After being set up by mutual friends at Young Farmers’ Club, Ella and Luke formed an instant connection. Their relationship moved apace and, during a holiday in Cornwall, Luke didn’t let the weather hamper his plans to propose at Constantine Bay. “It was pouring with rain and very windy, then Luke got down on one knee – it was perfect!” reminisces Ella. “We were both kitted out in our welly boots and raincoats, which summed us up as the outdoorsy, country couple that we are.”
Flanked by acres of idyllic Devon countryside, Harefield Barn was the perfect venue for the country-loving pair. They decorated the indoor and outdoor spaces with a mix of fresh and dried flowers including delphiniums, roses, sunflowers, orlaya, veronica, nigella and scabiosa, while a selection of Ella’s homegrown blooms were added to pots and troughs. Created by Ella’s friend and bridesmaid, the bespoke stationery added another personal touch. “Laurie incorporated everything that we asked for, from Luke’s tractor to our wedding flowers and our beloved dogs, Clover and Roxy,” she says.
Filled with emotion and carefully selected words and music performed by a string quartet, the ceremony was perfectly pitched. “I walked down the aisle to I Giorni, we chose Sweet Disposition while we signed the register, and we walked out to Everlasting Love. It helped make our ceremony personal,” says Ella, who cites the ceremony as one of their “top moments” – especially with the addition of a poem that had been written by Luke’s late grandfather. “It encompasses what it is to be in the country, and with our ceremony being outside and surrounded by rolling hills it was a really treasured moment.”
After taking a ride on Luke’s lovingly renovated tractor, the couple joined their guests for a feast including steak and ale pie, aubergine and vegan cream cheese stack and bowls of fresh raspberries and strawberries, chocolate brownies and mini meringues served with ice cream. A competitive round of horse racing, whereby ‘jockeys’ had to pull wooden horses across the finish line with rope, an electric live performance from SeaTrees and an evening barbecue added to the magic of the evening celebrations.
With Ella having been involved in a car accident the previous winter – and the wedding very nearly being postponed – emotions ran high throughout the day. “I have since been recovering from a mild brain injury and we were lucky I recovered enough for us to go ahead with the wedding,” she explains. “I know everyone’s wedding day is special, but ours meant that much more to be surrounded by all our friends and family after what was such a turbulent nine months.”
Reflecting on their day, the couple’s champagne picnic at sunset, taking in views across the rolling meadows, stands out as a particularly fond memory. “The time spent just the two of us on our wedding day was priceless,” says Ella. “We highly recommend planning some time for just the two of you during your wedding. It was the highlight of our day.”
Photography Gina Bentley Photography instagram.com/ginabentleyweddingphotography
Venue Harefield Barn harefieldbarn.co.uk
Dress Richard Designs from La Boutique laboutique.org.uk
Hair Jessica Dodd instagram.com/styledbyjessicadodd
Jasmine Cunliffe-Bond instagram.com/hairbyjas
Make-up Laura Le Page lauralepagebridalmakeup.com
Flowers Tracy Sampson firstname.lastname@example.org
Catering Cottage Caterers cottagecateringhire.com
Stationery Laurie Kate Art instagram.com/lauriekateart
Entertainment Exe Valley String Quartet exevalleystringquartet.co.uk