I can’t even begin to tell you how in LOVE with this wedding I am. Largely because it’s in my neck of the woods and secondly because it features SO many talented suppliers including the lovely Natalie Hewitt Wedding & Event Planner who executed this industrial barn wedding to perfection.
She helped bride and groom Natalie & Jack inject their much desired glamour and sophistication into the natural setting of their venue, with an epic suspended wedding cake by Couture Cakes (whose gorgeous wedding we featured on these very pages too) and an immense floral installation by Jay Archer. There was also a seriously cool chill out area with vintage sofas and chandeliers, and I just love the wooden door seating plan. All of which I have a feeling will be pinned within an inch of their lives, so be warned.
Jeni Smith Photography not only captured all the decor and details for us to pore over and pin, she also, captured all the magic between this wonderful couple. Have you seen those teary eye wedding ceremeony moments yet? And as far as fashion goes, ALL the heart eyes for the brides Naomi Neoh gown and bridesmaids blush pink Coast separates.
Natalie Hewitt Wedding & Event Planner: When a bride and groom give you their design brief as “Rock My Wedding worthy” you know you are going to have fun designing and planning their wedding.
Natalie and Jack approached me in the new year feeling a little stressed about how their planning was going. They hired me on the spot and handed me all of their planning documents straight way, being really keen to get started. They were pretty much half way through but told me they wanted to go back to the drawing board, re-design the theme, book any suppliers I felt were a better fit, fix any problems and treat them as if I was working with them from the beginning.
Over the eight months of planning, I took Natalie to a wedding fare, I went to her final dress fitting and we have become really good friends. We’re still text each other now!
They had the most wonderful day and I am so pleased they found me. I am truly honoured they booked me and whole heartedly dove into the planning with me. I loved that I was able to design their dream wedding – sometimes knowing what Natalie wanted even before she did! I set the venue up for her and wouldn’t let her see it until the day which was such a lovely surprise. We had a suspended cake, chandeliers in a rustic barn with vintage sofas, a selfie stick photo booth, a cool seating plan and so many amazing moments, such as a surprise song written by Jack and sung to Natalie during his speech!
Natalie the Bride : I have a rather large bust so usually really struggle to find flattering clothes but Naomi Neoh (a Goddess of dress designers) created a couture gown of silk chiffon with a French lace jacket for me and I felt amazing! She just knew what was going to work for me and all the tricks to create the perfect style. One of my bridesmaids works at a wedding dress shop too, so she so kindly hand made my veil, another special touch, which I wore with a flower crown.
The lace jacket was detachable so I took it off in the evening for a second look and paired it with a pretty belt from Bridal Adornments; losing the jacket made it so much easier to dance the night away!
Shoes are also really important to me too (says every girl!) and mine were very special. My father bought them for me as an engagement gift. They were gold Jimmy Choos; very comfortable and classic so I’ll be able to wear them again.
Having a signature scent for our wedding was also important. We wanted to both wear complementing scents that were different to anything we had worn before, so the smell would bring back memories of our special day. We decided on Penhaligons and the bottles were pretty cool as well!
I wanted my makeup to compliment the colour scheme so opted for burgundy nails and lips; a daring colour for a bridal look but I wanted to have an edgy look. I was worried about maintaining a dark lip colour all day, but believe it or not I only re-applied my lipstick twice! I used a matte Lancôme lipstick I would highly recommend it!
Jack wore a navy suit from Hackett which was custom fit and a bespoke shirt which had my initials embroidered into the sleeve – a sweet touch! His shoes were a pair of dark tan Monkstrap shoes from Churches. And his polka dot burgundy tie and a blush pocket square brought in the colour scheme. As a wedding present for Jack, I bought him a pair of gold cufflinks with his family crest on.
The church was a no brainer; Jack and I had many dates cycling around Rutland Water on a tandem, so when we found out you could get married in Normanton Church there we knew instantly that that was the place. It’s the only remaining building from the construction of the reservoir built in the 70’s when a few villages were demolished and flooded. It’s such a stunning building just sitting on the water’s edge. We love the fact that in years to come we will still be able to visit our wedding location.
When it came to our reception venue, I knew I wanted a barn, but I didn’t want a country cottage theme! Kingsthorpe Lodge Barn was perfect. It provided a slightly more industrial look with pealing limewash paint on the walls, exposed brickwork, corrugated steal and gorgeous wooden beams. Being a dry hire venue meant it was a blank canvas which was great as it gave us huge flexibility and didn’t restrict us to using certain suppliers, but the thought of planning our wedding was daunting, especially whilst living in London. We decided to bring in a wedding planner and after Natalie Hewitt was recommended to us, we hired her on the spot! She was amazing; she brought our vision to life and handled the difficulty of dry hire venue planning for us, ensuring we didn’t forget anything.
Colour Scheme,Décor & Flowers
Blush, burgundy and gold! I like country cottage / shabby chic but I have been to quite a few weddings with this styling and I wanted my wedding to be totally different. I had the unfortunate experience of hiring a novice wedding planner in the beginning trying to save money and this was the direction she steered me. Unfortunately, a number of errors came to light and we decided to walk away but the thought of planning our wedding on our own was too stressful. I met Natalie Hewitt in January who is a member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners and she instantly envisioned the style I had in my head and ran with it. Natalie redesigned our whole concept, creating some great design boards, working closely with our suppliers to ensure our vision came to life and her expertise in her field meant that she knew what was going to look good and what wasn’t. She encouraged us to have a few epic pieces of styling to create a wow factor and use the rustic backdrop of the barn to create a chic industrial vibe. Natalie actually insisted she set the venue up for us, meaning our wedding party and us could relax the day before the wedding. When she unveiled the barn with all the candles lit, it was amazing!
We had a cool lounge area and hung two chandeliers up in the bar and above the sofas to create some glamorous lighting in our rustic barn! We thought the juxtaposition between plush velvet sofas and crystal chandeliers inside an old working barn looked amazing.
Our cake was probably the main styling show piece (along with our top table hanging floral installation). Katie is a true master at her craft. As soon as we met her, she suggested a handing cake. We had seen her own wedding cake on her Instagram page and loved it so we decided to spend a little more on our cake and make it a feature. It really was the talk of the wedding and tasted amazing. Our favourite tier was the prosecco and peach!
Flowers were another key styling element and when we decided to move away from jam jars and bunting, Natalie Hewitt recommended the Queen of florists, Jay Archer. The flowers were something we didn’t want to compromise on and even Jack wanted them to be beautiful and dramatic. I wanted English garden flowers arranged in a loose and natural way, with blush and burgundy as my main colour palette. Jay created a stunning hanging piece that was suspended from the beams above the top table which was just incredible. In real life it looked jaw dropping and smelt so fragrant. It then doubled up as a backdrop of the band to perform under. As our top table was such a feature (and our guest tables were narrow) we opted for simple sprigs of greenery on the tables with endless amounts of candles! We also used the bridesmaid’s bouquets for additional styling and put them in vases on the bar, coffee table and gift table, which made use of them after the ceremony and brought little touches of colour around the barn. Jay also created a garland which we nailed to the wall and strung some gold acrylic lettering to create a backdrop of our selfie stick photo booth. It looks great against the lime wash walls. This was one of my favourite parts of the décor and Natalie pulled it all together in a way I would of never have been able to create on my own.
The Wedding Party Fashion
The bridesmaid outfits were from Coast. I find bridesmaid dresses can be similar so I wanted something different. My initial idea was a skirt and a cream camisole, but when I saw the lace tops with v backs which were similar to my dress I knew they would be perfect. They all wore gold shoes and all had similar hair styles – I wanted them too all look similar but with a hint of their own personalities.
We bravely decided to put the groomsmen in a different colour suit to jack, burgundy… they were from Next and boy are we glad we did that. They looked incredible and really pulled the colour scheme of the day together, they wore a dark blush tie from Topman and a floral navy pocket square from River Island.
We didn’t want a standard short civil ceremony. Music is very important to us so we decided to have musical ‘hymns’. Being a civil ceremony, we couldn’t have any religious content so we chose to have our guests sing “can’t help falling in love with you” by Elvis and “I can’t take my eyes of you” by Andy Williams.
We wrote our own vows which proved to be a hit making a registrar with over 40 years experience cry! (I hope with happiness and not boredom). My maid of honour Anna sang two songs during the singing of the register.
We put a playlist together for background music during our drinks reception and dinner and in the evening, we had a band that was in the style of Munford and Sons who were incredible! The dancefloor was never empty! I suppose my husband will also be classed as day entertainment; as a surprise during his speech he wrote and performed a song called “Natalie”. Our best man’s speech took the form of a poem which was so heartfelt. Our first dance was “the girl” which Jack and I had pre-recorded in a studio and my dad and I had a Father – Daughter dance which my bridesmaid Anna and her dad sung.
We also filled our wedding with selfie sticks and had a cool backdrop for people to take photos.
Our caterers served canapes on arrival which looks great. Jack and I wanted simple, good tasting non- fussy food, so we served hog roast for our wedding breakfast but we wanted it to be table service rather than a buffet. For dessert we had Eton Mess as this is a favourite ours. In the evening we put on a cheese and pate spread and served our wedding cake.
Jeni was recommended to us by a friend, so we took a look at her website and knew she was the one for us. We’re not into posed photos and prefer natural shots that tell a story and that’s Jenis style to a tea. Her passion for film and photography shone through and that was important for us to know that she really really cared about her art.
We found Blue Ridge on the internet and loved their style instantly. It’s all about the story and the way in which they capture the day. When I contacted them from the get go they were always so accommodating, took time to liaise with me and were personal; these are qualities that we really admired in them. And they really captured our fun style perfectly in their highlights trailer.
Advice for other brides getting married
We both live and work in London, I am a paediatric intensive care nurse so work long unsociable hours, and Jack in the city. We were very close at the beginning of the year of having a wedding day with many issue and a lot of stress leading up to the day and unrealistic expectations of what our suppliers had been booked to do; we thank all of our lucky stars that we found Natalie Hewitt and that she was able to pull these issues apart and fix them in a way we never thought possible. Any advice we would give brides getting married is to really think about having an experienced planner. They can save you endless stress, so so much time and Natalie Hewitt was a magician managing our budget continuously throughout our planning. Natalie created the most beautifully styled, perfectly planned and incredibly executed wedding for us. We didn’t have a single worry after we hired Natalie and we really had the best day of our lives, it was truly perfect.