Showing posts with label Barndance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barndance. Show all posts

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Real Lavender Barn Wedding: Alex & Paul

Every time a Before the Big Day bride gets in touch to tell me about her wedding, I do a happy dance! The lovely Alex regularly read this blog for wedding inspiration, before her big day, so it gives me HUGE pleasure to feature the pictures from her gorgeous wedding! As you'd expect, it's packed to the brim with fabulous wedding ideas you'll want to steal - from the subtle lavender theme, the perfectly toned bridesmaids' dresses, Alex's exquisite bouquet including David Austin roses, and her Jimmy Choo look-a-like shoes from Next! Alex DIY'd lots of her wedding decorations, so don't miss the upcoming pictures of her and Paul's traditional barn reception {later this afternoon}. Huge thanks to Alex for filling in my Bride's Questionnaire with all her helpful hints, and to Dean Govier for his beautiful wedding pictures.

We got married on Saturday 28th July 2012 in St Mary’s Church in Whitchurch-on-Thames, which is the village I grew up in in South Oxfordshire. Our reception was at Ufton Court in Berkshire.

I hated wedding dress shopping!  My mum and sister took me to a wedding shop in Marlow which was full of horrible synthetic dresses, all strapless and not at all what I wanted.  The type that make you sweat as soon as you put them on!  I don't think they quite realised how awful the shop would be, but it did provide some entertainment!  I then decided to go-it-alone and went and tried about 15 dresses at different places, but none of them were right, and I actually came away from the experience rather downhearted.

 It was my sister who suggested I get my dress made, as she had done, and she found me a dress maker in Henley-on-Thames.  From the moment I met Hannah I could tell that she was the lady for me, and I trusted her implicitly to make me the dress of my dreams!  My dress was a mish-mash of styles I had seen and liked, and Hannah pulled them together beautifully. As we were getting married in the summer, I wanted something lightweight and easy to move around in, so I had several layers of tulle, georgette and chiffon built up to give the dress a 'floaty' feel.  I felt so comfortable in it all day, and I could breathe!

Hannah also made my cathedral length veil, with lace along the bottom so it gave an illusion of a train. My shoes were a steal from Next of all places and were actually pretty comfy.  They reminded me of some Jimmy Choo ones that I loved, but simply couldn’t afford.

I had a hair comb made by Poppy from Connie and Dolly, who I met at a wedding fair in Chiswick.  She used vintage brooches and earrings, and incorporated a bow, to tie in with the lace pattern on my dress.  My earrings were ordered as a last week panic the week of the wedding from Olivier Laudus, and only arrived the day before! They were perfect and well worth the wait!

It was important for Paul to get married in church, and the only church I would have ever got married in was the one we did. I grew up in the village of Whitchurch-on-Thames and anywhere else wouldn’t have felt right, as I wanted to get ready at home.

Paul, his two bestmen and our usher, my brother-in-law, wore the 'Royal Ascot' morning suit from Moss Bros. As we were having a traditional English country church wedding, we thought it would be nice for him to wear tails. Paul wears a suit to work every day, so he wanted something different. 

We bought Paul's lilac tie from Thomas Pink to compliment the bridesmaids dresses. As a wedding gift I bought him some original 'lucky' sixpence cufflinks, which was the first thing he proudly showed to me when I met him at the alter!

Four of the bridesmaids dresses, the lavender ones, were from Dessy, but I had them shipped over from America for half the price – a definite tip for future brides {watch the import tax though!}. I had a very particular colour that I wanted, a heathery purple colour, which I couldn’t find anywhere and the closest I found were the dresses from Dessy. It’s the old adage of when you’re looking for something you can never find it, and I didn't help myself by being so fixated on this colour - with hindsight, I wish that I had been a bit more relaxed about it! My bridesmaids' shoes were from Dune, and I bought them a brooch and earrings as a thank you gift, which they wore on the day.

My flower girls, my beautiful nieces, wore dresses from Boden and sandals from M&S. I wanted them to have dresses they could wear for the rest of the summer, and that were also comfortable and lightweight. I also bought them a hairband each from Etsy. They still wear them for dressing up! My eldest niece actually wore pretty much her whole outfit the day after the wedding as well!

I wanted my sister, who was my maid of honour, to stand out from the other girls and chose grey to compliment the morning suits of the boys. I wanted everything to be very tonal. Her dress was a nightmare to find as it had to be just the right tone of grey. In the end she ordered a dress from a Spanish website {all very international!} and then Hannah, my dressmaker, added the sleeves and trim to the bottom.

Luckily my mother-in-law does floristry in her spare time and kindly offered to do our wedding flowers for us. I was very particular, in that I wanted to include lavender in my bouquet as it is a scent that reminds me of my grandmother. I also wanted the flowers to be pale colours in a soft palette – pinks, peaches, creams - with pale green leaves. The bridesmaids had the same, but with no pink, and the flower girls had just lavender. All were hand-tied with lace. Paul’s buttonhole tied in with my bouquet and also featured lavender sprigs.

I also wanted the flowers to be pale colours in a soft palette – pinks, peaches, creams - with pale green leaves. The bridesmaids had the same, but with no pink, and the flower girls had just lavender. All were hand-tied with lace. Paul’s buttonhole tied in with my bouquet and also featured lavender sprigs.

My bouquet was made up of David Austin roses {they came on the Thursday before the wedding and half of them were dead! I was so upset having spent quite a considerable amount on them, but my mother-in-law replaced them and I didn’t even notice the difference!}, carnations {which I truly believe are underrated!}, hydrangeas, gypsophilia, a lavender collar and seneicio leaves.

Our wedding photographer was Dean Govier and he was beyond amazing. He was recommended to us through one of my bridesmaids, who had been at a wedding he had photographed in the same area.

When I saw his photos I knew Dean was our guy. We loved his natural style, and he was such a pleasure to have around on the day. He just seamlessly blended into the background. I cannot recommend him enough.

We also chose to have a videographer and found a company, Family Creative, who were just starting out in the business. We were delighted with the final version, and I think I must have watched the DVD about a million times! Getting a wedding video definitely brings your day to life, and having the footage to look back on adds another dimension.

Our general wedding theme was centred on lavender and lace with accents of grey. The smell of lavender reminds me of my grandmother, plus I love the colour. I also had lace on my dress and wanted to reflect that throughout our wedding. Paul also wanted to make sure he had a 'stamp' on the day, so we incorporated his love of Tottenham FC wherever we could, without it being too tacky!

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Wednesday 6 March 2013

Real Purple-Themed Barn Wedding: Chloe & Gareth

Time for a momentary mega-gush - I l-o-v-e this wedding. I love the blue, I love the bridesmaids, I love the bride's gorgeous Ian Stuart wedding dress, and I love the atmosphere of fun and joy. It look like the type of wedding where you'd have an amazing time, and dance until late into the night. Chloe and Gareth chose blue, pink and purple for their wedding colours, and The Prioy Barn in rural Hertfordshire, where they had a civil ceremony followed by the reception. Chloe had decked out the barn with lots of candles, bright flowers and a yummy cup cake tower - truly personalising the whole affair. There are so many wedding ideas to snaffle, it's hard to count. My favourite is bluey-purple hydrangeas in the bridemaids' pomanders - they have a lovely vintage look about them. Stunning pictures from the very talented Binky Nixon Photography.

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Monday 19 November 2012

Real Rustic Barn Wedding: Vanessa & Aaron - Part 2

With more fabulous wedding details than you can shake a stick at, plus lots of wonderful DIY ideas, this wedding is a keeper! I'm completely in love with Vanessa and Aaron's quirky vintage style, from Aaron's mismatching socks, Vanessa's happy yellow bridal shoes {from Clark's}, and the bridesmaids elegant sage green gowns. But it's the DIY details you're going to love the most, because they're going to inspire you to create your own. Vanessa designed her own wedding stationery, but she didn't stop there - scroll down for the stunning rustic details, including 'words of wisdom cards' by way of a guestbook, homemade honey, pompoms, striped straws and tonnes of burlap accessories. Don't miss the quintessentially English lawn games, including giant chess and Connect 4, plus a classic old-skool ice-cream van. Vanessa also created fun packs for children, to keep them busy during the wedding reception. Huge thanks to Lawson Photography for their beautiful pictures - don't miss Part 1, and be sure to check out Vanessa's stationery company, Beautiful Ink.

The bridesmaid’s dresses were from Celebration Bridal near my home in Yorkshire and were long chiffon dresses in sage green, which suited my blonde bridesmaids perfectly. They also had flowers in their hair and their bouquets had long trailing yellow ribbons trailing.

My mum loves flowers, so she took the helm in finding the florist, and fell in love with Blossom Flowers in Chorlton, who create really natural and seasonal wedding flowers. Becky from Blossom created all the bouquets and buttonholes using yellow, cream and green flowers and foliage, that looked stunning. My bouquet was tied with tulle to match my dress, and the buttonholes had a hessian bow around them. 

Aaron and I met at University in Huddersfield over 6 years ago. We took a small weekend break to Edinburgh in October 2010 and unbeknownst to me, Aaron had already asked my Dad for permission to marry me. We did lots of sightseeing while in Edinburgh and took a ghost tour late one night. After this we went back to our hotel, where Aaron got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was such a lovely surprise, that it didn’t actually sink in until the next morning when the excitement really set in!

Our photographers were Lawson Photography and we just fell in love with their photography style - and how everyone is happy and smiling in such a natural way in all their photos!

Pete and Laura Lawson work as a team and captured every moment and tiny detail of our wedding; they are also lovely, friendly people who really put Aaron and I at ease in all the photos. They live just round the corner from Rivington Hall Barn, so it was meant to be!

Our venue was Rivington Hall Barn in Lancashire near where my parents live and where I’ve grown up.

We chose yellows and greens for our colours, to represent the country garden elements we were trying to achieve. We kept our colours running throughout, from the striped straws to the wedding stationery I designed. It all just felt very natural and personal which was what we wanted.

I really struggled to find personal and unique stationery that could reflect our day, so being creative I designed our own! I got the main invitations letterpressed by the wonderful Ashley Print & Design in Leeds. I enjoyed creating our stationery so much that set up a small business designing stationery called Beautiful Ink. This year, Country Homes & Interiors Magazine awarded us Runner Up in the Country Business of The Year competition, which is really exciting!

We had tonnes of DIY wedding projects! Aaron was very good at putting up with my requests to spend our Saturday’s decoupage or printing. We made so many elements. We made our table plan using a cheap frame, and tying string across it, and pegging tags to it. 

Instead of a guestbook we made 'words of wisdom cards' with sentences leaving spaces for guests to fill in the words/adjectives. It gave our guests an opportunity to pass on their advice to us as a couple - reading them back the next day was very entertaining.

My dad keeps bees in a field near his house so we decided to give mini honey jars as favours. My dad painstakingly retrieved all the honey and jarred it for us so we created labels and nametags so they could double up as place settings. Everyone seemed to love them!

The table flowers were all arranged by my mum and had a very natural 'handpicked' feel to them in vintage looking sweet jars with Hessian wrapped around them. Our table numbers were bought from eBay, and we decoupaged wallpaper samples onto them, and stuck them on tiles so they'd stand up. We also sourced wood cross-sections to act as bases for the flowers. 

I loved planning our wedding, and on the day I felt such an immense sense of achievement that everything looked and went as I’d envisaged. I don’t think I’ve ever taken on anything so demanding and time consuming, yet so much fun. I loved researching ideas, contacting suppliers and coming up with handmade touches and extra details to make our day special. And it was perfect. The sun even shone, if you can believe it!

Aaron and I stumbled across Claire from Just Darling Cakes when walking through Huddersfield one weekend. We went in for a chat and came out with a wedding cake order! She was so lovely and helpful and completely understood our wedding theme.

Our cake was a white-tiered cake in vanilla sponge, lemon cake and carrot cake. It had daisies, roses and other garden flowers cascading down the tiers, with hints of yellow and green. It looked stunning and tasted great!

My wedding shoes were a sneaky bargain. I’d dreamed of having designer wedding shoes but this wasn’t very realistic and then I stumbled across a pair of yellow suede heels in Clarks that were gorgeous and super comfy! In the evening Tom and I swapped our shoes for a pair of comfy Toms so we could dance the night away!

My advice would be to be prepared for different scenarios such as bad weather, so on the day you can relax, knowing everything has been organised, and if it rains you have a back up plan so won’t be disappointed. Everyone does say this but the day flies by, and it's not often you get all your friends and family in one place so enjoy every conversation, special moment and wedding detail, as it will be over so quickly. The other option is to hire good photographers who will capture it all for you!

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