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crockwell farm wedding photography – liam smith photography
Crockwell Farm Wedding
Crockwell Farm is the place, a charming barn conversion located in the Northamptonshire countryside. What i was most impressed about was how they allow you to have the venue for two days as standard, so no more rushing around in the morning before the next wedding party arrives.
New venues are always tricky, where will the registrar let me stand? where are the windows relative to the couple etc. etc. that’s why its always worth checking it out beforehand, especially before days like today…as it was lashing it down! cobbled paths greet you upon your entrance leading into a succession of wonderfully converted barns consisting of ceremony room, bar area, reception room and dance floor. The layout of the venue is the real selling point, everything flows nicely, keeps guests together and after dinner there’s no need to turn the room around – no fuss.
I first met Dale many moons ago in another life when we were both working in Milton Keynes hospital, so it was an absolute joy to be asked to photograph the wedding. When you have two people who are just so happy, you cant help but become swept up in the emotion. The bridesmaids were in tears, the parents were in tears, even Riccardo had a little cry :) (and yes the cake was in tiers too) The sun somehow came out in the afternoon and with the voice of Richie Benaud in my head ‘the morning sun has burnt off the cloud and its a lovely day for test cricket’. Crockwell Farm lit up with colour, even for a day so late in the year (top marks groundsmen) and with some clever lighting it looks like a summers day. Splendid. Some of my favourite shots of the year are in this wedding, Riccardo laughing at me in particular is a gem. I had an absolute blast and I hope you can relive the day with us through the images.
This was the first dress in the first shop I tried on. I must have tried at least 10 more after but knew the ‘Dakota’ dress was the one. I wanted something simple but with a vintage element to it. I absolutely love lace so as soon as I saw this one it ticked all the boxes for me. It’s very fitted so showed off my figure while still being classic and pretty because of the lace.
I found my shoes at the National Wedding show in Birmingham with my mum. They were Rachel Simpson shoes called Mimosa in Pale Mint. I thought they fitted in with the whole look of the wedding and I loved the gold trim.
I hired a Jenny Packham headpiece and cuff in gold. I absolutely loved these and got a number of compliments from guests about them. I didn’t want to spend hundreds of pounds on them just for the one day so was thrilled to find out I could hire them from Miss Lemon Brides for a very good price.
My absolutely favourite perfume is Elie Saab. Luckily my mum brought a bottle of this for me for my birthday a couple of months before the wedding so I saved it for the big day.
I’m not really one for a lot of jewellery and didn’t want to take away from the Jenny Peckham cuff so I just chose to wear some nice pearl stud earrings (which I also gave to my bridesmaids as a present) that I got from a nice little boutique shop near where I live.
I love the whole vintage look so wanted to have vintage elements here and there. The venue really speaks for itself though and you don’t have to do much to it to make it look more beautiful than it already does. I wanted to stick to blues and purples with gold touches. We achieved this from the lovely, gold ladder back chairs, gold candles and accessories, gold willow in the urns and a funky sequin gold tablecloth my mum found at our local market. I love lace so tried to use this as much as possible around the venue.
I found the bridesmaids dresses quite early on in the planning on the House of Fraser website. They are by designer Adrianna Papell. Even though my four bridesmaids are very into fashion and have quite different tastes, I had great confidence they would all love these dresses. And they did; all they needed was the length taken up which was carried out by a local seamstress. The bridesmaids wore stud pearl earrings that I had given them on the morning of the wedding. From a small local boutique shop.
I found the flower girl dresses on eBay. They were very simple ivory dresses. I loved the puffy skirt shape and knew all the flower girls would love being like princesses for the day. They also wore white flower garlands in their hair which I brought from eBay too.
The best man and groomsmen wore charcoal suits from Next. Riccardo and the ushers wore lovely tan shoes from Next. We thought that this colour was perfect with the suits and made the whole feel a little more casual as we didn’t want anything too formal.
My Dad walked me down the aisle and gave me away. I gave him a hanky embroidered with a lovely message just before and he loved it. I adore the opening music to Ben Howards ‘Old Pine’ so my Dad cut it and put it on a loop for me and we walked down the aisle to it that. It sounded perfect and set the relaxed atmosphere for the ceremony.
My Maid of Honour, Iman did a reading for us called ‘marriage is the greatest happiness of all’ by Michele Gallagher. She read it so beautifully and there were a few teary eyed people in the room by then.
Our bouquets and buttonholes were done by a local lady called Elaine. Riccardo and I met with Elaine to discuss what we wanted and she got it perfect. We wanted pretty flowers and nothing too fussy so went with pastel colours with pale green foliage. She made little bouquets of gypsophila for the flower girls that were lovely. All the bouquets were tied with lace of course.
We also had Claire from Black Orchid create the flowers for two huge urns that sat either side of the top table. They were similar colours to what was in the bouquets but also had willow that she had spray painted gold. They fitted in perfectly with all of the other gold details around crockwell farm.
I knew I wanted two things out of a venue, for it to be exclusive to us for the day and to hold up to 180 people for the evening reception. Crockwell Farm was the first venue we saw and we fell in love with it. No venue really compared after we saw Crockwell.
Our wedding favours were made by one of my bridesmaids, Nicola. She went out and sourced small white boxes, ribbon and lace then made delicious shortbreads in the shape of hearts. They turned out so pretty and really had a nice personal touch to them.
Another one of my bridesmaids, Francesca did our table plan for us. I found a lovely big vintage mirror from The Range then Francesca wrote our table plan in white ink on it. My Maid of Honour, Iman, helped me to decorate all of the candles and vases and there were a lot of them. We stuck lace around twelve vases and over fifty jars. I used these around the venue with various flowers and candles in them. The vases and candle holders were bought from Ikea.
We had giant light up letters in our initials from Glow Love Lights in the main marquee room. They really had the wow factor as they were so big and bright. I think they really set off the main room and complimented the gold sequin tablecloths.
Riccardo and I wanted a three tier cake with neutral colours and gold detail. We met with Jamie and she gave us lots of ideas and examples. We decided on a cake with three cameos on the middle tier with our initials and lace detail. We then decided on the flavours; lemon, banana & toffee and chocolate & orange. So many guests said how lovely it looked and how great it tasted.
The day was so perfect but the only thing I would change if I could, would be to have spent more time with my parents on the day. I obviously saw them throughout the day but didn’t really get to talk to them properly or even have a dance with my dad.
One of my favourite parts of the day was the speeches after dinner. I had so many mixed emotions hearing my dad and Riccardo do their speeches. I laughed, cried and cringed with some of the stories but enjoyed them so much. That was the first chance I really had to sit back, relax a bit and realise just what a lucky lady I am.