'We just wanted people to have a good time. We got speeches out of the way in between courses instead of all in one go at the end – so the groom could get over his nerves and the party could start straight after dinner - then we skipped a first dance and instead did a Jewish Hora – where you’re hoisted up on chairs and the everyone gets involved – it was a great way to get the party going. The rest of the DJ’s playlist was a mixture of our own favourites and that of our guests – we’d asked everyone to request a song with their RSVP if they wanted to.’
‘The topic of gifts always feels a bit controversial somehow – it’s not very ‘British’ to ask for things is it?! As we felt quite set up at home, we didn’t really ‘need’ anything, but we just couldn’t afford a honeymoon so we set up a page where you design the whole thing and guests are invited to contribute towards the cost of a flight, a meal, an experience – it was so lovely to then go away and know that all of our friends and family had contributed to such an unforgettable experience.’
'If I had to pick out the key design elements that made ours feel like a ‘Soho House’ wedding I would say the following:
First impressions: When everyone arrived for the ceremony we had a old farm cart acting as a drinks wagon on the lawn, and hay bales with mismatched cushions laid out as the pews.
Lighting: Getting the right balance of candlelight and overhead lighting is really important to creating the right atmosphere.
Tableware: I was very particular about glassware: there’s a massive difference between standard contract glasses and having a beautiful glass in your hand - that’s half the drink. And then of course the crockery, cutlery, serving dishes, linen, salt and pepper pots, vases and candle holders. They were all selected to create a relaxed, rustic but pretty dining experience. It’s also worth making sure you space things with consideration along the table, making sure there’s enough room for serving plates so nobody’s left holding a bowl of veg!
Other little touches included cosy blankets for anyone feeling chilly outside, candlelit lanterns along the paths, an old chalkboard leaning against the barn door for the table plan.Some of our guests took over the Farm’s campsite so I made little goodie bags to greet them in their tents with marshmallows and sticks to toast them on the campfire. The kids’ table at dinner was an old door on some hay bales – the bridesmaids got to travel on one of the milk floats to the wedding. I wanted every aspect to feel rustic and didn’t want anything to look ‘perfect’ – even our wedding cake was a big old Eton Mess.'
All photography Catherine Mead catherinemead.com @catherinemead