An intimate countryside wedding with only 20 guests, arrival by tractor, meeting the farm animals and lots of garden games including welly wanging!
Inside Sheafhayne Manor
Laura and Rob had a week long wedding holiday in Devon in the run up to the wedding day. They hired a beautiful Elizabethan Manor for them and almost all 20 of their wedding guests to stay together for the week up until the wedding. By staying together they created a beautiful sense of community with their close friends and family by eating together, playing games together, drinking, laughing and watching the sun go down over the countryside each night.
The groomsmen and bridal party all got ready at the house but as it’s so big they could stay in separate areas of the house with out crossing paths!
The bridal party got ready in the master suite with it’s beautiful four poster bed. It also has a dressing table and mirror and sofa so there was plenty of space for the hair and make up team to set up. Despite the rest of the week being cloudy and dull, the morning of the wedding was a gorgeous sunny day! The golden light streamed through the windows.
Laura had some beautiful details for her wedding outfit. She had jewellery made from coloured glass which had pressed dried flowers in it. The jewellery glowed in the sunlight.
She also had a hand made dried flower crown that was full of colour which happened to match her summery colourful bouquet perfectly.
Brothers, Best Friends and the Best Man
Rob’s best man was his brother who now lives in Sweden with his girlfriend so they travelled to Devon for the week long wedding holiday before they would be going back to Sweden again.
They had a floral summer theme for the wedding and navy blazers for the groomsmen. Rob’s brother and his dad wore these beautiful summery classy blue floral shirts.
Zuk in the photo above would be walking Laura down the aisle. He was getting ready with the groomsmen but then letting them leave so he could stay with Laura to drive her to the venue so they were together which is why you see him in one of the bride’s getting ready photos as well!
Jade was upstairs in the bridal suite with the ladies getting ready and spotted the groomsmen out the window and couldn’t miss the opportunity to capture the men chatting in the gorgeous grounds with the rolling hills behind.
Raj was taking the groomsmen for some photos outside to make the most of the gardens.
Rob’s ring was beautifully detailed with the shape of a tree on it. Laura’s wedding ring matched the shape of her engagement ring. I love the deep blue colour.
Time to Leave! Everyone was excited!
Nothing says a countryside wedding more than having a tractor take you to your wedding venue!
Everyone waited at the tractor stop for their ride down to River Cottage. Everyone jumps in the trailer of the tractor for a ride down the hill into the valley where River Cottage sits in the heart of the countryside. The views on the ride down are simply stunning!
Beautiful & Sustainable
The ceremony took place in the gardens at River Cottage and dinner would be inside the beautiful little cottage itself. The River Cottage Garden is where you will find their vegetable patches and fruit trees for the meals they create. You will even see some of the edible flowers from the gardens on your plate for added colour as well. We really admire their whole approach at being a sustainable farm with organic food and they even produce their own electricity from a windmill up on the hill. Not only having minimal impact on the natural environment around them but also creating hay meadows and traditional hedgerows for bio-diversity. This is also one of the reasons the couple chose the venue.
Here comes the bride on her tractor ride!
One of Laura’s best friends, Zuk, walked her down the aisle. The aisle was a path through the gardens up to the cottage. It was so beautiful!
Tom read a out a very funny poem about marriage that got everyone laughing.
“Too late you’ll discover that marriage is madness.”
The confetti they chose was all natural as it was made up of rose and flower petals.
Stepping out for the first time as man and wife.
Congratulations & Celebrations
To the Farm Yard!
All the farm animals at River Cottage are free range. This Oxford Sandy and Black Pig was enjoying the sunshine.
One of the staff members was heading off to feed the chickens and kindly let is in the chicken area with them for some photos.
Jade has grown up with chickens as her family kept a small number for eggs so she loved the opportunity to take some wedding photos with the chickens!
Speeches and Dinner
As they had such a small intimate wedding they were able to have their wedding meal inside River Cottage itself rather that one of the barns. This was a lovely touch. The tables were arrange in a horse shoe shape which meant that everyone could turn around and talk to each other on the tables opposite. The room was decorated with colourful fresh flowers.
I have to admit that these were some of the most beautiful speeches I think I’ve ever heard so far.
Phil, Rob’s best man and brother started first.
They way in which he gave his speech was at first hilarious and then it got very beautiful and emotional. As there were only 20 close friends and family attending the wedding everyone new each other well. Despite this Phil opened with something like this… “ For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Phil and I’m Rob’s best friend. We’ve been best friends for some time. Our parents introduced us when we were babies and we’ve been friends ever since” and continued from there.
This was just hilarious as everyone new that they’re brothers but got his point across so well that he doesn’t consider Rob just a brother but also his best friend. Such a beautiful idea. He carried on beautifully welcoming Laura into the family.
The groom told stories about when he first laid eyes on Laura.
After the groom had poured his love out to his bride he still had a little left for his brother.
Everyone was so emotional by this point, the two brothers were crying and laughing so much. I think they were only laughing at this point because they couldn’t believe how much they were crying! It was an emotional roller coaster!
By now even Raj and I were getting watery eyes. I’ve never been so close to crying at a wedding before as a photographer!
Everyone was a bit of an emotional mess after all that! In a good way though. It was all very touching. It just showed what a beautiful bunch of people they had in the room with them for their special day.
The food was always a really important part of the day for the bride and groom and along with River Cottage’s ethics a key reason they picked this venue. A thoughtful and truly delicious dining experience.
The bride and groom had been down to river cottage beforehand to go through the menu with the chefs and had tasted everything, which sounds like a horrible task!
The chef came out and gave a talk before the meal and explained what each course was, how it was made and where the food came from, they have a general policy that if it wasn’t grown within walking distance they don’t want it! The exception being the fish, which they get in on the day from a local pole and line fisherman and serve whatever fish he catches.
The River Cottage kitchen staff had a totally open kitchen policy, for both us as photographers as well as guests, something we’ve never seen before. It was really amazing and great to see them work, see what they put into the food and the effort they go to to make such beautiful food.
The desserts were all beautifully decorated with flowers grown on the estate, covered in fruit all grown there too.
The wedding cake was also made by the same chef that made the desserts. A beautiful rustic celebration of British summer time using local fruit and flowers.
Back outside to the gardens!
Garden Games including Welly Wanging!
We like to capture lots of photos of other guests and couples on the day as well.
Don’t forget throwing the bouquet and… the welly!
The groomsmen decided they wanted a go so the groom grabbed… a welly!
Congratulations Laura & Rob
What a beautiful wedding week in Devon it was with beautiful people.