Lizzie and John

A Countryside Wedding

Lizzie and John said their vows in an outdoor ceremony, in the middle of the Derbyshire countryside

Lizzie, 41, a personal stylist, and John, 36, a design director, married in a civil ceremony with a reception at Cressbrook Hall, Derbyshire.

For an informal and relaxed day, we chose to marry in a village near to where my parents live. It was a place we regularly passed when out walking and has amazing views over the valley and hills. It was great to have the ceremony, reception and accommodation all in one place.

The whole day had a vintage feel and we used soft pastel shades as our colour palette of choice.

My 1940s-inspired dress was glamorous but understated. I wanted something quite simple. I spotted my original 1940s birdcage veil with silk flowers at a wedding fair. I was surprised by how much I liked it, as it was such a statement piece, but it matched my dress perfectly.

My bouquet comprised peonies, dahlias and ranunculus as they’re my favourite flowers, while John wore a buttonhole of ranunculus and waxflower. My chief bridesmaid found a vintage, peach-coloured dress on Etsy and my flowergirls wore Ted Baker dresses which I bought before we’d even booked the venue!

We decorated the reception with Mexican festival tissue garlands and pom-poms. I love flowers and had always planned to arrange the table decorations myself. I used an online wholesaler to order my blooms and the flowers arrived a few days before, so the roses and peonies had time to come into bloom.

Friends and family collected jam-jars for the vases, which I decorated with ribbon and paper doilies. We didn’t want a traditional fruitcake so instead decided on both a lemon cake and Victoria sponge. The cake-toppers were another Etsy find; I added a beard with felt-tip pen to make John look more realistic!

My Favorite Moment...

I remember standing away from the house, looking over the Derbyshire countryside and watching everyone enjoying drinks in the sunshine.


My tip for brides-to-be...

We only had five months to plan, so had to make quick decisions. The phrase ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ is really worth remembering throughout the planning process.