Like most couples that ask me to create a special piece of jewellery for them, Mr Collin and I wanted to begin our journey as husband and wife with meaning and thought.
As a trained jeweller, I was absolutely going to craft our forever rings myself. We chose to cast bark and stems found in my husband’s family woodland. Who knows, perhaps our rings are even cast from a tree his grandfather planted half a century before?
Brilliantly textured and totally unique, our rings capture the feeling of togetherness and connection we sense when we spend time in this very special woodland.
It was after many delightful responses to the story behind our rings and lots of inspirational requests for bespoke commissions that I was motivated to launch Cast & Found. Offering other couples the same opportunity to have bespoke rings made from places that are meaningful to them.
Here's a little more about our wedding...
The perfect location
Although we’re based in Nottinghamshire, we chose the Lake District for our vows as it’s such a magical place for us both. By going away we hoped to make the wedding ceremony part of our story and not just an event.
So, descending upon the tiny and ancient village of Cartmel in Cumbria one frosty February day, we spent four wonderful days in country pubs, tasting local cheeses and beers, enjoying long group walks and gatherings in tea shops, all with our most favourite people.
My family had a holiday cottage on the edge of this idyllic parish, so we were over the moon when we were told we could be married in the small reading chapel of Cartmel Priory.
The chapel, with its beautiful carvings and simple wooden chairs, hidden away from the gilt and grandeur of the main altar, just housed our party of 25 perfectly. With the harpist playing and sunlight streaming in through the stunning Jesse window, it all felt so magical as I walked up the tiny aisle.
The vicar was so helpful in enabling us to get married at the Priory and the locals super welcoming. We were lucky enough to have to spend nine days ‘living’ in Cartmel before we could apply for a permission to marry certificate from the registrar’s office! We spent the time finalising our wedding plans in the day and cosying up in the local country pubs in the evening. It was a delightful pre-wedding bubble with the magic and twinkle of Christmas thrown in.
A day to treasure
I chose to wear a simple lace Maggie Sottero dress, which really was the first one I tried on, one delightful afternoon tea-filled weekend in Harrogate with my Mum. With organic dyed vintage silk tied around my bouquet, made by a talented friend.
Unable to transport my man’s favourite small grey Ferguson tractor to the Lake District in secret, and not wanting a traditional wedding car, we had to get a little inventive. Contacting local eBay sellers to eventually find a helpful local chap with a Land Rover Defender pickup, willing to provide ‘the transport’ for a small fee!
We really wanted to get a little bit of nature into our day and were lucky that it was clear and mild (for February), so we were able to have a little bit of time together having our photographs taken in the local woodland.
The train on my dress coped well with a woodland photoshoot and although I wore Roland Cartier shoes for the ceremony and reception (the same designer my Mother had worn on her wedding day) I enjoyed an interlude in my faithful hunter wellies and thermal socks for wandering around the woods!
The small reception took place in the village’s oldest inn The Cavendish Arms.
We had little need for decorations as the swathes of hops, fairy lights and roaring fires created a brilliantly rustic and intimate atmosphere.
We did create magical table runners from living moss though, gathered from our woodland. With borrowed cut glasses used as candle holders, which gave off the most beautiful dancing light.
Surrounded by nature
Snowdrops, seasonal for a February wedding, are simple and divinely beautiful. My gorgeous groom’s father has been cultivating several varieties of snowdrops for decades, on the family small-holding, so these blooms felt rather magical.
Plants in carefully-selected vintage terracotta pots worked really well, as during Lent no flowers are to be left in church. It also allowed us to take the flowers home after the celebrations and plant the bulbs in the garden… so now, as the snowdrop tips first appear each year, we’re reminded of our special day.
I’ve since made a ring from one of the snowdrop leaves from our garden, which is available to purchase online. Their leaves are often overlooked but its texture is rather divine, especially captured in silver.
‘Meaning, sentiment, romance and simplicity with a bit of an outdoor country feel’ seemed like the right ‘theme’ for our special day, given our love of nature and the great outdoors.
But most importantly, we wanted to look back on day and know it was filled with beauty, love and a relaxed kind of joy.
A winter wedding on a sensible budget close to Valentines’ Day limited our flower choices a little, but delightfully my bouquet did include delicate Lisianthus, just like my Mother had on her wedding day.
Creating a whimsical array of blooms, nestled bouquets, buttonholes, corsages and milk churns from the family’s old farm were:
- Pink and white Lisianthus nestled amongst small roses
- Stunning Anemones with vibrant blue centres and fragile white petals
- Ferns to bring a romantic, wild woodland feel
So much careful consideration goes into wedding day flowers, so I’m especially delighted when I get to capture such special blooms in the jewellery I make, casting leaves, petals and stems so couples and families can treasure their fragile flowers as heirloom pieces of jewellery to keep forever. You can find out more on the Create section of the website.
I still have the beautiful ferns, wax flowers and brilliantly blue viburnum berries that were woven into my hair on the day, which I carefully dried after our wedding and still plan to cast into tiny charms sometime soon. You can view more couples’ treasured wedding stories on the Weddings page of our website and on our social media.
I didn’t gather any nature finds on our wedding day itself, but we regularly go back to Cartmel and walk in the surrounding woodland so I’m sure I’ll make a piece that connects us to this place and further treasures our story as Mr & Mrs one day very soon.
We try to say hello to the inquisitive Moo Cows we had an encounter with on our wedding day when ever we visit Cartmel.
Why not share your story?
I’d love to hear about the nature and sentiment you wove (or are planning to weave) into your own wedding stories. Or any other thoughts or questions in the comments below.
I also like to support other businesses so here are some of the fabulous ones that helped to make our day so incredibly special. Photographer: Beecham Photography // Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero from Harrogate Wedding Lounge // hand dyed silk ribbons by Botanical Bricolage // Ceremony/Reception Venue: Cartmel Priory, Cavendish Arms // Hair & Makeup: Alison Jenner // Wedding Rings: Cast & Found Jewellery // Flowers: Made in Flowers. // Nails and pampering: Park Lane, Cartmel // Cheese & Beer tastsing and 'Hot Wine' on the day: Unsworth Yard.