It is officially Glastonbury 2014!!! So in honour of the mothership festival we are bringing you a very happy and cool Glastonbury farm wedding. It was colourful and oh so wet…. Thanks so much to Emma stoner for sending us this awesome wedding!! They had some great suppliers involved and the venue is just perfect for a laid back festival wedding. Over to Pete and Hollie….

Hollie and Pete

Hollie and Pete Hollie and Pete-22

The Engagement story

Pete is a volcanologist and spent last year working in Clermont-Ferrand, France. When Hollie came out to visit in December 2012 they went for a walk up one of the local volcanoes in the snow, during which he proposed. While you’d have thought after 10 years together a snow-capped volcano would be ‘emphatic yes’ material, Pete was instead treated to a stunned “OK”, followed by a “why?”. It all seemed to work out though.

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Hollie and Pete-46 Hollie and Pete Hollie and Pete Hollie and Pete-42Party in a field

A party in a field for our friends and family, trying to accommodate as many people as possible to have a fun day. Splottsmoor have a handmade wooden-framed marquee, and we wanted to make the most of it as it’s a beautiful structure. The inside of it was planned along the lines of Bavarian drinking hut – long tables, bare wood, etc. The outside was aiming for something like a village fete crossed with Glastonbury.

Being the family farm we knew the site very well, and also knew from the start that we would be doing as much as possible ourselves (right down to brewing our own cider). Having both worked on big events before, and having a number of friends in the events industry we went in with a very good idea of timescales and amount of effort/bodies/cost needed to achieve different things.

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Casual cravats and Eccentric Hats

Guests were encouraged to keep to the theme “Casual Cravats and Eccentric Hats”, with a series of advisories about common sense preparations for outdoor events in May in the UK. We acquired a number of rainbow umbrellas to distribute amongst the crowd, and encouraged everyone to have wellies, warm clothes and waterproofs on standby.

Hollie and Pete Hollie and Pete Hollie and Pete

Colouful baubles and Rainbow bunting

Marquee was kept fairly simple – long trestle tables with hessian runners along the middle. Large geodes (gifts for those who had been of extraordinary help) were the centrepieces on the table, laid on leaves. We planted several hundred acorns in the autumn (and again when the squirrels got the first and second lots), so there were 10-15 cm oak seedlings in tiny terracotta pots in front of each table setting as wedding favours, all derived from trees on the farm – some even with heritage back to Gog and Magog, two ancient oaks growing at the foot of Glastonbury Tor at the far end of the family farm.

The marquee roof was strung with large and small baubles gathered from many places, including some massive ones from Christmas window display a highstreet retailer no longer needed. We were fortunate to have interior and architectural lighting provided by our friend Dave at

The advantage of having lots of friends who work on festivals is that we were able to get access to a second, round marquee to act as a chillout / wet weather option decorated with ethnic fabrics and light shades and throws over haybales – the deck chairs got brought in here when the weather was bad, otherwise they would have surrounded the sandpit for the kids (big and small). A freestanding wooden bar kept all the booze (and staff) dry. The bride and groom made the rainbow bunting and pyrographed the signs for the signpost (posts supplied by Uncle Graham)

Hollie and Pete-4 Hollie and Pete Hollie and Pete-40

General colour theme was green and purple (favourite colours, as well as the college colours of the university we both went to and at which Hollie still works), although the bridesmaids and bunting were a full rainbow, and we were strongly of the opinion that you can’t colour-co-ordinate a festival feeling.

The OAkleaf

Oaks were a recurring theme through the décor, with oakleaf necklaces for the babes, oakleaf detailing on the brides wedding ring, acorn necklaces for the flower girl and the one female usher, and acorn cufflinks for the groom, best men, father of the bride, and partner of the grooms mother. The bride also had oak leaf earings. And the favours were of course oak seedlings.

Food Glorious food

Greek-themed canapés throughout the afternoon (including keftedes, feta, olives, stuffed tomatoes and peppers, hummous, pita, dolmades), provided by friends and family and Partners In Cream

Ice cream and unlimited toppings throughout the afternoon, provided by Café Bon Bon (

Main course (salt beef, pulled pork, salt baked vegetables, slow cooked barbecue ribs so big you could beat a man to death with them) provided by Meatcure. Cannot express how brilliant these guys were. Amazing, amazing food and service. They turned up two days before the event to start smoking the pig.

Macaroni cheese made by the Grooms parents for the vegetarians, to be served with the vegetable sides provided by Meatcure.

Cheese board set up as a buffet – Partners In Cream

Late night food and breakfast for the campers, a wide selection of topped crumpets, including banoffee pie, butter and jam, and the amazing breakfast crumpet – bacon, egg and cheese jammed between two buttered crumpets.  Strumpets with Crumpets. They added a great festival feel, and were really good fun.

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Hollie and Pete Hollie and Pete

Our Favourite moments

Pete – At about 2 in the morning, sat in a nearly empty marquee, half a dozen people still partying to the silent disco, chatting to some friends we hadn’t seen for several years, and reflecting on how awesome it had all been.

Hollie – Getting everyone to do a Mexican wave after Pete’s speech!

Hollie and Pete Hollie and Pete-65

Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding day?

To make it unique and special do as much as you can yourselves, and call in lots of favours. Doing stuff yourself can drastically keep costs down, and if you give yourself enough time you can even do stuff like (an extreme example but it worked for us…) planting the flowers that you want the year before. People really enjoy getting involved, and if you’re confident they’re able to do something give them the freedom to get creative, put it simply ‘you’re in charge of this now’. You’ll end up with something unique (our cake being a brilliant example!). Most of all, don’t get too precious about exactly how everything has to be.

Hollie and Pete

Get friends to help you set everything up – make the setting-up an enjoyable process. And, assuming you have a venue you’re decorating yourself, make sure you have someone who can act as a site manager to put everything together; someone who can tell people what to do, will keep track of to do lists, and will be available until the curtains go up. We did fine on all of that but the last, as our project manager was also a bridesmaid so got whisked away on the Saturday morning, at which point the ushers, groom and half a dozen other helpers were not entirely sure where on the list we had got to, meaning that a number of things didn’t get done (e.g. batteries for the dozens of strings of fairy lights!). Don’t be afraid to delegate, and start off with the presumption that not everything will go perfectly to plan. Relax and enjoy your day – while you may have planned a thousand things, none of the guests know about them all, so if they don’t happen, it doesn’t matter!

Hollie and Pete Hollie and Pete-68

Hollie – always ask the groom if he has an opinion on something first, most of the great ideas like the Royal Holloway colour scheme, music, silent disco and home-brew all came from Pete, the other great ideas (like the rainbow bunting and bridesmaids) he came round to.

Hollie and Pete Hollie and Pete-49 Hollie and Pete-48

a few things to add… wedding stories/planning details/budget?

With the reception on the Saturday, following the legal bit on the Friday, we knew we wanted some kind of celebration for the Saturday guests. Having considered a humanist ceremony, we decided that paying out for a humanist celebrant (£500+ for someone you don’t know to come and say some stuff that has no legal framework or meaning) was insane so we asked a friend to act as our celebrant – one of our old university professors who was a large part of the reason Hollie went to the university she did, and hence how we met. He had also been one of Pete’s PhD supervisors.  He simply did an introduction, invited the readings, and then invited us to read the vows we had written and exchange rings and suggested we have a kiss! This gave the order of ceremony a feel of a conversation between friends in front of witnesses. This added a really personal touch to the whole thing, and we strongly recommend it.

One thing that worked brilliantly was doing everything – as far as possible – digitally. The vast majority of our invitations were sent out as emails, saving us hundreds of pounds in postage and stationary. We used survey monkey to collect online RSVPs, and after the event are using it to map locations of where people have planted their oak tree wedding favours.  We’ve also used as a public space for everyone to share their photos; this allows people to see what shots everyone else took, and ensures that everyone gets a good look at things without requiring a sign up to anything like Facebook or Googleplus.

Get s spreadsheet set up good and early to compile your list of guests, email addresses, and so forth. Keep separate columns for food allergies, whether they’ve been invited yet or not, if they’ve rsvp or chased for an rsvp (with date), any offers of help they might have made, and so on. It’s also a great way of keeping track of who you would like to invite but there isn’t space for yet you can very simply check your numbers as rsvps come in, and shuffle people between invitation groups.

We wanted to provide the alcohol without running a cash bar. Estimates were based on a bottle of wine per person, 2 pints of beer per man, 1 pint of lager per man (terribly sexist but it worked for our group of friends), plus soft drinks. We got cans of lager, and the red and white wine from France, then bought in 4 barrels of ale from local and favourite breweries. On top of that we made about 140 pints of homebrew cider, supplemented by 80 pints of bought cider. We then had enough bubbles (also from the booze cruise) to provide everyone with at least 2 glasses during the speeches. Homemade elderflower champagne was available in the afternoon too. In addition we made sloe and damson gin for the evening. People who preferred spirits were invited to bring their own, as otherwise there tends to be a lot of waste. Pretty much everything went – there was just enough ale left for the groom and father of the bride to enjoy a few sneaky pints the next day, and a few dozen bottles of wine. It’s worth noting that the leftovers were almost certainly due to extreme weather in the evening and many people leaving straight after the fireworks as a result.

Finally, think about what kind of photos you want of the event. It took us a while to find a photographer we were happy with (we particularly wanted as few formal shots as possible, with a more reportage style). Look at what kind of work they do, and if at all possible meet up with them as soon as possible. Photographers don’t all work the same way and you need to be sure that the person you’re paying to do it is going to get things done the way you want without you worrying about it.

The line up

Photography Credit: Emma Stoner (Based in Glastonbury, Somerset)

Ceremony Venue/Details/Music: Legal bit in Glastonbury Town Hall on the Friday, exchange of flowers rather than rings.  On the Saturday a second ceremony was held in the field at the farm for all the guests, and we consider this our actual wedding.

Reception Venue: Splottsmoor Farm, Glastonbury. The family farm, which accommodates half a dozen weddings per year

Bride’s Dress: Made by the Grooms mother with silver and purple silk brought back from India by the Brides parents.

Bride’s Shoes: Silver wellies. Had it been sunny it would have been beaded thongs, with the bridesmaids (“babes”) wearing silver havianas

Bride’s Headpiece/Veil: Bead string, handmade by the Groom. He didn’t know what he was making at the time.

Bride’s Jewellery: Silver oakleaf earings

Groom’s Outfit: Square-cut linen shirt from with an old pair of evening trousers and wellies picked up at Glastonbury festival many years ago. Jacket, cravat and waistcoat made by the Grooms mother. Silver acorn cufflinks.

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Rainbow colours, assorted sources. Each babe was assigned a colour 9 months beforehand, and was then free to select whatever dress they wanted to wear while we provided their accessories

Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Silver oakleaf necklaces made by the Bride and Groom. Assorted colour-matching ribbons, pashminas and nail varnish. Rainbow umbrellas. Silver wellies

Cake: A flower volcano to go with the Groom’s profession as a volcanologist. Made by the Groom’s aunt. Fruit cake base and top, with separate layers of Chocolate, Ginger, and lemon. Almost completely devoured in 30 minutes.

Flowers: Wildflowers from the farm, and some specifically grown for the event, including a variety of alliums, lavender and rosemary to go with the purple and green colour scheme. Brides bouquet of fabric flowers by Petal Envy Four bouquets on the top table in memory of absent friends

Entertainment (Band/DJ/Silent Disco etc): The Cash Cows Followed by silent disco, provided by

Stationery: Designed by the Groom, with invitations largely distributed as pdfs via email. Remaining invitations, and all programmes were printed onto Elliepoo Paper 

Caterers: Partners In Cream (01458 831492).

Café Bon Bon 

Main course (salt beef, pulled pork, salt baked vegetables, slow cooked barbecue ribs so big you could beat a man to death with them) provided by Meatcure.

Strumpets with Crumpets.


Wedding beauty on its way!

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