I don’t think there’s a bride that sums up the ‘boho luxe’ style more than gorgeous Hayley. She wears The Row, which instantly makes her a total goddess, and accessorised with a foliage crown and celestial Zoe & Morgan jewellery she ticks all the cool boxes too. This wedding is just so full of love and fun, which stems from the fact that Hayley and Luke held their reception at her grandparents home, in a PapaKata tipi.
Look out for the gin bar, the attention to detail is amazing and it looks like guests have thoroughly enjoyed it! Images come from the amazing Carla Blain whose dreamy, editorial style is just heavenly.
Hayley the Bride: The deciding factor in choosing the venue and location for our wedding was wanting to involve Luke’s Grandparents in the day. Both are approaching the ripe old age of 90, and it’s become difficult for them to travel. So we thought we would enquire about bringing the wedding to them and hosting the reception at their home; a beautiful Cotswold’s farm house, with walled garden and plenty of outdoor space. When asked if this would be OK, they delightedly agreed, were honored and excited to be able to host the family and be an integral part of the day. We chose Papakata to provide three interconnecting Kata Tents in the walled garden, which housed a bar, dining area, stage and dancefloor. Bob from Papakata was great to work with; the operation was incredibly slick in erecting and dismantling the tents, leaving minimal damage to Grandma’s garden.
Local to the farm, we chose Merriscourt in Chipping Norton to exchange our vows. We had seen the venue listed in a feature in The Times and instantly fell in love with the rustic and simple Stone Barn, the central courtyard and the views from the gardens overlooking the rich green and yellows of the Cotswold’s countryside.
With the reception venue being rural and family and friends traveling to the Cotswold’s from around the UK, we were concerned about the availability of taxi’s in the middle of the night and for guests to easily get back to hotels or guesthouses. So we set up an onsite Bell Tent village with Bellows Glamping providing 14 gorgeous Bell Tents, so that guests could party on site until the small hours and then roll into bed with minimum effort. We did a lot of research and Bellows came with a great interior set-up, which included beds, linen, towels and dressing gowns, phone charges and much more as part of the rate card.
The theme was a relaxed, county, boho-style wedding. Simple, rustic styling but reflecting everywhere possible of both our personalities and tastes. By not using a ready-made venue everything we did was personal to us and our guest picked up on this and gave great feedback on how unique and bespoke the whole day was.
We had a huge amount of help from family and friends decorating the reception venue. Grandma spent months prepping the garden with newly planted roses, cosmos, lavender and erected archways along the pathways which we later weaved fairly lights through to guide guests in the dark. Luke’s uncle is an antiques dealer and restorer and provided all sorts of fantastic, vintage props for around the site – tables, chandeliers and rugs. Our wedding favours were mini Sloe Gin bottles which Luke’s mum distilled using Sloe Berries from the farm. We created a “Pimp you Gin” feature, with a customer made tasting notes poster by Cassie at Plain Sage Designs. We chose nine gins and guests could pair them with different garnishes and tonics that complimented the Gin. I contacted Fever Tree who emailed me a pdf copy of their Tonic Pairing Wheel poster, which I printed and framed to sit alongside the tasting notes.
Also, a huge thank you to Luke’s step-dad who slaved over the “Key to Success” feature. This was a feature where guests were asked to share their key to success for the married couple by taking an antique key, writing on the tag and hanging it on a hook on a large framed panel. Chris screwed in 100 hooks to the panel by hand and mounted the whole piece in a 5ft wooden frame. The reception table décor we produced ourselves; 22 glass vases with flowers and foliage purchased from Triangle Nursery, hurricane lanterns with battery candles from Lights4Fun and wooden laser cut table numbers from Ginger Ray.
I chose an old friend from my hometown of Leamington Spa to DJ at the reception. Andy Saunders provided relaxed beachy, house tunes on arrival in the drinks reception area where we served Aperol Spritz on arrival, leading onto more lively disco classics and beats in the evening. Our band was a bit unusual, an alternative Mariachi band from London doing pop covers. They were incredibly energetic, great fun, and they got the crowd going and everyone dancing to their instructions!
The day was captured by Carla Blain Photography, on seeing her portfolio we loved the way she had captured others couples days with a her emotive and romantic style. She was a dream to work with, getting to know us before the day, and making us feel really comfortable throughout directing our portrait photos.
I purchased a dress in February, many months before the August Big Day. I had settled on a designer I most liked and found a bridal shop in Birmingham that retailed the collection. My mum and my Bridesmaids came with me to the store to try on some styles. After trying the label I really liked and not feeling the buzz in the dresses, my bridesmaids resorted to grabbing everything and anything from the rails for me to try. I whittled it down to three completely different styles, and settled on a white, V-necked, fishtail dress with train that I really liked. And then matched a cathedral veil. It was gorgeous. But as time passed and I went to through the fittings I increasing began to fall out of love with my choice and question whether the traditional, weighty style, fitted with the laid-back, boho, country theme I had wanted my wedding to be.
Two weeks before the wedding I purchased a second dress that wasn’t explicitly marketed as a wedding dress, by designer The Row from Net-a-Porter. It was ivory, long flowing silk with a low back and very different to the original dress choice. I spent the week leading up to the wedding trying on each dress one after the other, taking photos from different angles at home and even videos of me walking in each! It was only on the morning of the wedding that I made my choice and went with the second dress. This wasn’t quite aligned with the views of the bridal party in the room, but I knew it made me feel more like me, and I’m so glad I went with my instinct. I paired the dress with a half flower crown (which I original had made for the evening only) instead of the veil, and blue suede shoes by Jimmy Choo – purchased as less than half prices from The Outnet.
The Bridesmaids all wore the same style “Bea” dress from Ghost they were floor length Oyster colour. Zoe and Morgan designed both of our wedding rings, mine being a three piece Deco diamond ring called Freya, and Luke’s a bespoke gold signet ring set with meteorite that Morgan handmade. The Bridesmaids and I wore earrings also by Zoe and Morgan.
The Groom’s suit was tailored in Saville Row near our home in London by Cad and the Dandy. Fitted bespoke to the requirements of Luke, it’s a gorgeous indigo blue slim fit suit. The store helped match a shirt and shoes and even advised on what the groomsmen could wear to compliment the theme and colours.
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