A Charming Purple Farm Wedding

purple northamptonshire wedding http://mattbrownphotography.co.uk/


WWW readers Katie and Gavin tied the knot in April at Crockwell Farm, Northampton. They wanted a day which was reflecting them as a couple and their English and Scottish heritage.

Katie found her gorgeous dress on preloved and Gavin went for a traditional kilt to reflect his Scottish background. While the bridesmaids looked pretty in purple dresses from Debenhams.

I so love all of the home made touches, the cake made by Katie’s Grandma, the bunting and initials on the tables. Such a delightful day.

Thanks so much to the brilliant Matt Brown for sharing his photographs with us.

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The Proposal… Gavin’s family is Scottish and we spent our first few holidays there when we first got together. Stirling in particular holds many memories of our first visit there, during our new year’s holiday in 2010 we went to Stirling and visited the Wallace Monument, a massive tower built in honour of William Wallace (Braveheart). The monument has particularly stunning views across beautiful countryside; it really does take your breath away! After climbing the endless stairs to the top, he waited for all the tourists to go and then when we were completely alone and seemingly on top of the world he popped the question! It really was a magical moment.

The Vision for the Day… The day was all about us our family and friends. Our friends and family were fantastic at helping out and we called in many favours, and did a lot of DIY ourselves. We wanted to reflect Gavin’s Scottish side and my English one, as well as reflecting our lives together, as well as getting married this year we also celebrate 10 years of being a couple!

The Planning Process… The planning process was quite easy as we fell in love with the first venue we saw! We went on to visit a few more, but we couldn’t find anything we liked half as much, or with a setting to match that offered by our venue. Once we had the Venue booked, we could enjoy finding all the other suppliers. Other than the venue and food, the wedding band and photographer were the next most important elements to us on the day. We saw our wedding band play at a friend’s wedding and couldn’t think of anyone more perfect for our own big day. I would recommend going to see as many local bands as you can as you never know what talent is out there until you start looking! Our photographer is a friend of my sisters and we knew from his website he had the relaxed/natural style we wanted for out day. Once these were all booked everything seemed to fall into place, my Grandma made our beautiful cake, a friend spent 2 years fixing up a dilapidated VW Camper Van for us to use as wedding transport, and another friend played his saxophone whilst we all milled about after the service.

Budget… We think we spent around £18k on our wedding including our honeymoon in Mauritius.

The Venue… The Venue we chose was Crockwell Farm, Northampton. It was the perfect venue for us as we wanted the whole day in one place. My Mum, my bridesmaids (all 5 of them!) and myself all stayed at the venue the night before the wedding along and we had a lovely meal at the village pub with a few other close family members. I think my Mum was relieved to not have all 7 of us at her house getting ready- I don’t think her bathroom would have took it!

We got married in the venues barn, had our drinks reception in the stunning gardens and then had dinner and dancing in the marquee. The marquee is based within the farm courtyard and is double glazed so it was lovely and warm and flowed through from the barn area. The venue also has a hidden dance floor; it was lovely to reveal this just as we took to the floor for our first dance.

The Dress + Accessories… The dress was from Preloved, which is a fab site for brides looking to keep costs down.  I would recommend this site to brides who like me who like a bargain! It was a good feeling to get a dress that didn’t cripple our budget but still looked amazing.

I brought a beautiful headband was ‘Elder’ from The Rainbow Club, a brilliant site where I found this lace style band that also had a bit of sparkle without being too much. I loved how it was a design that sat to one side and matched the lace in my dress.

Finding the Dress… I did the usual trail round bridal shops but just couldn’t see myself spending thousands on a dress, I felt that I would spend the whole of our wedding day worrying about marking it and would be forced to sell it afterwards to justify the cost.

Finding a dress second-hand meant I managed to get the dress of my dreams for a fraction of the price.  It was a bit of a gamble but I was able to try the dress on before buying and the lady who sold the dress was lovely. The dress came with a wrap that I didn’t want to wear, but that also had the same lace details as the dress, I got a dress maker to remove the lace and attach it to a beautiful mid-length veil.

Groom’s Attire… Gavin’s Kilt, waistcoat and jacket were custom made from Llewellyn tartan but worn in the Scottish style (his parents are both of Scottish origin but his paternal Grandfather‘s family was Welsh hence the surname!).  He wore the traditional fly plaid (tartan material with broach) over one shoulder; this is worn to denote the groom from the rest of the party. He Dad also had a kilt and matching Jacket made and these will hopefully be worn again for other family events! We hired the two usher’s kilts.

The Readings + Music… We had the instrumental version of “Here comes the Sun” by the Beatles as I walked down the aisle, I have always loved the Beatles and this song always makes me smile, it captured the moment brilliantly. We also had “Penguin” by Christian Perry whilst we signed the register, Gavin has ‘a bit of a thing’ for Penguins and the lines in the song really fit perfectly with us. The last song was “Songbird” by Eva Cassidy, which is easily one of my favourite songs; we had it playing whilst we walked out of the barn and into the sunshine to greet everyone as Mr & Mrs for the first time!

We had two readings, one read by my cousin who was also a bridesmaid and the other by a very close friend. They were ‘When the one whose hand your holding’ (author unknown) and ‘True Love’ by Helen Steiner Rice.

Beautiful Bridesmaids… I had 5, (yes 5!) beautiful bridesmaids, this included our sisters, my lovely cousin and my two best friends. I also had my 2 littlest cousins as flowers girls so really it was 7! Due to the number of girls, and the fact that they are all based around the country, I made the executive decision on the dresses and just picked what I thought would suit them all. The girls all said they didn’t want strapless dresses and also the preference was for mid length rather than full. The dresses I found had a slight Grecian feel to them and had beautiful deep v-backs, they were from Debut at Debenhams and I also had matching shoes with little diamante clips at the front.  The flower girls wore dresses, cardigans and shoes from the children’s wedding collection at BHS.

The best bargains for the bridesmaids were the cream flower hair clips worn to the side of their up-dos, £1.99 for two from H&M! I let the girls chose their own necklaces and earrings and they were bought bracelets as a thank you for being fabulous!  Having them wear their own jewellery made sure they weren’t too ‘matchy’ and whilst they all had their hair pinned up the same at the back they all wore it slightly different at the front.

The Flowers… Rita Hopcraft based in Everdon Village not too far from our venue did our flowers. She understood my request for English country feel, with a touch of vintage, straight away. The flowers included heather and thistles, some fantastically pale pink roses, with lilies and orchids thrown in for the mix!

We re-used the flowers from our service for the reception and I got the bridesmaids to place their bouquets on the tables once they went through for dinner. This was a fantastic money saving idea, I would recommend it to anyone having lots of adult bridesmaids, we had 8 tables with matching centre pieces but as their bouquets formed 5 of these I only have to pay for the extra 3! We used Kilner jars to display the centre pieces, placed on mirrors with candles dotted around the table. They were simple but effective. The Venue also had two HUGE vases which sat at each end of the top table and really added to the wow factor!

The Cake… The Cake was three layers made by my fantastic Grandma Rosemary! Two layers were traditional fruit cake and the third was Madeira. The cake was decorated with a sprig of flowers made up by the florist and I found the ribbon to edge round each layer on a vintage stall. It was so lovely to have the cake made by a family member; my grandma had us both ‘feed’ the cake with sherry whilst it was being made so we both feel a little bit of us went into making it too!

Your Photographer… Our photographer was the fantastic Matt Brown, who is also a family friend (I seem to know someone in every wedding related profession!). His style is relaxed and natural, I tried to keep posed photos down to a few as both Gavin and myself did not want to spend too much of the day posing for photos. We have been to weddings where the bride and groom disappear for hours and we didn’t want this- we knew we wouldn’t want to miss out on all the fun of celebrating with family and friends. Matt took some excellent shots, getting ready in the morning, during the service and whilst we went out in the VW camper for a spin. Matt and his lovely wife Lisa also organised a photo-booth for us in the evening which went down well with children and adults alike. Everyone had so much fun and we got some hilarious shots!

The Details + Decor… I made my own paper bunting, and sourced some material bunting from a local vintage shop. I brought 3D cardboard letters (K & G) and used papier-mâché to make them a bit more in fitting with our theme. I also made the table numbers and table plan, we had … make our invites, I asked her to make up a few extra of the pattered hearts that appeared on the front of the card to use around the venue. These appeared on the table plan, were used to decorate the sweetie jars that were on our sweetie table and were also on the front of the menus. This was great as it tied the various bits and bobs together as well as looking fab!

The Honeymoon… We had a 10 day trip in Mauritius at the Shandrani Hotel and resort. The sea was turquoise, the food was amazing and we were treated like royalty. We had never been abroad on our own (always going with friends or family) so it was a bit of a shock to be somewhere so amazing! The highlight was swimming with dolphins in the wild which was a massive dream come true.

Memorable Moments… Getting ready in the morning seemed to go by in a blur, my cousin who is a beauty therapist had done a make-up trial beforehand and I trusted her completely. The hairdresser was also fantastic and was happy with my decision to keep my hair simple, whilst going to town on the girls ‘up-dos’.

Walking myself down the aisle was not scary at all, seeing all my family and friends put me completely at ease along with seeing Gavin all kilted up at the end of the aisle (how could I help but smile?)

Having 5 minutes to ourselves after the ceremony and just before the confetti throw was lovely; it was like being behind the stage at a school play. We peeped out the window and saw all our friends waiting for us- it was amazing and made us feel so loved.

Another highlight was our first dance, my sister had the genius idea of doing a first dance lucky dip, all the guests picked a song for a £1 out of a hat and then whoever got the right song won the money! This proved very popular and meant everyone was eager for the first dance; it was also fun to have various members of the wedding party suggesting we changed our last dance to what they had picked!

Advice for Other Couples… I know everyone says it but don’t sweat the small stuff, make sure all the ‘main’ aspects of your day are what you both want. You might not all be as lucky as me, having lots of friends in the Wedding industry, but ask around, especially friends who have already been married they may have contacts they can recommend.

Make the day about the both two of you; we tried to make the day as personal to us as possible. We had photos of us dotted around, made our decorations, and included trivia cards on the tables that matched the ones found in our favourite restaurant where many of our first dates happened!

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Venue: Crockwell Farm, Northamptonshire http://www.crockwellfarm.co.uk/

Dress: Preloved http://www.preloved.co.uk/

Fascinator: ‘Elder’ at Rainbow Club Bridal ware www.rainbowclub.co.uk/

Kilts: Welsh Tartan Centres http://www.welsh-tartan.com/

Makeup and Nails: Vicki at Complexions http://www.complexions.me.uk/

Hair: Hayley ‘Hairzels Hair’ via Facebook.

Photographer: Matt Brown Photography http://mattbrownphotography.co.uk/?load=html

Band: Pure Genius http://www.puregenius.co.uk/

Saxophone player: Phil Linnell, email for enquiries Northamptonshire and surrounding areas [email protected]

Chair cover and accessory hire: Kelly and Melody at Through the Looking Glass Events http://www.throughthelookingglassevents.co.uk/

Florist: Rita Hopcraft, Everdon Village Florist http://www.everdon.com/VILLAGE%20FLOWERS.htm


Oh so lovely, and the first dance raffle was genius! Thanks so much to Katie and Gavin for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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