If you’re having a stressful day today, I think this real wedding will totally relax you! Hannah and Steve wed on the 26th August 2017 at Abbey Home Farm; an organic farm shop and eco venue in Gloucestershire. Everything about the day was natural and stress free, demonstrating that you don’t need to focus too much on small details when the setting is as beautiful as this. Our pair had just the most special woodland ceremony surrounded by all their family and friends.
Hannah and Steve were happy to leave nearly everything to the venue, including the flowers, cake and the menu. It paid off in a big way and as they explain, it removed a huge amount of stress from the day not having to worry about all those decisions! There are some really beautiful details, the hand painted map is just exquisite and isn’t the table plan just gorgeous?
Hannah’s beautiful vintage dress is flowing and non-restrictive, in keeping with the vibe of their day. I absolutely love her yellow dip dyed underskirt, which is both subtle and unique. Such a sweet touch that her father had a pocket square dyed to match!
Ed Godden has produced wonderfully natural photography for such a natural wedding day. Thank you so much for sharing with us Ed.
THE PROPOSAL | Steve proposed on the leap day in 2016 on the ridgeway, an ancient footpath that we’re lucky enough to drive over every day on the way home from work. We both love the outdoors and the deep sense of history in the Wiltshire landscape where we live, so it was the perfect place for us and now means we have a direct connection between the landscape and our relationship. It was also on a Monday evening so definitely retained the element of surprise!
Steve proposed with a small silver acorn pendant, and we ended up saying our vows surrounded by young oak trees.
THE VISION | We wanted a wedding that reflected our interests and passions, and to be in a place where our guests would feel comfortable and relaxed.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Our wonderful venue Abbey Home Farm (The Organic Farm Shop) did most of the leg work so there was little to plan in terms of the big things. They have a fantastic ethos and offer everything from the ceremony and the party to the food and the flowers. Everything comes from their organic garden, so there’s no tastings or choices to agonise over, you just get what has grown! We had lunch in their café when we first visited them so we knew the food would be incredible. The staff are so friendly and relaxed we felt happy to trust them to do a beautiful job on the day and we weren’t disappointed.
Other than that there were many spreadsheets keeping track of the to do list and lots of fun with Pinterest to work out some small decorative touches. Making the playlist for the dancing was probably the most time-consuming part and became a massive obsession!
THE VENUE | As above! We were lucky enough with the weather to be able to have our ceremony in the woodland that joins onto the farm, in a little tin hut in front of a big clearing. Most people had to stand but our friends and family got well into the spirit and there were lots of beautiful wellies and picnic blankets on display! We wanted to spend as much time on the day outdoors as possible enjoying the beautiful wood so we had canapés and prosecco in a stone circle afterwards.
The reception space at Abbey Home Farm is a beautiful room with large beams and distinctive touches of Indian furniture and decoration. We kept the lovely wooden tables simply dressed with stone bowls and floating candles in the centre, and popped up a bit of bunting for good measure. There is also space attached to the reception room, which includes nine rooms and a large communal kitchen and lounge. It was perfect that our immediate family and closest friends were able to stay before and after the wedding, and spend some time relaxing together. There was even space for an impromptu yoga session on the lawn the morning of the wedding!
We stayed on the farm for a mini-moon a few nights after the wedding in a hut by a pond with no electricity or running water for a really natural, off-grid experience! The weather was glorious and we had a blissful long weekend absorbing the memories of the day and opening piles of cards and presents!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Hannah bought her dress from Heartfelt Vintage in Bristol and it is an original 1940s Nottingham lace full-length, full-sleeved beauty! The dress felt ethereal and special while being completely comfortable (no restrictive corsetry!).
Pia, the seamstress who works with Heartfelt Vintage, did an amazing job transforming the dress not only to fit but to incorporate an underskirt with bright yellow dip dye, something Hannah knew she wanted to incorporate into the dress from the beginning of her search.
Kate and Pia at Heartfelt Vintage really matched our attitude to the whole process – we wanted to enjoy it without pressure to spend over the odds or putting too much importance on any single element of the day – and they were a complete pleasure to spend time with during the process.
The dip-dyed effect was created by Fatima at Traditional Dye Works, contacted originally through Etsy and was a bit of a team effort! Pia made the natural silk skirt, which we sent to Fatima who hand dyed it, before sending it back to be sewn into the dress! Fatima completely understood what Hannah had in mind, and did such a beautiful job. She also dyed a pocket square to match for Hannah’s dad to wear.
Hannah made her own flower crown from silk flowers and twine (and loads of glue!), and wore her mother’s pearl necklace.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Steve’s suit was custom made by Vincent Bespoke Tailors, Marlborough, Wiltshire . The plan was to have a classic summer suit, but not overly formal, that would match the mood of the day. A light grey suit was perfect as it allowed flexibility with the shirt and tie combinations whilst fitting perfectly with the season. Vincent was fantastic from start to finish. He was a real help when going through the samples and was able to provide useful insights into what would, and what wouldn’t, work with the suit design. He was quick and efficient and there was never any doubt the suit would be ready in plenty of time for the big day. It was also a pleasure to work with a local designer who’s a real part of our community.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose two poems for our readings, The Ring (from The Marriage of Psyche) by Kathleen Raine and Rib Enough by Arundhathi Subramaniam that were read beautifully by Steve’s sister and our friend Bianca. We had a local Gloucestershire folk musician Jeff Gillett play as Hannah walked in and while we had canapés. Our first dance was to Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | We didn’t have any bridesmaids. Hannah’s best friend Rachel co-ordinated with the yellow on her dress and wore a beautiful yellow silk dress of her own.
THE FLOWERS | Abbey Home Farm made Hannah’s bouquet, the button holes and corsages for the wedding party, as well as beautiful displays for the dining room all with flowers freshly cut from their garden the morning of the wedding. The bouquet included dahlias and zinnias, and the button holes had little crab apples in them – some of the displays had whole branches of miniature apples among the foliage!
THE CAKE | Abbey Home Farm made a beautiful simple sponge cake with cream and fresh raspberries, all decorated with more of their lovely flowers.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We chose Ed after scouring the internet for a photographer with a distinctive style, someone who captured lots of natural settings and didn’t focus on large numbers of posed shots. Ed’s pictures are so beautiful that once we’d come across his blog we agreed immediately we wanted him to be our photographer! We had a Skype conversation before the day, which confirmed that Ed’s relaxed attitude matched ours really well, and when we met him it seemed like we’d known him for ages! And of course we couldn’t be happier with the results, he captured so many beautiful moments, and managed to get a lovely picture of every single guest.
THE HONEYMOON | We went trekking in Nepal a couple of months after the wedding. We wanted to do something that would challenge us physically, give us the chance to experience a different culture and bring us closer together. It wasn’t romantic in the traditional sense but it was a wonderful experience to share and the perfect way to start married life!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Hannah is part of an a cappella choir, and they sang a few songs together in the woods which was a highlight.
Our ceremony was also very memorable. We wrote our own vows, and our registrar was a wonderful lady who really embraced the spirit of the day and made us feel very special.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Every couple is different so it’s difficult to give advice, but we’re glad we didn’t spend too much time and money on decorations and small details that ultimately no one notices. We wanted to focus on the reasons we were getting married rather than getting bogged down in the minutiae of place settings and centrepieces. The words that were spoken and the music were really important to us, so we spent a lot of time deciding what would reflect how we felt about each other and what we wanted our marriage to be. Also if you can find a venue that shares your taste and vision and you’re happy to let them make a lot of decisions definitely go for it, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Ed Godden
Venue | Abbey Home Farm
Groom’s Suit | Vincent Bespoke Tailors
What an amazing venue and what a genuine, personal day you had. Thank you for sharing everything with us Hannah and Steve! Rachel x