A Needle & Thread Dress for a Fun, Bohemian, Wild & Natural Woodland Wedding at Hawthbush Farm in East Sussex


It’s Friday and we’re 10 steps closer to Stage 3 unlifting of national lockdown restrictions – and this is filling me with joy! The sun is out, Summer feels as though it’s beckoning. It feels good today!

This colourful outdoor wedding feels befitting for the end of this week. It sees Paramedic Practitioner Rachel tie the knot with her love Matt, a Premises manager at a school, on 21st September 2019 at Hawthbush Farm in East Sussex, a venue chosen by the couple for its relaxed vibe.

The couple wanted a fun bohemian, wild, natural, woodland wedding, with little fuss, where everyone felt relaxed and comfortable. I think they pulled this off rather spectacularly.

Moments Captured + Follow

Rachel looked so lovely in her sequinned, backless Needle & Thread gown, a discovery she made at Harrods.

“All staff were very helpful and it was a positive experience. I wanted a boho, vintage, ethereal dress that didn’t cost thousands of pounds.”

“I love the shimmering silver sequins inspired by vintage florals and the open back bodice.”

“I wore a matching veil from Needle & Thread.”

Rachel chose Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy as her wedding day scent; it’s the same perfume I wore on holiday where we got engaged.”

Rachel’s flower girls wore pretty sequin long sleeved dresses from Lilly + Bo.

Flower girl dresser were from Lilly + Bo

This incredibly beautiful bouquet captures the vibe of this couple’s laid back, lovely and colourful wedding so beautifully.

“We hired The Sussex Cutting Garden, as they are grown locally and look very natural with a just picked from the garden style. I absolutely loved all of the flowers but particularly my bouquet.”

“I made a ‘rough guide’ sign out of a pallet. We used one of Matt’s old surf boards as a welcome sign.”

“Matt’s mum made some beautiful tissue flowers and we had a lovely hessian bunting banner.”

“I found Love My Dress really useful and gave some great ideas for how we wanted our wedding to be. This is how I found the wonderful florist, The Sussex Cutting Garden.”

The bride styled her own hair. Her Maid of Honour was also the makeup artist and styled the bride outside in the beautiful sunshine, complete with a glass of champagne.

The bride’s father accompanied her down the aisle, to the sound of Matt’s friend playing the guitar. Her flower crown was created by her florist’s, to match her beautiful bouquet.

Rachel’s bridesmaids wore pale green floaty dresses from ASOS, that were adorned with 3D leaf and petal detail and had a real air of Midsummer Night’s Dream about them. The gowns worked beautifully with floral headpieces.

“Matt and I met on a dating app. We got engaged on a beautiful beach during sunset in Sri Lanka and we were engaged for 10 months prior to getting married.”

“We officially got married with just our parents, best man and maid of honour present prior to the woodland ceremony in the wonky barn.”

“Our woodland ceremony was conducted by Matt’s older brother Tobias.”

“We wrote our own vows that were personal to us. They were heartfelt with some comedic moments.”

Explore our wedding readings resource on Love My Dress

The couple had two readings delivered during the ceremony, the exquisite short poem, ‘The Shape of Water’, and, ‘An Excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières’ – both of which you will find in our wedding readings resource.

“Matt’s ring is made from a recycled Florin and my ring is made from a recycled silver sixpence. Both are hand carved and engraved with oak leaves and a single acorn.”

“We thought this was very fitting for our woodland wedding. They are beautiful, contemporary, eco-conscious, nature loving wedding rings.”

“Our wedding photographer, Claudine, of Moments Captured Photography, was absolutely fantastic. We wanted natural shots of the day rather than posed photos.”

“You never knew when Claudine was taking a photo so we ended up with beautiful, natural photos that really captured the moments perfectly.”

“Claudine was calm, unobtrusive, friendly and professional.”

Hawthbush Farm looked absolutely glorious decorated ahead of the reception. Colourful paper poms and fairylights were hung from the ceiling, and rustic trestle tables were adorned with pretty, freshly picked flowers.

“We had vintage lanterns with candles for the woodland. We collected old gin bottles for the table flowers. We bought old milk churns to use as very large vases.”

Watercolour stationery with gentle Autumn vibes was created by Hip Hip Hooray.

“My sister-in-law Sarah Taylor made our amazing cake. We chose to have a naked Victoria sponge with autumnal berries as we wanted a rustic, natural looking cake (and I don’t like icing!). It was truly delicious!”

Christina Cavallari and her team provided the catering. We had a big roast and it was delicious!”

“Our first dance was to Toto’s ‘Africa’, and Matt did the splits!”

“My favourite part of the day was marrying the love of my life and watching him run off into the distance as he has forgot the rings.”

“Our wedding band was Tritts And The Numbers. They were upbeat and energetic, an electrifying blend of rock, pop, soul and dance music. We particularly enjoyed their covers of Faithless and Fatboy Slim.”

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Don’t worry about the minor details as the only person who will notice is you. Don’t lose sight of what the day is truly about. Laugh at the things that don’t go to plan as those are the things you’ll remember.”

“Have a rough guide rather than a rigid plan. This is why we enjoyed every moment.”

“Weddings don’t have to be stressful or pressured.”

Credits & Thanks

View all Annabel’s articles

Annabel is the founder of Love My Dress. She lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, two daughters Eska and Leanora and three dogs. She is passionate about photography, supporting women in business and in life, and is in her element being surrounded by nature and the countryside.

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