It's always lovely when the Bride & Groom know the photographer, they tend to let their guard down a little bit more, allowing the fabulous Jason Mark Harris to do what he does best and capture all those special moments. Including Groom Gareth serenading his new Wife. After you've swooned over all the emotion your eye will most definitely be drawn to all the fabulous fashion. The groomsmen don Harris Tweed jackets, perfect for The Ashes Barns wedding, and the bridesmaids pop against the country setting in different coloured dresses from For Her and For Him. And how can I forget Bride Gemma who customised her sweetheart gown with a Justin Alexander Jacket so she could have long sleeves. Just beautiful.
PhotographerGemma the Bride: Both my husband and I grew up on the Isle of Wight. Jason is a childhood friend to my husband and now a dear friend of mine who I love deeply. However, I had heard of Jason before having the pleasure of calling him my friend. Small town talk makes Jason hot gossip on the Isle of Wight, his talent stretches far further than its waters. I have always been mesmerised by his work and cannot thank him enough for capturing our wedding so perfectly. What I love about photographers, is they capture a moment that although gone, can be relived forever. ALWAYS invest in a highly recommended photographer and we cant recommend him highly enough. We even check which date Jason had available to coincide with the free dates of the venue.
The BrideMy dress was a sweetheart gown, which was modified with a long sleeved lace Justin Alexander Jacket from London Brides. My husband proposed to me on the 5th of December 2015 with every intention of marrying me as soon as possible. Now although romantic, a shotgun wedding leaves very little time to find "THE DRESS". Being the Disney Princess fanatic that I am. I always knew what style of dress I wanted, however my one MUST have was long sleeves. After trying on every long sleeved dress on the planet, I started to give up on the idea of finding my dream dress. Most sleeved dresses accompany a mermaid fit, which did not agree with me in the slightest. However the ladies at London Bride were fabulous and made me try on a sleeve-less dress in the style I had envisioned. With that, they began adding a BEAUTIFUL lace long sleeved jacket which fell perfectly into place and just like magic, my one of a kind dress was brought to life.
The JewelleryI wore teardrop crystal earrings which I first spotted on the Swarovski website, however after a little surfing, I got them cheap on Groupon! My engagement ring was a thin white gold band, with a raised square face covered in 9 ethically sourced diamonds. My husband was very instant that they were ethically sourced, given the exploitation surrounding the diamond industry. Underneath this sat my wedding ring, a thin white gold band with our wedding date "09.08.16" engraved on the inside. Both rings were purchased from Beaverbrooks in Derby.
ShoesMy whole adult life I have suffered the sting of size 3 feet on a 5"6 body. Many a drunken nights I have fallen like Bambi on ice, flat on my bottom after attempting to walk gracefully in heels. Therefore FLATS were inevitable. However I still wanted them to feel delicate. I fell in love with a pair of Ivory, laced ballet shoes I found on Etsy.
The BeautyI am fortunate enough to have an extremely talented best friend who painted my face for me. If this is something you are privileged to have. Then it is a must. She shared this intimate moment with me, our childhood raced passed us and I could feel both of our emotions. It was such a beautiful experience for me that I will be forever thankful for.
HairI cannot recommend Rachael enough. Not only is she by far the most reasonably priced hair dresser I have ever come across! She had the talent, the likability and the determination to accompany this. She worked wonders with my hair. A super talented lady.
FlowersNote to self, Worksop and Stoke are VERY far apart. Apparently typing the florist name into my Sat-Nav was not my most intelligent move. Needless to say... We missed our appointment. (Having already left planning them to last, a month before our wedding). However, Walkers were so incredible and facilitating. I sent them ideas of what I wanted my flowers to look like and my pictures of my bridesmaid dress colours. With this we managed to create the most perfect flowers all via phone call and email (which is perfect when you are working full time and trying to plan a wedding in 8 months). They were also SIGNIFICANTLY better value for money and completely stress free.
The VenueThe Ashes Barns in Staffordshire was one amongst many we viewed on the Internet, however the only one we looked at in real life (although it didn't seem like real life). We visited The Ashes in the mind set of it being our first viewing and prepared for future searches and visits. Oh how we were wrong. After about 20 seconds of being there we had fallen in love. The barn completed all our wildest rustic dreams. Possessing 2 barns, a lawn overlooking the lake, a secret hidden pond, patio and BBQ, and a long winding drive. Highland cowes and CALVES ???? , horses and ducks roam in the fields behind and below. At night fairy lights illuminate the bushes and trees surrounding the grounds, it truly is the most stunning venue. We reduced the cost by getting wed on a week day, rather than a weekend.
Decor/StylingAll the decorating and styling was carried out by myself. I am not a co ordinated, nor traditional person. With that in mind, you may understand how multicoloured pastel colours feel my heart with joy. I got everything from eBay and Hobbycraft. Hand crafting the table centre pieces with my husband on our lounge floor post midnight. As an added extra to the table, my super talented friend made us 80 multicoloured cupcakes for each guest, which awaited them in their place before dinner arrived.
The CakeI am all about personal detail. Ever since I was a small child my nanny has made my birthday cakes. I've had cakes with my name on, cakes with hearts and flowers on, cakes with penguins sliding down a mountain! For as long as I can remember, cake in my life, means my nanny is coming round. So it would have felt wrong to have it any other way and yet again, she created the most magnificent cake.
CatererOur caterers Jenkinsons were recommended and linked with the venue. The food was absolutely drawl worthy. Some of my guest even felt the need to visit us on the top table, just to inform us it was THE BEST wedding food they had ever tasted. When choosing we had multiple options to accommodate all types of food specifics. Although there was a little confusion sorting the final order. On the day, they were absolutely SEAMLESS. The staff went above and beyond and added a real element of class to the day.
BridesmaidsI didn't want the bridesmaid dresses to be TOO dissimilar to my own. Don't get me wrong, I wanted mine to shine... but these are my girls, the lady loves of my life! I wanted this to be represented in our dresses. They are a part of me, as should their dresses be. The NINE bridesmaids wore multicoloured pastel lace dresses purchased from For Her and For Him.
Groom/GroomsmenMy husband is as traditional as am I... Which is not at all. He wanted his suit and the groomsmen suits to match our rustic vibe. As Scotland's number one fan, he wanted to capture a Scottish feel and therefore choose Harris Tweed jackets and waist coats, camel chinos, tan leather brogues and a white shirt. When it came to choosing the colour of the bow ties, he went with burgundy, just to add another colour into the mix.
StationeryI am quite particular in my taste, although I am quite random, it's got to be how I like it. I knew from the word go I wanted the stationery to be a true portrayal of my husband and I. We don't take life too seriously, we like to have a laugh, and we like others to have that laugh with us. Therefore I am very lucky to have been blessed with insanely talented graphic designers as relatives; who both worked so hard to create our table plans and invites.
EntertainmentI am fortunate enough to have married a musician. This was his area to really shine! Not only did he sing me my own wedding song and melt the hearts of many... he also provided the entire evening entertainment via his own band, but also by asking a few of his musical guests to sing also.
Wedding PlannerSimilar to the decor, I was the planner. However, a wonderful bonus to hiring The Ashes Barns, they provide an events planner. We were blessed with the lovely Dawn who kept us on track of our checklist and ran the proceedings of the day. This was a massive weight off of our shoulders which allowed us to relax and fully enjoy our perfect fairytale day.
Dress Designer: Justin Alexander | Bridal Boutique: London Brides | Bridal Shoes: Etsy - Hopefully Romantic | Jewellery: Swarovski | Engagement Ring: Beaverbrooks | Bridesmaid Dreses: For Her and For Him | Groom / Groomsmen: Harris Tweed Jacket | Chinos: Next | Waistcoat & Shirt: ASOS | Venue: The Ashes Barns | Catering: Jenkinsons | Florist: Walkers Flowers | Entertainment: Band | Jono Sameroff