This DIY festival wedding we shot in Wales pays homage to and reminds us about everything we’ve missed about the big festivals during the last two years. Furthermore, not every bride gets to marry her childhood sweetheart on the family farm. Katie looked the part in her festival wedding dress – this stunning Willowby misty violet ball gown with shooting star embroidery – called Stars Align. How true for them! With help from local suppliers, family, and friends, they wanted to create their own mini-Glastonbury filled with loads of DIY touches. So we drove our campervan into the heart of Powys to get into the festival wedding spirit. A little backstory here too – I shot Paul’s sister’s wedding 10 years ago at the Palm House, and it was lovely to catch up with Kaye and Ian. I’ll be shooting Jen’s wedding, the third and final for the family, in July.
Festival Wedding on the family farm
I always told my mum that I would get married at the Gwrdu, and she would say, “You’ll have to find someone who loves it as much as you do”, and I would reply that I wouldn’t marry them if they didn’t. So it’s fortunate that Paul loves it just as much as I do, and he’s been going there with me since we were 14, and he proposed to me there.
We chose the date because we needed a bank holiday so our guests could stay for the festival wedding weekend. This didn’t go to plan as the bank holiday was moved for the Queen’s jubilee after we booked everything! We also chose that bank holiday because we thought it had the best chance of nice weather – on the day, we had torrential rain through the whole ceremony ha ha.
Katie & Paul
Glastonbury vibe festival wedding
For the festival themed wedding, I always wanted the day to fit nicely with the house and the location so nothing could be too polished as it would look out of place. I then wanted a colour that would stand out against all of the greenery but also compliment it, so we ended up with the rusty orange/ terracotta colours. I wanted the flowers to look quite wild and natural. Our second favourite place is Glastonbury: we wanted a weekend that felt like all of our favourite people going to our own little festival together. That’s why we decided on having everyone arrive the night before with tents and campervans for food and drinks (and the football). It was lovely; it felt like the Thursday before Glastonbury when everyone was excited for the weekend. Then a big relaxed party on Sunday and a memorable day pushing all campervans out of the mud on Monday. The main goal for our festival wedding was to have all our favourite people spend time together in our favourite place. We decided this during covid when we couldn’t see everyone.
All the festival wedding ideas were DIY, as the house is not a wedding venue, and we had to prepare and do everything ourselves. Luckily, we have many amazing family and friends who were so helpful. We went to the house for about 3 weeks this year and did lots of work to make it look its best. Paul even built a new gate for the barn. His dad put in lighting and sockets for phone charging, and we did a lot of “landscaping”.
Paul and I built our wedding arch by hand, and my uncle made the signposts and swing. The guest book piece of wood was made out of wood we found at the house. Our family and friends made the food for Saturday night. Pauls’s dad made a stand for the projector screen, and we built the fire pit area for Saturday night.
We also had to do lots of things, like getting power for the site as the house only runs on solar panels. So the farmer, Wynne, supplied us with a massive generator, and Paul’s brother-in-law provided some other electrical equipment.
Our favourite moment would be the ceremony through the torrential rain. Alex, our celebrant, smiled/ laughed through the whole thing wiping puddles of water off her script. Paul’s dad stood with an umbrella over us, most of the guests hiding under the trees, and then everyone ran back to the house to get warm straight after the ceremony.
Katie and Paul
If you love the style of this alternative wedding, then take a look at this wedding at Owen House Barn.