Creative, DIY brides, I have a feeling you’re going to adore the wedding we’re sharing today. It’s packed to the brim with imaginative, colourful details and is a wonderful example of how you can add character and personality to a blank canvas venue. Make yourself a cool drink, find somewhere comfortable to curl up and please, relish this wedding as much as I have.
Today we’re travelling to Surrey, Ridge Farm near Dorking to be precise, for the marriage of creative commissioner Kat and Alex, a procurement manager. The ceremony was held outside under the trees at Ridge Farm with a chilled-out reception afterwards in a series of beautiful marquees and tents dotted around the grounds. The farm is famous for being one of the first residential recording studios in the UK, and the couple were drawn to this musical heritage as well as its exclusive weekend use.
Laura of London-based Babb Photo is the eye behind these images, capturing all of the vivid colours and relaxed atmosphere so perfectly.
“I really loved Laura’s creative documentary style of shooting. Laura was amazing and did a great job of getting plenty of shots yet not taking us away from the party.”
Photography Babb Photo
Kat and Alex were at school together, but didn’t get together until they were in their 20s. A holiday to the Philippines on Kat’s 30th birthday in January 2016 saw them getting engaged, with the wedding eighteen months later. It’s so lovely to hear that Love My Dress played a part in the planning process.
“Love My Dress was a great source of inspiration. I really love all the imagery and design of the website – it’s really easy to find the right suppliers.”
The couple’s wedding stationery in a dreamy watercolour design was created by Beyond Vintage.
“The colours worked perfectly with the rest of our vibrant colour scheme. I liked the mix of wooden rustic tones from the table settings with the watercolours and geodes.”
Modern glam came from her gorgeous gold heels by Gucci, and she added her grandmother’s ring and a silver anklet with a blue charm given to her by Cady, one of the bridesmaids. The overall look is so lovely, boho but bridal and perfect for an August wedding. Her hair was adorned with a pretty fresh flower clip made by florist Emma Soulsby, in bright pinks, reds and purples to match the bridal bouquet.
“Mel Kinsman did our make up and Danielle Daynes did our hair – they were both great fun! Emma Soulsby designed our flowers. I was a bit lost on the style originally but loved the dark tones we went for – lots of purples and reds.”
On the morning of the wedding, an outdoor ceremony space was set up beneath the trees, with the chairs decorated with bags of confetti and a gorgeous ‘curtain’ of copper-coloured geodes forming a beautiful backdrop that danced in the breeze.
To suit the summer’s day, Alex and his groomsmen wore navy blue Charles Tyrwhitt suits with floral ties for a subtle boho look.
The wedding’s colour palette and creative details were based around the rich, luxurious hues of jewels and geodes, making for a truly beautiful setting. Lisa at Carmela Weddings worked with Kat and Alex to plan and style the day, and together they’ve created a gorgeous, laid-back look that I just love.
“I wanted to avoid any clichéd wedding trends and keep it simple rather than having an over the top theme. We had the flowers and bridesmaids in dark jewel tones as I liked how the colours were not typical for a summer wedding. It was very much a jewel and geode-inspired wedding. With the venue being such a blank canvas and both of us being in the US at the beginning of the year we knew we would need help. We worked with Carmela Weddings who were amazing. Lisa made our day completely stress-free and I had complete trust in Lisa and her team from the start.”
In keeping with the relaxed weekend vibe, Kat dressed in a floaty, romantic number by Israeli designer Inbal Raviv, which she found at Luella’s Bridal in Wimbledon. The tiered style with its broderie anglaise-style detailing looks perfect for dancing and partying.
“The dress was nothing that I imagined I would go for but I fell in love with its bohemian romantic style, plus it was really comfy!”
“We chose Ridge Farm as we didn’t want a traditional venue and it really gave us the opportunity to hold a truly unique wedding. The venue is beautiful and you have access from Friday evening to Monday morning meaning we could keep the celebrations going.”
“The venue is also one of the first residential recording studios in the UK and had artists such as Queen, Pearl Jam and Oasis record there. Both being music fans we loved the history of the venue.”
A string quartet set up outside in the shade, and played a version of Foo Fighter’s ‘Everlong’ as the bride walked down the aisle on the arm of her dad.
“We didn’t go for traditional vows. We tailored them slightly to modernise it and make our ceremony feel less formal. It was really important to both of us that our ceremony was personal to us.”
During the ceremony, Alex’s sister Lizzie did a reading from ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho and we they also had a reading by one of their oldest friends Ben. Both Ben and Lizzie chose their own readings, an idea which I really like.
“We got our rings from David’s Jewellers in Richmond. It’s a lovely family-run jewellery store.”
I love the mismatched look of the bridesmaids in their divine jewel-toned gowns. Such a rich splash of colour in these photos!
“The bridesmaids all wore a different style dresses in a jewel tone. It was really important to me that the dresses didn’t match and everyone could pick a dress in a style and colour they liked.”
Elegant trestle tables were set-up in the dining tent, complete with low bowls of fresh flowers including big blooms of hydrangeas (one of my favourites) and exquisite blue geode place-names which doubled up as favours.
Behind the top table, another geode curtain in shades of blue and green looked sublime. The soft blue theme continued in the cake – a tiered ombre creation with deep blue at the bottom graduating to pure white at the top, with fresh flowers adding a bright flash of colour.
“Catering was by Bear Claw Catering who were amazing! We decided on roast lamb and halloumi feasting platters with an antipasti starter. The food was one of my favourite parts of the day.”
The drinks were provided by the couple, who recommend this option as a way to keep to a specific budget.
“We certainly saved a lot by being able to supply our own drink. Working with Lisa from Carmela really helped us get everything under budget and thanks to her we were able to get a few extras at the end like our outdoor furniture area which I think we decide ed on a couple of days before.”
After feasting and speeches, the party stretched long into the night with a DJ set.
“We originally didn’t want to do a first dance but I decided I was ok as long as everyone joined in. This was to ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros; a bit cheesy but the song means a lot to us. We had a DJ in the evening playing a mix of music and ended with some garage and 90’s R&B.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“I’m really happy with how we did things and did everything the way we wanted. You certainly get a lot of opinions when planning a wedding and it’s so important to do what means a lot to you as a couple as it’s your day.”
Thank you so much Kat and Al for sharing details of your incredible wedding weekend with us today. I’m totally inspired by the vibrant colours and the different chill-out areas you created. Thank you also to Laura at Babb Photo – it’s always such a joy to share your vivid work on Love My Dress, and you can see more if it here.
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer - Babb Photo
- Planner/Stylist - Carmela Weddings
- Celebrant - Knight Ceremonies
- Venue - Ridge Farm, Surrey
- Wedding Dress - Inbal Raviv via Luella's Bridal, Wimbledon
- Headpiece - Fresh flower clip by
- Shoes - Gucci
- Accessories - The bride's grandmother's ring + silver anklet
- Perfume - Tom Ford Black Orchid
- Groom - Charles Tyrwhitt
- Florist - Emma Soulsby Flowers
- Rings - David's Jewellers
- Catering - Cear Claw Catering
- Stationery - Beyond Vintage
- Hair Stylist - Danielle Daynes
- Makeup Artist - Mel Kinsman