Emma and Matt’s pretty May wedding in a field with giant tipis, fete inspired games and a vegetarian feast
Pretty May wedding in a field
It might not yet be May, but by the end of the week it will be, and my favourite month of all (I am biased because it contains both mine and my Mr’s birthdays plus our wedding anniversary!).
So I want to kick-off May today with the beautiful laidback fete-esque spring wedding of Emma and Matt. It is full of understated soft floral colours with pops of brightness here and there – from the funky orange VW Campervan to the groom’s colourful leaf buttonholes. See what you think!
Over to Emma to tell you about their pretty May wedding with beautiful photography from TNWC recommended supplier Hannah Beatrice…
Emma and Matt got married in May last year and chose a church ceremony at St Patrick’s Church in Earlswood where Emma was baptised. The reception was at Mousley House Farm, “We were keen to have an outdoors reception and found the perfect space at Mousley House Farm, where we were given use of their beautifully spacious field. We had a fantastic reception in kata tents that had been put up and tended to by the team at PapaKåta.”
The morning of the wedding was a bit of relief for such a busy bride like Emma: “I could finally relax! The two days prior to the wedding (not mentioning the months running up to it) were spent getting the tents set up, taking deliveries of cutlery, wine, getting the bar set up and having our church rehearsal.
“On the morning of the wedding Matt’s sister took charge and did a wonderful job of making sure the tents were still standing, the cake was set up and decorated and flowers were still in place. I had a lovely morning drinking tea and faffing around with my mum and the bridesmaids.”
Emma was rather lucky with finding a wedding dress, and only had to visit one shop to find the perfect dress. “It was the first one I tried on! I wanted a dress that was made using ethically-sourced fabrics and didn’t want to spend an absolute fortune; after a good hunt online I came across Minna, a beautiful studio which was handily situated a mere twenty minutes from my house.
I fell in love with the picture of my dress on their website so it was the first I tried on when I visited the studio a couple of weeks later. Very lucky indeed!”
“I had thought that I wanted a veil, so at my final fitting two weeks prior to the wedding I tried a few veils on, but none of them really did it for me. Sofia at Minna offered to create a hairpiece using the lace from my dress; I had no idea what sort of thing I was after but they did an amazing job. It was ready to collect when I went to pick up my dress a few days before the wedding.
I also wore a necklace on the day borrowed from my Mum (that my Gran had given her the morning of her wedding) and a charm bracelet from Pandora, also from my Mum.”
“The bridesmaids wore their own creations. All of my bridesmaids are fantastically creative and I didn’t want to throw them all in standard-issue matching silk dresses…I had asked them to aim for something floral and mid-length but other than that I gave no directions, and they all looked amazing.”
I love that the bridesmaids all wore cowboy boots, “They stumbled across the idea of wearing cowboy boots for the reception, which I think looked brill.”
“Matt got his suit sorted two tiny weeks before the wedding! Jammy. His suit was from Reiss, tie was M&S, Shoes from Kurt Geiger (chosen because of their dapper neon orange strip around the sole).”
“We’d had the idea to do something a bit ‘different’ for buttonholes; I had hoped to make some but ran out of time, and Matt found the acrylic leaves from ‘I Am Acrylic’ at the Sunday Upmarket in Shoreditch, London. They fitted beautifully with the outdoors feel of the day.”
Aren’t they a fun alternative to floral buttonholes?
“A friend of mine had her wedding last year and recommended a florist in Warwickshire who had done her flowers beautifully and affordably. I made contact with Yvonne from Heaven Scent Flowers over the phone; she was fantastic, very laid back and happy to help out with what we wanted.”
“We were after a variety of cut flowers to arrange in jam jars; we had no idea of ‘palette’ or ‘theme’ but I adore sweet peas and although they weren’t available when we were married, Yvonne supplied us with loads of gorgeous blooms in similar colours.
One of my bridesmaids, Tasha, also home-grew the most beautiful arrangements of roses, peonies and wild flowers which were pride of place on our table at the reception.”
“Our wedding was at St Patricks Church in Earlswood. We had very little to do with the decoration of the church as they have a super Womens Guild who created our arrangements for us.”
Emma wasn’t too keen on walking down the aisle, and was also a little frustrated with her husband-to-be, “I was annoyed that he was looking straight ahead and not at me! It was really exciting, but the walk down the aisle with everyone gawping at me was pretty intense.”
Our ceremony was fab. My sister and Matt’s sister both did readings; one from the Bible and another from a Rudyard Kipling ‘Just So Story’. My good friend Louise sang whilst we signed the registers – I had only asked her a few weeks before the wedding and she sang beautiful renditions of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ and Candi Staton’s ‘You Got The Love’ which were a great personal touch. The pastor from my Church in London gave our talk at the service which made it really special.”
Emma’s only advice on worries about the ceremony is just to relax and enjoy it, “I didn’t enjoy the walk down the aisle too much but after that it was such a precious hour of my life; people get so caught up thinking about the party afterwards it’s important to make the most of the important bit!”
After the ceremony Emma and Matt’s guests all headed of to Mousley House Farm.
“We wanted folks to have plenty of things to do so we threw in a few games for good measure: hula hooping, swingball, fancy dress, frisbee and butternut-squash bowling. All of it went down pretty well, the swingball surprisingly so!”
“We were so lucky with the weather; the day before we’d had 60mph winds and rain but the skies cleared on the day so guests spent a couple of hours kicking back outside before the meal.”
Emma wanted a handmade, colourful reception, “I got onto the pompom making quite early on (Matt was less than thrilled!) and we had masses of bunting kindly donated to the cause from a good friend of Matt’s sister. I love all things handmade and wanted a colourful interior which I think we successfully achieved by the end! It gave me plenty to do over the long winter too, though it looked as though a haberdashery had exploded in my room for a good few months…”
“The flowers were arranged in jars that we had decorated with hessian and raffia, and odd bits of glassware that had been picked up from charity shops. My mum made some amazing additions which doubled up as guests’ party favours; quilted floral drinks coasters and hand-painted pebbles with guests’ names on them.”
I also love their button inspired seating plan, which really emphasises the colourful, handmade feel to the decorations!
“We went for a bit of a gamble meal-wise and decided to go all-out vegetarian; I’m veggie and was keen to try to find a decent caterer who could offer something other than a risotto or mushroom stack.”
“We came across Change Kitchen during an online search and were blown away by the service these guys offered. Birgit who runs the company was super, again very laid back and ‘can do’. We met up with her once and everything else was done over the phone and email; they created an amazing meal for us consisting of canapés on the lawn for starters and beautiful sharing plates for the main course (salads a plenty, wild mushroom lasagne, asparagus and pea tart and beetroot gratin).”
I love that Emma and Matt wanted a vegetarian option that wasn’t the ‘norm’ for a wedding meal, and the sharing plates and canapés give such a nice relaxed feel.
“Instead of having puddings provided by the caterers we set up a bring-and-share and asked guests to contribute a pudding or dessert; we had the most amazing selection of cakes and sweets, including a Sri Lankan ‘love cake’ made with jelly beans – amazing!”
“Friends of ours who are married we’re quick to give us one piece of advice: take regular time outs during the day to go on pause and remove yourselves from the madness. We made sure we regularly took ten minutes away to walk round the field and take it all in, it was the best advice we could have been given.”
In the evening they had a band with dancing and firepits: “Seeing everyone having a good evening dancing to the band or playing frisbee was a real heartwarmer!”
You can’t beat some fancy dress props!
Emma and Matt chose a ‘naked’ Victoria sponge wedding cake decorated with fresh berries and pink roses, and sat on the ever-popular tree trunk cake stand.
“The cake was made by Kerri at Truly Scrumptious in Warwickshire and decorated by Matt’s sister and mum, Katherine and Mo. Greg, a good friend of my mum’s in Pembrokeshire, sourced the wood and prepped it to make our cake stand which is still sitting pretty in our kitchen.”
Emma and Matt chose Hannah Beatrice as their photographer.
“Hannah Beatrice was recommended to me by one of my bridesmaids who had known her when living in Manchester. I checked out her website and really liked her style; we wanted a documentary photograph but with a laid back rather than pretentious approach, and Hannah was fab. We had a quick Skype initially then met for a pre-wedding shoot, which we loved. “
“Hannah was great on the day, very stealthy! Somehow she managed to get photos of all the guests and without needing them to stop and pose. We had some more formal structured family shots but for the most part they were natural and more ad-hoc, just as we’d wanted.”
For inspiration Emma “scoured a lot of blogs for ideas of how to get the handmade look and blogs were particularly useful when deciding whether or not to do the more DIY tent-in-a-field look. We both had some anxieties over an outdoor reception and had certainly never organised anything on this scale before so we’re sure we’d forget some major detail!”
I bought a couple of brides magazines in the early stages but as we didn’t want to spend the ‘average’ £25,000 budget they weren’t useful for very long!”
I think Emma and Matt definitely achieved their relaxed, fete-style celebration, and the day looks absolutely gorgeous and full of fun.
A big thank you to Emma and Matt for sharing their wedding with us, and to photographer Hannah Beatrice for the beautiful photographs.
Photography: Hannah Beatrice Photography (The Natural Wedding Company recommended supplier)
Venue: Mousley House Farm
Tipis: PapaKata (The Natural Wedding Company recommended supplier)
Wedding Dress: Minna (The Natural Wedding Company recommended supplier)
Buttonholes: I Am Acrylic
Caterers: Change Kitchen
Wedding Cake: Truly Scrumptious
VW Campervan: Beetlebugs
Categories: Real Weddings