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What a treat it is to be sharing the farmyard wedding of WWW readers Hayley and Chris. Their day had all the festival vibes with a marquee reception, flame-throwing robot and lots of live music!
The blue, pink and purple colour palette was so beautiful, as were the flowers and all the rustic wooden touches. Then there was Hayley’s stunning embroidered wedding dress, the epic confetti moment and the gorgeous semi-naked wedding cake. Wow!
Daniel Lightening Photography, thank you so very much for sharing with us these fun and vibrant images of a spectacular festival bash. Enjoy it all.
Hayley & Chris on WWW
Hayley enjoyed looking through the real weddings for inspiration for our own day, loving the variety of alternative weddings you share.
We had talked about rings a few months before, with Chris asking Hayley about ones she liked. But it had been a while, so it was a total surprise.
On Hayley’s birthday last year, we went for a walk at a National Trust site near where we live in Norfolk. When we got to a spot above the pond, Chris said “This is a nice spot”, which Hayley thought was a bit of an odd thing to say. He then got down on one knee, produced a ring and said “I got this” (very romantic for Chris). After an initial “Are you serious?!”, Hayley, of course, said “yes”.
We knew from the start that we wanted a fun day for everyone and didn’t want anything too conventional. Hayley was at first not sure about having a big celebration, but Chris said that if we’re doing it then we have to have a big party.
So, a big party is what we planned, with lots to keep us and guests entertained. Hayley soon was very pleased we went for something we both really wanted and absolutely loved planning our day.
As most couples say, more than we wanted, but totally worth it.
We looked at more conventional venues (only online at the time due to Covid) but decided we wanted something with a bit more freedom to choose all the elements we wanted for our day.
Our ceremony was at the registry office at Norwich Castle. The Colman Gallery is a lovely room, furnished with Chiavari chairs and lots of artwork. The staff were very helpful and friendly too.
Hayley’s parents very kindly said we could use some of their land to hold the reception and evening celebration, giving us all the freedom we wanted to plan our day. Chris and his parents worked very hard to get the site ready and transformed from farmyard to festival site.
The Styling & Decor
We hired a gorgeous sailcloth marquee, along with rustic trestle tables and cross back chairs.
Our cake fit well with our rustic theme as it was a yummy 3-tier semi-naked cake, of chocolate, salted caramel and lemon. We also had lemon vegan and gluten-free cupcakes. There was some cake left over so we have been able to enjoy it from the freezer since.
The log slice our cake sat on was decorated by Chris (sanding and epoxy resin) and one of our bridesmaids (amazing personalisation and flowers, using both pyrography and paint).
La Belle Flowers knew exactly what Hayley had in mind for flowers, fulfilling our laid-back and wild bill. We had bouquets, buttonholes, corsages, as well as bud bottle vases down the middle of the long trestle tables, and a flower meadow in front of the sweetheart table.
Our theme was mainly festival style, as well as rustic and colourful.
Our main colour was blue, which we incorporated in the bridesmaid dresses, the groomsmen’s ties, Hayley’s shoes, the campervan, and various decorations. We also mixed in purples and pinks in the flowers. We wanted vibrant colours, as opposed to pastels.
Chris is very hands-on and loves a bit of DIY. He made our pallet signs, welcome sign, campervan card box, glitter station and other signs. He also restored Hayley’s grandad’s old wooden wheelbarrow, which we filled with flowers and attached our welcome sign.
We hired blankets, umbrellas, games and some decorations from Lindsey’s Lending Emporium.
We also hired a bouncy castle and had a glitter station inside our bell tent.
The robot! We are lucky to have friends who have made a robot that they take around to festivals and parties. He was a big hit, as I’m sure you can see from the pictures.
I did plan to go dress shopping but places were closed when we first got engaged and started planning. I looked online and kept coming back to the same dress.
This was something a little bit different as it was not just white but had colourful embroidered wildflowers on it. I was worried about ordering online but am so glad I did. The shop was so helpful and the dress was made to measure then sent to me with plenty of time to spare and no alterations needed.
I wore a fingertip veil and blue shoes during the day. I took the veil out and put on Dr Martens and a faux leather jacket for the evening.
Again, Chris ended up ordering his, the two best men’s and the two Dad’s suits all online. Chris went for navy trousers and a jacket, with a brown waistcoat, making him stand out from the others, who were in all navy. Ties were dusty blue to match the multiway bridesmaid dresses.
The Ceremony & Music
- Bride entrance: Bothnia-Sweet Baby. Chosen as Chris said this song makes him think of Hayley.
- Signing the register: Rise Against-Swing Life Away and Queen-You’re My Best Friend.
- Exit: Alison Mosshart-What a Wonderful World (the version from Sons of Anarchy).
Reading: To Love is Not to Possess by James Kavanaugh, to celebrate our equality, partnership and individuality within our relationship.
We went for a straightforward ceremony as neither of us are big fans of standing up and talking in front of everyone. It was such a lovely ceremony though and we still made it our own. Hayley chose to have her two bridesmaids walk in together first, then Hayley walked in with her Mum and Dad either side of her.
Reception music. We wanted a fun, festival vibe to our day so music played a big part and we wanted plenty of live music. We kicked this off with Ukulele Simon after our meal. We then had The Haze and Red Leaf play in the evening. All were great and had our guests singing and dancing all night.
Your Photographer & Filmmaker
Daniel Lightening Photography. He was absolutely amazing, with attention to detail in the run up to the wedding, as well as fitting in with the guests. He got some great natural shots throughout the day, as well as the few posed ones we asked for. He also had ideas that fit so well with what we wanted for our day.
A week relaxing and enjoying local food and drink on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. Just what was needed after planning a wedding.
The whole day was so memorable for us both. We truly had the best day and are so pleased others seemed to really enjoy it too. It was exactly what we wanted.
- The morning getting ready was so relaxed. Thanks to my makeup artist, hair stylist, our photographer, my two bridesmaids and my Mum for this.
- Walking down the aisle with both my parents beside me and seeing Chris waiting at the end, holding back a tear.
- Sitting next to my new husband at our sweetheart table, enjoying a moment together and looking around at all our guests enjoying themselves.
- Our “last dance”.
- The flamethrowing robot!
- Our “last dance” – Rage Against the Machine-Killing in the Name Of.
Advice For Other Couples
It’s your day, have it how you want it. Enjoy the planning too, Hayley certainly did.
How very beautiful.
Hayley and Chris, thank you both so much for sharing your epic festival farmyard wedding story with us.
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