort but a good way to keep the costs down and added a personal touch.
My dress was from Self Portrait
and I really enjoyed wearing it, I wanted a dress I could dance in and I just loved the length and top layer which opened at the back. Finding a dress was relatively pain free, even though it wasn't bespoke I felt like it was very much my style and made for me. My shoes were from Anthropologie
, I thought the pop of colour looked great and matched with some colours in my bouquet. I did my own make up and my stepsister who is a hairdresser did a great job with my hair.
Patrick's suit was from Noak at ASOS
, his and the groomsmens floral ties were from 1937, he had green whilst all the other guys had blue. They all wore their own suits and we thought the variety looked good against each other.
The bouquets, flower crowns and buttonholes were created by Grace of Maybe May
, she did a wonderful job of interpreting my ideas and I was so happy with the colours and selection of flowers and foliage she used. The simplicity of the greens in the bridesmaids bouquets looked lovely against the navy of their dresses.
The Wedding Party
I asked the girls to find their own dresses as long as they were navy and I loved the mix of styles they chose, I wouldn't have liked to put them all in the same dress as I wanted them to be comfortable and show off their own style. The metallic shoes they chose and the red lipstick all looked great together.
Before the ceremony Patrick's sister Lydia, one of my bridesmaids drove my dad and I from his cottage to the venue in her 2CV which was a lovely touch, not the most glamorous or practical but I loved it! The ceremony was performed by Maxine from Love Celebrant
, who did an amazing job. We had worked with her over the months leading up to the wedding and written our own script which had personal touches including our own vows and readings from our friends. It was very emotional!
For food we had a hog roast and woodfire oven pizzas in the evening, both suppliers were local and recommended to us by The Gathering and we thought both were delicious. Friends and family made homemade salads to accompany the hog and desserts were also brought by guests. Lydia is also a talented baker and made our wedding cake which was absolutely amazing, not just the way it looked but the taste! The Gathering has a small bar which we stocked with copious amounts of alcohol including local ale and champagne from Sussex, supplied by family members.
Our photographer was Claudia Rose Carter
, and we are so happy we chose her. Not only was she extremely laid back and easy to get on with, she took some beautiful natural photos with her excellent use of light that we will cherish for many years to come.
We chose to have karaoke as our evening entertainment, which Patrick and I have loved since we visited Japan some years ago. It sounds tacky but if there's one way to get everyone involved and on the dance floor that was it, it was an undeniable hit!
My advice when planning a wedding is to find a balance of trying to make/do everything yourself and delegate tasks to friends and family. You'd be surprised how much people want to help! Make sure you make a list of things to remember because if you're having a DIY wedding like we did then there will be a lot to do! But it's so worth it. Also don't worry about the weather! There's nothing you can do about it and it really won't take anything away from the incredible day you'll have. Try and take it in because it's over in a flash!