A Rustic, Outdoor, Eco-Chic, and DIY Country Garden Wedding… was last modified: May 7th, 2014 by Annabel

Morning all ;)  Taking a break from the usual Friday morning bridal inspiration board to bring you a simply beautiful rustic style, homemade, DIY and eco-friendly wedding {believe me, there are many more fabulous descriptives I could come up with for this wedding!}, because frankly, it's just plain fabulous and jam-packed with inspiration for anyone considering how they can make their wedding more environmentally friendly – and extremely pretty along the way!

The lovely Bride in this wedding is Charlie who runs   The Natural Wedding Company website, and she married her Beau Nick on 21 May this year at Charlie's family home in the Cotswolds…

"Right from the moment we got engaged my parents encouraged us to hold our wedding at their house, and although we were reluctant at first and had grander ideas (quickly scaled down by our budget!), we came round to the idea and I’m so pleased we had our wedding there.  It meant we had flexibility to do (almost!) anything we wanted, we could start getting ready in the week leading up to the wedding, and my mum’s garden was just so beautiful we had a gorgeous backdrop to the whole day without a lot of effort.  The only downside was a lot of travelling to and fro for about a year, as we live in Cheshire.

The wedding reception was held in my parent’s garden, so we hired three stunning tents from my mum’s friend which have these beautiful patterned linings and aged bamboo poles.  So many people commented on how gorgeous they were – the wedding just wouldn’t have been the same without them.

Love My Dress – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Mark Tattersall

Handmade eco friendly wedding stationery

Rustic outdoor garden wedding

Rustic wedding bouquet

Wedding day horse and cart

Rustic outdoor wedding

One of the reasons I was so drawn to this wedding was the beautiful stationery, all hand-made by Charlie herself



"My dress was made by a lovely lady called Cara Wagstaff, the owner of Cocoa Couture – an incredible hidden wedding dress boutique in Cheltenham.  It is a truly unique collection of wedding dresses, all made from antique and vintage fabrics and lace.  My dress is called ‘Emmeline’ and is made from hand-embroidered lace which is over 100 years old.  It had a tiny ‘puddle’ of a train, delicate lace sleeves, and a stunning piece at the back where Cara had matched the lace together.

I never intended to buy a wedding dress, I have a friend who is a seamstress and I’d always planned for her to make one.  But I wanted a little of the fun of trying wedding dresses on, so off I went to Cheltenham with my mum and little sister to try some dresses on and see what style and shape suited me best.  We went to two wedding dress shops before we entered  Cocoa Couture and were instantly blown away by this tiny upstairs room stuffed full of gorgeous dresses all made from exquisite fabrics…"


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What an absolutely beautiful wedding veil!

"I hadn’t planned on wearing any veil – and I ended up having two!  My mum spent ages trying to track down the family veil, which she had worn when she married my dad, and my granny before her, and so on back through the generations.  I loved the idea that it had been worn by generations of women in my family, and although it was quite heavy it was important to me to wear in during the ceremony.  My other veil was a short one that was made from the same lace as my wedding dress – I didn’t want to split it up from the dress, and when I tried it on I loved the length and everything about it.  So I wore the family veil during the ceremony and the shorter veil while we chatted to family and friends outside the church.

"I had really wanted to wear flowers in my hair – we even picked some soft cream roses from my mum’s garden, but they just didn’t look right, so I just wore my hair lightly curled and with a plait down one side…"


"I spent ages looking for the ‘right’ shoes.  So many wedding shoes are elegant but modern, and my dress was so delicate and had a country feel to it, that I wanted something with an old-fashioned feel.  I also didn’t want really high heels as most of our wedding was spent walking on grass. 

In the end I came across the gorgeous designs by Diane Hassall and fell in love with a pair called ‘Liliana’ – I managed to track them down to a bridal shop in nearby Knutsford and despite being loads more than I’d ever imagined spending, they came home with me.  They came with a choice of floaty organza or velvet ties – I went for the velvet ones…"


"I had just the one bridesmaid, my little sister Izzy who is 17.  One of the guiding elements of our wedding planning was buying things that could be reused afterwards.  So for my bridesmaid and two flowers girls we looked for dresses they could wear again.  Izzy wore a duck egg blue dress from Warehouse with beading around the neckline and a soft, floaty skirt.  She’s already worn it since to her summer ball!  She wore silver Grecian style sandals from New Look.  The two flower wore dresses from I Love Gorgeous.

My cousin Emily had a stunning garland of flowers made by my flower lady Charlie Ryrie, with lots of beautiful seasonal blooms grown in her flower field in Hereford.  The littlest flower girl, Isla, wore blue cornflowers in her hair, also from Charlie Ryrie…."

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"By far one of the biggest treats of the day was leaving the church across the field in a pony and cart.  I spent my childhood mucking about on ponies, so it was my ‘little girls’ dream to have a horse in some shape or form at my wedding. 

My mum teaches in the village primary school and called in a favour with one of the parents, who is a farrier and has a pony and cart.  He turned up on the day (with Carrots the pony!) looking so smart in his country tweed and cap, with a sprig of cow parsley in his buttonhole.  We went off across the fields and down the lanes – it was so nice to have a moment with Nick, just the two of us, and Mark taking some lovely photos…"


"Nick and I met at University – we joined the softball team (I know!), I was in a relationship at the time, and Nick spent the next 6 months trying to win me over.  His persistence finally paid off, and then 5 months later I jetted off to Vancouver in Canada to study for a year.  It was either going to make us, or break us – I was so homesick I couldn’t have got through the year without a lot of phone calls and emails to Nick.  Seven years down the line we are married, have a little house, an allotment, three rabbits and a dog.  I can’t wait to start this new adventure together!"





"I am a country girl at heart, even growing up in London I used to always talk about moving to the countryside, so I wanted to create a wedding that felt at home in its setting.  I love the Cotswolds in May, with cow parsley lining the lanes and all the white hawthorn blossom.  So the place and the season were greatly influential in our decisions and inspiration for what our wedding was like.

I was also inspired by two childhood books.  The week before our wedding my mum told me she still didn’t know what I wanted our wedding to ‘look’ like – I told her to imagine a cross between Brambly Hedge and Lorna Doone (she quickly scribbled this down in her notebook!).  If anyone’s familiar with Brambly Hedge (it’s about mice that live in a hedgerow!!), they’ll know one of the stories is about a wedding on a raft on the river.  This was part of my fanciful inspiration, along with the story of Lorna Doone, which is set in Devon, and I’ve always imagined the wedding in the novel to be a simple country wedding…"

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"Each table had a different set of vintage vases into which we arranged the flowers – there were earthenware pots, blue and green glass medicine bottles, china teapots and teacups, and old pewter mugs.  My Granny made us napkins from tea towels, cutting them in half, sewing the hem and ironing them all neatly – quite a job!  My mum spent the summer before making meters of bunting from fabric off-cuts, which we hung from the tents…" 

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"I find it hard to call Charlie Ryrie, the lady who grew my flowers, a florist.  She has an incredible flower field behind her home in Hereford, where she grows all kinds of gorgeous, country style flowers.  I have known Charlie, who runs The Real Cut Flower Garden for a number of years through my website, and after we visited her flower field last year I knew I had to book her to grow and do our wedding flowers.  Her style is just so utterly me, just what I love, real country garden flowers, so I was confident to just go with whatever was in season and whatever she thought would look nice… 

From Charlie I ordered buckets of loose flowers, buttonholes and my bouquet.  My mum, myself, and a couple of friends spent the day before our wedding arranging all the flowers for the table decorations.  It was such a treat to have so many gorgeous flowers to choose from!  My only specifications on buttonholes were to include herbs if possible, and my bouquet I put completely into Charlie’s hands.  I didn’t know what my bouquet looked like until the day before our wedding – I gave her a couple of photos I’d saved from blogs to show her the sort of loose, natural, country style I liked and that was it.  The bouquet was everything I could have wished for, and I loved that it included mint and a single blue Love-in-Mist flower…."


"My sister and I made flags from handmade paper with the table numbers on, and we also dreamed up the table plan which was like a mini version of the real thing – Izzy illustrated the tables, we mounted it on cork and made tiny brown paper flags with our guests’ names on, which we stuck into it…."



"Most of the bits we used to decorate the tents and garden were from our home.  I love old things, and so getting married was a bit of an excuse to buy all those things Nick usually tries to persuade me I don’t need.  I went to lots of carboots and charity shops, but only collected bits I really loved and knew I would use again.  These included the vintage meat platters which the Porchetta was served on, tin baths full of ice to keep drinks cool, old wooden crates, and glass cake stands…"




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"At one point I was determined to do all the food ourselves – I am so pleased I was talked out of that one!  We both love food, I am particularly passionate about local food and edit a sustainable food newsletter for the National Trust.  Luckily, not too far away was Talia who runs Cotswold Cooks, another of other the fab businesses from my website.

Nick and I love eating relaxed, laid back meals, so we wanted our wedding meal to be just like that.  We thought of all our favourite meals and what made them so memorable, and used this to guide what we wanted to eat and how we would eat it.  Our wedding began in a non-traditional way, with afternoon tea in the garden before the ceremony.  One of my friends made 120 tiny scones, there was clotted cream that I’d ordered from a family business in Devon, and raspberry jam that Nick and I had made the summer before.  In the church yard after the wedding we set up an ice cream stall (Nick even built a cone holder!), with ice cream from our local farm in Cheshire.  It meant a lot to us that we knew where all of the food came from at our wedding…"

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"We really wanted to involve our friends and family in our wedding day, so instead of having just one traditional wedding cake, we asked everyone to bring a cake or dessert.  I think almost everyone brought something, so we had a gorgeous table laid out with everyone’s cakes displayed – I made brown paper flags onto which we wrote the type of cake and who made it, and then stuck them into the cakes. 

There were lemon drizzle cakes, a German cheesecake, one topped with summer berries, a Portuguese marble cake, and an exquisitely iced fruit cake made and decorated by my granny.  She even included our initials and painstakingly iced cow parsley flowers all over it because she knew the whole wedding had been planned around!"   


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Words of Wedded Wisdom… 

"Whatever happens in the planning, however much you care about the little details, when it comes to the day itself, just live it – just let go of it all and enjoy the day for what it is, nothing else matters.  This is your one day to be utterly happy, with no worries, it is an incredible feeling to let go like that and just ‘be’ in the moment.

I spent so many nights worrying that we weren’t spending all our time making things together when other brides were, and stressing that we weren’t bonding over things I thought we should be.  Looking back it was all so pointless; we got there in the end doing it our way.
Take inspiration from blogs, websites and other people’s weddings.  Then just get on with planning your wedding that is true to who you are as a couple.  If you’re not that fussed about bunting and it’s not part of your life, don’t just have it because everyone else does.  I think it can be so hard not to feel like your wedding has to live up to all the incredible weddings you see online, but the most important thing is that you create a wedding that is true to you, and then you’re guaranteed to have a really happy day…"


Told you it was a beauty of a wedding didn't I? Congratulations Charlie and Nick on the most wonderful day, and thank you so much for sharing :)

Thanks also to Mark Tattersall for allowing me to reproduce his work on this wedding blog, and a few sweet words from Charlie about this talented Wedding Photographer…

"Our wedding photos were taken by Mark Tattersall  who I have got to know through my website.  Nick and I hadn’t planned on having a professional wedding photographer, but shortly before our wedding Nick’s granny was taken ill and wasn’t going to be able to come.  She was such an important person in our lives and has supported us so much, we wanted to be able to share the day with her in the best possible way.  I sent Mark an email, and by complete coincidence he’d just received a cancellation for the day of our wedding.  Sadly Nick’s granny died a month before our wedding, but we know she would have loved it.

Mark was utterly fantastic on the day – it was like having another friend at our wedding.  Nick and I are quite private people and were filled with horror at the idea we would have to spend a whole afternoon being photographed by everyone!  And then a wedding photographer on top of that!  It turned out we were just so happy that we didn’t even notice all the cameras, and Mark was sweet and kind, and let us just be us.   He’s totally captured the essence of our day.  I recently showed one of my friends the photos from our wedding, and she said that they really show what the day was like, that they portrayed it exactly as it was.  And she’s absolutely right…"

Mark Tattersall features other work here on Love My Dress.

 Anyone else planning an ourdoor, eco-chic, country garden style wedding?  Be sure to visit Charlie's webesite, 'The Natural Wedding Company' for lots and lots of ideas if so ;)

You can also view more eco-chic wedding day inspiration here and click here for more DIY Bride style.

Much love,


Photographer – Mark Tattersall
Venue – The Brides Parent's Garden
Marquee/Tent HIre – Lakshmi
Brides dress – Cocoa Couture
Brides veil – Family Heirloom
Brides shoes – Diane Hassall
Brides Accessories –
Groom – Reiss
Bridesmaids – Warehouse +  Love Gorgeous
Flowers – The Real Cut Flower Garden
Stationery – Handmade by the Bride
Cakes – A Variety provided by the guests

Leave a Comment!

56 thoughts on A Rustic, Outdoor, Eco-Chic, and DIY Country Garden Wedding…

  1. Awww, such a beautiful wedding! I love the story of Charlie’s dress and the fact it has 100 years old lace in it! Brownie points for being eco friendly))

  2. I love this wedding! the bride’s dress is heavenlt and oh, that veil! Divine :)
    I love the kraft paper details and bakers twine, we’re planning similar touches at our wedding breakfast. We’re also having a table full of homemade cakes so it’s fabulous to see it so well executed here!
    Loveaudrey xxx

  3. Thank you ladies for your lovely comments, anyone else remember Brambly Hedge or is it just me? hehehe :)
    What an utterly fabulous job Charlie has done of staying true to what guides her and creating a beautiful wedding on a budget – well done Charlie! ;)

  4. Thank you for all the lovely comments :0) I’m so pleased Annabel you remember Brambly Hedge…felt a bit of a geek putting that bit in! It’s so lovely to hear other people are planning similar things.
    Charlie xXx

  5. OMG this wedding is fantabulous! The tents, the bridesmaid’s dress, the DIY, the jam jar tea-lights, the re-use after the wedding rule, I could go on… Proof that you can create a wonderfully stylish wedding without spending a fortune.

  6. This is definitely one of my favourite weddings to be featured on LMD. It also reminds me of our DIY country wedding in a beautifully draped tent. Absolutely beautiful Charlie.

  7. I love this wedding! Totally charming & rustic, just how we want ours ;) Very ‘English country garden’ – congratulations Charlie x

  8. My idea of a perfect wedding – so personal, lots of DIY, fun and outdoor magic – just lovely. Congrats to the bride and groom.

  9. This is so beautiful – the perfect rustic wedding! I live in Hereford and I am definitely going to get in touch with that flower lady – amazing! Gorgeous photographs too. Really brightened up my morning! :-)

  10. What a lovely wedding…I remember Poppy and (was it?) Dusty’s wedding from the Summer Brambly Hedge books- 20 days before my wedding and I’ve just started thinking about that book and also the enchanted forest!

  11. Yes – Dusty and Poppy’s wedding on the raft on the river bank. But it’s almost a disaster when they break free and float down river! I wish I was five again :)
    Thanks for all the lovely comments on our wedding – if anyone wants to know anything more about the details please email me, I’d be more than happy to help.
    Charlie xXx

  12. As everyone has already said this is the most idyllic wedding, just perfect in every way – well done to all those involved.
    Annabel, we still have the Brambly Hedge books – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter so you can read them to Eska and Leanora when you are here. x

  13. I have been looking forward to seeing Charlie’s wedding for a long time. Look the rustic and calm feel of the day and all those cakes look delicious! Perfect styling!

  14. There is so much to love about this wedding that I don’t know where to begin. Charlie’s boquet is so lovely and has that just picked look that I love so much. I think my favorite detail is the cake and dessert table filled by family and friends.

  15. This is gorgeous, love it all. I feel I may be cut and pasting a few of these pics into my mood board for the florist on Monday!
    Our wedding is 9 weeks away now and although different in style there are some similarities, including spookily the dress and veil!! (I made my veil?!)
    Congratulations Charlie and thank you for reminding me of those lovely childhood books….Xx

  16. This wedding looks beautiful and the photos are gorgeous. I follow Charlie’s blog too and it is so nice to see how her day went. I love the theme and the dress and everything about it!!

  17. I have been so overwhelmed by the lovely messages people have left about our wedding – thank you to all of you from the bottom of my heart, it means so much that people like what we did. And it is so lovely to hear there are other couples planning similar weddings! Do keep in touch via my blog, I would love to hear what you’re planning and share any DIY/handmade details.
    Charlie xXx

  18. Thank you SO much, all of you, for your wonderful wonderful comments. I have absolutely loved featuring this wedding on my blog :)
    More of the same DIY rustic loveliness coming up now I know you all love it so much :)
    Lots of love,
    Annabel xXx

  19. Such a fan of Charlie’s website – always knew her wedding would be amazing! Love all the personal touches {we’ve asked friends to do the same with cakes – looks awesome!}and the stationery is just beautiful. Huge congratulations xxx
    ps So spot on with the Lorna Doone ref – homespun, country wedding love! X

  20. wow, so stunning! I’ve been looking forward to seeing and hearing about this wedding for aaages when following Charlie’s blog and I am not disappointed. I love the family feel and the array of cakes has made me very hungry! Congratulations xx

  21. Its interesting to take a look at the early seasons of this show. In retrospect some of the early musical moments from the Simpsons seem tame and quaint in comparison to the over-the-top and post-modern creativity that’s found in Family Guy, and the topical and genius satire that comes with South Park. Its a simpler,

  22. I love the Brambly Hedge reference in Charlie’s write up! The theme fits perfectly and nothing’s made me smile like this – what a wonderful idea.
    Isn’t it fascinating how little bits of our childhood stay with us and influence our weddings, lifestyles and more as we grow up. The vintage, rustic, beautiful countryside feeling of this whole wedding day is just perfect.

  23. Hi I love your ideas and beautiful wedding! I was wondering how you made or did your ice cream bar/stand? Did you build the ice cream holders? Did you use dry ice? Thanks!

    1. Hi Teresa, I just happened across your comment from November, I hope I’m not too late in replying! My husband built the ice cream cone holder with just a few pieces of wood and drilling large enough holes to hold the cones, I then painted it. He also made a wooden box measured to hold the three ice cream tubs perfectly. We just set them out on a table, attached some bamboo canes to the legs and hung bunting between them. No ice used of any kind, the big ice cream tubs were just taken out of the freezer by our helpers just before we came out of church xXx

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