Rachael & Doug’s Festival Wedding at Drovers Barn

Written by Caitlin Hoare
Images by The Wild Bride.
Rachael & Doug perfectly captured the festival spirit for their September wedding so I wasn’t surprised to learn that they both work in the events industry!

Drovers Barn was the ideal black canvas backdrop for R & D to really put their stamp on the place for their laidback, fun-filled wedding celebrations. Expect a festival-style street food BBQ (provided by the venue), colourful festival theming (cool lighting, drapes, and lots of photos), live music and a spicy little neon sign for the evening… keep scrolling and see if you spot it!

Notes from the Bride

Rachael says…

As our families live in different areas of the country, we didn’t want to favour one over the other in terms of location choice. This allowed us to focus solely on what we wanted from the venue. We knew we wanted a barn wedding, with around 100 capacity, and on site accommodation.

We visited a few venues but once we’d been to Drovers Barn we knew it was the place for us. It felt so unique and having two barns with a courtyard area in between felt like the perfect set up to give us plenty of space. The on site accommodation is gorgeous and meant we could have our nearest and dearest with us for a full weekend of celebrations (and to help set them up!). Doug in particular loves animals and fell in love with the farm itself, as soon as we were back in the car after our first visit he was set on Drovers Barn.

I knew early on in dress shopping that I loved Madi Lane as a designer. I managed to find a trunk show being hosted at boutique Nora Eve Bridal in Chesterfield where I’m from. I found the Addie gown there and knew it was the one. I opted for a simple waist length veil so I wasn’t hiding the gorgeous lace of my dress. I kept my make up fairly neutral but with a touch of sparkle, and my hair half up half down. I don’t often wear heels so knew I didn’t want anything too high for my shoes. Also being on a farm I knew I needed a block heel and warned all the bridesmaids and guests of the same! My shoes were made by a brand called Esska and were the Fink vegan champagne shoes.

All the bridesmaids wore forest green and we got most of the dresses from Rewritten, with a couple coming from ASOS. I bought us all denim jackets to wear when it got cooler in the evening and my sister painted them all with the floral design on the back.

We both work in the events industry, Doug in lighting and myself in technical theatre so we were always going to be really hands on when it came to styling and DIY. I had a really strong vision for the outdoor barn of having lots of pendant lights and plants hanging above us, and between us and friends who work in the same industry we knew we’d be able to handle it all ourselves. Over lockdown, as we were both furloughed we had plenty of time to plan and make things. We sourced the wooden ladders and started making macrame plant hangers and the pendant lights. We decided we wanted a neon sign and had several arguments about what we wanted it to say! That went up after the ceremony as it felt a bit tongue in cheek to come out before the party!

For our flowers we went to flower farm Green and Gorgeous. I arranged all the bridesmaids bouquets, and my friends and family helping set up did the large arrangements in the milk churns and the bud vases for the tables. I mainly left what flowers we got up to what was in season, with a focus on an autumnal colour palette. That said, my favourite flowers are dahlias so these were the focal flower of my bouquet.

Drovers provided all the catering themselves, and whilst I am biased, it’s definitely the best wedding food I’ve ever had. We had canapés for the drinks reception, a festival style bbq with lamb, spatchcock chicken or veggie options, and churros for dessert.

Cake-wise Doug and I both agree the brownies are the best cake. We went on a mission to find our favourite brownies in London (Konditor and Cook) and then bought loads of them to arrange on cake stands rather than having a traditional cake.

We chose The Wild Bride to capture the day and opted for a package with both photos and video in which I’m so pleased we did! Jon and Emily are so great at capturing the day without you even noticing they’re there.

Best part of the day

One of the best choices we made was to use a celebrant for our ceremony which meant that it really focused on us as a couple, and we could include whatever we wanted. Jane at Create Ceremonies is amazing – she had various meetings with us about what we wanted, found out our story and wrote the whole ceremony, checking in with us at every step to make sure we were completely happy. We had a gin ceremony where we mixed together a gin that represented each of us. We both used gin from Bristol Dry Gin and they even made us bottles of the two pre-mixed with a custom label for the wedding.

Press Play


Venue The Barn at Drovers

Photographer/Videographer The Wild Bride

Celebrant Create Ceremonies

Brass Band The Brass Junkies

Flowers Green and Gorgeous

Cake Konditor and Cook

Hair + Makeup Loxus Hair and Makeup

Wedding Dress Madi Lane from Nora Eve Bridal

Bridesmaids’ Dresses Rewritten and ASOS

Groom’s Suit Moss Bros

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