Stow-on-the-Wold that is…
Suzie and Kurt tied the knot at Hyde Barn back in the Summer. Suzie describes it as the most amazing day in the history of the world. Ever!! And with a dream dress one off creation by Jessica Charleston, a Swedish designer headpiece… Louboutins AND more flowers and cakes than you can shake a shabby chic stick at, I am inclined to agree…
Suzie The Bride: After getting engaged in July 2012 (on our one year anniversary…so sweet), we travelled to the Cotswolds for a mini-break celebration weekend. I know the area well, after spending my student days at Cheltenham University. We stumbled upon the recently opened Hyde Barn venue on line previously and decided to have a peek whilst in the area. I immediately fell in love with its rustic countryside charm mixed with vintage details, such as grand sparkly chandeliers hanging from the beams. Exactly one year later, we were married in that very spot! We chose this venue because it embodied everything we were looking for- country location, laidback atmosphere, delish food and drink. It was very much a blank canvas and we could decorate the venue as we wanted, making the occasion a lot more personal. The Vintage Country Fair theme was then born!
Vintage Country Fair
Given the relaxed vibe that we wanted to create, I was eager for my dress to reflect this. I knew that I didn’t want anything too traditional and structured, but also wanted to embody the vintage country theme as well. I don’t like to make things easy!! After A LOT of searching, I found my dream dress at Carina Baverstock Couture in Bradford on Avon. It was exactly what I was looking for, with a beautiful mix of fabrics and textures that fitted perfectly with our theme and I loved the focus of detail being on the back of the dress. It was simple yet elegant. After being measured to within an inch of my life, the dress was made from scratch by the designer Jessica Charleston. I was super impressed to find that on my first dress fitting, I didn’t need a single alteration. It fitted like a glove!
I also wore a vintage style headpiece by Swedish designer Jennie Baltzer, which I found at the same shop as my dress. It was handmade in Copenhagen and contained beautiful beaded flowers that would be worn across my forehead. I knew that I wanted to wear my hair up in order to showcase the back of the dress and felt that this headpiece would work perfectly.
Originally, I had planned to wear coloured shoes with my dress, but after trying on some beauts Jimmy Choos I realised that they detracted too much from the simplicity of the dress. So I went with some simple peep toe Louboutins from Browns Bride that matched the colour of my dress exactly. They also acted as my ‘something blue’, given the gorgeous soft sky coloured insoles. I danced all night in them and they were super comfy.
A Fresh Dewy Glow
My hairstyle had to be appropriate for the dress. I was looking for something natural and with texture, which was beautifully created by my hairstylist – Tabitha James-Kraan . She also did my makeup, which was a truly relaxing experience leading up to the ceremony. Tabitha uses mainly organic products and kept my makeup really natural. She gave my skin a fresh dewy glow and used neutral tones on the eye, with a pop of pink on the lips.
Bunting, Lace & Doilies
Flowers were a really important aspect of the planning for me, as I feel that they can really transform a venue. The vintage country fair theme was reflected through decorative items such as vintage milk churns, homemade bunting, vintage lace doilies and linens, cut glass vases, a vintage bike and suitcase, giant balloons and enamel jugs. I spent A LOT of time on ebay over the last year!! The flowers were created by Lucy Walker and she immediately shared my vision of how I wanted the flowers to look. We used a variety of gypsophila, stocks, roses, astilbe and hydrangeas, with wild grasses also used in the larger arrangements. The pastel colours, mix of textures and rustic nature of the arrangements fitted the theme perfectly. Lucy also made gorgeous floral hearts that we hung with linen and lace for the ceremony. The bridesmaids had simple white gypsophila bouquets and my bouquet was tied with long strips of the same lace as that used on my dress. The button holes were kept simple and rustic with gypsophila and roses wrapped with twine.
French Greys & Neutral Woods
The colour theme was decided during our first visit to the venue. The interior of the barn uses French greys and neutral woods as a base and I knew that I wanted to compliment this with a muted colour scheme. We decided on a mix of blush pink, pale grey and white. I didn’t want anything too formal or ‘bridesmaidy’ for my maids and above all I wanted them to feel comfortable. We found their blush coloured dresses in Ted Baker and they were a perfect mix of lace and chiffon with a relaxed vintage edge. The groomsmen all wore matching suits and brogues that we bought from Next, and spotty linen ties from Reiss. They tied in with the tonal grey aspect of the colour scheme and used a light tweed material that worked well with the country style of the wedding.
The groom’s suit matched the rest of the groomsmen, and he looked very dapper. I would never have guessed that an hour before the ceremony he’d been in a dentist’s chair having his front tooth glued back on after breaking it trying to cut a piece of ribbon!! This caused much hilarity during the speeches (the first I knew of the ‘incident’) and it was all captured by our photographer.
We could not have asked for a better photographer – Sam Gibson. He was brilliant throughout the whole day, capturing the true emotions and story of the day whilst being completely invisible. His documentary style photography drew us to Sam’s work and we loved the fact that the most memorable moments were captured in such a natural way. Sam spotted aspects of the venue that have provided the most stunning pictures, which we would never have even noticed ourselves!
Cake Table Time
I heart cake!! We therefore HAD to have a cake table with a selection of scrummy delights, which also fitted with the country fair aspect of the wedding. We used a range of vintage cake stands and linens to create the table, which contained a pastel coloured macaroon tower (tres divine!), good old fondant fancies, welsh cakes (had to add a touch of welshiness), lemon drizzle, various cupcakes and a tiered Victoria sponge for the wedding cake. The majority of the cakes were homemade, with the macaroons supplied by Catherine Mason and Cirencester Cupcakes provided the Victoria sponge.
We hired a string trio for the ceremony and drinks reception – Vyne Strings. They were fab and played a range of up to date pop songs, which everyone loved and fitted with the overall concept of the wedding; light hearted and party orientated.
I came down the aisle to Take That – Greatest Day, which helped set the relaxed tone of the day. We decided that we wanted a DJ for the evening part of the wedding, as we both love a good boogie. The dance floor was full for the whole night and there were some great moves on show!
Crazy For You
We chose ‘Crazy For You’ by Let Loose as the track for our first dance. We both love a bit of 90’s cheese and it was the perfect mix of meaningful, upbeat and sing along. We practiced a few moves before the wedding, which made us more relaxed and confident to do the lifts, dips and twirls we wanted to include.
Pump Up The Jam
We wanted something personal and homemade as our wedding favours, so myself and my mum set about creating batches of raspberry and elderflower jam and chilli jam. They worked really well and we had personalised labels printed as well. Some of the guests even opened them to use with their meals on the day! I gave each of my bridesmaids a friendship bracelet by Monica Vinader as a reminder of how much I appreciate them as my best buddies.
Something Kinda Cute
The stationery was really important to us, as it set the tone for the wedding. We found a fabulous stationery designer in Cardiff – Something Kinda Cute. They provided quirky and vintage style invites, menus, name tags and table flags. They also created the wonderful ‘woop woop’ order of the day cards, which were super fun and unique. I made the table plan myself, using a range of mismatched frames and some grey gingham material.
We wanted our wedding to be very personal and we achieved this through making much of the decorative details ourselves and sourcing all of the props personally. I found the vintage bike, milk churns, lace doilies and vintage vases on ebay, in charity shops and at car boot sales. My mum made all of the bows for the chairs and meters of pastel coloured bunting to decorate both inside and outside the venue. We also personalised our guestbook, using photobooth photos as the front cover and we made our own mini confetti bags, with personalised vintage style labels.
The food was also an important aspect for us and we wanted to encourage a relaxed social atmosphere during the reception, so we chose sharing platters using local produce to encourage this. During the evening we had bacon butties and potato wedges in order to provide guests with much needed energy for dancing!
Although the task of organising a wedding can seem daunting, it’s also exceptionally exciting and enjoyable to see all of your hard work come together and form the best day you can imagine. I’ve been told that I can be a bit of a control freak… Ahem… But on the day I just went with the flow, felt totally relaxed and enjoyed the most memorable day of my life.
Venue: Hyde Barn
Dress: Jessica Charleston
Boutique:Carina Baverstock Couture
Headpiece: Jennie Baltzer
Shoes: Christian Louboutin at Browns Bride
Hair and makeup : Tabitha James-Kraan
Photographer: Sam Gibson
Florist: Lucy Walker
Stationery: Something Kinda Cute
Cakes: Catherine Mason and Cirencester Cupcakes
Music: Vyne Strings
DJ: Ben Hall
Good Job Guys! I love all the personal details and the photography? Sam Gibson has turned in another absolute stunner.
If you are swooning over the vintage lace maids then check out the Ted Baker fashion pack page where you can browse the entire Ted Baker collection.