Almonry Barn is by far one of my most favourite wedding venues, and I must confess when I realised I’d be sharing owners Louise & Pauls big day there, I did a little happy dance. One because Louise is a sweetheart and has incredible taste. (If you haven’t already, check out her home tour on Rock My Style it’s beaut.) And two because the theme is incredibly romantic, with the most wonderful display of blush florals and ribbons and gold calligraphy and favours and I don’t want to spoil any more but let’s just say there are so many beautiful things and lovely ideas to swoon over and inspire you.
Louise also give’s a wonderful account of how she chose her mythical princess bridal look, which I absolutely adore, her headpiece alone is truly exquisite let alone her gorgeous custom made gown. Then there is the unconventional but fabulous choice of readings and hymns, plus a handmade wedding present from the Groom that is sure to get him brownie points for life!
This has to be the MUST SEE wedding of 2016, if you miss this you will most certainly miss out. You’ve been warned. It may also be a good idea to get those pinning fingers at the ready….
Louise The Bride: Whilst most of my wedding ideas over the years have evolved the one thing that hadn’t was the look and feel of the dress I wanted. I’m a secret (or not so secret now) fan of fantasy films and I love all things mythical, princess and ethereal. My look had to encompass a feel of Lord of the Rings meets Labyrinth come The Never Ending Story. Obviously the most important thing was I looked 21st century real world, and not like some hideous 80’s mess from a film convention. I also didn’t want this to be at all obvious or ‘themed’ and it was hopefully just a nod to my 8 year old self.
The dress in the end was actually made up of three designers as I really struggled to find the right dress that felt and looked princessy but which wasn’t too plain, too big or too blingy.
The icing on the cake for me was the head piece. I first saw it on Instagram and it was love at first sight. It encompassed everything I was after and finished the look perfectly without being too wacky or tacky for me. It’s definitely a marmite piece as not everyone was convinced before, but I just knew it was right and I’m so glad I stuck to my gut instinct and it really did make my 8 year old self very happy.
We had a slight dress code for the wedding and the men’s was ‘Mumford and Sons meets garden party’. We didn’t want any of the male guests in hot stuffy suits as the whole feel of the day was a cool, laid back garden party style. So with this in mind Paul and the Ushers also had to wear something smart and casual. I left Paul and the guys to choose their own outfits, and I have to say these ended up being one of my favourite things about the look of the day. They looked so effortlessly cool and stylish.
Well what can I say about the venue….this was obviously the easiest decision to make as we’re so blessed to own Almonry Barn and it was so magical to finally get to experience it for ourselves. We’ve poured so much love into the barn over the past 3.5 years that it was only fitting it’s where we said I do too. It was everything I hoped it would be and we both found it so emotional and touching to see our friends and family finally getting to appreciate it too.
The overall look and décor had to be four things; pretty, stylish, floral and romantic. I’m not a fan of themes but we did loosely base the design around ‘roses and ribbons’, with the colour theme being kept to pale pinks, peaches, touches of soft lilac and hints of gold. We let the barn be the only rustic part of the day and kept all the other décor very relaxed but super pretty and sensual. Trees were filled with soft silk blowing ribbons, tables had cut glass bowls of handmade marshmallows and on pretty much every surface was a rose or garden scented candle.
I often find that favours can be left behind or not appreciated so we decided to do something that we’d love if we were a guest at a wedding. All the female guests had a varying shade of soft pink pashmina on their chair for later in the evening, and the men had our ‘Fleet’s Cigar Bar’ which was full of different cigars, personalised matches in pink and gold and cigar cutters. This went down a treat and went so quickly that I don’t think the photographer even got a chance to take a picture of it full!
All the calligraphy items were done by hand in gold metallic ink. I loved all the calligraphy and I’m so pleased I went down this route. I discovered a brilliant local artist for this, so hopefully other couples will get to benefit from this too now. I think one of my favourite things was our table plan tree. This was a pretty willow tree right by the main door that my brilliant florist hung 100 metres of silk ribbon from then tied a scented rose head to the end with a place card tag. When the wind blew it was like something from a movie scene.
Outside Paul made this super cool door arch, which served as a great entrance into the orchard. It was a nice personal touch to have both our childhood postcodes hand painted on each door, and I loved seeing the ‘SW4’ as it reminded me of where I’ve come from and felt like I had a tiny London reminder on the day.
Well what can I say about the flowers…..I think it’s pretty clear I’m floral obsessed and this was the most important styling factor for me. I think I’m a frustrated florist at heart! Less is more was never going to be an option here, and there’s no way I could have done this without my very talented and mega patient florist Amber Persia.
We focused on the areas that were going to be used the most, and for me the most important room to have the wow factor was the main barn. The table displays were absolutely huge and were full to the brim of English scented garden roses, sweet peas, lavender, peonies, delphiniums, clematis, mint, and there were even tiny edible strawberry plants tucked away. At the base of each giant display were clusters of cut glass vases with further flowers in. Quite a few guests commented on it being the best smelling wedding and it was like stepping into a floral wonderland.
On each place setting I managed to source these gorgeous pink watercolour hand painted silk napkins. Each place setting hand a different rose in a hand blown glass propped behind the gold calligraphy place cards.
I’m very lucky that my stepdad is a registrar so it was so personal and touching having Michael marry us. As we wanted such a laid back day it was important to start this off on the right footing and to make people laugh and feel relaxed. I walked down the aisle to Kings of Leon – Use Somebody. I waited right until the end though….well who doesn’t love a bit of suspension! Instead of a religious hymn we had all the guests sing along to Fleetwood Macs – Everywhere. Very entertaining to watch! The two readings were ‘I carry your heart with me’ and ‘I’ll be there for you’ as nothing cheers you up more than an episode of Friends!
Cake & Cocktails
Typical me, I think I got carried away here. Originally we weren’t having anything then it ended up with 3 show stoppers! Thank goodness I did get carried away as the cake went down a storm. Leanne did such an awesome job and the pink watercolour cake to match the napkins was perfection – not to mention the chocolate and salted caramel filling. The metallic gold stripe cake was peanut butter and white chocolate….I’m actually salivating thinking of it now. The macaroon tower was a lovely touch as it was actually made by one of our previous brides. Emily is a complete wonderful perfectionist and to tie in with the theme they were rose flavoured and an ombre effect to match all the varying pinks of the roses.
Our other favourite thing was the cocktails during the drinks reception. We had another hand painted door which listed the drinks and now stands pride of place in our kitchen. We had the ‘Woozy Wally’ and the ‘Woofy Wallbanger’ named after our beloved little fur babies! Retro champagne saucers were used and of course I couldn’t leave these without some floral magic, so we had edible flowers in ice cubes. Perfect for the summer heat wave!
I think a special shout out needs to go to my amazingly talented husband and his wedding gift for me….a few months before the wedding he hand built me the super cute shepherds hut. Paul’s not a carpenter or a builder of any kind so I was amazed he did it. One of the most special things about the hut is the amount of other couples photos it keeps popping up in, and how happy people look sitting in front of it! We genuinely get really excited when we see other couples using it in their photos.