A Pretty DIY Farm Wedding

farm wedding suffolk http://www.milkbottlephotography.co.uk/

Richard is a farmer and Rebecca is a farmers daughter, so you can imagine just how wonderful their farm wedding was. With a vision of church service and a marquee reception Richard and Rebecca homemade much of their day. Their loved ones helped too, with Rebecca’s parents hosting the day. The flowers, bunting, décor and cake all were created by family too.

The star of the day has to be that amazing potted lavender table plan, it must have smelt amazing. Teamed with a stylish couple, pretty bridesmaids and the rose and peony bouquet and you have a simply gorgeous day.

Thanks so much to the brilliant Milkbottle Photography for sharing their images with us today.



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The Proposal… It was a complete surprise. We went for a night away in North Norfolk for my 30th birthday. As soon as we arrived Richard suggested we go for a walk in the park land behind the hotel and told me to take my camera as last time we had been my battery was flat and I was gutted as the views were amazing. We went to the same spot I had wanted to take photos at before and that is were he proposed. No one else was around and the evening was perfect. The next day was my 30th birthday so we celebrated with some ring shopping and a meal in the evening with family.

The Vision for the Day… Richard is a farmer and I am a farmers daughter so we both wanted the day to have a relaxed country feel. I have worked at a lot of marquee weddings and loved how it is a blank canvas to do with what you wish. As we wanted a home made feel it was perfect. It was important that the day reflected us both so we had the ceremony at Richards local church in Wortham where lots of his friends and family have been married and then the reception at my parents home.

The Planning Process… We were engaged for just over 2 years before the wedding so we had plenty of time to plan. I would defiantly recommend giving yourself lots of time if you want to make lots of items yourself and help make it relatively stress free. We also needed the time to prepare the site for the marquee which was levelled out and grass was sewn which took quite a few months to establish! We booked all the big things we knew we wanted very early on like the church, marquee, caterer and the band and then just did everything else as and when we had time or felt it needed doing.

The Venue… St Mary’s Church in Wortham is tucked away and surrounded by fields and a farm so just happened to suit our day perfectly. Its a lovely building with lots of lovely features, with the exception of a grate down the aisle which brides are told to tip toe over so heals don’t get stuck! It really was a lovely place to get married. The reception was at my parents home which is a converted barn in Hinderclay with beautiful gardens. There was no where else I would have wanted the reception and Richard agreed so we didn’t even bother looking at other venues. It just added to the personal feeling of the day and we could all be totally relaxed in familiar surroundings.

The Dress + Accessories… My Dress came from Broughtons Bridals in Leeds. I brought my shoes online which were made by Diane Hassall. I wore pearl drop earrings which my parents got me for my birthday and lilac roses in my hair.

Finding the Dress… My sister in law Mary got her wedding and bridesmaids dresses from Broughtons Bridals which were lovely so I went up to Leeds with my other sister in law Sophie for a girls weekend and visited the shop. Sam the owner asked about the type of wedding we were having and then told me to look through all the dresses and pick out as many as I wanted to try on. I didn’t pick out the dress myself. After I had made my selection Sam picked it off the rail and said I am going to make you try this one on too. I liked most of the ones I had picked out (with some exceptions) but once I tried on the dress Sam picked out nothing else could match up to it. I went to some other shops more local to Suffolk but again no other dress gave me the same feeling so then I knew i had found my dress. It wasn’t a very practical choice as I had to go up to Leeds quite a few times but it was worth it!

Groom’s Attire… Richard tried on quite a few suits trying to find the right one. As it was going to be a country garden wedding we both thought tails would look too formal. However when he tried on a dark grey suit with waist coat and tails it looked really smart and just formal enough. He wore a sage green tie and lovely button hole with finished off his outfit perfectly. When they all took off there jackets later in the evening they still looked really smart in the dark grey waist coats.

The Readings + Music… Cat my maid of honour did the first reading called ‘The Art of Marriage’ and Richards brother David did the second which was Corinthians Chapter 13. Both did a fantastic job! We were lucky enough to have a local choir and really good organist called Peter. It really helped fill the church with song during the hymns my favour being ‘I Vow to Thee My Country” which always makes me cry. We also had ‘Morning has Broken’ and ‘Make me a Channel of your Peace’.

Beautiful Bridesmaids… I had five bridesmaids, my friend Cat who was maid of honour, Eva and Alice my two sisters and Mary and Sophie my sister-in-laws. I actually found the style of dress I wanted at Broughtons Bridals but unfortunately the dress was discontinued before I could order. Lucky I found a similar version in Norwich. I couldn’t decide between a dusky pink or green for ages but I am so glad we went with the green in the end. All the girls looked beautiful. They all picked out their own shoes and had whatever hair style they wanted as even though the dresses were the same I wanted them to be able to be individuals too. They looked after me really well on the day getting me in and out of the car and into the church in the rain and didn’t make any fuss when they were dropped off at the church and got instantly caught out in a shower but I was nice and dry in my car ;-) They were also on the dance floor most of the night having fun just like all good bridesmaids should.

The Flowers… We had a florist make the bouquets and button holes. Zoe did a fantastic job and I was delighted with my bouquet in particular with the lace around the stems and little buttons I had sent her (one was a pig button as my dad is a pig farmer). She used beautiful pale pink, lilac, cream and white roses, peonies and fragrant herbs. The flowers in the church and at the reception were a mixture of some my mum Karen had grown, some she ordered from a supplier and some we were allowed to pick from a local nursery in Wortham. Howard’s Nursery were so kind and let use take pretty much what we wanted so we got about 10 or 12 buckets of irises, peonies and some other filler flowers. This is how we managed to have so may church flowers as buying them would be too expensive. My mum did most of the flowers which all looked fantastic! She did have some help from friends and Maureen did a lovely arrangement in the church entrance. Some of the ladies from the village also helped doing the candle cups where the choir sat. We used old vintage bottles, pots of lavender and enamel jugs for a natural country look. I did do some of the table flowers with some help from willing bridesmaids and I think we got the hang of it after a bit of training from my mum.

The Cake… Richards mother Maureen made our beautiful cake. She has made wedding cakes for all her children, friends and family over the years so we were very lucky. I went up to the farm to see her with a picture of a cake I liked, we talked through ideas and I left her to it. I saw some of the sugar craft roses she was working on which were beautiful so I knew the finished cake would look amazing and it did! She added in some little bits of lavender to go with the pots we had on tables and lace ribbon. It also tasted delicious!

Your Photographer… We met Ben and Tim after they were recommended to us. I had found a photographer based in Cambridge but she was already booked over a year in advance. I had a mini panic that all the good photographers would be booked up already but she sent me details for Milkbottle Photography and after looking at their website I e-mailed them straight away. We met over a drink in a lovely pub and discussed what we wanted from our photos as well as looking through the various albums they had.  Their style of photography was exactly what we were looking for as we wanted lots of natural shots throughout the day rather than dozens of posed group photos. Their photos told the story of the whole day with just a few posed group shots or ones of Richard and myself. We were both so happy with the results and can’t wait to have an album designed to show all our friends and family.

The Details + Decor… I wanted to make lots of our decorations and details and having plenty of time meant that we could. Richard doesn’t get much free time but he still got involved making flavoured vodkas and gins which went done well in the evening. I designed the invites and order of service myself and then got them printed professionally. If you shop around you can normally get a good deal on printing. My mum and I went to a local fabric shop and picked out material to make the bunting. She made most of it over the winter months, when it is too cold to be in the garden but worried she hadn’t made enough when in fact we had some spare! We also made all the wedding favour chutneys and her house smelt of onions for days. One of my favourite things to make was the table plan. I got the idea of using lavender pots from a magazine and using garden label pegs was great as we could move them about if required. Sophie wrote out all the labels for both the table plan and the chutney (she has such lovely handwriting mine is just a mess and wouldn’t have looked as good). We had some fete games in the garden and the ski ball went down really well with both kids and adults! We were also lucky enough to have an old fashioned mechanical organ in the garden while guests had drinks and canapés. Richard’s cousin Jonny restores them and so his friend Alan very kindly brought his favourite along which played a fantastic range of songs including ‘let it be’ by the Beatles and Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Pray’. We also had a little toilet gallery. On my hen do we did a life drawing class which produced some very funny results and at the end of the class i collected in all the drawings and they were laminated and put up in the toilets which seemed to create quite a taking point during the meal.

The Honeymoon… We haven’t been on our proper honeymoon yet which is in the Maldives. We are going in November when it’s not the rainy season and Richard is quieter at work. We did go up to the Lake District for a 5 night ‘Mini-moon’ straight after the wedding to wined down and relax which was lovely. We stayed at the Langdale Estate in their new Brimstone hotel. We both enjoy walking, swimming and eating so got everything we could have wanted from a mini break.

Memorable Moments… There were so many it is hard to choose but here are just a few… All the speeches but particularly my dads and Richards as both made me cry! The amazing smell of all the flowers as I entered the church. The Vicar leaning in and whispering ‘knock em dead kids’ before we turned around to leave the church. He made the service relaxing and fun! Not being able to get Richards ring on over his big farmers knuckles which got a laugh. The food! The caterer was Dawn Seager and I have known her for years having worked at many weddings for her. She presents food beautifully and it tasted delicious! Being driven around the bumpy farm yard in a 1913 King car trying to find places to have photos in the rain. Being made to get up on stage with Richard and play inflatable guitars with the band and everyone danced and cheered along. Finally getting to the end of the night and realising we really did have the perfect day.

Advice for Other Couples… If you want a DIY wedding give yourself plenty of time if possible (this also gives you time to save some money!). Call in favours from family and friends whenever you can. We were very lucky that so many people offered us help and we used their strengths to the full! Stick to your guns. It is your day and although you don’t want to upset anyone you need to make sure you have the day you want whether that’s who to invite, where to sit people or even what music you want. Get a note book and use it for making all your lists. You will spend a lot of time making lists especially in the weeks leading up to the actual day and that way they are all in the same place. I also used my note book to stick in pictures of ideas cut out of magazines.

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Crackerjack Marquees  – http://www.crackerjackmarquees.co.uk

Dawn Seager Catering – http://www.dawnseager.co.uk

Milkbottle Photography – http://www.milkbottlephotography.co.uk

Band – The Beavers – http://www.thebeaversonline.co.uk

Broughtons Bridals – http://www.broughtonsbridals.co.uk

Shoes – http://www.elegantsteps.co.uk

Florist – http://millsandbloom.com


Utterly lovely. Thanks so much to Richard and Rebecca for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

4 thoughts on “A Pretty DIY Farm Wedding

These are such beautiful photos! This is exactly the wedding I want – a vintage fete wedding – I may just steal some ideas…

I just hope I can find a similar venue in Australia :)

Thank you for including your run-down and “credits” links!

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