Wight Wedding Blog


Real Wedding: Beth and Rich Brownrigg  

April 28th 2012 - Sheepwash Farm, Godshill

We are very lucky to have our first real wedding from Beth, who has been kind enough to share her experiences planning her wight wedding day with Rich. There is a selection of beautiful photography of a stunning bride all provided by Wight Photography and some tips direct from Beth to you.

I had the pleasure of attending this wedding and although it rained almost all day, Beth’s bright and striking theme of yellow and butterflies really brought the sunshine and summer inside. Beth and Rich had a guest list as long as their arm and leg, the weather to contend with and an early ceremony to make the most of the day.  Now for less of me and more from Beth.

Katie X

Everyone’s idea of their Wedding day is different. To be honest I’m not the sort of person who has everything planned out or has always imagined how I want my wedding. So when it came to getting engaged I had a lot of decisions to make. Although I am dreadful at making decisions I am also pretty laid back, but despite this I still managed to get stressed, so be warned even the most chilled out person will get anxious about their big day. This is no surprise really as organising the biggest event you’ve ever had to plan, with all your friends and family attending, you will feel the pressure for it to run smoothly and for it to be special for you and your fiancé.

Having never organised such a big event in my life, I hope I will be able to tell you a bit about my experiences and hopefully give you some ideas and advice for your special day.

Rich proposed to me whilst on holiday in Lanzarote in November 2010. It was a surprise, but we had been together for 5 years so we both knew it was the right time. We both work on Rich’s family farm and so set a date which wouldn’t coincide with a period where we are all very busy. We decided on April 28th 2012 which would be just after the lambing season finished and just before the strawberry season started.

I love butterflies so we chose to have them for our Wedding theme. I started collecting anything to do with butterflies very early on. We wanted to save money where we could so we made our own invitations, menus, place names, table names and seating plan which all incorporated butterflies, and we also named our tables after butterfly species. It’s a bit more work but you save a lot of money and it’s more personal. 

We didn’t really start planning until about 7 months before, but I would recommend starting to plan your Wedding as soon as you can especially if you need to book up a popular venue. Living in Godshill we chose Niton Church to be married in and decided to have the reception in a marquee on the farm land. We had 130 people at the church and reception which increased to about 300 in the evening, which meant a marquee from Coast and Country was the perfect choice for us. 


One of the first things I decided on was my dress, this is important to organise early as unless you manage to find a second hand one to fit you, having a dress made normally takes 6 months. You’ll need to find time to have it fitted and any adjustments made too. I originally thought I wanted a fish tail style dress, but found it didn’t suit my figure at all. Definitely try on as many styles of dresses as you can bear to, you’ll be surprised with what suits you. It is hard work getting in and out of dresses all day so take a couple of friends or your mum with you, but not too many people, as you don’t want to be bombarded with everyone else’s ideas. You want a few people that will help you with what you want.


The second thing I bought were my Wedding shoes. They are a bit different and not the standard wedding look, but I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them. I now wear them out all the time, so try if you can, to buy shoes that you’ll be able to wear again after your wedding day. About a month before the wedding amongst the chaos, somehow we lost a pair of bridesmaid shoes. To solve the problem we decided Sarah my bridesmaid should wear her favourite gold shoes which matched with our yellow/gold theme. If you are particular about these sorts of things, be organised from the start!


The day before we had a rehearsal at the church and continued to get the marquee ready. During the lead up to our Wedding I began to realise I was a bit of a control freak, as well as not being very good at making decisions. But I gratefully accepted help from friends and family who helped with all sorts such as laying tables, decorating the marquee, making favours and ironing suits. There is only so much you can do yourself so don’t be afraid to allocate jobs and accept help whereever you can. I found people love helping with a Wedding anyway.



My mum, my four bridesmaids and I had our hair and make-up done at a salon called Level Hair and Beauty in Ryde. I was really happy with how our hair looked, but it took longer than expected and didn’t leave much time to get into my dress and to the church for a 12 midday ceremony. What didn’t help either is that in my excited and anxious state I forgot how to actually get into my dress! We figured it out in the end, underskirt on first then dress over my head, but I did end up being fashionably late to the church. I would recommend having an early Wedding ceremony as it means you have more time to spend celebrating with friends and family, but also make sure you have enough time to get ready, so maybe make it 1 o'clock. Despite the fact we had an early Wedding we had to send our taxi away at midnight for an hour as we weren’t ready to leave.

We rented buses that took all the guests from our farm to the church. This meant there wasn’t chaos at the church due to lack of parking spaces, and was hopefully also a bit of fun for the guests. I arrived in a chauffeur driven Austin 16 classic car with my dad, which was a real treat and nice to have a bit of time on our own. My bridesmaids and my Mum were driven in two borrowed black Mercedes by Rich’s Uncle and a family friend, the cars looked really smart decorated with ribbons across the bonnets and saved us some money too.


April 2012 turned out to be the wettest April on record, and the bad weather did slightly alter our plan for the day. The main thing was that we couldn’t get the photos we wanted outside the church.  We did however get some lovely ones inside the church which we wouldn’t have had if it had been sunny. We also borrowed some umbrellas for the bridesmaids and I bought an ivory umbrella from Bou Chic for walking to the church, which actually looked lovely in the photos.


After the ceremony our chauffer took us to Chale view point car park, where we met our photographer. We took some fun pictures even though it was raining and Rich and I were able to spend a bit of time just the two of us. See if on your wedding day you can sneak off with your photographer somewhere local on the Island, such as to the beach, where you can get some unique photos and have a chance to take everything in.

We had a fantastic Wedding day, I felt like I didn’t stop smiling and talking to guests. The day will seem like a blur when you look back and you’ll want to be able to remember as much as you can, so try not to drink too much. On our day we both had a couple of glasses of champagne during the day and then ended up letting our hair down a bit later in the evening.

Rich and I are slightly obsessed with sweets so we chose our favourites and used them as favours, as something a bit different  from say mints or sugared almonds. I think they went down well as there were none left the next day.

My mum and I made my Wedding Cake together. She did the actual cake making bit and I just helped with the decorating. We kept it quite simple, but turned out really well and it saved us a lot of money.



Gardenia in Newport did a fantastic job with our flowers. For our centrepieces we bought enamel jugs that Gardenia filled with flowers for us. When we thanked people for their help with the Wedding, in their cards we asked them to take a jug home as a thank you and a way to remember the day. This was a great way to save money, and meant the beautiful centrepieces didn’t go to waste.

We made sure we kept a jug for ourselves, and dried the flowers so it’s now sat on our kitchen windowsill for us to look at every day. We bought a massive bunch of flowers for my piano teacher Muriel who kindly played the piano in the church for us and we had some champagne bottles hand painted by Ceceile Tankard of Wine Dezine with messages for our mum’s and my chief bridesmaid Jen, who helped us so much in the lead up to our big day. Don’t forget to thank everyone who helps you with your Wedding preparations.


We managed to extend the Wedding celebrations to the Sunday by having brunch at the Marquee - a benefit of having it on the farm land. Although, by this point the rain had gotten worse so there was a small river running through the marquee. It was still a great chance to speak to people we hadn’t got round to the day before.


The rain meant we didn’t get all the photos we had wanted despite the fact we had a list. Make sure you have a good idea in your mind of the most important photos you want in case something does go wrong. But also remember your day will be amazing no matter what the weather is like.

Our photographer Martin did a fantastic job despite the conditions. He made the effort to look at the church and marquee with us before the Wedding day to look for good places for photos. On the day he brought his daughter to take photos too, although we hardly remember seeing them, we got back from our honeymoon we found we had over 700 photos! If you love the sun and your day is as wet as ours, you always have your honeymoon to look forward to. We went to Italy and were lucky enough to end a year of mad organising with two weeks of relaxing together in the sunshine.

We think a well earnt break for a very busy couple who organised a great celebration. Thank you again to Beth for contributing their wedding experiences and their beautiful photos which are yet to be seen by everyone. All wedding day photography is by Martin Wilkins of Wight Photography.

The photos of the rings and menus, along with the one below of the centrepiece jug that now lives on the window in Beth and Rich's kitchen window, are by little old me (Katie).

If you would like to make the efforts and magic of your day live on a little longer whilst helping and inspiring another couple with their wedding day, then do get in touch. 

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