Sophie and Will got married earlier this summer at Carlton Curlieu church and planned a DIY summer wedding at one of my favourite venues back near my old haunt, Castle View Farm & Stables. Their day was gorgeously handmade; Sophie’s mum is a florist and took care of everything floral, her sister made the cake, Will’s mum made the ties and pocket squares and I absolutely LOVED their hand made seating plan – find your Quality Seat – can you guess what the tables were named after?
My favourite bit of the day was making it down into the woods at the bottom of the valley – we really got the best of the light of the day and it was a really nice opportunity for Sophie and Will to take time out for themselves.
HOW DID YOU MEET?
We met in 6th form, and have been together ever since.
TELL ME YOUR PROPOSAL STORY
I (Will) planned a scenic walk on the 10 year anniversary since we started dating. I really over-committed to the date though, as we arrived at the foot of the hill to the worst rain you’ve ever seen and gale force winds. Somehow Soph went along with the planned walk, which was good as there was no plan B. At the top of the hill you couldn’t see more than 10 metres ahead, where I’d hoped for beautiful views, and I interrupted Soph planning the quickest route back to propose. After some tears and a “yes” we made a hasty retreat back to the car!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE YOUR WEDDING AT CASTLE VIEW STABLES?
We wanted an intimate ceremony, so we chose the (tiny) Carlton Curlieu church, where Soph has attended the annual “carols by candlelight” service since she was little. It’s just down the road from where we live, and in an area we often go on country walks. Its rural location also suited our second venue really well. We had the reception at Castle View Stables, which is a converted barn and stables with views across to Rockingham Castle and the surrounding countryside. It was a really relaxed venue, which we could decorate and make our own. We were also able to bring in our own suppliers for the food and entertainment.
WHAT WAS IT YOU LOVED ABOUT YOUR OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES THAT MADE YOU CHOOSE THEM?
After choosing the suits we really wanted a standout tie for the groomsmen, but struggled to find one we liked. Soph and her mum had the brilliant idea of making custom ties from Liberty print fabric, which we commissioned Will‘s mum to make! These floral ties got loads of comments on the day and really stand out looking back on the photos.
Soph was really unsure about what sort of dress she wanted initially, but had a great experience at Maisie Darling Bridal. They had so many lovely dresses, and the team was very helpful from the first try on to the final fit, which was perfect. The dress was beautiful!
TELL ME ABOUT THE VISION YOU HAD FOR YOUR WEDDING
We knew we wanted to prioritise great food and bright colours; a jaunty and fun day for everyone who came.
We chose Thomas the Caterer for the canapés and wedding breakfast, and they made a bespoke menu which somehow captured our brief of liking “all food”. And in the evening we had the Serious Dough Co pizza van, which didn’t just look great but made some of the best pizza we’ve ever had. Sophie‘s sister (and maid of honour) Gemma made our wedding cake, having recently qualified as a pastry chef, we went for a chocolate Guinness cake on all tiers, decorated with petals.
Sophie‘s mum owns Flora Button Floristry, so choosing our florist was easy! Ann created stunning floral creations for the church and venue, as well as the bridal party. We gave her full creative control on the theme of bright colours, and including home-grown dahlias really captured what we hoped for. The floristry brough to life the other decorations we’d made for the reception venue.
We made nearly 100m of bunting for outside and filled the roof of the barn with nearly 500 pom-poms to really add some colour to the space!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DANCE AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE IT?
We chose You’ve Got the Love by Florence and the Machine for our first dance. We’ve seen Florence live and the band did a great job covering the song.
WHAT WERE THE MOST WONDERFUL PARTS OF THE DAY FOR YOU?
Of course we’ll treasure the moments in the service – first seeing each other, saying “I do”, and getting covered in confetti on the way out! But mainly we loved being surrounded by everyone we care about, and seeing them all have such a joyful time.
We hired in 9 holes of wedding-themed crazy golf from Par Tee events, and Will had made other garden games (giant Jenga, connect 4, corn hole) and everyone loved playing them out in the sunshine. The Jenga especially made for some brilliant photo opportunities!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE HANNAH HALL PHOTOGRAPHY AS YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER, AND WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE DAY?
We found Hannah on Instagram and really liked her style. We chose to go with Hannah after an initial Zoom call where we talked as much about things we had in common as we did the photography. From that moment when we clicked, we knew Hannah was the right person to spend so much time around us on our wedding day.
On the day Hannah was brilliant. She wasn’t just a photographer to us but the on-hand wedding expert, from pinning Soph’s flower crown to making sure the cake cutting was scheduled at a sensible time. We felt comfortable having our pictures taken, there was no awkwardness or forced moments, and that comes through in the photos. She really captured a sense of the day, candid moments of the guests as well as us, and group shots where nobody was blinking!
We were able to relive the day when we received the photos from Hannah, and notice different things and people every time we look.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BEST BIT OF ADVICE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?
Find vendors who get “you”, and who work well together to make the sort of day you want. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions of them so that there’s less stress nearer the time. Hannah does a great job with pre-wedding questions to cover all bases, just make sure you do the same with other suppliers who might not be so organised.
Sophie + Will’s DIY Summer wedding at Castle View Stables happened with the help of the following suppliers
Or get in touch here – I’d love to speak more about your plans!