I am so in awe of all the love & dedication that has gone into this DIY rustic wedding at home. The fact that Vic loving grew her wedding flowers in her garden and then hand picked and arranged them the night before literally just blows my mind and they are utterly gorgeous too.
In fact all of the DIY decor is utterly gorgeous… the potted plants, the wooden crate table plan, the hay bale seating area, the pom poms, the bunting and how can I forget the creative guest book alternative. Plus I’m sure you’ll notice so much more, it’s one of those weddings I think you’ll need to view multiple of times to take it all in; and Pin!
I literally wish I had been there to marvel in all the beauty and soak up the relaxed homely atmosphere, plus their fireworks display and party into the early hours sounds epic!
Vic The Bride: Alex & I met online, in 2010, on a website for ‘country people’ called Muddy Matches, and instantly we both knew ‘this was it’! In 2012 Alex asked me to come and work with him at The Ferry House Inn – where we host around 70 weddings a year, and accommodate up to 50 people at any one time in 4* accommodation. The award winning restaurant & Inn, along with its cottages, clay shooting and all the other things we do keep us seriously busy with a 24/7 life style.
We operate as a team in everything we do – Alex was quite hands on for the wedding planning which was handy as we had a lot to do if we wanted to achieve our dream wedding.
From day one there was no question of ‘where’ – the church at the end of the farm track & back home on the farm for the reception. I am a nest builder and am truly at my happiest at home. Alex & I work long hours, so any chance we get, our home is our escape. “Home is where the heart is” was agreed as the theme before anything else.
We wanted the day to be relaxed, and our guests to feel at home – more like a posh garden party! So already we agreed on the importance of good music from arrival to going home, making sure people were well fed & well watered, and incorporating as many personal touches as we could – to ensure the day had the feel we wanted.
As a family we tend to “Go hard or go home”! There is a never a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude, so as I expected our wedding was a serious team effort to achieve what we wanted. The attention to detail achieved still amazes me now! 1 year before we had no garden, just a rough field! The construction team at Burden Bros Contractors came and within 2 weeks we had the amazing garden we have now.
Marquee by Meadow Fields was fab, he included a reception area, a lounge area for the bar – all just so well thought out and professional. We had an LED Dancefloor from the Ferry House Inn set the tone for the evening.
We married at St Thomas Church, Harty, then went back to our house for the reception. Rocky our dog was there which was important to me, and we kept the guest list to our close friends and family (Alex’ family is huge so it was already a big guest list just with his side!).
My fave part of the day – Dancing, and the speeches, they were beautiful.
Speeches tend to be too long and not very interesting for +1’s / anyone outside the inner circle of immediate family/friends. But Alex managed to engage everyone in his speech, it was beautiful and so moving – even the fella’s had a tear in their eye!! He & my Father both acknowledged the fact my Mother is no longer with us – which started us all off, but he picked it up with a surprise showing of the secret engagement video he has managed to record when he proposed. The Best Mans speech – by his Brother Dale, told an alternative rendition of the ‘real’ version of our proposal, and read a story from a children’s book which had been adapted about us – although it was highly amusing it is actually a really lovely gift from him & his family, to us and our future family – so that was really special.
Our preference was to make / borrow / use existing items as much as possible. We didn’t buy a great deal of decorative items. We bought tulle to make hundreds of pom poms, but I sold them on afterwards. We made all the signs, stationery, cake, and borrowed a lot of items from friends. This enabled us to save areas so we could spend more on the important things like marquee, food and music which were our biggest expenses.
We bought small but meaningful gifts for those who had helped us with our wedding, and we asked the waiting staff to come out after the meal to be thanked. As soon as I could after the wedding I got thank you cards out to all our suppliers as well as our guests. Being gracious costs nothing, we know what it takes to pull off a perfect wedding, it takes effort often in excess of that included in ‘what you pay for’ – so it was important to us to show gratitude to those who really had pulled out all the stops for us.
The Brides Fashion & Accessories
I went to 2 weddings shops to try dresses on. The first was just horrible – overly formal sales assistants, who didn’t listen and certainly didn’t share my vision of what I wanted. The second shop was better and gave me ideas but still not “the one!”
When I saw the Jenny Packham Parma Opal I knew that’s what I wanted. I bought a second hand dress, from a lady in Bristol online and had it tailored to fit. It was perfect for me. Relaxed & with subtle bling! I wanted to feel relaxed and at home, but look as good as possible!
I did my own make up, I wanted to look like me.
Adrienne did bridal party hair – we had a good laugh getting ready. I didn’t have a trial – I know she is good as she has done my hair before, and I didn’t want anything too complex.
Jewellery (Designer & boutique) – Monsoon earrings & Dior / Marks and Spencer bracelets I’d been given as a Bridesmaids gift at my sister’s wedding.
Shoes by Rachel Simpson for the church, soon as I got home I changed into my Boden T Bar sandals for comfort!!
The Grooms Attire
My Sister and I made the boutonnieres – the boys gave me some cartridges to use, and my Sister arranged the flowers on the morning from the garden.
It took ages to find Alex the right tweed waistcoat, they came a few weeks before the wedding having found a shop on Ebay that had great ones. His trousers and shirts came from Charles Tyrwhitt – all ordered online – nice and easy.
We made pom poms from Tulle, to hang from the marquee ceiling, and to decorate the table plan etc.
Napkins were wrapped with a luggage table, butchers string & our “home is where the heart is” stickers on top.
Our friends made us gifts of personalised bunting to use.
Our ‘guest book’ was 2 bottles for people to put messages in. we have one labelled to open in 10 years, and one in 25. We also had a gift of a plate for people to sign. We displayed childhood pictures pegged up around it, and also pictures of my Mum & Dad, and my Nana & Grandpa on their wedding day. We put out some pashmina’s for people to use if they were cold.
Plenty of Citronella torches for the evening, and ladies ‘essential’ toiletries in the toilets.
We had several items from our venue at work to take home to use – vintage wooden drinks cart, kilners & jars for Pimms, a big log cake stand, several tables etc.
We made hay bale sofas which worked really well with log seating which our friend lent us, around the fire pit which Alex’ brother made for us. We toasted marshmallows on the fire pit and it was a good relaxation area away from the music.
I painted all my own signs, including our “Home is where the heart is” green one, which is now in a flower bed at our front door – it makes me smile every time I look at it!! Our Mr & Mrs chair signs our friend Helen painted for us the night before.
I couldn’t have pulled off so much homemade décor without last minute emergency help the night before from my assistant Kelci, one of our chefs Helen, my Aunt & Sister, and friends Stacey & Jenny.
From day 1 I knew I’d be growing my own flowers. I did a test run the year before. I like a lot of flowers so there was no specific plan, just grow what you love and wing it. It worked well and I was really pleased with the eventual outcome. Myself & my Bridesmaid Jenny put the bouquets together 10pm the night before!! I picked them under floodlight at 9pm – the night before was manic!!!!
The table centres were little bottles of mismatched flowers.
The name places were tiny terracotta pots with plants in – with a plant label as their name marker. Most people took these home with them, the next day all the really drunk people’s were still there!! My Aunt potted these up for me the day before & wrote the names out.
The table plan was quite a creation!! The idea was pinched from a lovely Bride who got married at our venue – she also had her wedding featured on Rock My Wedding too!! We set the apple crates up, and attached each table plan to a pot of heather, then our amazing friend Steve pimped the whole area up with items from his garden centre – including an amazing gift of a printed planter with our wedding details on the front.
Florist Shirley Peto decorated the church with jars of flowers – I wanted to keep everything there simple – it is pretty enough as it is.
My friends, cousins and Niece wore a dresses from Monsoon, Next and Boohoo.
My Page boy and Nephew Zachary also had an outfit from Monsoon.
Alex’ brothers John, Guy & Dale were all Best Men and wore tweed waistcoats from a shop on Ebay. Their trousers and shirts came from Charles Tyrwhitt which were all ordered online; nice and easy.
Amu Acoustic sang as guests arrived at the church, and sang me down the aisle to Billy Joel’s – She’s Always A Woman, chosen as it had some sentimental value to Alex & I.
My Granddad read in the church, and we had a few upbeat hymns – our lot love a sing song!!
The church was ‘cosy’ – the 100 of us only just fit in so it was a good atmosphere.
The church is so beautiful, no electric and heating, very unspoilt by modern times.
We walked out to “You got the love” by Florence and the Machine, had a few pics and then hopped in Pootle to go home (1 minute away!) for our reception.
Evening DJ – We have known Karl for many years and knew we wanted him to DJ our wedding – mainly because we knew he would be cool with having no specified end time!!! Around 2am the generator died and the music slowly died out, we managed to refuel it and carried on going until about 3am!! Karl was such a good sport, the music was epic, ending the night on Turn back time – sub focus & faithless insomnia, but also including the Worzels – I’ve got a brand new combine Harvester – Lol!! Got to keep the farming crowd happy…
Day music by Amu Acoustic set the tone and made for a really relaxed drinks reception.
Band – very cool young band Gentlemen of Few – played us lots of Mumford & Sons, they were great.
Alex & I did our first dance to Hey Ho by the Lumineers. Then enjoyed a bit of dancing together throughout the night but I just remember dancing quite literally all night with all our friends and family. Our wedding came at a time when for a lot of us a good night out was overdue – all my colleagues from work were almost through the wedding season, and all the farming crowd had the end of Harvest in their sights – so the dancefloor took a serious pounding from 8pm to 3am!!
Naked cake made by my Mother-in-Law. Totally amazing, she did us so proud.
Cheese tower – cheeses from Godminster Vintage, put together by one of our chefs, and friend, Helen.
Evening food – Hog Roast from The Ferry House Inn.
Drinks – evening bar provided by The Village Bar Company. This company were exceptionally helpful and flexible. They set the bar up the day before so I could decorate it with hessian, lights & pomp oms.
Reception drinks – Pimms no.1 & Pimms Special Elderflower, Fentimans vintage soft drinks, Bottled beers and fruit water. All served with stripey straws and jam jars from our vintage drinks cart.
Toasting drinks – for the girls Hush Heath Still Cider (Pink, with blackberries) and for the boys Hush Heath Still Cider Apple.
Menu as below by Scott Anderson’s.
- Peppered goats’ cheese croustade with tomato chutney
- Chicken satay with roasted peanut and sweet chilli dip
- Mini bagel crisps with smoked salmon and cream cheese and chives
- Melting mozzarella with slow roasted tomato and pine nut pesto
- Mini Yorkshire puddings with rare beef and horseradish, garnished with sprigs of fresh watercress
- Deep fried camembert with cranberry sauce and mixed leaf garnish
- Seared lamb loin served with aubergine caviar and baby leaves mint and fresh herb vinaigrette
- Roasted chateaubriand of Kentish beef with dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal vegetables and an enriched Merlot jus
- Madeira chicken with a parcel of French green beans, mushroom soufflé and champ mash (Silver)
- Open tartlet of crisp puff pastry with asparagus and caramelised onions, rocket, parmesan and drizzled with a balsamic syrup
- Trio of desserts; apple crumble in a terracotta pot with an edible flower on stem, lemon syllabub with popping candy and a mini chocolate cheesecake
I met Rebecca at a vintage wedding fair and instantly loved her & her style of work. Alex agreed, and that was that. very simply and easy.
Rebecca captured the day exactly how I remember it, which is exactly what I wanted.
We agreed not to have a videographer, which I regret. We both regret not having the speeches recorded. We should have known better, but we have amazing pictures and memories instead.
I always tell our Brides to ask someone to record the speeches if they aren’t having a videographer – it doesn’t need to be professional – just something you can watch after the jog your memory.
Plan something fun for the next day – a BBQ with friends, or a family lunch etc. The day goes SO fast and when it’s over it can be a bit of a comedown! So having some time to reminisce the next day (if you aren’t jetting off) is a good idea (unless like me you are too hungover to get up the next day – oops!)
The key to success I think is in the planning. Be clear on what you want and allow yourself enough time to achieve it. But don’t get so hung up on the tiny details that you turn into a Bridezilla – you have got to go with the flow because weddings can be madness – there are a lot of independent moving parts so inevitably there can be last minute movement on timings or plans; the weather may not do what you expect, or you may run late – just go with it and enjoy your day. Choose professionals you trust, make sure they are fully on board with your vision, and then ‘let go’ – if you trusted them enough to book them, then let them do their job. My ‘on the day’ planner Joanne was fab, I handed everything over to her and then was able to truly relax on the day – some plans had to go a little ‘off piste’ and I didn’t even notice.
Photography by Rebecca Douglas Photography
- Dress Jenny Packham – Parma Opal
- Bridal Shoes Rachel Simpson
- Hairdresser Angels Sheerness
- Bridesmaid Dresses Monsoon
- Flower Girl & Page Boys Outfits Monsoon
- Groomsmen Waistcoats – Ebay
- Trousers & Shirts – Charles Thywitt
- Marquee M F Marquees
- Styling Idyllic Days
- Caterer Chef Scott Anderson
- Wedding Planner The Wedding Dolls
- Plants Mossys Garden Centre
- Transport Polly Pootles
- Drinks The Village Bar Company
- Giant Balloons Balloonatic
- Entertainment Amu Acoustic
- Gentlemen of Few
- Kardan Mobile Disco