Capturing all this dreaminess was best friend Summer Lily Studio whose wedding we also featured, and the lovely Roost Film Co.. Both have a dreamy style that will instantly transport you to this wedding wonderland.
Bride Lauren looks an absolute vision in her bardot, lace and tulle Wtoo by Watters gown, as do her bridesmaids in grey skirts & white cami separates, and together with their pastel bouquets is reminding me Spring is just around the corner.
Lauren the Bride: I must admit, finding the perfect dress was a bit of a struggle for me. As a wedding photographer myself, I had seen many styles over the years and I wanted something I hadn’t seen before. I had gathered a few favourites on Pinterest and wanted to go for something a bit more floaty and whimsical than a normal wedding dress style. I went to a few dress shops but nowhere I found seemed to cater to my style, that was until I visited Sam at Heritage Bridal. As soon as I walked into her stunning bridal loft tucked in the eaves of a historic barn, I knew immediately this would be where I would find the one. As soon as I spoke to Sam I knew she just totally got my style. She had countless boho gowns for me to try, and she was so patient, friendly and thorough in making me feel happy and my concerns heard. After trying a few on, I found my gorgeous Wtoo by Watters Heaton gown. We decided to add a Tiadora belt as a finishing touch and I was ready to go!
For my shoes I had seen a gorgeous pair of Betsey Johnson rose gold glitter heels online, and I had fallen head over heels in love. I had to have them, even if they were only sold in the USA! I had them shipped over, taking a gamble on size, and when they arrived they were perfect. I wore them all day, all the way until first dance and I hope to get plenty more wear out of them in future.
I first met Becky from Love From Becky when we both attended a bridal styled shoot back in November 2015. She had made a veil for the shoot which had two combs at the back and draped beautifully in the centre. I was immediately in love and, low and behold, I commissioned the exact same veil for my wedding day. I am still so in love with how it looked – it complemented my dress choice perfectly. Please tell me it’s ok to wear a veil around in everyday life as I am so desperate to wear it again!
Dan was adamant that, as he wasn’t allowed to see my wedding dress, I wasn’t allowed to see his groom attire! So, begrudgingly, I allowed him to go it alone and choose his own clothing and accessories without me vetting them, which was quite difficult for me!
He chose pretty much all of his outfit from ASOS, completing the look with shoes from Ted Baker, and pocket square and bowtie from Mrs Bowtie. I also bought him a thin, silver strap Hugo Boss watch as a wedding gift, which thankfully complimented his look!
Having worked a lot of venues local to us in the Home Counties, we wanted to select somewhere a bit different for our wedding day. With the idea that guests would probably stay over close to the venue anyway, we decided to look further afield. We have friends who live in the Cotswolds so decided to book a few viewings local to them. The final venue we saw was Cripps Barn, and fell for it almost immediately. We loved the feel of the whole place – the stone walls, the candles scattered throughout the venue, the outdoor ceremony spot, the fire pits and the fairy lights! As we were leaving the viewing, we shared a look and I knew we would book it within the week. Communication with the venue was mainly done online and all our details were in one place on their amazing online booking system. Any queries we had were answered almost immediately and it was easy to keep track of where we were.
Colour Scheme and Décor
We didn’t have a particular colour scheme as much as a base colour of a bluey grey with marble and metallic hints, and lots and lots of greenery! We knew we wanted flowers and foliage as a focal point of our day so kept everything else fairly minimal. We hired the wonderful Gemma from The White Emporium as our stylist for the day, as I had worked with her many times before, and knew she would completely understand our style. I don’t know what we would have done without her as she single-handedly styled the whole venue inside and out on the morning of our wedding – she is a Wonder Woman! We also hired a few for-hire prop items from her, which she beautifully and thoughtfully scattered around the venue. She also made the gorgeous hand-painted pennant which hung just outside of our ceremony structure.
For our placenames, we chose to create marble tiles with our guests’ names added in gold calligraphy, so that our friends and family could not only see where they were sat but also take them away as favours. It wasn’t until we found hexagonal grey marble tiles that we thought that they would look amazing with our gold geo shapes. We bought the tiles from a local tile shop on the backing, and hand soaked them all off one by one. Once they were ready for the calligraphy to be added, we sent them off to Hannah from Hannah Hannah London who a friend recommended to us. She turned them around so quickly and her delicate calligraphy in gold ink looked so fab! They went down a storm on the wedding day with our guests snapping photos of them and taking them home to display.
Our giant light-up letters were hired from Aisle Hire It, a local company to the Cotswolds. We loved the impact they had, and they really dressed up our dance floor in the evening!
There were a fair few items that we couldn’t just buy or hire for our day, so I knew I was going to have to DIY them! Luckily I love crafts and I had a few ideas up my sleeve of how to achieve the finishing touches we wanted. We created the hanging table plan and wreath from wooden sports hoops, attaching faux greenery and white blooms with cleverly concealed flower wire. I also created the wooden signage scattered about the venue, all from big sheets of balsa wood which we wood stained and hand-painted. The frames for our table names were a favourite of mine as they were so super easy to do – I just had to trace the words through the glass. Our table names doubled up as both unique colours and Pokémon cities (as Dan and I are huge gaming nerds!)
Jodie from Acacia Floristry was the gal we chose to create our gorgeous wedding flowers. I knew from the start that I wanted lots of greenery, wild-look bouquets and flower crowns. Relaying these ideas to her, Jodie immediately understood my style and I just knew she would be the one for our day. She created the most wonderful bouquet I could ever imagine, all from one inspiration pic and a single conversation! My vision was of a large, wild looking bouquet in gorgeous pastel tones of pink, yellow, blue and greenery, and she delivered that and then some! I never imagined there to be so many peonies in my bouquet and scattered around the venue, I was in heaven! We had greenery and florals scattered around most of the venue, including the trestle tables, cake table, welcome sign and in terrariums that hung at intervals down the aisle! The flower crowns that she made for myself and my bridesmaids were perfect, I literally kept mine on all day and only took it off when I went to bed!
The Wedding Party Fashion
Bridesmaids gowns were one of the things I really struggled to find. Nothing on the market was anything like what I imagined, and I started thinking about buying them a top and skirt instead of a dress. I wanted the florals in the bouquets and crowns to be the main focus, so wanted the look to be complimentary but ultimately a minimalistic base for the gorgeous flowers. After a lot of searching, I decided upon blue-grey tulle maxi skirts and white camisole tops. I soon realised that I couldn’t actually buy these anywhere, and contacted Love from Becky on a whim and asked her if it were possible for her to make me four bridesmaid skirts. Luckily for me she agreed! The tops were bought from Oasis and they were the perfect, light, simple style that I wanted to complete the look.
Similarly to Dan’s groom attire, he also wouldn’t let me know any details of the groomsmen’s outfits either! Unbeknownst to me, he had chosen an almost identical shade of grey trousers to the bridesmaids’ skirts. The wedding party ended up being so on point, and the best thing is that it wasn’t even planned! Their outfits were again all chosen from ASOS and their bowties were from Mrs Bowtie.
Taking into account the unpredictable English weather, we were never sure whether we would get the outdoor wedding we had hoped for. But, after a dodgy-looking Thursday, on Friday we woke to bright sunshine which meant we could have our ceremony out in the summer house in the glade. We asked one of Dan’s close friends, Ben, to play for us during the ceremony, and it was truly magical to walk down the aisle to live acoustic guitar. We had two readings during the ceremony, my cousin read the wonderful “XVII” by Pablo Neruda and my sister’s fiancé, Jonny, read “He’s Not Perfect” by Bob Marley. He performed the reading with such amazing vigour and emotion that it made us feel so connected with the words and sentiment.
We were very lucky and the weather was beautiful for our day, so most of our guests were able to chill outdoors in the sunshine, drinking and eating canapés. We laid out some garden games on the lawn for our more competitive guests to play, which went down a storm, especially with the boys.
We hired The Jets as our band and musical entertainment for the evening, and I can confidently say that they were one of the best wedding bands I have ever heard! They even played our first dance song live which was “No One’s Gonna Love You” by Band of Horses and it sounded incredible. My guests kept coming up to me during the evening telling me that they were the best band ever, and the dance floor was never, ever empty. In between their two sets they also played a DJ set with requests, which meant that the party never stopped.
During the evening festivities we also hired an amazing Photobooth called Booth19 which was more of an open air Photo Booth than an actual booth. We set it up inside the barn and used my photographer’s flower wall as a backdrop for the photos. It was hilarious and kept all the guests entertained!
As the night drew in, the venue’s outdoor fire pits were lit. When the guests weren’t on the dance floor we found them cosied up around the fire pits with a blanket and a marshmallow on a stick.
We went to a tasting evening and a couple of open days after the original viewing and realised that the food at our venue was going to be amazing! The meat was all cooked on a huge outdoor barbecue and you could choose the accompaniments. It was all laid out informally on platters on the trestle tables for guests to help themselves to and we absolutely loved this idea. For our canapés, we chose to have halloumi (a personal favourite of ours!), honey cocktail sausages and bruschetta. For the main we chose the spit roast chicken with sides of dauphinoise potatoes and an avocado, tomato and burrata salad, which felt so summery and tasted out of this world. Dessert was lemon tart with an indulgent cream on the side.
We were glad we didn’t opt for starters as we also had a huge cake and dessert table. This was created by Claire from Cake Daydreams. She was fab from day one, even having us over to taste some of her dessert items ahead of time. For our wedding cake, we chose a fondant covered two tier with grey marble effect and gold leaf. Our florist added some flowers, and the stylist added our “Best Day Ever” topper to finish the look. Claire also made macarons, brownie cake pops and white chocolate covered oreos, all of which received the gold leaf treatment. My mum made a fruit cake which was sliced up and displayed with the other items, as she was adamant that no wedding is complete without one. All the dessert items were so good that many of our guests sampled them before Dan and I had a chance to – definitely a sign of good cake!
In the evening, we had hog roast rolls which everyone said were very tasty. I kept seeing guests wandering around with at least two in their hands at once!
The number one question I was asked in the lead up to the wedding was “Who are you having as your wedding photographer?” but the answer for us could only go one way. My friend and fabulous photographer Terri from Summer Lily Studio, who’s wedding I also captured in 2016, we knew would do the best job photographing our day.
It felt so amazing to have one of my best friends capturing our day, and we seriously could not have asked for anyone more. It was so comfortable and easy, and we never felt nervous or silly posing for her. If there was something she thought would look good, we were up for it, and if she suggested the schedule to fit in those golden sunset shots, it just had to happen! She knew each and every shot we wanted and fulfilled them perfectly.
There was also no question who we would choose as our videographer. Tegan from Roost Film Co. also captured Terri’s wedding day so I got a chance to work with her prior to ours. We absolutely loved her light, bright, slow motion film style, which as a bonus complimented Terri’s photography style. We felt totally at ease having Tegan film our day. Lots our friends and family said to us afterwards that they didn’t even know we had a videographer as she blended into the day perfectly. I absolutely love the films she produced for us. Dan and I watch them often and find ourselves shedding a tear.
One of my favourite moments of the day was when Terri and Tegan took us out into the corn fields behind our venue for our wedding party shots. I remember just standing there with the sun on our backs, chatting and laughing with some of our favourite people in the world, also being captured by my favourite people in the industry. It was perfect.