Real Weddings

Real Wedding Recap: A Homemade Wedding Dress for a Creative, Country Wedding at Wyresdale Park – Poppy & Ruari

Sarah Symonds

It’s holiday season on the blog, and as our editorial team take a break to rest, recover and enjoy an Aperol spritz or two ahead of our super busy autumn season, we’ll be recapping our favourite weddings and styled shoots from the year that shall not be named on our pretty pages.

Check back daily for all the inspo, and to see if your big day or creative vision made it into our top ten picks!

Just look at this incredible DIY wedding at Wyresdale Park in Scorton! Today’s couple, Poppy and Ruari, have gone all out, from crafty, handmade touches to a roaring ceilidh to end the evening. This really is one colourful, happy and fun day!

Creative Poppy got her craft on as soon as she got engaged, making everything from the confetti to the decorations herself. As the owner of an etsy shop selling bespoke, personalised wedding gifts, accessories and trinkets, Poppy is a dab hand at adding her own details. We especially love the hand painted shoes!

We’re also totally obsessed by the teeny tiny farm as a table plan, complete with scarecrows, and there are even lights in the farmhouse on the cake! Not something we see every day! What a fun way to display everyone’s names, and we bet the guests loved it! No detail was overlooked in the couple’s mission to ensure they and their guests had an absolute blast at their wedding.

All this plus the three generations of the bride’s family coming together to help make her dream wedding dress is truly the stuff of fairy tales. If you’re looking for ways to tailor your wedding so it’s more personal to you, you’re not going to want to miss this one!

With photography by UNVEILED Network Member All You Need Is Love Photography


Poppy says: We got engaged at Haymarket in Edinburgh on the 20th of May 2017.

I had been in Vietnam for a month, travelling with my sister. When I got back, we went away for a long weekend in Edinburgh, to see Fantastic Mr Fox at the theatre. We had a lovely weekend, walking up Arthur’s seat and eating ice cream.

Ruari proposed one evening after wandering around the Royal Mile area and up to the castle. When we got back, we decided to go for a walk to the castle to see the stars, where Ruari thought it would be nice to ask the big question… but the castle gates were shut. So we went back to our flat and had a nice evening, and the moment came naturally.


We were married on the 29th of May 2019. It was midweek during half term so our friends and sister (who are teachers) could come but it was in the month we wanted. We had a church ceremony in Goosnargh St Mary’s church, followed by a reception at Wyresdale Park, Scorton. The church is next to the primary school I went to and Wyresdale is a lovely country estate with farmed land and a rustic feel, with very customisable spaces. It let us have the DIY, relaxed wedding we wanted and expressed the farming life we both have.

The main room is a rustic barn with exposed beams and a wood burning stove.


We are both involved in farming, love the countryside and being creative. We had a pastel rainbow colour scheme as it’s just so pretty and evokes the feeling of spring. I chose a handmade, vintage, ’Little House on the Prairie’ theme to express my creativity.

Ruari cut the “plates” for the picnic meal from wind blown trees on the farm. The cake was made by friends and the decorations, confetti, invitations, table plan, place settings and most other items for the day were made by hand in the run up to the day. The bouquet was made by a cousin and flowers at the venues picked the day before and morning of the wedding from the hedgerows.

We both love working with our hands, being in nature and community so making everything for our special day with friends and family was a fantastic way to bring everyone important to us together and enjoy the whole experience.


I made my own dress and accessories alongside my mother, with help from my now-late 96 year old Grandma.

We made a practise version out of floral cotton to check that everything would work. Next we had to choose the fabric, which was nearly as much fun as going to try on dresses! We used a wonderful company based in Darwen called Bridal Fabrics. Duncan, the managing director, was so helpful and patient as we draped all different fabrics together to get the final design.

The base was an ivory dutch satin with a full circle skirt. There were then multiple layers of ivory tulle and finally an overlay of embroidered lace with 3D blush pink flowers ‘growing’ up the fabric. The bodice featured the same lace overlay with elbow length bell sleeves and tiny pink heart buttons down the back. A satin blush pink waistband and bow finished it off. The whole dress was made within a few weeks and the final stitches were actually added on the morning of the wedding!

The veil was borrowed from a friend and had teardrop crystals along the edge. The headpiece was made by me the day before the wedding, with dried flowers including hydrangeas, London pride and gypsophila. It was finished off with tiny pastel tatted flowers – a form of lace making.

Also accompanying the outfit was a pair of vintage tulle gloves with pastel flowers embroidered around the flared cuffs. The shoes were ivory satin with a bow on the strap. They were bought second hand and then painted with pastel flowers and favourite animals. They included the names of the bride and groom as well as the wedding date on the instep of each shoe. Pastel tatted flowers were also added to the straps.

I actually sell wedding creations on my Instagram account, @poppy_and_petal.


Ruari wore a pale blue three piece suit, pink patterned shirt and his summer hat, pocket watch and wooden cufflinks he handmade himself from wood, painted by me. The groomsmen all had a pair, with a different animal representing them. Sheep for Ruari as he is a sheep farmer.

The suit is French Connection purchased from Moss, bought a few days before the wedding when we went to find a shirt to match the waistcoat and trousers Ruari was supposed to wear (the same suit as the other groomsmen). We both loved the second suit when we saw it, although Ruari took some persuading. The rest of the groomsmen wore blue tweed patterned waistcoats from ebay, pastel coloured shirts from Samuel Windsor, cream trousers from Matalan and brown shoes that they already owned. Ruari’s shoes were from Samuel Windsor.


My bridesmaids wore vintage Laura Ashley dresses accumulated via ebay, paired with hats and baskets customised by my sister, Daisy, and I to match the colours of the dresses and bridesmaids.

Hazel, the working sheepdog flower girl, wore a wedding day ruff made by me, adorned with pastel flowers.


All the bridal party did each other’s makeup and hair the morning of the wedding. Except I’d forgotten my makeup and so used a mix of all my friends’ makeup!


Family friends transported me and the bridesmaids to the wedding in their car while Ruari drove himself in his Land Rover Defender. After the ceremony we travelled in the Defender with Hazel (our sheepdog) back to Wyresdale.


Photos were by Becki at All You Need Is Love Photography. We would definitely recommend her as she captured the relaxed, informal day really well and was good at being inconspicuous but grabbing loads of really nice shots.


In Love Wedding Films also captured the day. We had two videographers on the day and would definitely recommend this. The biggest thing we wanted to keep were the memories and experience so documenting everything through two photographers and two videographers was something we really valued.


I carried a mixed pastel bouquet of peonies, gerberas, Hydrangea, Eucalyptus, Ladies mantel and pussy willow that was made by my cousin, Rachel Davey.

We hung pastel bunting between the beams of the barn as well as a floral hoop provided by the venue. The mezzanine floor was decorated with paper flowers donated from a friend’s wedding. Along the top table we had jugs full of hedgerow flowers, especially cow parsley, collected by the family the day before the wedding.

Behind the top table we had an archway given to us by friends which we decorated with strips of coloured fabric. On the tables the centrepiece was a picnic hamper surrounded by wooden slice plates, made by Ruari, and fabric serviettes and name tags made by me and my friends.

We had a full 3D miniature farm as the table plan, with different fields as the different tables, e.g. The Paddock had little horses, The Orchard had tiny apples on trees, The Vegetable Patch with tiny handmade vegetables. All the guests at the wedding were depicted by individual toy farm animals and tractors.

We also had an area for the children attending the wedding which was surrounded by picket fencing. It included a tepee, books, farm animals and toy trucks and tractors.


We bought RSPB pin badges of all different birds and animals and then had lots of fun allocating them to each guest. We wanted the favours to also be contributing to a charity which is why we chose the RSPB.


Rosie, one of my bridesmaids, made a rainbow layered cake covered in white icing. The cake topper was a miniature farm scene I’d made, with a tiny Land Rover Defender parked outside. The farmhouse even had fairy lights inside so it could be lit up.


We really wanted the food to be a fun, relaxed countryside theme to match the rest of the wedding. We collected and borrowed lots of picnic hampers, one for each table, which were filled with traditional picnic snacks. They included pork pies, scotch eggs, cheese and chutney, French bread with pâté, tomatoes, goats cheese and caramelised onion tarts and sticky sausages. Everyone on each table all had to share out the food which was a really nice way for guests to get chatting to each other.

Each table also had a jug of pimms and lemonade to share, rather than wine.

For dessert, we had a huge selection of cakes and traybakes which were laid out on the top table. The guests came up to the front and were served by us which was a lovely way for us to get to say hello to everyone during the reception. All the reception food was made by Cathy who used to run the Cobbled Corner Café in Chipping.

The bar was run by Lytham Fizz who provided some lovely cocktails. For the evening meal we had the Striped Pig who provided a hog roast.


We absolutely love going to ceilidhs so we always knew that we would have one at our wedding, as it’s the best way to get everyone up and dancing. The band was Union Street Band. They did a great job of getting everyone up and the atmosphere was amazing! A lot of our guests have commented on how much they enjoyed the ceilidh.

The band recommended a song for our first dance which meant that the couples continuously swapped places so we got to dance with everyone!

Special touches

The confetti was made slowly by me throughout the two year engagement, by drying flowers from bouquets or collected from the garden. Lots of other people also saved and dried flowers and, just before the wedding, they were all brought together and put into baskets, ready to be handed out on the day. It smelt AMAZING!

Following the wedding service at St Mary’s, we had scones with cream and jam served with cups of tea. This allowed us to spend more time in the beautiful church as well as being able to speak to everyone before heading to the venue.

We sent out song request cards with our invitations so, once the band had finished playing, we carried on dancing into the early hours to everyone’s favourite tunes.

Our wedding party was able to stay at the venue both the night before and night of the wedding in bell tents. That meant our friends could all help us to set up the day before as well as going for breakfast with us at the Applestore Café the morning after, to finish off the celebrations.

Thanks to

Wyresdale! The setting is beautiful with extensive grounds including a lake and woodland areas. Inside the venue there were lots of different spaces so guests could move around when rooms needed to be rearranged. There was even a tractor which was the perfect photo prop! On our wedding day it rained all afternoon and evening so even though we had hoped that our guests could explore the grounds, it wasn’t possible. However, there was plenty of room inside for our guests to move between spaces with multiple seating areas away from the main room. We had 120+ guests and it didn’t feel crowded at all!

The setup is very relaxed and once you’ve booked you’re able to visit almost whenever you like to check room sizes, layout etc. There are no specific suppliers which you have to have so it’s easy to do everything yourself if you want to or get any companies you want. Some venues are particularly inflexible, especially about food for the reception whereas at Wyresdale, we were able to have the unconventional meal we wanted.

The accommodation is wonderful. You get a whole wing of the house which is perfect for the bridal preparations and also include the bridal suite. Then they have bell tents with beds in for your wedding party which have access to a kitchen and toilets and showers. Dogs are also welcome!

Special mention again to Duncan from Bridal Fabric, who was absolutely lovely. He was so knowledgeable about all of the different fabrics and spent a long time helping us to choose the right ones. The array of different lace they have is amazing.

And finally, Becki at All You Need Is Love Photography took some beautiful natural photos and really captured the colours of the day.

Best bit

I loved the confetti outside the church. All our guests lined up with handfuls of petals and showered us in them as we walked towards the church gate. The photos are some of our favourites with all the multi-coloured petals falling around us.

Ruari said that travelling to the venue together in the car after the ceremony was his favourite part. We stopped for photos on a lovely country lane filled with cow parsley. It was nice to spend some time on our own following the ceremony.

Our joint favourite memory was during the ceremony. My 96 year old Grandma sat on the front row and also recited all of the wedding vows so we’re not sure who Ruari really married!


We went on a mini moon in a horse-drawn gypsy caravan with Wanderlust Gypsy Caravans in Cumbria. It was an absolutely amazing experience and we couldn’t recommend Barny and the service he provides enough! We travelled each day with the horses pulling the wagon, guided by Barney, whilst we collected firewood. Once parked up at the camp Barny left us to it and we cooked over the fire and even went wild swimming and used a wood fired sauna. We loved the horses, Meg and Biddie, especially grooming them. We cannot wait to go and visit them all again soon!


Ruari’s advice is that the day will go very quickly so try to take it all in. We wanted as many pictures and videos to remember and capture the day for that reason and to make it feel worth the money. Remember to enjoy each other on the day as well as everyone else.

Mine is to not worry about things not seeming to go to plan, only you know what the plan was and your guests will never know what you didn’t get a chance to finish. Just relax and enjoy it once the day arrives. We had multiple last minute issues like forgetting my makeup, nearly forgetting the bouquet and getting stuck behind a wagon on country lanes on the way to the venue! These all make for great stories after the wedding!

We also attended multiple wedding fairs and also looked through the Brides Up North website at the real weddings for inspiration.

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