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Caroline and Gareth’s spring wedding on their farm with a rustic barn reception and pretty homemade details (part one)

Charlie / 10 February 2014

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

I have a super special real wedding to share with you today. For regular readers or those who’ve been following last year’s TNWC Real Brides you probably remember the lovely Caroline who was planning her wedding with a real focus on homemade details and supporting local businesses.

Back in May last year she tied the knot with her Mr-to-be Gareth, on their farm in Nottinghamshire, and today I have the delight of sharing all their official photographs from their beautiful day. Caroline has also shared so much of what went into their day and how it went, I’m sure that many brides-to-be out there will find not only creative inspiration but reassurance ahead of their wedding day.

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Seasonal pastel coloured May flowers – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Vintage button hair comb – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Before I hand over, I want to start with this wonderful quote from Caroline, that I think is so beautifully worded about what your wedding day is really all about:

“At times it was hard work and with the weather not on our side we were really tested (big puddles all over the barn floor after a torrential downpour 2 days before the wedding worried us a little!) but on the day, none of it really matters. You’ll always have the best day ever, surrounded by all the people you love the most and at the end of it all you’ll be Mr and Mrs, and at the beginning of an amazing adventure through life together – and that’s really what its all about.”

Seasonal spring bridesmaids bouquets – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

Over to Caroline to tell you all about her wedding day…

“We knew what we definitely didn’t want was a traditional, formal, wedding day feel to the day and the style was most definitely a handmade, relaxed, informal country wedding and just a jolly good knees up really! We were both bought up in the country, for our second date Gareth bought me a pair of wellies and we took his dogs for a long walk around the farm which I think was pretty much the moment I knew he was ‘the one’, so it seemed quite fitting to have a wedding that gave us a chance to get our wellies on!”

Happily Ever After wedding sign – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Mismatched pastel bridesmaid dresses – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Spring wildflowers – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“I had seen lots of photographs of barn weddings on Pinterest and although most of them were gorgeous ‘built to be a venue’ type barns, not a rough old cowshed, it didn’t put us off! We loved the idea of a vintage inspired, country village fete feel to the day, and that fitted in really well with the informal and relaxed vibe that we wanted, and lets face it, I don’t think you can get much more informal and untraditional than a cowshed!!

We both loved the thought of gathering all our friends and family in the place we love the most, so we decided to have our wedding reception at home on the farm. It also excited us that we would have the freedom to create a wedding venue that was exactly what we wanted.”

Rustic barn wedding venue – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Vintage teapots – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Rustic chocolate cake with berries – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“Most importantly of all, I loved the thought of being able to look out the window every morning and remember our day, and it’s amazing to have all our wedding photos that are so unique to us because they are taken in an environment which is as precious as the wedding itself, our home. We knew from the beginning that we wanted a really relaxed, informal day that was totally a reflection of us and what we love, so it seemed to make perfect sense to get married on the farm.

Having our reception on the farm meant that we could choose exactly what we wanted the venue to look like, what we wanted to eat, and add all the little touches and details that we’d been dreaming up. It also allowed us to create a day that was 100% unique to us, and we loved that about it!

We totally know how lucky we are to have such an awesome space available and although I have to admit that some days the size of the barn and the work we needed to do to transform it seemed a bit daunting, we both had such a clear vision of what it was going to look like, it was never too overwhelming – just a lot of work – but luckily we had an army of friends and family pitching in to help out.”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“On the day itself though, I was really calm, which totally surprised me. I had said all along, that one of the things that was really important to me was to really enjoy the whole build up, and not get stressed or turn into a bridezilla, but I wasn’t quite sure I’d actually follow my own advice but somehow I managed it, and the morning of the wedding was spent with my bridesmaids at a local B&B getting ready.”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“The dress has a bit of a story behind it. When we first got engaged I was determined that I wasn’t going to spend a fortune on a dress that I would only wear once – I was a bit scared of going to a posh dress shop and falling in love with a £5000 wedding dress that I could never afford, but luckily I found a lovely wedding dress in Monsoon that was actually in the sale and that was it, job done.

Or so I thought. (I am known to my friends and family as one of the most indecisive people ever so this next bit wasn’t really a surprise to anyone!).”

Vintage inspired country wedding dress – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“As spring came and the wedding drew a bit nearer, I started wondering if I had made the right decision. Because everything about our wedding was handmade and we had a bit of an eco theme running through it, I began to think that having an ‘off the peg’ wedding dress wasn’t quite right for me.”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Lace backed wedding dress – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“One night I was on my computer drooling over some amazing Jenny Packham dresses, that I knew I could never afford, and I somehow stumbled across an ebay listing for a ‘Jenny Packham Aspen’ style wedding dress. A lady had fallen in love with the style, but like me, couldn’t quite justify the cost so she’d had a replica made for her.”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Lace backed wedding dress – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“I LOVED it as soon as I saw it, and though I know it was a bit of a big gamble (although no where near the price of a ‘proper’ Jenny Packham it was still a bit out of my budget) to buy a dress that you hadn’t seen, and couldn’t even try on I just couldn’t get it out of my head, and after spending a few days emailing the lady selling it to get every measurement possible I just went with my gut and bought it.”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Soft wavy bridal hair – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Vintage inspired lace wedding dress – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“Absolutely the best decision I have ever made (apart from marrying Gareth of course!). Although not quite a perfect fit, my friends mum Val, nipped and tucked it here and there, and it really was my dream wedding dress.

To me, not only was the dress itself absolutely perfect (all day people kept saying to me – ‘your dress is just soooo you Caroline’) but the fact that it had a story of its own, having been worn before fitted in so perfectly with the whole theme of our wedding and it seemed right, as it’s a bit like with my shop, REloved. If something’s got lots of wear left in it, and you’ve loved wearing it, it’s great to be able to pass it on to someone else to re-love too!”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Era inspired wedding dress – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“I found my hair comb at a wedding fair, another last minute find! I had actually finished all my wedding shopping but had gone along with a friend who was planning her wedding for Christmas and saw it and couldn’t not buy it – it was so perfect and so pretty! It was made by Bennett and Bates, and I’m definitely going to have to find lots of occasions to wear it again!”

Vintage lace and button hair comb – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“The shoes were from a designer called Irregular Choice, I found them on a shopping trip with my mum one day, and it was funny as we’d just bought her wedding shoes which cost about twice as much as mine! I love love love my shoes though, and they even had blue soles so ticked off the ‘something blue’ from my list.”

Wedding shoes – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“I had six bridesmaids, all my best girls from school days (except Laura F who I met at university) and we didn’t really have a colour palette for them. My niece Grace, was a flower girl too, and I think she spent the day charming everyone!

The most important thing for me, was that they all felt comfortable and beautiful, so I left it up to them to choose their dresses. Most of the dresses were bought new for the day, but a couple were borrowed or were dresses the girls owned already, but they hadn’t all been together until the morning of the wedding day, so it was pretty amazing how much they all just worked together! The soft pastel theme for the whole day just sort of evolved as the planning went on.”

Mismatched pastel bridesmaid dresses and flowers – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

Mismatched pastel bridesmaid dresses – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

“For a gift I had made each of the girls a clutch bag using some beautiful old floral vintage fabric (with the help of Val again) and filled each with essentials for the day. Some lip balm, tissues, a plaster and some mints. I had also had a pearl bracelet made for each of them, with a tiny bird charm and of course there’s a story behind that too!

Not long after I had opened the shop we’d had a particularly good day, and after work I had gone to a craft fair at a local café. I saw and fell in love with a pretty pearl bracelet with a tiny bird charm on and decided to buy it to remind myself on the days when the shop hadn’t been busy and I was having a bit of a ‘oh no!’ panic moment, that the ups and downs are all part it, and good days will always follow bad. I managed to track the lady down to make the girls bracelets and told them all the story so they each have their own little talisman.”

Mismatched pastel bridesmaid dresses – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

Elegant lace vintage inspired wedding dress – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

“By the time Alfie, the campervan arrived (loaned and chaffered by my sister in laws brother in law!) we were all ready and couldn’t wait to get going. Somehow we managed to squeeze all eight of us in there, and one my favourite photos from the wedding day is of the girls in the back of Alfie laughing at something.”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Vintage country bride with spring flowers – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

Wedding campervan – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Seasonal spring bridesmaids bouquets – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

“Gareth wore a really beautiful navy suit from TWLewinn, with a pink checked shirt and a navy spot tie. We decided that morning suits would have been a bit formal, and of course, as with everything else, the suit has lots more wear again opportunity. Last year was a crazy year of weddings (8 in total including our own!) so he’s definitely got his moneys worth already.

His best men were two of his oldest friends who grew up on the same street as him, so as you can imagine they had plenty of stories to tell of him growing up. He wore a pair of cufflinks that I had bought him as a wedding gift from ebay that had the wedding date on one cufflink and ‘best day ever’ on the other one.”

Groomsmen – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“Our flowers came from three different places. Catkin flowers put together our bouquets, and provided loose flowers from her cutting garden that we arranged into lots of enamel jugs and mason jars that Rachel very kindly also lent. Again, we knew we wanted informal, country garden wildflowers so as soon as I found Rachel through The Natural Wedding Company and realised she was just up the road from us, I knew they’d be perfect.”

Spring country garden bouquet – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

Spring country garden bouquet – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

Lace hankerchief wrapped around bouquet – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

“Then about two weeks before the wedding I heard about a new English flower cutting garden – Flower Pod – that was being set up in a neighbouring town, to help raise funds for a local charity, The Southwell Care Project. The rest of  the flowers for the tables and jam jars came from Flowerpod, and it was lovely to know we were supporting a local charity too.”

May bridal bouquet – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

Wildflowers and lace – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Lilac and peach seasonal bridal bouquet – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/ - flowers http://www.catkinflowers.co.uk/

“Finally, all the dried flowers that we used at the church, and lots of the greenery came from a friend in the next village along who has a small wildflower meadow.

Our ceremony was held in our local village church, in Caunton. We had such a lovely day the day before the wedding decorating the pew ends with bows tied from hessian strips and vintage lace from a local antique centre, with dried wildflowers and cow parsley tucked in.  We also borrowed a couple of vintage milk churns from a friend that we filled with dried larkspur at the entrance of the church.”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

May wildflower pew ends – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Handmade order of service – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“My amazing neighbour Michelle somehow managed to not only get herself and her two little ones ready on the day, but she also somehow found the time to decorate the arch to the church with a beautiful wreath of ivy and fresh wildflowers.”

Country flower pew ends with lace – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Mismatched bridesmaids in pastel colours – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“She also made a special early morning trip to the churchyard to stencil hearts (with flour, not spray paint – we nearly gave the church warden a heart attack!)) all the way up the path. It was such a special touch, and looked so pretty leading up to the church.”

Flour hearts – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“Other than that we kept it pretty simple, we had jam jars that we had decorated dotted around the church with tea lights in, and just two huge enamel jugs at the front of the church with masses of cow parsley in which we gathered from the hedgerows the day before.”

Country church wedding flowers and candles – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Milk churn with country flowers – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“When I first saw Gareth I still didn’t have the nerves I’d been waiting for but was just super excited. I think his face matched mine and we both just had huge grins on our faces that, looking back at our video, we had the whole way through the ceremony!”

Country church wedding flowers – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Country church wedding decorations – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“The ceremony was beautiful, we had two readings. The Bible reading was read by my Godfather Michael, and then Gareth’s brother read a poem that his grandmother had written many years ago.”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“Our church didn’t have its own vicar at the time so the vicar from my family church in a nearby village, conducted the service for is. It was really special as I knew her anyway, and we had undertaken the marriage preparation course with her for a couple of months, so the ceremony was really personal to us.”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

English country style lace wedding dress – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Don’t these two look like film stars! I love how Caroline’s dress looks in these two pictures, so elegant and feminine with just a pinch of vintage glamour.

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

English country style lace wedding dress – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“My only piece of advice would be – don’t worry!! I have always been petrified at the thought of walking down the aisle and everyone turning around to look at me, but on the day, you genuinely feel so happy, so loved and so excited about it all that I promise, you don’t even think about anyone else in the room apart from your almost husband!”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Jam jar of spring flowers – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Country bride – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

“After the ceremony, we all headed out into the church yard where there was an ice cream van from our local ice cream parlour waiting to keep everyone happy with a scoop or two.  Although it wasn’t the warmest of May days it didn’t put anyone off and it made for some really special photographs, especially of some of the little ones that were part of our day.”

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Wedding ice cream van – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Wedding ice cream van – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Some of my favourite moments of a bride and groom are those photographs that capture them shortly after their wedding ceremony. It’s a moment I remember dearly from my own wedding, just a moment for the two of you, alone, whilst it all just starts to sink in.

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Then it was off in Alfie the VW Campervan back to their farm for their wedding reception.

Hessian 'Just Married' bunting – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

Tomorrow on the blog we’ll have part two of Caroline and Gareth’s farm wedding, and I just know that you’re going to be inspired by the way they decorated what is for the most part of the year, a working cow barn. I’m talking pom poms hanging from the rafters, hay bale seating, a vintage hankerchief table plan, jugs of spring flowers, and much much more!

Caroline and Gareth’s homemade farm wedding – photography http://www.milestones-photography.co.uk/

{ Details }

Photography: Milestones Photography
Venue: Bride and groom’s farm
Wedding Dress: via Ebay, then customised
Flowers: Catkin and Flowerpod
Make-up: Makeup by ALW
Styling & Vintage Hire: Darby & Joan
Ceildh Band: The James Joyce Band
Campervan: Alfie’s VW Camper Wedding Hire
Wedding Video: Digi-Scope Productions

Comments

goodbye16 on 10. February, 2014

can I have your dress please? and your shoes? x

sarah on 10. February, 2014

What a beautiful wedding! And that dress is stunning – a real inspiration to brides who don’t want to spend crazy money on a designer dress. Thanks for sharing this, Caroline!

Julie Annis - Hollyhock Lane on 13. February, 2014

What a lovely wedding. The flowers are so beautiful! I particularly like the colours.

Boho's Best Bit's - W/C 10th February - Boho Weddings™ on 16. February, 2014

[…] Farm Wedding (PART 1) and (PART 2)  – From the Natural Wedding […]

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