Doesn’t Sophie look beautiful in her red Mishi May dress? I always love a Bride who goes down the bespoke option, even more so when she embraces colour…and oh my goodness hasn’t Sophie embraced colour?! The creative couple were’t the luckiest with the weather, so Sophie’s dress adds a lovely pop of brightness to proceedings. And despite the drizzle, they still managed to hold their outdoor hand-fasting ceremony and transport their guests on a tractor and trailer. In true British style, coats and umbrella’s were donned and everyone just got on with it.
If there was ever a wedding that embodied our ethos of ‘your day, your way’ then this is it…
Sophie The Bride: I first saw Molly Mishi May’s incredible work online and I knew that I wanted to get married in one of her dresses. Molly is Bristol-based and specialises in couture dresses that are straight of a fairytale, and I felt incredibly lucky to wear one of her creations. She built a bespoke dress for me and was brilliantly attentive at tweaking to my suggestions. If you want to feel special on your wedding day, wearing a white lacy dress like everyone else seems like a missed opportunity!
My accessories were all borrowed, gifted or homemade. My bridesmaid’s mum is a florist and we spent a sunny afternoon making our flower headbands together with glue-guns and florist supplies. I wore some huge wedge sandals from L’Autre Chose – not very sophisticated but they gave me height and I needed to be stable as our ceremony was in a field! I had a change of clothes for the evening – a floaty white Suncoo gown and a Wolf & Moon cut glass headdress.
Mike and his best man wore dark blue herringbone suits from Ted Baker in country-chic style with pocket square from TM Lewin. I managed to get dragged along on the pocket square hunt. I never want to set foot in another pocket-square shop ever again.
We both work for festivals and events as our day job, so we wanted to go for a venue that wouldn’t involve much work! We loved Huntstile Organic Farm, a beautiful, rustic venue where they make everything very easy for you. They have camping and rooms, which meant most guests could stay on site and we could make a weekend of it. And the food was really important to us too – and Huntstile’s is award-winning. Their breakfasts in particular are really, really good.
The venue is beautiful and didn’t need a lot of decoration. In the courtyard, we strung up African print bunting and lanterns, and in the marquee we had gold and mint dot-garlands and some light fabric draping. The table plan was made from beautiful Victorian encyclopaedia pages bought from a junk shop and strung in a frame. I painted the wooden signs. We borrowed a Chinese-style bird cage from a friend for cards.
To fit with the Somerset surroundings we went big on wildflowers in all colours. We asked the guests to bring a jar of herbs from the garden and we scattered bay leaves at the entrance of the marquee, which made the place smell lovely. As part of our Greek theme, we had miniature bottles of Greek spirits Ouzo and Metaxa, and Greek sugared almonds on the tables.
The Wedding Party
The bridesmaids wore navy dresses from & Other Stories, and we made the flower crowns. My little flower girl Elsie was in navy too with a miniature version of the headdress. The groomsmen’s suits were from River Island. They all had matching pocket squares from TM Lewin.
Our ceremony was a handfasting in a stone circle on top of a hill nearby. Doing the ceremony out in nature was important to us. It very nearly got rained off – and our guests did get rained on in the tractor-trailer on the way up there – but luckily the rain held off for the ceremony.
Our celebrant was a good friend who also happens to be an ordained Druid Priestess, and she did a beautifully meaningful ceremony with short passages from Rumi. An old friend and gifted writer also read something he’d written specially for us.
We decided not to have a band to keep hassle levels to a minimum and we’ve got lots of friends who DJ. Me and Mike did a back-to-back DJ set at midnight – although I don’t really know how to mix, so I had a lot of help!
As Mike is half-Greek and we both love Mediterranean food, we went for a Greek theme. Hummus, stuffed vine-leaves and dips with the reception drinks, and then a full on feast for the wedding breakfast: slow-roasted lamb, spinach & feta pie, lamb moussaka, Greek salad, griddled pepper, courgette and aubergine salad and sautéed potatoes. For dessert, we had lemon cheesecake and galaktobroureko (Greek custard pie). Huntstile do amazing food and don’t scrimp on portion sizes.
We were incredibly lucky to have our cake made by one of our best friends Paul Darnell, who works for London caterers The Canababes. We actually didn’t give him a brief – we let him do whatever he wanted – and it was an amazing, delicious, work of art! The top layer was beetroot red velvet cake with orange butter cream icing and dehydrated raspberries, then the next one down was courgette, lime and poppy seed cake with lime butter cream & lime curd filling, and the bottom layer was carrot and walnut cake with orange butter cream decorated with caramelised pecans, walnuts and fresh berries. There was also a pile of gluten-free brownies next-door, specially made for a friend of the family who couldn’t eat the cake. We’ve never known a wedding cake that big disappear in its entirety within two hours – usually brides are left with mountains of the stuff afterwards.
Jonny Taphouse is an old university friend of Mike and a truly incredible photographer. He photographs in a documentary style, going against the grain of posed wedding photos and capturing the magic as it happens. He’s nicknamed ‘the unobtrusive photographer’ which is perfect as neither of us hugely like being photographed, and the photos are a lot more natural that way too. We love them.