Queen Anne’s Lace by Claire Pettibone, for a DIY, Rustic Farm Wedding

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This is one of those weddings that knocks your socks off.  Absolutely jam packed with gorgeous DIY and rustic charm decor, happy-wedding-day smiles and all-round prettiness 🙂

Dan & Laura tied the knot on 28 August at Boarley Farm in Sandling, Maidstone, Kent {not strictly a wedding venue, but more on that in a bit!}.  Now I need to sah here, this has to be one of my bestest weddings on Love My Dress, Laura is just so lovely – I adore how she chats with such vibrancy and passion about her wedding day, and to have pulled off this whole beautiful looking day without any support from a planner or stylist, well kudos to you Laura,  you clever devil! 😉

Laura's dress was a Claire Pettibone design – yes she, one of my top favourite 5 wedding designers in the WORLD! {lots of blog love for Claire Pettibone here} – a purchase from Blackburn Bridal Couture.

"My dress was Queen Anne’s Lace by Claire Pettibone.  The quest for THE dress was not an easy one!!! For years I have known I would never be a strapless, sequin bodice, satin gown kinda girl. I’m not exactly the most body confident of people, and not being a 6ft slim beauty made me dread the experience.

I went to about 4 shops with the vintage inspired, lace detailing and sleeved dream dress in my mind – and was confronted with rails and rails of strapless, corsetted, albeit beautiful dresses, which were just not me!" 

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Assassynation






"I was giving up, and considered having a dress made, when I read amazing reviews of Blackburn Bridal Couture in Blackheath online. I scoured their website, looked up designers they stocked, got overly excited and decided to give dress shopping one more go.

The entire experience was amazing – Mandy and all the staff were so fantastic, they made me feel so relaxed and comfortable, it was completely refreshing from other stores. The surroundings and service are both amazing and for me, really set the bar to what stores should be…"






"I remember pulling up to the store, seeing the sleeved beautiful dress in the window and announcing, this would be the place I would find the one – I wasn’t wrong! Once inside, it quickly transpired Claire Pettibone was the designer for me. Seeing the lace, the ethereal feel of the dresses and the vintage inspired gorgeous collection was an instant relief! I tried on a few styles, and they were all absolutely stunning in their own right, but Queen Anne’s Lace quickly carved itself out a little space in my heart!

It really could have been made from the picture I had in my mind and it really was that “this is the one” moment. I loved the lace edged neckline, cotton underlay, the ribbons, and pretty capped sleeves. More importantly, I felt like Laura in it; the dress went with my entire wedding vision, and I never looked back…"



 Pretty sparkly heels from Dune {50% sale off right now people!}…

"Despite a 6’4’’ husband, I’ve never been a huge heel girl – the pain is not something I can handle!!! I spent months deliberating over shoes, I would have loved something colourful and quirky, but I just didn’t find anything went with my dress. In the end, I conceded and went for some diamente slingback sandals, and although they were quite bridal, they went perfectly with my dress. And, thankfully, with their medium heel I managed to wear them until 9pm!"


"My hair was curled to perfection by my wonderfully talented sister in law Lisa. She knows my hair inside out and there was no way anyone else was touching my hair on the big day!!! I knew I wanted something very relaxed, and I never wear my hair up, so there was no way it was going to be any different on the big day! Thankfully Lisa knew how important it was to me to just be myself, she didn’t try and force me into any hairsprayed up do and I loved my hair all day long. Lisa can be contacted though Phoenix Hair Salon, Canterbury – 01227 452382

Fig Ahmet was my brilliant make up artist on the big day, she is a great friend who works for Mac Cosmetics in White City, London. She took my ideas on board and guided me to what would suit me, thankfully not leaving me looking too “done!”. I’m a massive make-up fan, but always end up putting it on in a huge rush. It was such a treat to have someone taking so much care and attention.

It was a huge pleasure to be surrounded by familiar faces on the morning of our wedding, they kept me laughing through my nerves!!!"

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"Our florist was recommended to us by a friend – she is not a full time florist, but does it in her free time. Our budget was not going to stretch to a huge amount, and as much as I love flowers, we couldn’t justify spending thousands. Thankfully Karen interpretted all of our ideas on a teeny tiny budget and we ended up with very pretty and rustic looking flowers, without another mortgage.

I’m sure every future bride is the same, I used to spend pretty much every evening whizzing around the internet looking at wedding after wedding, saving every picture I remotely liked into my “Wedding Folder” – my modern day scrapbook you could call it!  The flower folder was bulging at the seems by the time we met our florist Karen.  I love flowers but have no clue about names, and what is in season when, so I just gave her the entire flower folder and let her work her magic! My only stipulation was that they couldn’t look too “done”, I wanted them to look just picked from a field!"



"Dan, his best man and brother Ben and my Dad all bought navy suits from Reiss. We got them after finding out how hard it is to hire a stylish lounge suit! It came as a compromise, as it meant we weren’t able to afford to buy matching suits for all the ushers, however they all were more than happy to wear their own suits, and with the relaxed feel and lack of bridesmaids, nothing was too co-ordinated anyway.

Thankfully, it was by far the best decision – the three of them looked absolutely gorgeous on the day, and now have a forever suit. It was so exciting seeing Dan at the end of the aisle waiting for me, in the 6 years of being together I’d never seen him in a suit, now I’m pleased I hadn’t as it made the big reveal amazing."


"During the early stages of wedding planning I had mentioned the possibility of peach ties, especially once Dan had decided he would like navy suits. I had all the colours of the wedding whirring around in my mind, and thought they would look lovely. Dan had other ideas, and needless to say the peach was rejected, and we spent the next five months umming and ahhing over ties.

I truly was sick of the sight of them! Shortly later, I found the beautiful Liberty print handkerchiefs on a trip to London, and within days, Topman got the lovely peach tie instock. Dan decided he loved it, especially with the tan accessories, and we purchased three peach ties, nearly six months after the initial peach idea! And men say women are indecisive!!!"


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"Boarley Farm isn’t actually a wedding venue, we were lucky enough to be able to create one exactly as we wanted!! After getting engaged we scoured the internet for unique and unusual wedding venues. Our hopes were dashed when all we were faced with locally was country house hotels which not only weren’t what we had envisaged for our wedding day, were also about three times our entire budget!!!

Dan’s uncle, who sadly passed away a few years ago, used to run Boarley Farm alongside Edward, the farm owner who is a longstanding friend of Dan’s family. Dan and I absolutely love the farm, it is our little escape from reality where we often walk our dogs, and one day the penny just dropped!!! We knew it wouldn’t be easy (understatement of the century!!!), but the contrast of pretty wedding against working farm, teamed with the amazing atmosphere the farm offers, we knew we’d found “The One”.



"My wonderful Dad Adrian gave me away. It meant the absolute world to me that he could walk me down the aisle as he has had the worst year ever! Back in February we discovered he had to have very major heart surgery, and he was stuck in St Thomas’ Hospital for weeks. It was a very stressful and traumatic start to the year we were all so looking forward to, and there were moments when I’m sure we all wondered whether he’d be able to give me away. He used the wedding as his goal, and he blew us all away with his strength and resilliance, and he fought to not only give me away, but to help us transformation our farm into our wedding vision. Not only that, but he delivered an amazing speech, despite months of hardly being able to talk, and danced the night away! Hero much?

My dad and I walked down the aisle to the instrumental of Elbow’s One Day Like This. The song was special to Dan and I…"


"Dan and I chose to have a humanist ceremony. Neither of us have strong religious ideas, and so that ruled out a church wedding. We wanted something really personal, which referred back to our wonderful families, and something which was lighthearted and fun. I also, didn’t want to compromise on getting married outside in the gorgeous farm’s garden. The outside, unregistered garden ruled out a civil ceremony so we set about researching our options.

Looking back now, I’m so glad we discovered the option to have a humanist ceremony. It was absolutely perfect, and so personal. Our celebrant was fantastic; she made us all feel at ease and totally embraced our silliness and want for comedy. We all wrote the ceremony together and being able to have so much input was a great experience…"


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Laura's vail was from HM Veils

"I never imagined having a veil, but as I’m sure most people say, the minute I put one on I felt like a bride! Plus it made my mum and nan cry so how could I say no?! I went very simple, with a single tier floor length veil so it didn’t overshadow and just complimented my dress. As much as I think it looked pretty, I have to be completely honest though, and say on the day it drove me absolutely mad!!! Ladies, make sure you anticipate how it might be to manoeuvre in it, for me the hay bales and veil was not a match made in heaven and I was relieved to get it off in the evening…"







"Our vision for the day was to just reflect us. We didn’t want a colour story, or for anything to be overly co-orindately. Just things that we like! Sooo, we had lots of vintage suitcases, hearts (which have since added more to the house heart collection!), candles, vintage apple crates, and crochet doilies.. I wanted our guests to keep discovering more things so it felt like an exciting little journey! With that in mind I let my creative juices run free and went mad with crafting for 8 months before the wedding.

We draped the front of the barn with organza and lace curtains, and added lots of magnetic butterflies, it was the most exciting transformation and once we’d got electricity installed, and then the lovely festoon lighting, the barn came alive!"

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"Our beautiful three tier ruffled beauty was a wedding gift from our wonderful friend Jo. An amazing chef, she makes truly gorgeous cakes, and is always up for a challenge. I had the picture saved, again more blog action, because I loved the ruffle icing and depth of tiers. Jo took the picture and recreated it perfectly with an extra tier and so many of our guests commented they had never seen such a beautiful cake.

We chose chocolate orange for the bottom tier, vanilla with raspberries for the middle and traditional fruit for the top. It was a complete travesty though, that on the day, after we cut the cake, we hadn’t made any arrangement for cake cutting and dishing out! I was devestated, none of our guests had any cake, but it was the price we paid for not being at a wedding venue with staff I suppose…"



"Dan’s brother painted us the cut out Bride and Groom and I got the disco ball and chandelier out of a skip at work.

We also made a little sweetie table, we didn’t want anything too extravagant, just a bit of fun! I collected old apothecary jars and other nice glassware and pulled it all together on a hand painted table (again, originally out of a skip at work!)."


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"I’m of the train of thought that wedding favours are a bit pointless really. I’ve been to so many weddings where the favours are left behind at the end of the evening, or they’re taken home but then shoved in a drawer never to be seen again, that I didn’t want to waste our budget one unneccessary favours.

Our home is filled with hearts, my favourite little detail!! I wanted the wedding to get in on the heart action, so myself, and the two mums set about hand making 40 stuffed hearts! It took absolutely ages!!! Cutting 80 fabric hearts, adding buttons, sewing them, stuffing them – what a palavour!! I definitely underestimated how long they would take to make, but I’m glad we persevered.

We used pretty liberty print fabric to tie in with “the vision”, and hung these on the back of all the women’s chairs,  then if the ladies wanted to take them they could, and either way they looked lovely. As it turns out, nearly everyone took them, and I’ve seen them hanging in friends and families’ homes and they look so cute – what a lovely reminder."









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As the day progressed, Laura wore a huge organza flower from Blackburn Bridal Couture and put onto a hairband for me…

"Everyone who knows me, knows I’m an accessory lover and the bigger the better! I wanted something a bit fun and quirky and the flower provided that but kept a pretty twist. Plus, I love that I can wear it again and again, pinning it onto dresses and jackets, and always remember our big day…"





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"We decided on a band for the evening, as Dan and I both love live music, and having parents who own a pub means we sample the best local talent reguarly! The Leigh Highwood Band never fail to get people dancing, and do a huge mixture of music, something we wanted due to the huge variety of guests! Any last minute reservations about people not knowing the music, and not enjoying the band, were set to one side when the dancefloor was packed all night long. Plus, I got to show off my well practiced air guitar skills, the two mums were perfect backing singers and jumping around to Sex On Fire wouldn’t quite have been the same without Leigh!

Throughout the day we played music from our iPods – something I would highly recommend to anyone who can’t afford a string quartet and harp player!!!! We both loved making playlists of all our favourite songs and along the way we introduced our guests to some new music they hadn’t heard before…"



Words of Wedded Wisdom…

"I would absolutely love to tell every bride planning their wedding, to follow your heart and make your wedding a true reflection of you and your other half. Your wedding is your chance to do everything you want to do, and not compromise!! I may have had a couple of Bridezilla moments – I wouldn’t change my dream of festoon lights to flood lights, but it was worth it!!!

Don’t worry about other people’s expectations – this is YOUR day!!! I’m so glad we didn’t waste time worrying about what people would think of us not having bridesmaids, or a sit down meal, or a church wedding. In the end, we ended up with our dream day, which I think every couple deserves.  It was all down to personal taste, we just did things that we liked!!! No theme or colour story, just all things we liked and felt were fun!"


Just how much fun beautiful rustic DIY style can you pack in to one wedding?

Many congratulations Laura and Dan, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your simply beautiful wedding day with Love My Dress {and I do actually LOVE your dress Laura!}.

As always, big thanks to Sassy of Assassynation Photography too…

"From the very first day of planning I knew, in keeping with the unconventional feel of the wedding, the photographer would have to “get” our vision and be used to getting involved in fun and relaxed weddings. Sassy completely blew our socks off!!! She is fun to work with and very friendly;  you instantly feel like you’ve known her for years when she arrives on the morning! 

Sassy captured everything and then some. She photographed all the details we slaved over  beautifully so we can treasure them forever. It’s brilliant to have so many wonderful pictures of our friends and family who all look so comfortable and relaxed, probably because they all loved her too! Sassy isn’t at all forceful, and doesn’t make anyone do anything they’re not comfortable doing – she’s just full of amazing ideas, a real expert! We are so glad we found her, and have now got tonnes of great photos to remember our day by."

Just how much do you love this wedding?! ….and which bit is your favourite 🙂

Much love,

Annabel xXx


Photographer – Assassynation
Venue – Boarley Farm in Sandling, Maidstone, Kent
Brides dress – Claire Pettibone, from Blackburn Bridal Couture
Brides veil – HM Veils
Brides shoes – Dune
Brides accessories – Blackburn Bridal Couture
Groom – Reiss + Peach tie from Topman
Cake – Friend
Flowers – Friend
Entertainment – The Leigh Highwood Band
Vintage Crockery Hire – Victorian Tea Party
Toilet Hire
Lighting Hire
Hog Roast
Ice Cream Bike


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

31 thoughts on “Queen Anne’s Lace by Claire Pettibone, for a DIY, Rustic Farm Wedding

  1. Amazing! That dress is gorgeous and so is the bride! It’s made me feel more confident as I have a very similar build to this lovely bride. Unfortunately my budget doesn’t stretch to a Claire Pettibone dress… *sad face*

  2. Such a beautiful wedding! I adore the dress and all the DIY details.
    I especially love the way she calls her husband’s attire his ‘forever suit’. My fiance keeps putting off buying his, much to my frustration!
    Loveaudrey xXx

  3. Just gorgoeus! Such a pretty and creative wedding, amazing dress, and so beautifully photographed. I was really drawn into the story of the day, and even shed a tear! Wonderful xx

  4. Amazing and what lovely comments, after all I am the Mother of the Bride so I am bound to be a bit biased!!!!!!
    Ladies I can tell you Laura had some incredible ideas and we were all soo proud watching her vision become a reality, I am glad you all get to see it too and hope it gives you inspiration.
    Laura would love to be a Wedding Planner/Consultant and I think you will agree with me she should definitely pursue this.
    Thank you to EVERYONE involved x x

  5. Oh my Cara ! thank you so much for your comment!
    I’ve been holed up in bed all day long with a migraine so waking {thank GOD for migraleve!} to this lovely comment has totally made my day.
    This must be one of the most inspirational weddings I have featured, if not the most. To have pulled off all this gorgoeus detail with no help from an expert planner/stylist is just incredible.Then I read your comment that Laura would LOVE To be a wedding planner/consulant and blimey charley, would she make one excellent one!!!
    It is clear that Laura is also surrounded by loving family and friends, I am just so delighted to have been able to feature this beautiful day on Love My Dress 🙂
    Thank you again for your comment 🙂

  6. “Eek, how stunning! I want this wedding for my very own! :-)”
    Kat – me too. Let’s all get married again and do it rustic / barn / farm / Claire Pettibone style! ;))

  7. Thankyou SO much to everyone who took the time to comment.
    I’m completely overwhelmed by everyone’s loveliness!!!!!
    I am missing the “wedding world” dreadfully so seeing our wedding day all over again, on one of my main sources of inspiration, is such a treat!! Thank you Annabel for featuring us, and Sassy for capturing it all 🙂 xxx

  8. oooooh – what a stunning bride – and UTTERLY stunning wedding too – looked like a lot of fun – all that smiling was infectious, found myself grinning at it too! 🙂 LOVED the photos, and the processing <3

  9. Oh Laura, thank you so much for your comment sweet lady! Is it any wonder people love your wedding so much? It’s absolutely beautiful!
    HUGE congratulations to you.
    I’m very much looking forward to receiving your email reply *wink wink* :)))))

  10. Loving all the comments, it was truly a magical day. Laura had the vision all the time and i’d often wonder if we could pull it off, but we did it and then some. Laura is a inspiration to us all and shows if you put your mind to something it’s achievable and i hope some of her ideas inspire and incourage you girlies to do something you really want to do.
    PS i’m a the first man to ever post on a wedding blog? 😀

  11. Aw this wedding is absolutely gorgeous!!! I must admit that I do sometimes skim the text and just look at the pretty but I read every single word of this stunning wedding.
    Laura – I am getting married in Canterbury and would love your sister in laws details for my hair. The number goes to a funeral parlour at the moment?!?!
    L x

  12. Oh goodness Louise I’m so sorry I must have copied the wrong number down!!!! And to a funeral parlour of all places!!!!! I’m so pleased Lisa may be able to help some of you other lovely ladies!! If you email me I can send you Lisa’s mobile number as she’s only in the salon one day a week anyway!! Hellolaurahumphrey (at) gmail (dot) com xxx

  13. Laura is our only grandchild, and as her Nannie & Papa I cannot tell you how proud we were of hers and Dans wedding day. Laura had a vision of how she wanted the wedding day to be and she certainly achieved it, she is so talented

  14. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments about Laura and Dan’s incredible day. They both really did such an amazing job and I know it wasn’t easy for them turning this working farm in to their dream wedding venue. Their ceremony was both funny and emotional…..but then I am a HUGE fan of humanist ceremonies!
    Thank you also for you lovely comments about my images of the day, I couldn’t have done it without Laura and Dan’s hard work and adventurous spirit (they even climbed grain towers!).

  15. It’s lovely to see a more voluptuous bride, particularly as I’m most definitely in that category myself. But, like femke said earlier, I sadly do not have the budget to buy a dress like this!
    Gorgeous wedding though with lots of lovely details and touches. Congratulations to Dan & Laura!

  16. This wedding was so beautiful! The bride looked STUNNING!! I am also a plus size bride-to-be and this is my dream dress! I was wondering if the bride was interested in seeling her dress. If so,PLEASE contact me at [email protected].

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