English Countryside wedding – best kind of larks
This post will be a little different to my normal hiking adventures. I was going through some old photos, so would like to share what it was like to get married in my teeny village. I can also share my tips for having a fantastic wedding without breaking the bank. Most of our money saving tips, involved getting family and friends to help us with the preparations, so this wedding was a truly a joint effort.
Venue – beautiful agricultural barn
Isn’t this barn gorgeous!? It belongs to friends of our family. When we were little they would hold concerts here, but it had slowly filled up with junk. They allowed us to use it as a venue (for free!!) In return, our family and friends spent time cleaning it up. The best part is since the wedding, they have started to use the barn again for other village events and dances.
We were married in the middle of June, but I LOVE the way the village looked a few weeks earlier when the cow parsley was in flower.
Barn cleaning time
It took us four weekends to clean out the barn. It was actually a really good way for our families to get to know each other better. My brother, one sister, Marc’s brothers, and our parents all came to help.
Senbazuru 千羽鶴 – 1000 origami cranes
There is an old Japanese legend that if you fold 1000 origami cranes, you can have a wish. Some of my Japanese friends and family were kindly coming to join us, so we were keen to add some Japanese elements to the wedding. Folding senbazuru meant I’d have something to decorate the barn, aaaand I could wish for a happy marriage. My friends helped me fold some of these, but I folded most of them. It got to the point that I could fold 10-20 while walking to work. Once I had 1000 cranes, I hung them up on strings with beads to help weigh them down.
Whenever we had breaks we got to play with this cutie. 😺
One of my bridesmaids is the best florist in the world, so we decided it made sense to have minimal decoration and just fill the barn with flowers and fairy lights. It made sure the barn smelled great too!! She did SUCH a good job. If you’d like to see more of her work, you can see her wedding here.
Other bits and bobs
My sister created an play area for all the kidlets, and my mum made a huge amount of bunting!
Teru teru bozu – てるてる坊主
Teru teru bozu are little handmade dolls that children make in Japan, to keep the rain away. My friend Megan made special bride and groom teru teru bozu for us, so I hung those in the barn as well. They worked perfectly so we had a sunny day.
All ready for revelers
This barn scrubbed up pretty well eh!?
I was really happy with my wedding dress. When I first went shopping, I was pretty shocked at the prices for dresses. “Cheap” dresses are still close to £1000, and the one I really loved was nearly £2000! I couldn’t spend quite that amount on a dress that I’d only wear for one day, so in the end I ordered my dress online from a tailor in Hong Kong. It cost £180, then another £40 for import taxes and about £40 to have it altered slightly. I blooming love it.
My mum was super cheeky with our wedding car! She asked one of our neighbours (I used to babysit their children) if they would mind driving me to the registry office, as they have a pretty vehicle. Sometimes being cheeky pays off, as they were happy to help!
The Registry Office
We were married in the Courthouse in Oundle. It is not very big, so we couldn’t fit everyone in. It was a sweet, non-religious ceremony, so in no time at all, we were married! Squeee!
My sister, my mum and my aunt all have gardens full of roses. They all dried rose petals for us, so back at the barn, we could be showered with lovely-smelling confetti.
I had to find a photographer at the last minute, luckily I stumbled upon Dani from Ferri Photography. She was a complete sweetie and fit right in with family and friends as we got ready. I am so, so glad we found her! She captured the barn beautifully and took so many good photos of our friends!
Tea Party – Crockery
You can’t have an English wedding without tea! Rather than matching crockery we decided to go for a mishmash of pretty plates, tea cups and saucers from various charity shops. My mum had great fun finding them all.
We didn’t want people to get hungry, so mum found a local baker who made 12 large cakes for everyone to munch while we chatted and took photos.
Bubbles, cocktails and tea
One of my sisters, Emmy, lives in the South of France, so obviously we had French wine. I left this job to dad, who valiantly went to France to taste and choose wine, then drive it all home. For bubbles dad bought as much prosecco as he could whenever it went on sale(!) In the end he bought so much that there was enough for a bottle per person(!) Lastly, as well as tea, we had three different cocktails, which we served in teapots.
Marc’s mum, Araceli, was in charge of our wedding cake. Her neighbour, baked this amaaazing cake for us. You can’t quite see it in the photo, but she created lace-like icing, then Lisa (my bridesmaid) decorated it with fresh flowers.
Our wedding favours were small pots of marmalade made by my sister, Rosy, and honey made by her husband, Simon (well, made by his bees!)
Purikura corner – プリクラ
Purikura is another thing I LOVE in Japan. Real purikura are from photo booths, where you can doodle all over the photo, then print them out as stickers. We had a budget version of this; We used a polaroid camera, and sharpie pens. People could dress up, take photos then leave us messages.
I love this book of messages – it is such a fun way to remember our special day.
Group photo time
While everyone drank cocktails and ate cake, we took a few group photos. I have kept photos of my friends and family to a minimum in this post, but I can’t help sharing a few.
There was an old cart at one end of the barn, so we stood on top of it to give the wedding speeches. Marc and I are not particularly traditional, so we decided to give a speech together.
Dad gave a great speech that made me cry, while Marc’s brothers, Alex and Tomas were a fantastic comedy act!
After dinner (a hog roast) we had a cèilidh dance. It was a perfect way to get everyone up and dancing as the band has a caller who gives instructions for each dance.
So, that is how we finished our wedding day! I had so, sooo much fun dancing the night away!
This is my favourite piccy of the day. I managed to get Marc to jump with me.
There are always hiccups
We were meant to take a taxi to our hotel at midnight, but the driver never showed up, and all our friends and family were too drunk to drive us. We had to order a second taxi, so we didn’t leave until 2am. In the end, I didn’t mind as it gave us a chance to dance and enjoy the crazier part of the celebrations!
Anyway, I hope you like taking a peek at our wedding. Now we’ve been married for five years it’s fun to look back at how much fun we had!
35 thoughts on “English Countryside wedding – best kind of larks”
Josy, what a beautiful wedding you had! I love the flowers, the cake (we had fresh flowers on our cake too), your dress, and the BARN. I especially love that you cleaned it, and the family continues to use it. But, my favorite is how your family and friends came together to make your wedding so perfect. Such a sweet post, Josy,!
Thank you sooo much Erin!
While we were planning it all I LOVED going through this kind of blog post to find ideas, so I always meant to share our own day! I’m sooo chuffed that you like it.
p.s I think you would really like our village!
I think I would too, Josy! Hopefully one day I can explore there. Xx
You had a fabulous wedding. So special, wonderful photos. Thank you for sharing with us.
Thank you soooo much! It is a super personal thing to share so it makes me really happy when lovely people like you comment!!
Of course, I loved your dress and your shoes were adorable! I smiled when you said you ordered your dress from Hong Kong. A bit of a risk, but worth it, because it was so special. You really turned the barn into a magical place, enjoyed the dancing photos too! Finally, your jumping photo was absolutely PERFECT! :> (I hope that is a heart, my daughter said that is how I do it.)
What a beautiful wedding Josy! You look so happy on the photos, and your dress is gorgeous! xx
Thanks Frede! OMG I was so nervous when that dress came through the post! Thank goodness it turned out okay!! 😀
Is the countryside a bit like where you live now? Or are you closer to a town?
I can understand the dress stress! My dress got here the afternoon before we left for Gibraltar, so I really get it!
You inspired me… Maybe I should share a post about my wedding too. We had some unique circumstances!
We live just outside of Lincoln in a ‘new’ village. It’s a bit posh and it lacks the community atmosphere of others villages, but I like having access to both the city and the countryside so easily.
I’m looking to see more of the UK this year. Do you have any suggestions of places I should visit?
Oooh I hope you can write a post abut your wedding too! I love seeing that kind of thing! 😀
As for places in the UK, I guess all my favourites are the “areas of outstanding natural beauty.” It sounds silly when you see that written on maps, but the countryside can be so blooming pretty!
Utterly fab. The favours are genius
Thanks Geoff! I loved the honey best, but marmalade is always welcome! 😉
Love your wedding pictures! Congratulations on five years!
What you did to transform the barn was amazing – it was the perfect location for a reception! <3 <3 <3
Thanks lovely! It’s pretty awesome how fairy lights and flowers can transform a location!! We were so lucky with the weather…it would have been a bit more miserable if the weather had not been so perfect.
THIS. IS. SO. FRIGGING. GORGEOUS. Just lovely x
Squeeee thanks Hayley! It was such a fun day. 😀
Just fabulous Josy and by the looks of it very happy times. Well done on surviving five years 🙂 The best are yet to come!
Yay! Thank you Suzanne!
We have been together since 2005, so at least we made it through the seven year itch. 😉
What a beautiful wedding. The barn looks amazing. It’s wonderful what you can do with a little love and imagination.
Thanks George!! 😀
This is a wonderful memory, Josy. I really feel in love with the festive decorated barn. Lovely pictures 😍
Thanks you Hanna!
We are so lucky to have so many friends and family that could help us! Their hard work made it feel even more special!
Your wedding photos are gorgeous and I love that guys had such an intimate and personalized wedding!
It felt pretty big in the end, but we tried to keep it intimate! 😉
So GORGEOUS! And so many wonderful ideas for togetherness and special-ness without breaking the bank! Love the kids’ zone and the mismatched china–and well, all of it. Thank you for sharing your special day with us followers. My husband and I just hit 15 years! Feels like yesterday, and I remember it all vividly because we kept it manageable (which for me meant 11 people in all!) and unique to us.
Woooah for 15 years! 😀
It’s funny isn’t it, I have been to quite a few of my friend’s weddings and they always feel unique and special, each in their own way. You don’t have to break the bank to have an amazing day!
Oops replied twice!
This is so beautiful! I love the little Japanese touches and yet how quintessentially English it all is…
Thanks Em! Yeah, i guess in the end it was very English(!)
I think the thing I liked best was how people from all different parts of our lives had a chance to mix and get to know each other. We didn’t have a seating plan (I’m not sure if we had enough seats!!), so people mingled a lot.
So gorgeous! You look lovely and the whole day looks divine. Enjoyed This!
Yay! Thank you lovely!! <3
Now those are my sort of wedding favours – marmalade, my fav! Looks like a perfect day xxx
Yay! Thank you Claire! I think the honey was my favourite, but I always love local honey!!