Danielle Mannix, 29, married Benedict Hurley, 37, at Flemings Farm in Essex on 9th September 2017. She says:
We had a very vivid idea of what we wanted our wedding day to look like. Outdoor, natural, non-traditional, lush and green. An almost magical vibe. When Benedict and I first met at a music festival on the Isle of Wight, we knew instantly that we were meant to be together. So, our decision to get married in a field beneath trees was a reflection of that first meeting. But Flemings Farm also served as a blank canvas upon which we could build the wedding of our dreams.
I had a vision for our décor and was determined to create it. A fairy tale-, Midsummer Night's Dream-inspired wedding. One of my biggest and all-time favourite projects ever was creating our 'story-telling' tables for this. I sourced rustic wood benches and tables, then ordered 50 boxes of fresh, live moss and laid it down on all of them. I then added lots of candlesticks, as well as trinkets I had collected. Some of the objects already belonged to me, while others were found at vintage shops or markets. I bought twelve cloches and created romantic installations to go inside. I picked 120 leaves, then wrote each guest's name on them in gold pen, and used these as place settings. I also weaved mini fairy lights along the tables, which looked beautiful. Framed photographs, binoculars – anything antique-looking went on the tables. I bought two chairs from a vintage fayre (for just £5 each!). We wrapped them with moss, twine and purple flowers. Benedict and I sat on these during the ceremony and at dinner, like fairy thrones! They were another of my ‘must-do’ projects, which I had my heart set on from the beginning of wedding planning. These tables and chairs were the most magical things I have ever created.
For our Order of Services, we got 120 antique Charles Dickens novels, which we then split in half, gluing the pages together to create two ‘blocks’. We left just a few pages loose in the middle, onto which we stuck the Order of Service. It started with photos of Benedict and myself as babies (where we were, coincidentally, each in a field!). 'Chapter 1' outlined how we met. 'Chapter 2', The Wedding itself. We included song lyrics and even details about our wedding party – their names and who they are to us. This was yet another of our big wedding projects.
I wore the Maya dress from Katya Katya London. It was everything I wanted: boho, delicate, vintage-style – perfect for my fairy-tale day. I discovered the designer and the brand's amazing team at Brides the Show and tried the dress on there. As soon as I saw my sister's face when I came out of the changing room, I knew this was it. Its delicate French lace and pink, blue and opal stones on its belt made this my dream hippy-cum-fairy-tale gown.
Another of our favourite projects was creating Benedict's groom outfit for the day. Again, we didn't envision something traditional for him. For some reason, I had the idea that he should wear tartan – I think because I find it very regal. We found the perfect red tartan trousers from Hackett and they were perfect. I actually cried when he tried them on! I also had a velvet jacket in mind for him, and we found one in Jack Wills that was made from dark blue velvet. It was stunning. Meanwhile, Benedict was convinced he wanted a dogtooth waistcoat... I wasn’t so sure, but I trust his style, so he had one made by scratch from our local tailor. It was, in fact, the tailor's final project before retirement, which was very cute. On the day, Benedict looked like he'd stepped right out of a classic novel.
Photographs by Tupou Photography