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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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Doughnut wedding cake tower

I have a thing about doughnuts, the really good ones that is.  Near where my parents live there used to be a bakery that reputedly sold the best jam doughnuts in England, and I am pretty sure they were.  They were scrumptious and filled with real raspberry jam and covered in sugar.

If you’re not a huge fan of cake, there’s no reason to say that you can’t find another sweet treat that you love – such as doughnuts – and create a wedding cake from them.  I’ve seen ring doughnuts with pink icing and sprinkles all stacked up on top of each other, but this idea of using doughnut holes to create a croquembouche style wedding cake I really love.  As I understand it, these doughnut holes are stuck onto a cone-shaped mould, but I’d like to think a skilled cake maker or family friend could make you a true tower of nothing but doughnut holes iced together.

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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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Norwegian wreath cake decorated with native Australian flowers

Today’s Cake Love features something a little bit different from the usual sponge wedding cake – it’s called a Norwegian Kransekake (wreath cake).  Although they look like biscuit rings, I did a little research and the perfect Kransekake is hard to the touch but soft and chewy.

I love the scalloped icing that is piped round each cake ring and how they have decorated it with native flowers from Australia (it was for an Australian wedding) – but you could equally find seasonal flowers from wherever you are to decorate it with.  Here’s another way of displaying it – on top of what looks like a simple white cake (but could easily be a stand?) and finished with a spray of gypsophila.

Norwegian Kransekake

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Summer berry pavlova wedding cake

This morning I’ve lost the notion of what month we’re in, and overcome by this heat wave I’m sharing a very mid-summer inspired wedding ‘cake’ or should I say meringue cake.  Who says you couldn’t have a stunning pavlova for your wedding cake?

If you are getting married when all our British berries are at their finest, what nicer way to show them off than atop of pile of light meringue and freshly whipped cream.  The whole reason I started my Cake Love feature was to showcase ‘different’ wedding cakes to the traditional perfectly iced white tiered cakes, and it’s your wedding day so I’m hoping to inspire you to have what you like!

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