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A Colourful Rickety Barn Wedding.

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We have a huge explosion of colour and fun for you lovelies this morning. From the turquoise blue Bridesmaids gowns, to the knitted flower corsage favours…

From the marguerite daisy trees lining the aisle of the church tied with bright pink ribbon, to the vibrant paisley bunting adorning the marquee…gosh even Groom Jamie’s socks are snazzy!

The table plan too is a colourful delight and also really original – junior school style name tags pinned next to swatches of material to represent each table. Simple but very effective.

And if any of you fancy bringing a pop of colour to your wedding, the décor is available to hire from Bride Rachel.

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This One Was Just Right

Rachel The Bride: We’d looked at other barns to hold the reception but this was by far the most beautiful. Nicknamed ‘Rickety Barn’ it certainly lived up to that! It was just the right size for the amount of guests, and had a huge marquee attached to it, perfect for the long rows of tables we knew we wanted. There was also a stunning garden in front of the incredible family home, which (weather permitting) was just right for welcome drinks.

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Like Old Friends

I found my make-up artist and hair stylist online and was so happy with my choice. Lucy was a local girl and made me feel totally comfortable. In fact on the day it felt like her and her assistant were old friends! She gave me the most amazing eyelash extensions that lasted well into my honeymoon and everyone’s hair looked incredible as well, dotted with tiny pink flowers.

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A Lacy Creation

My dress was by Benjamin Roberts and was from Annie Laurie Bridal. After I explained I didn’t want a strapless dress they suggested creating a bolero top to wear over the top. I went for several fittings and they were so patient and kind, even offering me dinner at one point!

In the end we used the same lace from the dress to make a boat neck top with beading around the neckline and buttons down the back to echo the fastenings on the dress. The final touch was a hot pink sash, also made by Annie Laurie’s very talented seamstress.

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Glittering Accessories

My earrings were a wedding present from my fiancé who had found them in an antique shop and had them altered so they were the perfect drop length. As they were a surprise, my Mum had struggled to find a bracelet to match but at the last minute, a very good friend of the family kindly donated a stunning bracelet that she had been given for her 21st birthday.

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The Triangles

My three bridesmaids were my best friends from university, otherwise known as ‘The Triangles.’ I decided on a turquoise blue dress for them from Coast and I’m glad I did, they looked all looked beautiful.

We had four ushers and Jamie’s brother Robbie was best man, all in blue suits with pink shirts. The amazing bow ties and pocket squares were all designed and made by the Groom’s Mother and added a totally unique touch to their outfits. My Groom Jamie went for a pink polka dot bow-tie and looked very handsome in his bespoke suit from Cad & the Dandy, embroidered inside with our wedding date.

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Like Sitting In A Field

I knew I wanted the tables at my reception to seem like we were sitting in a field, as this is what I would have had, if the weather could have been guaranteed! I used astroturf as runners and collected hundreds of jam jars to fill with random assortments of my favourite flowers.

We also ran fairy lights along all the tables that when lit up created such a magical room. We were lucky that the best man’s girlfriend Jess is a fantastic stylist and had a lot of amazing props we could borrow, including a giant heart and loads of paper lanterns.

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Floral Amazement

My flowers were out of this world, even if I do say so myself! I’m a florist by trade so I knew exactly what I wanted. I called in help from an old colleague, Rebecca at Evitavonni, and she created the most beautiful bouquets and corsages I have ever seen. We used roses, dahlias, cornflowers, delphiniums, asparagus fern, the list goes on…

The aisle at the church was lined with marguerite daisy trees with ribbons tied round the stems and the ladies at the church agreed they hadn’t ever seen it look so pretty!

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An Idyllic Church

The ceremony was held at St Hugh’s Catholic Church at Buckden, which is the village where Jamie and I met, and his family church. It is set in the most beautiful grounds including an ancient knot garden, orchard and its own lake. We had beautiful readings from family members, including Jamie’s sister Rosie. Straight after the ceremony we all headed into the knot garden for champagne and photographs.

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Loud Guests

A retro double decker bus took everyone to the reception, which was great fun with everyone having a sing-song. In fact the playlist Jamie and I had created was not heard at all, that’s how loud our guests were!

Welcome drinks were ready for us in the garden when we arrived but sadly the weather turned and we moved inside the barn where we put some music on and everyone mingled and posed with 1920’s style photobooth props, kindly sourced by the Grooms family. One of the highlights of the evening was our band – The Afterparty – such a great mix of old and new songs, which kept us dancing all night.

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Cocktail Hour And A Moroccan Feast

The food had a Moroccan feel: spit roast lamb with spices, served with loads of colourful salads and roast vegetables, flat breads and dips. We served wine on the tables complete with our own wine labels and Jamie also created delicious cocktails that were served during ‘cocktail hour.’

We decided to have cheese instead of a traditional cake, kindly supplied by a family friend. The decoration on the ‘cake’ featured real flowers that my Mother-in-Law had spent hours along with friends covering in sugar so they would keep their colour. The topper was made entirely out of felt by my very talented friend Kate. The cake really was a work of art and received many compliments, not least while it was being wolfed down later that evening!

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Bright And Colourful

Our fabulous invitations were designed by the Groom’s brother Richard. He loved doing them and has even started to take on commissions from other couples now!

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I handmade meters of bunting and sourced loads of old doilies from various locations and dyed them all bright colours (all now available for hire). I used these as placemats and on top we placed the favours, which were tiny bottles of Jamie’s favourite cocktail, a Negroni, for the men and crocheted or knitted flower corsages for the women. Our table plan was made using scraps of fabric from the metres and metres of bunting I had made, and I was thrilled with the overall look.

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Get Everyone Involved

My advice to other brides would be to get everyone you love involved in your wedding. We were short on time so it helped us to delegate jobs but it also brought everyone much closer and to be honest the few days leading up to the wedding, when we had access to the venues to set up were some of the happiest of my life. It meant our relatives and friends spent a lot of time together getting to know each other and I’m very lucky now to be part of two awesome families!

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Bride’s Gown – Benjamin Roberts at Annie Laurie Bridal
Make up – Lucy Ridley
Bridesmaid’s Gowns – Coast
Stationery – Richard Watters
Decorations – Bunting, jam jars and vintage placemats can be hired from Rachel The Bride
Caterers – Big Day Catering
Venue – Bass Mead Manor Barns
Cheese Cake – Price’s Cheese Shops 07508806816
Groom’s Suit – Cad And The Dandy
Band – The Afterparty
Flowers – Rachel The Bride and Evitavonni
Wine – Smiling Grape
Videography – John Young (Bride’s Brother)
Photography – Richard Skins

How much fun does the reception look?

All weddings should end with sweaty guests on the dance floor.

I’m off to paint my nails pink.

Lots of love,
Fern x

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Layers Of Lace.

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Emily and Adé put some serious effort into organising their wedding.

They travelled to France to collect the bubbly, they flew to Vietnam to have outfits custom made for the wedding party, they both changed into traditional Nigerian dress during the reception. Adé even wrote a poem for their ceremony.

They pulled off an absolutely gorgeous wedding and clearly had loads of fun along the planning journey. And their efforts were sooo worth it, as their guests had loads of fun at the wedding too!

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Enough Rooms For The Wedding Party

Emily The Bride: We chose the local church in the village Emily grew up for the ceremony. The reception was held at Rectory Farm as it was absolutely stunning and had a relaxed feel. We loved that they gave us the freedom to add our own touches and decorate the venue before the wedding. We also loved that the venue had enough bedrooms to accommodate our wedding party who were coming from London.

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Surreal Skies

I used an Estee Lauder palette called Surreal Skies to create the natural, shimmery look I wanted. We used our usual scents; mine “Coco Mademoiselle” and Adé “Allure Sport” both by Chanel.

I had natural pink Shellac nails that lasted all through the honeymoon too! We used a local freelance hairdresser who created a look that was natural and not too neat. My bridesmaids chose their own hairstyles that suited them best.

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Layers Of Lace

I found my dress in a bridal boutique called Fleur de Lys, in a small town close to Cambridge. My dress was by Benjamin Roberts. I utterly loved the classic style of the dress and thought the different layered lace was so beautiful. I purchased a really pretty embellished belt that I had sewn on so it looked part of the dress.

For the evening we changed into traditional Nigerian clothes. I chose the fabric with Adé’s mum and sister, and then we commissioned a local seamstress to make it in the style I had chosen.

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Something Borrowed

I wore my sister’s absolutely amazing veil. It was full length, with a thick lace edge. My earrings were from Whistles.

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Truly Bespoke Wedding Party

Adé and I went to Vietnam in October, and spent 3 days in a small seamstress town called Hoi An. We had 3 piece suits, and shirts made for the best men and ushers and made the bridesmaid dresses in the style of a Tibi dress that I already owned. We had everyone’s name and the wedding date sewn into the clothes. We spent around 5 hours choosing fabrics and bartering on price!

The ties and handkerchiefs were made in a similar colour to the bridesmaid dresses. I collected vintage beaded clutch bags as gifts for my bridesmaids. Each design represented their style perfectly and I loved that none of them were exactly the same. Adé and I both picked out some quite quirky multi-coloured socks for the groomsmen and it was a lot of fun deciding who was going to wear which style.

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Shades Of The Prettiest Pink

I’ve always loved peonies so this was the basis of our colour theme. I had seen lots of pictures of peonies in blue Mason jars and wanted to incorporate this somewhere. I ended up painting my own jam jars with blue glass paint and Adé’s aunties and uncles followed the blue colour for their outfits and head ties. Blush pinks were used for the flowers with flashes of raspberry colours. We looked for the palest pink lanterns we could find and teamed these with various white sized lanterns for the marquee.

My bridesmaids helped to put up of the lanterns and we found these great interlocking fairly lights that we attached the lanterns to. My mum made lace bunting for the long walkway leading up to the marque, which really lent itself to the romantic vibe. One of my bridesmaids did an incredible job of making all of the hessian table runners, which worked brilliantly with the flowers.

Lots of friends and family collected jam jars and I found some vintage pharmacy bottles, which were wrapped in lace and used for tea-lights and flowers. We used an old whiskey box that we owned as our card box, and I spray-painted the wooden letters in front of box in gold paint.

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Peony Perfection

I found lots of my inspiration for flowers from Pinterest. Elizabeth from Mulberry Flowers completely understood what I wanted and created beautiful floral displays. Peonies were the basis of the flowers. My bouquet was a slight cascade of peonies, hydrangas, delphinium pips and raspberry lisianthus.

The bridesmaids had a gathered bouquet of blush pink peonies in different shades. For the table decorations I hired mercury glass vases from RVH prop hire. We used a collection of vases in different heights. They were filled with peonies, bells of Ireland, roses, delphinium pips and lisianthus with each one looking slightly different.

Mulberry Flowers also supplied us with gypsophilia which Emily’s mum and some friends tied with lace onto the pew ends. She also created two large floral displays in the church, using green foliage from a friend’s garden, pink peonies and ivory lily’s.

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Music And Poetry Filled Ceremony

A retired priest and a family friend married us, which was really lovely. We walked down the aisle to Amy Winehouse, To Know Him Is To Love Him. The lyrics and tone of the song were very overwhelming for both of us! We had three worship songs in the church, How Great Thou Art by Carl G. Boberg and R.J. Hughes, One Thing (Love Never Fails) by Brian Johnson and Everything by Tim Hughes that Emily’s brother-in-law led acoustically. We had two readings, the bible passage Ephesians 5:25-31 read by Adé’s brother and a poem that Adé had written called Together read by one of Adé’s ushers.

We could see flashes of their socks as they walked up to the pulpit! When we were signing the register Emily’s brother-in –law Steve sang a version of Elvis Presley, Love Me Tender and Emeli Sande, Next To Me. Steve sounded absolutely incredible in the church and really made it feel like a celebration! We danced out of the church to My Baby Just Cares For Me by Nina Simone. After some mingling and photos we drove off in a 1968 Porsche Speedser 356, which is one of Adés favourite ever cars.

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Intimate And Fun

During the drinks reception we hired Juma Steel Band They really helped in setting the fun, relaxed feel of the day and fitted in perfectly with the glorious sunshine we had! Our first dance was You and Me by Penny & The Quarters. We love the lyrics and soul tone of this song.

Adé took the lead for our first dance; it was intimate and fun, and felt like no one else was in the room! Our friend Cooks DJ’ed in the evening and played some great classics; he literally had everyone dancing all night.

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Du Vin

Adé and I went to France to pick up the champagne, prosecco and wine we used for the wedding. The Cambridge Dining Company provided the delicious food on the day. Our canapés were duck parcels, cucumber cups and mozzarella roulades which were accompanied with fresh lemonade and free flow prosecco and raspberries.

The Cambridge Dining Company supplied us with a gorgeous BBQ that included a selection of meats and fresh salads. We had champagne for the toasts and we chose someone from each table to serve it. Just before the speeches Adé asked everyone to look under their chair for an apron and then put it on. They then followed him to the bar to collect the champagne and posed for a few photos. It was so amazing to see our friends and family enjoying themselves so much and really getting into the spirit of the day!

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Chin Chin

We had a sweet table that included some Nigerian biscuits, Chin Chin which we both absolutely love! We used vintage whiskey decanters on the sweet table that were filled with flowers. Our favours were painted chopsticks that we had bought from Vietnam. When tied with Kraft tags they also acted as place names, which Emily had stamped with ‘To have and to hold’.

We also supplied flip-flops as ‘A treat for your dancing feet!’ and provided the ladies with a collection of cosmetics in the bathroom. We had different coloured sunglasses that were used ‘To protect everyone from our love!’ which were great on such a sunny day.

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Classic And Elegant

We had commissioned a family member of a friend in Singapore to design the wedding stationery. She completely understood the look we wanted and created something really classic and elegant. Emily collected vintage glass candlesticks that we used to hold up the table numbers with a cork and a paperclip. We used a wooden clotheshorse for our table chart, with the names written on different kraft tags. The kraft tags and bakers twine was bought from Etsy. We used blackboard paint and chalkboard pens to write messages on old frames.

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Incredible Light

Helen and Camilla were unbelievable on the day and during the build-up. They were wonderful at making everyone feel at ease and it really came through in the photographs, as they are just so natural. They were really unobtrusive but still captured all the intimate moments.

The light in the photographs is really incredible. We honestly don’t think the photographs could better capture the day, when we first viewed them we felt like we had lived it all over again.

Enjoy every second of the day, have fun and relax! Take your time walking down the aisle so you can take in that incredible moment!

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Bride’s Gown – Benjamin Roberts at Fleur de Lys
Earrings – Whistles
Bridesmaid’s Gowns – Made in Vietnam based on a design by Tibi
Florist – Elizabeth at Mulberry Flowers
Vases – RVH Prop Hire
Caterers – The Cambridge Dining Company
Band – Juma Steel Band
Venue – Rectory Farm House
Photography – Millie & Belle

See – how happy does everyone look??

The table plan is v original too – and easy to recreate for not too many pennies.

You know how much we all love a swing at a wedding too!

Lots of love,
Fern x

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