On 1st March, 2014, Kath and Nic were wed in colourful ceremony at New House Farm. Below, Kath details how they created their perfect Lake District wedding.
When Nic proposed to me, at the top of Gummers How in the Lake Distict on Christmas Eve, I think we both pretty much knew we’d end up booking our wedding in this part of the world. We have always loved the Lakes. It just seemed the perfect location. Even when the weather is bad, it still looks beautiful.
We wanted a venue that we could add our own touches to, that wasn’t going to cost us a fortune and that was laid back, in a beautiful setting and surrounded by the countryside we both loved so much. I remember thinking at the time, “this is an impossible task, it’s going to be a field and fold up chairs at this rate”. It was after a bit of research that I happened to stumble upon New House Farm.
We went to visit, it was the first venue we had booked to see. When we pulled up onto the car park I think we both instantly knew it was the perfect place. Hazel invited us both into the sitting room and made us feel so comfortable. She showed us around the barn and the farmhouse. The rooms were absolutely stunning, (I think the hot tub out in the gardens overlooking the mountains pretty much sealed the deal).
The best thing about being able to do whatever you want for your wedding is the freedom you have. Not only can you be as creative as you want, it means you can also be thrifty. It is hard work though, but well worth it. We also had a fab bunch of friends and family who all enjoyed helping out. We were determined to keep the cost as low as we could.
For all the necessary tasks like catering and the hiring of chairs and tables etc, we sourced local companies. Hazel gave us a list of various people that other couples had used before and recommended which really helped. It may not be every couples idea of fun, organising chairs and tables, and planning what colour to have the carpet for the barn, but for us it was perfect. It was a blank canvas!
The colours and theme we picked ended up being multicoloured. We had always imagined paper lanterns hung somewhere. The more we thought about it, the more the multicoloured idea stuck. So everything we bought, hired or made for the wedding was as colourful as we could get it. Even down to my bright green wedding shoes, a bit of a surprise for Nic on the day…
The bridesmaids dresses we got from Coast, they looked like they had been splattered with paint, perfect for the multicoloured theme. And I was lucky enough to find my wedding dress on the sale rack of one of my local bridal shops, Anne Whittaker, in Accrington.
Lindsay there was absolutely wonderful, and Doreen who managed to make the dress fit was exceptionally skilled. Never underestimate the skill of a good seamstress! The size of the dress was initially about three sizes too big, but when she had finished, it felt so perfect. The shoes I wore were from a phase eight outlet store. £25! So if there is any advice I can give to future brides about their shoes and dress, it can be done on a budget.
The wedding invites and everything else print and design related fell on me. Being a graphic designer by trade, I did feel slightly under pressure here. The multicoloured paint splats that featured on almost everything, were done by me and Nic on a hot summer’s day. Throwing paint at white boards and generally making a mess. So we did have a lot of fun with them.
Instead of a guest book, we printed larger than normal place names for people, and called them doodle cards, included lots of coloured pens on the tables and asked our family and friends to doodle, draw or write on the back of them. At the end of the night we had some very interesting, funny and also sentimental messages.
The barn was decorated with multicoloured paper lanterns, lights and ribbons. The lanterns we ordered in advance from China, less than a quarter of the cost if we would have ordered them individually in the UK. Let’s just say, ordering in bulk does save a lot of money, but give yourself time, they took about a month to arrive. The ribbon was simple florist ribbon in multiple colours (£16 in total), which we had immense fun throwing between the wooden beams.
For the flowers, we spoke to Forget Me Not Flowers in the local town of Cockermouth. We just opted to have the bouquet for the bride and bridesmaid created, then requested a selection of wild flowers to decorate the barn with ourselves.
Sandra was really helpful, suggesting we swap more expensive flowers with less expensive alternatives. This helped massively with cost, and they still looked amazing. So the Friday before the wedding, these huge crates arrived with a beautiful selection of multicoloured wild flowers in them. It was great fun just scattering them around the barn. It was also lovely getting everyone involved and helping.
The wedding favours we asked my brother and Dad to help with. My brother, Edd, is a gardener so, with help from Dad, they managed to get various terracotta pots and fill them with a large selection of various herbs. Each guest could take a little herb pot home in a bag with them. We both love cooking, especially Nic, so we thought it was quite a personal touch to be able to give everyone something they could use in their food. Plus, they looked lovely on the tables and made the barn smell pretty nice.
Nic also came up with a fab idea of scattering lego over the tables. It added even more colour and meant that people could have fun making all sorts of things. In fact we have a box full that we came away with, some people really put a lot of effort in!
The table plan we went for was all the local mountains and hills. The table plan was set out as a panoramic of the mountains that we could see when Nic popped the question on Gummers How. So it tied in with our love of the Lakes and the engagement.
My friend Rachel did a fantastic job of making our wedding cakes. We didn’t want just one single cake, rather a selection. You can never have too many cakes really. So she baked a classic fruit cake, a beautiful sponge cake and a guinness and chocolate cake. The latter didn’t last long at all.
We also brought out a selection of local cheeses and biscuits from Cartmel Cheeses in the evening for nibbles.
Hair & Make Up
On the day, we had Lynne from Snippets mobile hairdressing come and do mine and the various other peoples hair. She was lovely. My make up I did myself. Anyone who knows me, knows the last thing I am is a girly girl. In fact I suspect it took Nic longer on the day to get ready than it did me.
It was all fun though in the morning, we had a great breakfast from Hazel, and the atmosphere was relaxing and calm. Claire, one of my bridesmaids, popped open a bottle of bubbly pretty early that day if I remember correctly, first time I’d drank bubbly at 7:30am!
Hazel and her staff really do a fab job of making sure everything runs smoothly. She gets involved as much or as little as you want, herself and the staff where always working away in the background making sure things were ticking along nicely.
On The Day
The ceremony was held within the barn and then quickly turned around for the evening reception. The weather was perfect, we got rain and snow in the morning, then beautiful blue skies after the wedding ceremony.
As a surprise we had hired Richard from Cuerden Valley Birds of Prey to provide a falconry flying display. Everyone got the chance to hold an owl or falcon. The little owl being the star of the show I think. And it kept everyone entertained whilst we went and had photos taken. And there are plenty of places to have amazing photos taken around there. In fact there are too many!
The day was perfect. We both couldn’t have asked for anything better. It was so personal and so so much fun! Having the barn available to do whatever you want to it is such a great idea. I can’t recommend New House Farm, and Hazel and her staff enough. I just wish we could do it all again!
Fell and Dales Catering (www.fellanddalescatering.co.uk)
Hilary and Maria provided us with some seriously yummy food. Their steak and ale pie is a winner!
We hired our own equipment from Higher Sound and Light in Keswick. We just set a playlist up and also got requests from guests and set the music going
Hazel now offers her own glass hire, at the time though we hired everything needed for ours from Mark at the Wheatsheaf Inn just down the road. I can highly recommended the pub for a meal the night before, we practically booked half of the pub out, why not start the party early? They serve a good selection of local beer and really good food.
Chairs, tables, carpet. In fact anything you fancy for the barn, Dale can rent out. He’s very helpful.
Looking for a perfect venue? Come and take a look at what we offer at New House Farm. Our beautiful lakeside location in Lorton Valley makes for the perfect fairy tale wedding!
For more information about us and what we do, or to arrange a booking, call Hazel on 07841159818.For more inspiration, tips and advice on planning your dream wedding, follow our blog.