WWW readers Daniel and Nicola wed at The Venue at Kersey Mill on 27th October 2016 followed by a reception at Jimmy’s Farm. The farm provided the perfect rustic backdrop for a warm and autumnal feast.
The couple didn’t have a set vision for their big day at the outset and so were able to let their venue guide the style. Nicola and her family are a talented lot and crafted many of the rustic details, which were a real labour of love over nearly a year. Nicola has some wise words for couples planning on embarking on a similar endeavour!
There were no real flowers at the wedding, instead Nicola crafted bouquets from buttons, lace and ribbon which are simply beautiful. She crafted so many of the the gorgeous details like the fantastic table plan and the log centrepieces with the help of her Dad, who also made a simply amazing sweet cart for the occasion. I’ve never seen a cake like Nicola and Daniel’s which was made by Nicola’s talented cousin, can you believe it’s a five tier cheesecake?
Nicola chose a lovely tea length White Rose dress and Daniel was a Ted Baker Groom. Nicola’s ever so talented Mum made all the bridesmaids dresses in slightly different styles to suit them and Nicola included buttons to match each bridesmaids’ personality in the lace and ribbon bouquets she made, such a lovely idea. I love that Nicola and her maids all had capes, also made by Nicola’s mum and aren’t the flower girls’ storybook dresses just the cutest?
Thanks ever so much to Sophie Duckworth Photography for these gorgeous images.
THE PROPOSAL | Dan proposed to me on my 30th birthday. We were at the beginning of an East Coast American Road Trip in San Francisco, taking a bike ride along the bay and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Half way across the bridge we stopped, he got off his bike and asked to marry me. We were still wearing our bike helmets! It was the best birthday!
THE VISION | We never really had a set vision for our wedding but we did know we wanted to have the reception in a barn and for the day be full of fun for all of our guests. We’re both creative and wanted to be able to make as much as possible. We enlisted a number of our family and friends to help the wedding form into the magical day it was.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | As we’re both project managers by day we found the planning process ok. We used Google Drive a lot which really helped when we wanted to share things with each other and create lists which needed to be kept up to date. We also used an A2 photo frame as a “whiteboard” to write all of our smaller tasks on and it allowed us the satisfaction of wiping tasks away when complete!
THE VENUE | We spent a number of months searching for the perfect barn type wedding venue but nothing was ticking the boxes for us. That was until we visited the Beer and Sausage Festival at Jimmy’s Farm. When booking our tickets for the festival, Dan stumbled across their wedding pages. This wasn’t something we were aware was possible as the restaurant at the farm is normally only open during the day. It was perfect for us and we even got to have some of our wedding photos with the farm animals!
Lucy and the team at Jimmy’s worked effortlessly to help give us the reception we wanted and we couldn’t have asked for more. Knowing that the food would all be fresh from the farm really helped make it even more special and Head Chef Jon and his team did an amazing job in catering for us.
As Jimmy’s Farm is not a licenced wedding venue it meant we had to find a ceremony venue to hold our 125 guests – quite a challenge we faced. We eventually came across The Venue at Kersey Mill who were more than happy to help us. It was a beautiful and relaxed setting and only a short drive away from Jimmy’s Farm. Becky and her team were highly professional and so accommodating – we couldn’t believe our luck and everything started to take shape from there on in.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was designed and made by the company White Rose which I found in a lovely boutique shop, Mia Sposa, in Cambridge. My shoes were from Rainbow Club, quite possibly the comfiest high heels I’ve ever worn and I have had them dyed since so I can wear them again.
I wore a pearl necklace and earrings which my parents bought for me on my 30th birthday and my head piece was found in a shop in Singapore when I was visiting my brother and his family earlier that year. I don’t tend to wear much jewellery so keeping it simple but still special was important to me.
My brilliant Mum made my cape which was something I had always wanted to have on my wedding day. Initially, I had wanted Mum to make my wedding dress but I’m glad in the end she didn’t have to go through that. It was perfect the way it was and the cape helped to make me feel like a true princess – I loved it.
My lovely friend Hannah styled mine and my bridesmaid’s hair – she did an incredible job and worked tirelessly to get us (and herself as a guest) out of the door in time. Hannah helped transform my hair into a classic 50’s style which worked perfectly with my dress and held its shape even on the dance floor.
FINDING THE DRESS | I didn’t want to make shopping for my dress too much of a big deal and only wanted my Mum to be with me when looking.
I know a lot of brides who have a vision in their head of what they want and then after trying a few dresses change their mind completely. I wouldn’t say I changed my mind but having a shorter tea length dress wasn’t initially in the plan. I only went into two shops, the first shop I tried on a number of dresses and then thought I had found ‘the one’.
I decided that I should try one more dress shop just in case and I’m so pleased I did. Mum and I had a really fun day with the ladies at Mia Sposa in Cambridge. They were so welcoming and friendly and the choice of dresses was brilliant.
I tried on a number of dresses and picked up the shorter dress just to see what it would look like. It was the best spinning, dancing dress and felt perfect – Mum cried when she saw me spinning around the shop in it, so I knew we’d found the one!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We didn’t want to hire suits and Dan also knew exactly what he wanted; a three piece, dark grey, winter suit which is exactly what he found on his first shopping trip to Ted Baker. With this he wore black brogues, a white shirt and a green tie & pocket handkerchief. I bought him a pocket watch which I had engraved and gave to him as a gift to open on our wedding day – he loved it and helped to finish the look off.
The groomsmen and fathers were asked to wear a 2-piece dark grey suit which they all wore with a white shirt and black shoes. We gave them matching ties, handkerchiefs and socks to bring them all together. This worked really well, as although each had a different style, they all felt comfortable in a suit they liked.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We asked Dan’s niece Lily-Rose, who is 10 years old, if she would like to do a reading for us during the ceremony. She did an incredible job and spoke with such confidence – we were very proud of her. Lily read a poem called ‘On your wedding day’ which she picked out herself.
We also asked my godmother Joy if she would do a reading for us. Joy read a poem called ‘I promise’ which was heart-warming and suited us as a couple perfectly.
During the signing of the registrar we asked a family friend, Daisy, to play acoustic guitar. It was lovely to be able to ask people who we love greatly to all play special parts throughout our day – it was really important to us.
I walked down the aisle to ‘In the Christmas Tree’ by Tchaikovsky, which my brother chose for me and Dan and I walked out to ‘We Belong Together’ by Randy Newman (the end song from Toy Story 3) which was fun and made everyone smile.
For our reception music, we asked our good friends from Cupid’s Wish, Georgia and Michael, if they would play for us. They have been a part of our journey since the beginning and we were so thrilled when they said they would be there for us. They went above and beyond to learn our first song and ensured the set list included all of our favourites. The dance floor was packed for the whole evening – it was amazing
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four beautiful bridesmaids – my cousin and chief bridesmaid Becca, my sister-in-law Anna and my two dearest friends Laura and Louisa. My Goddaughter Orla (3) and niece Olive (8 months) were my flower girls.
My very talented (and patient!) Mum made the four bridesmaid dresses and their capes. I wanted the bridesmaids to be comfortable in what they were wearing and they each chose the style of dress they preferred. As they were all having the same material for their dresses, having different styles wasn’t a problem. Their capes helped to tie their outfits in with mine and it meant none of us were cold at any point.
Orla and Olive’s matching dresses were from a cute online shop called Palava who make the most amazing story book dresses. I managed to find a style which matched our colour theme with a story based on a chocolate shop! I made Orla’s hair piece with lace flowers and Mum made her a cape to match the bridesmaids.
THE FLOWERS | I decided that I didn’t want real flowers or floral decorations at the wedding as I wanted to be able to make as much as possible with buttons, lace and ribbon – my favourite things. Some of the lace belonged to my Great Uncle (who features on the red post box) for my something old.
The bouquets took me about 10 months to make with many false starts, long nights, a bridesmaid crafting session and a couple of tearful nights when it wasn’t going to plan! At first I wasn’t too sure how it was going to come together but I persevered and eventually came up with something I was going to be happy for us to hold and walk down the aisle with. The bridesmaid’s all had buttons in their bouquets that matched something from their personality, a nice little hidden extra surprise for them on the day.
The felted flowers which I made from scratch really helped to give the bouquets some shape and a softened texture. I also made felted flowers as button holes for some important ladies to wear on the day.
THE CAKE | My amazing cousin and chief bridesmaid, Becca, owns her own cake company so naturally she was tasked with creating our wedding cake. Dan and I both love cheesecake and she rose to the challenge like the true wonder she is and pulled off the most amazing 5 tiered wedding cheesecake! It was incredible and I’m pretty sure I saw most guests with a bit from each tier!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I met Sophie at my cousins wedding a few years ago when we shared a room in Paris and we soon became fast friends. We have many of the same likes including a love of rabbits and Disney – our friendship was just meant to be!
We knew from the minute we were engaged we wanted Sophie to photograph our wedding. Her portraits are timeless, she manages to capture the most perfect moments and all with incredible natural lighting and skill. We were delighted that she was available on our date. We think the photographs can speak for themselves…
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | For the décor, we wanted everything to be as neutral as possible and in keeping with the barn atmosphere. We had enormous support from our family and friends for these details and we couldn’t have done it without them.
I made a slight mistake when preparing the lace bunting and instead of the 90 meters we actually needed, I went on my merry way and prepared 200 meters which my lovely Mum then sewed together. Luckily I had made this all quite far in advance and it soon turned into a running joke. Mum also made all of the babies at the wedding some bibs for the dinner which had cute animals on – a small touch which all the parents loved!
My dear Dad designed and made our sweet cart for us out of an old wardrobe which was going to waste. It took him months of planning, sanding, cutting and painting but it was worth every second spent on it. For easy transport he designed the cart so that it could be taken apart and fit into the bottom half and we now have a sweet cart for any party we have in the future!
My Dad also helped us prepare the numerous logs for the centre pieces. He drilled holes in them for the tea lights and he helped make our table plan with the left over wood. My Aunty and I decorated the centre pieces with pine cones and woodland bits she had found and we left little messages for the ladies of each table to let them know they could take one home with them if they wanted to.
We put together some fun kids bags and Dan designed a personalised activity book which helped keep the kids amused at the dinner table.
My lovely friend Sam helped me put together the napkin holders and my sister-in-law hand painted our hangover cure favour bags for us. We had a lot of help in collecting all of the prosecco corks which formed the stands for the name places – a task many people were all too happy to help with!
THE HONEYMOON | We decided to have a small holiday straight after the wedding to the Lake District which was beautiful. The autumn colours of the countryside were incredible and we had such a lovely relaxing week away. We’re planning our honeymoon for October 2017 to Japan for two weeks – something to look forward to and we will be there for our first anniversary too.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Nicola: I don’t think I’ve ever smiled, laughed or loved as much as I did on our wedding day. There’s not really one particular memorable moment for me as the day was filled with millions of them. I love being able to look back at the photographs and remember exactly how I felt for the entire day – full of happiness and love. It was the most perfect day.
Dan: Where to start! Sharing the day with all of our friends and family was so magical, knowing they are there for us on what was the happiest day of our lives.
Handing my groomsmen their gifts before the day got going was a great experience. I had made personalised wooden boxes with specially selected whiskey’s or rum’s and a cigar each for later that evening. The look on their faces was priceless!
But really, seeing Nicola for the first time that day and then getting to spend such a fun, happy, laugh filled day with her was by far the best moment!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | If you’re planning on making anything yourself, start early! We don’t know what we would have done if we had of started anything later than we did. It was such a relief to be able to enjoy the week in the lead up to the wedding with no last minute panics or stresses – it made all the difference.
Take some time during the day to sit back and watch all your family and friends have fun on your special day. It was the best feeling to see all the hard work and planning come together.
Mostly, remember that it’s your day and spend as much time as possible laughing, dancing and having fun with all the people you love in one room.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Sophie Duckworth Photography
Ceremony Venue | The Venue at Kersey Mill
Reception and Party | Jimmy’s Farm
Cake | Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery
Hair | Hannahbelles
Bride’s Shoes | Rainbow Club
Groom’s Suit | Ted Baker
Flower Girls’ Dresses | Palava
Transport | V-Dub Rides
Such talent! Thank you ever so much Daniel and Nicola for sharing your beautifully crafted day with us. Rachel x