This ‘barnquee’ wedding is a first for us – but we certainly hope not a last, as the marriage of barn and marquee is sheer brilliance. Claire & Andrew look completely at home in the rustic luxe setting – perhaps unsurprising when their love story started just down the road in St Andrews, where they met as students – which comes complete with its own 16th-century castle, boasting 10 bedrooms and 44 acres of land. Foliage and florals dominate the styling, with perfectly placed urns and arches stealing the show, as well as some fabulous botanical wallpaper in the barnquee. Genius. Plus, with the groom in a kilt, the bridesmaids in tonal dresses by Ghost and the bride in Charlie Brear, there is so much pretty lurking in every single corner. Smitten? Just a little.
I have a major soft spot for weddings by the sea so this afternoon’s flower filled affair from the Isle of Wight has me weak at the knees. Jason Mark Harris has just captured endless images of Camilla & Ben in that magical sunset light you only get by the sea and it’s simply beautiful.
Camilla is quite possibly one of our most gorgeous Brides of the year in a deep-v backed Jane Bourvis dress with the most stunning lace overlay and the prettiest pinned up braided hair, she literally radiates elegance through the images. If you love Camilla’s style then you can follow her on Instagram where she shares Bridal looks she loves and as a hair and make up artist herself, you know there’s going to be some seriously good inspiration there…
The flowers in particular are unbelievably dreamy. Carla scoured Pinterest to gather floral inspiration and chose spray roses, lisianthus, amaranthus, gypsophila, wax flowers, asters, dahlias and eucalyptus.
Combined with elegant long white candles, silver candelabras and hanging crystals; the effect is exactly what Carla wanted – romantic and cosy. I’m sure she’ll be inspiring future Brides via Pinterest herself.
There is some serious cute factor in this wedding too, with Carla and Ryan’s two little boys acting as page boys in mini Zara suits. So adorable.
Wedding Research Junkie
Carla The Bride: From the day my husband proposed to me, I brought every single wedding magazine off the shelf. I’ve always wanted to get married but I never imagined what it would be like, so I spent the next two years researching everything wedding!
When I first started looking at venues, I was looking in Dorset where we were living, and also looking in London because there was a chance we was moving back! We then decided to get married in Dorset no matter what, mainly because we grew very close to our priest who was going to marry us, so it would of made the day even more special.
I looked at loads of venues, and I was VERY fussy, something was always wrong, normally the interior design! I eventually found Chewton Glen, we fell in love with the venue, it was beautiful. The wedding coordinator Dahlia Hill there was amazing! She made sure everything was totally in place and nothing was impossible, she wanted to make sure we had the wedding of our dreams, and would go out of her way to help us. I called her the fairy godmother.
I Knew What I Wanted
I knew I wanted my hair to be up so you could see all of my dress, and my make up to be quite natural with just a little bit of colour. I got lots of inspiration from pinterest, blogs & wedding mags.
Next Step New York
I was sooooo excited about finding my dress, I went to a few local Shops in Bournemouth and found lots of lovely dresses, but not “the one”. I fell in love with the designer Enzoani so me and my mother-in-law went to the Enzoani designer day at The Wedding Shop in Essex to try on dresses from the new collection.
I had a list of 13 dresses I wanted to try on and once I got through them all I realised none of them really suited me. While I was trying on the dresses there was a gorgeous Pronovias dress called Dietrich just hanging randomly in the background on a dress rail. My mother-in-law told me to try it on and I was thinking the same thing – because it kept catching my eye.
As soon as I put it on I knew it was “the one”, it had a lovely feather detail on the front and a diamond brooch and beautiful lace! It was perfect. I didn’t have any tears, just pure relief, because I think my next step was New York! I loved telling everyone my dress had feathers on it, but wouldn’t tell anyone where, they always looked a bit worried!
Simple But Stunning Accessories
I bought a gorgeous veil the same time I bought my dress, but three weeks before the wedding I saw a bride on a blog wearing a gorgeous veil called Jackie’O from the shop Mirror Mirror. So I called the shop and brought the veil on impulse and I’m so glad I did, as it was perfect.
My shoes…..I loved my shoes!!! They are called Vita by Jimmy Choo, the heels were 5.7 inches and I didn’t take them off until the wedding was over. They were so comfortable. I didn’t want to wear to much jewellery because my dress had a lot going on with the lace, feathers and diamond brooch, I just wore some lovely diamond pear drop earrings.
A Very Stylish Wedding Party
My older bridesmaids wore gorgeous Ghost dresses calked Gabriella. Originally I bought all of the dresses from the on-line sale in the same colour, but then they called to say they only had two available. So I kept the two I had and then got two in lilac – it actually worked out great.
My two junior bridesmaids wore lovely white skater dresses from Miss Selfridge with matching lace white gloves, my little flower girl wore a lovely white dress bought from Boots.com. My two little boys (page boys) wore Zara. The Groom and Groomsmen had their Navy suits custom made from Moss Bros, and Ryan had our names and wedding date sewed to the inside of his jacket.
Romantic And Cosy
I didn’t really start out with a colour scheme but because the Lake Suite in Chewton Glen was lilac and my bridesmaids dresses ended up being lilac, it sort of ended up being my colour scheme.
The main thing for me was everything tied in – so I wanted the flowers in the reception room to match the décor of the room and I wanted my bridesmaids to compliment each other. I wanted the reception room to feel romantic and cosy, lit by candle light and a few up lighters so it felt more warm and intimate.
My bouquet was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest, it was gorgeous. The flower design consisted of hydrangea, mixed large headed and spray roses, freesia, and dahlia, as well as a hint of foliage with the lush lace handle.
The bridesmaids bouquet was white hydrangeas with a bit of lilac gypsophila. My church decoration had gypsophila tied with white tulle at the pew ends, and at the front of the church we had two large vases with a ball of gypsophila and tea lights around the bottom.
My reception flowers were wrapped around a lovely table candelabra. The flowers used were spray roses, roses, lissianthus, amaranthus as the feature flowers, then filling in around this was gypsophila, wax flowers, asters, dahlias and eucalyptus sprayed gold, and lovely crystals hanging down. My florist was amazing, she was so patient and helped me narrow down my choice, I had a very long Pinterest board for blooms but I was so happy with the choices we made.
A Family Ceremony
We had our rehearsal the day before and I think that was when it finally hit us. Up until then it was all about flowers, dresses, shoes etc, but at that moment the nerves and excitement really kicked in, and the fear I was going to mess up the vows was my new worry! On the day I was so laid back, a couple of things did go wrong – including that I was getting over a stomach bug and I got poked in the eye with the mascara wand on the morning of wedding so had a red weeping eye all day! People thought I was very emotional!
But I really didn’t care, all I could do was laugh! And all that mattered to me was marrying the love of my life, so walking down the aisle and the whole ceremony was perfect. It was even more special that our little boys got to witness us getting married and came and sat with us during the ceremony.
I found our DJ through a wedding blog, on their website they have a couple demos you could listen to and I found myself loving every song and having a little dance in my living room – so I knew I found the right DJ.
Our first dance was Sweetest Love by Robin Thicke, I used to listen to his album all the time! But my husband is more into hip hop. When we did try and pick a song together the hip hop kept coming on, so I just went with the song I liked, with his blessing of course! Halfway through our first dance we got our Mums up and both had a little dance with them to so it was really lovely.
A Proper Sunday Roast
The food was gorgeous at our wedding. All our guests enjoyed champagne and canapés on the terrace overlooking the stunning grounds. After the drinks reception we sat down to a 3 course meal and after everyone kept saying they were totally stuffed!
The first course was thai fish cakes, since we got married on a Sunday I thought I’ll keep it simple with a Sunday roast as the main, for desserts we served a trio of desserts – chocolate brownie with ice cream, strawberry pavlova & apple tarte tatin.
Later on in the evening we served bacon baps, chips, mini burgers, cheese toasties and wedding cake. LOTS of food :-).
I loved our wedding invites, they were designed by Emily & Jo. The day invites were grey with silver letter press and the evening were white with grey writing. Chewton Glen provided all the stationery at the venue, including a white post box for the cards. We also had a Photobooth set up in the evening, I think it’s great to capture the fun side of a wedding.
Don’t Lose Sight
The only bit of advice I can say is don’t lose sight of what the day is really about. If things go wrong with the decoration or if the weather’s not right etc don’t let it effect you. All that matters is the the person you’re about to marry. So enjoy and celebrate your day as much as you can.
When you look back in years to come, none of the material things will matter, but your partner will.
Dress – Dietrich by Pronovias at The Wedding Shop
Shoes – Vita by Jimmy Choo
Hair – LadyB Event Hair Design
Bridesmaids – Ghost and Miss Selfridge
Flower Girl – Boots.com
Page Boys – Zara
Groom and Groomsmen – Bespoke at Moss Bros
Venue – Chewton Glen
Florist – Concept Flowers
DJ – Wedding Smashers
Stationery – Emily & Jo
Photography – Hayley Savage
Videography – Blooming Lovely Films
The flowers are stunning aren’t they?
Carla and Ryan look giddy with happiness in all of the images too.
And you’d never be able to tell that Carla had been stabbed in the eye with a mascara wand…she looks radiant.
Lots of love,
Yes it’s Monday again folks. But don’t let that deter you from having a thoroughly romantic afternoon courtesy of RMW readers Gemma and Will.
Not only is their initial meeting the stuff of modern fairytales, but their summer W-day is like a happy-ever-after picture book. All wild blooms, hand-made details and charming country whimsy…I am especially enamoured with the bicycles and random pieces of farm machinery used as signage decor.
And how pretty is Gemma’s undone up-do? and her self-designed dress?……100% gorgeousness.
A Modern Love Story
I’m not sure I believe in fate, but something special bought me and Will together. I was working for a sensible company, doing a sensible job, living in a sensible house in a city. It was lovely, but it wasn’t for me. So I handed in my notice, rented my house and ran away to Devon to work for a bakery. Will was the young, (and very handsome!) Managing Director. Within two weeks we were inseparable and 4 months later we decided to change our lives together and move to Geneva, Switzerland. We both found jobs and moved into a tiny (tiny!) apartment. We loved it, and we loved each other more and more. It was perfect.
Will proposed to me on the farm in Devon just before Christmas 2011. The sun was setting over the hills, a deer ran across the field and Will dropped down onto one knee under our favorite oak tree. We decided there and then that wedding would be on the Farm. It was a challenge, we planned a handmade wedding in 5 months from another country, but we loved every second.
My mum, sister and I had our hair done at a local salon “reflections” in Axminster. I’ve never been particularly fussy about my hair and if I’d turned up with a perfectly preened barnet, Will would have wondered who I was. Dana completely got what I was after and just made it happen. My hair was finished off with some fresh flowers given to us by the florist next door to the salon. After hair we went home to our little rented cottage to have eggs and soldiers for lunch, cooked by my dad, before doing our own makeup.
None of us wear that much makeup, which is why we decided to do our own. I actually ended up doing finishing touches on all three of us!
The Prettiest Church
We were married in the prettiest church I’ve ever seen; by the friendliest vicar in the country (Will and I spent a lovely evening at his house drinking wine and discussing the ins and outs of marriage).One of our three readings was a poem by Robert Frost called the master speed. I had the last line of the poem engraved on a pocket watch I gave Will the morning of the wedding. Our friend, Noelle sang “Perfect day” by Holley Maher for us.
A One Off
Full of excitement I walked into my first dress shop. It was beautiful. The dresses were beautiful (I didn’t have my self-down as a wedding dress girl before this), but the reception was not what I expected. “When is the wedding” the shop lady asked. “In June”, I replied eyeing up rows of beautiful dresses. “Oh! Well. We’ll see what dresses are available in your time frame. Some should be, but there will be an extra cost for the quick delivery”. The response was the same in more or less every shop I went into, but I was less than keen on spending extra money on an already very expensive item of clothing, and time was running out. Not only was the wedding fast approaching, but I still live and work in Geneva, and so British shopping days were short and I didn’t want to have to cart the dress back.
There was nothing for it. I googled the closest wedding dress maker to the farm in Devon and found County Couture . I rang her and liked her instantly. I sent Lyndsey a rough drawing of what I wanted. Will measured me up (there is something a little bit romantic about the groom measuring the bride for her dress) and Lyndsey made it. The final fitting was done two days before the wedding and I loved it. It was an absolute bargain, a perfect fit and completely unique. Lyndsey also made my veil as a last minute request. I would recommend her to anyone.
Smart And Comfortable
We had a large grooms party (2 best men, 3 grooms men and 2 dads) and we wanted them all to be comfortable, but smart, so we asked them all to wear a three piece suit of their colour choice and we provided the tie.
As a bit of a contrast to the mens party, mine was small. It was just me and my beautiful sister as my maid of honour. Sarah found her dress in the sale in the Ghost and it was the first official purchase of the wedding. My little niece, Imogen, was a very cute flower girl.
A Cut Above
Wills suit was beautiful. He wears suits nearly every day for work and decided that he didn’t want to feel as though he was dressing for work on his day, he wanted something much better. He finally settled on a charcoal three piece from Gieves & Hawkes. I hadn’t seen him in his full wedding outfit until I stepped into the church and he was heart stopping.
A RMW Find
Alongside food, photography and music were the highest priorities on our list. After trawling through many a photographer we eventually found Sam Gibson on RMW! We couldn’t have picked a better guy. The images are beautiful and Sam was lovely guest at our wedding. He was nearly invisible, caught lovely pictures of everyone and captured so many little moments that we didn’t even realsie were happening.
Hand-Picked And Beautiful
The only supplier that let us down for the wedding was the florist. Two weeks before the wedding she told me that she was going on holiday, but could deliver the flowers 4 days before the wedding! Droopy flowers were not what I had in mind. I found a last minute supplier of cream spray roses and cornflowers and decided to do all the flowers in house. Everyone rose to the challenge.
All the flowers were handpicked from the farm, my sister made all the bouquets, my wonderful friend Robbie, my new sister in-law arranged and laid out all the flowers in the marquee.
The Oak Tree
The oak tree was the symbol of our wedding. I designed all the invites, the website, the order of services and hand sewed and stamped every serviette with a graphic of our tree. It became our brand. We didn’t have a true theme, we like every colour and didn’t want to ban any. I guess the wedding theme was relaxed garden party with lots of Will and Gemma details.
Every single detail of the wedding meant something to us (most of it, including the chandeliers, were made by us).
A Special Mention
We were lucky to have such talented friends and family. In addition to the flowers, the list of things that people did for us and the wedding were endless, but a few deserve a special mention. Wills parents were fantastic and didn’t bat an eyelid at even my most random requests. The marquee site was like a dream. Will’s dad had mowed a perfect shape into the grass so that we could keep all of our guests in one place without fencing them in and he even mowed a path to the loos.
Will built an outside sink using a Belfast sink found behind a hedge, the décor was all found around the farm. My mum wrote out all the name tags, my dad made the table plan, my sister (among many other things) laid all the tables, numerous friends came early on the wedding morning to put final touches on the marquee.
Wills mum, Jenny, made our cake. It was a Victoria sponge filled with crème fraise and mascarpone cream and homemade jam and it was decorated by fimo figures made by my sister in law who even made a little digger (Will works for Caterpillar), a little dog and a small loaf of bread.
For our entertainment we really wanted something that ticked all the boxes. We wanted dancing and fun, but not cheesy, something a little bit unique, but not obscure and of course, someone really really good. In the end I came across Hamer and Isaacs, a gypsy swing band from Plymouth. Guests of all ages were dancing long into the night. Even my grandmother stayed dancing until the band finished.
The Bare Necessities
Our first dance was to the Bare Necessities because we loved the way the band sang it (you can hear it on their website!). The lyrics seemed fitting as well…
Follow Your Heart
Brides will get a lot of advice about what’s wrong and what’s right. I think the best advice is just follow your heart. You’ll know when it’s something you want to put your foot down and do it you way and when it’s something that you don’t mind giving a little on to keep someone else happy.
The most important advice I was given is this: when it gets to the day of your wedding, even if you’ve planned every detail, you have to let go and not worry. Other people will take over, the caterers, the band, your friends and family. Do not stress about the details that are a little different to what you planned. Enjoy your day. Try and experience everything as a guest. You’ve planned every detail because it’s something you love, so enjoy it.
Brides Gown – Lynsey at County Couture
Maid Of Honour – Ghost
Groom – Gieves and Hawkes
Cake – Homemade
Stationery – Handmade and designed by the Bride
Entertainment – Hamer and Issacs
Photography – Sam Gibson
There was Fimo figurines people – FIMO. And a gypsy swing band?! I have never seen one but I ruddy well want to.
And that last image…as my Dad would say (in a very Brummy accent) “is a blinder”
Big Rustic Love