A homemade wedding!
Updated: Apr 18, 2020
I never planned out my dream wedding when I was little - I didn't have scrapbooks filled with ideas of what my perfect day would be, never collected pictures of what THE dress might look like, and I didn't have an ultimate venue in mind.
That is not a lot to go on...
But I did know I wanted to marry Ian, and preferably look nice when I did it. We had a year to plan our wedding, and started by thinking of the things we love: family, home, and the countryside. So we decided to get married at home, in the countryside, with our family! (We don't like to overcomplicate things),
My mum and dad agreed to let us use their farm as our venue, so we (with not a small amount of help from our families) set about making it fit for a wedding - clearing the barns, adding electricity, levelling the floors and paddock, grass planting... there was a lot.
Our dog Lucy very much enjoyed all proceedings - she would go round each person for potential strokes and snacks, which I don't think she was ever denied.
We designated her our Dog of Honour! A role at which she excelled.
We managed to produce an enormous quantity of embellished jam jars to use as centrepieces for our tables - we wanted to keep with the rustic, country farm theme, using hessian and lace. They were really easy to make and a lot of fun. Although we did end up with a lot of glue basically everywhere for a few days.
They were extremely Pinterest worthy and I loved them!
Equally as Pinterest worthy (but on a slightly bigger scale) was the bale pyramid Ian created! I had seen a picture on Pinterest where a couple of bales had been pushed together to make a backdrop for wedding photos, and I thought this was such a cute idea. Ian used a few more than a couple of bales...
It really looked amazing! And huge! The bales were leant to us from local farms, and Ian used a mixture of sizes to create a step effect so that our guests would easily be able to climb up for pictures.
Again Lucy very much enjoyed this piece of art, although it was a little alarming when she climbed to the top one day and then launched herself off it! We watched her closely when she went near it after that.
One thing I really wanted for our wedding, was for our guests to not get bored! So we collected a range of games and activities for them to do, like a Photo Booth station, giant Jenga, and Hook a Duck.
My mum spent weeks (probably into months) sewing bunting for us! We hung these round the barns - both inside and out. Our neighbours also donated some, and we ended up with a myriad of colours and patterns that was just perfect for our rustic, homemade theme.
Alongside the bunting we also hired a local company to string up a small tonne of fairy lights and drop lights. Mixed with the bunting, the effect was really quite magical, especially when the old barn doors were opened - for the first time in many years.
Ian JUST made it to our wedding rehearsal. (He was working late, and didn't think we would be able to get there, but he burst in at the last minute in a very romantic way).
I think that was probably the first time it felt like we were actually going to be married soon!
We didn't have a florist for our wedding. Instead I ordered a huge bunch of Gypsophila which we mixed with wildflowers from the farm where Ian works which we were able to go and pick ourselves! (With permission).
From these we were able to make our centrepieces, and bouquets for my bridesmaids and flower girl - I also had enough to made corsages for my mum and dad.
The night before our wedding we kept with tradition and stayed apart, staying at our respective parents,
All that week I had been so worried about the weather, but I woke up to bright sunshine!
I had my hair simply curled for the day (I say simply, I can never get my hair to curl like that, but my hairdresser made it seem very easy), and I wore a circlet of dried flowers to match my bouquet.
We got married in Ian's home village church, and I travelled there from the farm with my bridal entourage (including Lucy) in landcover convoy which did turn a few heads on the way.
I wasn't really nervous until I was walking into the church. Then for about five minutes I was petrified.
But as I walked down the aisle towards Ian it dropped away. The ceremony felt like a bit like some sort of surreal dream!
We walked outside to bright sunshine.. for about 5 minutes until the rain came and we ran for the cars!
It was just enough time for a few pictures and for our guests to make it out of the church in time to shower us with confetti.
We headed back to the farm to welcome our guests. It was only a 10 minute drive, but by the time we got there the sun had returned!
Our niece and flower girl did all of our signs for us on painted pallets Ian collected. They looked so perfect.
Now time for more pictures...
Ian's bale pyramid worked so well! It was such a fun way to do all our group photographs - it meant all our guests could be involved, and watching people clamber up the bales was entertainment in itself.
Again we had just enough time to get all our photos in, and then the sky started to change colour again. We made our way down to the next church (yes we had two churches), that was just down the road from the farm. We walked in procession with all our guests and got inside right before the heavens opened!
Here our new marriage was blessed in my home village, where we had just bought our first house.
The blessing was only short, but it was so lovely to see all the villagers there to welcome us, and it was such a special thing.
This time we walked down the aisle together with Lucy!
When the blessing was over, the rain had miraculously stopped again - the weather was so strange that day! It actually stayed sunny then for the rest of the day, right into the evening.
We had a little time now where we had more pictures while our guests played games and waited for food.
Then we headed back to the farm to welcome our guests into the barn for the afternoon tea we had planned. Until this point we had kept the barn doors closed so we could surprise everyone with it's makeover - Ian and I entered the barn from the opposite side to our guests so we could push open the huge doors from inside.
The barn looked so beautiful. It was like a fairytale, Alice in Wonderland tea party with all the teapots and cakes!
My auntie made us the most amazing wedding cake! It was made in the image of a pile of log slabs, with our initials carved into one of the layers. It just looked incredible!
We hadn't been able to pick just one flavour, so each layer was different!
The topper I chose was the only non-edible part - this we had made out of wood so we could have as a keepsake (it even had a little wooden Lucy!).
We had a tablet one side with our guestbook - we had both a traditional book for people to write in, and a frame for people to sign a wooden heart which they could then drop in.
We also had a date jar where people could put their suggestions for dates for us!
After the tea there was more time for games in the paddock over pimms!
Ian and I had also were able to have some time now just for us - the day was going so fast! It was so nice to be able to just sit for a short time and take everything in.
As the evening drew closer we lit the fire pit Ian's dad had built for us! And as our evening guests arrived they could gather round it with their drinks and food - there was lot of food at our wedding.
Then it was time for our first dance! My parents had organised a Ceilidh band to come and be our evening entertainment, and they also did the music for our dance. We actually had two first dances in the end - one just on our own, and then a Romanian dance where you pull in guests to join the dance one by one.
All our guests could then join us with some traditional Ceilidh dancing. It was so much fun and it didn't matter what age you were, everyone could join in.
Next we moved everyone outside again and I thew my bouquet!
After a small friendly tackle, my youngest sister eventually took possession of it!
We spent the rest of the evening trying to make sure we spent time with all of our guests! We didn't realise we knew so many people!
Originally we had planned to leave around 9pm but it didn't end up being until after midnight!
More food was served - in the evening we had hot rolls and chips, more cake, and a large amount of fruit and cheese! I don't think anyone went hungry...
I'm not sure how it happened, because I definitely didn't feel that organised - especially as in the months leading up to our wedding, people kept asking me if I had sorted out various thing I hadn't even thought about - but it was the most perfect day. I think I married a Disney prince - except one that swears more.
Our wedding also featured in the Newark Advertiser and Bride Magazine.
Follow the link below to read the full feature in the Newark Advertiser:
Follow the link below to read the full feature in Bride Magazine: