Sloe Gin, chunky knits and gorgeous jewel colours have made this Autumn wedding at Curradine Barns an absolute delight to put together for you this morning. Couple that with delicious blooms and an abundance of special moments captured by Jo Hastings Photography and you’ll be booking marking this rustic barn wedding to indulge in again, and again.
Bride Lauren’s Sottero & Midgely Emsley gown is pure heaven, and just to keep off the October chill she has teamed it with a fabulous faux fur stole. Adding to this weddings charm and warmth even further are hundreds of fairy and candle lights, so get your pinning fingers ready and prepare to be wowed.
Lauren the Bride: My favourite time of year is Autumn because of the amazing colours outside and the overwhelming need to hibernate that begins at that time of year. So when we settled on the wedding being in October we really wanted the venue and day to reflect that. The rustic wood and brick work at Curradine Barns fit perfectly with that the natural and autumnal feel we wanted for the day so from there it developed quite organically. By selecting a venue that was beautiful in it’s own right, it took the pressure off decorating as we knew it would still work even if we did nothing to it. Because of this, our styling was then just a case of adding our own personal touches to make it feel like ‘us’ rather than a necessity to pretty anything up.
Choosing a photographer was one of the critical decisions that took such a long time searching the depths of the internet for someone who could ‘capture the magic’ in the way we wanted. With terrible memories like ours we needed someone who would see the day in just the right way and be able to capture that perfectly so we could relive it for years to come. Jo did this so so perfectly, she made a few subtle yet brilliant suggestions in a very unassuming way that turned out wonderfully and thanks to her ability behind a lens we have a collection of images that tell the story exactly how we remember it.
Colour Scheme & Decor
When it came to the styling we chose the font and colour scheme early on and these helped keep us on track with the planning. Rather than selecting a specific colour scheme we went for a general ‘autumnal colours’ which made it much easier to mix and match when it came to flowers, groomsmen’s attire and the bridesmaids dresses, I always prefer an eclectic mix that works well rather than just one colour which I think can feel a bit restricting. Deep purples, reds and greens work beautifully together and feel very natural at that time of year so it helped give a sense of seasonal occasion.
When it came to the styling, every time we made a decision we tried to pair it down rather than getting carried away with small bits and pieces, we chose a few key features and decorations then just went all in with those. (Something I learned through my work, I find the most effective impacts come from keeping the overall theme simple and then go big or go home!)
We focused on lighting with fairy lights and candles everywhere and aside from the flowers, the only other decorations we had were pumpkins and gourdes; perfect for the time of year. The wedding was 2 days before Halloween so rather than ignore that we tried to encapsulate it in our own way – aiming for a more sophisticated décor over comical horror! – as part of this, we used pumpkins for the table plan, carving table numbers into them (in our font) and making little flags of peoples names – this was also incredibly helpful on the day when inevitably some people couldn’t make it, we were easily able to swap the names around with minimal stress and effort.
Although it seems small, the font also helped us stay on track because it really set the tone, we wanted it to be quite chic and elegant but then injected our own personalities where possible (for instance the invites were quite traditional but at the bottom we wanted to add a more personal and fun touch so finished them with the line “tasty dinner and terrible dancing to follow”) The font was then used throughout for both the stationery and décor (ie place cards, tableplan + numbers.) After those 2 decisions were made, anything else we contemplated was considered along side them and if it didn’t fit with the colours and style then it was out.
The flowers were just what I’d hoped for, Helen our florist did an amazing job. The criteria was for natural (underlined, in bold and italics) loose, vaired and different – nothing ‘cutesy’ or old fashioned just a mix of colours, sizes and textures. The button holes were all different (and totally stunning) and the center pieces for the tables were just simple wreaths of eucalyptus, rubus and olive branches with a selection of candles in the centre (and wine bottles sprayed gold, and filled with sand to stick the table numbers in). Flowers were also used in the bridesmaids hair and on the cake which really unified the theme. We didn’t spend a fortune on them as we were quite selective where we put them and didn’t bother with any decorative bouquets, other than 2 garlands – one on the table during the ceremony and the other over the welcome sign.
As well as the wreaths, the tables were also dresses with water coloured postcards (olive for the men and aubergine for the woman) a sprig of rosemary on each setting and the favours were individual bottles (in different sizes – and slightly Harry Potter-ish, which was the aim) of sloe and damson vodka and gin made by my mum (Alison) – I’d designed labels for them for them using the font and artwork I’d purchased for the invites.
When it came to the groomsmen’s clothes, we wanted something a bit ‘countryside’ without going over the top, Alex found a beautiful blue suit and tweed waistcoat then the groomsmen wore aubergine ties and pocket squares while he had a burgundy one. They all wore brown shoes and part of their gift were some socks (in the colour’s of their football teams! I let that one slide)
The bridesmaids (Gemma, Leanne, Jayne and Hannah) chose their own dresses from the same range so that they’d all work together but the girls could feel like themselves. I’d always wanted the 2 different colours so asked which they’d prefer and it worked out perfectly with 2 wanting Charcoal and the other 2 aubergine so that’s what we went for. We struggled to find shrugs that suited everyone so in the end just went for simple wraps that could be worn in different ways to suit– I have a bit of a strong disliking for those funny knots at the end so Leanne’s mum (Annette) ran a line of stitching above them, cut them off and frayed the ends slightly which was so much nicer to my eyes! With so much to think about I didn’t want to obsess over all the small details so said any neutral shoes would do and a gold coloured bag would be nice! Of course they all obliged and looked gorgeous (and hopefully stayed warm enough!)
I got my dress from The Bridal Boutique in Worcester who really helped me figure out what I want, they gave me so much of their time and expertise when it came to selecting the veil and accessories. On the day I really did feel wonderful, which helped when it came to the first dance as I surprised Alex by changing the first 30 seconds of it to ‘Isn’t she lovely’ whilst I did a lap of honor in hysterics.
We added subtle hints throughout the day that made it unique to us, small things like my knitted blankets on sofas for the guests to use, the socks in the guys football colours and the bottles and wax seal on the invites both feeling very Harry Potter (I’m a total fan-girl). Not to mention the inclusion of so many of my small businesses friends, from the marshmallow toasting kits in the evening (The Naked Marshmallow Co), the bridesmaid gift (by Chambers and Beau) and the guest book (by Love Give Ink) These small touches may not even have been noticeable to the guests but to us they made it personal and that’s something we cherish when looking back at the photos.
Overall the day went beautifully and of course the most important thing was that we were there together, surrounded by people we love with the biggest smiles on our faces. Along with our friends and family we had worked tirelessly in the build up to make sure it would be everything we wanted, of course on the day some things go a bit off track but that’s to be expected, we were just thrilled that we’d done everything in our power to set up the day we wanted from the cheesecake to the carved pumpkins. It was completely worth the effort and any mishaps simply added to the character of our day.
We owe huge thanks to our parents, Steve, Di, Adrian and Alison for all of their help and support throughout the preparations and on the day, our bridesmaids and groomsmen, our helpful guests (particularly Sandy and Tisa who flew over from Canada and stayed with us the week before so were lumbered with all the naff jobs!) and of course all of the suppliers who helped us to style and run the day exactly how we’d imagined.