Real Weddings

Phoenix Gowns for a rustic wedding on the family farm in North Lincolnshire – Fiona & George

02nd December 2019 | Sarah Symonds

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Join us down on the farm for this beaut of a May wedding! Fiona and George stayed close to home and tied the knot on his parent’s farm, which gave them all the free-rein they needed to plan the rustic wedding of their dreams.

Hosting your own big day isn’t an option for everyone but, if you have the opportunity, it can be an excellent way to have every little detail exactly to your liking. It could mean a lot of work though and, as our bride explains, there’s plenty to think about so you might want to get planning ASAP!

Inspo-wise, we’ve got heaps of cute country touches and a snazzy Arabesque Marquee to transform the farm into an elegant reception venue for the day. There’s also a little something for the Disney fans among you and an A-line gown that would certainly be fit for a fairytale princess. You can expect plenty of florals and tumbling ivy, with pops of pretty pale pinks, romantic rose gold and twinkly fairy lights for that added magical feel. And, Mr Kipling enthusiasts, keep your eyes peeled for the three giant French Fancies! Just perfect for a happily ever after.

With photography by M and G Photographic

Proposal

We got engaged on the 30th of August 2017. We went on holiday to Bulgaria and on the second to last night, after a lovely evening out, we came back to our hotel room to have a few drinks on the balcony. George said he had something for me and I thought it was the purse I had been banging on about that I had seen in a shop whilst away. He came back with a ring, got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. It was a lovely moment with just the two of us.

Setting

We got married on Saturday, 25th May 2019. We knew we wanted a Summer wedding, but with some of George’s family being farmers, we didn’t want to interfere with harvest. We also didn’t want to wait two years to be married. We picked the second bank holiday weekend in May as this also coincided with the half term holiday, meaning everyone had plenty of time to return to work after our wedding.

We got married at All Saints Church in Bigby, North Lincolnshire. It’s a beautiful church in a small village near George’s parents’ place, so it meant we didn’t have to travel far for the reception. We decided to get married in a church and not a registry office, as we liked the traditional side of a church wedding and the church bells.

We were fortunate that George’s parents allowed us to host our wedding reception at their farm in Brigg, just down the road from the church. Holding our wedding reception at the family farm provided us with the opportunity to have our wedding in a beautiful and homely setting, whilst it also being totally unique.

We had an Arabesque Marquee, which we’d never heard of before. They’re a cross between your typical marquee and a tipi. We were recommended the marquee company by a family friend and would highly recommend them to anyone considering a marquee wedding. They also supplied our chairs, tables, ‘posh toilets’, and the bar and bar staff.

Having the wedding reception at George’s parents’ farm meant that our dog, Maisie, could be a part of our special day. She got to wear a collar of flowers that matched our colour scheme, though it didn’t stay on for long as she was enjoying herself too much running around seeing all our friends and family.

Theme

With having the wedding at George’s parents farm, we wanted to have a country/rustic theme to tie in with the setting. We added subtle hints of ‘Disney’ because of my love for Disney!

We went with dusky and pale pink for our main colour scheme. Because we were having a summer wedding, we wanted light colours and we both thought these colours would look nice with the backdrop of the white marquee, and the greens within the flowers and the ivy we based our centrepieces on.

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Dress

I was quite open minded when it came to selecting my dress. The only thing I knew I wanted was lace. I choose a A-line dress from Phoenix Gowns and I bought it from The Wedding Rooms in Selby, after being recommended them by a colleague at work. We got our wedding rings from Gladstone Jewellers in Hull.

Groomsmen

George wore a three piece charcoal suit from Skopes, called The Desmond. He wore a rose gold tie to match the bridesmaid dresses and the colour scheme. The groomsmen wore the same.

Bridesmaids

I had six bridesmaids in total. They all wore the same dress, which was a multiway style, which I thought was a brilliant idea when having so many bridesmaids as they can all wear them in the way they are comfortable. I had two chief bridesmaids and they wore a slightly darker pink dress. The other four bridesmaids wore a light pink dress. The dresses were from Marks and Spencers, after one of my bridesmaids found them online. I had two flower girls and we bought their dresses from Debenhams. They wore white dresses, which were embroidered with a floral pattern that was really similar to the lace applique on my dress.

Beauty

Rachel Helen Key did our makeup. My Mum’s hair, that of the two flower girls and my hair was styled by Hair by Amy Stuart. The bridesmaids all had their hair styled by Hair Fashions.

Travel

We stayed at The Old Parsonage in Scawby. We hired our wedding car from The Alternative Wedding Car Company of East Yorkshire. We hired ‘Bertie’, a 1935 Austin York.

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Photographer

We would highly recommend our photographers, M and G Photographic. We didn’t want too many posed pictures, and Patrick and his photography style suited what we were looking for.

Videographer

We loved the video that M and G Photographic created of our special day too. The day itself goes by so quickly, so it has been good and will be even better in the future to have the videos as well as photographs to watch and look back over.

Styling

I carried a collection of seasonal flowers that tied in with our country/rustic feel and the colour scheme. We got our flowers from Hidden Garden in Brigg. Clare was extremely helpful throughout the planning process when selecting flowers and sticking to our budget. She also helped arrange the flowers at the marquee the day before we got married.

We brought all our own decorations for the wedding reception and, with the help of some family and friends, decorated on the day before. We had round logs in the centre of tables, with a rustic lantern from Matalan which was draped with ivy and had fairy lights inside. We then had handmade decorated jam jars which contained the flowers and candles on the table. We had ‘Love’ letters from The Wedding Rooms.

Favours

Our guests all received a very yummy cookie that was personalised for our wedding and matched our colour scheme, made by Sugarchelle.

Cake

We choose to have three large ‘French Fancy’ cakes. The smallest of the three layers was a fruit cake, baked by George’s Nanny. The larger two cakes were vanilla and chocolate sponge made by For Heaven’s Cake. Jackie was always more than happy for us to sample different flavours to ensure we were happy with them, and we had several meetings to discuss the colour of the icing and how they were going to be set out on the cake table.

Dining

For our canapes, we filled a picnic hamper with pork pies, for our guests to help themselves. George’s mum and Granny also made some vegetarian quiches and vol-au-vents as well.

For our welcome drinks, we served a Kir Royale, as we wanted something easy but different to our toasting drinks. We also filled a wheelbarrow with bottles of Budweiser and for our guests who didn’t drink alcohol we provided ‘Shloer’.

Our wedding breakfast was supplied by caterers at Make it Perfect. We wanted a main course that wasn’t too fancy and fitted with our theme. Ward from Make it Perfect came up with our menu, which was chicken in bois boudran sauce with crushed jersey potatoes and baby gem salad and butternut squash and wild mushroom risotto, following a few yummy tasting sessions. For pudding we had Summer berry pudding with clotted cream. We then offered guests tea or coffee, with a cheese cart which our guests absolutely demolished.

We served white and red wine with the wedding breakfast. We bought the wines from our local supermarket following a wine tasting session with our friends Emma and Paul. For our toasts, we served prosecco and Shloer again for those people who don’t drink alcohol.

In the evening, the caterers provided us with a hog roast. All of our guests thoroughly enjoyed this and it was the only time the dance floor was quiet. Even the dogs enjoyed it, as they were given meat from Ward and our guests!

Entertainment

One of my bridesmaids, Hannah Rogers, is a wedding singer so we asked if she would entertain our guests at the ‘welcome drinks’, in between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. In the evening, we used Over The Top Events to DJ for us. Chris was brilliant and knew how to keep our guests on the dance floor.

Having met at university through studying music, the entertainment was really important to us. My friend Harriet played me down the aisle with ‘Tale Old As Time’ on the violin, to add some Disney magic. Whilst we signed the registers, George’s cousin Sophie also played the violin to entertain our guests. She played The Gadfly by Shostakovich.

George had composed our own Wedding March for us to walk out of the church to, which was really amazing as no one else will have the same piece of music. We used the sheet music from this piece to back our seating plan. We had created a playlist containing all our favourite film and TV theme music for people to listen to during the reception, whilst everyone was eating. The table names were some of the composers of the music our guests were listening to.

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Thanks to

George’s family! If you are able to have a DIY wedding then I would certainly recommend it. Sadly, I don’t think George’s parents have been inspired to open up their garden as a wedding venue! I was keen to make use of the flexibility it offered us and enjoyed being able to cultivate and decide upon the finer details of the day. Having said this, it can be quite stressful as there is a lot to think about, but fortunately many of the service providers, particularly Make it Perfect, were very good at helping us consider things we might have missed, even if it was beyond their remit. So, really it’s about what you want, but I would recommend it, without a doubt.

Best bit

Cliché alert but the whole day was brilliant! We both wish we could do it all over again. But if we had to pick one moment, it was when we were having dinner and we could appreciate seeing all our friends and family in one place. It meant a lot to see all those people come to celebrate our special day with us.

Honeymoon

For our honeymoon, we went on road trip along the Western Coastline of America. We started in Las Vegas, where the highlight was landing in the Grand Canyon in a helicopter and having a champagne breakfast. We then flew to LA, where we spent a few days in Disneyland. I am a huge Disney fan and I was thrilled to be able to go to the original California park. We then went to LA and spent a few days doing the normal tourist activities there such as Hollywood Boulevard, the Chinese theatre, Paramount Pictures Studio and the Griffith Observatory. As we left LA, we picked up a car and drove our way up towards Yosemite National Park, stopping off at Santa Barbara and Monterey. In Monterey we went whale watching. George was expecting it to be one of those things where you might be lucky to get a glimpse of something like a whale in the distance. We couldn’t believe how many there were and how close they get. We spent a couple of days in Yosemite National Park. The scenery was out of this world. Finally, for our last stop we went to San Francisco. Again, we did the normal tourist things – biking across the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Pier 39. Our friends, Joanna and Simon, also happened to be on holiday in San Francisco at the same time so we met up with them to go and watch the baseball at Oracle Park.

Doing a road trip for our honeymoon meant we got to see so many different and exciting places, whereas if we’d gone to a beach resort, we would’ve just stayed in one place and not see very much.

Advice

My advice for another couple would be to remember it’s your special day. Try to make sure you stick to what you want to do and don’t do things just to please other people.

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