TNWC Real Brides: Nik’s been busy on the farm doing DIY projects with only a few weeks until her wedding day


Izzy Burton illustration

Just like TNWC Real Bride Emma last week, Nik has only a few weeks to go until her wedding. Her and Mr-to-be Chris have been busy over the past few months with lots of DIY projects for their coastal farm wedding in Wales, and nothing has changed for this creative duo in these final few weeks before their big day.

Today Nik’s got a fab round-up of what they’ve been up to recently, including a lovely reveal of their beautifully restored VW Beetle, making a wedding swing, and some ‘before’ pictures of the barn that will host their wedding reception.

Over to Nik…

Sea view

The farm is abuzz with life at the moment – not only have the flowers and trees begun to burst forth with summer colour to brighten the place up, but we too are frantically whizzing around doing odd jobs, trimming and pruning, clearing and tidying and generally making preparations for our wedding day on the 11th July.

There’s been so much going on it’s impossible for me to pick just one topic to write about this month, so I thought I’d share a few of the projects we’ve been getting on with.

Reg Returns!

One of the most exciting parts of our wedding day is the fact that Reginald, our vintage VW Beetle, gets to act as wedding car.

Chris has owned him for over 10 years (longer than he’s known me!).  One of my earliest memories of Chris is seeing him get out of Reg in a car park and thinking ‘ooh, nice car…hang on… nice owner!’  Unfortunately, when we first got engaged, Reg was rather looking his age after a few years in a damp garage and was in desperate need of a Gok Wan style makeover.

VW Beetle pre restoration

We sent him off to the paint shop for some TLC and he has come back looking pretty fabulous indeed!

'Reg' the VW Beetle restored ready to be a wedding car

I’m so looking forward to cruising down the winding lanes towards the sea after our ceremony, with tin cans rattling behind us and our ‘Just Married’ sign in the window!

Swing Me A Little Bit Higher…

To prepare the farm for the wedding, we’ve undertaken some quite large-scale projects, one of which was the renovation of a small area of woodland, where we’ve planted a whole heap of bulbs and wildflowers and created a trail of stones that our guests will walk along to get to the lakeside ceremony area.

Naturally, as soon as I saw a sideways-facing branch on one of the trees my immediate thought was ‘swing!’  I’m very fond of tree swings, I think they take me back to my childhood a little, and always remind me of the one in The Secret Garden – one of my favourite childhood films.  We don’t have many children coming to the wedding, but I think it’s secretly for the grown-ups anyway…

Making a wedding swing

Chris made the seat using a piece of salvaged oak from a farm building that had been demolished a number of years ago (clearing the remains of which was another project we’ve undertaken this year!) and Russell at Ropes Direct made us a custom set of hemp swing ropes (you know, with the split into two at the bottom and a handy loop for attaching it to the tree?).  I had the very important job of ‘quality control manager’:

Testing out the homemade wedding swing

A Fussy Groom

We finally got Chris sorted with his wedding outfit this month – he had already chosen his DC shorts, but we were lacking his desired flip-flops and shirt (yes, he is wearing shorts and flip-flops… I know, I know).

The flip-flops proved easy enough to sort, but boy-oh-boy, did he make a meal out of choosing a shirt!!  Honestly, choosing my wedding dress was a far easier task.  We wanted to find a white shirt, but I was under strict instruction that it had to be a) long-sleeved b) a tailored fit c) not ‘nipply’ i.e. not so thin you can see through it – Chris’s choice of word, not mine! d) not ‘school shirty’.

Finally, after much searching, we found ‘the one’, although only after careful negotiation on my part and a promise that I would change all the buttons on it.  So, that’s what I spent an evening doing, here’s the finished result:

Changing buttons on a shirt

Welcome To Our Wedding!

Many of our wedding guests will be visiting our home on the farm for the first time, and it can be a little tricky to find in its tucked-away position, so we wanted to make a nice big sign to put at the roadside.  I also wanted a sign to cover up a hideous ‘OVERNIGHT PARKING PROHIBITED’ notice at our reception venue, so we figured we would kill two birds with one stone.

We painted a piece of MDF with a black tester pot of paint (two coats did the job) to give a chalkboard effect.  Chris knocked up a bit of a design on the computer, which we printed out backwards and used the ye olde fashioned technique of pencil rubbing to transfer the design to our board.

Making a wedding sign

We then used white acrylic to paint out the design.  I am completely useless with a paint brush, so Chris took responsibility for all the fine details and I coloured in the big bits!!  It isn’t quite finished yet, but it’s coming on nicely.

Painting wedding signs

Quality Time

After my minor wobble last month around solo wedding planning, I feel a lot better now that things are starting to come together.  It has been really nice to spend time with Chris this month doing the little DIY projects that needed doing, and spending our evenings strolling around the farm admiring our hard work so far and discussing the little details, like where we are going to put the confetti stand, who will sit where and how we are going to decorate the tree that we will marry beneath.

I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into dressing the farm with Chris and my mum in the week before the wedding – I’m hopeful it will be a real transformation!  I’ll leave you with a few snaps of the barn as it is now, so that later you can see the full effect of the changes we made for the day!

Farm barn before wedding decorations

Farm barn before wedding decorations

I can’t wait to see this barn all dressed up for Nik and Chris’s wedding!  Plus, I’m holidaying in Wales around their wedding date and hope to meet up with them both post-wedding for a pizza at the Pizza Tipi in Cardigan.  Fingers-crossed it will be possible and I’ll get to hear all about their fabulous day.

Images: (1) Illustration by Izzy Burton; (2 – 10) Brides own pictures


emma on 1. July, 2013

Ahhhhh I love it Nik! Cannot wait to see your photos! xx

hitched | Little House In Town on 18. July, 2013

[…] DIY wedding swing, wedding sign and last minute preps! […]

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