Inspiration

*Exhale* This Cripps Barn wedding is just one of those beautifully curated days that consume you with happiness and pretty, and leave you totally satisfied. Have you seen the ceremony and reception set ups? Seriously just WOW! The delicate pastel colour scheme is incredibly romantic, echoed in the floral arrangements and bridesmaid dresses, with the mirror table plan and drip wedding cake complimenting the rustic setting, but adding a touch of luxe. I'm certain that White Stag Wedding Photography's light filled captures will have you reaching for your pin button, so sit back, relax and enjoy every minute.

Wedding

Kathryn the Bride : Our day was meant to be a celebration, it wasn't just a wedding, it was a chance for us to be surrounded by our family and friends and we never dreamed we could have all the people we love together in one room. From the guests attending from far and wide to all the help with the wedding planning, making, decorating and entertaining, it really was a family affair - After all, that's what getting married is all about, family.

Photographer

We spent months looking for a photographer that would do justice to our beautiful venue and the light airy feel we wanted for our wedding. It was so important that we got this bit right, the images would forever preserve memories of our day and would hang on the walls of our living room in pride of place for the rest of our lives. We got a bit worried at one point that we wouldn't find someone we would be completely happy with. Then we found White Stag Wedding Photography whilst checking out some of the Rock My Wedding Real Weddings, and we just knew - they HAD to photograph our wedding! Their photography style is light, airy and candid, capturing the moments as they happen as well as all the emotion that comes with it; anticipation, joy, awe, tenderness, it was all captured for us to relive again and again. Another huge plus was that we got double the coverage as Catherine and Andy, the brilliant and kindest people who are the beauty and brawn behind White Stag are both Photographers!

Videographer

Dan is a long time friend and it was so wonderful to have someone we knew to film the most important day of our lives - he did a wonderful job and poured his heart and soul into making the beautiful film that we will cherish forever. His work was so good he's had many more commissions and has now set up his own Videography business.

Dress

My first bridal shopping experience was an interesting one. After a couple of glasses of wine, in a moment of bravery (some might call it insanity) I applied to take part in the TV show " Say Yes To The Dress" - Soon I found myself standing in a wedding dress in front of my Mum and Sister and a whole camera crew! It really was an intense day and probably not the wedding dress shopping experience that we all dream about. Needless to say I didn't find "the one." Months later I noticed that a local independent Bridal Boutique were having a sale. This time, with just my Mum, my Sister and the shop owner I did say yes to the dress - which just so happened to be the Ellis Bridal dress that sat in the store window. It was completely different to the dress I thought I wanted, but fitted like a glove and for the first time ever made me feel like a beautiful woman - it was in the sale too!

Veil /Headpiece

Veil custom made by Lacewings Bridal Boutique I'd always known I wanted to wear a veil but didn't want to be too traditional. I happened upon the swoop style veil on Pinterest and thought it was perfect and a little bit different. Luckily Lacewings Bridal Boutique make dresses and veils as well as selling them and could custom make me one to compliment my dress. The headpiece matched the beading and jewel work on the back of my dress and I was surprised to be able to pick it up from a high street store for a really reasonable price.

Brides Shoes

I had purchased my Paradox London Pink a couple of years previous to wear as a Bridesmaid for a friends wedding, only to find they were too high for our dresses. It was pure luck that the silver jewel embelishments matched perfectly with the embellishments on my dress.

Florist

"Flowers. Lots of flowers." That was the extent of our vision for the flowers at the beginning. We didn't have huge budget for our wedding and knew that having lots of flowers would eat into it significantly. I did my research and learnt that seasonal flowers and greenery, as well flowers with large heads made of multiple smaller flowers are cheaper and so I fell in love with the idea of hydrangeas and foliage. Luckily for us Beth Cox our florist at Go Wild Flowers prefers to work with seasonal garden flowers and after a quick chat we left the rest in her more than capable hands. Everyone at the wedding remarked on how incredible the flowers were. My personal highlight was walking into the barn for the first time and seeing the two enormous hanging baskets that were overflowing with greenery and the most beautiful white hydrangea and antique pink roses. Being Scottish, my Mum and Uncle worked together to source some of our rare clan tartan they had it cut into ribbons and wrapped around the stem of my bouquet as a nod to my heritage. Alongside that my Dad gave me my late Grandma's cameo brooch to pin to it, it looked beautiful and meant such a lot to carry something from both sides of my family down the aisle with me.

Venue

We'd been to numerous weddings in and around our home of Bristol the 2 years prior to getting engaged and we knew we wanted somewhere different. About 2 weeks after our engagement we spotted that the beautiful Cripps Barn venue in the Cotswolds had an open evening. We weren't really looking to book anywhere, we hadn't even decided what year we'd get married, but the excitement of being just engaged and the promise of food and wine sampling made the open evening too tempting to pass up. Love at first sight. We visited Cripps Barn in the middle of Winter at night, the barn had roaring fires lit inside and out, the smell of wood-smoke filled the air, fairy lights twinkled in the Oak room, lanterns flickered in the trees and candles glowed in hidden cut outs in the walls. It was magical. After returning in the day and seeing the rose lined English country garden, huge oak deck and the worlds biggest BBQ we were sold. We booked a summer wedding there and then.

Cake Maker

Our cake was made by George's sister Daisy, she's an incredible baker and we can always count on there being some cake in the tin when we visit her, it was only natural that we ask her to make our main wedding cake and after months of trial bakes, the result was a spectacular two-tier coffee and chocolate and lemon cake with vanilla buttercream number. She even made all the beautiful biscuits, macaroons and meringue kisses that adorned it. I surprised George on the day with our dinosaur cake toppers hand made by me- we are both big kids at heart! We are of the opinion that you can never have enough cake and so we invited our guests to join in "The Great Bettesworth Bake Off" and bring their best baked offerings to the wedding to enter into the competition that we would judge. We were in awe when we walked into the room and saw plate upon plate of cake, biscuits, fudge and desserts all beautifully presented. Our guests were wowed too and after we entertained them with our highly informed judging and the odd "soggy bottom" comment they got to tuck into the spoils! It really was a wonderful way of doing wedding cake on a budget.

Caterer

Another reason we chose Cripps Barn was their food. Cripps have their own catering company "Cripps Kitchen" and put together the most amazing artisanal feasts, using produce from local suppliers. We chose their canape package to accompany our reception drinks which featured honey and sesame sausages that are still talked about to this day. The menu for our wedding breakfast was one of the hardest decisions we had to make. We love food so much and was determined there should be something for everyone - we wanted to choose every option they offered us. In the end we arrived at Falafel and Tabouleh with flat breads for starter, followed by a mammouth Mixed grill of chicken, chorizo sausage, lamb chops and pork ribs all cooked on that huge BBQ whilst the guests looked on enjoying their canapes and prosecco. Waiters delivered the meat to the table on huge planks of wood for guests to help themselves to, it really was a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Dessert was a homemade lemon tart with thick cream which was just delicious - if you could fit it in after all the other food. Food for our evening celebration was provided by Baz and Fred pizzas who work closely with Cripps Barn. Their pizzas are cooked in a pizza oven on site and were casually distributed to the guests in slices on wooden planks by the waiting staff who weaved in and out of the chatting mezze of our family and friends throughout the evening. The pizza was so good that soon guests were intercepting the pizza at the kitchen door! Marshmallow toasting over the firepits on the wooden deck in the garden followed along with the spoils of the Great Bettesworth Bake Off.

Bridesmaids

The Bridesmaid dresses were the first thing I bought for the wedding. I saw them on ASOS and knew that the colours and style perfectly complimented the look I had planned for the day. I wanted each of my three Bridesmaids to look slightly different, and so each of them wore the same dress in a different colour. They looked gorgeous and perfectly boho with their accompanying flower crowns and loose waved hair.

Grooms/Groomsmen

Dyfed Menswear, we found them at a wedding show and had never seen suits in that perfect blue colour. They are a small company of 5 stores offering amazing quality Italian wool suits for hire, luckily one of them is situated Bristol!

Entertainment

We chose The Velveteens to play during the evening celebration. A band of 4 from Wales they were incredible, fun and even learnt our first dance "Stand By Me" version by Imagine Dragons just for the occasion. We can't thank them enough!

Vamos Theatre Company

I work for Vamos Theatre Company as a walkabout theatre performer and administrator. It's an unusual form of entertainment, and it has to be seen to be believed. It ususally being me behind the mask, it was a real treat to have my colleagues perform as their wedding gift to us. Of course, I knew our guests would love Vamos' anarchic full mask theatre. Their characters "The Cheapskate Caterers" served our Canapes during the drinks reception with silliness, clumsiness, inappropriate flirting, over-attentiveness, drunken and attention-seeking behavior of all kinds. Later our evening celebration was crashed by the Crimplene Crusaders, three twin-set clad campaigners who kept a firm eye out for any slouching, flirting, or hand-holding, making sure that good old fashioned values were championed, although they couldn't resist the temptation to 'get down' to Gangnam Style and pretty soon the dance floor was flooded with the unlikeliest of movers and shakers. We thought we'd had it all planned out, our entertainment was organised to a T - even down to the board games set up in the bar area for those who have an aversion to the dance floor. We were so emotionally overwhelmed when after our first dance the guests who had formed a circle around us parted to reveal an 8 piece brass band made up of our Drum Corps friends. George and I met through Drum Corps (Marching Band) and our friends all who had been members of the band with us at different points had got together to perform "Seasons of Love" from RENT the Broadway musical - the sentiment was all the more special when we realised they had been meeting up without our knowledge weeks prior to practice to make sure it sounded perfect. I think nearly every wedding guest had a tear in their eye at that moment.

Transport

Vintage VW Fastback - owned and driven by the brides Godfather Boyd Walton I travelled to the wedding with my Dad in the most beautiful vintage light blue 1972 Volkwagen Fastback - It's an odd vehicle to choose as a wedding car, its not a conventional beauty, but it really was the only choice for me. The car belongs to my Godfather who restored it to its full glory 4 years ago after it had sat in his garage for 23 years or so. Prior to my Godfather owning it, the car belonged to my parents and was the very car they started their married life together with, it was also the car that drove me home from hospital as a new born. It seemed so fitting that it should take me to start another chapter of my life.

Advice

You can have the wedding you want on the budget you want, you just have to be savvy. Call in favours from friends and family - If your friends or family can't help with something they may know someone who can. Alternatively, borrow from people, shops, theatre groups. People want to help and be part of your special day, let them. Don't be fooled by the DIY = CHEAPER presumption that a lot of people make. I'm not knocking the DIY Brides who make everything themselves, in fact all hail them, it's tough! But it's ok to not make everything yourself, often by the time you've spent hours upon hours making it, or messing it up the first time as I did, it would have been cheaper and less stressful to buy it off Ebay. Take it all in. In the lead up to your big day everyone tells you "it'll be here before you know it." "The day will fly by." - They aren't lying. The best piece of advice we had was from someone who didn't even attend the wedding but was kind enough to impart their wisdom. So here it is…Take 5 minutes every 1 or 2 hours to stand with your new husband or wife in the middle of the room and watch. Just watch together. All those people are there for you, it will never happen again, watch them enjoy the celebration of you both, it's your love that has bought everyone together and that's a pretty special moment you'll never want to forge.

Written by Lorna Shaw

Film : Dan Hodge Wedding Films | Dress Designer: Ellis Bridal | Bridal Boutique: Lce Wings Brides | Bridal Shoes: Paradox London Pink | Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS | Groomsmen: Dyfed Menswear | Venue: Cripps Barn | Catering: Cripps Kitchen | Baz and Fred | Florist: Go Wild Flwoers | Entertainment: The Velveteens | Vamos Theatre Company

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