After the pre-wedding hangout/35th birthday clay pigeon & hog roast action on Friday (check out the fun and games here), last Saturday we joined Katie & Sam to photograph their country wedding at Katie’s Aunties Farm in Mansty, near Stafford.
We always enjoy unusual weddings and this was one of the best we’ve done in a good while! It’s great when a couple can host their wedding on their own grounds, and aren’t restricted by the rules & constraints of hotel chains.
The Mansty Farm grounds not only made for a perfect setting, but were also bathed in the most wonderful summer sunshine all weekend!
I hope you enjoy this story of a very special day!
While Clare joined the guys for their preps, I headed to the girls, who were enjoying bucks fizz in their flip flops…while they had their hair made beautiful!
Team Bride! Stage 1: hair complete!
Back at the ranch, their family pal Debbie headed team flora, with a team of helpers shuttling colourful tulips across to the marquee in the gold buggy! Meanwhile, Clare joined the chaps for a long morning dog walk around the farm fields!
It was certainly a dog friendly wedding, and there must have been over 10 dogs on site, including Sam’s dear black lab Digby & their little border terrier Woody.
The farm labs watched the comings and goings from their beds with bemusementHere’s Katie giving lovely pearl bracelet wedding gifts to her girls!
And upstairs here’s the funky Ian Stewart bridal gown!
Considering the number I’ve seen, I’ve never really learnt much about wedding dress designers, but dresses by Ian Stewart have always stood out!
There’s always something modern and cool about them. I love that this dress is knee length, so Katie was super mobile! Katie had also had it customised to have flashes of purple put into it, not only in the shoulder flower, but in layers of purple netting in the underskirt!
Her outfit was finished with an ace pair of purple LK Bennet kicksStage 2: Makeup – beautifully done by themselves.
Over in Granny’s cottage……Sam added a few finishing touches to his speech.
I loved the country tweed vibe to the gents suits!
After a few quick celebratory scoops at the local pub…
…team groom, set alarms and took a snooze in the sunshine!
The chaps outfits had matching tie / socks / silk waistcoat backs!
Sam’s a ‘tree-fella’ (doing Tree Work & Forestry Services), and he and his friends aren’t strangers to chainsaws (as seen on the best man’s orange Stihl chainsaw braces), which tied in with his orange colour scheme!
Digby was helping out where he could.Fortunately he didn’t get his gob round the grooms ace tan brogues!
Here’s Sam looking serious and good to go.Working with his hands, Sam wasn’t convinced he’d want a wedding band, but after discovering that famous shotgun engravers Holland & Holland can engrave rings on special order, he had a fantastic bespoke ring made specially; featuring a design containing a Yorkshire Rose, stags horns and oak leaves. It looked ace.
Here’s Debbie and the gang affixing rustic floral decor to the chairs in dining room.
One of the many cool, unusual features of this wedding was that they’d received planning permission from the council to make the farmhouse dining room sanctioned according to law for the celebration of marriages! So after jumping through a few hoops, they were able to get married & host their reception at home!
The room looked splendid, and their plan was to have 20 or so near & dear in the lounge, then have their reception guests arrive & hang outside, to cheer them out!Here are the bridesmaids helping each other into the cadbury’s purple dresses!Then it was the brides turn!
I liked that from the window Katie could see her horse Tom munching away in the fieldAww. I love to be able to capture a bit of the excitement of the girls wrapping up the dress.
And here’s the finished article!
Greeting little flower girls Grace!
Team Bride assemble… Stage 3: complete!
A little detail of the beautiful bouquets, dresses and jewellery.
A quick snap with Katie’s very lovely, special Auntie Jen.Meanwhile, downstairs… the groom, best man, Master of Ceremonies and family awaited…
Digby, bearing rings around his neck gave Sam a reassuring handshake
…and down the stairs came uncle Mike and Katie.Digby performed his ring bearing duties admirably!
“With this ring, I thee wed…”You may kiss the bride!
Making things official on the dining table!
…back down the aisle as man & wife…
…and outside to join their buddies to celebrate under a shower of confetti!
It truly was the most beautiful afternoon for an outdoor celebration (I should have probably worn suncream!)
We quickly turned through a few immediate family & wedding party shots (including one with Diggers!) We found a tree under which to shelter from the harsh sunshine (note one crashed out Digby in front!)
Then Katie brought her events horse Tom along to join in the fun!
His full name is Tom Cruise!
it was most amusing during this moment when Tom literally ate the tulip off the grooms corsage!
Not to be outdone, Sam got his buddy to bring round the quad for a few pics!
He and Katie even went for a burn round the fields!
On the hefty redwood swing Sam had hung from farmhouse giant oak, we got a shot of the hens…
and on the quad… the stags!Sam’s shooting buddies had also arranged to bring their shotguns
for a shotgun salute!
[ If you’ve not seen the clay pigeon action from the Friday night, check out the blog post here. I literally had a blast ]
It doesn’t get more country than this eh?!
Before dinner we did a quick round of portraits in the glorious sunshine.
I loved the rustic farm buildingsThe wedding breakfast room looked brilliant, with name settings written onto the flutes and tables named after tree types!Their wedding cake tied all the elements together, with Tom, Digs & Woody, tulips, and the happy couple sat on logs (iced by Sam!)Speeches were great funThen a designated member from each table got a chefs hat and duties to carve roast beef for their tables!
It couldn’t be more apt than to cut the cake with a giant axe!After dinner, we nipped out for a turn on Sam’s swing…
…and a quick smooch in the evening sunshineWhile the golf buggy got abused by drunk drivers, tired feet were given respite in a basket of flip flops so bring in the evening celebrations!Once the sun left the party……the house lights went on……and the happy couple took to the floor for their first dance…… then the party people joined them on the floor!
As dusk turned to night, we left the party and headed for home, thinking what an awesome wedding weekend this had been!
We had an absolute blast (though I’m still bruised from the shotgun fun!) and absolutely love weddings so full of cool ideas like this.
Thank you Katie & Sam (and all your amazing friends & family) for really getting us involved in your wedding weekend!
Party on & enjoy the honeymoon!
x B&C x