Summer DIY Wedding I Cottenham Racecourse I Cambridge Wedding Photography

Cottenham racecourse Cambridge was to play host to Bethan & James’ amazingly relaxed DIY summer wedding. A truly unique and quirky setting for a totally bespoke wedding. When I first met with Bethan and James I was instantly intrigued by their Summer DIY wedding plans and the more they told me about their day the more excited I became. I knew I had to be the photographer to capture their day for them. At the initial stages there was a lot of details to iron out but I knew it would be amazing. From our first meeting at [the STUDIO], the wonderful Botanic Garden pre wedding shoot to the day itself, everything was so relaxed and chilled.

Popping corks

Bridal prep at beautiful local B&B cottage in Willingham. This amazing little find was perfect for the mornings preparations. A home from home experience. With corks popping on the Prosecco Bethan was being preened, pampered and watered, fitting for every bride on the wedding morning. Amy Gardener was on hand doing hair for the ladies and the bride of course. Jan Richards providing the flawless make up artistry. Becky from Feather and Ferns arrived on cue with the delivery of, as always, an outstanding bouquet, posies and buttonholes, prefect for the day ahead. Meanwhile my assistant photographer, Jonathan Bickle was spending time with the boys at couples home a stones throw from the church.

Flower Bouquet and Shoes Brides Dress hanging in garden Bridal Preparations Bridal Make Up Bridal Preparations Bridesmaids RelaxingBride and Bridesmaids Bride and Bridesmaids Bride with Bouquet Groom Preparation shots Groom Groom and Groomsmen Groom Order of Service and Buttonhole

DIY wedding

Bethan and James were to marry at the lovely All Saints Church, Cottenham.  So ensuring that I knew the layout of the church I attended the rehearsal the evening before. The intimate service conducted by the Archdeacon of Surrey Paul Davies was perfect and heartfelt. Paul is a family friend which made the service even more personal. After the ceremony and register signing Bethan and James stepped outside for a few formal shots before we headed off to the racecourse. What awaited the guests was an amazing decked out tipi decorated with personal touches that gave a nod to this special couple’s personality.

All Saints Church Cottenham Emotional Groom as Bride Enters All Saints Church Bride and Groom at Alter All Saints Church Wedding Ceremony Readings All Saints Church Marriage Ceremony Blessing All Saints Church Bride and Groom Kneeling at Alter All Saints Church Wedding Vows All Saints Church Signing the Register All Saints Church Signing Register with Witnesses All Saints Church Bride and Groom at Alter Bride and Groom Recessional Bride and Groom Confetti Group photoBride and Groom with Wedding Party Bride and Groom with Wedding Party Bride and Groom with Brides Parents Bride and Groom with Grooms Parents Bride and Groom with Parents Bride and GroomBride and Groom Bride and Groom Bride and Groom Gentleman Jims Mobile Horse Box Bar Cutting the Cake Bride and Groom Family Group Formal Portrait


The sun shone all day and although a little breezy which at times proved challenging the day was perfect. It wasn’t long before the sounds of laughter echoed around everywhere. Time is always a factor on a wedding day. However I am always grateful when my couples trust me enough to steal them away from their guests for ‘just one more’ photo. It’s also down time for the couple to relax away from the glare of their guests. Before we knew it it was almost time for the cutting of the cake, made by Danielle Ainsworth-Pickering of Live Baking. Then straight into the first dance.

Sun Flare shot with Bride and Groom Bride and GroomJeep at Cottenham Racecourse Bride and Groom Sunset Silhouette at Cottenham RacecourseMaid of Honour and HusbnadBrides Father and BrotherDIY Personal Bride and Groom Picture Collection Groom and Best Man Bride and Maid of Honour Bride and Mother of the Bride Best Man and Groomsmen

Gentleman jim’s

Having a Summer DIY wedding means that all the planning and logistics falls on the couple but these two managed that perfectly. The amazing tipi supplied by Country Tipis stood proud in the grounds of the racecourse. The food provided The Wandering Yak was mouth watering. The Ice Cream Jack’s Gelato tasteful and welcome in the summer heat. The amazing mobile horse box bar serviced by Gentleman Jim’s created a fantastic backdrop. All in all an epic wedding dream team.

DIY Wedding Horse Box Mobile BarBride and Groom In Front of Pit Fire Evening Shot DIY Wedding Tipi Evening shot

Thank you Bethan and James for having me as part of your DIY day. I throughly enjoyed getting to know you and honoured to have been able to showcase your wedding day. You did amazingly well!

If you are planning your big day please do get in touch via my Contact Me page at Mark Nortcliffe Photography or by calling 07982 077883. Check out my review of 2019 here.


Photography Mark Nortcliffe Photography

Assistant Photography Jonathan Bickle Photography

Bridal Boutique Dress in Love – Hertford

Groom’s Suit – Next

Hair Amy Elizabeth Hair Artist

MUA Makeup by Jennifer Richards

Florist Feather and Ferns

Cake Designer Live Baking

Catering The Wandering Yak

Cheese table The Cambridge Cheese Company

Ice Cream Cart Jack’s Gelato

Bar Gentleman Jims

Tipi Hire Country Tipis

Styling Hall and Co Event Design

Bridal Prep Orchard Cottage

& other stories

How did you meet?

At Explorer Scouts at the tender age of 15. You could say we were childhood sweethearts.

How did James propose?

At midnight on the turn of our 9th anniversary on the balcony of the treehouse/cabin we were staying in while in France.

How long have you been planning your special day?

We have been planning for about a year.

What was your favourite part of the day?

The service, especially exchanging of the vows and the rings.

Any tips/advice for other couples planning their big day?

Try and do things as far in advance as you can. It creeps on you super fast!

Any thing you fell out over during the planning stages?

Committing to decisions. We were so indecisive we started to get cross with each other as neither of us would make a decision.

Did you go on honeymoon? If so where?

Bali and Hong Kong


  1. Christopher Frankland

    Fantastic wedding and equally fantastic photos!

    It was great to meet you on the day Mark (I was the chap doing the video)

    We will be in touch, I got engaged last month!

    • MarkN

      OMG Congratulations. Yes please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you x


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