Well this is a treat for a Sunday morning - the most stylish of weddings from Cripps Barn with gorgeous photography from the very talented Mr Samuel Docker. Bride Abi seriously let her creative juices flow when it came to styling her big day and the result is a gorgeous Winter wonderland wedding that is warm, inviting and elegant, while still embracing the agricultural spaces at Cripps. I always love sharing Brides wearing Hermione De Paula, as Hermione's designs are truly unique - Abi has her wedding date, special song lyrics and hers and Craig's initials sewn into her dress. Isn't that just the loveliest idea? And not only is Abi killing it on the dress front, but her accessories are gorgeous too. I've been longing to feature a Luna Bea bride and Abi's celestial inspired headpiece is just stunning and so original. Oh and one final thing, I think more weddings should have a black tie dress code - everyone looks SO glam...

Our Wedding

Abi The Bride: We’ve had the opportunity to see lots of our friends get married and loved how each of their weddings reflected a little bit of them and how each differed to the next. We wanted to have a wedding that would give us the opportunity to celebrate, laugh and dance the night away with our most special friends and family and create some treasured memories.

The Venue

The first thing we did was think about those weddings we had been to where we had really relaxed and we agreed that a barn wedding we had been to just about had the edge! We had a quick look online and thought Cripps Barn near Bibury looked perfect so I asked my mum and dad to go and check it out for us. They loved it (and we trusted them) so we just went ahead and booked for the next available Saturday – which was a years’ time in December. It was great because it meant we didn’t trawl around venues confusing ourselves and the fact they didn’t have much availability except for December meant we didn’t have to worry about the weather (much)! They also provide the catering and drinks (the food was AMAZING – we had giant fresh prawns and baked bread with crudites and garlic mayo to start with – so good after wedding diet!) BBQ steak and potatoes for the main event and then a gorgeous caramelised tart tatin for pudding, plus pizzas later on) so the whole thing was really easy. Once we had booked the venue I started thinking about the styling for the wedding and, of course, the dress! I loved this part of the process because it gave me an opportunity to be creative (my day job is the opposite!)

The Bride

Instagram has some incredible inspiration (albeit sometimes bit overwhelming) and it’s there I first saw Hermione de Paula’s exquisite dresses and Luna Bea’s magical accessories. Both designers really understand how a bride has her own style and wants to take that into her wedding day and I fell in love with both of their incredible designs. I even stopped shopping for a year to afford it! Hermione and creative manager Lucy Lee designed the most beautiful dress and veil - roses frosted with pearls and sparkles and personal embroidery including a little skier and snowboarder emoji, honey pot, little pig and a love letter veil with Vance Joy’s lyrics for Rip Tide (the latter to reflect the song playing when we got engaged at The Pig!) and our initials (I love how Craig noticed his initials when I met him at the end of the aisle and his huge smile!) And Lou at Luna Bea made me an incredible gold celestial headpiece which is hand painted and dotted with moonstones and felt magical to wear. I love wearing chunky heels especially because I’m not very tall so the silver Prada platform sandals were the perfect find – they were comfy enough such that I didn’t give in to flip flops until past midnight.

The Wedding Party

My bridesmaids looked incredible in slinky Ghost dresses and Luna Bea hair pins. Next to what the boys should wear – and that was a bit trickier! Craig was reluctant at first to opt for black tie because he didn’t want the day to feel too formal and I guess because it’s not traditional here to wear black tie, but I managed to persuade him that it would look really great and Christmassy – which it did! Plus I got to marry James Bond! I just love how everyone looks so great in the pictures – definitely no regrets – and it really felt like a special occasion.

The Decor

We designed the invitations and menu cards ourselves and had printed on lovely thick card and gold letterpress – they were perfect and I think really set the tone for the wedding ahead. For the décor we had lots of help from our wedding planner, Ruth, and florist, Rachel, who helped us create a really natural but magical look - with lots of green and grey foliage, gold fairy lights and ivory and nude roses and ranunculus dotted throughout. We used grey linen on the trestle tables and decorated with terrariums which gave a lovely contemporary look. Most of the other décor was hanging so we didn’t use up too much table space. I think my favourite element was a huge wheel in the old barn which was decorated with eucalyptus and trailing foliage and sprinkled with ivory roses and fairy lights.

The Entertainment

The music and dancing was key for us because we really wanted our guests to have fun. Musically things started off well when my dad put on American Authors Best Day of My Life in his Morgan as he was driving us to the wedding (I think my mum must have put him up to it) - it was lovely singing along with him on the way to the barn and definitely helped with the nerves! Lucy Hope is a fantastic singer and used to sing in a band with Craig so we asked Lucy if she would sing during our reception – she was so good that I think lots of the guests got a shock when they saw her – they assumed it was a recording! We absolutely love a good old fashioned ceidlh so we decided to have a mini ceidlh at the wedding after dinner to get everyone on the dancefloor. After that we did our first dance to The Temptations My Girl (which was a total disaster with us both forever standing on my dress – in the end we gave up and just span around which was much more fun) and then the band started up and they were really great.

Special Moments

I wanted to surprise Craig with some words but knew he didn’t really want me to make a speech so I took some inspiration from Love Actually and wrote some thoughts about him on huge cards which I surprised him with after cutting the cake – it was lovely to be able to share those thoughts with Craig and with our friends and family and definitely less nerve racking than public speaking!

The Photography & Videography

Samuel Docker was our photographer – he is such a talent and a great guy to have around. And we had Mischa + James video the day – they make cool, storytelling wedding films. When you are booking a photographer or videographer you are booked so much more than the end result because they are there when you are saying your vows and getting your dress on and practicing your speech – you really share the experience with them. We were just so impressed with Sam and Mischa + James can’t recommend them highly enough.

Final Thoughts

We loved every moment of our wedding day and I think that’s because we were really conscious of advice from friends to remember to enjoy the day because it goes in a flash. It’s like a helter skelter and we felt drunk all day just with excitement. If anything goes wrong just laugh it off because you definitely won’t remember it the next day!
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Featured suppliers

Bride: Hermione De Paula | Shoes: Prada | Headpiece & Bridesmaids Hair Pins: Luna Bea | Florist: The Rose Shed | Venue & Catering: Cripps Barn | Wedding Planner: Finesse Planning | Decor: House Of Bunting | Cake: Hannah Hickman | Bridesmaids: Ghost | Stationery: The Nonpareil Press | Entertainment: The Chanteuse | Banshee | iRock Band | Videography: M+J Wedding Films | Hair: Fordham Hair Design | Make Up: Lots Of Lashes

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