Thursday 7 November 2013

DIY Rustic Barn Wedding with Bright & White Details - The Reception

There's nothing I like more than seeing the results of a wedding planned with the help of Before the Big Day. So it gives me great pleasure to feature Kate and Graham's stunning wedding pictures by Victoria Phipps Photography. Kate found Victoria thanks to a blog post on Before the Big Day - and I'm tickled pink that it all worked out so well. Kate and Graham celebrated their wedding at Cogges Manor Farm, with a bright and white theme in two separate barns. The whole affair was a massive DIY project from start to finish. Cogges is a dry venue - which means you only get the building, and have to add all your own decorations {including tables, lighting & heating!} and choose your own suppliers. We had exactly the same thing for our wedding, and although it means lots of work, you really do get your wedding your way. You'll love the ribbon decorations in the bright 'party barn' - the swags from the rafters are such an effective way of adding colour to a room, and the theme is also reflected in the DIY table plan and table cloth details. Have a good read of Kate's answers to the Before the Big Day Bride's Questionnaire for more ideas, and if you love her Stella York wedding dress as much as I do, you'll be interested to know it's for sale 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.

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!

My Mum's cousin Gwyneth made our delicious wedding cake, and she used the pansy design from my bridesmaid Kim's dress as inspiration. She decorated the cake with cascading pansy petals – combining real sugared pansies and larger sugar petals.

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.

For the other barn, we decided on a bright colour theme to give a fun, celebratory feel to the day. We hung bright ribbon swags from the rafters, and bold paper lanterns above the dance-floor. 

We kept to the bright theme, with bright yellow table flowers and our ribbon table-plan. We were very lucky to have lots of family and friends help out on the set up day – it took a full day to set up as there were lots of decorations, as well as a full set of lighting, projectors etc.

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. 

I loved planning our wedding. It was hard work as we had to organise everything from tables and chairs, to lighting and sound, decorating …and clearing away. Graham and I both have experience of organising events, I'm an event manager, and he worked on big events at university, plus we had his friends {who do event lighting professionally} to help us set up.

Spending Friday setting up was a big part of the wedding {no spa pampering for me}, but it was lovely to spend the day with family and friends around us, getting everything ready for the wedding day.

My advice to brides would be to enjoy the planning. Choose the things that are important to you, and concentrate your time and money on those things - you know best what will make your day fun and special for you and your guests. If you don't notice favours at other people's weddings, then your guests probably won't either! We planned a budget, so we knew how much we had to spend on each element, and could keep track of our spend and not go over budget.

Don't get too obsessed with having lots and lots of details - a few well placed things will do just as well. Details contribute to the overall effect, but most guests won't notice every little thing you do. Relax and enjoy the day. Don't worry if everything doesn't go to plan, it's a live event so things change, go with the flow and only worry if something big goes awry!

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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