I’m not sure I’ve ever seen wedding inspiration quite like that of Charlotte and Rob’s, their colour scheme and beautiful detailing was designed around their favourite wallpaper, Cole and Sons “hummingbird”.
Think a huge overhead floral installation and the prettiest statement screen backdrop complete with tiny fabric birds and the prettiest blooms. It really is something else. The best “man” was the couple’s dog Scout, who naturally wore tweed to match the rest of the groomsmen – super cute.
I defy you not to pin every single unique idea on this page. I know I would.
Charlotte The Bride: We chose Brick Kiln Barn, in Sibton Suffolk . Debbie the owner was a delight to work with. I went to a business breakfast meeting here and Debbie did a talk on how they renovated the barn, and I thought what a beautiful place to have a wedding, then six months later… When we got engaged I mentioned it to Rob, we went and had a look, and both knew it was the perfect place, small intimate, and as Debbie said, she never wanted the venue to be a wedding factory, and only allowed a few a year.. We were sold!
Also our selected chef ran his business from the barn, and hosts monthly supper clubs, we were able to attend a few of these beforehand, to taste the food and see how the venue worked with a large party. The old barn had a courtyard, and surrounded by beautiful kitchen gardens and a room, which we were able to make into a bar area and chill out space .
Being obsessed with beauty products, I did my own make up, taking guidance from on-line tutorials from Lisa Eldridge make up artist. I used some amazing products from Chanel, Christian Dior and a nude lip colour from Tom Ford. I selected Robs aftershave, which was Jazz Club by Maison Martin Margiela, replica range, which is divine… I selected a scent by Jo Loves, which is her number 42 the Flower Shop. I wasn’t able to visit the boutique, but they were so helpful over the phone and sent scent cards to try. The Flower Shop perfume was so perfect, and our wedding flowers smelt just like it.
I used my local hairdresser Louise, I wanted a low key, soft loose look, I wore my hair down with a simple silk flower, which was hand made by our floral designer Kim, who also made my Bridesmaids hair piece.
My dress was from a suffolk boutique called Lavender and Jude, from Jim Hjelm blush collection, Claire was so helpful. I knew that I wanted something with a vintage feel, with lace, and my dress was the first one I set eyes on in the shop, a heavy cotton lace, cross over front, with a low back, and side slit. We found and sheer delicate lace top to go over the dress, as I couldn’t resist the buttoned back and beautiful sleeves. As our wedding was late May, we weren’t sure of the temperature, so I wanted something to cover my arms. For the evening I swapped this for a cashmere cardigan from Brora, which provided a low key look. My shoes were a simple sling back dyed in an oyster colour to work with the satin lining of the dress.
I commissioned a number of pieces by the jewellery designer Louise Sant, who designed and made my earrings, the Bridesmaids earrings and the Grooms cuff links, which were a carnelian stone set in a gold surround. Louise also made some amazing pearl and Aqua earrings and a necklace with an array of precious stones including, pearl, coral, rose and Aqua, which I wore in the evening and on our honeymoon! A little taste of our wedding colours to hold on to forever. Our wedding rings, were from our amazing local jewellers, mine was a gold band, with inset diamonds, and Ron had a signet ring, with his initials engraved.
The Wedding Party Fashion
My Bridesmaid had an Oasis high street coral dress, with nude patient heels from Dune. The Groomsmen had bespoke mustard moleskin waistcoats from Alexander’s of Woodbridge, with R M Williams moleskin trousers.
Being an interior designer, our colour scheme was influenced by one of my favourite wallpapers Cole and Sons hummingbird, our florist created a back drop using the paper that was a focal point for both the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, we had rattan sofas in the chill out room, with sheepskin throws, and cushions made in the fabric version of the hummingbird design, Harvey’s our dog had his painting in prime position.
The bar was made by one of my cabinet makers, roughly from old pallets, and again we used the wallpaper for extra detail. I selected some lamps for softer lighting, which included a funky glass lamp base with printed pink gathered shade from Pooky. In the courtyard my friends company Tweed Mill provided herringbone wool blankets that the guests enjoyed wrapping themselves in later in the evening by the fire with marshmallows.
Rob’s brother is a sound and lighting engineer so he was able to flood the barn with soft coloured light with changed throughout the day to suit the moods.
My bouquet was full of peony and roses. The Groom and Groomsmen’s buttonholes were a rose and a succulent. The wallpaper wall was made 3D by weaving in silk flowers and foliage. We had 2x rows of foliage and flowers hanging from the ceiling, as we wanted to create an intimate feeling, and as the main barn was used for both the ceremony and the wedding breakfast we wanted to keep the main flowers simple. With long trestle tables, the hangings were amazing over head, with lilac and cow parsley giving a hint of colour, with soft fairy lights transforming them for the evening reception. On the tables we had a scattering of smaller arrangements in different sized vases, linked by gold tea lights, with the occasional hand painted bird. On our main table, the florist loaned us her wonderful urn, which had a huge display of roses, lilacs, cow parsley displayed, and the scatter of hand painted birds. I loved working with Kim at Figa and Co as we are both creative, we were able to work together creating something very simple but incredibly special.
A simple civil ceremony, we decided to say slightly different vows to each other, It was so beautiful, a violinist played as I walked down the aisle, and our friend Helen did a reading. Afterwards we walked out to Brideshead Revisted a favourite of mine.
My Godson Louis is a DJ and provided the music for the reception. We selected James Blunts bonfire heart for our first dance, followed by Elbows What time do you call this, which Rob chose for the words!
Food, Drink & Treats
We wanted to use local seasonal produce and worked with Peter Harrison to develop a yummy 3 course feast, with duck egg yolk ravioli. Snake asparagus and hollandaise followed by lamb cutlets with spring vegetables, then a wonderful frozen nought parfait with berries. We then treated our guests to our wedding cake which was a tower of colourful macaroons. We also had a simpler Strawberry tiered iced cake to mark the occasion.
For favours, we spent a year scouring antique and second hand book shops selecting individual books for each guest, these were classic novels, countryside tales, and local history.. Some were dated in the 20’s and had hand written inscriptions. A really great talking point .
Stationery & DIY
My Mum hand wrote simple brown paper luggage tags for the place names, which were attached to the antique books. The invitations, and menus were designed by our friend who is a graphic designer, Sarah, and we had them printed at Piccolo Press, with beautiful lined envelopes.
Holding hands after saving our vows.. And Rob said “look up” so I could take in the beautiful flowers, and lights and savour that special moment. Chatting by the bar, whilst our guests took their seats and Harvey the dog came and sat by my foot. And our first dance, with the barn doors open and all our guests in the courtyard having a peek . Our dog trotting around making sure everyone was ok .
Get as much help as you can, when family and friends offer just say yes please! There’s so much more to do then you will ever imagine. All the little conversations matter, cherish having everyone there in one room.
Ellie Gillard was an amazing photographer, she was an asset to us on the day and so fun to have around. We got to know her on our engagement shoot, which was a great opportunity to learn a few posing tips too!
Photography by Ellie Gillard
- Dress Designer Jim Hjlem
- Bridal Boutique Lavender and Jude
- Cashmere Cardigan Brora
- Makeup Artist Lisa Eldridge
- Headpiece Figa and Co
- Hair Stylist Michael Richards
- Jewellery Aspens Jewellers
- Sant Studio
- Grooms Suit Alexanders of Woodnridge
- Tie Paul Smith
- Bridesmaid Dresses Oasis
- Bridesmaid Shoes Dune
- Groomsmen Trouser R M Williams
- Venue Brick Kiln Barn
- Wool Blankets Tweed Mill
- Styling The Cotton Tree
- Lamps Pooky
- Florist Figa and Co
- Catering Peter Harrison Chef
- Macaroons Patisserie
- Stationery Design Sarah Nourse
- Stationery Printing Piccolo Press