We’re getting all individual and artistic with a unique farm wedding today, complete with vibrant colour scheme and two special ceremonies.
Andy and Naomi were hitched on the 2nd July 2016 at Whirlow Hall Farm in Sheffield. The lambing barn had ample space for their 300 guests and gave them the perfect blank canvas to personalise their day. They hoped to fill the space with art work and found pieces, plus teamed with multicolour balloons and festoon lights, the space was transformed. I really love that they had responsibly grown and sourced food and drink, plus just check out that bar, it looked awesome!
Naomi’s dress was a real find, she sourced her striking gown at Oxfam Bridal, which she then accessorsied with a statement flower crown and stunning bouquet. Andy meanwhile opted for red chinos, waistcoat, bow tie and blue suede shoes. Their first outfits had South African influences, as did the gorgeous bridesmaids dresses. They looked amazing.
Mustard Yellow Photography, thank you so much for sharing these marvellous shots with us.
THE PROPOSAL | 24th April 2015. Naomi was staying at a beautiful Manor House called Pickwell Manor. Andy was back at home, collecting the ring from the jewellery maker and gathering blessings from family members. He then took a day off work and sneaked down to Devon on the train, staying over in a nearby B and B, just down the road from the Manor House. The next morning Andy just about managed a slice of toast for breakfast before heading to the Manor House. He was greeted by the gardener who told him she’d heard about the looming proposal at her book club the night before, the word travelled fast, however not in Naomi’s hearing! At an opportune moment Andy approached the House and asked if anyone knew where Naomi was, he was told she’d be available soon and they’d bring her straight out. Slightly confused she was shuffled out of the door, to be greeted by her boy. He whisked her off into the woods, wondering how to stop her floods of tears so he could get a word in. They stopped at the bench near the bluebells where Naomi sat and sniffled with a smirk on her face, Andy asked ‘Naomi Gordon, will you marry me?’. Through the sniffles Naomi managed to agree and answered, ‘Okay then’. They went on to celebrate in the Manor House, where smiles replaced tears and Naomi later assured Andy that ‘Okay then’, really meant ‘Absolutely’.
THE VISION | Very soon after the proposal we began thinking of what our wedding day priorities were. We wanted everyone there! So we were going to need a big venue. We wanted a relaxed feel with free flowing food and drink. We wanted to spend money on responsibly grown and sourced food and drink to feed everyone, rather than clothes and exclusive touches. We wanted art work and found objects around the venue to give it our stamp.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We found planning our wedding a lot of fun and a chance to be creative together. We pretty much planned it all together, making decisions collectively and not involving too many family members in our ideas initially. Our reason for keeping it to ourselves and getting on with making it happen was because our ideas would be deemed as rather unusual to some family members and we didn’t want to be put off doing what we had envisioned because other people had other plans for us. The planning process was tiring but not particularly stressful; for us the enjoyment overtook the stress!
BUDGET | £12 000
THE VENUE | We had a family (and bridal party) only ceremony at Greenhill Methodist church in Sheffield, which is the church Naomi has been part of since she was a child. During this ceremony we made our legal declarations and took communion with family from all over the world. Family who had never met and people who were a little estranged from one another were able to chat and share in a buffet brunch in the church hall.
The second part of the ceremony was held at Whirlow Hall Farm lambing barn. This space has 350 capacity so we filled it with 300 guests, friends and family. |
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was found on Oxfam bridal website. Naomi had been out with her mum one Saturday morning to look for a dress in a shop where all the dresses were below £500. The sort of dresses in the shop weren’t quite Naomi, although some of them were stunning. That afternoon Naomi got on to Oxfam bridal website and ordered two dresses both under £100. They arrived and one was too big and not the favourite. The other was THE DRESS, it cost £70 and it needed the sleeves removing to give a summer feel, apart from that it fitted perfectly. The alterations made by the local dress maker were; the sleeves and reattaching of frills from cuff to shoulder, and also the addition of buttons up the back zip to add detail. The shoes were found online and their shape and style were ideal. They were comfortable and elegant whilst being suitable for the terrain at the farm! Naomi wore her great aunt’s Omega watch and hand crafted ring on the left hand, inherited when she was 17.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Andy wore an off white waistcoat made by the local dress maker, a white linen bow tie and a white shirt. He didn’t’ have a jacket but instead had his button hole flower attached to the waistcoat. He wore brick red trousers and dark blue shoes with buckles on the sides.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Church – Reading Ephesians 5 verses 21-28.
Barn – Song – When I survey the wonderous cross. Reading – 1 John 4 verses 7-16 (The Message Version). Song – All of Me by John legend (Performed). Song – Faithful One. Song – Be Thou my Vision.
Reading – Northumbria community ‘ I ask not to fly from the world but to be involved with the world. I am in the world but also in the presence of Jesus. I listen for his word to a broken world. He sees my brokenness and the brokenness of the world around me. I stand in God’s presence looking at him, listening to him, bringing to him the things of the world that have filled my vision. I listen for his word. Be thou my vision, O Lord.’
Exit song – Johnny Clegg.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Three of the four bridesmaid’s dresses were made to measure by the local dress maker. We wanted very specific colours and styles which the girls had chosen so we knew it would save us time to get them made rather than searching. They each wore shoes which matched the colour of their dress, each a totally different style and a thread of the dress colour running through. Their shawls were made from African print fabrics which our dress maker cut in half and made into long shawls which the girls slung around their shoulders. The prints on the fabrics were of leaves, handmade by real leaves and dyed to achieve the blue, green, red and yellow we were after.
THE FLOWERS | The flowers at the church were put together by a member of the church congregation. All of the flowers at the venue were put together by our friend and her mum. They were made with seasonal flowers which were all white and matched our décor rather than stealing the show. We wanted variety in shape and uniformity in colour with the décor flowers. The personal flowers were put together by Petalis Sheffield. We wanted all of our wedding colours to be represented in the personal flowers and to contrast starkly with the white flowers at the venue. |
THE CAKE | The cake was made by a friend and we asked for pre-cut chocolate brownies, she had the idea of making blondies too so it was a huge pile of cake for everyone to have a piece of, we had it for desert alongside fruit and cream. Naomi made letters of sticks spelling out CAKE for the top of the cake.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We had the wonderfully easy going and creative professional photographers Mustard Yellow Photography (Nom and Malc). They met us in the church prayer garden as we began the day and left last thing at night after the party was over.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We entered the church together as a couple in order to make our legal declarations and take communion, and shared in a buffet brunch with our family before the busier and more intense part of the ceremony and the rest of the day. Our colour scheme was in everything, we enjoyed finding things that were cobalt blue, grass green, brilliant red and yellow. The art work we commissioned our friends to make and all of the objects we found were the right colours. We wanted colour to tie everything in rather than exact style. There were brass and bronze objects in the mix too, and due to their finish gave a nice contract to the matte colours. Our vision for the décor was the use simple things like white drapes and lights, trestle tables and benches in order to let the rustic and used nature of the barn shine.
There was an African streak running through our wedding to celebrate Andy’s South Africanness. We had outfit number one which we wore to the church, these were made by Andy’s mum out of African Shwe Shwe fabrics, a shirt for him and a dress for her. During the ceremony the bride and groom placed a garland around each other’s neck, these had been made in preparation for the big day in order to signify the African roots that would be carried forward. When Naomi entered the barn with her father to walk down the aisle, she had her garland around her neck as she went to meet her groom at the front, he was also wearing his and they met at the front and went to hang them together on the cross places at the front of the barn.
THE HONEYMOON | We wanted to go for two weeks if at all possible and were searched around Europe and it seemed in July that this would be very costly unless we had a budget deal (which there would have been nothing wrong with). Then Naomi was encouraged to look at Asia as there are parts that in July seem to escape the rainy season and are perfect for holidays. Plus once you get there it’s relatively cheap. So Naomi looked at Central Vietnam on google maps and zoomed in on a village called An Bang, knowing nothing about the place or the area, she clicked on the pin on the map, ‘An Bang Seaside Village’. This was A FIND! That evening we agreed to book it, a gorgeous cabin amongst banana trees 50 metres from the beach. An Bang is a seaside fishing village, so we had the chance to spend 10 days living amongst the locals. It cost £34 a night including bikes and breakfast. We explore nearby Hoi An, then moved on to Hanoi for the last couple of days, taking a trip to Ha Long Bay before home. Our last night was spent on a sleeper boat.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking out of the barn to have a few moments as husband and wife whilst our guests organised themselves to make an alleyway of people for us to walk through and out the other side of the barn. This was amazing as so many people had come just for us and we got to smile at everyone and get covered in petals. The dancefloor in the evening was electric! Our live set got people moving a it was full all night and the DJ came on late. Because we had stocked the bar ourselves, we had fun with summoning our friends across to share in a shot of jager or two. Friends and family from all corners of the world were having a chat and a dance. People let their hair down and popped hoodies and coats on as the night drew in because it was a chilly July evening.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Be imaginative and don’t feel as if you have to do what you have seen before. Enjoy all of it, evening the planning. On the day decide the moment you wake up to relax and leave the logistics to others. (This can be difficult if you are an organiser by nature). Remember you can have a very cool do without buying expensive things that you’ll only use once. Hire things where possible or make/buy things cheaply. We hired lights, tables, chairs, fabric, the bar and some other bits. We felt that it was worth spending money to hire the right venue, for us this was one that was big enough. Also for us it was worth paying for good food for everyone, and we saved money by not having a sit down meal with waiter service.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Mustard Yellow Photography
Personal Flowers | Petalis
Hired décor | Wild Wedding Days
Venue and Catering | Whirlow Hall Farm
Dress | Oxfam Bridal
African fabrics | The African Fabric Shop
Huge thanks goes to Andy and Naomi for sharing their amazing wedding story today xo Lou