All I can say is WOW Jenny & Paddy, your desire to have a reception that has never been used before and a vision SO strong has resulted in an absolutely immense rustic wedding at Grove Barn in the Vale of Belvoir, Nottinghamshire. The attention to detail is unbelievable, including tractors, wooden crates, diggers, hay bales, oil drums, lanterns, tree stumps and so much more. The table plan with its baby portraits of guests is absolutely genius, as is the styling of all these elements. The farmer of the barn was so impressed he now hires out the venue for wedding and events. Can we also just take a moment to swoon over Jenny's Charlie Brear Peyton Dress and Augustine Skirt. Soo pretty. We also absolutely loved hearing that Jenny & Paddy found recommended supplier Hannah Duffy through our very pages, and I just know this delightful day and photography will go on to inspire others.
The DressJenny the Bride: Having been a bridesmaid several times in the months preceding our engagement, I already had a good idea of bridal designers. One designer who had stood out to me was Charlie Brear - I loved how relaxed yet stylish her dresses were. I wanted to keep an open mind though, so I visited a range of bridal shops before making my final decision. I had an appointment at Cicily Bridal in Ashby de La Zouch - they were absolutely amazing and were, by far, the best bridal shop I had visited. When they suggested I try Charlie Brear's Peyton Dress with the Augustine Skirt and silk sash, I knew it was the one! A Chapel length veil from Nieve Couture complimented it perfectly and Cicily Bridal also introduced me to Debbie Carlisle's 'Estelle' head piece to finish the look. I loved it! I also decided to use the excess lace from the skirt to create some delicate capped sleeves. I purchased a gorgeous pair of strappy shoes from Kurt Geiger and was given a beautiful Monica Vinader bracelet from my parents and a stunning diamond necklace from Paddy to wear on the day. My makeup artist was the wonderful Leona Seymour and my hair was styled beautifully by Eve McHenry at Tim Foster Hairdressing.
The Grooms Fashion & AccessoriesPaddy wore a morning suit from Hackett with a powder blue waistcoat made bespoke by David Saxby, a navy blue polka dot tie from Ralph Lauren and a pair of black Oxford shoes from Church's. I also gave him a pocket watch to wear on the morning.
The VenueWhen we first got engaged we agreed we wanted something different - somewhere we could make our own. After visiting a few places (none of which were right) we approached a local farmer who had a working barn never previously used for events - he agreed to empty it leaving a blank canvas for us to decorate. We were drawn to the high ceilings, brick walls and quirky nooks and crannies it offered and as we wanted somewhere stylish yet relaxed, Grove Barn was ideal. With the help of TGS Live Events’ fantastic lighting effects and props, together with the support of family, friends and Benessamy Wedding Planning, the barn came to life and it was absolutely perfect. It worked so well that Grove Barn has since become a venue for weddings and events!
Colour Scheme/ DécorWe wanted to achieve a warm and intimate atmosphere using foliage and candlelight. We bought fresh herbs which we planted in tin cans, hired trees from a local nursery and collected ivy from friends and neighbours' gardens. We purchased the candle centrepieces from New Covent Garden Flower Market and hired storm lanterns from The Urban Flower Firm. We also used a lot of the props and materials on site at Grove Barn including their hay bales for seating, crates for display tables and oil drums for poseur tables! My mum and dad collected damsons and together we made damson gin for our favours.
StationeryOur beautiful invitations and order of services were made by Feel Good Invites. We love photos and so we chose to include photographs of us as children on the Order of Service, and then each table number was a photograph of Paddy and I at that age. Fitting with this we managed to source a photograph of every guest as a child which made up the table plan - it proved quite popular and caused some amusement!
FloristWe were incredibly lucky that a close family friend is a very talented florist. Kim Kupfer Flowers were absolutely amazing and created the most beautiful wedding flowers. We chose lots of foliage and eucalyptus leaves with a palette of white and shots of blue. In keeping with our rustic theme, Kim created stunning floral displays in a selection of milk churns and tin cans which we had been collecting during the lead up to the big day – they were perfect!
The Wedding Party FashionI had four fantastic bridesmaids including my oldest friend who came all the way over from Chicago. We chose stunning long grey/ blue dresses from The Dessy Group which suited them all beautifully. The Groomsmen wore morning suits hired from Austin Reed with a grey/blue, polka dot tie.
CeremonyWe got married at St Luke’s Church in my home village, Hickling and it was a really special ceremony. Although I was getting ready at home (only a few doors away from the church) my Dad and I were driven there by my cousin in my late Grandpa’s Aston Martin DB5. We laid out a table with Damson gin for guests to 'take a shot, we're tying the knot' before the ceremony. We chose 'A Lovely Love Story' by Edward Monkton for our reading, which we felt summed us up as a couple perfectly! When we were announced as husband and wife our guests waved homemade, paper flags with ‘Wohoo!’ and ‘Mr and Mrs Freestone’ written on them. Although we got married in the village I grew up in, we live in London and wanted a touch of the city in our big day, so we hired an old London Route Master from Blackmore Commercials, to transport guests from the church to the barn. It looked great!
EntertainmentOur band were the first supplier we booked. We chose The Money as they had played at my brother’s wedding and were absolutely brilliant. They went above and beyond for us, agreeing to learn an acoustic version of The Rembrandts’ ‘I’ll be there for you’ to play during the signing of the register and a version of Fleetwood Mac ‘Everywhere’ for our first dance – they were great and the dancefloor was packed all night!
FoodWe chose Stones Events as our caterer - they were brilliant. They served a selection of substantial canapes during the drinks reception followed by a two-course meal: Aged Beef, Triple cooked chips, watercress, peas, pickles, red onions and Béarnaise followed by Chocolate Bomb Milk chocolate mousse, raspberries, caramelised white chocolate and raspberry liquor. In the evening, Stones served a hog roast with all the trimmings. We chose Dominic at David North Bakery to make our beautiful semi-naked cake. We also had a selection of sweets and cheese available for anyone who was still hungry!
PhotographerI found Hannah Duffy thanks to a previous Rock My Wedding blog – the moment I saw her work I knew she would be the perfect photographer, and we really can’t thank her enough. She was absolutely incredible on the day and the photos are more than we could have wished for. I can’t recommend Hannah enough to any couple getting married.
VideographerWe were in two minds whether to get a videographer. The wedding was getting expensive and we were really tempted to save money but I am so pleased we went ahead with it. We booked Leanne at Newgen Films and she captured our day perfectly.
DIYNearly everything was homemade including the confetti cones, paper flags, table plan, bottle labels and speech bingo. Paddy worked wonders with some old pallets, creating our menu board, some seating and a variety of signs which were dotted around the venue. We sourced a selection of old wine crates to make a shelving display on the wall behind the bar with our initials on it.
AdviceMy biggest piece of advice to any bride (whether in a ‘venue’ or not) would be to hire a wedding planner to oversee the day. Val and her team at Benessamy Wedding and Event Planning were absolutely amazing – she helped schedule our day and ensured everything ran smoothly, leaving Paddy and I to enjoy it. I couldn’t recommend Val enough!
Dress Designer: Charlie Brear | Bridal Boutique: Cicily Bridal | Veil: Nieve Couture | Headpiece: Debbie Carlisle | Bridal Shoes: Kurt Geiger | Bracelet: Monica Vinader | Hair Stylist: Tim Foster Hairdressing | Makeup Artist: Leona Seymour | Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy Group | Grooms Suit: Hackett | Waistcoat: David Saxby | Tie: Ralph Lauren | Grooms Shoes: Church's | Venue: Grove Barn | Lighting: TGS Events | Wedding Planner: Benessamy Wedding and Event Planning | Catering: Stones Events | Florist: Kim Kuper Flowers | Lanterns: The Urban Flower Firm | Entertainment: The Money | Cake: Dominic North | Stationery: Feel Good Invites | Videographer: Newgen Films