Oh my goodness. Where to start with this wedding?! It’s such fun, and it’s just bursting at the seams with decor that will make you squeal. Seriously – it’s that good!!! There are pineapples. Cacti. Little gold robots. Epic cinema style lighting with messages that were changed throughout the day to make guests smile, a naked cake made by the Bride’s sister, the sweetest meringue kisses made by the Meringue Girls…
And I haven’t even started on the fashion yet – a handsome glasses wearing Groom in a skinny fit suit by J.Crew. A stunning Bride rocking her Cymbeline dress with gorgeous ombre hair, a bevy of maids looking beautiful in mismatched pale shades and THOSE Vivienne Westwood shoes that are coveted by so many Brides.
Honestly lovelies, it’s just all so fabulous, I’m going to shut up and let you enjoy the images from Robbins Photographic and the vintage style film from Sugar8…
Laura The Bride: My dress was actually the first one I tried on – it was the Hallie by Cymbeline – Tash at Mirror Mirror picked it out for me based on my ‘relaxed vintage style’ brief. She definitely knew what would suit me as despite trying on more than 20 dresses I came back to the very first one, which was an off-white vintage style lace and perfect for me.
The only jewellery I wore was my Mum’s vintage Norwegian bracelet – which neatly covered off not only my something borrowed, but also ticked the blue and old boxes too!
Some grooms are happy being told what to wear by the bride – not this one! He had a very strong view on how he wanted to look going for a blue J.Crew suit, where he also found his tie. Shoes were from Tricker’s and the finer details of a retro floral pocket square from Suit Supply and tie clip from Lanvin completed his look.
Having worked in events in London for 10 years I knew and loved some of the best spaces it has to offer. I’m also very much an urban girl so initially thought that a city wedding might be perfect, but then it hit me that it might end up feeling too much like work! So I finally decided to go for the exact opposite and find a venue be in the middle of nowhere – surrounded only by fields.
I did a lot of research online and kept changing my mind about exactly what sort of space would be right, but then focused on the fact that I wanted it to feel like a truly chilled countryside escape for both us and the guests. I decided a barn would deliver against this vision so I hunted around. I came across Cripps (caterers who own three barns) and decided that Stone Barn looked perfect. I love the contrast of their traditional barn joined to a more modern Dutch barn with a corrugated iron roof. It felt a little different to standard barns; and the fact that they didn’t kick you out too early was also important as I wanted a proper party and to be able to dance into the early hours! We visited it and knew it was the one – it was the first venue we saw in real life and we booked it there and then.
I wanted an eclectic style and was keen to steer clear of expected ‘barn wedding’ décor like bunting and anything too twee. I also wanted lots of colour, but didn’t want a set colour scheme (something which people seemed to find it difficult to get their heads around as I was repeatedly asked what my ‘colour scheme’ was and a few older relatives looked bemused when I said I didn’t have one!)
I recently launched a prop hire and styling company called Hey Style so used a lot of my collection – cinema signs, light box signs, a bulb lightning bolt, vintage bikes and decorative props. I have an obsession with brass pineapple ice buckets so the top table was the ‘pineapple table’ – and as I have lots of interesting smaller props I ended up naming the other tables after props too ‘cacti, swan, tin, elephant, unicorn, robot, camera, parrot and dinosaur tables!’ We used pegboards for our physical table plan and bar menu, had deckchairs and flamingos in the garden and a selection of crazy balloons dotted around – from hooray and yay messages to flamingos, ice cream cones, watermelons and pineapples!
Our cinema sign copy was changed throughout the day and evening – a welcome sign as guests arrived, a ‘Mr & Mrs Woohoo’ message after the ceremony and ‘I bet you look good on the dance floor’ in the evening, so it definitely made an impact with our guests at every stage! Our large cinema sign was positioned in the ceremony – the first message was ‘my heart went boom when I crossed that room’ (lyrics from our first dance) and then changed to ‘hold me closer tiny dancer’ for when the band started. We had vintage wooden chairs (something not everyone would notice but they made all the difference to the overall look to me!) and carried my love of the eclectic, vintage and variety through to the amazing mixture of vintage champagne saucers we used for the toast!
I changed my flowers three times during the planning stage! It was the one element I was unsure about and my head kept being turned by the sheer range of amazing varieties and colours. I ended up deciding to go with something very simple for my bouquet – daisies (which looked like they’d just been plucked from the edge of the fields surrounding the venue). For my bridesmaids I chose bright wild/English garden flowers, for the tables a wild mix of brights and muted shades which were placed in my swan and cactus vases/tins and glass bottles. My maid of honour had a floral crown and my bridesmaids had gypsophila in their hair. I added a flower crown after the meal for my evening look! We worked with a great local florist called Beth Cox – she took my mood boards and recreated them to perfection. My favourites were the button holes – cute daisies and tanacetum buttons.
We also had loads of crates of lavender and daisies to place around the venue – this was a great cost-effective solution as they fill spaces beautifully, but are cheap!
The Wedding Party
Finding the bridesmaid dresses was a mission – my bridesmaids were different sizes and have very different styles, so I knew I didn’t want to get a one style fits all solution. I wanted pale shades, but not the same colour and I wanted styles which would suit each person. I ended up scouring the high street and finally found dresses from Zara, Karen Millen and Coast for the bridesmaids and Monsoon for the flower girl.
Our page boy who’s 4 and rarely stays still for longer than about 10 seconds so definitely wouldn’t have been up for one of those cheesy formal page boy suits, wore relaxed shorts with a white t-shirt, a blue suit jacket from Next and white superga trainer pumps.
The ceremony was amazing, I felt nervous in the car (a brilliant Indian Ambassador Kushi Cars) but as soon as I walked down the aisle the nerves disappeared. It was a really relaxed service, full of laughter which is exactly what I’d hoped for. I walked down the aisle to ‘Strangers’ by The Kinks and the recessional was ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ by Stevie Wonder. We had three readings which were light and music-related – ‘As’ by Stevie Wonder, ‘In My Life’ by the Beatles and our favourite ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ by John Cooper Clarke – I highly recommend this if you don’t like cheese and don’t want anything too serious!
We booked Party Starters as we wanted a band that was a little different – although they did covers, they definitely weren’t tacky versions and they had an amazing female vocalist. They were all very relaxed and worked the crowd brilliantly. Our first dance was the Beatles track ‘Saw Her Standing There’ – the band learnt it especially for us!
We had a wide selection of games for our guests to play during the drinks reception – horse racing, hoopla, boules and more which were absolutely perfect for a sunny day and went down a storm in the garden!
We knew guests would love a photo booth, but we didn’t expect people to love it quite so much! The reason for this was probably that the converted silver airstream booth we chose had professional beauty lighting, which made everyone look incredible! Every single guest went in the booth and it was busy all night; it was great that it was positioned by the dancefloor as it kept guests together and added to the brilliant atmosphere.
As Cripps Kitchen owns the barn, they did all the catering. The food is locally sourced and very good quality, with really generous portions (which are greedy guests loved!) We wanted a really relaxed feel so instead of a starter we had extra canapés (salmon blinis, bruschetta, cocktails sausages and mustard, mini rump burgers, welsh rarebit and padron peppers), the main was barbecued butterflied leg of lamb, dauphinoise potatoes and green beans (the venue has a huge grill nicknamed God-grilla!) For dessert we had homemade lemon tart with ice cream.
The cake was made by my sister Chloe – it was a naked cake with fresh cream and raspberry jam with fruit garnishes. I didn’t think I was a cake person but after tasting that one I think I’m a convert! To be honest it looked as impressive as the professional ones I’ve seen, maybe that’s her next career! We also had a huge crate of rainbow meringue kisses from the amazing Meringue Girls (the unicorn poo and gin and tonic flavours went down a storm!)
We loved Lee Robbins’ style and his website looked incredible – I didn’t contact any other photographer as I knew he was the one, so when we heard he was available it was a done deal. We knew we wanted an informal and non-traditional photographer; I didn’t want photos that were fussy/ too staged. He has a relaxed style and it was clear from his previous work that he had an eye for creating great images.
He was brilliant, very subtle and we loved the results. He made us feel so comfortable, pretty much as though a mate was taking the photos, so we didn’t feel too stiff or staged. He was a natural and seemed very laid back and that made us relax too! Every guest was raving about how friendly and approachable he was, we couldn’t recommend him more.
I didn’t want a traditional videographer – I loved the look from vintage super 8 film and so opted for Sugar8 who offer a vintage and digital package. It’s exactly what we wanted!
Instead of traditional guests books we used ‘Happy Notes’ from Anthropologie, which everyone loved and we had bespoke napkins and menus designed by Oh Squirrel – they brought colour to the tables as each one had a different pattern. Our favours were fruity rock lollies (most of which seemed to be appropriated and eaten by the kids!)