Ella and John married on the 19th July 2014, with a Church ceremony followed by a reception on Ella’s family farm. They hoped for a country hand made wedding which they acheived perfectly.
With a marquee nestled in the wheat field they crafted rustic yellow decorations, arranged their own pretty blooms and even made the cake. They also had a gospel choir at the Church and a live band for the evening entertainment.
Ella was beautiful in her Mori Lee strapless dress with natural tousled hair, the boys went for traditional tails and the girls wore grey frocks. Such a wonderful summer wedding day.
Thanks so much to the fabulous Faye Cornhill for sharing her images with us here this morning.
THE PROPOSAL | John proposed on Christmas Eve 2013 after 8 years of being together. And yes he did ask my father for permission first!
THE VISION | We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted from the start (well I did anyway) – with the wedding being on the farm we knew we had access to a lot of great accessories and features and we were keen to have fairly neutral/natural colours and an overall country feel. We were also really keen to do as much of it ourselves not just for the purpose of saving money but to enjoy the experience of seeing it all come together.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had just 6 months to plan the wedding but this didn’t overwhelm us at all, we just cracked on with it. At first there was quite a big decision to make as my father had decided to plant the ‘wedding field’ in wheat the previous winter (a field that had been grass for over 30 years), perhaps a hint to John to get a move on with the proposal! After a lot of deliberation, it was decided that there was no other option but to mow down an area of the wheat field to fit the marquee, a feature that would go on to make the wedding look all the more special on the day, as the marquee was surrounded by golden wheat.
Another priority was to select the wine and champagne and we had a lot of fun inviting friends around for dinner and sampling. Once chosen we ordered online took a trip over to Calais and picked up all of the alcohol (with a nice stop off for lunch in Bruges – probably spending the savings we had made). I would recommend doing this if you are offering a free bar as there are good savings to be had and it is a fun day out.
THE VENUE | The church was St. Mary’s in the village of Grafton Regis and the reception venue was my family farm in Northamptonshire.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I ended up with a completely different dress to what I thought would suit me. After being told by many Bridal shops that I was running out of time with just 6 months until the wedding I was getting worried that I would not find anything. I eventually fell in love with a dress from Bicester Bridal by Mori Lee.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | This was a quick win and pretty much all decided in 15 minutes. When John put on the navy morning suit, light grey waistcoat and bright yellow cravat he looked so smart and we both agreed straight away that it was the one. This combination also really suited all of the ushers and worked well with the rest of the colour scheme. We also bought grey socks with yellow spots for a bit of extra fun.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Whilst our guests were waiting for the service to begin, they were entertained by the Royal & Derngate community Gospel Choir, which was amazing and brought such a happy vibe to the church. They also sang whilst the registers were being signed – including “signed sealed delivered…..”
I entered the church to Te Deum Prelude – Charpentier and we exited after the ceremony to the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.
The first of the two readings was delivered by John’s Godmother and was from Corinthians chp.13.
The second reading was an adaptation of a quote from Bob Marley that one of my bridesmaids had at her wedding and I just loved it so asked if she would mind me copying her. It certainly brought a few tears to eyes for a number of guests (after initial laughs and confusion at the first line).
‘Your partner isn’t perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if they can make you laugh at least once, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto them and give them the most you can. They aren’t going to quote poetry, they’re not thinking about you every moment, but they will give you a part of themselves that they know you could break. Don’t hurt them, don’t change them, and don’t expect more than they can give. Don’t analyse. Smile when they make you happy, yell when they make you mad, and miss them when they’re not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect people don’t exist, but there’s always one person that is perfect for you.’
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The bridesmaids were two school friends and my sister. Their dresses were full length and a silver/grey colour and they wore yellow shoes. We chanced it by ordering the dresses online from China and we were very lucky as they were great quality and just what we wanted, with only minor adjustments required.
Their hairstyles were very natural, with all choosing to have it half up half down with some gypsophila and alchemilla mollis in the back. We all did our own make up although most of us had a spray tan and some lashes!!!
THE FLOWERS | I knew I wanted to do the flowers myself and so although nervous of how it might work out, I ordered them online from a wholesaler (Triangle nursery). When they arrived at 07:30 on the Thursday by Parcelforce in three smallish boxes I was quite nervous but once opened, unpacked, prepped and put into buckets, the hall was transformed into a sweet smelling florist’s shop.
On the Friday the bridesmaids and I set about arranging the vases, the jam jars and constructing the bouquets while my mother and Auntie were busy decorating the church with additional flowers and ribbons.
My Auntie made the button holes – I had an idea of what I wanted and within minutes she had made about 10 of them and they all looked perfect.
THE CAKE | Again, coming from a farming background, if you can do it yourself why get someone else to do it, so Mum and I set about making the 16” fruit cake only to realise that it didn’t fit in her oven. After taking over my sister’s oven for the day, we then moved on to baking a lemon and poppy seed for the middle tear. The top tear was polystyrene decorated with icing (but no one needed to know that).
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We used Faye Cornhill and I can do nothing but sing her praises. Meeting her at the pre wedding photo-shoot helped ease my nerves as I have never considered myself to be photogenic or enjoyed having my photo taken but at the same time I love photos so it was really important to me. On the day, Faye was very efficient and friendly and almost felt like another guest. We are over the moon with the quality of our photos.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Guests 130, Wedding 2pm, Drinks reception on the lawn 3:30 -5pm, Dinner and speeches 5:30 – 8pm, First dance 8pm.
Being beef farmers the main meal was beef – each table received a joint of beef and one guest per table was provided with a chef’s hat and apron to carve the meet for their table. This worked really well and everyone enjoyed the process. We had substantial canapés at the drinks reception rather than a starter which again worked well. Dessert was a trio of puddings. We decided to toast with port rather than champagne as the guests had champagne and Pimms at the reception.
We didn’t have any evening guests so just laid on some cheese and biscuits later on for guests to graze on.
We were very efficient with our accessories and décor for the wedding, making the invites by hand, asking friends and family to collect jam jars and then raiding my dad’s woodshed for old pieces of wood for the signs and suitable logs to be cut for the table centres. We had also just decorated our house so used the left over grey paint for things like the bar and signs. I bought 60 metres of hessian and from that cut the chair sashes, table runners, and pieces to decorate the jam jars and table plan. Although I spent a whole weekend doing this, it was a very cost effective as to buy ready-made would have been very expensive.
My favourite creation and one that got many comments was the bar (or the baa), created from three wooden pallets that we painted and then added some shelves and a bar top to. It looked really effective in the marquee and cost us nothing except a bit of time.
My auntie hand made all the bunting and I used off cuts from our wedding invitations to create heart garlands – nothing went to waste!
Our wedding favours were handmade packets of wild flower seeds which doubled up as a name card for the tables.
Our entertainment for the evening was a live band.
THE HONEYMOON | We spent our honeymoon in Sorrento in Italy. Sorrento was beautiful and relaxing but at the same time plenty to do and explore – and amazing food.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Our memorable moments start from before the actual wedding day – going to Calais to pick up the booze, our first ever Sainsbury’s online delivery just consisting of beer and port, no food! And the size of the 16” cake tin and the amount of ingredients that went into it. On the day of course it was seeing all of our friends and family in the same place at the same time, saying ‘I will’, and the fact that despite rain and thunderstorms scheduled all day we had nothing but sunshine. I would do it all again tomorrow.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Do whatever you need to do to make it personal to you. Don’t doubt your ability to do things yourself – if you follow a recipe, YouTube clips etc. you can achieve anything you want.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Marquee | Wings marquees
Catering | Countryside caterers
Band | Alive Network
Choir | Royal & Derngate community Choir
Wine | Majestic Calais
Photography | Faye Cornhill
Toilets and generator | Arrows Loos
Dress | Bicester Bridal
Thanks so much to Ella and John for sharing their wonderful wedding with us XOXO Lou