Thurning wedding, Northamptonshire

Becca & Harry

Take a village meadow with its own ‘wood henge’, add a tipi full of DIY details, bring in a wedding celebrant to lead an outdoor ceremony … and you have the recipe for a truly unique day. No rules, no legal whatnots, no boxes to tick. Just them, their day, their way. Oh, and Worzel and Winnie the Jack Russells too.

Country houses, hotels, barns, farms, fields… I love the huge variety of wedding venues dotted around my home county of Northamptonshire. And even after 15 years, I’m still lucky enough to discover new ones. And Becca and Harry’s wedding venue went right to the top of my favourites.

Well, I say “venue”. But it’s all outdoors and one of those places where you need a creative vision and a stellar team of suppliers to bring it to life. Happily, Becca and Harry had both!

They made the most of a cute little meadow in Thurning village, right opposite St James the Great church. Thurning is in the northeast of Northamptonshire, close to Huntingdon and Oundle – and just 30 mins from my front door! 

A thoroughly modern classic countryside wedding

If there’s one crucial ingredient to getting wedding photos that feel true to you, it’s to plan a wedding that feels true to you. This was Becca and Harry’s approach. They wanted their day to reflect them – and it really shines in the photos.

They’re country lovers so wanted to get married outside surrounded by nature. Thurning village hall has a ‘wood henge’ timber circle which they draped with fabric and flowers to make a focal point for an outdoor celebrant ceremony.

Celebrant ceremonies are totally personal. With no legal limitations, no template words, and no boxes to tick it’s an opportunity to consider what’s important to you. Becca and Harry followed a classic structure but put their own twist on the traditions. Like walking down the aisle – but with their dogs, Worzel and Winnie. Becca’s Dad ‘giving his blessing on the marriage on behalf of the family’ instead of giving her away. And singing “Brown Eyed Girl” instead of a hymn. Sarah, the celebrant, ’interviewed’ Becca and Harry separately about their stories before the day and it was hilarious to hear how they met and how their relationship grew from very different perspectives.

Personal details

Music was a big feature of their day. They chose meaningful songs for the ceremony including Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’ for their exit. They also printed personal song lyrics in their order of service, styled their seating plan and table names with LPs, had an acoustic musician for the drinks reception, and a band to rock the dancefloor in the evening.

Becca handcrafted a lot of the decor with hundreds of colourful paper cranes strung from the tipi poles like a chandelier. Worzel and Winnie had collars, leads, corsage and bow tie made from the same fabric as the groomsmen’s ties. The homemade sloe gin favours and personalised coasters for every guest went down a treat too. I just loved capturing all those details.

And I must mention Brenda – the campervan! Brenda is part of the family too and Becca and Harry have been on many adventures with her. So of course she was part of the day too providing the wheels to the ceremony – and a photo prop! (Psst! You can hire Brenda – and Harry – for your wedding too!)

The magic of the meadow

Becca and Harry’s wedding breakfast was in a tipi nestled in the trees in the meadow, looking out over the countryside. This was their wet-weather backup but as it turned out the day was gloriously sunny. 

Thurning village hall is a beautiful setting … I just loved the rustic outbuildings and bar. Becca and Harry didn’t use those as the weather was so good but they were still interesting features in the backgrounds of the photos.

And I even discovered a hidden stream with a cute little wooden bridge, nestled in a cloud of cow parsley. It was just a short walk into the woodland – so not too far to get to but far enough away from everyone else to enjoy a bit of private space for Becca and Harry’s portraits. Brilliant!

It’s on days like this that I really do think to myself, what a wonderful world…

Left hand speech marks

“Sarah was fantastic from start to finish!! She is incredibly kind and a brilliant photographer. Sarah shot our day perfectly and delivered just what we wanted – relaxed, natural shots throughout the day. We highly recommend Sarah, her beautiful photos are a true reflection of our wonderful day that we will treasure forever. THANK YOU, Sarah!!”

Fancy a chat?

I’d love to join you on your wedding day to capture all the important moments while you just have a great time. Simply get in touch to check my availability and I’ll send you my brochure. Or feel free to hang around a bit longer and find out more about what it’d be like to have me as your wedding photographer.

Credit where credit’s due

Photography: Sarah Vivienne That’s me! Hi, hey, hello! | Venue: Thurning village hall | Becca’s dress: Mark Lesley Brides from Shades of White St Ives | Bridesmaid dresses: Motee Maids | MakeUp: Kate Fletcher | Celebrant: Sarah Baker, Norfolk Bluebell Celebrant | Brenda the Campervan: Bluebell Weddings | Catering: Big Bird Catering | Music: Warble Entertainment