A Rustic and Colourful Organic Farm Wedding…


"Marriage is not just about finding another person to share a life with; it’s about finding the right person. It is a sign of their trust in each other and their confidence in the future that they make this choice in an age when neither convention nor expectation demands it of them…”

Morning my lovelies 🙂 I'm so chuffed today to be sharing with you a wedding that was made a little bit extra special thanks to the kindness and generosity of one of the many suppliers I work with, the House of Mooshki.  I teamed up with House of Mooshki last year to offer one lucky reader the chance to not only win their own wedding dress, but to work with the House of Mooshki in designing it. It's not often a chance like this comes along and so I was thrilled when regular reader and blogger Caire turned out to be the winner.

I remember advising Claire of her win and seeing how she reacted was wonderful, so much excitement it was almost palpable via the emails we exchanged!  Claire eventually tied the knot with her beau Jon on 3d September last year at the stunning rural setting that is Huntstile Organic Farm, and I couldn't resist my the very first photo of the couple being the one below – it captures such a perfect and beautiful moment in time.   I received a wonderful thank you card with this image on a couple of weeks back and it made my day – thank you Claire.

"My wedding dress was custom-made for me, to a unique design, by House of Mooshki, after I won the House of Mooshki/Love My Dress Christmas giveaway last year.

When I was first engaged, I always imagined I would either get married in a floaty, unstructured vintage-esqe number, or the polar opposite: something bold, simple , modern and structured. As it turned out, the floaty numbers didn’t suit me, but I didn’t want to abandon the delicate entirely…"

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Film Production Copyright (c) 2012, Hannah Dornford-May


"Marshmallow Flowers came highly recommended to us by the venue, and I can see why. The flowers were some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Becky at Marshmallow really answered my brief of ‘bright colours please’ with gusto! I loved my bouquet so much I took it on honeymoon and I was delighted to give the flowers from the tables away to friends and family at the end of the night…"


"Olivia at House of Mooshki took this rather challenging brief and designed something that was bold with a strong silhouette, but with delicate lace around the neckline and with a stunning tiered lace detail at the back-tiers of lace leading out from a pearl brooch.

 One thing I love, looking back at the pictures, was how bright the dress looked. Its bold shape and white colour stand out so vividly – I know this sounds ridiculous, but you forget that white can be a colour!"


"We found Huntstile Organic Farm online after looking up wedding venues that did hogroasts! We knew we didn’t want a city wedding. We only ever visited the farm and didn’t look at any other venues. There was no need, as on a frosty morning in January, we walked around the old buildings and up to the ceremony space (the ‘stone circle’) on the hill, by the edge of a forest, and fell completely in love with the place.

 Huntstile was everything we knew we wanted – relaxed, with lovely outside space for a ceremony and a wonderful easy vibe. The owners were lovely and we knew we would be in safe hands – and that a wedding at Huntstile could be stress free and simple…"




"It’s important to mention my ‘something blue, borrowed and old’ (my ‘new’ things were the dresses). My nan lent me a brooch and a necklace made of a semi-precious stone called Derbyshire Blue John, mined close to where I grew up.

I wore the necklace to the register office, and pinned the brooch onto my bouquet for the rest of the day – you can see it in the pictures…"






"We were married, officially, in the local register office on the morning of the wedding, and returned to Huntstile Farm for the wedding proper – the ceremony on the hill, conducted by a friend, and the brilliant reception, dinner and dancing.

The dress for our registry office nuptials was by Kaliko – bought for less than half price. I loved it – it made me feel like a 1960s rock star! I wore it with a crocheted lace shawl, handmade by my mum and given to me when I woke up that morning.

I carried two flowers, pink gerberas, hurriedly pulled from a bouquet in my room and wrapped with spare lace I’d bought for something else!





"My shoes were from Rachel Simpson – ‘Flo’. I couldn’t have been happier with them. I wore them all day, only taking them off after several hours of dancing. Incredibly comfortable, beautifully made. Amazing!"



"My ‘bridesmaids’ were instead ‘best ladies’. Less formal – and they could wear anything they liked. Between them, they decided to wear blues and greens. Many wore dresses they already owned, which fitted with our wish to keep costs down – not just for ourselves, but for guests too, as we were conscious that many were travelling a long way to be with us. They looked beautiful and I was so proud to have them helping me. They also did a great job of decorating the farm, hanging bunting in the marquee and stringing the tree with pictures and pompoms (roping in a few others where necessary!)

 Each of the best ladies had either a flowered hairband or wrist corsage – their choice. Those that had a wrist corsage also opted to have a single wired flower in their hair…"




"I had two small pearl hairpins custom made by Anne Alicia and a single wired white flower.  I discovered Anne at a vintage wedding fair. I’d found it hard to find something simple and unfussy to match the dress and her small, beautiful vintage pearl pins were perfect…."


"I bought my veil from Wedding Veils Direct.  Their service was great – they let me design a simple, plain short veil and it didn’t cost the earth. It was also delivered at lightening speed…"


"My necklace was a Christmas gift many years ago from my parents. It was a single modern pearl on a short round chain – again, structured but very simple and understated.  My earrings were handmade by Welsh jeweller Angela Evans. They were from her ‘A little bird told me’ collection, inspired by crocheting with her grandmother.

She works in north Wales in a place that means a lot to Jon and his family. The earrings were small twisted wire circles supporting a hanging pearl. Not your usual bridal jewellery, but very appropriate for the dress. More than anything, these earrings made me feel ‘bridal’, whatever that means!"



"My dad gave me away. He was a little concerned about the outdoor ceremony initially, as he thought there might not be an aisle for him to walk me down. But there was, and I know he was so proud to do so.

We had always planned to walk down the aisle to ‘Starlings’ by Elbow. But at the last minute (15 mins before the ceremony), during a trial run, we realised this wouldn’t work. The vocals were too quiet compared to the brass section and it sounded bad. So we switched to another track by Elbow: the opening bars of ‘One day like this’ (now a bit of a wedding cliché, but no less beautiful for that!). We walked back down the aisle to ‘All I want is you’ by Barry Louis Polisar, the song you’ll hear as the soundtrack to our short wedding video."




"As you might have noticed from the pictures, that we were taken up the hill for the ceremony on a tractor trailer. This was a lot of fun. Jon and Andy and some guests (and some best ladies) walked up ahead of time to string bunting and test out the music..."



"Everything Jon had was from Marks & Spencer – from shoes to cufflinks! He was very proud of his bright stripy sock!"



"Our ceremony was conducted and written by myself, Jon, and mainly by our friend Tom. We were so honoured to have a friend who had the ability to conduct such a beautiful ceremony – the heart of the wedding, and the part that mattered above all. To stand in front of our family and friends and make those declarations was just incredible…"


"Jon and I have been together for 10 years this year, and the ceremony mattered a great deal to us. This is not an age when marriage is ‘expected’ or required, even after a decade together. We are not religious. So we worked very hard to communicate the meaning that we knew marriage had for us. As

Tom said in the ceremony: “Marriage for Claire and Jon is an affirmation of their love, not just a confirmation. It’s a ticket not a receipt; the beginning of the best adventure of their lives. Marriage is not just about finding another person to share a life with; it’s about finding the right person. It is a sign of their trust in each other and their confidence in the future that they make this choice in an age when neither convention nor expectation demands it of them.”








"Our transport from the register office was Jon’s pride and joy – his trusty 16-year old bright red VW Polo. He spent a full day the week before the wedding polishing it until it shone, and on the morning of the wedding, got up early with wedding day nerves and spent another hour decorating it with ribbons and balloons, complete with ‘just married’ sign in the back window (we have pics if you want them!)"






"As well as providing guests with photos and poems on the tree as a talking point in the day, there were outdoor games (provided by the farm) and a trampoline for kids. We also wrote a music quiz for guests to complete over dinner, with a round of drinks as the prize for the winning table. Kids were entertained at the table by gift bags made by my mum (see below)..."






"Wedding favours were handmade jars of jam and chutney, made by both mums. They are both avid preservers, bottlers, sloe-gin makers and more and they embraced this idea, making dozens of jars (we really were playing to their strengths!). Brown luggage tags with handwritten guests’ names were tied on to make place settings…"

Hannahdornfordmay-clairejon-70  Hannahdornfordmay-clairejon-12

"We didn’t want to overwhelm what was a very beautiful and natural setting and a very well-restored old farmhouse, so decorating was done to enhance what was already there. There was a lot of beautiful bunting – my mum set to work on this, and before I knew it she’d produced more than 80 metres in two different sizes! This was used in the marquee and on the hill. We also bought wooden and wicker hearts in the months running up to the wedding, which tied in with the venue’s décor (there were already some hearts on the walls).

We made some paper pom poms for inside the marquee and on the hill, and were given some fabric pom poms (ex-display from Selfridges by a friend who worked there) for using outside in the tree.
Words and images are very important to both of us – Jon works in what you could call visual media, and I’m a writer. So we strung pictures of every wedding guest, interspersed with favourite poems, from a large tree in the garden. We also added some coloured and decorated glass jars containing tealights to the tree, which was already strung with fairy lights.

On the tables were bright and mismatched paper doilies, the wonderful flowers (of course) and jars of jam and chutney. Each table also had a jar of special chutney to go with the meal – Mrs Balls chutney – one of Jon’s favourites, and a nod to his South African heritage…"


"The cake was made by Victoria Glass  – her cakes are by far the most incredible we have ever tasted. Even the smell of them – you just have to be in the same room as one of her cakes for the intoxicating smell to grab you! We had a three-layer cake of victoria sponge, then carrot cake and topped off with a layer of green tea, vanilla and ginger cake. Utterly delicious."


"There is rather an interesting story behind the cake. The hot weather on the day before the wedding, as it was transported to the venue, meant it had a little accident on the journey down. When it arrived, it was in a fairly sorry state. Well, really, the bottom tier was completely smashed. However, Lizzie, the farm’s manager called on a friend who turned up and fixed it – removed the decorations and re-iced where it was needed. Don’t tell anyone, but the bottom layer is actually an iced cake tin – the real cake was kept out the back, sliced and served! It was still totally delicious, which was all we cared about!"



"At each place setting, there was also a small postcard that we printed, in lieu of a guestbook. Everyone wrote in these and then left them in the wooden chest (made by my dad) near the entrance. Reading these messages before we went away on honeymoon was one of the most wonderful parts of the weekend…"





The evening’s entertainment was Snappa, a local band with a deservedly great reputation. They played everything from the Killers to Johnny Cash and Chuck Berry and the dancing was energetic, fun and non-stop!

Our first dance was to ‘I’m a Believer’, sung very energetically by Snappa. We decided on this song three days before the wedding and practiced once. ‘Slow swaying’ is not our style and we wanted to get the party started!


Words of Wedded Wisdom…

"That if you make up your own rules, you can do whatever you like. Think about what is important and don’t feel you have to do the rest. People don’t expect to see a movie set – they expect to feel love, and that comes from being genuine.

People say ‘stick to what you know’ and we did almost that – we stuck to what we liked, and what we felt sure other people would enjoy. We stripped away the extraneous and made room for people to relax and be themselves. This also meant we could focus spending money on things that mattered.


Isn't it all just fab? I love every moment of it. Huge congrats Claire and Jon!  Claire, I'm so so thrilled to finally see these images and feel like Love My Dress played a small part in creating such happiness on your wedding day.  A huge thanks also to Vikki and the team at House of Mooshki for their wonderful kindness and generosity – you guys are amazing 🙂

Finally, huge thanks to photographer Hannah Dornford-May for sharing the love…

"Our initial plan was to have a friend, do our photographs. But when this didn’t work out, we found Hannah Dornford-May

Hannah was truly amazing. She has a great eye for emotion and catching people at their best. On the day, she was like some sort of magic elf who just disappeared and reappeared unobtrusively at just the right moment. She was a total pleasure to work with and her photos make me happy every time I look at them…"

I'd love your thoughts and feedback on this wedding readers, what do you think? I'm super-in love with the rural setting and the bright, fun flowers. Is anyone else planning an outdoor wedding or a ceremony located on a farm? I'd love to hear from you.

You can see more related wedding inspiration here; farm weddings, colourful weddings, outdoor weddings and all the real weddings ever to have featured on Love My Dress can be found via this magic link 🙂

Have a lovely morning folks and pop back very soon because I'm going to need your reader vote today!

Much love,



Photographer – Hannah Dornford-May Love My Dress competition winner}
Film Production – Make It Media
Venue – Huntstile Organic Farm
Brides dress – House of Mooshki
Brides veil – Wedding Veils Direct
Brides shoes – Rachel Simpson
Brides accessories – earrings by Angela Evan
Groom – Marks & Spencer
Bridesmaids – their own choice
Cake – Victoria Glass
Florist – Marshmallow Flowers
Hair Stylist – Lane, Signature Hair, Somerset, via 07729 051155 + Makeup Artist – Carly Douris
Entertainment – provided by Huntstile Organic Farm + Snappa


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.