Kirsty and David held their rustic Autumnal dream of a wedding at the amazing Barmbyfield Barns, with gorgeous exposed brick, rough white washed walls and enough wooden beams to hang a plethora of fairy lights from, it has the perfect blank canvas for the kind of vibe they wanted to create. Their engagement story is super cute, so make sure you read that, along with Kirsty's account of how they planned their big day. When you're doing everything yourselves, there is a lot to consider and her words of wisdom are very helpful.
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Our Story

Kirsty The Bride: David and I got engaged back in July 2015. We were on a summer holiday with friends in the south of France, and David surprised me with an early evening walk, just the two of us, before we headed back to the farm house where we were all staying for a BBQ feast. He didn’t actually ask me to marry him and he wasn’t on one knee at the time, but instead he slipped the engagement ring in to the chilled champagne flutes he’d secretly packed in his rucksack and it was him who answered ‘yes’ when I asked the question ‘is this you asking..!?’ The friends we were holidaying with were all in on the plan, and on returning to the house we were met with a surprise engagement party complete with cake, banners, music and everyone in their formal party wear. It was perfect.

The Venue

We began planning the wedding as soon as we returned home from our holiday, so all in all it was about 15 months in the making. It was all a little overwhelming at first, although we had an idea of how we wanted the wedding day to look, we soon found that options were limitless and that sometimes there can be too much of a good thing when you’re looking for different and new ideas. We decided from the get go that we wanted something a little less traditional, and that felt real and true to us and who were are as a couple. We started to research venues that were open to the idea of a little DIY to personalise the space. We also knew we wanted rustic and something a little rough and ready. After a couple of months of searching we came across Barmbyfield Barns after I emailed an old university friend and ask the location of his wedding after seeing some of their pictures. The barns are located in Pocklington, just outside of York and as it was only about a 90 minute drive from our home in Sheffield we decided to go take a look. We loved the barns from the very beginning. It’s a beautiful space that has a good balance of modern and comfortable features, whilst still feeling quite raw and rustic. We booked the barns for November - the only 2016 date they had left and although it was a little later in the year than we’d initially wanted, I was excited at the idea of a darker, cooler winter wedding.

The Bride

I’d already spotted my dream dress before David and I really even started planning the wedding. A T-length Ellis Bridal gown with long lace sleeves and an open back. I saw it on a wedding blog and hunted it down immediately, in fact I think it was the first thing I purchased. I had a little wobble later on, after having months and months to admire other dresses, but in the end I stuck with my gut and went with my first choice. The dress was beautiful. I felt special but still like me, and because it was short I was able to dance the night away with complete ease! My shoes were Jimmy Choo, bought as a surprise gift from my bridesmaids. I was so taken aback when they presented me with them, I think all 4 of us cried! I also wore my Nan’s necklace, gold with a blue stone for my something borrowed, old and blue and a new and Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume as my fragrance- David had previously bought me a bottle as an anniversary gift. My hair was curled at a salon local to the beautiful cottage where I stayed the night before the wedding and I had my make up done my a lovely and very talented makeup artist that I found and trialled in Sheffield. Hannah was great and travelled all the way up to the venue on Saturday morning, she did my makeup and my mums and 2 of the bridesmaids before heading back down to Sheffield to see more clients, she’s an absolute super woman!

The Groom

David, the best man and his Dad and brother all wore brown tweed 3 piece suits from Next with brown shoes and burgundy ties to match the bridesmaid dresses and each of them had a reconditioned silver pocket watch that had been David’s granddads. I also bought different brightly coloured socks for all of them to wear, together with a group of David’s university friends which looked great in photographs later on. David also wore a Jimmy Choo fragrance that I’d bought him as part of a little ‘memories’ box that he opened on the morning of the wedding.

The Décor

Once the venue was booked it was a lot easier to visualise the different aspects of the day. We knew we wanted rustic and dark with lots of greenery and pinecones and the ideas all grew from there. We did everything ourselves, from the wedding stationery to the table runners, wedding favours and all of the venue décor. I also made a curtain from cut up strips of different fabrics that we used as a backdrop in the ceremony after seeing something similar online. The favours we different for guys and girls. The guys got a shot of whisky (David’s favourite tipple) and the girls all got a hand chosen Christmas/interior decoration – I adore trinkets so they were very fitting. For the table décor we decided on something simple with a natural feel that really captured the time of year. We used a mixture of pinecones, moss and eucalyptus to create table runners and then placed pillar candles and empty gin bottles with dinner candles in them along the tables. We scattered left over moss around the venue and had lit pillar candles on almost every surface. We added some low hanging festoon lights, succulents and lots of gold glitter to the foliage to create a forest-like feel that worked really well against the raw brick walls of the barn. Gin became a bit of a theme throughout the wedding- as well as empty bottles becoming dinner candle holders and having each table named after a different gin, we also served a welcome drink of mulled sloe gin to warm up our guests in the fresh November air. We also had dedicated cocktails at the bar; Kirsty’s Kiss and David’s Dream. Both were just personalised versions of classic cocktails (Tom Collins and Whisky Sour) but it was good to have a personal touch and everyone was excited to try them.

The Flowers

To fit with the rest of the wedding, I knew I wanted lots of foliage and wild flowers, put together in a very rustic and natural way. I found Louise of Number 27 on Rock My Wedding. I was blown away by her talent and after an initial conversation I knew I’d made the right choice. Louise is so lovely, she listened to what I described and sent across ideas and samples. My mum and I went to meet her at her home and she picked fresh flowers from the garden to show us what she had in mind- it was perfect. I had a large, wild bouquet and flower crown with lots of eucalyptus and some quicksand roses and ranunculus in beautiful shades of burgundy. Louise also added some ligustrum berries, pampas grass and Japanese anemone to create the wintery and wild feel and finished it off with some honeysuckle and jasmine before hand tying it with dyed silk ribbon - it was perfect! Louise did such an amazing job. For each of the three bridesmaids Louise created a smaller arrangement. We also had individual button holes for David, the best man and his brother and Dad and corsages for my Mum, David’s mum and also his sister and grandma, all slightly different.

The Wedding Party

When it came to bridesmaid outfits I was quite relaxed. I was happy for the girls to wear whatever they felt comfortable in, providing the colours fit loosely with the boys suits and the other colours we were using in the wedding. I was also happy for the outfits to all be different, and not even necessarily dresses, but the girls decided they wanted to be dressed the same and to all wear floor length dresses. We went on a ‘bridesmaid dress shopping trip’ not long after the planning had started, but we quickly found that even on the high street, finding a dress to suit three different body shapes is hard work! After a few failed attempts, we settled on a multi-way fishtail dress by TFNC in burgundy to match the flowers, and also the boy’s ties and ordered them through ASOS online. Our flower girls, our nieces Melah-Rose and Nyah-Rae wore white dresses from Next with faux flower crowns and beautiful burgundy shoes also from Next to tie in with the colour scheme.

The Ceremony

For the ceremony the music was really important to us. We wanted to set the mood and used candles and low lit festoon lights to create a wintery, haunting feel. I walked down the aisle to Ella Henderson I’m Yours, a song that has always made me think of David and our relationship. My bridesmaids walked down before me and flower girl Melah-Rose walked down scattering gold flecks and glitter. I didn’t have anyone walk me down the aisle or ‘give me away’. I’m quite an independent person and it felt really fitting to make that journey on my own. We had a civil ceremony at the barns and after we were married we walked out of the room to Electric Light Orchestra, Mr Blue Sky – it was David’s choice! But it actually worked really well and he was very pleased with it!

The Entertainment

After the ceremony David and I greeted our guests as they came through to the reception room and grabbed a welcome drink. For entertainment whilst we were out having our photographs taken, we placed packs of trivia cards on each table. We collected them over the year whilst we were planning so we had a bit of a mixture of music, sports and general knowledge related packs, they were great for getting everyone talking! We also had a sweet table, which went down a hit with both children and adults! And a photo guest book with an instant Polaroid camera and some masks and other props for people to use. I wasn’t sure about the guest book at first - people are so used to taking selfies on their phones these days that getting to grips with a Polaroid can be a little fiddly and even more difficult after a few glasses of fizz! But my sister Emma was great, she went around to everyone and made sure she got a snap of them, and then stuck it in the guest book ready for an accompanying message. It was so much fun looking back through the book afterwards, it’s got some great memories in there and a few things that we’d missed in the excitement of the day, so great to capture on film! We had our first dance to George Ezra Grow Old with Me, it’s quite an upbeat song as we hadn’t practiced we ended up spinning and dancing around a little bit – which was great and really reflected the relaxed and fun feel of the day. After the first dance the band kicked in. We’d seen The Hypertones at another friend’s wedding the year before and we remembered how we’d not left the dance floor all night! They were great, they played a couple of sets and gave guests a chance to grab drinks form the bar in-between. The dance floor was packed all night and I know everyone enjoyed it. Later on in the evening, David and I stepped out to have a few final photographs holding sparklers that I had stashed away - we thought it would look great in the winter evening light. When we got outside there were a few guests around so they joined in too- the photographs are great and everyone enjoyed it!

The Food

David was the one who first found our caterers, Annika's Apron after I tasked him with finding someone in the area who could deliver the rustic sharing food we wanted in the way we’d been imagining. Aniika and Mark were an absolute dream, and were so friendly and accommodating from the start it was like having friends do our food for us! We wanted food that reflected us and our tastes, and something that we knew we’d enjoy and be excited to eat. We very rarely go out for a three course meal, we’re much more comfortable at our local gastro pub or street food festival eating simple and delicious food that we can share and enjoy together in a relaxed atmosphere. For our wedding meal we kept this in mind as we described to Annika and Mark the kind of food we like and how we wanted our guests to feel when eating at the wedding. We decided on an Italian vibe, with gorgeous antipasti boards bursting with colour and served with fresh crispy breads followed by stone-baked pizza, homemade hummus and lots of olives. The star of the show had to be the giant prawns soaked in garlic butter - they were the size of golf balls! For dessert we took inspiration from my favourite baking show -The Great British Bake Off. All guests were invited to take part and bring something along for others to try. It was a great idea and it meant there was a huge choice. The table looked incredible filled with all of the different tasty treats and it was a great talking point! We announced the winners just after the speeches and presented them with a trophy, hand stamped by the best man with ‘BBO winner 19/11/16’. Annika is so talented she also whipped up our wedding cake - a three tier naked sponge cake in three flavours - elderflower, lemon, and Victoria sponge, lovingly decorated with delicate flowers. We thought a lot about the evening food when we were planning the day. At previous weddings we’ve been to as guests, both David and I almost never ate anything in the evening. We were always too busy dancing and socialising and the main wedding breakfast is always so magnificent that we rarely felt hungry. With that in mind, we decided on a giant cheeseboard for our evening food. We’re huge cheese lovers so the thought of homemade chutneys, warm crispy breads and lots of fruit to accompany felt perfect - though I don’t think either of us managed to sample of the cheese on the day!

The Photography

We actually won our photography with Emma Maddocks Photography through a competition. I was so stunned when we got the email saying we’d been chosen, we couldn’t believe it! We’d looked at Emma’s stuff and had really fallen in love with the style in which she captured the important moments. We met with her near her base in Manchester to have a chat through what we’d hoped to get from the photographs and Emma got it absolutely perfect on the day. It was again like having a friend there doing photographs, she was so friendly and down to earth, and I think her lovely relaxed personality really helped everyone to feel at ease around her. Emma also brought a second shooter with her, which was great and meant that there were lots of additional moments captured over at the house where David and his family and the best man were getting ready. We decided we didn’t want an awful lot of photographs - mainly because we wanted to spend time with our guests! But we gave a list to Emma a couple of months before the big day listing what we did want and the different combinations of friends and family. The list was Emma’s suggestion and it made everything run a lot smoother. We didn’t have that many traditional photographs; instead we opted for more candid snaps that really did capture the feel of the day. One of my favourites has to be the picture of David and all of his old university friends. It’s become a bit of a tradition at their weddings to get a unique snap of all of the boys together and the one we have is absolutely perfect! There are so many other shots I love, so much so that the house it already full of prints! Emma did an amazing job and really did blow us away with her lovely accommodating service, professionalism and high quality images.

The Videography

Because we’d ‘won’ Emma’s services, we decided that we could afford to splash out on a videographer. It was quite last minute (- about 5 months before the wedding but everything is booked so far in advance!) and I was struggling to find someone who’s previous work we’d liked so when my bridesmaid Naomi mentioned that she know a videographer in Birmingham we jumped at the chance to look at her stuff. We instantly fell in love with Libby and the way she approached the whole process of working with us. She’s so down to earth and humble; she really made us feel completely relaxed around her. She filmed everything with such complete ease that at times we didn’t even know she was there and when she sent through the first draft of our highlight video she had both David and I in tears! The video is by far one of my absolutely favourite things that we have to remember our day, we went back and forth deciding if it would be worth it but it really was- the memories captured are incredible and we really can’t thank Libby enough.

The Transport

I’ve never really been keen traditional wedding cars and when we were thinking about transport I really struggled to find anything I liked. I’ve always adored Land Rovers and so when one of my closest friends Chris suggested that he might be able to get hold of one to transport me to the venue, and that he would drive me, it was just perfect. Chris got the car road worthy and clean and brought it all the way from Sheffield, it was so special and really meant the world that he was able to drive me to my wedding.


We did almost all of the décor ourselves. I designed and printed the wedding stationery and we put together the favours with hand stamped tags and hand wrote all of the signs. Our good friend Emma made the beautiful name settings for us and best man Sean did a lot of the woodwork as well as creating the most beautiful 6 foot tall light-up wooden heart that we got married in front of. It’s something we saw just after we were engaged on another blog and we’d mentioned how pretty it was. Ever the amazing friends that they are Emma and Sean then secretly went about making a replica - it was so stunning that after the ceremony was over we moved it in to the main room and placed it by the dance floor so that it could continue to be admired. I also put together the sweet table and the photo book area, and made up activity packs for each of the 16 children who attended the day. I also spent months buying and then drying out rose petals to make the confetti and made a bunting banner with the words ‘The Baylis Bake Off’ to hand above the dessert table. The bake-off was another amazing highlight. I spent time with my mum searching in local charity shops to get together all of the plates and vintage cake stands and jugs for the cream, and we borrowed some beautiful silver dessert folks from friends. It was great to know that everyone had made an effort to get involved and it was SO much fun trying all of the truly delicious creations! Just after the speeches Nicola, David’s sister surprised me with an album her and her mum had both been working on. It contained photographs of David right from when he was a baby all the way up to when we met and beyond, and on the front of the leather case the words David, My Husband had been inscribed. I was so touched and it’s something that I will always treasure.


I read wedding blogs daily and became almost obsessed with trawling through Pinterest looking for new and unique ideas. David got frustrated at times, as every time we decided on something I seemed to find another alternative idea online - there’s so much choice and variety now when it comes to planning a wedding! I’d definitely advise getting a videographer, it’s something I can’t imagine us without now that we have all of those memories to cherish forever! - I still watch the video almost weekly! Stick to your guns! Standard advice from most people who have planned a wedding but it is really important. We had fantastic friends and family around us who were all as excited as we were to see our vision come together, so we didn’t have to worry but there were some issues with the venue. You work with so many vendors when planning a wedding and it’s important to communicate clearly and ensure that both parties are happy with arrangements. Unfortunately whilst in the planning stages, the venue were a lot less open to our suggestions than they’d implied and we ended up having to take a few extra trips up there to negotiate some of the details which we could have done without. In the end though, the day was perfect and nothing would have ever been able to ruin it for us. We stuck to our guns and got exactly what we’d dreamed of. Ask for help - everyone always says this but it’s easier said than done when you’re planning the most special day of your life and you’re a bit of a perfectionist like me! But honestly let people help, everything they create and have an influence in becomes even more special and sentimental because of that very fact. I think I would also advise anyone that when planning a wedding, not to sweat the small stuff! I was so, so worried about the smaller details during the planning phase. I’d have nightmares and wake up in the middle of the night thinking about name settings, favours and how many more pillar candles I needed to buy. Everyone around me kept on telling me not to worry and to ‘enjoy’ the planning, but I just couldn’t relax. Looking back, all of the worry was for nothing. I know you can’t help it when you’re in that moment but I promise you, on the day, no matter how much a perfectionist you are or how important you think it is to stick to timings with a minute’s precision - you will not worry, and it will not matter. All of it fades away and all that you focus on it spending time with your new husband, enjoying the day with those you love the most and soaking up memories that will last forever.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Venue: Barmbyfields Barns | Bride: Ellis Bridals | Boutique: Bride & Co | Hair: Austen Charles | Make Up: Hannah Atter | Rings: Smooch Rings | Groom & Groomsmen: Next | Bridesmaids: ASOS | Flowers: Number 27 Floral Design | Food: Annika's Apron | Videography: Libby Blunt | Band: The Hypertones

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