Ryan and Kirsty's vintage style country wedding
PUBLISHED: 10:55 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:55 16 October 2017
ian scott photography
Florist Kirsty O'Neil and farmer Ryan Franklin-Smith's wedding was a traditional church affair followed by a flower-filled vintage country reception on the family farm. Kirsty gives an insight into their romance and the big day
‘We met officially at Ryan’s parents’ ruby wedding anniversary held on the farm. As an events florist, I provided the displays for the party and was invited to enjoy the festivities. After much dancing and maybe just a little prosecco, Ryan and I fell for each other over a bar billiards table.
Ryan comes from a long line of Hertfordshire farmers on his mum’s side and is the fourth generation at Roundhouse Farm (our two-year-old being the fifth generation at our farmhouse. Ryan’s father is a Hertfordshire undertaker now retired, who owned and grew Phillips Funeral Directors, looking after families at their time of need from St Albans and Harpenden. Ryan, having worked the farm in his younger years now maintains it and has his own Hertfordshire start-up, musterhubs.org – combining co-working space and providing concierge and errand services for our community so working parents have more quality time for family life. Profits are distributed to supporting and regenerating childcare facilities and activity clubs.
I’m a retired chief inspector’s daughter born and brought up in just about every area in Yorkshire. Settling in Hertfordshire wasn’t difficult for me as I feel Yorkshire and Hertfordshire are very similar counties. My passion aside from being a working mum to our darling daughter Elodie, is creating beautiful and memorable events with my own floral design and events business, roundhousevents.com for the past nine years.
Having had the retail shop Fuchsia Pink in the Wheathampstead High Street for many years, it was a natural progression to relocate to our farm after the birth our daughter to focus on the event side. I also work with my husband’s business on events.
Our farm is the heartbeat of our life and it was only fitting we wanted to hold our special day here. As local business people it was also very important to us to use Hertfordshire suppliers.
I wanted our reception to have individual retreat spaces where our guests could chat and relax as well as play and party. So Country Tipis in Codicote came up with four tipis with two extensions to fill the brief.
Starting with my concept for vintage lampshade chandeliers, I wanted to create a homely feel. My usual phrase of ‘dad I’ve been thinking…’ set him and my uncle creating two pieces for our dining areas. We didn’t stop there. They also knocked us up a beer bar out of pallets donated by a local building site.
Family, friends and children were an important part of our day. Being an older bride and groom we gathered many from far-flung corners of the world. It was important to make them all welcome and feel part of our family.
We wanted a festival style of country chic with no one standing on ceremony but we also wanted less Dunlop-meets-jam-jars and more Le Chameau-meets-Gucci.
We had an eclectic mix of family treasures scattered throughout our reception. One of my favourite elements of the day was our top table, which was draped in hessian topped with rose gold sparkle table runners. Lush greenery tumbled the entire length of the nine metre table, with succulents and an array of English country flowers mixed with lots of candles. It still makes my heart glow.
Charity shops were a great source for our lampshades and the vintage crockery used to feed our 175 guests. If we needed anything additional they were sourced from local charity shops or donations.
As floristry is close to my heart it was important that we filled every nook! Emulating our top table, each guest table was adorned with one-metre high gold candelabras on a bed of moss down the centre of the table decorated with tea lights, blush and cream David Austin roses, a bowl of enormous cream peonies, on-trend succulents and a hint of magenta to lift the hue of the tipis.
A huge hanging circular floral arrangement filled the third tipi roof, with, of course, a glitter ball over the dance floor.
St Albans company, Smokehouse Deli, run by husband and wife team Kristine and Gelsomino Picciuto stepped up to organise the catering. The event entailed the building of an on-site kitchen, a refrigerated trailer, on-site generator and a team of staff providing a selection of amazing canapés and a main of silverside of beef – hand-carved at the station by chefs – with tender vegetables and choice of sauces. Dessert was Eton mess with plenty of soft fruit and homemade coulis. There were lunch boxes for the children, a seven-layer cake of cheese with homemade local chutneys, and a fish and chip supper.
As all bride and grooms say, our day just seemed to fly by, but the massive firework finish helped and more dancing till the early hours helped to keep the end at bay.’
Photography: Ian Scott Photography, Wheathampstead, 01582 469003
Tipis: Country Tipis, Codicote, 07486 542374
Catering: Smokehouse Deli, St Albans, 01727 251040
Fireworks: Fireburst Fireworks, Hemel Hempstead, 07860 439580
Makeup: Carly Kent, Ruislip, 07766 869833
Nails: Victoria Armfield, Colney Heath, 07976 956663
Hair: Styled by Sophie, Tring, 07850 211873
Bride’s dress: One-off couture vintage lace, National Wedding Show
Bridesmaids’ dresses: ASOS
Flowergirls’ dresses: Next
Groom’s suit: Made to measure, Vintage Suit Hire, Bedford, 01234 303152
Mens’ suits: Vintage Suit Hire, Bedford, 01234 303152
Florist: Fuchsia Pink, St Albans, 07958 068838
Event planning: Roundhouse Events, 07958 068838
Stationary: designed by bride
Printing: The Printshop, St Albans, 01727 752077
Cake: Family friend Abbie Winters
Band: Right Stuff, 01204 391777
Props: Style and Source, Flamstead, 07850 764268
Mens suit hire: Vintage Suit Hire, Bedfordshire 01234 303152
Cars: Ryan’s father