I love Natasha's take on weddings in general: it should be more like a party you throw to your closest people to celebrate the love between you and your significant other rather of a wedding. Natasha and Andy decided to throw a laid-back party in Devon and make the decoration themselves. She even bought a sewing machine to do this! Natasha chose our Alexa dress for her big day. You can try on and buy the sample Alexa dress at our showroom.
Congratlations Natasha and Andy!
- Miina -
HOW DID YOU TWO MEET AND GET ENGAGED?
Andy and I met at university and we’d been together for a really long time before we got engaged, so for us the wedding was much more about throwing a big party than the actual process of getting married. We’re British but we’ve lived abroad for the last few years, so having the wedding seemed like a really nice way to get to see all of our friends and family in one place. Shortly after we got engaged I read this really beautiful blog post about how modern-day weddings should really just be an honest celebration of the fact that you’re happy, healthy, and generally in a good place. That sentiment ended up setting the tone for everything about our big day.
THE DRESS AND THE LOOK
We wanted our wedding to be in the countryside and quite informal so I knew I had to find a dress that would fit into that setting. I started looking through blogs and listicles online for ideas for laid-back, bohemian styles and noticed that a lot of the dresses I liked were from Indiebride, so I decided to start by booking a appointment there. My mum got the train to London so she could come with me to the appointment and we spent a wonderful hour in Miina’s attic studio trying on dresses. The Alexa dress was a standout because it’s quite low-key and I really felt like I could be myself in it. But at the same time the lace and details make it look really special.
To complete the bohemian look, I got Twigs Florist in Barnstable to make me a flower crown with lots of foliage. They also made me a matching bouquet. My hairdresser Jade from Lisa Roberts in Barnstaple did an amazing job of putting my hair up around the crown with lots of nice curls at the front. I bought some expensive Chanel makeup in natural colours and put it on myself because I didn’t want it to look too over the top.
THE GROOM’S OUTFIT
Andy wore a light green tweed suit and waist coat from Walker Slater in London.
Finding a venue was quite tricky for us because we live abroad and all of our friends and families live all over the place too. We knew we wanted something with lots of nature around and with space for people to camp if they wanted to. We homed in on Devon and Cornwall as a part of the UK where there are a lot of venues that fit that bill and eventually chose Whitemoor Farm near Barnstaple. It’s down this really secluded lane so feels very remote, but it’s also pretty close to a town with a railway station, so easy to get to from London. Oh, and it has lot of great beaches nearby so we could go for a swim on the morning of the wedding.
We had about 70 adults and six children at the wedding and about 40 people camped with us at the venue. We slept in a fancy bell tent hired from Devon Belles with a gorgeous view over rolling Devon hills, and some of our friends hired bell tents too.
Our reception was in a massive former cow-milking barn so it was quite a lot of work to decorate, but luckily we have lots very creative family members. We spent a good few hours the day before the wedding decorating together, which was really good fun. Nature, and more specifically trees, was a loose theme, partly because we asked our guests to donate to a tree-planting charity in Scotland instead of giving gifts. I bought a sewing machine and made white linen napkins and my brother’s girlfriend Ana printed them all with beautiful leaf prints. Each table was named after a different tree and had leaf-print napkins to match. My brother made candle holders for the tables from birch off-cuts and then we had a river of green foliage from the florist running down each table. We tried to make the decorations as waste-free as possible and only used materials that we could use again.
FOOD AND CAKE
The food was prepared for us by Suzy and Jamie, who own Whitemoor Farm and run the wedding venue. We had a buffet with a delicious chicken and chickpea casserole, and lots of vegetarian tarts and salads. For dessert we had Cornish ice cream cones with clotted cream and strawberries, and then we brought out Cornish pasties for the evening snack. We intentionally chose a menu with lots of local dishes and made a big effort to make sure everything was sustainably and locally sourced. My mum made three massive iced fruit cakes and drove them all the way down from Scotland and we had them on a side-table decorated with loads of pretty foliage.
I grew up in Scotland and Andy also has Scottish roots so the entertainment was always going to be a ceilidh. We hired a great band based in the South West called the Barnstormers.
Our photography was done by Fran Mart and Dave Pascoe, who are good friends of my family and also fantastic wedding photographers. The photo story they created for us captures the day perfectly.
APART FROM SAYING YES TO YOUR HUSBAND, WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE / MOST SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR WEDDING?
It was really wet on the morning of the wedding and we’d kind of resigned ourselves to having to do the ceremony indoors. But then just as we were setting up, the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful day. We moved all the chairs onto the lawn outside the barn and got married with a stunning view of the Devon countryside behind us. It was last minute and impromptu but absolutely perfect.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO BRIDES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?
Think of it more as a party to celebrate your relationship than a wedding. It will give you the freedom to ditch traditions you don’t care about and to invite the people you really want to spend time with.
- Natasha -