Wedding entertainment doesn't get more fun than the singing waiters. Sadly I've never experienced them in real life, but they clearly bring all the feel-good-vibes and totally liven up the atmosphere. Not that Gabby and James needed much help with seasoned travellers and creatives, they pulled off the most gorgeous wedding day at Cripps Barn, that looked as good to guests as it felt. We have a RMW dream team combo of Ed Godden and WE ARE // THE CLARKES capturing this wedding, both have been long term sponsors of RMW and both have been featured many times by us before. We love them all and you can see their talents in this beautiful wedding...

The Course Of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

Gabby & James: Our story officially (and rather classily) began at a Hungry Horse pub, after a few messages back and forth on a dating website. Turns out the ‘universe’ was attempting to make this meeting happen much earlier and our paths had crossed multiple times without us realising it...even down to staying at the same hostel in Cairns, Australia on the same night when travelling back in 2011. We made it in the end! I remember phoning my friend the next morning and saying “I genuinely don’t see any way or reason why he won’t be the one.” After 4 fairly stressful years later where James supported me endlessly through my mum’s battle with cancer that she sadly lost in January 2016 - he took me to Paris, planned a secret treasure hunt all around the city and proposed at our favourite spot. I nearly ruined this whole plan by declaring we absolutely must march in Paris’ gay pride just half an hour before the planned proposal time - whoops.

Charlie Brear Bride

Unlike many brides, I really didn’t enjoy the wedding dress shopping experience. Not one little bit. I just didn’t feel like me in any of the dresses I tried on. I knew I didn’t want anything too fussy, so when I saw myself in the first ever dress I tried at Ellie Sanderson - a beautifully simple, flowing Charlie Brear gown with spaghetti straps - I liked it... I just wasn’t sure it was special enough for what was set to be the biggest day of my life. Cut to 3 months later (and only 10 days before leaving the UK on a 3 month European roadtrip, that we were to return from only 6 weeks before the wedding) the pressure really was on and I was getting a bit panicked. I made the spur of the moment decision to return to see Ellie at Ellie Sanderson and low and behold, she helped me find my just so happened to be the first one I tried on. Ellie, being the expert she is, deciphered from just my body language that I was uncomfortable with my arms out. She whipped out a lace overtop and told me her in house seamstress, the very talented Claire, could make a bespoke top out of my own choice of lace...and the decision was made! I still never had that tearful moment you see in films, but I loved the dress and more importantly felt comfortable and like ‘me’ in it. A beautiful veil with a delicate lace trim finished the look and added that real bridal touch. I kept my jewellery really understated. Ever since I lost my mum, I have been wearing a simple silver bangle that I gave her for her birthday a fair few years ago. I wore that and some simple earrings leant to me by my step mum.

The Groom

James used to have a menswear, wedding suit hire business...and due to this knew that a traditional suit was absolutely not what he was after. After a quick google search, he found the amazing Vintage Suit Hire Company in Bedford who tailored a beautiful made to measure blue tweed 3 piece suit. To break up the tweed and keep it less formal he found a gorgeous pair of dark blue smart Hugo Boss jeans and wore a faint blue polka dot shirt. His tie was navy with pink flowers and was bought online from Mrs Bowtie (such an amazing variety!) and his belt and shoes were brown leather from Ted Baker. He also wore his granddads’ pocket watch.

Cripps Barn Wedding

We found Cripps Barn online and loved it immediately. We arranged a viewing the next Saturday and confirmed that very same day. Nestled in a gorgeous secluded spot in the Cotswolds, Cripps had everything. A stunning barn for an indoor ceremony, a beautiful outdoor glade to get married if the weather was on our side, friendly staff, a perfect garden and food to die for. It was perfect.

Industrial Luxe Theme

The theme ended up being rustic with industrial, hexagonal touches, greenery, white, hints of copper and loads of polaroid photographs... not really sure you can call this a ‘theme’ but we think it worked :) Working in design, I was really keen to create as much of the stationery and decorative elements for our day as I could. This included our invitation suite, menus, quiz cards for the reception and signage for the venue. I was in my absolute element doing this and loved every moment.... since then I’ve left my 9-5 job and set up my own business, Rock&Ink offering invitations and other design & styling elements to other couples.

The Flowers

We met the amazing Beth of Go Wild Flowers on our first visit to Cripps, teetering at the top of a ladder with her head buried in the most amazing floral display. She was wonderful and we knew she’d create something gorgeous for our wedding day. We wanted a day that felt relaxed and natural, so felt that lots of unstructured greenery and white flowers would set the right tone. We asked Beth if she could create greenery runners that would hang above the tables (not really knowing how this would work or look) and when I walked into the dining room on the wedding day, I was blown away by how perfectly she’d complimented the venue. What with those and the massive greenery hoops in the ceremony room, Beth’s creations were the icing on the cake of an already perfect venue. We also wanted to reference our joint infatuation with gin, so flowers in gin bottles made for the obvious centre piece choice.

The Wedding Car

The wedding car was a complete surprise from my lovely dad. I had zero idea what to expect. As a nod to the fact that James and I are insane and have decided to drive a Tuk Tuk down the length of India for charity this year, he’d hired a gorgeous Indian Ambassadors car with the most incredibly colourful interior driven by the lovely Suzie of Kushi Cars. Suzie even drove the little car down a tiny country lane so my dad and I could have a moment (and a glass of bubbles) before arriving at Cripps.

The Ceremony & Wedding Readings

We wrote our own vows and had two readings read by friends...“Yes I’ll Marry You My Dear" by Pam Ayres (because James is OCD and I am definitely not) and the other was an extract from one of our favourite films, ‘Meet Joe Black’.... which sounds like it might be morbid, but was actually quite lovely!

The Entertainment - Singing Waiters

Our dream from the beginning of the wedding planning process was that everyone would have fun all day. We had a walkabout acoustic band, The Roamin’ Emperor’s pop out at the end of the ceremony and play us back down the aisle with ‘The Bare Necessities’ from the Jungle Book. They were fantastic and everyone was dancing and singing along. I’ll never forget hearing all of our guests singalong to ‘Angels’ while we were all the way down the drive having photos taken. After the meal my dad pulled another surprise out of the bag. The amazingly attentive and friendly Russian waiters who had been a hit with the guests all day, appeared with an acoustic guitar and arms full of roses as they proceeded to sing hilarious Russian versions of classic songs to my step mum, mother in law, the best man and James and I. They were absolutely fantastic and everyone’s faces were a picture. In the evening we had a band, The Salvation who were really great and had some fantastic sax and guitar solos. Everyone was dancing late into the night having the best time. Such a special memory!

The Food

The food at Cripps is an absolute knock out. If you like to eat, you won’t be disappointed. The hardest decision we had to make in the planning (dress stress excluded) was how on earth to choose between all of the culinary delights on offer. In the end we went for Italian style sharing charcuterie boards to start (such a lovely way to set a relaxed tone and get guests all talking to each other), BBQ’d whole lamb, dauphinoise potatoes and green beans for main and creme brûlée for dessert. They say that brides never eat on their wedding day...I can tell you I demolished every last bit (and went back for seconds)!

The Cake

We found Trudy at Jelly Cake on Cripps’ website as well. After an afternoon of chatting and cake tasting, we knew Trudy was the one to make our cake visions a reality. We outlined what we were after and my goodness did she deliver! A 3 tier hexagonal cake, with our invite design hand painted on the bottom tier. Not only that, the flavours were a talking point all day...sticky toffee pudding, chocolate orange and GIN AND TONIC. I could have eaten it forever.

The Photography & Film

From the beginning we were adamant that the photographs and videos of our day would be THE most important element to get right. After all, other than the rings, each other and the memories of the CRAZILY fastest day of your life, they are what you have forever to look back on. We umm’d and ahh’d over photographers for ages, that was until we found Ed Godden on Rock My Wedding! We skyped, got on like a house on fire and immediately loved his style. The way he captured our wedding was so true to the day, natural and just magic. He was so so awesome to have around, we were over the moon with our choice and will cherish our photographs forever. We love making videos of our adventures so knew from the beginning that we needed our wedding captured on film. When we found WE ARE // THE CLARKES (Anna and Simon), we immediately fell in love with their cinematic, natural style and the beautiful way they capture and put together all of the moments of a day. Having our day captured on film is SO special. If you’re on the fence about forking out for videographers, just do it! And if you’re on the look out, you can’t do better than WE ARE // THE CLARKES, it was such a pleasure having them as part of our day.


Everything about your wedding day will fly by. The lead up, the planning time, the day before, the day itself and even the months after...just try to enjoy every moment of it and don’t sweat the small stuff too much. Everyone says it, but really do be sure to take a few moments out with your other half at different moments to look back at all of the people you love having fun in the same room together, celebrating with you. It’s so so special!
{Watch The Film}
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Film: WE ARE // THE CLARKES | Bride: Charlie Brear | Boutique: Ellie Sanderson | Groom: The Vintage Suit Hire Co. | Floral Design: Go Wild Flowers | Venue: Cripps Barn | Decor & Styling: Rock & Ink | Cake: Jelly Cake | Entertainment: Roamin' Emperors | The Singing Waiters | Transport: Kushi Cars | Terrariums & Table Runners: The White Emporium | Hair & Make Up: Lips & Locks
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