Louise and Aaron’s Colourful, Handmade Barn Wedding in Cambridge with Plenty of Personality by Daniel Ackerley
Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic weekend? Mine was pretty chilled....
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have all had a good weekend and that you are now ready for the weekend. Have you got much planned? rest relaxation? something exciting? Whatever it is I hope you have a really good one. We are finishing off the week with this super fun wedding, that takes place over a whole weekend. It involves the guests camping, an outdoor ceremony, a tug of war and a rather splendid sack race! A fun-filled wedding from beginning to end with quite a bit of alcohol mixed in to keep the party a lively one. Photo by Andy Li Photography.
Louise and Andy were married in a legal ceremony on the 29th July 2016 at Wellington registry office followed by a home cooked meal at Henley Farm House, and they then had a second ceremony for a larger number of guests the following day in the House gardens. ‘I always wanted a festival wedding where by we could have as many of our friends and family all staying in the same place for a weekend but without it being too costly for quests which meant that hotels were out of the question. We needed somewhere with indoor accommodation for older family members and those with young families. Henley Farm house fitted all the criteria with 10 bedrooms for the wedding party, with two lounges, two kitchens and a larger dining area to support feeding the whole family for the weekend. It had a large rear garden safe for families and room to play with a large adjacent field for people to park and pitch up their tents. We had about 25 guests to the legal ceremony and then about 120 to the Saturday celebration. We booked the venue about a year in advance and the then just pulled everything together in that year – it was really fun to plan and buy things across the year.’
How they met
We met at work at Mail Solutions and have been together 11 years
My son was away on a school trip so Andy had planned to take me away although I didn’t know the destination – we ended up in a secluded log cabin just outside Gretna Green. We had to be driven down by the owners as the road needed a four wheel drive. As soon as she had gone Andy disappeared, I found him knelt down on the river side with a ring made out or grass. For a non romantic it was amazing. We spent a few days in the hot tub, walking the woods and never saw another sole it was wonderful. We did nip into Gretna to buy a ring on the way home.
How did you allocate your budget?
We wanted to do it as cheap as possible but also so that the guests had little to pay out there were the four big things: Farmhouse, Marquee with glasses and sound system, Photography and the Pig roast. The food and drink for the rest of the weekend was purchased over the year so didn’t feel too bad overall budget spent was about £8k
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
The four big things were our splurge but all essential for pulling off an amazing weekend, everything else we did in a measured manner.
Why did you choose your photographer?
We found Andy and Leanne on the internet and there were a couple that we were interested in however I discussed it with a colleague at work who told me Andy had done his sister’s wedding and was amazing and that he had booked them for his wedding later the same year – that and the style of Andy’s photos sealed the deal. It definitely was the right choice the results were fantastic and he made everyone feel at ease and really captured the day perfectly.
I am not really a dress girl but I did get one from Debenhams and I wore very simple sandals which I think I picked up for about £6 but they didn’t stay on long, I am a bit of a hippy and like the grass under my feet. I made the veil from some material which I brought from Birmingham market. My mum made my earrings for me as well as a jewelled heart on a ribbon for me to carry
The suit and bridesmaids
The boys wore Pride of Scotland tartan kilts which we got on line from Best Kilts Ltd along with the sock flashes, sporrans were bought from Amazon along with the black shirts.
I had my niece as the flower girl and she had a beautiful little dress from Monsoon.
Theme or colour scheme
The kilts had purple in so I put a splash of purple in the bouquet as well as having purple sashes in the marquee.
I made my bouquet myself – I made flowers from the pages of books and made the handle from a wooden spoon covered in Hessian, I was really pleased with the end result and it worked really well with the theme and scenery
Table flowers were purple ones!!! my sister is the green fingered one and she organised the flowers for the tables and they were beautiful purple flowers with some baby breath and they were displayed in old milk bottles with purple ribbon tied round.
The marquee team put purple and white sashes around the marquee with some purple paper lanterns down the central pole we added a load of bunting which a friend makes.
After the legal ceremony the family all went back to the farmhouse and either had home made Stifado or Chilli, on the Saturday we made big batches of Bacon butties and took them round the tents followed by homemade Lasagne or Shepherds Pie for lunch. The main bulk of the guests came Saturday afternoon and had hot pork baps with some lovely salads and again bacon butties for breakfast on the Sunday.
The wedding cake was a master piece of 3 large pork and game pies with 6 cheeses on top. The cheeses were carefully selected by Paul and agreed by us following a tasting session the time and care that Paul put into the cheese made the process a joy. It was severed with crackers and I made some chilli jam and onion chutney to accompany it.
We had a bouncy assault course for the kids. We did a sack race and had tug of war in the garden and music which we pulled together on a spotify play list so we had complete control over what was played
We knew what we wanted for invites and got a friend to finalise the artwork, we got the outer pagers printed professionally but then printed the rest at Staples and collated it together in the style of a festival program that you wear around your neck, it had rough time lines on for the day like a band list, a map, and a RSVP card. Some guests wore them on the day.
We had festival wrist bands with our Wedfest logo and our names on. We also made our own favours, we saved up toilet rolls for months – if you fold them correctly they turn in to envelopes, inside we put a shot glass, paracetamol, earplugs and love hearts for the adults and then filled some with sweets for the children. My mother in law made the card box which had the horse shoe wedding cake topper form her wedding on the top which she decorated with purple flowers and ribbons
Special Moments or Highlights
On the Saturday my sister acted as the registrar and had written a wonderful humorous poem to tell the guests our story, followed by our own vows which were also emotional but very fun – our first dance was ‘You never can tell by Chuck Berry’ (The one out of pulp fiction) which was fun and everyone joined in, it was followed by SOB by Nathanial Rateliff and the Night Sweats in which we drank a nice bottle of vodka between us and the guests. The songs set the tone for the party.
Advice for Other Couples
Do what you want not what is expected, it is your day and the people who will be there love you and therefore will love it. Don’t stress and enjoy the day, make sure you take the time to step back and take it in, the day will fly by.
We had planned the day in such detail to ensure everyone enjoyed it there were very few surprises, The vows were special as we hadn’t shared them with each other until the day. Maybe finding a hedgehog in the downstairs loo, it was obviously trying to get out of the cold. I love hedgehogs and I have a great photo holding the little guy!!
Hi, we’re Andy [takes photos] + Leanne [shoots video]…a husband and wife team who love a good wedding. We love cake…we love people…and we love parties! So, for us, the best job in the world is what we’re doing right now…providing awesome images for awesome people like you. We’re based in the beautiful county of Shropshire, however travel all over the UK and worldwide for weddings…and cake!