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!

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Izzy Burton illustration

This is a pretty special post today – in just two days my first ever TNWC Real Bride will be getting hitched!  The lovely Caroline will be getting married to her Mr-to-be Gareth this coming Saturday in Nottinghamshire.  I love this weekend and time of year, it’s the same weekend two years ago that me and my Mr got married, and despite the recent rain the countryside is looking stunning.

Caroline started sharing her wedding journey with us back in February, and now three months later her big day has almost arrived.  She has one last post to share with us all, and I’m delighted to hear that she’s already keen to come back and tell us all about the wedding in a couple of weeks.

For everyone who’s followed along with Caroline’s plans for a laid back, eco-friendly farm wedding, I hope you enjoy this last instalment, and if you have a moment to leave her some well wishes that would be lovely.  Over to Caroline…

Wow- this is it – 2 more sleeps to go until the big day!  I honestly can’t quite believe that in 2 days time I’ll be waking up on the morning of my wedding day!  (It’s 5.30am as I’m writing this – have pretty much given up on sleeping beyond 5am this week – way too excited!)

I’ve managed to wangle the whole week off work, thanks to friends and family pitching in and taking care of REloved for me, so we’re properly able to enjoy this last week of getting everything ready.  Gareth and I have soooooo many lists all over the house, that get a bit shorter, then a bit longer, then a bit shorter again, and now the only things left are the fun bits – the final touches, and I’m loving it!

300 Metres of Fairy Lights

We’ve decided to leave a lot of the barn decorating until Friday, after a torrential downpour last Thursday left rather a lot of puddles all over the floor (eeek!) but thank goodness, it seems that ‘normal’ rain showers are ok, as its pretty much rained every day since on and off and other than a couple of drips its all ok!

We have however been busy collecting small hay bales from a local farmer and making sofas in the barn, and a couple of nights ago Gareth asked me to go out to help him move a few of them and when I walked into the barn, he’d only gone and strung up 300 metres of fairy lights, so instead of an old cow shed, for the first time I walked into a wedding venue and it pretty much took my breath away.

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Izzy Burton illustration

Welcome to our second TNWC Real Brides guest post of the week!  Today we’ve got the lovely Nik to tell us all about her beautiful DIY wedding invitations and how they created their wedding website.  I’m a little bit jealous because I love the style of Nik and Chris’ invitations and think they fit so well with their coastal farm wedding.

If you’ve not read Nik’s first few guest posts, you should first read about her plans for their relaxed coastal farm wedding, and her experience of choosing an ethical wedding dress.

One of the first jobs we tackled upon choosing our chosen wedding venue was our invitations.  Our announcement of plans for a summer wedding was immediately met with panic from several relatives and friends about potential holiday clashes.  Getting the invites out six months in advance gave everyone plenty of time to plan their hols around the wedding, and has meant that we’ve only had one clash resulting in absent friends on the day.

Our wedding celebrations will be split into two very different parts: a very small ceremony with 25 close family and friends on the farm where we live in Pembrokeshire; and a big all day reception two days later in our home county of West Yorkshire.  This gives us the best of both worlds: a relaxed, intimate ceremony where we can focus on the day and what it means, but also the opportunity to celebrate our marriage with our wider network of friends, which is very important to us.

Ceremony Invites

Farm inspired DIY wedding invitations

We planned to DIY our invites from the word go: we wanted them to be very personal, I wanted them printed on ‘green’ paper and Chris is a graphic/web designer so it seemed silly not to take advantage of that!  However, in the end, we decided to buy our ceremony invites ‘off the rack’ as we realised that we just couldn’t print them at home without compromising on the quality and appearance.  Lela of doodlelove was fantastic and worked with us to create a complementary design to match our theme, even incorporating the little chicken illustration that has sort of become our invitation mascot!

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Hunstile Organic Farm garden

I know that not everyone spends months and months, or even years, planning their wedding, so if that’s you and you’re searching for a beautiful venue for spring 2013, why not take advantage of these special offers at Huntstile Organic Farm?

Hunstile Organic Farm wedding venue

Set in the stunning Somerset countryside, Huntstile Organic Farm provides you with multiple options, from a cosy farmhouse reception to a marquee in the garden.  They also have the added benefit of a Stone Circle for handfasting ceremonies atop a hill with the most incredible views, and a tractor to take drop off your guests in rustic style.

Hunstile Stone Circle handfasting ceremony

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Country tea party wedding

Country tea party wedding at South Farm

I’m utterly delighted to be able to share Anna and James’ relaxed country tea party wedding on the blog today.  They got married at South Farm in Cambridgeshire back in June and the lovely Dasha Caffrey captured their wedding.

Handmade wedding menu

“Our idea was to have a really relaxed country wedding with bunting, vintage tea cups and hopefully an outdoor ceremony if the weather was good enough!  James and I are also real ale enthusiasts, so we had a good number of polypins [barrels] of beer on the bar, which along with the pimms and croquet, helped create a lovely village fete type atmosphere.”

Vintage country wedding place setting

“We fell in love with South Farm as soon as we saw it – it has a very natural charm and just felt like a friendly place.  We thought it would be totally out of our budget, but decided to go and have a look anyway as it’s only about 20 minutes from where we live.”  It turned out a number of Anna and James’ friends had either been married there or been to weddings at South Farm and all highly recommended it.  “I guess having so many personal recommendations just clinched it for us!”

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Lithuanian natural farm wedding wedding

Rustic Lithuanian village wedding

It’s always nice to get inspiration from other countries and cultures when it comes to all aspects of life, but in particular I love seeing the way the other people celebrate their wedding days.  I am so excited that I get to share with you this gorgeous Lithuanian wedding shot by photographer Svetlana Batura (who also captured this timeless autumn wedding I featured).

Bride in a vintage dress

Svetlana took the time to tell me all about the wedding of Irminta and Artur and what they were inspired by, I particularly love the horse drawn cart ride for the bride and groom and their friends – more about that below!

Horse and farm cart wedding

Svetlana Batura Photography

Bride and bridesmaids white dresses

Irminta and Artur were inspired by their love of nature, old traditions, the naturalness they feel is missing from everyday life, and of their grandmother’s stories of village weddings.  They wanted to combine old and new styles to create a wedding day that was beautiful, fun and that celebrated their family traditions.

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Huntstile Organic Farm rose arch

A few weeks ago Mr Rigg and I were lucky enough to be invited to spend a night at Huntstile Organic Farm in Somerset.  Hunstile is one of the beautiful wedding venues listed on The Natural Wedding Company directory – it’s a gorgeous organic farm run by some of the loveliest people I’ve ever met.

We were warmly welcomed to Huntstile by Lizzie and John (the farm has been in John’s family since 1951 but dates back to the 15th century!) after making our way down lush green winding lanes.  The farmhouse is breathtaking, a mixture of warm stone, mullioned windows, and white wash – the ancient front door thick and full of secrets.

Hunstile Organic Farm farmhouse

Surrounded by rolling farmland, stunning views and a lovely menagerie of goats, ducks and pigs, Huntstile Organic Farm is a tiny piece of heaven and I can’t imagine a more lovely setting for a relaxed country wedding.

Huntstile even has its own stone circle where you can hold a marriage ceremony atop a hill overlooking the farm, a magical spot on the edge of a small copse with views all around.  To get you and your guests to the stone circle, Lizzie and John have a wedding tractor and trailer, or if you’re getting married locally in church you can also arrive by tractor.

Somerset wedding venue Stone Circle

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