We’re headed to the country today for the absolutely gorgeous rustic wedding celebrations of WWW readers Tasha and Mark who tied the knot on the 19th August 2017. They chose Wick Bottom Barn in Wiltshire for the venue’s flexibility and dry hire. It was just perfect for their small and intimate day with 67 guests to host for the day, not to mention utterly beautiful adorned with twinkling fairy lights.
They had a really relaxed feel to their wedding without strict timings, allowing the day to flow organically. They also handmade much of the décor along with their loved ones, there was a bring your own cake table, wooden pallet signs and heart paper chains to name a few. DIY weddings always make for a real community inclusive feeling, which I just love.
These two had gorgeous outfits, stunning florals and a LOT of love. All captured so beautifully by Heline Bekker (thanks for sharing Heline!), I mean just look at those countryside captures. Wow. Enjoy this wedding and their lovely report below, it really is beautiful.
Mark and I went on holiday to Italy in May 2016 and travelled from Milan to Sorrento and back (we love travel and do everything with very little planning!). We tend to book accommodation just a day or so before we need it for flexibility. In Sorrento Mark surprised me by booking us into a beautiful family-run villa with views over the ocean. He took me up onto the roof terrace with a bottle of prosecco and proposed as the sun set. To celebrate we drank copious amounts of red wine and limoncello and had massive hangovers in the morning!
We have both worked in wedding catering and were certain we didn’t want a hotel wedding as we have seen so many ‘conveyor belt’ weddings where couples get little choices on food, timings, entertainment etc. We wanted a fairly small wedding that we could have complete control over. In particular we wanted something rustic in the countryside where everyone could enjoy themselves and let loose! We also didn’t want strict timings, so we kept the schedule of the day as relaxed as we could which the caterers appreciated.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
We started by popping to the local pub garden with a notebook and pen and discussing our dreams for our wedding over a pint of cider. At this point we hadn’t looked at any wedding blogs or Pinterest as we didn’t want anything to influence our vision before we started. We booked the big things first such as the venue and church. Then the catering, band and clothing came next. The smaller things we did over the course of the year bit by bit such as the décor and invitations. We bought a wedding planner which was so helpful with keeping everything together and we also used it to keep an eye on our spending. We absolutely loved planning our wedding!
We planned within our budget and by the end had only gone slightly over so we were very pleased with that!
Wick Bottom Barn, Wiltshire – Absolutely beautiful barn in the middle of nowhere. It was ideal as it was a dry hire for 6 days. We had the barn from Wednesday to Monday which meant we had several days to dress the barn and have the lighting, tables and chairs and tableware delivered. The barn is a great size and good for bigger weddings and while our wedding was fairly small (67 people) the barn never felt too big or empty. The owners are very flexible and allowed us to do everything we wanted and didn’t restrict us to finishing times or specific suppliers!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
My dress was Wyatt from Sottero and Midgley and I felt absolutely amazing in it! I honestly didn’t think it would be the one for me on the clothes hanger, but it looked completely different on! So be open-minded! I borrowed earrings from my sister. My shoes were from Irregular Choice and my amazing floral headband was from the talented Jody at Rosy Lea Flowers!
FINDING THE DRESS
I only looked in a few places around Cardiff and found my dress in the first store (Cardiff Bridal Centre). The dresses in the next two places were lovely but I just couldn’t get this dress out of my head! I tried on tons and tons of dresses and I let my friends choose some that I would never think to choose myself! I wanted to try lots on because let’s be honest I won’t get the chance to do it again! It was so much fun!
Mark and his groomsmen bought their tweed wedding suits from Moss Bros. Mark wanted to wear country attire, so he had a tweed jacket and waistcoat, brown trousers and pheasant printed bow tie from Mrs Bow Tie! He also had shoes from Next and a pocket watch from H. Samuel. He looked amazing on the day!
THE READINGS & MUSIC
We had a church wedding, so we had two traditional readings in the church read by one of the groomsmen and my beautiful cousin. I walked down the aisle to the traditional wedding march and we walked out to U2 – Beautiful Day! For the signing of the register we had Bon Iver – Skinny Love and Goo Goo Dolls – Iris.
In the evening we had a band called On Track which were so entertaining! They played two sets for us and we got to choose what music we wanted, and they filled in the gaps for us with music they knew we would like. They were fantastic to work with and so professional. Our first dance was to Coldplay – Magic which gives me goosebumps every time I hear it! Mark also did a surprise performance of New Zealand band Six60’s – Special! Was not expecting that and it was brilliant.
I didn’t want to force my bridesmaids to wear something they weren’t comfortable in as they all have totally different styles, so I let them choose. The brief was simple – pastel colours and gold shoes. The mint green bodycon was from Lipsy, the pale blue dress with the lace was from Monsoon and the other dresses were from Asos. The girls all had gypsophila threaded into their hair which was styled by the talented Jessica Faulkner Hair! She also did my hair which I couldn’t have loved more! The girls had smaller versions of my bouquet and wore silver knotted necklaces which Mark and I gave them as gifts.
Jody at Rosy Lea in Wroughton, Wiltshire is a flower goddess! I wanted a bouquet with grasses and wheat and poppy seeds and blue/orange pops of colour. I also asked for flowers for the girls to be smaller version of my bouquet and for a flower headband! She was amazing and the flowers were phenomenal. I couldn’t recommend her more she is so lovely and professional!
Mark and I wanted a cheese tower for our wedding and a cake table. Sadly, there isn’t a professional picture of the cheese tower as it was brought out with the evening food, but it looked and tasted amazing! The cake table was made by my family and friends who all contributed: lemon drizzle, strawberry and lemon, white chocolate, and raspberry unicorn cake (made by the talented Hannah Culley’s Cakes) and vanilla flower ring. The main cake made as a wedding gift was carrot cake and chocolate brownie flavour! For desserts we had chocolate and orange tortes and apple and blackberry crumble with proper custard!
Our photographer Heline Bekker and her assistant were fabulous. Heline gave us a free engagement shoot before the day, so we could get to know each other, and all feel at ease on the wedding day. She is lovely and funny and really made us feel relaxed! We are so pleased with the photos and she captured all the special moments of our day exactly as we had hoped for!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
We wanted a lot of homemade pieces for the wedding, so we did all the barn flowers ourselves in he run up to the day. These were bought from supermarkets and picked from my aunt’s garden! We made the table plan and timings from old palettes and the table numbers were places Mark and I have visited on our travels. We wanted romantic fairy lights in the barn and the bar. We also put up bunting, had lanterns and logs on each table and our friends each made different pieces such as the bucket list log, heart paper chains and tins!
We went to Ermones in Corfu and has an amazingly relaxed holiday. I’m at uni so we couldn’t do our dream honeymoon in 10 days, so we are planning that for when I qualify!
Walking down the stairs in my dress at mum’s house, seeing Mark at the end of the aisle in the church, the car ride just the two of us to the barn, the amazing speeches and the first dance! It was all so amazing and we both loved every single second!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
Do what you want on your day and don’t let others try to put you off. If you have a vision, go with it. Think about what you want before you start using Pinterest! Be realistic with your budget and if you can make it then do! Ask for help from family and friends. And most importantly relax and enjoy it – don’t sweat the small stuff as it really doesn’t matter. Honestly you won’t notice the little things as you will be in a big surreal bubble of happiness!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Wick Bottom Barn
Sottero and Midgley
What a party! So many meaningful and special moments too.
Thanks ever so much to Tasha and Mark for sharing their real wedding story with us xo Lou