As Jess is one of our beloved team members here at Deer’s Leap Weddings, it is a real pleasure to share a snippet of her summer wedding with Ed, on the journal today. Featuring blue skies, live music, tug of war, macramé details and oodles of flowers, their celebration is guaranteed to brighten your day and inspire your own wedding here in the countryside. Keep scrolling and enjoy a glimpse inside what was an unforgettable soirée…

Jess and Ed adored the fact they could bring all their friends and family together for an entire weekend at Deer’s Leap. “Even though I work at Deer’s Leap, we did look at other venues just to see what was on offer,” explains Jess. “However, as soon as we sat down with Heather and she ran through what our wedding day could look like, it was a no-brainer! The main reason was that we could make the weekend exactly how we wanted it. Lots of our guests said it was the best wedding they had been to. I think this was because we made it so personal to us.”

On the morning of the wedding, Ed made a music video with his best man and ushers to present to Jess. The video began with the groom and groomsmen sipping on fizz in the hot tub, before springing into action and dancing around the venue while singing the words to a love song. “It was wacky, funny and touching at the same time,” explains Jess. “When I was presented with the video, while I was having my hair made up, I was in hysterics and also a bit teary watching it.” The music video really did set the scene for what was going to be an incredible day overflowing with magical memories.

Jess and Ed opted for an alfresco-style ceremony by the lakeside, where the groom built an archway and the bride created macramé bunting to go with it. As Ed is a rope artist, the couple felt it was essential to have macramé involved, embracing an arty and handmade theme for the day. Plus, Deer’s Leap has a handy storeroom jam-packed with decorations, so they also incorporated lanterns and glass vases. Live music from Sam Dowden gently guided guests to their seats before Jess walked down the aisle with her dad to one of Sam’s original songs, In a Daze. “Sam is a good friend, so was extra special to have him there,” explains Jess. “We wrote our own vows and our mums read out a poem each. My mum wrote a beautiful poem and Ed’s mum read ‘I carry your heart with me(I carry it in)’ by E.E Cummings.” The groom made everyone laugh during the ceremonywhen he accidentally said ‘unlawful impediment’ instead of lawful, while Chris, Ed’s best man, also made out that he had lost the rings. “When we were saying our vows, three of the onsite chickens decided to come and watch us saying our vows. I could see them over Ed’s shoulder, and they flew back when everyone clapped, it was full of laughter, love and happy tears.”

Jess’ sister, Hettie, and Ed’s sister, Amy, were her bridesmaids and her best friend, Imogen, was her maid of honour. “After looking at thousands of dresses online and ordering a few, as well as going to a couple of bridal shops, my dress and shoes came from Monsoon and my veil was from Etsy.” The beautiful bride went for a half-up, half-down hairstyle with a loose French plait entwined with fresh flowers, courtesy of Pinned to Perfection. With Anna RJ MUA on-hand as part of her glam squad, Jess kept her make-up natural, with the addition of a subtle pink lipstick that looked oh-so-pretty. Her bridal bouquet by Harriet at Sweet Peas & Sunflowers effortlessly completed her bridal look.


Embracing a sweet pea colour palette, Jess and Ed combined their ideas to create a wedding day that was colourful, handmade and sometimes a little quirky and definitely ‘them’ all over. Gorgeous blooms by Sweet Peas & Sunflowers were popped into little milk bottles that hung on shepherd hooks down the aisle, as well as lots of small glass bottles on the steps up to the gazebo. Jess’ dad, who is a potter, provided six of his large blue ceramic vases that Harriet, from Sweet Peas and Sunflowers, filled with flowers to style the gazebo.

The couple hosted their wedding breakfast in the Stone Barn, where they had oversized paper discs painted in pastel colours. The tables had a strip of painted cardboard running down the centre, with antique cameras (because of Jess’ love of filming and photography), a macramé centre glass bottle (made by Ed) with flowers and the table name in them. The couple named their tables after places they had visited, adding a personal touch to their reception.

When it came to their wedding favours, this crafty couple got seriously creative. The groom made macramé keyrings, the bride made some dainty wool weavings, the best man made his famous chilli sauce, the father of the bride made blue heart-shaped magnets stamped with their wedding date and they also purchased some little Clovelly Soap Company soaps – a nod to where Jess grew up.

For their wedding feast, they opted for sharing platters including shredded spatchcock chickens, quinoa and herb stuffed peppers, hot roasted whole salmon and lots of yummy salads, not to mention the most delicious desserts. For those with a sweet-tooth, they could also enjoy an ice cream from Heather’s Styles Ice Cream Cart.

Jess & Ed’s wedding day was wonderfully laidback, featuring lawn games, live music, tug of war, dancing and even cowboy vibes from Ed – who got on Heather’s horse and entertained everyone! “It was the first time we had seen many of our friends and family since covid, so it was extra special because of this,” reminisces Jess.


The Newlyweds’ Advice

“Try to make the wedding represent both of your personalities. You may go into organising your wedding with a very solid idea of how you want your wedding to be – I did! However, this is a celebration of two people and their unique qualities. So, I would say soften your grip on what you want, so that you can include things that feel special to both of you.”

Little Love Notes

“What can we say, we couldn’t have asked for more from Deer’s Leap Retreat. It was just perfect. We wanted a relaxed, rustic wedding that allowed our friends and family to feel at home and really have a great time and this is what happened. Heather and James, and their team, worked tirelessly to help us create the best day. We were given guidance throughout the process meaning we never felt lost or overwhelmed. The long weekend, Friday-Monday for our onsite guests and Thursday-Monday for us, meant that we had a great bring-and-share gathering the night before our wedding and a relaxed BBQ with our nearest and dearest on the Sunday after, absolute bliss! So many of our guests told us that it was the best wedding they had ever been to, which was such a lovely thing to hear. Our wedding day was filled with love, joy and fun! Thank you so much, Heather and James, for what was truly the best day of our lives!”

We hope you’ve enjoyed every second of being transported back to sunnier days and feel utterly inspired! Don’t forget you can follow more of our loved-up adventures over on Instagram, or get in touch if you would like to book a viewing and explore Deer’s Leap Weddings.

Photographer Little Silver Photography

Photographer Hettie Pearson Photography

Photographer Faye Mendes Photography

Sparkly Evening Dress Winifred Rose Clothing

Videographer Charlotte Dart Videography

Hair Pinned to Perfection

Make-up – Anna RJ Mua

Groom’s Suit (store) Moss Bros

Flowers Sweet Peas & Sunflowers

Transport South Molton Taxi  Service Ltd

Entertainment Sam Dowden Music

Entertainment Basil’s Balls Up Band