Well where do I begin, the fabulous Krispy Kreme doughnut tower wedding cake so tall it nearly reaches the fairy light corrugated iron roof of Stone Barn or the fabulous fashion worn by the bride and her best girls? Let's start with the fashion, as I fear if I start talking about the alternative wedding cake I may never stop! So, Bride Emily, what an absolute beauty she is in her Pronovias Tami wedding dress; the pockets, the cross over back with bow detail and the clean silhouette of the gown is simply jar dropping, and make all those portraits by Michelle Wood Photography of her with her beau Josh extra special. Plus I love, love, love the Bardot neckline and high low hem of the bridesmaids' steel grey ASOS dresses. Keeping with the chic theme are the tin can white floral centrepieces, giant balloons, hanging paper lanterns and innovative barber board table plan, complementing the already fabulous Cotswolds, country venue beautifully and making this a Winter wedding with a difference.
Emily The Bride: I knew the exact style of dress I wanted and found ‘the one’ when searching through Pinterest. I had to track down the Pronovias Tami and found only one boutique with it available to try on. I headed down to Windsor & Eton Brides to try on the dress. I wasn’t allowed to try on my chosen one until I’d tried 5 others on but as soon as I put on the Tami I knew this was absolutely the dress for me! It had pockets, a traditional front and an amazing cross strap back with a big bow, I felt really lucky to have found my dress so quickly. Eva and Carla were absolutely amazing and even had to deal with me fainting at my first fitting.
The Grooms Attire
Josh always knew he didn’t want to wear a morning suit and we wanted to buy all of the boys' suits as their presents. We tried various shops and eventually settled on the slimfit blue sharksin suit from Moss Bros. We got an amazing deal as they were normally £159 but we got 2 for £150. Always lookout for the special offers Moss Bros run, especially when you need to buy quite a few! The bow ties were from the neckwear shop and we had to ensure Jackson, our bulldog had a matching one so his was also attached to his collar and he looked very handsome! My dad went for his traditional Royal Stewart tartan Scottish kilt and he has 4 girls (I’m the oldest) so felt it’s a worthwhile investment to purchase the full outfit rather than hire
After getting engaged we booked in to see nearly 10 wedding reception venues and The Stone Barn was the second one we saw. We knew as soon as we walked in that this was very us. We didn’t want a traditional barn and we definitely didn’t want shabby chic. This venue was different, cool and industrial and Clayton, the events manager, knew exactly what we were looking for.
The stationery was one of my favourite things and knew I wanted to use foil. I found Emily & Jo on RMW and loved their simple designs. They created a line drawing of our bulldog Jackson, and he was included on everything from the invites to the order of service and the place names. We love grey, our whole house has a grey theme so it was an obvious choice for us along with neutral whites and greenery from the flowers. We hardly needed any decoration or flowers as I think The Stone Barn has amazing features like the corrugated iron, indoor barbecue and thousands of fairy lights but I really wanted Giant Balloons for photo purposes and it was such much fun dragging the girls into the field to get THE shot! The table plan was the only thing I splurged on as I really wanted a retro barber board. I didn’t quite realise how many peg letters it would take to list everyone on it but I think it was worth it! Our favours were important as we decided to donate to Cancer Research UK in memory of Josh’s Grandad who passed away in 2015 and my Grandad who is still suffering with Cancer now. The Jenny Packham swallow pin everyone received was particularly poignant as Josh’s grandad had a swallow tattoo on his arm.
We used the recommended florist from the venue, Beth from Go Wild Flowers. I gave her a very vague brief “white and green please” and our wedding was in February so she was quite limited anyway. I trusted her completely and everything she delivered on the day was perfect. I wanted to keep the industrial feel so the lovely dinner ladies from the school my mum teaches at kept all of the giant baked bean and tomato tins for Beth to use for table decorations. They looked great and they were free!
My gorgeous bridesmaids were my twin sisters Alice and Charlotte, my little sister April and Josh’s older sister Lucy. We had bridesmaids ranging from 13 to 35 so I thought trying the mismatched look would be best but it just didn’t work for us. I LOVE ASOS, and I’m very proud of my VVIP A-List status that was helped along by the wedding. I found the grey Bardot scuba dresses in stock in every size and the girls really liked them (especially compared to some rose gold sequin numbers I had made them try on previously). I found bridesmaid shopping much more stressful than getting my own dress but I hope in the end they all felt beautiful too.
The church was my primary school church so it was very easy to choose and is still local for us both. James, the rector and his wife ran a marriage preparation course and I couldn’t recommend this more to other couples before the big day. The church allowed us to bring our lovely bulldog Jackson to the ceremony and he watched from the pews the whole way through. Our favourite reading on the day was How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali – can you tell how involved Jackson is in our lives?
Josh is famous for his Karaoke version of Mustang Sally so it felt only right that we have a live karaoke band. None of the guests knew about it beforehand so we were worried they might not join in. The singing didn’t stop all night and everyone managed to have their own little stage moment from my Cousin belting out Adele to the boys rendition of Rappers Delight. We had a GIF booth from Blushbooth and that also acted as our guest book. I love looking back at all the photos now from the arty shots to the one of my dad where he stands in the exact same position with the same expression on his face for each shot!
The most important bit. We’ve all been to weddings where you are starving all day so we wanted to make sure everyone was well fed. Stone Barn has the biggest indoor barbecue ever so the cooking is very impressive. We chose Pork for our main and even the biggest eaters were full. The Brownie for our dessert was also huge and they made one especially for me because I’m dairy free. Baz and Fred made over 100 pizzas for us in the evening which were absolutely delicious, we even had 2 to take away to our hotel that night. We didn’t want a traditional cake because we felt that no one ever really eats it. I loved the idea of a Doughnut tower so it had to be Krispy Kreme. The ushers drove off at 7am in the morning to collect all 216 doughnuts and then build the tower perfectly at the venue. I think they were most nervous about this part of the day! I still expected to have loads of leftovers but when we went to tidy up the next day, only 8 were left!
I contacted a few photographers I saw on RMW and Michelle was one of them. She was very relaxed and seem to get exactly what our wedding was about so we booked her. Two sets of our friends had also booked Michelle so we got to see her at a wedding before and after ours which was lovely. She was great with Jackson, even on our engagement shoot when he decided it was a great game to jump up her lovely clean jeans in a muddy field! She captured our day perfectly, as we were so adamant we didn’t want the stuffy group shots but wanted to remember everyone there and she captured the most important guest, Jackson!