ALL the pretty ladies and ALL the pretty details feature in this rustic, home-spun wedding at a secret Grade II listed barn in Essex. There are gorgeous dresses and gorgeous blooms galore and I think this is going to be one of those weddings that everyone loves. The guests, as well as Charlotte & Ryan, look like they are having the best day ever and fun seems to be what is on everyone’s minds.
The perfect man for capturing this then, was the inimitable Chris Barber, whose creative, honest and silly (in the best possible way) style brings the whole day to life for us now…
Charlotte the Bride: I did my own make up and hair on the day. My dress is by the designer Justin Alexander, style 8799, bought from the boutique Precious Moments Bridal Wear in Hadleigh, Essex as is my headpiece. My shoes are Winter White Rockstuds by Valentino, drop earrings from Accessorize, two prong ear cuffs from Beaverbrooks, bracelet from Swarovski. I loved the mixed metal effect with the silver detail on the dress and gold studs of the heels. Ryan (Groom) and James’ (best man) suits are both from Next, as are the shoes and sage green ties from T.M.Lewin.
St Andrews church in Hornchurch, Essex is the church we attend weekly so it was very important to us both to have the wedding service there. We then went to Thames Chase Forest Centre in Upminster after for our reception. The barn is an absolute Gem Hidden away in the fields. The Grade 2 listed barn is just so rustic it was perfect, we wanted everything to have a natural, botanical, laid back vibe, we didn’t want anything too fancy. That is how we cam up with our colour palette of sage green, white and grey to blend in with the backdrop of the barn and the surrounding fields. We just wanted the most relaxed, chilled out day, no seating plan, no ‘order of the day.’ As soon as we saw her designs in a magazine we loved them, she even drew the church we were getting married in on the front of our invites. My sister (maid of honour) Helen read from Colossians during our service and our friend Craig played ‘I can go the distance’ from Disney’s Hercules while we signed the register. We chose my two favourite Hymns, as well as one my parents had at their wedding. Our wedding stationery was from Ryn Frank.
We sourced and arranged the flowers ourselves, from the New Covent Garden Flower Market. we had family members collecting jars for us for around a year before the wedding for our centrepieces as a way of cutting costs. We picked up the flowers on the Wednesday of wedding week and had my bridesmaids over on the Thursday to make our bouquets and centrepieces, and the boys buttonholes. The ribbon was from a local haberdashery. Tables and chairs were hired through Al Fresco Hire, and the dance floor and lighting were hired and installed by Monitor Music.
The Wedding Party
The bridesmaids make up was done by our friend Nicola and all did their own hair. All wore different dresses by different designers. Two from Adrianna Papell, one from ASOS, one from Miss Selfridge and one from Little Mistress. They had free reign to choose their own style of dress and sho so long as the colours fit in with out theme.
Our D.J Alex Bartlett is a friend, and he was there with us all day. We worked with him to create an easy going, country playlist for the day while people were mingling and eating and then after the speeches, Alex put on a great set, combining all different types music to make sure there was something for everyone. We ended on The Human League – Electric Dreams, a song that is so important to us as Ryan should have had two best men, but heartbreakingly we lost Dany back in March to Young Sudden Cardiac Death. This song reminds us of many great nights out with Dan, so us and all our friends took to the dance floor to sing our hearts out for him.
The food was prepared and served by a company we had found online, Big D’s BBQ and the bar was a crew recommended by them, Jakes Mobile Bar. To go with our easy going laid back vibe, we decided a BBQ would be the best food option, and Damon and his crew fit the bill perfectly. From the moment we contacted them they were incredible, going above and beyond to make our requests possible (including driving for over 4 hours to get to our venue!)
Our beautiful cake was created by Megan at Blossom & Crumb. As soon as she heard our vision, she loved it. Ryan always has a Marks and Spencer caterpillar cake for his birthday so we wanted to incorporate that somehow, and together we came up with mini caterpillar bride and groom cake toppers, with custom made top hat and veil. Megan was a dream to work with, and her cake was simply divine! (even though it was me and best man James that bit the top, not me and my new husband!!)
Our photographer, legend and all round great guy, was Chris Barber. We got talking through Instagram and Ryan and I both fell in love with his style, how fun and not awkward his couples looked. This was something we both felt strongly about, we didn’t want typical “stand and smile” type wedding photos of yesteryear to remember the day by, we really wanted to see the fun and happiness of our guests and ourselves and Chris and Lucy captured that so perfectly.
Photography by Chris Barber Photography
- Bride Justin Alexander
- Boutique Precious Moments Bridalwear
- Groom & Groomsmen Next
- TM Lewin
- Venue Thames Chase Community Centre
- Stationery Ryn Frank
- Chair Hire Al Fresco Hire
- Bridesmaids ASOS
- Adrianna Papell
- Miss Selfridge
- Beauty Nicola Morris
- DJ Alex Bartlett
- Catering Big D’s BBQ
- Bar Jake’s Mobile Bar
- Cake Blossom & Crumb