A Laid-Back DIY Wedding at Home in Otley

Bride crying with family reacting in the background and a wedding sign above

If you’re planning a DIY at-home wedding, you’ll find tons of inspiration from this celebration!

When Gemma and Joe first got in touch with me about their wedding, I was so excited. They were planning a relaxed wedding at their family home, with a marquee in the garden, a humanist ceremony and lots of DIY touches like a homemade bar. Gemma and Joe are the loveliest people and I couldn’t wait to shoot their wedding!

The excitement before the wedding

I arrived at Moorside Farmhouse, where the couple and their friends were getting ready, and it was so chilled out because everyone was in such a good mood. Gemma wore an amazing two-piece outfit with a gorgeous skirt and cape and Joe wore a funky shirt and tweed suit and they looked really perfect together. I loved seeing how excited everyone was to see Gemma in her outfit!

The vows

The wedding took place in a marquee outside in the garden and it was such a fun service. They had their friend officiating and their dog Louis delivered the rings, which everyone enjoyed. After the ceremony, there was a big cheer from everyone, and then the prosecco was passed around for everyone to enjoy. Everyone stayed seated for the speeches which made the day flow really nicely. I loved having the flexibility to capture so many different angles during this part of the day.

The afternoon

The wedding reception also took place in the marquee. Everyone helped to move the tables and chairs into place for the meal which was fun to photograph. They’d decorated the tables with handmade stationery and flowers from the garden. It was so wonderfully personalised.

It was an extremely mixed weather day, with harsh sun one minute and rain and wind the next but this didn’t bother anyone at all. While the guests enjoyed drinks at the bar, we took advantage of the break in the rain to do their family photos outside. My favourite photo from the afternoon is where Joe and his family helped bring the ceremony arbour outside as a backdrop.

During the reception, their friends were preparing a lovely meal in the DIY kitchen/bar area which went down a storm. They had a Thai sharing platter for the starter and curry for the main which was absolutely delicious.


Afterwards, the meal we headed outside for some fun portraits in the garden. Guests were entertaining themselves with a tandem bike whilst inside the marquee a space was cleared to dance. Their friend sang and played guitar while another accompanied him with a clarinet and the party got started. They had a dog which danced on two legs, which was so entertaining.

I absolutely love how much everyone was involved with this DIY wedding. Family and friends all pitched together and poured drinks, pulled pints and even washed dishes. It was such a great atmosphere and everyone was in high spirits which made the day so enjoyable to capture.

Top tip for planning a wedding

If you’re planning a DIY at-home wedding you have complete creative license! You can mix up the timings, ditch traditions that don’t mean much to you, have a really personalised ceremony and get everybody involved in helping out with the decor, music and food.

Kind words

“I’m so glad I came across Jenna’s profile on Instagram. Super fun, candid photography with just enough instruction for some posed photos but nothing cringe. Jenna went the extra mile to get us my much-coveted confetti shot and was generally a lovely person to have around on our wedding day!”

You can check out Gemma and Joe’s confetti shot on my post: How to get the best confetti shot. If you’d like to see more from their registry office ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall, check out my Yorkshire Registry Office guide.

Here is Gemma and Joe’s DIY at-home wedding in photos.

If you’re planning on having a DIY wedding at home and you’re looking for a wedding photographer, get in touch!

Venue // Moorside Farmhouse Accommodation

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