What a beautiful at home wedding we have for you today. There’s something so special about everyone mucking in to create a brilliant wedding, from parents preparing the grounds to friends helping out and serving drinks on the day.
WWW readers Hannah and Ben followed their church ceremony on 10th June 2017 with a picnic-style reception in a traditional pole tent marquee at Ben’s parents’ home. Rustic wooden furniture and lots of neutral colours set the relaxed tone and I love that the picnic hampers for lunch also double incredibly as fairy lit centrepieces on the tables. Square tables are a less common choice for weddings but I think they really create such an intimate atmosphere, don’t you agree?
Hannah chose the beautiful ‘Elodie’ by Watters after a relatively short search and had a range of footwear on standby for all weathers! I have to say, Ben looked rather smart in his bespoke three piece suit too. I absolutely can’t get enough of the flower girls’ outfits, especially their amazing floral fairy wands, so cute!
Chris Seddon has captured the day just beautifully, thank you so much for sharing these beautiful images with us today.
THE PROPOSAL | I’d spent my birthday at a friend’s Hen Do so when I came home Ben suggested we go to Lincoln for the day the following weekend. We had met at Lincoln University during our first year and had been together ever since. The city holds a lot of memories for us and we like to go back from time to time. We had talked about marriage so I felt pretty sure a proposal was on the cards. We had a lovely day, Ben seemed a bit nervous and kept touching his pocket but the proposal never came! (Apparently it was too busy and he chickened out!) Once we were home, he suggested an overnight trip to the city so we could both relax and have a drink…at this point I was certain he would propose!! Fast forward one week (although it felt like much longer!) and we drove to Lincoln and checked into a hotel overlooking the amazing Cathedral. During a walk around Lincoln Cathedral before dinner, Ben got down on one knee and produced an engagement ring. It was very romantic and personal and although I had expected the proposal, I hadn’t expected him to get down on one knee!!
THE VISION | Relaxed, rustic, country wedding. This was something that naturally came together during the planning. I wanted something fairly informal that felt more like a big family party where everyone could get involved and so we served a picnic to our guests which they had to serve themselves out of old egg crates.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We started straight away. Within a week of being engaged, we had set a date and I had asked my best friend and future sister-in-law to be my bridesmaids. We had just over 12 months to plan. It was fairly easy, we booked the big things first – the church, marquee, evening caterers and photographer and within a few months almost everything was organised. Lists and spreadsheets were my friend here. The last 2 weeks before the wedding were definitely the most stressful but it was all worth it on the day!
THE VENUE | St Mary’s Church, Stretton and then a Traditional Marquee at Ben’s family’s farm in Staffordshire. We were extremely lucky to be able to use Ben’s family home to host our day!
We provided a picnic as the wedding breakfast and in the evening the amazing team from the Rustic Crust served delicious pizzas. We also had everyone’s favourite – a hog roast, prepped and served by a customer from the farm.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was ‘Elodie’ by Watters which I found during a trunk show at Brides and Gowns in Derby. I had emailed them and they ordered some new dresses in for me to try. It was actually my last choice as it was a bit more ‘bride’ than I had thought I would go for. When I tried it on, I just knew it was the one. I absolutely loved my dress, it had such pretty detailing on the bodice and the skirt was so soft and romantic – layers and layers of tulle! I also had a silk cathedral length veil which matched my dress. I was always definitely a veil kind of bride, it was simple but gorgeous! My maid of honour talked me into buying a pair of sparkly heels from Kurt Geiger in the sale and and I also had a pair of ballet shoes from Asos with my trusty wellies on standby should the English weather let us down! (We were on a farm after all!) I wore simple drop earrings and a necklace from Marks and Spencer’s and my parents gave me a stunning crystal bracelet from Liberty in Love for my birthday.
FINDING THE DRESS | I am definitely the kind of girl that has spent years imagining her wedding dress…and not just because Ben and I had been together 9 years! When I was a little girl, my mum would make me wedding dresses out of old net curtains and I would always wear her veil when I visited my grandparents house. Finding my dress was the most exciting part of planning our wedding, I really should have made more of it and tried on lots of dresses! I only tried on seven dresses, three at an outlet shop and four at Brides and Gowns, but when you know, you know!!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ben wore a custom made navy three-piece suit from Brigdens in Derby. He accessorised with a plain white shirt, burgundy silk knit tie from Marks and Spencer’s and burgundy floral pocket square from ASOS. He wore dark brown brogues to finish his look.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I wanted to make our church ceremony as personal as possible. I walked down the aisle with my dad to Pachelbel’s Canon in D performed by Nero Strings Trio. We chose two readings and two hymns during the ceremony. Ben is an English graduate so we asked our close friend and groomsman Johny to read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 and my brother Ed, read 1 Corinthians 13 ‘Love is…’, a popular choice, but one that my parents had at their wedding and that my dad read at my grandparents funeral, so a personal choice. We chose Love Divine All Loves Excelling, a hymn both of our parents had chosen for their weddings and How Great Thou Art – my Nana’s favourite hymn. We walked back down the aisle as husband and wife to Fall Out Boy’s ‘Of All The Gin Joints In All The World’ which sounded amazing performed by Nero Strings.
We put together our own playlist during the reception and also had a band ‘Stargazer’ during the evening who our guests raved about. They definitely got the party started!! Our first dance was to ‘Champagne Kisses’ by Jessie Ware. Neither of us like being the centre of attention so we had our guests join us half way through which was lovely!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My best friend Daisy was my maid of honour and Ben’s sister Beth was my bridesmaid. They wore silky floor-length dresses in the prettiest shade of blue with their own silver shoes. I wanted them to be comfortable so they both chose their own shoes. I gave them earrings and a bracelet to wear on the day and they had fresh flowers in their hair.
We had six beautiful girls (our cousins) as Flower Girls and our nephews as Page Boys. The flower girl dresses were ivory and had lacy handkerchief hems. I bought them ivory cardigans from Matalan to keep them warm. All of the dresses came from Monsoon. Rather than posies, the girls had fairy wands with flowers that matched my bouquet. They looked very sweet. Our page boys wore matching navy suits with bow ties also from Monsoon.
THE FLOWERS | I love flowers and would have had them everywhere but to keep within budget I chose flowers only for the bridal party. My beautiful bouquet was from The Blossom Tree in Melbourne. They also provided my flower crown, bridesmaid bouquets, flower girl fairy wands, button holes for the men and corsages for the mums. My bouquet was comprised of pale pink peonies, peach Juliet roses, white spray roses, veronica, lisianthus and eucalyptus. It was gorgeous and is now drying out at my mother-in-law’s. I loved it so much Ben has promised to get me the same bouquet for our first anniversary!!
To decorate our marquee, we placed stems of dried delphiniums in blue and pink on each place setting, and our close friend Jane made some gorgeous floral displays using flowers from her garden the day before the wedding. They smelt amazing. We also planted lots of summery flowers and plants to line the walkway to the marquee which we are now enjoying at our home too!
THE CAKE | A three-tiered semi-naked cake from Amerton Cakes. We got to enjoy a delicious cake tasting session at their lovely shop. We chose 3 different flavours – cookies and cream, salted caramel and carrot cake, iced with white chocolate ganache. It had delicate sugar flowers to match the style of my bouquet. We have a few slices in the freezer for special occasions!
We also asked our guests to bring cakes with them for desert. They humoured us and bought some tasty creations which went down a storm!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our amazing photographer was Chris Seddon. He truly captured the emotion that was felt throughout our day. His work is stunning but so natural, just the thing we were after! The photos speak for themselves.
My little brother filmed the wedding, which I was so grateful for as you really don’t take it all in!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted a relaxed informal affair. I love the look of traditional marquees, they’re a blank canvas and even the most simple styling can have such a great effect. We used rustic wooden tables and chairs, and used things we found at the farm to decorate the marquee. The best find was the unique vintage wooden egg crates which I decorated with fairy lights and flowers to use as centrepieces. These also doubled up as the crates we served the wedding picnic in. We had little details like cutlery tied in ribbon which I was sure was only important to me but our guests loved it. We had festoon lighting and candles in the marquee and hanging from the surrounding trees. It all looked so pretty!
Our wedding invitations were the wonderful creations of our talented friend Jane who makes bespoke wedding stationary with the help of Ben’s mum. She even made confetti cones for us! There were lots of pretty details which we made such as dried delphinium bunches for the pew-ends and rustic flower wreaths made by Ben’s mum which we hung around the marquee. It was very much a DIY day, even our Fingerprint Tree guest book was painted by an artist friend.
The ‘vibe’ of our day was a collection of the wonderful contributions of our families and friends. Ben’s dad spent many a weekend getting the land ready to host a marquee and even made us a carpark for the guests and Ben’s 95 year old grandfather was on hand to oversee all our hard work. My parents sourced all of the wine from France while on holiday and spent many months collecting bits and pieces for the picnic as well as supplying me with all their empty jars for all the candles. Our close friends and families took time from their busy lives to help us set up, including building us a dance floor, cake stand, table plan and setting up all the electrics and sound system. Even on the day itself our friends, best men and groomsman helped serve the welcome drinks and picnic which had been prepared the day before by myself and my trusty helpers. Our day was truly unique and perfect for us. It was made all the more special due to our fantastic family and friends doing all they could to give us the best day!
THE HONEYMOON | 10 nights in Mauritius. It was amazing and definitely what was needed after the hectic set up of the wedding!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking down the aisle and seeing Ben beaming back at me.
Hearing the church bells as we left the church.
The speeches were heartfelt and funny and probably my favourite thing after saying our vows.
Our guests crowd surfing and my nurse friends being on hand to provide first aid!
Seeing all our friends and family and everybody being so happy!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t be afraid to do things your own way.
Accept help, people want to be involved and make your day special.
Things will go wrong on the day, but don’t worry, no one will notice!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Chris Seddon
Dress | Watters
Jewellery | Liberty in Love
Hair | Kayleigh Read
Make up | Airbrush make up by Jane
Groom’s Attire | Brigdens
Marquee | Buster Marquees
Tables and Chairs | Be Event Hire
Flowers | Blossom Tree Boutique Florist
Cake | Amerton Cakes
Food | The Rustic Crust
Cheesecake | West Country Cheese
Music | Nero Strings
Bar | Tipples Bar
Ben and Hannah, thank you ever so much for sharing your gorgeous day with us! Rachel x