A Relaxed Country Outdoor Wedding in the Cotswolds

cotswolds wedding

WWW readers Stefania and Derek tied the knot in June at The Old Swan and Minster Mill in the Cotswolds. They wanted a relaxed English country wedding with great food and company. They wanted to keep costs low and so sourced and made many items themselves, using Etsy and Notonthehighstreet for some lovely pieces.

Stefania wore a romantic dress she sourced on Etsy with red lips, red nails and natural hair. Derek opted for a dashing custom made suit in grey. They looked amazing!

I adore the beautiful setting for their outdoor ceremony, the beautiful flowers and those fab log blackboard place settings. Perfect.

Thanks so much to the wonderful Claudia Rose Carter for sharing her photography with us today.


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The Proposal… by Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight. We took a stroll along the jetty and sat down to have a romantic kiss before the question was popped. It was very romantic and was completely a surprise.

The Vision for the Day… To have a relaxed English country wedding with good food and great company! We knew we would get this relaxed wedding in the Cotswolds.

The Planning Process… We had loads of time to plan because we were engaged for 2 years which meant we could really think about what we wanted and what we could afford.  We collected lots of different pictures and websites of everything we loved and wanted.

Budget… To keep as cheap as possible. We had no idea how much a wedding cost but we knew with our relaxed day we wouldn’t need to stress too much on the price.  Making a lot of the décor and invitations saved us loads of money- plus we loved the handmade feel to the day.

The Venue… The Old Swan and Minster Mill.

The Dress + Accessories… Dress was bought on Etsy at PantoraBridal.  Hair piece, again on Etsy at FeatherandFrills. I got my wedding ring from Chupi on notonthehighstreet.com. it wasn’t your traditional wedding band but I loved it! People always tell me its so sweet. Dereks Ring was bought on Brick lane in London at an artists studio.

Finding the Dress… I knew I wanted something a bit different and. This was the first purchase 18 months before the wedding. I saw a photo of it online and I knew I wanted this dress- it was just me! I  only saw a picture on the website so I never tried it on, which was a massive risk but I knew what suited me and what I wanted from a dress. It worked out perfectly. I hadn’t tried on any other wedding dress – nothing came close.

Groom’s Attire… Derek wanted a tailor made suit and we were fortunate enough to have our friend Sienna Pulati do this for us at a wonderful rate.

The Readings + Music… We wanted to something memorable and again relaxed. The Readings were picked by our Celebrant – Phil Martin and we asked them to be a surprise based on what he knew about us when he got to know us. He Added a few amazing moments that were completely a surprise – it was wonderful.

Beautiful Bridesmaids… I didn’t want the added stress of finding dresses that suited my bridesmaids individually, so I decided they could wear whatever they wanted. I didn’t mind what colour they wore or if they wanted a short or long dress.  They all looked amazing and it worked out brilliantly as they all had dresses they loved and because it was a relaxed day, it suited the day perfectly. Wouldn’t of had it any other way…

The Flowers… Green and Gorgeous. The lavender was bought on notonthehighstreet.com  super cheaply. This was for the ceremony end of seating row. We had to cut back of a lot and this knocked off a lot of money. We also supplied the tins in which the flowers sat in on the tables. This saved us from the florist collecting cost. The Florist, Jo Wise was amazing and was happy with our decision to keep cost down. They were all bought in America from a tea site called Harley and Sons.

The Cake… The Vanilla Pod Bakery. Pia was very helpful as I gave her a recipe I found on Pintrest and she was more than happy to make it.

Your Photographer… Claudia Rose Carter. I found Claudia’s work on wedding blogs and as soon as I saw them I knew I wanted her to take photos. Her style Just suited the wedding we wanted perfectly.

The Details + Decor… Individual hand typed each invitation on a typewriter, painting tree slices painted in chalkboard paint then written in chalk paint for the name settings. Everyone got to take this home with them if they wanted, a wee extra gift. Italian Sweet tins (Leone) were sent from Italy and because I bought in bulk, they were cheaper than other favours. Supplying tins for flowers. Hanging garlands – handmade . Twine and felt harts sewn to hang in reception room. Between notonthehighstreet.com and Etsy, it made my wedding experience so much fun getting wee small bits and bobs.

The Honeymoon… We just bought a house so the honeymoon is on hold but we are going on one in a few years when we get a head of the game a bit.

Memorable Moments… We couldn’t possibly pick- every second was unbelievable thanks to everyone. Although when my dad saw me (stef)  for the first time was a moment ill never forget.

Advice for Other Couples… Your day – your way! There is not right way of a wedding day!!!!!! Savour every second Don’t stress. Take plenty of time to plan the day if you can and be organised. If you think you don’t need a photographer, I recommend you to think again!

If you can’t afford to have everyone come, why not invite them to the evening reception – we did! It’s a great way to have them involved without the pressure of keeping the numbers down. Trust me, when it comes top a wedding, nobody will mind– its can be expensive and people do understand.

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Photography: Claudia Rose Carter

Venue: The Old Swan and Minster Mill

Dress: Etsy at PantoraBridal

Hair piece: Etsy at FeatherandFrills

Ring: Chupi on notonthehighstreet.com.

Suit: The Fox and the Gentleman

Flowers: Green and Gorgeous

Cake: The Vanilla Pod Bakery

Oh me oh my! Thanks so much to Stefania and Derek for sharing their utterly beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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