Real Weddings

A Relaxed Woodland Wedding at Hobbit Hill

Sarah Symonds

It’s pretty, it’s quirky, it’s homemade – it’s the wedding of Hannah and Sean and we love it. From the perfect woodland wedding venue for the ceremony to the photos of the bride and groom rowing a boat together like a veritable owl and the pussycat dream team. Heart-eyes all day long.

Viewing a building site and agreeing to wed there before it even looks like a wedding venue isn’t for everyone, but brave souls Hannah and Sean did just that and it massively paid off, as that building site soon became the venue of their dreams.

It’s the pure laid back vibe for us. The VW camper arrival, the simplicity of the bridal flower crown, the un-done wildflower style floral decor and the numerous handmade touches. We love how these two got the family involved – and if you’re doing that, why not give yourself cute team names?! We love the idea of The Bunting Committee! Just about every aspect of the wonderful styling was done by the amazingly talented and helpful family and friends of the happy couple, which only makes it all the more special!

With photography by Miss Whittington’s Photography


We got engaged on New Year’s Day, in the Lake District. Sean planned a walk for us at Wastwater and got down on one knee right by the edge of the lake. We love the Lake District and spend lots of time walking there so it was a really special place to get engaged, and it made me love the Lakes even more – if that’s possible!


We got married on 21st June 2021, on the day that restrictions were lifted. We initially planned to get married on 19th June 21 but postponed it by two days so that we could have all of our guests there!

We got married at the amazing Hobbit Hill near Clitheroe. We went to visit the venue before it was actually built and Sean did question why we were viewing a building site! As soon as we saw the beautiful woodland though, we both knew that was definitely where we wanted to get married! We were the first couple to have a big wedding at the venue too which made it super special.


My Mum and I had a fab day wedding dress shopping in Manchester. I knew that the most important thing to me was that I felt comfortable and totally myself in the dress. I thought I knew what kind of dress I wanted but the one I went for was completely different to what I thought! As soon as I put my dress on I could picture walking down the aisle in it and knew it was the one. Since we got married outside, the dress was absolutely full of mud and bark by the end of the day but I can honestly say it didn’t matter at all!


Sean, our dads’ and our brothers’ tweed suits were hired from SG Menswear in Leigh. We went for three different colours as we didn’t want it to look too matchy. The guys there were absolutely brilliant and so patient with all of our requests, including changing the colour of the back of the waistcoat! It’s all in the details!


I didn’t have any bridesmaids and Sean didn’t have any groomsmen! We didn’t want to have formal roles assigned in particular. Our brothers were the witnesses for the signing of the register.


I got ready in the morning with my mum, Sean’s mum, and Sean’s sister. The night before the wedding, our hair and makeup artist fell ill, but luckily Liv and Eva from The Bridal Artist Company were able to come to the rescue! We had such a fun morning getting ready and the time absolutely flew by. We were all so happy with the looks they both created for us!


We hired a VW campervan called Doris from Chase the Sun. Doris was a classic vintage camper so it was a bumpy ride with lots of little quirks, which made her all the more endearing!


Laura at Miss Whittington’s Photography did our wedding photos and we honestly couldn’t have asked for a better photographer. The photos reflect the day so perfectly. We didn’t want many posed photos and wanted lots of natural and fun photos which would remind us of the day – and that’s exactly what we got. Laura even waded through the river in her wellies to get photos of us in a little boat!


My talented auntie (Flower Shack by Sarah) did all of the flowers for the day, from the little button holes to the big milk churns by the pergola. My bouquet included ten types of flowers including freesia, gypsophila, spray roses, lavender, to name just a few! I didn’t know anything about flowers at all before the wedding and just showed my auntie pictures of the kind of things I liked but she created the most stunning flowers. I knew I didn’t need to worry about the flowers at all because she absolutely had it covered. I couldn’t have imagined anyone else doing the flowers for our wedding!

The table displays were all recycled and handmade. My mum and Sean’s mum saved jars for months before the wedding and made them all look amazing with hessian, string, lace and other cute bits and bobs! They were all filled with fairy lights and flowers by Flower Shack. There were also little succulents which Sean’s dad had planted.

My dad and Sean made the fabulous pallet signs with the order of the day and welcome message on them. They required some technical engineering!

I think everyone got involved with sewing bunting at some point or another too. Over lockdown ‘The Bunting Committee’ (me, my mum and Sean’s mum) was established over Zoom, where all things decoration were discussed! Overall, the decoration was definitely a big family effort!!


The favours were tiny hot chocolate jars with marshmallows. They were also recycled and handmade on the family production line in our kitchen!


Lauren at Finch Bakery made the main sponge cake and cupcakes, which were then all stacked up onto a rustic log stand. We had so many different flavours of cupcakes including sticky toffee pudding, cherry bakewell, biscoff and loads more! The cakes were very tasty and looked amazing too!


We wanted to keep the relaxed feel with the food and so we went for BBQ platters. Initially we had planned to have all the food served from street food stalls, however due to restrictions we were asked to be seated for food. This meant us frantically whipping up a table plan two days before the wedding, but it actually worked out really well!

The Striped Kitchen did the BBQ food and also the evening nachos which were all delicious. The dessert was pancakes from the Queen of Crepes, topped with whatever the guests fancied!


We had an acoustic band called Plain Folk play during the ceremony and the reception. I walked down the aisle to an acoustic fingerstyle version of Mr Brightside, which Pete learnt especially. We chose this song because it reminded us of nights out at university. It might sound like an unusual choice for walking down the aisle but I can’t describe how beautiful it sounded or what a special moment it was!

We didn’t like the idea of being the centre of attention for a first dance so we decided to have a group first dance to Dancing in the Moonlight – another song that reminded us of our university times! We had the first dance outside the barn looking out over the amazing views! It was so special to all be dancing together again. The dancing carried on throughout the night outside on the terrace, and we even did a conga through the woodland!

Special touches

Hobbit Hill has a cottage where Sean and I stayed the night of the wedding and also little huts where our parents and siblings stayed. It was so nice to have accommodation all together for our immediate family. There is also a campsite area where some of our family stayed for the weekend in campervans, caravans and tents.

Thanks to

I would definitely recommend Hobbit Hill to other couples! With the amazing woodland, cosy barn, stunning views and lake there honestly isn’t anything else we could have wanted from our venue.

In the run up to the wedding we would just so happen to plan walks near Hobbit Hill so we could go and have another look around. We’d love an excuse to go back even now to be honest!

Best bit

My favourite part of the day was the ceremony itself, it was really personalised and very much us as a couple. The walk down the aisle with my dad was really special too. We had a nice slow walk, chatted and took in the moment. As we came into the woodland I could see our family and friends, and then Sean’s happy face at the end of the aisle. I felt so chilled out and excited!

Our siblings did three readings, which were all so lovely and memorable. We chose one reading ourselves and then my side of the family chose one and Sean’s side chose the third. It was so nice to have this part of the day which was a surprise to us.


We went to the Cotswolds the day after the wedding and stayed in the most adorable little thatched cottage. We did lots of walking and lots of eating and it was the perfect place to chill after a very busy few weeks!


If you’re not enjoying a part of the wedding planning process, take a step back and think about whether you really need or want it. Wedding planning really should be fun and it is your day after all!

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