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Fern and Dominic’s woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset village

Charlie

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

This beautiful summer woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding is a delight to share, not only because it’s full of lovely details that will undoubtedly inspire many of our brides, but also because it’s the wedding of one last years TNWC Real Brides, Fern (find all her blog posts here).

Fern and Dominic planned a natural down-to-earth wedding in their home village Montacute in Somerset. This idyllic rural village provided a pretty backdrop against which they celebrated their marriage, and wove into their wedding day some of the things they love most – woodland birds and country garden blooms. Over to Fern to share her wedding day…

Fern + Dominic, August 2015

Our wonderful August wedding was everything that we had hoped for. It was really important to us right from the beginning for our day to be really welcoming, intimate occasion to share with our family. We had a very small wedding party with only one bridesmaid, best man and one usher, but this was right for us. Lots of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed the relaxed family atmosphere.

Woodland and country flower wedding table centres // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Gypsophila and pink rose wedding hair flowers // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Floral wedding napkins with bird pin wedding favours // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Country garden flowers and herbs // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Bridal Preparations

My wedding day began at about 5am, with final catering preparations, frosting violas and preparing scones, for our afternoon reception at Montacute house, assisted (being a slightly loose term here) by my nearly two year old son. I didn’t start feeling like “the bride” until about 10am when I could finally sit down and have my breakfast, hair in curlers.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Hair Flowers

My hairdresser Veronica did a wonderful job pampering my sister, mum and myself. We could finally relax and just enjoy the excitement. I really wanted to have fresh flowers in mine and my sister’s hair. Natasha’s hair was adorned with gypsophila and mine with gypsophila and small blush pink roses. I did try a veil when dress shopping, but it just didn’t feel right for me.

Gypsophila and pink rose wedding hair flowers // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Gypsophila wedding hair flowers // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

I did my own makeup, because I usually don’t wear any in day to day life and I was worried about feeling over done, and not being myself on the day. I went to a few trials with Estée Lauder counters in Yeovil and Exeter, and felt really happy with the products.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Natasha’s bridesmaids dress was one of the first things we bought for the wedding. I found it online from Marks and Spencer. I love the colour and feel of the fabric and it looked fantastic on. She chose her own ivory shoes to compliment her hair flowers.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Laurence’s outfit I also found at Marks and Spencer, he wore a navy linen waistcoat and trousers with a linen shirt. I made him a little pocket handkerchief, to match the groomsman, and I also made him a bow tie but he wouldn’t wear it on the day.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Finding My Wedding Dress

Any mum will tell you how difficult it is to clothes shop with a toddler, but wedding dress shopping is a whole new challenge. I only really managed because I took my whole family with me. My Mum, Dad, Natasha and my friend Marie, all helping to provided entertainment for my son in turn, so all had chance to give their opinions while I tried on dresses. We all did the same again later at my dress fittings.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

My dress was by Phil Collins bridal, and really stood out on the hanger for its beautiful soft gold colour. When I tried it on it felt “right”and made me feel like I wanted to for my wedding day. I had my dress altered and had the straps added. I had to purchase extra fabric, but the seamstress was able to cut patterns from to lace taken off the bottom of the dress when it was shortened and appliqué them to the straps. She also added beading to match the bodice of the dress. I was so delighted with how they turn out and it’s wonderful to know my dress is unique for me.

Country bride with roses in her hair // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

I decided to go for a coloured shoe as my dress was not white. These were yet another find from Marks and Spencer in a light pink colour, a low heal and under £30. They were also really comfortable as well, and I had no trouble wearing them all day.

Light pink wedding shoes // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

The necklace I wore was a teardrop pearl pendant which was given to me by my late grandmother, drop pearl earrings and two bracelets. One bought for me by my now husband when I was pregnant with our son, a freshwater pearl with a bee charm. The second I bought from Joma jewellery, silver chain with a blue topaz stone as my something blue.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Pre-Ceremony Drinks

I was really keen to have Dominic photographed as well before the ceremony so we scheduled in some pre-ceremony drinks at the pub next to the church. I love these photos and it was great so many members of Dominic’s family were there as well to share it with him.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Dom’s suit in dark blue, was from Racing Green and we hired dusky pink ties from a local supplier for the groomsmen and my dad. Sam the best man and Adam, Dom’s usher, wore their own suits. I made floral pocket handkerchiefs for all the groomsmen.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Floral groomsmen pocket square // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Herb Buttonholes

The night before the wedding day, my dad and I made the buttonholes for all the family members. We used rosemary, lavender, thyme and astrantia flowers. I really wanted a delicate look for the buttonholes with a mixture of textures, so was keen to do them myself. All of the herbs were from our garden and we kept back some astrantia from the flowers we ordered.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Wedding Ceremony

I originally intended to walk to the church for the ceremony as we live so close however the car we hired was for enough time that we decided to drive everywhere on the day.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Country bride with bridesmaid in pink // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Montacute church // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Country wedding bride in vintage car // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

The church in Montacute is a really landmark, in the centre of the village but backing onto open fields as well. We kept our decorations very simple in the church with white willow hearts hung on the ends of the pews, candles, a few jam jar arrangements of flowers and three sosemary topiary trees in galvanised pots. Two of these we gave as gifts to our parents and the third we have kept for ourselves.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Groom and groomsmen with pink ties and pocket squares // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Montacute church // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Walking Down The Aisle

I was a tiny bit early for the ceremony, and enjoyed watching some of our guests making the dash from the pub into the church to be there before me. I had felt very calm all morning but when the music played and I was walking down the aisle, I began to cry, as it was all suddenly very real.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Our Reverend is a wonderfully friendly man. You can tell that he loves weddings and his enthusiasm really added something special to our ceremony. We had two readings the Velveteen Rabbit and Song of Solomon.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Bridesmaid bouquet of pink country flowers // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Our Wedding Photographer

Our photographer Belinda was fantastic on the day. She explained and discussed everything through with us, and her down to earth personality kept us relaxed throughout the whole day and was lovely and friendly with all of our wedding guests. I was delighted that she was able to capture so many of the special details in our wedding, and our beautiful album has all our special moment for us to treasure.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Montacute House // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Montacute House Wedding Reception

We really wanted to have an afternoon reception rather than an evening one for our guests who will not be attending the whole event, to celebrate with everyone straight away. Many of our friends, like us, have very young children. The National Trust allowed us exclusive use of the Old Stable Courtyard at Montacute House for us to serve refreshments for our guests. Following the ceremony we were driven around to the Courtyard, while our guests made the short walk down though the village.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Vintage wedding car // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

One of our first jobs the day before the wedding was to decorate the barn in the courtyard. Both of our families arrived early in order to help us decorate this and our second reception venue, and everybody worked so hard to help all of our dreams and visions for our day become a reality.

Country barn wedding with bunting // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Floral country bunting // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Decorating The Barn

The bunting was borrowed from my friend, Annabel, whose family had made it for her sister’s wedding. As the barn is grade 1 listed, and in a conservative area, we could not use any pins for hanging but used the original hooks and nails already in the barn to loop it on. This dictated how the bunting was hung.

I left the picnic and trestle tables bare, but covered my patio table with a table cloth to serve drinks from. The picnic tables were decorated with jam jar flower arrangements and jam and cream served from colourful vintage china.

Jam jars of country flowers and herbs // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Thumbprint guestbook // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Cream Tea And Cakes

We catered the reception ourselves, and planned for our guests to help themselves to food and drinks. I made plain and cherry scones and a dairy free lemon and blueberry cake. My friend Marie made mini muffins in milk chocolate and raspberry and white chocolate flavours.

Lemon and blueberry cake with edible violas // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Cream tea scone menu // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Basket of muffins // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

We decided to stick to soft drinks as we knew all of our guest would either be driving home or to the next reception. We served traditional ginger beer, raspberry and passionfruit presse and water with elderflower or pear and raspberry cordial. We used disposable plates and cutlery but were careful to choose products which were 100% biodegradable.

Wedding drinks blackboard // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Biodegradable wooden cutlery with floral napkins // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Monks Yard Wedding Reception

Our second reception venue, Monks Yard is a collection of converted farm buildings and court yard. Here we really wanted to make a relaxing and fun evening for our all guests no mater the age. We hired games from our local community resource centre and I made my own tin can alley. The Monks Yard kindly let us use their football and table tennis tables. We also provided a play room with a ball pool, tent, toys, and colouring for our littlest guests.

Monks Yard, Somerset // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

I had my heart set on serving ice cream on my wedding day and our guests were able to enjoy this with drinks on arrival, which we really needed on such a hot day. We choose Lovingtons ice cream which is made locally to us. We gave guests a choice of blackberry or white chocolate and honeycomb flavours.

Gold framed wedding signs // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Woodland Bird Table Plan

We used more bunting outside but decorated the barn with fairy lights, wooden log rounds, vintage books, jars of flowers and garlands. We also made our table plan from buttress cuts left over from trees felled. Dominic is a forester and it was lovely to use the wood from his work on our wedding day. All of the bird images were hand drawn by Dominic and it was so special to feature his passion for birds on our wedding day.

Woodland bird table plan // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Country wedding reception tables // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Woodland bird table names // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Woodland bird table plan // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Seasonal Country Wedding Flowers

Our reception venue recommended a local florists, Cottage Flowers.  A really wonderful little shop. They made the bridesmaid and my wedding bouquet, sourced the flowers for our hair and I ordered the rest of the flowers from them. My sister and I styled all the other arrangements ourselves adding in extra flowers from my garden. I really wanted seasonal country flowers and herbs and was really keen on texture. In the bouquets, we had blush pink roses, sage, lavender, eucalyptus, astrantia, poppy seed heads, amie and alchemilla mollis.

Country flower, log and vintage book table centre // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Country wedding flower and herb arrangement // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Hessian and country flower wedding tables // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Woodland Bird Wedding Favours

For our wedding favours we made a donation to the RSPB in memory of my grandmother, who was an RSPB bird rescuer, and used their bird pin badges as favours. We choose a different birds for each of our guests and really enjoyed selecting which one we wanted to give each person.

We tried to choose their favourite birds where we could or picking cute little garden and country birds for the ladies and birds of prey for the chaps. We pinned each badge to a luggage tag place card, and tied them around my home sewn patterned napkins.

Vintage style napkins with bird pin wedding favours // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Jam jar country flowers // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Country style wedding place settings // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Turquoise, Gold and Pink Wedding Cake

Our wedding cake was made by a local lady, Annette who created the design from pictures I showed her. We had originally intended to have chocolate cake, but when we tried her carrot cake we went for this and vanilla sponge instead. Our simple but beautiful wedding breakfast menu was all sourced locally and enabled our guests to have something they liked.  The Monks Yard also very kindly made our son chicken strips and chips, which was a great relief for a very fussy eating phase.

Turquoise, pink and gold wedding cake // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Turquoise, pink and gold wedding cake on a log // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

After dinner we served teas and coffee in vintage china I hired from our village hall which was a lovely touch. In the evening we provided our own music using a Spotify playlist we created and played through the barns sound system. This worked brilliantly for us as the music could suit Dominic’s very specific tastes and we could both decided what did and didn’t flow, and was a perfect and relaxing way to end our summery wedding.

Candlelit table centres // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Vintage tea cups // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Candlelit table centres // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

It has been so lovely to get to share Fern and Dominic’s wedding with you, it was a pleasure having her blog for us last year and sharing her planning and crafting in the lead up to her wedding. If you are interested in any of the suppliers from their wedding you’ll find their details below, and be sure to check our Fern’s fledgling business Little Goldcrest.

Fern and Dominic's woodland bird and country flower inspired wedding at their idyllic Somerset home village // Photography Belinda McCarthy // The Natural Wedding Company

{ Details }

Photography: Belinda McCarthy
Ceremony Venue: Montacute House
Reception Venue: Monks Yard
Wedding Dress: The Bridal Emporium
Flowers: Cottage Flowers
Grooms Suit: Racing Green
Bridesmaid Dress, Page Boy Outfit, Bridal Shoes: Marks and Spencer
Bird Pin Badges: RSPB
Table Plan & Stationery: Little Goldcrest
Wedding Cake: Cakes by Annette

Comments

Belinda McCarthy Photography on 13. March, 2016

Thanks so much for creating such a lovely feature of Fern & Dominic’s wedding day! It was a real pleasure to be the photographer in charge, and I hope everyone loves the photos as much as the couple do :)
http://belindamccarthy.co.uk

June Singleton on 13. March, 2016

What an absolutely beautiful wedding. After reading this it feels like I shared the day with you in person. I can honestly say it’s the most personal and special wedding I’ve ever seen. All the very best for your future together ❤️

Fern Saxon on 13. March, 2016

Dom and I were absolutely delighted with the photos Belinda. You made our day look completely magical. Thank you so much again. And also thank you to Charlie for putting the feature together. I have really enjoyed being a Real Bride. Such a shame to stop now the wedding is over

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