So, you know on “Don’t Tell The Bride” when the narrator makes out that every single one of the hapless grooms ideas are complete Pony?
Admittedly a lot of the time they are… but I saw one a few weeks back (The one where they ended up with Posh and Becks thrones… and the groom swore blind that they weren’t tacky) and at one point the groom decided that the venue was going to be a farm. Well, suffice to say, he got absolutely slated by the narrator for that decision, but I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one sat at home (shouting at the telly) who was of the opinion that a wedding on a farm sounds really really cool.
Our couple today certainly agree with me, after a church wedding at St. Matthews in Rowde the party kicked off at Chris’s parent’s farm. Chris, by the way, is dashing the groom. Christiane is the beautiful bride, and Rachel Hudson was the lady with the lens. Kate Hassen was second shooter.
A Fairytale Come True.
A split-second moment in the Disney movie ‘Fantasia’; Two little girls watched wide-eyed as a beautiful centaur (half woman, half horse) looked back over her shoulder and kicked back her long, elegant, rose-strewn tail with one elegant hoof- and the dream was born. Looking for a dress that was a cross between a centaur’s rose-strewn tail and a flower fairy’s gown (another childhood dream) was no mean feat, but my sister knew exactly what I wanted, and with the wonderful help of Anna, at Anna Mcdonald Bridal Gallery in Thame (a beautiful, quiet haven from the stress of choosing ‘the dress’) and her dressmaker Sue, we created it!
Anna helped me to select my gorgeous Paloma Blanca gown, and after ordering it (with extra tail length of course) Sue set to work on adding the 40 metres of tulle to give it that dreamy, creamy, fairylike look. My sister and I selected beautiful fake flowers and I arranged them into clusters for Sue to attach at the hips and strewn down the train. I loved my dress to bits, and kicked it back all day long!
The Woodland Fairy.
I opted for a garland crown of flowers for my hair, rather than a veil or tiara, as it felt a softer look, more likely to fit in with my woodland fairy theme, and my dreamy dress.
Shoes For A Pound.
Chris and I had been traveling for a year together when he proposed to me in Vietnam. By the time we got to India in march, my thoughts were all of wedding plans! We managed to scoop my bridal shoes (black Indian slippers with pale gold embroidery) for about a pound! Bargain! I was so nervous about tripping up walking down the aisle though, that at the last moment in the church porch I kicked them off and walked down the aisle barefoot to be married. No-one could tell under all that tulle anyway! I slipped them back on again as we left the church.
Go And See The HeadMaster.
We had our hair done at headmasters in Bath. Natascha, my hairdresser, was very patient with my many changes of mind, and we finally decided that with the flower garland, it would be best to have simple, big, loose curls for me (which she did beautifully) and half-up curls for my beautiful bridesmaids.
A good friend, Jamie-lee o’Brien and her assistant Nicci Tanswell came to do our make up. I didn’t want my whole face to look too heavily made up, but I did want to have dark eye make-up as a contrast to that big white dress and all the pale flowers in my hair. Jamie-lee was wonderful, she and Nicci did a fantastic job of everyone’s make up and I felt beautiful!
Down On The Farm.
I am a florist, so for me the flowers were one of the most important parts of the day. I had a berries and blush woodland theme, and I wanted the inside of the marquee to feel green and leafy. We gathered blackberries, hops, elderflower berries, branches of late summer apples and all kinds of branches of leafy green foliage from all around the hedgerows on the farm, and I bought hundreds of the creamiest of pale pink and white heavily scented White o’hara roses, bombastic spray roses and quicksand roses, along with white ranunculus, stocks and scabious. To create a bit of height I arranged tall bottles with branches of apples, blackberries and hawthorn from around the farm along the tables amongst overflowing bowls of roses and fruit, and Chris and the boys even dragged a few small trees into the marquee to give it that woodlandy feel. In the Church I decorated the porch with loads of farm foliage and some clusters of roses, with long branches of berries and fruit overhanging. Inside the church I placed two large urns overflowing with flowers, berries and fruit at the top of the aisle, and tied flowery sheafs on the pew ends.
I had two good florist friends to help me who were both fabulous in their dedication to my vision for the day!
Chris had a best man and five ushers. All the groomsmen wore their own grey suits, and my two nephews who were pageboys had little grey three piece suits. All of them wore matching champagne coloured ties. Chris had his grey three-piece suit made in Vietnam, in the town where he had proposed to me. It was so smart, and fitted him so perfectly! He looked very handsome waiting for me at the church!
Someone Who Cares.
Our photographer, Rachel Hudson, did an absolutely fantastic job! She made us feel so relaxed, nothing felt posed or unnatural. She managed to capture every moment of our day and yet we didn’t feel that we spent hours standing around for pictures – after a few romantic shots around the farm we were back with our family and guests to join in the fun!
The gorgeous album that she sent to us is full of so many happy memories and the beautiful oak-carved presentation box for the CD with all our images was a fantastic detail! The whole experience made us feel that she cared just as much about our photos as we did.
Three Tiered Treat.
We bought our cake from marks and spencer, three-tiered with the top made of chocolate, the middle of sponge and the bottom of fruit cake. We decorated it ourselves with apple branches, blackberries and flowers from around the farm.
My younger brother is good friends with a jazz band, and we knew straight away that we wanted to use them! Their playing was so absolutely fantastic that several times I looked over to see our guests simply standing and staring in fascination! Everyone was up and dancing and the party didn’t even slow down until almost 3am!
Let There By Love.
Our very first dance was ‘let there be love’ by Nat King Cole, a song that we both loved for its simplicity, and also because we often listen to nat king cole in the evenings.
Keep The Doctor Away.
We didn’t really have any specific wedding favours that we wanted to do, but we placed apples from the farm on each of the place settings to tie into our theme- the apples were small but tasted very sweet!
Bringing The Outside In.
We wanted a late-summer, woodlandy, fruity feel, and we wanted our guests to feel as though they were outdoors, so we kept the sides up on the marquee for as long as possible and used haybales as outdoor seating areas. We strung lanterns in the trees around the marquee, and in one area of the garden we hung silk Vietnamese lanterns that we had bought on our travels. Under these lanterns we had a borrowed thai canoe, from which the caterers served our ‘round-the-world’ starters of thai street food, south American empanadas and Indian malai koftas.
We had long tables in the marquee and we bought very long lengths of a biscuity-coloured fabric to cover them so that we got those uninterrupted sweeping lengths of table. We sourced some old wooden planks to place down the centre of the tables, onto which were placed the bowls of roses, the tall bottles of berries and branches, glittering golden tealights, the wine, the champagne and big bowls of late summer fruits for dessert with jugs of cream.
We hung small glass globes containing tealights at different heights from the roof of the marquee so that it glittered and glowed over the trees, the flowers, the glasses and the guests all evening.
Boutique Anna Mcdonald Bridal Gallery
Dress Paloma Blanca
Hair headmasters in Bath
Settling down to read though Christiane’s report, having already feasted my eyes upon the stunning W-day eye candy, it was no surprise to learn that Christiane was a florist. Firstly, it answered one big question that I’d had… Isn’t that the bride on her hands and knees trimming a load of foliage – shouldn’t she be getting ready or something?
Secondly, it explained why this celebration was so floral. There’s flowers in hair, flowers on dresses, flowers on the cakes. If not flowers then foliage, fruit and farm stuff. Ok, I’m not sure what “farm stuff” is but I was desperate to complete my alliterative witterings.
Chris and Christiane certainly succeeded in bringing the outside in for their woodland themed farm wedding. And I think you’ll agree that Christiane’s dream of becoming a flower fairy also came true – in spectacular fashion!