Fiction Author Martha, married her beau Anthony, on seventh November 2021 at River Cottage HQ in Devon.

Their wedding ceremony was full of recent, romantic vibes and we have been particularly touched to find the bride supported a Ukrainian wedding ceremony gown maker having found her by way of Etsy. Not each bride is on the lookout for a couture robe and we hope that Martha’s expertise of ordering on-line encourages those that are on the lookout for an alternate gown possibility. Get pleasure from these stunning photographs, the winter mild, and joyful gathering, captured superbly by Emma Stoner.

The Venue

We needed a venue that was relaxed and the place meals was going to be the primary focus of the day – with sustainability and natural produce on the coronary heart of all of it. Anthony is Italian, so meals is particularly necessary to him and it was necessary that we may design our personal menu and never simply choose dishes from a pre-set listing, which we have been capable of do with River Cottage’s wonderful cooks.

We created an Italian-English menu, utilizing all native, natural produce. We had been there a number of years earlier than to a meals competition and didn’t initially think about it as a venue for our wedding ceremony as we assumed it will be out of our price range, but it surely turned out to be very affordable for us.

The most effective half? Hiring out the farmhouse the night time earlier than and the night time of the marriage and having our rapid household keep the 2 nights there with us – we had cosy fires, indulgent breakfasts and spent actually nice high quality time collectively all through the celebrations. It was a dream.

One other nice cause we went with River Cottage is as a result of our package deal meant we had the venue solely – solely our wedding ceremony occasion can be there on web site, which was necessary to us.

A Gown From Ukraine

I bought my wedding ceremony gown from Etsy (large danger, I do know – and it was non-returnable!) from an organization known as Fashionable Bride Equipment – their workshop is in Ukraine. I by no means appreciated the concept of conventional wedding ceremony gown buying – being dressed and introduced in that type of means was one thing that made me really feel uncomfortable and this entire ‘say sure to the gown’ state of affairs has by no means appealed to me.

I by no means pictured myself in a conventional bridal robe, I’m fairly tattooed and barely put on clothes, and by no means put on white. After months of looking for one thing I appreciated the model of, I made a decision to strive Etsy and take the matter into my very own fingers.

The gown I purchased was utterly clear so I wore a slip beneath it that price me £10 – only a easy skintone bodycon gown.

Footwear, Veil & Equipment

I did! I purchased my veil earlier than I purchased anything. It was from Etsy, from a vendor known as WCollective. I used to be on the lookout for one thing a little bit totally different and located a champagne sparkle veil, which seemed wonderful. It ended up working completely with my gown, too.

I noticed some stunning sneakers with a thick heel from ESSKA, they have been known as Fink and I purchased a pair within the champagne color. That they had a cutout panel within the entrance and the heels have been chunky sufficient for me to not stumble through the day as I’m horrible in heels! They’re so snug that I can’t cease carrying them, which is nice as I didn’t like the concept of shopping for all of this stuff that may have a single use.

I wore the Aurora hair comb from Tilly Thomas Lux. I purchased it throughout lockdown so couldn’t strive it on, however had a very nice video name with Sally and he or she made the clip a little bit shorter for me as I’ve a small head!

I wore my ordinary fragrance, Deep Evening by Ghost. There’s nothing that smells as heady as that fragrance, it’s my signature scent.

I knew I didn’t need one thing white and I knew that needed one thing that may be sparkly at night time because the solar went down, so I looked for gold sparkle robes and located this firm who make clothes to measure. It was non-returnable because the gown was made to my precise measurements, however I may select every part from the sleeve size and magnificence to the detailing on the again, the practice size and neckline.

After some very cautious measuring, I took the plunge and purchased it, and the gown arrived round a month and a half later in a really small field – it turned out that it had been vacuum packed! It match completely and was precisely what I had hoped for. The method was tremendous simple, just some backwards and forwards emails and some DMs on Instagram – and the ladies I handled have been beautiful. They up to date me all through the method and I used to be so pleased with the gown when it arrived.

Whereas it’s a danger to purchase a marriage gown like this, I might completely suggest it – particularly for anybody with an alternate view on weddings. I liked the gown I selected, it was actually totally different, actually snug and light-weight, and precisely what I’d pictured myself carrying once I acquired married.

The Proposal & Engagement

Anthony and I met at work. It was fairly an odd story; I used to be headhunted for a job in April 2017 and on my means there they known as me to say the interview had been cancelled, in order that was that.

Two months later, I used to be at a marriage and had a name from the identical recruiter to say the particular person they’d employed for that job was now not there, and if I used to be they want to meet with me. So, I went to the interview and was employed on the spot.

Anthony wore a swimsuit from Marc Darcy, the Eton blue tweed swimsuit. He needed one thing with a rustic model given our venue and one thing that may be heat sufficient for a November wedding ceremony as our ceremony passed off outdoors within the backyard, in entrance of the farm home. He wore a bowtie with a saxophone sample on it as a means of honouring his father, who was a proficient saxophone participant. This was such a stunning element, small but so private.

At across the identical time, my now husband was in Italy, the place he grew up, interviewing for a job on the identical firm in a unique division. I began in June 2017 and he began in August 2017, and his first phrases to me have been on the printer, when he requested me, “Do you just like the disco?” It was such an odd introduction and unusual query, and I knew we might get alongside immediately. We had many dates over espresso and whisky and simply clicked.

We moved in collectively in Could 2018, the day after attending a punk competition, acquired two cats a yr later, after which went to the Finnish Arctic Circle in December 2019 the place we acquired engaged on the shores of a frozen lake the place we had been aurora looking the night time earlier than.

The Ceremony

I didn’t like the concept of being given away and what that represented, so determined to stroll alone after which Anthony would come and meet me midway. To us, this represented the truth that we have been selecting to stroll this new path collectively – it was actually particular. Even when my father had been alive, I consider I might nonetheless have finished this.

I walked via the backyard to a tune by Thrice known as ‘Keep With Me’, which was particular to us. As friends have been being seated, we had Elliott Smith’s ‘Say Sure’, ‘Bloom’ by Paper Kites and ‘First Day of My Life’ by Shiny Eyes.


We needed personalised and I needed stars engraved on mine, so after a whole lot of looking on-line we discovered Ruby Tynan by way of Instagram and he or she created our rings for us. Anthony’s is a straightforward gold band and mine is a gold band with celestial engravings. Each of our wedding ceremony bands have a private engraving on the within. Ruby was improbable to work with, the completed rings are fantastic and we have been so glad we selected her:  this was the ring she made for me – I added a private engraving on the within, as did Anthony.

I solely wore the Aurora clip from Tilly Thomas Lux, my wedding ceremony ring as talked about above and my engagement ring, which is a gold band with a black moissanite central stone.

We had two fantastic girls from the Devon Registration Service do our ceremony – we have been so touched by the ceremony and their phrases, it was beautiful. We outlined what sort of ceremony we want within the paperwork forward of the ceremony and left the remainder as much as the registrars. It felt like such a private ceremony and was simply what we needed.


Whereas wanting via Instagram at River Cottage, I noticed pictures of a marriage that had probably the most unbelievable flowers. It turned out they have been finished by Wild Alice, so I acquired in contact with Emma. I instructed her what sort of flowers we want, darkish, deep and drawing on the season, and he or she went above and past. I’ve by no means been so amazed by flowers.

She did an association above the door that we acquired married in entrance of, created an enormous bouquet for me after which a buttonhole for Anthony, a corsage for my mum, and a lush greenery garland for the banquet desk.

It turned out that she wasn’t native to the world, however we have been so amazed by her floral design that we had her do our wedding ceremony anyway – she can be the loveliest particular person. Everybody we labored with was!

The Photographer

We selected Emma Stoner as our photographer. We discovered her on River Cottage’s web site after we have been on the lookout for wedding ceremony suppliers and fell in love with the candid nature of her pictures she had taken at one other wedding ceremony there. It was nice to know she had finished different weddings on the venue, which meant she would already know one of the best locations to get nice pictures, and we needed our wedding ceremony pictures to be as unstaged as doable – which is strictly what we ended up with.

We had a number of telephone calls with Emma and acquired on rather well, which stuffed us with confidence for the day. Once we met the morning of the marriage, it was so beautiful to place a face to the title and voice, and we barely observed Emma taking pictures all through the day.

Once we obtained the total album, there have been so many instances after we each stated “I didn’t know she took an image right here!” as a result of she was transferring round utterly unnoticed and actually captured the enjoyment and emotion on folks’s faces.

Once we went up onto the hill to take images of simply the 2 of us, Emma made us really feel actually snug and the top outcome was fantastic.

We might completely suggest Emma to anybody getting married – she has an innate expertise for capturing moments in such an intimate means and the model of her pictures is simply so stunning. We regularly look again via our pictures, they imply the world to us.


As our wedding ceremony was in November, I knew I’d want some type of jacket or coat, so determined to look right into a leather-based jacket with some customisation. I got here throughout Rock Paper Nib and noticed the unbelievable jackets she had painted and knew I needed to ask her to color mine.

We had a number of conversations about model, colors and total inspiration after which she created probably the most wonderful design. There’s a big moon to at least one facet with the phrases ‘in opposition to the world’ subsequent to it and a few deep colored flowers round it.

The wording was particularly poignant for us as we had been via a lot collectively within the house of a yr – we purchased our first house in March 2020 (closed on it about three days earlier than the lockdown started and the property agent threw the keys to us from the window of his automotive!), there was a world pandemic, we handled redundancy and furlough, after which Anthony misplaced his father unexpectedly.

We supported one another via probably the most traumatic and troublesome issues and the previous yr has proven us simply how sturdy we’re collectively, so the wording on the jacket had a whole lot of that means for us.

Decor & Element

We needed issues influenced by our pursuits and personalities integrated into the day. We had a number of celestial touches (my jacket, cake decorations, the engravings on my wedding ceremony ring and my hairpiece) as I’m actually all for moon cycles and the tarot, there was a powerful emphasis on meals all through the day resulting from Anthony’s Italian heritage (dad was Italian, mum is a Londoner, however he was raised in Italy so is extra Italian culturally), and we needed a whole lot of pure, easy parts.

Autumn is our favorite season, so we drew inspiration from foliage and nature for the décor and flowers.

My mum and I made the decorations and styled every part. She needed to defend throughout covid and took retirement a little bit earlier than she ought to have because of it, so she was caught at house not seeing anybody. She is extremely artful and I requested her if she would assist me make the decorations, which she fortunately agreed to! It was actually particular to have the ability to go and spend time along with her in our bubble making every part from place settings to felt flower hoops.

We discovered a tremendous chocolatier within the New Forest known as Maja Palmer and requested her if she may make us some wedding ceremony favours. She made us two totally different sweets – one crammed with biscoff and the opposite with a hazelnut ganache, which have been hand adorned and scrumptious.

We additionally had a tiered ‘cheese wedding ceremony cake’, from The Cheese Shed in Devon, which was scrumptious – they’ve this amazingly useful gizmo on their web site the place you may construct your cheese cake and see what number of grams you would wish and the way it will stack. In addition they went above and past the morning of our wedding ceremony when the scheduled supply failed to point out up and one in every of their workers personally drove a complete new order over to River Cottage for us.

Planning in a Pandemic

We had invited 50 friends and solely 25 ended up having the ability to make it, however we didn’t reschedule our wedding ceremony day. Anthony’s father very sadly handed away in Could, simply months earlier than our wedding ceremony, and I misplaced my father once I was a toddler, so we have been very set on not suspending as a result of there doesn’t appear to be such a factor as ‘the proper time’. Life is extremely unpredictable and sometimes unbearably brief, so this concept was on the forefront of our minds all the time main as much as our wedding ceremony and pushed us to maintain our date whatever the scenario.

We needed to get married and would have finished it on the registry workplace if we weren’t capable of have it at our authentic venue. Our recommendation is simply to maintain sight of what it means to get married, events can all the time come later – changing into husband and spouse was crucial factor for us.

We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen – or a maid of honour or a finest man, we simply needed a easy ceremony with our associates there to have fun with us, quite than them having a set position on the day.

Night, Dancing & Favorite Moments

Because of the small nature of our wedding ceremony, we made a Spotify playlist that was very eclectic and simply ran that all through the night and through our lunch.

We had no attachment to the concept of a primary dance in any respect, however did one as a result of it was a pleasant marker of occasions that sometimes happen on the wedding ceremony – it was one thing we did extra for different folks, actually. We picked ‘Hero’ by Household of the 12 months for our first dance.

Our wedding ceremony coordinator at River Cottage, Lucy, burdened to us that having these moments alone through the day can be very nice, and he or she was not unsuitable. One in every of our favorite moments was after we had 5 minutes to ourselves within the farmhouse after the ceremony – simply earlier than we walked out to the confetti.

We have been handed a spiced pear bellini and simply had that ‘oh my god, we are literally married’ second and it was so memorable.

My favorite second of the day really got here earlier than the marriage – it was waking up collectively within the farmhouse at 5am as a result of we have been too excited to sleep anymore after which going outdoors for a stroll across the backyard because the solar got here up. We acquired to see a ravishing pink dawn, did a trial run of strolling down the ‘aisle’ after which went again inside and made breakfast collectively – the anticipation of the day was actually thrilling and it was a stunning method to spend the morning earlier than we acquired married. I’m so glad we didn’t spend the night time earlier than aside, which is what lots of people historically do.

Phrases of Wedded Knowledge

Anthony says no to this, however I feel I might have scrapped the primary dance. Neither of us are significantly into dancing and our wedding ceremony was so small there wasn’t actually a dancefloor or occasion as such, and the strain of discovering that ‘first dance tune’ – and even having ‘a tune’ as a pair – is one thing in all probability a little bit formed by Hollywood. We spent a whole lot of time going via album after album looking for one thing applicable or significant and it was one thing we did extra for the sake of images than as a result of we needed to.

We didn’t begin out with a price range as such, however knew we didn’t wish to spend excessively on in the future. We managed to do every part for £10,000, with some critical saving as masterminded by Anthony (it is best to have seen his wedding ceremony spreadsheet, it was probably the most organised factor I’ve ever seen – I’m extra of a write notes on the again of a receipt type of lady) and a few assist from each of our mums.

You don’t have to stay to traditions simply because they’re traditions. We didn’t like fairly a number of of the everyday wedding ceremony traditions, equivalent to the lady being walked down the aisle, carrying white or having to have bridesmaids or a finest man, so we simply didn’t embody them. It’s simple to get caught up within the anticipated wedding ceremony day template, but when it doesn’t really feel proper it’s completely high quality to sidestep it. You’ll by no means please everybody in your wedding ceremony day, so that you may as properly do what feels real to you.

We didn’t do the entire spending the night time aside earlier than the marriage – we had what felt like a sleepover, we stayed up speaking till late after which awakened at 5am and went for a stroll across the backyard in entrance of the farmhouse, wanting on the herbs and the greens that have been picked for our lunch that day and there was probably the most stunning autumn dawn.


Annabel View all Annabel’s articles

Annabel is the founding father of Love My Gown. She has a ardour for pictures, strolling, yoga, nature, and likes to assist proficient artists and inventive companies. In 2013, she turned a broadcast creator. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire along with her husband and enterprise associate Philip, their two daughters Eska and Leanora and menagerie of furry hounds. Annabel helps Philip within the working of the household flower farm at at Moonwind Flowers. She can be co-founder of What About Weddings.

A Sequin Wedding Dress From Ukraine for a Romantic Winter Wedding at River Cottage | Love My Dress®


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