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Hanna and Guy's storybook inspired spring garden wedding with a marching band and humanist blessing beneath a tree // Images for Life // The Natural Wedding Company

Today’s wedding is just making me long for those lush spring days when the English countryside is covered in cow parsley and buttercups. Hanna and Guy were inspired by childhood storybook’s and fairytales, with fun details dotted throughout their wedding, which took place in a beautiful family garden.

We adore this kind of wedding, with its down-to-earth feel, involvement by family and friends, and those magical moments – in this case a marching band leading the bride and groom through a field of cow parsley (see below). This wedding was beautifully captured by our friend Joanna Ornowska of Images for Life, one of our TNWC Recommended Suppliers. Over to Hanna to tell you more about her whimsical storybook garden wedding…

Wedding procession with a marching band through a meadow // Images for Life // The Natural Wedding Company

Rustic wedding picnic // Images for Life // The Natural Wedding Company

Vintage wedding marquee in a meadow // Images for Life // The Natural Wedding Company

Fairytale inspired wedding // Images for Life // The Natural Wedding Company

Back garden wedding // Images for Life // The Natural Wedding Company

Hanna and Guy's storybook inspired spring garden wedding with a marching band and humanist blessing beneath a tree // Images for Life // The Natural Wedding Company

A back garden wedding inspired by childhood stories

I liked the idea of having a wedding that was as tailored to our personalities and values as possible, and so the idea of using a venue that was licensed for civil ceremonies and had already hosted countless big days was immediately dismissed. Instead, we decided to have a humanist blessing in Guy’s mum’s glorious two-acre back garden, which is somewhat incongruously hidden away behind a suburban bungalow in rural Cambridgeshire.

We’re both passionate about traditional children’s stories and so we chose to follow a loose ‘storybook’ theme, transforming the garden into a magical fairytale land that we jokingly called ‘Ermine Island’.

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Edible leaf wedding cake // Maddocks Farm Organics // Bees Bakery // The Natural Wedding Company

I was blown away by this unusually decorated wedding cake with its edible leaves, a fantastic collaboration between TNWC recommended supplier Maddocks Farm Organics and Bees Bakery. If you’ve read our blog for any length of time you’ll know we are big fans of edible flowers, but edible leaves on a wedding cake? It may sound odd, but as you can see from this beautiful cake it creates the most stunning effect. It is both modern and natural, and feels like it could have been painted on. I particularly like the combination of purples and greens used.

Sourcing Edible Flowers For Wedding Cakes

Whilst this is a design you could ask a wedding cake maker to create for you, Maddocks Farm Organics have helpfully given some tips on how to do it yourself. Firstly, it’s important to remember these key points about using edible leaves:

  • Flowers and leaves should not be eaten unless sourced from a reputable organic supplier of edible varieties (we recommend these edible flower suppliers).
  • Many flowers and leaves are poisonous and can cause a whole range of serious symptoms if ingested. Even if you don’t plan to eat them, it is wise not to attach them to any food items in case they are mistaken for being edible when they are not. Even if they are just decoration, sap or fine hairs could leech onto your cake and cause irritation.
  • Do not be tempted to pick up supermarket or regular floristry flowers to decorate your cake. They are routinely sprayed with chemicals that you absolutely do not want to be ingesting or touching your wedding cake.

So when sourcing your edible flowers or leaves, ensure that you 1) buy from a reputable organic supplier; 2) Ask your supplier how they are grown, picked and processed; and 3) Discuss with your supplier how you want to use them.

Natural and modern edible leaf wedding cake // Maddocks Farm Organics // Bees Bakery // The Natural Wedding Company

How To Use Edible Leaves On Wedding Cakes

With that in mind, here’s Maddocks Farm Organics top tips on how to use edible leaves on your wedding cake:

  • Edible leaves work best when pressed into buttercream.
  • They should be added to your cake on the day of your wedding.
  • Choose from organically grown leaves, herbs and wild foragings.
  • Use clover shaped and fern shaped edible leaves in a variety of shades to create a striking design (like the one above).
  • More robust varieties include rosemary and lavender (examples below, but please note I am not sure if any of the other flowers/leaves shown on the cakes are suitable, as per the advice above – please check with your supplier).

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Clare and Ian's fun outdoor farm wedding with a colourful, DIY decorated barn reception // Dasha Caffrey Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Fun outdoor farm wedding with colourful barn reception

The beautiful couple who’s wedding we are sharing with you today truly had their wedding their way, choosing their starting point to be a day built around the people that they wanted there. I adore this sentiment and it really shines through in the gorgeous images captured by Dasha Caffrey.

This fun, relaxed, country inspired wedding is full of the biggest smiles, heaps of laughter, colourful rustic DIY decor and the most divine looking wedding cake made from cheese.

Rustic wedding ladder decor // Dasha Caffrey Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Natural wedding portrait in a field of dried poppies // Dasha Caffrey Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Natural country bride with bridesmaids in grey // Dasha Caffrey Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

Cheese wedding cake on a log stump // Dasha Caffrey Photography // The Natural Wedding Company

A beautiful July day for a summer wedding

Clare and Ian (Clarkey) were married on a beautiful July summer’s day at a ‘friend-of-friends’ farm in West Stoke, near to where the groom grew up. Wanting to steer away from the traditional their charming day and laid-back style is sure to be one you will love.

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Izzy Burton illustration

Another Tuesday rolls around and I have another lovely guest blog from a TNWC Real Bride. Today Caroline who is planning an eco-friendly farm wedding is sharing her delicious sounding plans for a picnic style wedding lunch, foodie wedding favours and a pork pie wedding cake.  Yum yum!

I’d advise reading this while munching a biscuit or your own lunch or you are likely to feel extremely hungry by the end of it…you’ve been warned!

Eleven weeks to go, and the lists are getting longer, hours spend asleep are getting shorter (I keep waking up in the middle of the night remembering things I have to do – it is SUCH a good idea to have a pen and paper next to the bed to write them down!).  And the spare room is getting fuller and fuller of wedding related paraphernalia!

I thought that for this months blog post, I’d share our food plans with you, as planning and organising that bit is proving to be heaps of fun, and I think one of the most enjoyable and important parts of our day.

Gareth and I are both big foodies, and we try to buy locally wherever we can, and having a picnic lunch is a brilliant way to be able to use local suppliers and get to know lovely local food producers in our area.  It’s also a fab way to make sure the foods amazing, even on a limited budget!

Picnic Wedding Menu

So far for our menu we’ve decided on:

Sourdough and olive bread from Welbeck Bakery, ham and smoked salmon pate from The Country Victualler, lots of homemade chutney from my lovely friend Jo, bags of Pipers Crisps, cheeses from Long Clawson Dairy (Thomas Hoe Red Leicester and Stilton), Lincolnshire poacher cheeseMike Maloneys pork pies, salads made by my brilliant big sister (we haven’t decided quite what salads yet though!), houmous, grapes, apples and celery.

I’m sure there will be a few extras added too though, and we have a lovely farm shop just down the road who I’m sure will be having lot of last minute visits from us!

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Wild and natural Welsh wedding

Wild and natural Welsh wedding

I’m in-love with today’s wedding for its laid-back and relaxed attitude – for me, Rhiannon and Richard seem to have really captured what your wedding day should really be about: love, family, friends, good company and delicious food.

They got married in September 2011 with a beautiful weekend-long wedding held at Fforest, just outside Cardigan in Wales.  Rhiannon and Richard really did their wedding their way – with no photographer, no over-the-top details, just lots of fun and a super relaxed weekend surrounded by their family and friends.

Tiny coastal Welsh church

Rhiannon is a freelance journalist who writes about all things green, community, and outdoor travel related, and Richard runs Greentraveller, so it’s not hard to see why their wedding embraced all things natural.

They got married at Mwnt Church, a tiny white building perched on the Welsh coast.  Rhiannon wore a oyster coloured dress from Donna Karan and carried a gorgeous bouquet of cornflowers and herbs.

BareBlooms wild and natural wedding bouquet

“My flowers were by Chloe at BareBlooms, who I found through The Natural Wedding Company, and were exactly what I wanted.  They were a mix of wild-looking flowers and herbs.”  The flowers for the buttonholes they picked themselves from the garden at Fforest.

Seasonal cornflower and herb wedding bouquet

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