A homespun, back garden wedding – all aboard the tractor!

As you all know by now, this little shabby chic wedding blog is only as good as the weddings it features! So I always get disproportionately excited when a really fab wedding pops up in my inbox.

This is Daniel and Lucy’s big day – and I’ll let Lucy tell you all about it!

“Daniel and I met in a little bar in Brighton – a typical “my friend fancied his friend” situation. My friend was too shy to go over and speak to the guy she fancied so I went over and started a conversation with the group of people and got talking to Daniel. We hit it off straight away and started dating. Unfortunately my friend never actually got around to speaking to the guy she had initially fancied!”

“After dating for 6 months we moved in together, and then after about 2 years Daniel proposed. It was a bit of a surprise as Daniel is well known for being very disorganised. I had an interview in London, and Daniel suggested that he come with me and take me out for lunch afterwards. We met up at Green Park tube station and he suggested we take a walk, and then walked me into The Wolseley. I had never been to The Wolseley and was immediately taken by the beautiful decor and understated elegance. It turns out Daniel had bought an engagement ring and smuggled it up to London without me knowing and had booked a table with champagne was waiting for us. He got down on one knee in the middle of the restuarant and asked me to marry him whilst crying and shaking uncontrollably – although he maintains that he was calm and collected! I was absolutely surprised and delighted and said yes straight away.”

“I then found out that a few minutes before I had met up with Daniel, he had been mugged at the cashpoint. He had gone to get some money out for lunch and someone stole his card as it came out of the cashpoint. Luckily a rather large rugby sized man stood behind Daniel in the queue ran after the mugger and retrieved Daniel’s card so he could actually pay for lunch.”

“We planned the wedding for about a year, and from the beginning we knew we would like to get married in our local church in Albourne, Sussex. It is a 15 minute walk from our house down a little lane – it is the only building down the end of the lane apart from the rectory and it is surrounded by fields. I think they only have a handful of weddings a year which made it even more special. We also wanted the reception in our garden as we wanted to keep everything very personal to Daniel, me and our guests.”

“The theme was country garden, so we had a selection of picnic tables covered in floral table clothes, vintage mix match crockery and glasses and country garden flowers from a local grower. The tables centres were vintage jugs or teapots filled with small posies. and alongside these we had wicker baskets filled with a bottle of red wine, homemade chutney and homemade apple sauce. It was important that the food was really good as all our friends are foodies so we had a hog roast and then a wonderful buffet that we did ourselves with the help of our friends. It included whole baked salmons, spinach feta and pinenut filo pastry tarts, french green bean salad, summer vegetable and herb cous cous, homemade coleslaw, herby potato salad. All the food was bought from the local greengrocer or grown in our garden and the wine came from our independent wine shop in the village. My sister made a beautiful cake using eggs from our chickens. It was 3 tiers – carrot, beetroot and then a banana cake covered in cream cheese icing and a mix of berries. After supper a local band played music and everyone talked, drank and danced in the garden until the small hours with fairy lights and lanterns lighting the garden.”

“We had so much help from so many people – Daniel’s mum made vintage style table cloths from old floral curtains, she hand embroidered napkins with our initials, our neighbour lent us his vintage tractor and trailer so people had the option of walking down to the church or getting lift. The local farmer cleared the field of cows so we could turn the tractor around as the lane is so narrow, another neighbour’s dad did our hog roast as the planned person pulled out at the last minute, a jeweler friend made our rings….the list really does go on and on. We had so much help that we had a nickname for our neighbours “the Albourne Elves” – as when anything was needed or we asked for help it magically appeared.”

“My favourite part of the day was walking into our garden with my new husband, the sunshine appearing from behind some rather worrying dark clouds and seeing everyone in our garden enjoying the day, drinking champagne and listening to music. My second favourite part was watching Daniel run around the garden in his wedding suit trying to catch our chicken Muriel who had managed to escape her pen!”
“A few tips for future brides would be to try to be a little flexible when organising your wedding – the most stressful points are where you have a set idea and then for some reason you can’t have X flowers, or X venue or X tealight holders. Give yourself some options and keep an open mind – no matter what happens you will have an amazing day and those little details don’t always feel quite as important on the day as you thought they would as you are too busy enjoying yourself.”
“A second really important thing I now tell anyone I know who is getting married is to try to stand back for a few minutes, relax and really appreciate your day and your new husband. The day is so busy, and so many people want to speak to you and the build up has probably been so intense that the day can rush by and suddenly you find yourself saying your goodbyes and heading off to your honeymoon. Take 10 mins with your new husband away from your guests and photographer – maybe get the car to pull over at a pre-arranged place between the church and venue so you can sit there and let it all sink in – or after dinner agree to sneak away with your husband to have a glass of champagne just the two of you. I was really lucky to have a friend who just took me to one side and said “breathe” you have done an amazing job organising the day – now ENJOY it!”
Lucy has since started Mayflower Events! Her website is coming soon and I can’t wait to see the results of her planning adventures :)
Dress by Monsoon
 Wine supplied by Lucy at South Down Cellars

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