A Pretty and Relaxed River Cottage Wedding

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I’ve long wanted to visit the gorgeous Devon based River Cottage HQ – brainchild of chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and pretty, country backdrop to this wedding we’re sharing today. It’s also such a delight to see that our highly recommended supplier and Little Book For Brides member, The Real Cut Flower Garden, was appointed as florist. I’ve worked with florist Charlie Ryrie before and know how wonderfully talented she is and love her natural, organic style.

Cassandra, a Garden Designer tied the knot with Martyn, a Magician, on 17th June last year at Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage HQ’. Their wedding was a laidback and fuss free celebration where the focus was on good food and communal style gathering.

“Our wedding was inspired by the pretty, relaxed and informal feel of our venue, River Cottage. I am vegetarian and River Cottage Veg Every Day! (River Cottage Every Day)ir?t=lomydr 21&l=as2&o=2&a=1408812126 is our favourite cook book, the spine has literally fallen off. We wanted an outdoor ceremony, something small and personal and looked into River Cottage early on but were concerned it would be difficult being out of London.”

Photography by Helen Lisk

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Charlie Ryrie of the Real Cut Flower Garden was our florist. Charlie is local to the venue and knows River Cottage HQ very well. Her style is beautifully laid back and she has a light touch, making natural but special arrangements. Being a garden designer I knew the flowers that I particularly loved and let her know this along with a palette and then let her use her expertise to create the flowers for us.”“We had almost decided on a London wedding when a well timed trip to Devon meant we were passing River Cottage HQ and we decided to arrange to visit, just to firm up our London choice really. As soon as we arrived, walked around the farm, saw the beautiful garden and met the lovely staff we both felt it was perfect. They also kindly let us bring our dog Lily with us which was a must for us!”

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“We didn’t have a colour palette for the wedding originally just a ‘natural’ theme. Martyn wanted something a little different from the blue suits he wears for work.”

“When he tried on the Mulberry Kooples suit it fit like a glove and felt a little unusual and more special. We then took the colour as a soft theme for the flowers, my nails and even my berry lipstick.”

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“Martyn and I met in 1998, I had just moved to London and was working with someone that Martyn had previously worked with. He was a comedian and hosted a comedy night each week. We both went to watch him and were introduced, after a few weeks I asked our friend Alfie for Martyns number and rang him up to ask him out. I left a message, which he accidentally deleted, there was some panic but he got my number and called me back to arrange a date.”

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“We have essentially been together ever since. I was never a girl that dreamt of a big white wedding and for a long time we didn’t think we’d get married but the time somehow felt right and it seemed a lovely idea to have all our most favourite people together to have a big party.”

“We got engaged in March 2015 and married the following year later.”

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“For perfume, I wore Penhaligan’s ‘Luna’. I visited the Penhaligans store, they are so wonderful there, I loved the slightly floral, fresh and woody scent.We all agreed it seemed perfect for the outside occasion.”

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Cassandra looked so perfectly dressed for her River Cottage wedding in this divine Limor Rosen gown, that she fell in love with at Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledon.

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“I wanted a simple dress that didn’t feel too ‘weddingy’ I loved the elegant simple style of the Lillian dress. It had the most beautiful beadwork which made it feel really special. It wasn’t designed to have a train but as I’m quite petite I was able to use the extra length to create one when we altered the hem line.”

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“Martyn chose my engagement ring to propose from Channings in Hatton Garden. We went back there to select our wedding bands. I chose a diamond band which balances the Solitaire diamond and as we have been together for so long an eternity style wedding ring seemed fitting. Martyn chose a contemporary thick platinum band with a brushed detail.”

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“Our photographer Helen Lisk was absolutely wonderful, from our first meeting to the end of the wedding day. She really was a pleasure to have there and worked so incredibly hard, even climbing to the top of the hill during a huge rainstorm to capture the day for us.”

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“We kept the styling quite pared back, we chose to dress the doorway where we were married with a flower garland.”

Martyn’s mum sewed the hessian runners for the tables and we used simple flower posies in kilner jars (which guests could take away afterwards).”

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To tie in with my job we designed seed packets and filled them with bee friendly meadow flowers to give as favours for our guests.”

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“We used our The Wild Goose Bakery – a lovely local bakery who make delicious cakes. It was a lemon drizzle (our favourite) with a simply decorated lemon butter cream icing.”

“Our florist Charlie decorated the cake with fresh flowers. I had the stress of driving it down from London, it made it in one piece but got a slight bump on the tractor ride down to the venue.”

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“We took down a large glass jar for more flowers and some family photographs to go with the cake. For a bit of silliness we made a cheesy magic Photo Booth which was very popular, one of Martyns friends raided his magic prop cupboard for top hats, card fans, feather flowers, the list continues.”

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“We met in the 1990’s and after much worrying about it’s cheesiness went with a song that we both thought of immediately, for our first dance. It was a favourite from a classic 90’s movie.”

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“It’s hard to think of a favourite part of our wedding – the whole day was fantastic, just having all of our closest friends and family together was really special. It was made even better by having the whole weekend to enjoy with everyone.I’d definitely recommend it!”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“You spend so long selecting each part of your wedding from decoration to food to entertainment. Try to see, listen, drink and taste everything you spent the time creating. Both of us were so full and we didn’t go into the kitchen where the pizzas were being made in the evening. As well as missing out on the delicious pizza it turned out there was quite the party happening in their too. Martyn missed out on the incredible petit four and after painstaking selection I didn’t drink the cocktails!”

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“The truth is that Love My Dress was the only blog I actually read, although I looked at a couple of others – it really was the best for inspiration. The layout and advice was really helpful. We found our DJ through Love My Dress and he was great.

We chose not to have a formal wedding party but on reflection it would have really helped to have someone that could have helped us keep everything as planned and on track. I’m a control freak but it’s hard to do when you’re the bride.”

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Credits & Thanks

Photographer - Helen Lisk
Venue + Catering - River Cottage HQ
Dress - Limor Rosen from Luellas Boudoir Wimbledon
Shoes - Cora by Charlotte Mills
Accessories - Solitaire diamond pendant necklace
Perfume - Luna by Penhaligons
Grooms Suit - The Kooples + shoes and tie via Paul Smith
Florist - Real Cut Flower Garde
Cake - The Wild Goose Bakery
Entertainment - Tuned-In via Warble Entertainment + James (Jimmy) Hick
Rings - Channings in Hatton Garden
Stationery - The groom (a graphic designer)
Hair and make-up Artist - Tracy Mead


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.

4 thoughts on “A Pretty and Relaxed River Cottage Wedding

  1. Beautiful images of what looks like a really stunning day. The bridal portrait in front of the green door is perfect.

  2. This is one of my favourite ever weddings on Love my Dress. That dress, the photo up on the hill, the pizzas, it’s just so beautifully unfussy and relaxed. Perfect!

  3. It is so completely brilliant to see Cassandra and Martyn on LMD! I loved photographing their day – it was just such a wonderfully relaxed and fun celebration, and River Cottage was a perfect venue for it all. Brilliant to look back through their day again 🙂 Thanks so much for the feature! xxx

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