You know when you just love everything detail of something, well that is exactly how I feel about this enchanting fall wedding. Autumn hues are undoubtedly some of our favourite colours, combining the dark and sumptuous with the crisp and vivid making one heady combination. And Sarah and Darren’s vintage wedding at Rivington Hall Barn seems to have an abundance of it.
The Bridesmaids look gorgeous in rich oxblood dresses, with the Groomsmen opting for mis-match cosy tweed, and then there’s the rustic barn…. Styled with an absolutely fabulous and eclectic selection of vintage finds. Tasselled lampshades – Beaut. Tea canister centrepieces – Adorable. And did I hear sloe gin favours – Ooh yes please.
The pièce de résistance has to be Bride Sarah though, who looks truly stunning in an ivory Jenny Packham Eden gown, adorable Juliet cap veil and handmade flower crown. The makeup junkie in me would also like to know the shade of her luscious lipstick please; such a pretty lady.
Sarah The Bride: Pretty much as soon as we got engaged I started searching for dresses. I had a few ideas of what I thought I would like, so thought the best option was to first go to a boutique that offered an array of different styles. I tried a lot of different dresses on, none of which set my world on fire. But in turn, confirmed that my original thoughts were correct. The second boutique I walked into was The White Closet in Didsbury, Manchester. As I walked up to the door with my mum in tow, I looked up at the beautiful window displays; beading, lace, silk. My dress is here, I thought to myself. Every style I picked out seemed to be Jenny Packham. I loved parts of them all until I tried on Eden in Ivory. What stood out the most for me on this dress were the beautifully, delicate cap sleeves covered in scalloped beading. That was it, Eden was the one! The ladies in The White Closet were amazing all the way through from first visiting to final fitting. I’m actually pretty gutted I have no reason to go into the boutique again.
I knew I wanted a veil, a floor length veil. Trawling through the web one day on my lunch, I discovered the Juliet Cap Veil and fell in love. I knew it would work with my Jenny Packham gown perfectly. I bought my veil from Veiled Beauty, an Etsy seller based in California. I made a flower crown to sit on top of the Juliet cap veil as I really wanted to capture a vintage/rustic look. For the evening I changed the veil and flower crown to a set of original art deco hair combs that were shaped like leaves.
I bought my vintage Christian Dior wedding shoes from Vestiaire Collective, I love this website. I could waste hours adding items to my ‘favourites’ list.
The Grooms Fashion
Very early on in the planning, Darren decided he wanted to wear 3 piece tweed and he didn’t want it to match. I took some persuading on the suit not matching, but after he showed me a few images of what he was thinking, I came round to the idea and thought it would tie in with the autumnal theme perfectly. He found a Harris Tweed jacket he loved in Topman, it was an evergreen colour with contrast dogtooth wool on the under collar and elbows. He then found a biscuit tweed waistcoat in New Look and some charcoal wool trousers and a white shirt from ASOS he loved. They all worked really well together.
Darren already had his shoes. His burgundy, tassels loafers. He bought them from a vintage shop in Manchester a year earlier. He’d been looking for a pair for ages and when he found them that day, without anywhere to wear them to, they had to be purchased.
He wore a vintage silk patterned Oscar de la Renta tie we found on Etsy and a personalised pocket watch and Albert T-bar chain also purchased from Etsy. I made Darren and the Groomsmen’s pocket squares out of a vintage paisley scarf with burgundy/green and grey in it. This pulled the colour scheme together perfectly.
I’ve always known I wanted to get married in my local parish church. I’m not particularly religious and neither is Darren, but my parents got married there and also my grandparents, so it meant a lot to me to carry on this tradition.
We had been to a wedding at Rivington Hall Barn before and it was a brilliant day. We loved the barn look and feel, the beams, the fairy lights and the fact that everyone was in one room and couldn’t escape from the dance floor. The grounds also make this venue. And in autumn with all the falling leaves and colour, it didn’t disappoint.
The staff at Rivington Hall Barn were so helpful; nothing was too big a task, even when they were asked to hang dozens of lampshades from the beams or learn how to make bespoke gin wedding day cocktails at the bar. They really did do an amazing job.
We knew we wanted an autumn wedding, so autumnal colours had to be factored into our day. Our favourite colour so happens to be anything in the burgundy, maroon, oxblood family. So picking a key colour was easy for us. The colour scheme came to me one day when I was trawling through Pinterest. I saw an amazing wild bouquet with oxbloods, peaches, soft pinks, creams and lots of foliage. It was autumn but not brash in your face autumn if you know what I mean. I loved it.
I wanted the decor to be relaxed but mixing rustic and vintage. A friend of mine set up a wedding styling business soon after her own wedding. So I knew Emma from Love & Lace was the perfect lady to draft in and help me collect bits and bobs for the venue and put the centre pieces together.
I lot of people were happy to lend me vintage bits to sit alongside the 1930’s singer sewing machine and a gramophone which we already had, and wanted to use as props. My mum lent us her Victorian chest of drawers that was used to hold all the wedding cards. Emma had an amazing vintage typewriter, lots of medicine bottles, crystal, votives, doilies and more. And my Nana’s friend lent us all the vintage tins and tea caddies. I spend the 6 months running up to the wedding collected dozens of vintage tassel lampshades that I wanted the venue to hang from the beams to create a bit of a speak easy vibe.
For a year before the wedding, I was brewing homemade sloe gin for the wedding favours. I bought little bottles and added everyone’s name to the handle so they doubled up as table place tag. Beautiful Ink designed the round sticker labels.
I knew I wanted the wedding flowers to be wild and rustic looking, nothing to tight or fixed.
We used a local florist, Wild Flowers. Kerry at Wild Flowers was brilliant, so, so helpful. She got exactly what we wanted. I loved all the flowers on the day; I was especially made up with the arch which Kerry decorated for us in the church garden. Darren constructed the arch out of chestnut poles; we used rustic crates as the base. She created everything apart from the venue flowers which myself and Emma from Love & Lace put together. It was great fun.
The Wedding Party Fashion
The bridesmaids dresses were from ASOS, I loved the lace, oxblood colour and the midi tea length. The dresses were completed with grey heels and a brooch belt that I made. The girls all had their hair up and I made flower headpieces to slide in the back of their up-do. The flowers in the headpiece matched that in the bridal bouquet. Our flower girl wore a different, lighter coloured dress also from ASOS, silver shoes and a flower crown that I made for her.
The Groomsmen wore matching herringbone trousers and waistcoats in charcoal. Each of them had a slightly different Harris Tweed blazer on, all in shades of grey. They all wore burgundy ties and paisley pocket squares that I made from a vintage silk scarf and black brogues. Our page boy wore a takedown of the groomsmen outfits but with Converse and a bowtie.
Pierre, our French bulldog wore a herringbone coat that I reconstructed and added a burgundy bowtie.
A special moment for me was walking down the aisle with my Dad. Knowing me, how I am in general and how I was on the run up to the wedding, I thought it would be very emotional. But surprisingly I smiled and laughed all the way down the aisle. I was so pleased with myself.
The church choir sang during the ceremony. One of my chief bridesmaid’s brothers Dom did an acoustic set during reception drinks and everyone loved it. All the songs he played were favourites of ours, it went down a treat.
In the evening we had a 9 piece northern soul band called Northern Soul Groove. They were brilliant, the dance floor was packed. They even had us all doing soul train. After the band, we just had a playlist playing all our favourite upbeat song. Myself and Darren didn’t leave the dance floor all night.
For our wedding cake we had a cheese cake tower from Godminster Cheese as neither of us have a sweet tooth. This was great, I loved the burgundy cheddar heart on the top, it tied into the colour scheme perfectly.
As we arrived at Rivington Hall Barn, the staff greeted us with drinks and canapés. The main meal was Hog Roast and in the evening we served a deli board buffet to go with our cheese tower cake. This had breads, pate, meats, olives, sundried tomatoes etc. I was in heaven.
We used photography duo Pete & Laura of Lawson Photography. Their work is amazing; all the shots were natural, very little was staged. They made us feel completely comfortable in front of a camera. We are so happy with the outcome. I didn’t know I could smile so wide.
We wanted to do something a bit different, so we hired cameras from Shoot-It-Yourself. All our friends and family took it in turns to film all the important parts of the day. The cameras were then posted back to be edited to the music of your choice. I can’t wait to see the final edit.
My very close friend and bridesmaid Vanessa (Beautiful Ink) created all our wedding stationery. She is so talented. From save the date and invitations through to the gin cocktail menu and the sloe gin favour labels. She designed it all. This gave such a personal touch to our day. Everyone loved them.
I wanted to surprise Darren with the car. I arranged a red self drive 1967 E Type Jaguar for the day. My Dad drove me to the church in it and Darren drove us all the way to the venue in it. He loved it.