Yellow wellies and a red vintage tractor made this country festival wedding fun and colourful!
How they met
A friend played cupid for Emma and Luke, who set them up on a blind date. “We lived close to each other, so we decided to meet at a local bar for a few drinks,” Emma recalls. “I was relieved that Luke was so lovely. At the end of the date, instead of asking me for my number, he very formally handed me his business card. I then had a text from him the next day, saying he realised he should have asked me out there and then!”
A hospital car park was the unlikely scene for Luke’s proposal! “I was pregnant with our son, and we had just been for our 20-week scan,” Emma explains. “Luke got so excited that he asked me to marry him right there in the car park! He had already asked my parents for their permission, and ‘bribed’ them with flowers for my mum and a remote control plane for my dad. I was really touched that he thought to ask them.”
The bride’s outfit
After failing to find an off-the-peg dress to suit her tastes, Emma decided on a bespoke dress by Shanna Miller, comprising details from several different designs. “I wanted something very natural that would suit a country wedding,” Emma says. “It was nerve-wracking not seeing the dress until it was finished, but I trusted Shanna and I wasn’t disappointed. It felt like a real princess dress.” The dress featured French lace and a slim silhouette with a low V-shaped back. “I splashed out on Jimmy Choo shoes, and wore my late grandmother’s sapphire and diamond earrings as my ‘something blue’,” adds Emma.
The groom’s outfit
With a little input from Emma, Luke chose a traditional full grey morning suit from Moss Bros, with a sage waistcoat to co-ordinate with the bridesmaid dresses.
Emma chose three good friends as bridesmaids. “Katie is my oldest friend from school, Jo and I used to work together, and Kath is a friend from my single days,” Emma explains. “Because two of the bridesmaids have small babies, it was difficult to organise a shopping trip, so we ordered dresses online from Jenny Packham at Debenhams and the girls tried them on at my house.”
Emma and Luke were married in a religious ceremony full of contemporary music, including an instrumental version of One Day Like This by Elbow for the bride’s entrance, and Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered during the signing of the register. “Our little boy was 15 months old at the time, and shouted ‘Mummy!’ for the first time just after we had exchanged our vows – adorable!” Emma remembers.
Emma and Luke chose pretty blooms in vibrant shades of purple and yellow, put together by a local florist. Emma’s unstructured bouquet had a handpicked look, including daisies, and the reception flowers were arranged in mismatched containers including jam jars, metal pails and even Wellington boots. “I spent ages online bidding on bright yellow wellies for the wedding!” laughs Emma.
A tipi in the garden of Hawkridge Oast, Luke’s family home converted by his late father, was the perfect venue for the couple’s relaxed countryside reception. Before dinner, the guests nibbled on savoury canapés made to look like sweet treats such as scones and eclairs. They were then served a locally sourced menu of local cheeses, pâtè and cured meats, chicken or pork belly, and apple and rhubarb crumble. “We had self-service tea and coffee at the bar, and kegs of beer as well as wine,” adds Emma.
The country theme came to life with miles of handmade bunting in purple, green and yellow, made by Emma’s mum, and shabby chic signposts made by her dad. “I saved jam jars and wrapped them with hessian and strings of heart-shaped buttons to use as vases for the table flowers, and made a seating plan using a small ladder, with guests’ names written on plant tags in pots of lavender and placed on the rungs,” Emma explains.
Emma and Luke travelled in small but perfectly formed style in her dad’s Fiat 500, and Luke’s bright red vintage tractor also made an appearance!
The invitations, orders of service and menus were designed by Emma and printed by a friend.
“The speeches were outstanding,” Emma smiles. “My dad’s hit just the right note, and made me cry, especially when he described his new son-in-law as a fellow geek who he loves to bits. Luke’s speech also made me cry, but with laughter – he was worried that the best man had too many incriminating tales to use in his speech, so proceeded to explain what he had ever done at the end. They were all worse stories than the ones the best man actually used!”
Emma and Luke’s favours doubled up as name tags. The guests were given little wooden heart-shaped pegs with their names on.
The first dance
The newlyweds chose Noah and the Whale’s Five Years’ Time for their first dance. “We felt it fitted the relaxed, festival atmosphere of our reception,” explains Emma. “We choreographed our own routine, as Luke is renowned for spinning on the dancefloor. He spun right into the band and fell over!”
In between dinner and dancing, Emma and Luke hosted a vintage-themed cocktail hour, with drinks served in jam jars with paper straws. “We then had an amazing band, The Links, with a DJ set from our friend in the break,” adds Emma.
The couple and their son went to Cornwall for a family holiday.