If this sudden turn in weather is giving you the blues. Then a 5 minute break poring over this rustic, DIY wedding at The Great Barn in Kent will definitely lift your spirits. As well as looking absolutely gorgeous in a pre-owned Raimon Bundo gown from Gillian Million boutique, Bride Julia is full of smiles and has to be one of the happiest Brides we've ever featured. The love literally radiates from every image captured by Richard Skin Photography and is evident in all the DIY decor, homemade cakes and flowers that adorn this gorgeous barn reception. A truly fabulous, sentimental wedding.
The DressJulia the Bride: My dress was second hand from Gillian Million in Teddington. I knew I wanted lace and I fell in love with the feel and movement of a real silk dress. Visiting Gillian was such a great experience, she gave my mum, sister and I tea in vintage teacups and really listened to what I was after. She not only put me in lots of dresses but all the accessories too. I didn't think I wanted a veil until she put one on me. I burst into tears when I tried on my dress and realised I could actually afford to buy it! It was so comfortable to wear and I loved how it bustled up for the evening so I could dance. I had actually already bought my shoes for another wedding and they went perfectly with my dress. My mum made my veil from silk tulle we bought together at The Cloth House in London. My sister, Catherine, made me a bracelet from a beautiful pearl necklace that belonged to my Nana. I also wore Richard's mum's engagement ring on my right hand.
Groom's FashionRichard wore a lovely three piece suit from Next with a Liberty print bow tie and pocket square. His shoes were from Dune.
Wedding Party FashionI wanted my bridesmaids to wear vintage looking floral dresses that I love to wear anyway! I was also really keen for them to all be different patterns. The dresses we choose were handmade from Etsy and I loved the colours and patterns. My sister, who was my maid of honour, had a longer version from Monsoon. Their cardigans were hand knitted alpaca also from Etsy. Our two flower girls, Mia and Eva, wore silk cream dresses with lace and a big bow on the back. I made them floral headdresses with Ivy and pink and cream flowers. Our two page boys, Jenson and George, wore suits very similar to Richard's and the groomsmen from Next complete with little bow tie and pocket square! The all looked so sweet!
VenueWe were really keen to find a beautiful building with the impact of a church but without any religious connotations. A barn seemed the perfect fit and The Great Barn in Rolvenden was the first one we looked at. It's dry hire with no corkage charge and free rein to decorate however you want. Plus it's in the middle of nowhere in the beautiful Kent countryside with an apple orchard out the front, perfect!
Colour Scheme/DecorOur colour scheme was copper, teal, cream and hints of pale pink. Our table decorations were on a slice of wood that my brother, Richard, sorted out for us. For the candle holders we collected mini wine bottles and sprayed them copper. Our table numbers were brass door numbers that we tied onto our cream enamel jugs. We also used collected jam jars as small vases with lace round the top. We ordered loads of cream Muslim fabric from eBay that used to drape the barn along with real ivy to decorate the beams. We luckily had access to the barn from the Wednesday before our wedding and we had lots of friends and family to help us set up on Friday! We hired festoon lighting and fairy lights and also used giant balloons to decorate inside. Along the outside of the barn we used bunting and then had hay bales for our guests to sit on.
FlowersMy mum, went on a floristry course to learn how to make all the button holes and bouquets. She did such an amazing job doing all of our flowers! It made it so special to hold a bouquet my mum had made me and I had to steel myself to actually throw it! We had a very country, romantic vintage look with pink avalanche roses, mini daisies and gyp.
DIYI'm a graphic designer, Richard is a composer and we have lots of creative talented friends and family so we really wanted to make our wedding personal with lots of homemade touches. Richard composed a piece of music for me and my bridesmaids to walk down the aisle to. It was played live by our quintet and I hadn't heard it until the day! It was really beautiful and special. I'm a really keen baker and have made a few wedding cakes for my friends so I made our wedding cake. I'd never made sugar flowers before and was really pleased with the result. The four tiers were all different flavours chocolate, lemon, carrot and fruit cake which we served as our dessert with fresh cream, berries and tea. I also made macaroons for the evening in our wedding colours.
StationeryBeing a designer I really enjoyed making all the stationery for the day, invites, menus, table plan etc. For the invites we wanted to keep printing costs down but also do something special. So we bought lots of beautiful wrapping paper from Liberty in different floral designs. From this I made sleeves for our invites to go in and then used a lace cutter on the invite to give them a beautiful edge. We used the rest of the wrapping paper on our place names that my friend Charlotte had hand written for us. I also designed and wrote our big chalkboard and little chalkboard arrows. We used our silhouettes as a little logo for our wedding and even got a wax seal made in this design for the envelopes of our invites.
Little GuestsWe have lots of nieces and nephews who were flower girls and page boys and quite a few other children attending so we really wanted to make it a fun day for them. My sister arranged amazing goodie bags packed with things to keep them entertained during the meal. One of my bridesmaids, Lesley, arranged a treasure hunt in the orchard during the reception. And we hired donkeys to do rides! We are both big animal lovers so really loved having the donkeys there as much as the kids. A highlight from the day is Richard and I spontaneously walking the donkeys up from the outside barn to the orchard.
EntertainmentAfter our first dance our band really came on with a bang as we let off four confetti cannons to signal the moment! The Soul Mate band played great soul music and got everyone on the dance floor! My very talented bridesmaid Zara did a jive lesson inbetween sets which was such great fun and got everyone learning the slide! We also had amazing fireworks planned by Richard's parents.
FoodWe really liked the idea of family dining to keep things informal and also for guests to interact. So after serving canapés in the orchard our caterers did a great big posh BBQ. There was loads of meats and fish to choose from along with fresh salads. We ordered cheese boards, quiches and pork pies for our evening food from Waitrose. Along with homemade chutneys and macaroons.
PhotographerWe knew we wanted a really natural reportage style of photography and really loved Richard Skin's work. The results far exceed our expectations and Richard was just amazing on the day. He's really captured the joy and atmosphere of our wedding and we are so happy. I had no idea quite how big my natural smile is until I saw these pictures! I've been fake smiling all my life!
The WeekendThe day after we organised a big picnic at the barn to see everyone again but also (mainly) to get their help taking everything down!
Dress Designer: Raimon Bundo - 'Gongora' | Bridal Boutique: Gillian Million | Bridal Shoes: KMB | Hair & Makeup: Lauren Louise Hair & Makeup | Venue: The Great Barn | Catering: Back Bird Caterers | Bar: The Village Bar Company | Tables, Chairs Linens: Ambassador Furniture Hire | Crockery: Victoria Tea Party | Toilets: Four Jays | Band: Soul Mates | String Quartet: Bowjangles | Donkeys: Mikes Donkeys | Grooms Suit: Next | Bow Tie: Mrs Bow Tie | Bridesmaid Dresses: Etsy | Monsoon