Ahh, aren’t Rachel & Tom the sweetest couple. I love their take on a rustic country wedding. Loads of wild flowers, wood slides and DIY, and taking pride of place in The Great Barn Rolvenden in Kent the giant LOVE letters, making all the wedding speech portraits captured by Joanna Brown Photography extra special.
Of course a boho wedding wouldn’t be complete without a bridal flower crown and a spot of lace, which bride Rachel decided to incorporate into her bespoke bridal separates. Such a great way to ensure you include all the things you like about each outfit you try into one, plus it’s totally unique to you.
So, are you ready to feel all fuzzy inside, then we’ll being…
Rachel the Bride: I wasn’t a typical bride and I had no idea what dress I wanted, although I knew that I didn’t want a traditional style. I trawled the internet and visited loads of wedding dress shops in London and Kent with my long suffering mum, bridesmaids and mother in law before finally getting some inspiration. I found a real love for French designers, particularly Rime Arodaky who stood out for her quirky, cool designs. I visited one of the only stockists in the country; The Mews Bridal in Notting Hill and realised that I loved different elements of a couple of styles. Fortunately, for me my mother in law is a seamstress extraordinaire who completely understood my vision and created a dress more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. The dress was separates; the skirt had a raised hem, amazing box pleats and the coolest pockets!! The top was a beautiful delicate lace with long sleeves and intricate buttons running down the back. The fabric came from Broadwick Silks in Soho and unbelievably it was chosen in 15 minutes which for someone as indecisive as me is pretty incredible. My shoes were from Rachel Simpson and were a gift from my lovely mum. My makeup and hair were by the exceptionally talented ladies at Portraits Bridal; Nadia and Zara, who did an amazing job and were such a calming influence on the morning.
My gorgeous husband also wanted something slightly quirky and he wore an incredible slim fitting Paul Smith teal suit, Paul Smith shirt and a Paul Smith sky blue silk banana print tie. His tie pin and shoes (Bertie broques) were also Paul Smith. He looked so bloody handsome.
Our wedding rings were designed and made by Tom’s genius cousin Matt Martin – we are completely blown away by how beautiful and personal they are. Toms is a chunky silver band with a profile of a skateboard wheel (Skateboarding is his passion), polished sides and a matted top and mine is a stunning platinum band shaped perfectly to my engagement ring and set with a black diamond.
We are both originally from Kent but live in London and we had initially thought about having a London wedding but then we came across The Great Barn in Rolvenden. As soon as we walked in the barn we loved it; it’s a beautiful rustic barn in the Kent countryside with stunning views an orchard and lots of character. It’s a dry hire venue and they literally give you the keys several days before and you can do pretty much do what you like as long as you leave it how you found it. We really wanted a relaxed, fun day celebrating with all those we love and we saw it as a perfect opportunity to put our stamp on it and create something very personal to us.
We are so unbelievably lucky to have the most amazing and creative people amongst our families and friends and we really couldn’t have done it without them.
A Special special thanks to both our parents who spent so many hours helping us with DIY projects and practically lived at the barn with us setting everything up the two days before.
Colour Scheme and Décor
We went for a rustic theme to match the barn. We hired our lighting from a local company, Light it Up and we had a big rustic LOVE sign which we had at one end of the barn and festoon lighting which was hung throughout barn, outside and a waterfall effect of lighting in the ceremony area. For the tables we had wooden centre pieces, topped with glass jars filled with wild flowers, wooden table stand names made by my talented dad and place names made with alphabet stamps on rustic luggage tags which were then tied to napkins with dried lavender. My mum lovingly homemade our shortbread favours and the cardboard cones for the confetti. We had signs dotted around made by my Dad and Tom and our order of the day was printed onto calico by our usher Stu Smith who owns the skateboarding company Lovenskate. We tried to fill the barn with as many personal touches as we could and we really couldn’t have done it without all our family and friends.
The amazing Charlotte Molesworth who happens to be Tom’s dad’s cousin filled the barn with the most beautiful wild flower display we have ever seen. We had Massive steel rings which were covered with green hops and fairy lights and then hung from the barn ceiling. The flowers were wild and rustic and handpicked from local growing fields. Our main centrepiece was all handpicked from Charlotte’s garden. The bridesmaids bouquets were all Myrtle and my bouquet and flower headpiece were wild flowers made by Charlotte. A massive thank you to Emma who helped so much with all the flowers!
The Wedding Party Fashion
I didn’t want my bridesmaids in matching dresses and let them choose what they wanted to match their individual styles. My only preference was that the dresses were neutral colours. They are all absolute stunners and looked incredible on the day – my heart could have burst when I saw them all together. My beautiful flower girl Matilda wore a Monsoon dress and our twin nephew Page boys wore super cool matching Next trousers and waistcoats with pumps.
The best men wore Grey suits from Topman to contrast with Tom’s suit and we had no specific dress code for the ushers but we got them all light blue ties to match with Toms and they all looked awesome.
We absolutely loved planning our ceremony and it was our favourite part of the day. We chose “Guava Jelly” by Johnny Nash for the processional and “Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson for the recessional. My best friend Stu played acoustic guitar and sang for us during the signing of the register, which was magical. I had to avoid eye contact for fear of balling happy tears! We had my best friend and chief bridesmaid Sally reading the “Lovely other dinosaur” by Edward Monkton and we changed some of the words to make it more personal to us. Toms mum read the “Owl and the Pussycat”, which she delivered perfectly and my brother read “Love me when I’m old” by Bee Rowlinson, which was beautiful and completely sums us up. The registrar even commented on what a heartfelt, funny ceremony it was.
My mum and dad hired the most awesome 1966 VW split screen camper as a surprise to take the bridal party to the venue and after the ceremony Tom and I were whisked away for a drive around the local area and a bottle of prosecco! It was the best thing to be able to spend that time together as husband and wife and really soak up the atmosphere of the ceremony. I would highly recommend.
Stu played more acoustic guitar after the ceremony in the orchard during drinks and canapés. Our good friend Kev AKA DJ Chet played tunes throughout the day and wrapped up the evening after the band. “Teenage Men” were our wedding band; they are a 10 piece band, from the south east and London. The front man and the double bass player are very close friends of Tom’s mum’s and the band had everyone up and dancing all night to Rhythm n Blues and Rockabilly.
The venue had an 11:30pm end time and we knew our friends and us included would not be ready to stop the party then so we booked a huge manor house; Kench Hill in the next village to carry on the celebrations. 50 friends joined us for one hell of an after party! A massive thank you to Jamie for supplying the decks, speakers, smoke machine and lasers! Also all our friends that played sets, baby Haff, Dan, Ade and Jamie.
We really wanted a relaxed feel and for guests to eat what they liked so a BBQ was ideal. My mum found a wonderful family run catering company in Deal, Kent called Baytree. The BBQ included; steak with stilton, lamb kebabs, chicken breast in BBQ sauce and Halloumi. This was accompanied by a selection of salads, potatoes and breads. We also had a selection of three deserts and an evening buffet. Yum!
Our wedding cake was made by Tom’s super talented aunty Elaine. It was three tiers and included Tom’s absolute favourite sticky toffee pudding on the bottom, chocolate fudge cake in the middle and lemon and blueberry drizzle on the top. This was all decorated with chocolate tubes around each layer and wild flowers. Wow!
We had a free bar and supplied all the alcohol. Tom and his mum did the booze run to Calais and my folks kept an eye out for supermarket deals and organized the spirits and mixers.
For our photographer we were lucky to have been recommended the super talented Joanna Brown, who was a pleasure to work with and share our special day with. Having looked at her website of other wedding’s she had photographed, we loved her indie and natural style and knew she would fit in with our day perfectly which she absolutely did!