Thursday 7 November 2013

DIY Rustic Barn Wedding with Bright & White Details

When it comes to your wedding planning, your venue is key. It'll set the mood for your big day, and many of your other details and theming will emerge from its location and style. Kate and Graham found Cogges Manor Farm on a cold November day, and despite the weather, they fell in love. They wanted a truly rustic barn, that they could decorate themselves, and Cogges was perfect. They even took a gamble that the Farm might not have received their wedding licence in time, but luckily everything worked out perfectly. I think Cogges might be one of my favourite venues ever! The colour of the stone, and the combination of rustic and luxe, is just gorgeous! As Kate and Graham were using two of the barns, they were able to have two separate themes - white for the ceremony barn, and brights for the celebratory reception barn. There are so many wedding details, it's hard to choose my favourites, but the rustic signpost, pretty self-designed wedding stationery and goat {!!!} come high on my list! Enjoy these gorgeous pictures by Victoria Phipps Photography - Kate found her thanks to Before the Big Day! P.S. Kate is selling her Stella York wedding dress on Preloved for only £560.

We celebrated our wedding in June 2013 at Cogges Manor Farm, Whitney, Oxfordshire. Our main requirements for our wedding venue were to find a truly rustic barn, and somewhere we'd have the freedom to choose our own suppliers and decorate ourselves.

We visited several of barns but few that were really rustic, and very few that didn't already have preferred suppliers. We visited on a cold November day but our visit confirmed that Cogges was perfect for us . It was beautiful and you hired the barns, but then were free to organise everything yourself {everything, down to tables and chairs, cutlery!}.

It meant we had a lot to do, but it also meant we had the freedom to have things as we wanted them. It was a busy seven months organising, but well worth it. Cogges was so right - we took a chance that we might have to hold the service elsewhere, as they were in the process of applying for their wedding licence. We held on and fortunately they were granted their licence in April, so we were only the second wedding ceremony held there!

Our whole wedding was a massive DIY project! We decorated both barns ourselves, organised everything, right down to designing our own wedding stationery, cooking home-made piccalilli to serve with the hog roast, creating the ribbon table plan, and I made my own hairpiece!

I had one bridesmaid (Kim) – I wanted her to have the freedom to choose her dress. As a new mum I wanted her to feel fabulous, and look amazing. We looked on the high street, and she chose a dress from Monsoon. After she'd made her choice, I loved the purple in her dress so much, that I took the colour as inspiration for my bouquet. Kim's choice of dress also ended up inspiring the design on our wedding cake.

For our wedding stationery, we wanted a relaxed 'homemade/village fete' feel and as Cogges was such a perfect venue, we incorporated it into our design with hand-drawn sketches of the barn and birds.

We had two barns, one for the ceremony and one for the wedding breakfast, so we were able to create a different feel in each. We kept the decoration in the ceremony barn simple and white – with candles, lace effect bunting and a simple white jug of flowers – this created a more traditional feel for the wedding ceremony. 

Choosing music for our wedding was so hard - it's really difficult to find meaningful, but not overly cheesy music! I walked down the aisle to the theme music from Cider House Rules. Our walking out music was Al Green - Let's Stay Together, followed by Marvin Gaye - How Sweet It Is {To be Loved by You}. Our first dance was to Fleetwood Mac 'You make loving fun'.

Our wedding florist was Jemini Florists from Oxford. I wanted lots of texture in my bouquet, and they did a brilliant job of mixing purples and greens, including purple veronicas, lisianthus and stocks which gave it a lovely fragrance. 

My bridesmaid’s bouquet was a smaller version with the same flowers, and I bought antique lace to wrap around the stems. The ushers' buttonholes were roses, with a sprig of lavender and a raffia tie. 

Graham, the best man and my Dad all wore morning suits, whilst the ushers wore grey suits. They also had purple pocket squares which complimented my bridesmaid's dress. 

Graham’s brother, Ed from Business Tours takes 360º photographs, so we got him to do a group photo of guests throwing confetti on the lawn. It was great as you can see everyone's faces, and a really good perspective on the day! 

My wedding dress was by Stella York. I loved the combination of the lace panel at the front, giving a very modest neckline, and then the plunging back. I’m selling my dress on Preloved as it seems so sad to pack it away never to be worn again. I'd love for another bride to feel fabulous in it as I did on my wedding day. 

My shoes were a bargain from Next. I knew they'd be trashed after a day on the farm, so I didn't want to spend lots on them. I didn't wear a veil, instead I made my own hairpiece. 

It was 1920's inspired - I bought a new pearl and crystal hair comb, which I combined with a vintage broach from an antiques market, and necklaces that I gathered from charity shops. My godmother leant me her beautiful gold and diamond bracelet for my 'something borrowed'. 

Graham hired a traditional morning suit from Austin Reed. I bought him cufflinks from Ellie Ellie as a gift to open on the morning of our wedding. They were personalised with vintage maps showing our home town and wedding town, so he'd have them as a memento.

Our wedding photographer was Victoria Phipps Photography. We found Victoria from Before the Big Day! We were looking for reportage-style photography and when we saw Victoria's work on this blog, her photographs were exactly what we wanted. 

Victoria was fantastic, really relaxed and professional. She worked around the challenges of the torrential rain as the guests {and I} arrived - luckily the sun came out after the ceremony!

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