A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mar 17, 2019

Wedding profile: A vintage country wedding on a farm in Cornwall arranged by family and friends, with home-grown wedding flowers, handmade cakes, charity shop crockery and hand-embroidered wedding favours.


?Theme: Vintage garden party

?Colour scheme: Shades of nature - greens and white

?Venue: Trevoole Farm, near Helston in west Cornwall

?Number of guests: 110

?Month: June

?Planning time: 9 months

?Wedding breakfast: Old-fashioned afternoon tea


Mark Bolton Photography

Take a beautiful Cornish garden, add a colour scheme inspired by the shades of nature, freshly picked posies, homemade cakes and a sprinkling of vintage accessories, and you may well have the recipe for a perfect country wedding.

That's exactly the mix of ingredients that turned Beaulieu Waller and Will Rowsell's celebrations in June 2012 into a day to remember. The arrangements grew organically from Beaulieu's desire to create a unique but relaxed atmosphere at every stage. "I didn't want it to feel too formal and rehearsed, or to be all about me," she says. "A slick wedding just wouldn't have suited us. We loved the idea of having a garden party somewhere that was special to us, with all our closest friends and relatives."

"I didn't want it to feel too formal and rehearsed, or to be all about me."

A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mark Bolton Photography

The setting was Trevoole Farm, near Helston in west Cornwall, home of Beth and Travis Stevens and their delightful holiday cottages, and a venue for open days on behalf of the National Gardens Scheme[1].

Beth had been friends with Will (groom), an auctioneer, since they studied fine art valuation together at Southampton University, and Will and Beaulieu, who live in West Sussex, were regular visitors to Beth's beautiful hideaway.

?Furniture, crockery, glassware, linens and some decoration sourced by family and friends from charity shops, car boot sales and auctions.

"When we told Beth we were getting married, she suggested we could do it all at Trevoole, and it was the perfect idea," Beaulieu recalls. Then Beth came up with a wonderful twist - rather than hiring furniture, crockery, glassware, linens and so on, they would ask family and friends to help hunt them out, as cheaply as possible, in charity shops, car boot sales and auctions, and hold an open day in the gardens a couple of days after the wedding, where they would sell everything off in aid of charity.

A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mark Bolton Photography

"We decided on a green and white theme, as it would work well with the colours of the garden and because Colclough Ivy Leaf was the china we had the most to start off with. Then all our guests from Sussex and Cornwall began looking for the things we needed," Beaulieu says.

?They grew flowers from seed to cut down on costs and delivery miles.

"Beth applied for a venue licence, started growing flowers from seed, and got a friend to sow more on her allotment.

She asked lots of people to help with the wedding and the sale day, including her good friends Mel and Lizzie, who both took a week off work to do the setting up and styling, and another of her friends, who is in a string quartet, agreed to play music for us."

A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mark Bolton Photography

In all, the planning took about nine months but, just as Beaulieu had hoped, it was always relaxed and fun, even in the week before the wedding, when she and Will, along with their families, went to stay in Cornwall and put the finishing touches to everything: "There seemed to be so many people around, and everyone was doing something - from rigging up the electrics to making a floral collar for the pony."

A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mark Bolton Photography

The ceremony itself was held under a canvas canopy dressed with roses and cottage-garden blooms, all grown locally and made up by Rose, Beth's mother, and her friend Julia. "Thank goodness the sun was out, because we didn't really have a contingency plan," Beaulieu says.

Balls made of silk roses hung from the trees, which were wound with lace and decorated with wreaths of flowers, and the 110 guests sat on rows of vintage metal chairs and benches, made comfortable with cushions and eiderdowns.

? The wedding dress was made from old English tulle with lace and pearls.

Beaulieu wore a dress made from old English tulle with lace and pearls, and was accompanied by eight bridesmaids in fifties-style prom dresses, and four little flower girls, wearing matching leaf-green dresses and white cardigans.

A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mark Bolton Photography

Afterwards, everyone strolled through the rose walk, past the chickens, geese and May the pony, and up to a canvas marquee in the adjacent field, where panelling divided a seating area - comfortably equipped with sofas, a rug and a sideboard - from the impressive rows and rows of trestle tables set with antique dining chairs.

White damask and lace cloths dressed the tables, which were laid with vintage bone china, pressed glassware, linen napkins, china teapots and pretty cake stands, as well as arrangements of beautiful white flowers and fresh foliage.

?Each napkin was hand-embroidered with the name of the guest, acting as both a place card and a favour.

A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mark Bolton Photography

The wedding breakfast was an old-fashioned afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones, cakes, cups of tea and lemonade, all homemade by Beth's army of volunteers, with a centrepiece chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cake decorated with rosebuds from Beth's garden, made by Beaulieu's mother Sarah and her friend Sally.

"The whole day went so smoothly," Beaulieu recalls. "Once tea was over, we all wandered into the gardens and found somewhere to sit and chat - it was just a really lovely occasion. Then, in the evening, we served a simple family meal with pasties from the local bakery and local ale, while a live band played."

A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mark Bolton Photography

After a day's rest and some tidying up, the wedding party were ready for the charity sale. Trevoole's annual garden open days are a popular local draw anyway but, with the added attraction of the sale, more than 300 visitors turned up.

?They held an open day in the gardens a couple of days after the wedding, where they sold all the vintage finds off in aid of charity.

They were not disappointed: all the flower arrangements and chairs, along with much of the linen, crockery, glassware and other table settings, were on offer at bargain prices.

There were also cream teas and cakes (baked and served by Beth's colleagues from Laura Ashley in Truro), and a stable shop offering garden produce, preserves and a variety of vintage and handmade items.

"Almost everything was sold - we just kept a teapot for ourselves as a souvenir," Beaulieu adds. By the end of the day, the volunteers had made a total of GBP1,500 for the National Gardens Scheme, which everyone was delighted with.

A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mark Bolton Photography

It was a fitting end to a wonderful weekend of incredibly generous gestures. "Everyone had made a contribution, but Beth and her friends did so much," Beaulieu says. "I had never even met most of them before, and they gave up their time for free to help. The result was a wedding that felt as though it couldn't have been anyone else's - it was wonderful."

A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mark Bolton Photography

A vintage country wedding, where everything was handmade, hand-grown or from charity shops

Mark Bolton Photography


Did you know we have a range of Country Living Wedding packages at our hotel in Harrogate?

They include the Classic, the Vintage and the Elegant. MORE INFO HERE[2]

References

  1. ^ National Gardens Scheme (www.ngs.org.uk)
  2. ^ MORE INFO HERE (www.countryliving.com)

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