Your East Midlands Wedding - February/March 2023 (Issue 54)

Nikki was looking for cat food in Sainsbury’s when she first noticed John. “I was concentrating on what to buy when I realised someone was walking behind me. When I turned around, this gorgeous man was turning to look at me – the moment took my breath away.” At the checkout, they had that awkward ‘do you come here often’ type of chat before going their separate ways. Over the next few weeks, the pair kept bumping into each other at various supermarkets and along country lanes when Nikki was out riding her horse. After chatting more, the pair decided to date and the rest is history! The couple was relaxing one Sunday afternoon when they heard the village church bells ring, which started a conversation about marriage. They both decided they wanted to tie the knot and started planning their perfect day! SETTING THE SCENE From the beginning of the planning journey, the couple knew they wanted an outdoor wedding as they’re very outdoorsy people who love nature – it’s where they feel most at home. The day needed to be personal to them both as well as memorable to guests. After trying to find a venue that matched their vision, the couple turned to the team at Brook Meadow where John works – they were delighted to host their wedding! The lovebirds found an overgrown woodland clearing tucked away from the main farmyard and campsite, which they knew would be perfect for their day. They started clearing bits of old machinery, metal spikes on the trees and overgrown plants to create the perfect setting. The next step was to roll the ground flat before sowing grass and wildflowers. Together they built a rustic structure decorated with simple voile drapes, a simple chandelier and candles to create a romantic atmosphere. As there was no power and the pair didn’t want the drone of generators to spoil the ambience, they used lots of solar lights. They also cleared another clearing for the bathroom area with a dressing table, a large mirror, a hand wash station, some toiletries and portaloos. The couple decided to have a celebrant-led ceremony and incorporated the traditional practice of handfasting, where they asked family members to come up and place ribbons around their wrists. It’s the perfect way for loved ones to give their blessings and symbolises the binding of the pair’s love. What better way to surprise guests and add the wow factor than having an owl ring bearer? A beautiful barn owl called Ophelia didn’t disappoint! Guests were able to hold and have photos taken with the owl as well as a selection of birds of prey during the reception. The reception took place between two wooded areas with straw bales arranged in sociable scallop shapes along the edges. Here guests enjoyed the free bar with barrels of local beer, wine, prosecco, water, soft drinks and a kettle for hot drinks. Everyone brought a picnic to enjoy and spent the afternoon socialising with loved ones. The pair had layers of British cheese from a local delicatessen instead of a traditional wedding cake. The cheese was decorated with fresh grapes, figs, nuts and a traditional corn dolly mouse climbing up the side. It was served later in the day with biscuits, olives and dates. The pair also provided locally pulled pork burgers with Asian slaw from the local farm shop. A surprise for the guests was the John Deere tractor and trailer that transported them to and from the wedding areas, which the pair decorated with swags of voile, bunting and roses. 25 REAL WEDDINGS