Real Weddings

Lake District DIY Barn Wedding

Alice and Marc got married last August in the Lake District in a blank canvas venue which they transformed with gorgeous lighting, bunting and greenery. There were lovely personal touches including Alice's mum growing all the wedding flowers from seed in her garden and they kept guests happy with a pizza van and a fire pit for toasting marshmallows in the evening.

How did you guys meet?

Marc and I met at a mutual friend’s party in June 2015. It was a games night and we got put on the same team.  We got on really well and went out for drinks a few weeks later.

Marc proposed to me after bringing me a cup of tea in bed one Saturday morning. I was really shocked especially as he was proposing with my great grandma’s ring – he had managed to get this over from the lakes without me knowing!

How did you Keep it Real?

I did my own make up on the day which I was slightly nervous about! I really just wanted to look like me. I had a bridal tutorial at MAC and came away with lots of make up and a step by step plan for the day.  My hair was done by Marc’s sister – we had many practice sessions! I wore my hair down with a victory roll in one side with some fresh flowers pinned to its side. 

Where did you get married and why did you choose your venue?

We got married at New House Farm in Lorton, Lake District. We looked at a couple of rustic barn style venues but loved that New House Farm was very much a ‘DIY’ venue.  The barn is a blank canvas and we had to hire carpet, chairs, tables, lights etc. and a caterer.  This did mean a lot more work but gave us the opportunity to be creative and put out own stamp on the venue.  New House Farm is also surrounded by mountains and has beautiful grounds.  A connection to the outdoors and the mountains was really important to us. We had around 75 day guests and a couple more came for the evening.

They even had a fire pit lit in the evening for marshmallow toasting!

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?

Chelsea Cannar Photography. There was lots of rain in the morning which wasn’t ideal as we had lots of lawn games that we really wanted our guests to enjoy as well as the venue’s outdoor space itself.  However, once the wedding started the weather really didn’t matter! By the time it was time for our photoshoot by the lake with Chelsea (our photographer) the sun had begun to peep out and nothing was stopping us donning our new Ray Bans! We had so much fun running and jumping around in the wind and it also gave us time to talk about how happy we were!

I went to school with Chelsea and this coupled with her relaxed style really helped me as I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about being photographed!  Her relaxed documentary style photographs are amazing.  We absolutely love the photographs and have many of them framed in our new home!

Who was your bridesmaid?

I had my sister Harriet as my bridesmaid.  I wanted the wedding to feel intimate.  She actually got pregnant just after we bought her dress meaning by the time the wedding came around I had another bridesmaid-my niece Isobel at just 10 weeks old.  I bought her a beautiful pink dress from Next in pale pink to match the pink flowers on my sister’s dress. 

What did you DIY?

We decorated the venue ourself.  My mum made an incredible amount of bunting which we hung from the barn’s beams and she also grew the table flowers in her garden specially.  I bought the blue and white china from ebay which the flowers were placed in.  These were vintage jugs, teacups and tea pots. 

Family members saved all their glass jars for months and my mum made these into candles. She is just amazing!

Your cake looked delicious! Tell us more…

We bought a naked sponge wedding cake from Waitrose and my mum decorated it with flowers, fruit and bunting!

How did you pick your stunning flowers?

My sister and I had a bouquet that included white peonies, matricaria and cornflower from Lake District Florist and Cakery. The buttonholes were in the same vein and also from this florist.

The large weeping birch trees next to us for the ceremony were bought from Moota Garden Centre.

The flowers on tables in blue and white china and flowers in jars hanging off chairs down the aisle were grown from seed by mum in her garden.

The milk churns at the barn’s entrance were from Lake District Florist and Cakery too and included blue Delphinium and September flower. 

milk churn filled with purple flowers

Who walked you down the aisle?

My father Trevor Bulch.  I hadn’t expected to get so emotional but as soon as the music started playing and we started walking I found it really hard not to cry! I thought Marc would have been the emotional one too!

What music did you go for?

‘Alias Trio’ a local folk band from Newcastle played during the ceremony and reception drinks.  I walked down the aisle to their version of ‘All of the Lights’ by Kanye West and we ended the ceremony with their version of ‘Crazy in Love’ by Beyonce. 

Tell me about your catering

Our caterers Karen Rhodes created beautiful canapés for us alongside a scrumptious three course meal:


Chicken liver parfait, onion marmalade

Micro leaves & melba toast

Baskets of home-made breads

Main course

Chicken fillet stuffed with mozzarella, sun blush tomatoes & basil wrapped in prosciutto

Served with roasted new potatoes and summer vegetables with rosemary & garlic


Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce & English Lakes double Jersey ice cream

We also had an amazing pizza van ‘Noshbox’ for evening food.  They have a pizza oven inside a converted horse box and everyone loved the pizzas!  We would highly recommend them!

What was your first dance?

Our first dance was to Beyonce’s ‘Love on top’.  We are both big Beyonce fans!

How did you get everyone up on the dancefloor?

We saved money by not having a band/DJ for the evening.  Marc used to DJ so he had all the equipment and selected and mixed the music in advance.  He also did a live set later on in the evening which everyone loved!

Any tips for saving money?

Not hiring a DJ/band in the evening, loads of DIY and buying our cake from Waitrose.

Would you do anything differently?

I wish I had smiled a bit more going down the aisle.  In the photos I look a bit sad but I was just overwhelmed with emotion all of a sudden! We enjoyed the planning process especially the creative hand made elements. 


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With thanks to Featured Suppliers:

Chelsea Cannar Photography

DTL Marquee Hire

REAL Suppliers

Venue: New House Farm | Photographer: Chelsea Cannar | Bride’s dress: Phase Eight| Shoes: LK Bennett| Bridesmaids: John Lewis | Flower girls: Next | Florist: Lake District Florist & Cakery | Furniture hire: DTL Marquee Hire | Caterer: Karen Rhodes | Pizza van: Noshbox | Grooms suit: Next | Cake: Waitrose


Gaia Hudson

Written by gaia_bkir

Founder of Brides Keeping it Real and mum of two little ones, Leon & Ada. Passionate about providing a supportive online community for brides and grooms who want an achievable, uncomplicated wedding planning experience.