Vanya The Bride:
From the moment we started planning our wedding we knew that we wanted this day to be a representation of us and our love for each other – a fun celebration, full of colour, rustic around the edges, probably a bit geeky with a mixture between Bulgarian and English traditions and a day for everyone to enjoy and remember. Obviously that does not come under one category so instead we did not have a theme and we just went for things which made us happy.
Having decided on a civil ceremony our venue search began. We knew we wanted something different, less formal but full of character. We really liked the idea of getting married at a barn especially when Dave grew up on a farm it felt like the right idea. We were also looking for more flexibility in terms of choosing our caterer and entertainment. Last but not least we had to make sure we will be allowed to incorporate some Bulgarian traditions throughout the day. After quite a few viewings we decided on The Granary Estates
, Newmarket. An hour from our home, upon entering we could not have been happier! We were mesmerized – the stone walls, high ceilings, old beams, the beautiful light which came through the windows (slightly reminded us of Game of Thrones but more about this later) and of course the beautiful fields surrounding the estate. As a bonus it has not one, but two barns connected by a long corridor which opens to a private courtyard. The flint barn held the intimate ceremony and the larger Granary Barn had space for a bar, tables and dancefloor. This allowed for seamless transition from the ceremony to the celebration. We felt this also gave us the flexibility in case of bad weather after all this is England! The management team could not have been more excited to also try new things and offer us ideas of how best to mix Bulgarian and English into the wedding. We knew this was our venue instantly and the team were great throughout.
The venue grounds do not allow confetti outside the barns. However, the team at the Granary Barns had the perfect solution for us – confetti canons during our first dance. We had never seen them being used but we went for it and what a wonderful idea that was. As the chorus of our first dance started we were truly in a fairy tale. It was magical!
For the evening we hired the firepit which was a great hit with everyone especially the children. There were marshmallows and sparklers everywhere!
To begin with I did not know what I wanted my wedding dress to be. At this stage of the planning, I lived on Rock My Wedding
and knew what I liked and did not like, but the “right” dress was eluding me (and trust me I tried on quite a few). This all changed the day I visited The Fairy Tale Weddings
boutique. I would like to say if anyone tells you that there is no such thing as “you instantaneously know”, they are not right. The moment I put my dress on I knew it was the one because I felt happy, I smiled, I started spinning in the middle of the room and all I can think about was David seeing me in it walking down the aisle. It was by Ellis Bridal
and made from the lightest organdie material and the skirt just flowed when you moved (which meant I could also easily dance in it!) The bodice was delicately decorated with lace, illusion tulle on the shoulders and satin buttons on the back which were a must for me.
With the style of my dress there was not a need for a lot of accessories. Of course, there was the beautifully soft veil by Joyce Jackson
. I liked it mid length as it still showed off the back of my dress. I added earrings and a bracelet from Swarowski. I had two pairs of shoes – a formal one for the ceremony from Rainbow Club
(they were so comfortable!) and a dancing pair – gorgeous glittery trainers by Kate Spade
. I had to order the trainers from America, but it was well worth it – my sparkly something new. My last accessory was for my hair – a floral hair vine. I found it on Etsy by MimosaCouture. It was handmade, and I was really pleased by the quality. It was great for when I took off the veil and it added another aspect to my bridal look.
Our hair and make-up were done by Ashley Kay Gifford
. I was struggling to find anyone at the time and it was actually David who found her! She is based in Ely and she had previously done weddings at the Granary Estates. She knew exactly how to achieve the look I wanted. She was even happy to do a second trial as I tried something different. As there were 6 of us she had also arranged for help on the day ensuring everyone was ready on time and we really loved the end result.
David is lucky enough to have known Michael Damiano at Image Barbers for years, so he arranged to sort the boys out and get them looking dapper for the day.
Choosing the decorations was probably the easiest task for us. The barns were already gorgeous, and we knew we did not need to do a lot. It was all about the little touches. We liked the rustic look with natural colours and country feel which suited the barn. We used handmade log slices for the centre of the tables on which we put mixed styles of candle holders, bottles and vases for the flowers (thanks sales!). We only wanted small bunches of flowers on each table as it felt more intimate and relaxed as opposed to big centrepieces. Further, we added pops of colour with beautiful floral lace table runners. We even upcycled an old pallet which was a great way to display some of the fun memories we have had with our family and friends in polaroid style pictures.
As we were introducing some of our guests to Bulgarian wedding traditions, we thought it will be a good idea to add a little guide of traditions and what they mean on each table. The only decoration we ordered were the fairy and festoon lights from Elizabeth Hall
. We wanted as many lights as possible as both me and David really liked the atmosphere they create. We used the festoon lights to separate the dance floor from the rest of the barn and give it a festival feel.
We were very lucky as our friend Ronnie did all of the flowers for us. She knew exactly what we wanted for a summer wedding – natural colours to stand out in different places throughout the venue. The pink, green, coral and yellow complimented the burnt orange ties and pocket squares worn by David and his groomsmen. We were lucky enough to have beautiful sunny weather (even if it did threaten to rain all week!) and it followed us inside through the windows and large barn doors. During the ceremony, gypsophila and roses adorned the end of the rows of chairs. The theme was the same for the bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets tied with ribbons. We loved their natural summery feel.