Emma and Al’s Countryside Village Fete Wedding Mixed with a Southern Style BBQ. By Nicola Thompson

I have another awesome wedding for you today courtesy of Nicola Thompson. It’s an absolutely stunning wedding that took place in the gorgeous summer of sunshine we had last years. A countryside village fete wedding, mixed with an amazing southern style BBQ (including my favourite mac and cheese!) This wedding has everything you need to make the perfect day! Starting with a wonderful ceremony including a ring bearing owl, moving onto an outdoor hay bale blessing. Wonderful cars, outdoor games, a bake-off, fabulous decoration, glamping and a whole lot of fun! Emma and Al are such a laid back up for it couple who managed to create a completely awesome day! A wedding I would certainly like to be a guest at!



Emma and Alwere married on the Saturday 6th July, at The Medieval Hall, Salisbury, Wiltshire, then on to (“somewhere in a field in Hampshire”) Cottonworth Farm, nr Stockbridge – a beautiful organic farm and vineyard in the heart of the Test Valley.  ‘We chose the Medieval Hall as we both went to school in the Cathedral Close in Salisbury so it brought back many childhood memories for both of us.  We ideally really wanted an outdoor wedding in a field with haybales, so moving onto the farm was perfect.’



How they met
We met at the checkout in the M&S food section in Salisbury, (a very long while ago!).

The proposal
We got engaged at the top on the Victorian grand staircase of the St Pancras Hotel, we were engaged for 18 months and then boom we got married.









The photographer
Nicola was absolutely fantastic and we are totally thrilled with the photos! She worked very hard to ensure we captured the spirit of the wedding, as well as all the little details and the many different aspects of the day. Lots of people commented that they didn’t really notice her which is brilliant, yet she was always on hand to help me with the schedule of the day and to get the pictures we wanted.






The dress
The dress was by Cymbeline. I loved the all over lace look, especially the scalloped edging and loved the low back whilst still having a V neck front. I didn’t initially pick this dress off the hanger but once I put it on I knew I really liked it and the creamy colour suited my skin and hair. I wanted it to feel comfortable, as well as giving a vintage/country look to match with both my venues. The shoes were from Jimmy Choo and I wore tiny bird loop earrings from Alex Monroe.

The suit and bridesmaids
The groom wore a Richard James Savile Row Inspired suit from Marks and Spencer, Paul Smith Cufflinks from Liberty, a TM Lewin Tie and Vivienne Westwood Socks and Pants!
The adult bridesmaids wore their own nude coloured shoes and we had Converse white boots for the flower girls! The peach dresses were from Joy, navy maternity dress from Asos and navy lace dress from Debenhams. The flower girls’ dresses were from Joules and the bridesmaids were gifted necklaces from Tatty Divine.










Theme or colour scheme
We wanted it to feel relaxed and a little bit different with a countryside village fete mixed with a Southern Style BBQ, with the freedom a field offers to do what ever you want without having to worry what the neighbours will say.

Sally Vander who is Emma’s Aunt, as well as lavender and herbs from the local Lavendar farm and flowers freshly picked from Emma’s Dad’s garden. I loved the gypsophila look as this matched very well with the daintiness of my lace and the different colours of the bridesmaids. Purple is one of our favourite colours and was a theme running through the wedding so I chose a touch of this to add into my bouquet. We both love Lavendar and Al loves cooking with fresh herbs, so for the service we had lavender and rosemary button holes for the men and rustic bouquets of lavender, sage and thyme down the aisle. We wanted a rustic look for the tables hence the vintage tins, jars and bean cans to hold them. We also had lavender confetti at the hay-bale blessing.

Lots of bunting, coloured festoon lighting, haybales, crepe, rustic flowers, fairy lights, old photographs of Al and I together in the toilets and old vintage trunk for cards with map writing




A mixture! Scones for tea – made by Emma’s parents neighbour Mary Grimshaw, and bread rolls in egg boxes. We has and Ice Cream Van and cakes made by friends and family for Mrs Berry’s bake off.

Wedding Cake
Pork Pie Wedding Cake! We chose this because it is one of our favourite foods and we wanted to be a little different, and for it to be evening food! We also had Mrs Berry’s Bake Off as this was my new name and over 30 of our guests made wonderful cakes – competition was fierce for the winning rosettes!

We had a friend DJ – Matt Davey. We also had Cricket/rounders/coconut shy/skittles/tombola.











Buy or DIY your stationery?
All designed by Al

Handmade or personal touches
Homemade Chilli Jam, Sweetcorn Relish and Onion Marmalade (as well as retro sweets) – these were homemade by the bride and groom and were given as prizes in the win every time tombola!





Special moments or highlights
2 parts – the Owl at the Service and Haybale Blessing! We hired a Bengali eagle owl Bella to be ring bearer, as my family love birds and we thought it would fit brilliantly with our Medieval venue, and bring a little something different to the service. As expected when working with animals, Bella refused to fly at the right moment!! Luckily we got the rings from her just before she decided to fly and perch above the bridesmaids (nervous hoping it didn’t go to the toilet on them all), then the painting above the bride and groom, and then right above our friend Anthony as he did his whole reading. There were no accidents you will be pleased to know and she caused much amusement for all of us!






Advice for other couples
Cherish every single moment of the day – stand back for 2 mins and try to take it all in (I don’t feel we did this!). Take the time to get different photos with the photographer, I really feel this paid off as the photos are so worth it. Try not to have too much going on, I think we had just a little bit too much but I wouldn’t change it looking back.








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    Jay Emme

    Oooo this is an ACE wedding, how cool!! Love that guest book, and seeing the food in that little tin plate totally brought back camping nostalgia. ;) Fabulous photos Nicola! xx

    Harriet from The Zoots

    I think this is perhaps my favourite wedding of all time. All about celebrating a special day with your friends and family the way you want it! I love how relaxed and fun it is, with the rounders/cricket & Skittles, and an OWL as the ring bearer…an OWL!!! Brilliant. The food is right up my street, lots of choice very relaxed. What a fun day…Congrats to Arianne & Colin!


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