Rustic luxe weddings are totally having a moment – it’s all about embracing some of the agricultural or industrial venues available to us here in the UK but filling them with elegant decor choices – lots of candles, incredible florals and sophisticated table wear. Plus it means you can legitimately wear black tie or a slinky, sexy bridal gown like Mark and Kate. Who both look HOT by the way.
Stone Barn is a magical place anyway, but this gorgeous pair have put their own stylish stamp on it and it’s a pleasure to share with you this morning. Images come from the lovely Nichola at Lemonade Pictures, whose atmospheric style is perfect for this winter wonderland wedding.
Kate The Bride: We started trawling through Pinterest from the moment we got engaged. Everywhere we fell in love with was in California but they all had one thing in common; cool, rustic charm. We met in Oxford which was the perfect half way point between our home in London and Mark’s friends and family in Manchester. We saw a few venues which ticked all the boxes but we were waiting for the absolute dream. We ventured into the Cotswolds and stumbled across Stone Barn which I can only describe at first glimpse as an old barn with an industrial shed bolted on. We walked in and fell in love. Covered in fairy lights, this place was the winner. As everyone would be travelling to the wedding, we decided to drag it out. We stayed at one of our favourite places, a gorgeous B&B in Stow On-The-Wold called Stow House. The owners are an absolute joy.
We’re not religious, so a short ceremony in the barn surrounded by candles was right up our street. My brother and Mark’s sister in law did our readings and we chose close friends as our witnesses. We’d seen Bastille by Pompeii played on an electro harp on YouTube and gave our bridesmaid Jess the task of finding someone similar. She found Jemima Phillips who was a dream to work with and was happy to learn four songs, one of which was Justin Bieber!
We didn’t want a theme or colour scheme for our wedding, instead we just combined everything we loved. We chose manila fold out invites, we designed them ourselves and found a local printer. I fell in love with Oscar de la Renta sequinned rose gold bridesmaid dresses, but slightly out of budget I settled for Needle & Thread beaded dresses. The metallics and fairy lights gave the wedding the luxe feeling we wanted. We hired giant light up letters DANCE and added some DIY touches – the table plan, itinerary and black boards. We wanted the wedding to be very ‘us’ and put a lot of time into personalising it with little details. I am a Jewellery buyer so jewellery had to feature, the girls’ favours were personalised birthstone necklaces. Charbonnel truffles for the boys. We gave everyone a miniature succulent meticulously planted by Mark!
The Photography & Film
Nichola at Lemonade Pictures was recommended to us. It was important for us to work with someone whose style matched ours. She is super chilled and put us at ease straight away. We found Siobhan at McGill Sister Films on Instagram and her work was exactly what we were looking for, a short video capturing the very best of our day.
My dress was without question the most important part of the wedding for me. My mum, sister and I flew to New York. I didn’t want traditional, I wanted backless, sexy, not weddingy. Kleinfeld stocks Pnina Tornai, I tried on a few dresses but there was only one dress that I couldn’t stop thinking about. I went back to New York four months later and carried it home! My shoes were decided long before the engagement; Valentino rockstuds. My jewellery was a gift on the day from my new husband from my favourite jewellery designer Daniella Draper.
There was only one choice for my hair, my sister. We spent ten minutes practising and decided on a fishtail plait, it was perfect. My friend Lucy did my make-up which I loved. For the bridesmaids I found Holly Oxford, they wore lovely hair accessories from Her Curious Nature and their make-up was done by the fabulous Emily Tarrant.
The Wedding Party
I wanted to treat my bridesmaids and my mum who are my best friends to something special to remember the day. I chose something different for each of them from a lovely brand – Carrie Elizabeth Jewellery. We didn’t want our nieces and nephew to look too traditional. The girls wore tutus and cosy jumpers from Next and Bertie wore a shirt and waistcoat and converse. Mark knew exactly wanted he wanted, a double breasted navy tuxedo, we found it in Reiss and he had it tailored to fit him. He chose a velvet bow tie and Hugo Boss patent lace up shoes which worked perfectly. The groomsmen wore black M&S tuxedos, patent shoes and satin bow ties.
Food was so important to us. Stone Barn has the largest indoor BBQ in the U.K. We had so much fun at the tasting evening, meeting other couples. We served prosecco, Mark’s favourite beer meantime lager and canapés after the ceremony. After much deliberation, we agreed on sharing platters, butterflied leg of lamb with dauphinoise potatoes and green beans for the main and chocolate fondant with cream. At 10pm we served Baz & Fred pizzas. We were well looked after by Clayton and his team. We didn’t bother with the cake, we’re not big on traditions.
We wanted to add something memorable to our wedding. We found The Glitterbox, a glitter make-up company. We expected our close friends to get involved but everyone went mad for the glitter. The party was so important to us. We’d seen Sugarkube at our friends’ wedding. They are an eight piece brass band with amazing vocalists. We didn’t leave the dance floor. They also have a three piece band who played during our reception.
We found Beth Cox for our flowers. She is hugely talented and very patient as I changed my mind multiple times. I wanted a tree lined aisle, we settled for lanterns! I was hoping for trees as centre pieces, we decided on twig trees with hanging tea lights and filled the tables with candles. For the bouquets and top table we chose muted pinks with blue thistle and eucalyptus which worked perfectly.
Our honeymoon is still tbc, we needed a break from planning! But we had the most amazing mini moon at Daylesford Farm and The Wild Rabbit. What a place.
– Don’t sweat over the details.
– If you can’t get to things, only you know what you’re missing out on.
– Let people help you.
– Get the best food and band you can afford.
– Make it memorable with personalised details.
– Save money where you can, napkins, light up letters are so much cheaper sourced yourselves than through the venue. For us, it was cheaper to provide alcohol and pay corkage too.
– Get a videographer.
– Meet your photographer beforehand.
– See close family and friends the night before, it takes the pressure off on the day.
– Add everyone important to your photos list, sounds obvious but there isn’t one picture of just my mum and I.
– Consider a winter wedding to keep venue costs down.