Jo Barnes Vintage Bridal Headpieces

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We Did It.


All of the blooms in today’s wedding were grown by Jo’s Mum. I know. How talented is she??

It’s literally a plethora of floral gorgeousness in rustic terracotta pots. The mini displays on the pew ends are particularly lovely!

Jo’s elegant Pronovias gown fits her like a glove and her simple accessories are really striking.

Images come from Hannah-May, if you get a second, have a little read of her my story section on her website – it made me chuckle.

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0001

Rustic Wood And Brickwork

Jo The Bride: We wanted a barn – that was our main wish! We love exposed brickwork and rustic wood (both feature in our house!) and we wanted a venue to reflect our taste…The Ferry House Inn was perfect- a 16th Century Country Pub complete with a beautiful barn and incredible views across the Swale Estuary. It was the one and only venue that we viewed!

To top it off we made it a whole weekend of wedding celebrations with 35 of us staying in the nearby luxury Mocketts Farm Cottages which were absolutely gorgeous!

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0002

Just Me

The beauty was simple really – I just wanted to look like me. No fancy up-do, no extravagant make-up. Just me. Booking my hair and make-up artist was easy- in fact it was one of the first things I did! I had been a bridesmaid for my brother two years previously and Emma Smisson did my hair and make-up then and she was amazing! She uses airbrush foundation and I cannot recommend it enough- my make-up stayed flawless all day!

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0003

Damn Those Spaniards

Ah the dress…I’m not ashamed to say that quite some time before we got engaged (I knew he was the one!) I had already fallen in love with Pronovias bridal gowns – damn those Spaniards can design beautiful dresses!

My dress, called ‘Balta’ was purchased from Teokath Bridal Boutique in Canterbury. I knew I wanted a vintage inspired lace dress that was simple in fit and intricate in detail and as soon as I put my dress on I knew she was the one!

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0004

Accessory Heaven

This was one of my favourite things to organise! I wanted something elegant and classic for my hairpiece and after spending endless hours doing research I approached the incredible Jo of Jo Barnes Vintage who sourced, designed and made my beautiful bespoke vintage headpiece.

I opted for a vintage cuff which was designed and made by the extremely talented Victoria of Victoria Millésime Design London and it matched the belt on my dress perfectly!

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0005

Baby Bridesmaids

Having a lot of friends I decided that rather than have a huge bridal party, I would have no bridesmaids at all and just two very beautiful flower girls; my niece, Lilly-Mai, and my goddaughter Phoebe. Both were around 15 months old at the time of the wedding, and Phoebe had only just started walking a few weeks before but they both managed to fly down the aisle!

We wanted something cute and modern for their outfits so opted for stripey ‘sundae’ dresses from Monsoon.

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0006

As for the boys, we decided to buy their suits from Next rather than hire them, and we went for a classic combination of navy blue and white- adding the polka dots to Ryan’s tie and hankie to set him apart from the others!

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0007

A Natural Blend

When it came to picking a colour scheme all we knew is that we didn’t want one! We wanted our day to be a beautiful natural blend of lots of different colours, rather than tying it to a particular theme. We wanted the overall effect to be relaxed, country and vintage and I think this is apparent in our décor which consisted of (a lot of!) home-made bunting, apple crates, bales of hay, vintage jugs and pots and hand crafted wooden signs.

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0008

Mum’s Are The Best

I am so proud to say that every single button hole (one for every guest!), pew end, jug, vase, pot and jam jar of flowers were grown from seed, and lovingly designed and arranged by my incredibly talented Mum. Gardening has not only been a career for my Mum but also an absolute passion of hers- when Ryan proposed and she offered to grow and put together the flowers for us we jumped at the chance because we knew that they would be beyond beautiful- and they were- I think the pictures speak for themselves!

We particularly loved the simple pew ends which were rustic jam jars filled with pink gypsophila and sweet peas and the wooden stepladder display showcasing vintage pots filled with flowers such as verbena, heartsease and lobelia.

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0009

Short And Sweet

Our ceremony was short and sweet- that was our aim! No readings or songs, just a simple ceremony during which I cried (quite a lot!), and Ryan broke the ice by hilariously being unable to say ‘lawful impediment’- instead- what came out (three times!) was ‘awful impediment’- I do hope he wasn’t trying to tell me something!

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0010

Live Acoustic Guitar

During the ceremony and drinks reception we had a live acoustic guitarist and singer- Andy was an absolute hit with everyone and he created the perfect atmosphere for our guests to enjoy their Corona and Pimms!

Our first dance song was to ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol, one of our favourite songs which has the most beautiful and fitting words. Following that we had a DJ – a friend who does all our family weddings- and I can honestly say he filled the dance floor all night!

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0011

Hearty Pub Food

When we started planning the wedding Ryan had only two requests (the rest was down to me!)- he wanted a hog roast in the evening and he wanted corona for the reception drink! We also opted for yummy canapés during the drinks reception including chicken satay, mini yorkshire puddings with beef and horseradish and homemade chipolata sausages. The menu consisted of hearty pub food including duck salad, lamb shank, mushroom wellington, banoffee pie and chocolate brownie cheesecake, all served with copious amounts of wine! We had so many comments about how incredible the food was!

The cake was one of my favourite parts of the wedding- I am not a big fan of traditional wedding cakes but I loooove victoria sponge with jam, fresh cream and strawberries (who doesn’t!) and so we opted for three tiers of exactly that, made and expertly put together by Raie of Raie’s Cakes.

To compliment this, as favours we made our own jam and decorated the jars with pretty floral fabric and luggage tags.

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0012

Hands On With The Stationery

Stationery was hugely important to us- I think the invites set the tone and give the first indication of the style of the wedding and so we wanted to get it right! Buying stationery was never an option for us- we wanted to be quite hands on and so we designed and made everything from the invites and luggage tag place names, to the table names and menus.

We centred all the stationery around a rustic theme using brown card, luggage tags and brightly coloured bunting (and I should add that every single paper flag was cut out by hand by either Ryan or myself which took hours!)

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0013

We Did It

If I had any advice to give to future brides and grooms it would be- do it your way- don’t be hung up on tradition-make your wedding reflect your own personality!

Also, make sure you steal a moment or two on the day with just you and your new hubby. We were lucky enough to be staying overnight at the venue so before our evening guests arrived Ryan and I popped upstairs to freshen up- as soon as we were through that door I flung my arms around him, looked into his eyes with a huge smile on my face and simply said ‘we did it’ and then we had a little dance all by ourselves. That for me was one of the most special moments of the day.

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0014

Recommended To The World

Hannah-May – our photographer. To say that this young woman is sensational at her profession would be an understatement- she captured our day in the most breath taking and beautiful way and no words of thank you would ever be enough to show our gratitude for the amazing memories she has given us through her photos. We would not hesitate to recommend her to the entire world!

We must also mention Kerrie, the wedding coordinator at our venue, who was absolutely incredible from day one- my emails (and there were a lot of them!) were always answered within a few hours, nothing was ever too much trouble and we generally couldn’t have asked for any more from her- an absolute godsend for us so ladies, if you want to plan your wedding in an organised, efficient and effortless manner- Kerrie and The Ferry House Inn are for you!

Vintage Inspired Barn Wedding At The Ferry House Inn Kent, Bride In Balta By Pronovias, Images By Hannah-May_0015

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Bride’s Gown – Pronovias at Teokath Bridal Boutique
Head Piece – Jo Barnes Vintage
Cuff – Victoria Millésime Design London
Hair and Make up – Emma Smisson
Flower Girls – Monsoon
Groom & Groomsmen – Next
Florist – Jo’s Amazing Mum
Music – Amu Acoustic & Perfect Choice Entertainment
Cake – Raie’s Cakes
Venue – The Ferry House Inn
Photography – Hannah-May

Aren’t the flowers amazing?

And how adorable are the little flower girls?

Lots of love,
Fern x

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An Open Air Affair At Notley Abbey

Will and Nic allocated their budget on the things that were most important to them.

Sometimes if there is that one deal-breaking part of your planning – the item you just have to have, W-day can become an exercise of compromise in other areas.

Often though, compromise can lead to creativity… it forces you to think about things in different ways and often you can come up with unique and surprising solutions.

Today we are in Buckinghamshire and the genius with the lenses, kit bag and camera is Simon Fazackarley.

D.I.Y Chic

I’d seen Notley Abbey in the first wedding mag I bought and instantly fell in love with the lead windows and distressed brick work. It was of course our very own Mrs O’Shea’s spectacular affair that had been photographed and I imediately became an RMW obsessive. Seriously – even when we’d been on holiday I had to catch up as soon as we got back with a glass of wine and my notebook in case I’d missed anything vital!

After getting the pricelist through the post my heart fell though as we’d never in a million years be able to afford it, the brochure went straight to the bottom of our wedding box never to see the light of day again, or so we thought. Several very frustrated and no-winning-venue months later, I came across it again and thought sod it – this is an itch I’ve just got to scratch and we were getting desperate! As soon as we drove down the tree lined driveway we knew that we’d found the place. With a lot of help from mum and dad, adopting a DIY chic approach, a Thursday date and a significantly depleted guest list, the venue was chosen!

A Jenny Packham Girl

Finding my dress was by far the most fun part of the entire process. I tried on a lot of dresses but it quickly became obvious that I was a Jenny Packham girl. As soon as her new collection came out last year it was permanently on my web browser so I decided to go and see a local stockist when they had a designer day on. The wonderful Jo at Bridal Path in Sawbridgeworth was so much help, she had lined up all of the dresses that I wanted to try on and after getting through literally 10, I got to Gaia. Up to this point I thought that the whole teary eyed ‘this-is-the-one’ moment was a thing of legend, but I have to say that even I, hard-faced as I can be, filled up and knew that I’d finally found it! The Grecian style and delicate, one shouldered bodice suited me perfectly and my audience in the shop completely agreed. I got my mum and Chief B, Donna down a few weeks later for a reassuring second opinion, they couldn’t have approved more thoroughly (my mum mainly as I hadn’t gone for a strapless affair – what is it about mum’s and their straps?!) and I even think that they may have had leaky eyes too!

Vintage Peach

Bridesmaids dresses were a bit of a tricky affair as we had no particular colour scheme and the only real theme that we had going on was ‘vintage’ so when I saw the dresses in HANDM I thought why not give it a go. They were a perfect vintage peachy colour and at £25 a pop we could always go back to the drawing board. Thankfully the maids were happy and after several failed attempts by me, my amazing girls took the job of accessorising in hand and transformed a really simple dress, into an amazingly stylish outfit.

I think that in total the whole lot including jewellery and shoes cost about £100, which meant that I could splash out on treating them to getting their make up done and a special gift to say thank you for being such special, solid friends to me (and for being way better at accessorising!). The little flower girls dresses just about matched the colour of the grown-ups, but they came from River Island of all places, I didn’t even know they did kids stuff until I looked online. I also got the plane headbands from there and decorated them with various bits of sparkle and ribbon for the tiddlies to wear on the day (not that they lasted long!)

A Head For Style

As I couldn’t afford to stretch the budget to the JP headpiece that I’d had been pining for, I scoured the net for a similar one and finally discovered the amazing Jo Barnes. There were about 8 different styles that I could have chosen but I plumped for ‘Grace’ and was made up when she arrived in the post. It was exactly what I’d spent hours searching for and Jo clearly puts so much love into creating every single piece, it was an honour to wear it on the day.

Tickled Pink

I really wanted a pair of statement shoes and again spent what felt like months searching for the perfect pair on the internet. In the end I was so frustrated I ordered 15 pairs from ASOS and sent all but one back. The last surviving pair were pretty statement-y though, huge heels, bright salmon pink, with feathers!! As soon as I tried them on with the dress I knew that they were spot on, that was until I realised that Will would need a significant stack of Yellow Pages ready at the end of the aisle so I resigned myself to the fact that the feathers would have to be saved for the evening and a much lower, glitzy, silver pair would need to be used for the ceremony. It really didn’t matter when it came down to it on the day as I ended up kicking them off as soon as I got to Will anyway! Both pairs put together didn’t even reach £100 in total so I felt like I totally deserved the extravagance of having 2.

Glam And Gorgeous

I was blessed with having some serious plaiting talent in Lauren, one of my bridesmaids, so I knew that I didn’t need to worry about getting anyone in to do our hair for us. Even though my barnet is a bit mental and can be quite difficult (OK maybe I’m the difficult one!) we had a couple of practices and decided what was going to work with the one shouldered dress. On the actual day it took 10 minutes and stayed in for the duration, which I was mightily relieved about. She also did a wicked job of both her own and my maid of honour’s hair.

The amazing and beautiful Carolanne Armstrong was drafted in to make up the three of us and my mum, which in hindsight was a brilliant decision. Having someone to take care of the make up was something that I considered a bit of an indulgence but when it came down to it, having her there totally removed any stress from the entire morning and she was so lovely that chatting with her completely chilled me out. As well as managing my stress levels she did an amazing job and we all looked glam and gorgeous!

Mums The Word

I’m very lucky that my mum is a flower arranger so flowers were always going to play a huge part in making the day special. After a thousand conversations, I finally managed to pinpoint what it was that I actually wanted – unfortunately and to my mum’s utter irritation, I’m cursed with not actually knowing what I want until I find it. Once we’d cracked it though it was all go, she got one of her friends to help out with the heart wreaths and mum managed to finish all 30 vases for the table decorations in the last few days before the wedding. She’s also a genius with the glue gun and was able to prepare in advance the pew ends and also the flower girls little hand held hearts (which incredibly are both artificial!). When she showed them to me I couldn’t believe that she’d managed to create EXACTLY what I wanted with only my babbling and scribbles to go on.

As I wanted to be as eco-friendly as possible I picked seasonal flowers mainly roses, hydrangeas, gerberas and carnations, in loosely ‘valentine’s’ themed colours. Mum doesn’t do bouquets so our wonderful local florist Jane Maples took care of them and the buttonholes.

Floral Fancy

The lads were asked to wear their own grey suits as we weren’t fussed about them being all matchy but we provided them all with a tie to identify them as part of the wedding party. Once again trying to find ties in a vintage-y colour that would look good with the maids wasn’t an easy task but thankfully the good old High St came up trumps again and I bought them all from Tie Rack for a tenner each. Thanks to his deceptively broad shoulders, Will’s suit took almost as long to find as my bloody dress! After a very long day traipsing around London we found it in the Ted Baker sale. It was a lovely pale grey three piece that after a fair bit of alteration fitted him a treat. The tie we found at Marc Wallace and though it was rather floral, it worked perfectly with everything and he secretly adores it as much as I do!

Etheral Feel

We found our unbelievable photographer on these very pages. As soon as I saw Simon Fazackarley’s pictures I knew that there was no one else for the job. His pictures have such an ethereal feel and captured the relaxed, fun vibe of the day perfectly. It also helped hugely that he’s SUCH a brilliant person, someone that we could feel completely at ease being a major part of our big day, and he definitely didn’t let us down. We couldn’t have been happier with the results and to commemorate, Donna and I ambushed Simon and managed to snap a cheeky shot of him with his own camera!

Cake Array

Cake, cake, cake… Easily one of the best things EVER invented surely?? As I have a slight fetish for the sweet stuff it was important to me that we had lots of it on the day. Thankfully Will’s mum Coral is cake-maker-extraordinaire and after a little begging on my part she agreed to make us a three tiered fruit cake and lots of delicious little cupcakes to create my very own Cake Table – heaven!! I’m ashamed to say that the first tears of joy that I cried on the day were when I saw Coral laying it all out in the morning!

Coral also managed to create us a mountain of pickles and jams that we used as favours. We spent a lovely afternoon, while Will was on his stag weekend, bottling it all up and making them look pretty. I’m still trying to convince her that she should start up her own confectionary business!

Casual Vintage

Apart from the very casual vintage theme, I wanted to stick with a no-colour-scheme theme. It made it much easier for me when sourcing fabrics and choosing flowers, I honestly don’t know how some brides manage to colour coordinate everything. I think in my own mind I would drive myself insane trying to match everything perfectly so I abandoned this idea quite early on and stuck to anything vaguely Valentines-y; pinks, reds, peaches, creams, which resulted in a big mass of colour that I was so happy with.

I am also slightly obsessed with anything heartshaped, you might have guessed from the pictures! My mum really wasn’t keen on this but she went along with it for fear of awakening my inner Bridezilla! Once the wreaths were hung on the walls and the pew ends were in place though I think she finally came round – cheesy as they are!

D.I.Y Crazy

I’m not going to lie – it’s bloody hard work to create a wedding, regardless of how small it is, your weekends will be overtaken with tea lights and buttonholes and vases and table plans. In the end though I can’t describe to you what an amazing feeling it is being surrounded by something that you’ve put your soul into for so long.

I might have taken the DIY part to slight extremes, making all of the stationery, writing all of the menu blackboards, decorating the jars, confetti cones, table names, if you can name it, I tried to make it! People thought I was crazy and maybe I was but it honestly was so much fun. One thing I will say though is that there is nothing like the feeling of walking back up the aisle arm in arm with your most favourite person.


Our first dance was a bit of a light hearted choice to be honest. It’s very well-known that Will and I aren’t shy of the odd comedy barny so Ray La Montagne’s beautiful ‘Trouble’ was perfect for us. Will decided that he really wanted to splash out on a band for the evening which in hindsight was a great idea as it meant that the Olds could all join in with some of the classics. I will never forget dancing with my dad at the end of the night to Sex On Fire! We booked Glamour, who were fantastic, through the Alive Network. They also took care of the DJ set in between which was seriously useful as they managed to satisfy all our Meatloaf/Britney Spears/Andy Williams needs.

I just Want To Be A Mrs

They really aren’t lying when they tell you that your wedding day will be the best day of your life. It’s the best thing we have ever done – FACT. It seems a shame now when I look back as it took me a long time to appreciate the day for what it was, I spent a lot of time worrying about getting everything done in time and what people would think when in actual fact it honestly didn’t matter. We’d been together for so many years before he finally proposed (6!) and in my head I had been thinking about it for so long that I got completely carried away.

I would say that it wasn’t until the last few months of un-marital bliss that I realised the ONLY thing that matters on the day is that your hubby-to-be shows up and you get the words right. I didn’t care what the flowers looked like, whether it rained, whether I should bother with confetti cones or not, I finally discovered what it was like to just want to be a Mrs. I wouldn’t have known if anything had gone wrong anyway because I was just so deliriously happy, and the fact that all our bestest people were there under one roof to share it with us was just perfect.

My advice for brides-to-be? Do what you want to do; people will forgive you if you don’t spend the allotted 5 minutes talking to each guest. Don’t be afraid to ask, people will always be happy to help take some of the load. Take every possible second to relax; the time will slip through your fingers so easily. But most of all…cherish every single moment, you only get to do it once (hopefully).

Venue Notley Abbey

Dress Jenny Packham

Boutique Bridal Path

Shoes ASOS

Flowers Mother Of the Bride

Bouquets & Buttonholes Jane Maples

Photography Simon Fazackarley

Entertainment Glamour

Loads of D.I.Y inspiration for you today folks, and a great big dollop of old fashioned love.

Also, loving those shoes Nic. Featherlicious.