COUPLES are turning away from having a traditional weddings in church, and choosing quirkier alternatives that allow them to have more control over their special day.

Now a Compton Bassett pig farm is hoping to win over couples to tie the knot, after a Bristol couple became the first to hold their ceremony there.

Stephanie and Richard Coward, both 31, held a humanist ceremony at Buttle Farm after signing the paperwork at Chippenham Register Office, officially tying the knot.

Buttle Farm, run by Sara and Robert Buttle, is home to six rare breeds of free range pigs.

Stephanie had always wanted an outdoor wedding and Richard, having grown up in Compton Bassett, was familiar with Buttle Farm. They agreed that it would be the perfect setting for their wedding - and thought the idea of having the farm’s British saddleback, Tamworth, Berkshire, Oxford sandy and black,large black and mangalitza as possible witnesses was great.

“We were umming and ahhing about where to have the wedding, but I knew I wanted it to be outdoors,” Stephanie explained.

“Sara and Robert are friends of Richard’s parents and I remember sitting out on the steps and thinking it would be a great place for the wedding, I always thought it was nice there. So we asked Sara and she said she would love to have our wedding there.

“I’ve been to church weddings before and we are not really religious and I thought I would have felt a bit of a hypocrite saying my vows in a church when we don’t go to church.

“They are often in and out, 15 minutes, and our civil ceremony was exactly that.

“But our ceremony was written around Rich and I so it was really nice and personal.

Following the ceremony, Richard and Stephanie led their guests from the farm, through the fields and past some friendly pigs to the village hall for a reception.

The wedding was a first for the Buttles have owned Buttle Farm for nine years and also offer five-star accommodation, a party terrace and an outside kitchen for events.

“It is the first wedding we have had here, it seemed like a lovely idea and we had no hesitation saying yes,” Mrs Buttle said. “We have this outdoor deck area which is ideal for parties.

“When they were planning their wedding they didn’t want anything stuffy and formal, so they chose to get married at a pig farm!

“The sun came out just at the right moment, but we also have a barn which could be used if the weather was terrible.

“It was a lovely day, everyone seemed to enjoy it because it was at such a beautiful setting and all the guests had the beautiful view looking to Compton Bassett in the distance.

“It is a very pretty place, Compton Bassett.”

According to a recent survey, a quarter of Britons now want to book more exotic venues for their wedding day, such as zoos, farms or somewhere with a sea view.