Gorgeous outdoor wedding in Cambridgeshire

Rebecca and Tim, Lyveden New Bield, Cambridgeshire

How they met

Photography by Crash Taylor

Advertisement

Rebecca and Tim met during their first year at University, though were both seeing other people at that time. They finally got together two years later. “We were always flirty, but never really considered getting together until we had an illicit kiss on New Year’s Eve,” Rebecca says. “That kiss spelt the end of our other relationships, and made us realise that we really wanted to be together. None of our friends were surprised – most of them said it was about time!”

The proposal

After eight years together, Tim proposed at the couple’s favourite restaurant, The Olive Branch, while they were out celebrating Rebecca’s 28th birthday. “After the main course I was messing about with my napkin ring and pretended to put it on his ring finger and ask him to marry me. At that point he whipped a ring box out of his pocket and said ‘How about I ask you to marry me instead?’ I was so stunned I just stared at him. “I take it that’s a yes!” he said. I was so excited.”

The Venue

Rebecca and Tim actually had two weddings. Rebecca explains, “I’ve always wanted to get married outside so we had a humanist ceremony at Lyveden New Bield – a National Trust Property near Oundle in Cambridgeshire. It’s a derelict Elizabethan Shooting lodge surrounded by countryside, knot gardens and orchards, and it was the perfect outdoor venue for us. However, as you can’t legally marry outside in the UK we did the legal bit the day before at the register office in Stamford, Lincolnshire where we live. We didn’t exchange rings and we only said the most basic of vows on that day, but despite the brevity of the ceremony we both still found it extremely moving.”

The Dress

“I really struggled to find my dress,” says Rebecca. “I knew I wanted lace and that I didn’t want strapless, but nothing was quite right. In the end I had my dress made by Rachel Lamb. Rachel was great because she’s more than happy to adapt her designs to create your dream dress. I described what I wanted and in minutes she’d drawn a sketch of my ideal dress. Having your dress made is pretty daunting, as you don’t actually get to try on the finished item until just before the wedding, but luckily, I loved it.”

Transport

“My dad and I both get travel sick so we needed a car that my Dad could drive himself. We both love Morris Minors and my Dad managed to track down a self drive convertible moggie from Self Drive Classics – it was brilliant fun and loads of people waved at us as we made our way to Lyveden.”

The theme

“Our theme was village fete. I wanted something rustic and very me – I’m a country girl at heart. We did everything for the wedding ourselves from making fete games to entertain our guests, to baking cakes for the cake stall. I made all the table cloths myself from floral fabric that I haggled for on ebay and on the morning of the wedding my sister Rachel and I baked 150 scones which were served to our guests with homemade strawberry jam, cream and fresh strawberries. We also put together a gallery of black and white pictures of our childhood and our (by then) nine years together”

The Flowers

Rebecca’s bouquet was a mixture of pink roses and hydrangea by Miss Pickering of Stamford and the bridesmaids carried big pink hydrangea heads. “I used freecycle to gather loads of Bonne Maman jam jars which we filled with seasonal flowers and herbs to line the aisle,” Rebecca says. “These were then recycled and used as part of the table centres inside the marquee.”

The Wedding Breakfast

The table plan was, of course, handmade, and created by stamping the names of guests on to luggage labels. Rebecca’s Mum and sister made a whopping 400 meters of bunting which was hung around the marquee inside and out, and in keeping with the sweet-treats theme, the tables were each named after a type of confectionery.

The Favours

“We didn’t have any favours per se – but most guests went home with jars (or at least pockets full! ) of sweets and cakes from the cake stall. They went down a storm!”

Advertisement

The First Dance

“Our first dance was really special – it was to Army of Two by The Dum Dums,” Rebecca explains. “We saw them play live when we were at Uni and both loved the song. They split up shortly afterwards but we always kept an eye out for their Lead singer Josh Doyle who started a solo career. Army of Two has always been our song and Tim emailed Josh to say that we wanted to use it for our first dance. He emailed back and sent us a slower acoustic version of the song that he’d recorded for his wife that he thought we might like to use instead – it was even more perfect than the original.”