A relaxed and rustic DIY festival style wedding in a barn and wildflower meadow in Kent

Afternoon Lovely People. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend soaking up this gorgeous sun we are finally having. It was 23 degrees in Kent at 9am this morning – I AM LOVING IT!

To match the gorgeous weather, we have an equally gorgeous festival style wedding to share with you all today.

Out of all of the weddings we have shared on Festival Brides, this relaxed wedding festival has to be the most handmade and DIY wedding we have ever featured. Everything you see was supplied by either the bride and groom or their friends and family. And when I say everything, I mean everything!

Nell and Duncan wanted their wedding to be as homemade & DIY as possible so, along with the help of their family and friends, they put together pretty much every element of their wedding, from the flowers to their catering – they did it all! All of the decor and styling was done by themselves, including 7 different canape food stations that were built from old furniture that was either lying around at the venue or they had built themselves (read more about this genius idea below.) They also made their own rosemary syrup for the cocktails, collected and dried their own rose petals for their confetti and built their own ceremony arch. They even supplied and cooked breakfast for all of their guests that camped the next morning! Their wedding was one big DIY fest and is such an inspiration to couples who are also hoping to provide and make things themselves for their own wedding. Even doing little things like making your own confetti or hand picking and arranging your own flowers can add a simple yet personal DIY element to your wedding – it can save you a bit of money too!

Shot brilliantly by Sandra of Divine Day Photography, Nell and Duncan talk us through their day…..

A Sustainable Venue & Very Important Charity….

We got married in Kent on the land that is home to The Quadrangle Trust. The Quadrangle is a really meaningful place for us, it is owned by my Aunt and her family and is usually used for supporting refugees and for promoting sustainable living. Getting married here also meant we were supporting this really important charity and we asked our guests for donations to Refugee Youth (who they work closely with) for our wedding presents.

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A Charlie Brear Dress and Painted Shoes…..

My dress was Charlie Brear from her flagship boutique in London. I wanted a dress that was relaxed, simple and unstructured and that was going to be fun to wear. My earrings were borrowed from my friend, Lycia, and my bracelet was a birthday present from my brother, Jamie, and my sister-in-law, Onya. My shoes were my old wedges which my Mum had painted ivory!

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Handpicked Wild Flowers….

My mum, Sam, and her friend, Monica Wylie, who is also a florist in Edinburgh, did all the flowers which were wild flowers, mostly picked from around The Quadrangle.  All flowers, bouquets, flower girl head bands, and button holes were wild flowers. We had big pots/baskets/cans of flowers all over the place! We collected and dried all our own rose petal confetti.

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You’re The One That I Want….

We wanted our ceremony to be fun and relaxed as well as having some more traditional elements. It was outside (my mum built the alter and did all the big buckets of wild flowers around it) and our very close friend, Nick Gall, was the Celebrant. We had friends and family doing readings, including Dr Seuss ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go!’  and ‘Love is’ by Adrian Henri, and all the guests sang ‘You’re the One that I Want’ from Grease, with the girls singing one part and the boys the other (with words in the order of ceremony). Everyone got very into it!

Scottish Entertainment….

We wanted to involve friends as much as possible, and were so touched that our friend Richard offered to play the Cello during the ceremony. Nell is Scottish and wanted this to be a big part of the day, so our friend Alec played the bagpipes at the start of the reception and we had Scottish Dancing in the evening. We both love music, so had a good sound system set up outside for the reception and a playlist, and then a band for after the Scottish Dancing too.

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Seven Amazing Food Stations…..

Food is so important to us both and my sister is an incredible chef (although is a school teacher in her day job!), so we all did the food ourselves, led by her. We wanted the canapes to be fun and a big part of the reception so we set these up as food stations, so people could wander around and help themselves. We had seven stations including gorgonzola and sundried tomato arancini balls with hollandaise sauce and roast tomato sauce, smoked salmon and truffle honey station, homemade focaccia station with eight different oils and vinegars to dip, tapenade and poppy seed biscuit station, homemade fennel and apricot sausage roll station, and shots of Gazpacho). These were set up on different things like barrels, chest of drawers, old cabinets etc.

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Handmade Decor, Random Furniture and a Rustic Vibe….

We did most of the decor with the help of our family and friends. We didn’t really have a colour scheme. The main thing was that it was all very homemade. We just used lots of stuff that was already at The Quadrangle (hay bales, old baths for the alcohol, random furniture for the food stations, trailers) and then for the rest we wanted a simple but rustic look so had Japanese lanterns, wild flowers, lavender, hessian and lots of tea lights/fairy lights.
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A Hog Roast and Mouthwatering Deserts….

For the main we had hog roast with homemade apple and fennel sauce and chili jam, butternut squash tarts, and three different Ottolenghi salads. For pudding we had grilled peaches with a vanilla & basil syrup, served with cheese cake cream, raspberry coulis and lemon shortbreads with Jars of lemon curd served separately on the table because Duncan loves it! We made caramelised oranges in chocolate for the coffee table, and our close family friend made our wedding cake (which was Ottolenghi carrot cake on the bottom, then chocolate, then Victoria sponge on the top, garnished with berries picked from the Quadrangle). We served pies for evening food. We also made our own rosemary syrup for the cocktails! We also did breakfast for all the campers in the morning and lunch for people the following day.

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Natural and Relaxed Photos with a Fine Art Style….

We wanted our photos to be really natural and to capture the stories and emotions of the day, as well as being a fine art style. We looked at so many photographers and Divine Day really stood out, as well as offering a really good all round package and being so nice to work with and so quick at replying to initial emails and answering all our questions. We spent more on photography than any other part of the day and Sandra and Jerri really understood how important it was to us. They were really fun to work with and made us feel relaxed.

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The Line Up

Photography: Divine Day
Venue: The Quadrangle
Bride’s Dress: Charlie Brear
Groom: Mr Start
Bridesmaid Dresses: John Lewis & Altered by The London Dressmaker
Flowers: DIY Wild Flowers by Brides Mum & Monica Wylie
Decor: The Quadrangle & DIY
Cake: Anne-Marie Lewis (bride’s friend)
Catering: Rosie McColl (bride’s sister)
Reel Caller: John Carver
Band: Chameleon Sounds
Videographer: Cine Weddings

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