Peonies. Pastels. Pineapples. Oh my. This Gate Street Barn wedding is prettiness personified. As is our blushing bride, Natalie, whose halterneck Maggie Sottero dress – with beautiful beaded detailing, a swishy full skirt and spaghetti straps over the shoulders – completes this stunning spring wedding day. Captured by RMW recommended photographer, Story + Colour, this is a tale replete with love, laughter – and lawn games. There’s nothing like a bride doing the limbo!
Autumn weddings always make me smile. Granted they’re always going to occupy a special place in my heart for selfish reasons but I don’t think anyone can deny that florals at this time of year are sublime!
From Café au lait dahlias, hydrangeas, ranunculus’ and chocolate cosmos’ there’s a plethora to choose from…all of which Sam included in her exquisite bouquet made by her florist sister! I particularly love how the colours have been carried through in groom Simon’s accessories and in the colour of the bridesmaid dresses too.
This beautiful duo married at Gate Street Barn in Bramley under huge chandelier candelabras strewn with foliage garlands and fairy lights galore. It’s utterly dreamy.
Lucy of Lucy Davenport Photography captured all the action.
Helen and Jonny were engaged on Christmas day so it made complete sense for the couple to carry on the festive theme for their wedding. Think twinkling fairy lights and roaring log fires – yes, we thought it was pretty perfect too.
Talking of perfection (and even though it took her the purchase of two other dresses to get there!) Helen’s Suzanne Neville Gracie gown looks as though it was literally made for her, a vision of full-skirted whimsy and swish. And her hair? lovely. I expect to see muchos pinning action of her romantic up-do occurring today.
This elegant winter affair has really got me in the mood for carols, mince pies and holiday cheer – Enjoy folks!
Ahhh how elegant does everyone look at this wedding? It’s so lovely to see Bridesmaids in rich dark purple floor length gowns, the boys in tails and gorgeous Bride Hannah in a structured dress by Jesus Peiro. Just because you’re having a barn wedding, it doesn’t mean that you have to have rustic or bohemian styling, and Gate Street Barn is a fabulous venue for versatility – we’ve featured so many weddings from there, all with their own individual style, and all of them have looked gorgeous!
Hannah & Luke’s big day looks like such a joyful occasion and we love the soft, golden light that seems to flood every image – Karina at Richmond Pictures by Karina Lax has done a fabulous job of capturing every special moment, and there were lots and lots of them! Come and take a look…
This is such a stunning traditional wedding with a rustic twist. Claire looked absolutely beautiful in her classic Naomi Neoh wedding dress and the table plan – oh my! It’s a beaut; We just know you won’t be able to resist pinning it!
We also just love their idea to incorporate the grooms heritage and have a Spanish band play at their wedding, I bet everybody has a soft spot for Spain & has enjoyed a holiday or two there, I know I wouldn’t have been able to resist getting up & having a little jig.
It’s so lovely to read that bride Claire was an avid fan of RMW and found many of her suppliers and inspiration through us, we think her wedding was fabulous & we know her day will inspire you all too.
If you are signed up to the Rock My Wedding newsletter (if you’re not you can sign up here) you will have already seen a sneak peek of this wedding. It’s a serious hug-fest and I love it. And you will too. I promise.
Chloe and Alex married on a glorious July day in 2012 and held their reception at Gate Street Barn after a ceremony at Holy Trinity Church.
Gate Street Barn was the only venue Chloe and Alex visited and they fell in love with it instantly. It’s not hard to see why. There is hop blossom hanging from the ceiling and fields full of French horn cows…all of whom are named after previous couples who have married at the barn. I know, very cool.
There’s just so much love going around at this wedding. Enjoy.
Chloe The Bride: Being only 5″2 I didn’t want anything too meringuesque and wanted something with a vintage style. I managed to secure an appointment at Jenny Packham. The 2012 collection had just arrived, it was there that I tried on the ‘Foxglove’ dress, that was when I knew I had found ‘the one’! With a 1920s style gown with sheer sleeves and sparkling embroidery, it was everything I had envisaged. By coincidence Jenny Packham was paying a store visit that day, and I was lucky enough to have a conversation with her about the dress and my wedding… I may have come across as slightly excitable!
Shoes, make-up, hair
Being a believer that less is more, I didn’t want to go too OTT whilst accessorising. I decided against a veil and settled for a vintage hair grip from a boutique in Farnham and some Jenny Packham earrings, matching the dress perfectly. It took a long time to find the perfect shoes, I wanted some height but didn’t want to be a hobbling bride, I also wanted shoes that looked vintage and matched the dress. Harriet Wilde’s shoes are gorgeous and I chose a 20’s style lace pair. I managed to last well into the night before kicking them off and dancing Joss Stone stylie.
After doing make-up for a few of my friends weddings I was confident enough to do my own, and felt that I didn’t want to look too different on the big day, however panic started to creep in and I decided to get a trial done at the MAC counter in House of Fraser. I wanted a fairly dewey natural look and was really pleased with the outcome. I revisited the counter on my wedding morning to have my make-over done. Being completely indecisive about my hair and having a couple of trials I decided to go with a messy side bun, this was done by Emma from Locks of Love who was brilliant and also did my mum’s hair on the day.
Girl After My Own Heart
Shortly after getting engaged I visited a wedding fair where I came across the lovely Bex, from Blush Florals. Her stall immediately caught my eye with it’s beautiful floral displays and vintage decorations. My mum and I visited Bex shortly after for a consultation and had great fun discussing all the bouquets and decoration. Besides the flowers Bex also provided rustic style bird cages, china wear, glassware for the sweet stall and wicker hearts for the church, this is a girl after my own heart! The flowers we had decided on consisted of peonies, cabbage roses, antique roses, lavender and some greenery. The morning of the wedding, Bex came to drop all the bouquets and button holes round to my parents house and my mother who had kept it together all morning couldn’t help but shed a tear at how gorgeous they were!
What A Hottie
Alex is the middle brother of three so it was only fair that he had two Best Men, he also had four ushers! Not to outdo him I had decided upon six bridesmaid and my three adorable (at times) nieces as the flowergirls. As brilliant as it was to have such a big wedding party it was a slight challenge when in came to dressing everyone! Luckily my sister was on hand and managed to source all three flowergirl dresses from Monsoon, matched with nude ballet shoes and flowers in their hair. The bridesmaid dresses were all from Coast. I had three bridesmaids in a pale sage colour and three in a champagne. We hadn’t been too keen to have a colour scheme and decided to use a lot of pastel colours that would tie in with the rustic, vintagey theme of the day and all the flowers. The bridesmaids teamed their dresses with nude heels and wore their hair down in loose curls with vintage roses in.
The Best Men and Ushers they hired suits from Moss Bross and we bought pastel coloured ties. Alex’s suit was made to measure from A Suit That Fits. He got to custom choose the fabric, linings, button holes etc. His tie was from Reiss and for his wedding gift I got him made some vintage map cufflinks, one with the location we had got engaged and the other of where we were getting married. He looked so handsome on the day, and I still can’t believe I’m married to such a hottie!
Shot By Diana
For our Photographer we chose the fabulous Joanna Brown. After researching many photographers online I couldn’t find one that stuck out to me, we didn’t want the photos to appear too modern or posed and as soon as I came across Jo’s website I instantly knew that we had to have her. Her style is so unique, capturing beautiful angles and details that hold a memory. She also owns a ‘Diana’ vintage camera which take the most beautiful soft focused stills. We booked her up as soon as we had the venue as I knew we wouldn’t find any one as perfect as Jo.
Being a massive cake lover, the cake was something I was happy to take full control of. Not being a fruit cake or marzipan fan, I decided on having the top tier as carrot, the middle as victoria sponge and the bottom as chocolate. I choose my friend Ellie who runs a cake business to make the cake, and she did the most beautiful cake ever, I couldn’t have been happier! So many guests after commented on how delicious it was too! The cake had pearls as decoration and fresh flowers on the top and first tier.
Baby I Love You
Alex is very into music and wanted a band from the start. We asked our friends band Rich Austin and the Maestros, who had also played a couple of our friends weddings. They were great and definitely got everyone on the dancefloor. Our first dance was ‘Baby I love you’, the Ramones version.
Packing A Punch
As a designer I took the decoration part of the wedding to heart. The pheasantry which sat next to the barn was filled with old fashioned glass bottles and jars with flowers. I also rented vintage teacups and scattered (not literally) these around containing marshmallows for the guests. Another feature of the pheasantry was the sweet stall. I bought sweet shop stripy paper bags and all guests could help themselves throughout the day to all our favourite old school sweets and chocolates, which were contained in beautiful old fashioned sweet jars and containers. I managed to find retro style popcorn boxes, which we filled up with popcorn in the evening for all the guests.
The evening also brought with it ‘Palmers Punch’ a lethal cocktail we enjoyed testing throughout the year! After searching for a vintage style glass drink dispenser I finally found one in John Lewis, along with red and white striped paper straws. We also had Jo Malone candles placed around the venue, which made everything smell amazing in the evening.
I spent many hours making up little cream card boxes with tissue paper containing heart chocolates for the girls and football chocolates for the boys, before passing over the task to my parents who made the remainder of them. I bought lots of ribbons for the boxes to be tied and luggage tags which had each guests name on. These doubled up as favours and names places. For the table plan, I found a large circular frame in a charity shop, I took out the centre, sanded, painted and replaced the backing with wallpaper, I found some small heart pegs and pegged a large luggage tag on the plan for each table. For the table names we choose to have each destination we were planning to visit on our American road trip honeymoon. I bought old 6″ vinyl records from ebay and made circular artwork for the centres using old vintage postcards from each destination. The records were displayed in small logs we had cut down and cut slits down the centres. I’m lucky enough to have a very talented graphic designer as one of my best friends…and bridesmaids. Polly created all the artwork for the menu’s, signage and the invites for me and they fitted in with the rustic, quirky vibe that we wanted for the day.
Your Day Your Way
If I could give any advice for future brides, it would be to not stress out about small details of the big day, but try to enjoy everything. Use your family and bridal party to help you out with bits and don’t do everything yourself. Try to make the day special and unique to you and your fiance and don’t get too stuck trying to please everyone else!
See, told you you’d love it!
So much attention to detail was paid to the little things that ensured Chloe and Alex’s guests had a fab day and lots of cute little ideas for you lovely lot to steal!
How gorgeous is the photography too? Check the gallery for more immense field shots of the gorgeous couple. They are to die for.
Also, as if Chloe got to meet actual Jenny Packham! Jealous much!
Yes folks that’s Western as in, ‘Stick ’em up!’ and Yee Ha! Why this couple only gone and made their weddin’ really reflect them as a couple… from the Hoe Down to the Cowboy hats, this one has a true Western theme to represent their time spent in Canada together. And what a foot stomping good time they all had!
The Dress was from All That Glitters in Croydon and by Sottero & Middley. It was totally different to what I imagined to have. I loved the huge Tulle skirt and train. Also the bright white really appealed.
Not being a huge fan of jewellery I wore a simple Swarovski crystal bracelet. In my hair, just a hairband with a cluster of crystal flowers.
I’m not very good on heels so struggled with shoes! For the ceremony and reception I wore silver strappy kitten heels and in the evening white cowboy boots!
I wanted natural hair and makeup and used Hair by Antonia Krieger. Antonia was a nice friendly face in the morning. Very calming and helped with my dress too!
The flowers were by Gill Pike. We wanted a country, ‘just picked’ look and Gill captured that perfectly.
My bouquet was Amnesia Rose and Grey Eucalyptus, while my Bridesmaid had White Roses and Eucalyptus and the Flower Girl had Tanacetum Daisies. The Button holes were Single Amnesia Roses for the men and a single White Rose for the ladies.
Gill is very creative, friendly and caring. She helped pull all the ideas and colours together.
Dressing the Bridal Party
The groomsmen had dark chocolate brown suits, cream waistcoats and taupe cravats, all were hired. Groom wore the same suit as above but with a white cravat. Details were dark brown cowboy boots and steer-skull cufflinks!
My sister chose her dress – Silk and chiffon in taupe colour. Flower girl – dress from high street store in bright white. Colour scheme was taupe and white. The flowers pulled colours together between the 3 of us.
Our Photographer was Guy Collier.
We knew Guy would be fab just by looking at his website. He writes really lovely blogs of all his weddings and was fantastic to have around on the day as we had such a good laugh.
He’s an amazing photographer and captured the day perfectly.
Cake, Canadian style…
We asked our caterer Tandem Caterers to make a stack of Nanaimo bars which are Canadian cakes. We have spent a lot of time in Canada and this was our way of making it personal to us.
A Western Wedding
Our wedding was unique with our western theme – not too much, but small details including the table-plan, line-dancing, cowboy hats for the guests to dance in. Also we chose a Montana Rose Pink Cadillac Coupe de Ville which worked so well in the photos. The barn itself was the perfect backdrop for our theme.
We didn’t give guests favours but made hand-made place names and left a small pack for the kids to keep them entertained.
Gate Street Barn is a beautiful venue with amazing countryside, but is also a blank canvas that you can make whatever you want. We used mainly flowers to decorate, but the barn is amazing as it is. In the evening we had small lanterns here and there. The staff were so organised and the transition from ceremony to reception to dinner to evening was very professional.
A Hoe Down!
We had a guitarist at the champagne reception (John Wallace) who we gave a playlist and he learned them all! We then had line-dancing which was so much fun and got everyone involved and up dancing. We followed that with a DJ who played a playlist we gave him.
Our first dance was to ‘Just Something in the Way She Moves’ – James Taylor. Just a lovely song and a little bit country!
Just smile and have the best day ever! Don’t be nervous and you’ll feel strangely calm on the day!
Seriously – I want one of those hats!
Welcome back for Part 2 of this relaxed country wedding with loads of steal-able ideas including casual florals and lots of fun touches.
Thanks again to Guy Collier for providing all the images.
My husband owns a florist in Wimbledon called Fleurtatious, so our flowers were done by Tam, who works there. We wanted plenty of colour – purples and pinks – and we wanted to have an English country garden feel.
My bouquet had purple calla lilies, Coolwater and aqua pink roses, mauve lisianthus and hydrangea blooms and tree fern and the bridesmaids had white peonies, white & lilac lisianthus, veronica and tree fern.
The table arrangements were made up of scabious, white & lilac larkspur, purple veronica, English stocks, white bouvardia, pink & purple lisianthus, tree fern and ivy. Instead of vases we used gorgeous shabby-chic cream tin watering cans which I found from a garden centre advertising on e-Bay.
A Guiding Photographer
Our photographer was Guy Collier. He is one of the photographers recommended on the Gate Street Barn website. We were very impressed by Guy’s photos on his website, and his personality also came across really well on the website too. He seemed like a relaxed, fun and personable man, so we decided to meet him, after which we had no hesitations to sign him up.
Tom and I are not great posers, so Guy did well to guide us through our photos. During the ceremony he was snapping away (we have the photos to prove it), but we didn’t even notice he was there. We love our photos, and I still look at them every day.
As mentioned, our theme was country garden and games, so our flowers were oozing out of watering cans and they looked great in the barn. We also had gorgeous twiggy hearts decorated with purple scabious and some ivy hanging on the beams against the front wall of the barn which added a romantic touch. For the table plan we used a large cream wire work heart and we used small single cream wire work hearts to hold the table names, both ordered online from Live, Laugh, Love.
We decided against favours, but instead put a few fun things on the tables for our guests to enjoy. We had two table trivia boxes per table and also some silver party blowouts. We thought it would be fun and all our friends love games and making some noise. Tom’s father made the name cards, table names and seating plan for us using Scrabble font which he downloaded from the internet. We used games as our table names – Scrabble, Monopoly, Balderdash etc.
Tom and I call each other “Woolly”, so as a joke we ordered two Wool pens for guests to sign the guest book with. We specifically chose a giraffe as Tom is often teased for having a long neck, and a frog, because Tom says I sometimes pull my face in a way that makes me look like a frog!
Our ceremony was very special as Tom and I had written our own vows, so saying them and hearing them was very emotional. We wanted our wedding day to reflect our personalities 100% and we wanted the day to feel relaxed and fun. To help create this atmosphere we went for bright and happy summery colours and played some Johnny Cash while guests were being seated.
We had the garden games to keep people busy (and so we could have a play!) and for our meal we chose to have a hog roast and a fun fondue style dessert. We were very lucky that the weather was lovely, warm and sunny so we spent a lot of time outdoors, which is what we wanted.
My best friend, Nina, made a “wedding newspaper” for us called “The Marston News”. It was full of funny photos and stories that our friends and family has sent Nina about Tom and I when we were young or about us as a couple.
It caused a number of laughs and was a really nice and personal touch. Our wedding day was by far the happiest and most special day of my life, and I would love to do it all over again! I wouldn’t change a thing about the day – it was perfect.
I Love the way this couple managed to make their wedding fun whilst still pretty and have so many details that really reflect them as a couple – those pens are fab!
Thanks so much to Melissa and Tom for sharing so many inspiring details.
Todays wedding is everything a wedding should be – fun fun fun! The subject of our Sneak Peek this week, the couple in question managed to put a big fat Fun stamp on the day with tons of personal touches that really reflected them as a couple. Now thats what we like to see.
Many thanks to Guy Collier for submitting this to us and providing all of the brilliant images.
Choosing a Venue…
Our wedding was held at Gate Street Barn in the Surrey Hills on 25th June 2010. We chose Gate Street barn not only because it is a stunning venue based in the Surrey Hills where Tom and I have spent many weekends walking, but the barn gives you a blank canvas to work with so we could completely add our own personalities to the venue. The barn also gives you a choice of caterers and they don’t charge corkage if you wish to bring in your own drinks. Gate Street Barn ticked all our boxes.
A Dress that Fits
I tried on dresses in various shops and had some friends with me to help me choose. I found it very confusing with so many opinions so I eventually took myself off on my own and that’s when I found “the one”. I chose a beautiful ivory dress by Essense of Australia, and I bought it from All that Glitters in Wimbledon. Even though the sample dress was way too big for me, as soon as I put it on, I knew it was the one.
I love classic, elegant and simple clothes, which is why I think I was so drawn to my dress. I felt that the style was perfect for my figure and I could dress it up with accessories if I wished to. I was very lucky as the dress was discontinued shortly after I ordered it, so I got one of the last ones. The dress came with a vintage style brooch on the left hip, but I removed the brooch and replaced it with one which was more my style – a cluster of clear crystal daisies from Brooches and Pins.
Dressing your Hair
I decided to keep my look simple and elegant so did not wear a necklace or bracelet. At first I was adamant that I did not want a tiara, but after much internet research looking for hair combs I came across my “Daisy” headband at Starlet Jewellery . In the end I ended up wearing it as a side tiara rather than a headband, but I loved it so much and it worked so well with my hairstyle so I was very happy with my decision. My earrings were made for me by a lady called Paula, who is a friend of my now sister-in-law www.coco-ria.com. I sent her pictures of the tiara and she made me a few samples based on that. I chose very simple round crystal beads, and I’ve worn them on evenings out since the wedding, which is great. She also made earrings for the bridesmaids – violet crystal flowers.
Hair and Make-up Heaven
I got ready for the big day at a hotel in Godalming and didn’t fancy the thought of heading out to a hairdresser so I found a mobile hairdresser who came to the hotel. When I had my hair trial I had no idea what I wanted, other than wanting my hair all up. As Paula (the hairdresser) started experimenting we happened across the “half up with curls over the shoulder” look, and I loved it. I thought it was very glamorous.
I had been for a make-up trial at Lime Tree Beauty Clinic in Godalming, and the beautician also came to the hotel and did my make-up in the room while my hair was in curlers and the girls were getting their hair done. I had 6 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls, so the room was buzzing, but it was great fun. Like having a pyjama party with all my best friends.
Pretty in Purple
For the bridesmaids I went for an After Six dress (style 6531) in African Violet. I ordered it online from House of Brides in the US, but in hindsight I would have gone through All that Glitters. Once all the customs charges were added to the shipping the cost worked out the same and there was some stress about the dresses being completed on time.
Regardless though, the girls all looked stunning and the colour was beautiful. My two flower girls wore dresses from Monsoon.
Weaving a personal touch
The ushers, fathers and page boy all wore their own grey suits, white shirts and black shoes, but the waistcoats and ties were all made by one of the ushers who owns a weaving mill in Lancashire. Tom decided on the colours he wanted for them (lilac ties and ivory waistcoats), found a pattern he liked and sent it all through to Duncan who made them as a special favour.
Tom looked incredibly handsome in his grey suit, which he had made by Palmer on Northcote Road in Clapham. Tom’s tie and waistcoat were also made by Duncan, but Tom’s tie was African Violet, made from the same fabric as the bridesmaid’s dresses, and his waistcoat was lilac.
To jazz the outfit up he wore a tan belt and very cool tan Barker shoes. Very cutely, he wore striped purple socks!
Playing a personal game
Our cake was very special, as Tom’s mother made it for us based on our love of Scrabble. Tom and I are big games fans, as is evident from the theme of our wedding. Patti came up with the idea of making us a Scrabble cake and we think she did a perfect job. The cake was orange sponge and she also made square cupcakes and decorated then as Scrabble squares.
The main cake was a Scrabble board and she had spelt out “Melissa Thomas Together Forever”, which was very special. She also made a personalised cupcake for James, Kayla and Megan – our nephew and nieces and very adorable page boy and flower girls.
To keep our guests entertained we hired a selection of giant outdoor garden games, again tying in with our theme of “country garden and games”. This seemed to go down well with the guests and Tom and I managed to enjoy a few games too.
For the evening we had a DJ. We chose a DJ over a band as Tom and I love to dance and sing along to our favourite songs, and so do all of our friends. We used Chess disco, and they were great, playing all the power ballads I had requested beforehand!
Come back tomorrow for the beautiful garden style flowers, a ton more personal details and fun, fun, fun!