Following on from this morning’s wintry wedding, lets have some sunshine to finish off the week.
Sophie and Phil had their informal and pretty humanist wedding at Upwaltham Barns. It was important to them that their wedding represented them as a couple. with rustic details and tributes to Spanish culture.
Sophie wore a gorgeous Benjamin Roberts tulle gown with the sweetest floral crown, she looks amazing! Phil went for a traditional morning suit with pink details to tie in with the fabulous pink colour scheme. There are so many things to love about this wedding, from the amazing flowers to the prettiest of decor in the barn. LOVE.
Thanks so much to the fantastic Photography by Vicki for sharing her images with us today.
Names…. Sophie and Phil
Wedding Date…. 9th August 2012
The Proposal…. Phil and I had not long moved back to England after meeting and living in Madrid for a few years. We had just moved into our first home here and finally, everything seemed to be settling down. The very next day, Phil got down on one knee by the water at Emsworth Pond, West Sussex. After a few moments spent in a daze, I said yes (of course!) and we were soon meeting up with friends and family to celebrate. It was a really wonderful end to a year filled with upheaval and change. Phil had sacrificed a lot for me by moving back to England and immediately, I wanted to plan a fantastic wedding to say thank you to him.
The Vision for the day…. Above all else, we wanted the day to be personal, relaxed and not too formal, so that it reflected us as a couple. Also, with people travelling from as far as America and Spain to be with us, we felt the day should be in one location to avoid our guests running around any further. We settled on having a barn venue with a country garden theme. This way, I could continue my obsession with buntings and we could put our own stamp on it, with lots of shabby chic/rustic details and little tributes to Spanish culture here and there, as we met in Madrid. We also decided early on that we wanted a humanist ceremony. We wanted to feel like our celebrant really knew us and understood us as a couple and could help tell our story. It was the best decision we ever made! Although the whole day was a dream, we both look back on our day and consider the ceremony to be our highlight and ultimately, that’s exactly how it should be! We were able to write the whole ceremony from scratch and include special touches like secret love letters to each other, which we kept hidden until the day.
The Planning process…. An obsession with wedding blogs and wedding magazines soon began. I think I bought every magazine from every month between our engagement and the big day. I loved collecting ideas and have to admit, I changed my mind several times before arriving at final decisions. I’d advise any bride to create a collage of ideas and colour schemes and to follow their own hearts rather than be influenced by others. It has to be all about your own style and personality.
The Venue… We visited several barns in the area, which were all beautiful but Upwaltham Barns was just perfect for us and as soon as we walked in, it was a done deal. It was such a gorgeous setting and all the staff were incredibly helpful, calming and efficient. There are two barns onsite – the ceremony barn and the reception barn, with a fantastic courtyard with tables and chairs set amongst beautiful flowers. And of course the bar! We were lucky enough to get married on a really sunny day and so the courtyard was perfect for post ceremony drinks and mingling with our guests while our Spanish guitarist played soft flamenco music. Across the road from the barns are the most amazing fields, which also proved to be a fantastic backdrop to our wedding photos. Also on site, is the most gorgeous honeymoon cottage imaginable, where my bridesmaids and I got ready in the morning. We arrived early and had breakfast and bubbly, while our hair and make up lady got to work. It was so stress free and helped keep nerves at bay. It was also fantastic at the end of the night when we could just wander across from the reception barn to the cottage!
The Dress + Accessories…. This was actually one of the easiest jobs as I knew exactly what kind of dress I wanted. It was far easier than finding bridesmaid dresses! It needed to be soft, floaty and feminine and I knew I’d found the one as soon as I saw the tulle gown, Benjamin Roberts 2101. It was just beautiful and I loved the oversized bow on the back. I think Phil was surprised by my choice but that made it even more exciting. I wore some gorgeous pearl jewellery from Chez Bec. To keep my hair in keeping with the country garden theme, I opted to wear a real flower headband rather than a veil. It was a brave move for me but I’m so glad I did it as so many people commented on it and it looked so colourful in our photos.
Finding the dress…. I knew I’d found the one as soon as I tried it on! I had only tried on about 5 dresses but I didn’t care…I knew it was right.
Groom’s attire… Phil hired a morning suit for the day and wore a pink cravat to match our bridesmaids.
The Readings + Music…. Our readings were a mix of fun and lively and deeply personal. Because we had a humanist ceremony, we had total free reign over our decisions so we opted for ‘Casserole de Marriage’ to get out guests giggling and Phil’s mum wrote her own letter to Phil. The most special moment for us was probably when we read our secret love letters to one another. We had kept them secret from our guests and we remember hearing some gasps and giggles from our friends and family when our celebrant announced what we were going to do. It was a brave decision but it was so special because, although we knew exactly how our ceremony was going to work, we still had that little surprise to look forward to. They were affectionate but not cheesy and so many people were in tears by the end of them. It was a chance for us to reflect on exactly why we were marrying each other. We had a Spanish guitarist who played ‘What a Wonderful World’ as I walked down the aisle and a ‘Love me Do’ by the Beatles as we walked out. This was to pay tribute to Phil’s Liverpool roots.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. I was lucky enough to have three gorgeous bridesmaids and although finding their perfect dress wasn’t easy, we eventually we found some gorgeous pink dresses in Monsoon, which looked stunning and complimented the flowers perfectly.
The Flowers… Our florist was Kerry at Rose Cottage Flowers and she was absolutely incredible. Everyone commented on what an amazing job she did, including the venue owners who must see a lot of beautiful flowers! We opted for a mix of pink and cream roses, sweet peas and astrantia with ranunculus and rosemary in a selection of vintage bud vases, jam jars and bottles. I spent ages collecting jam jars and decorating with beautiful ribbons found in local craft shops and we also hired some from local florists. Our bouquets tied in beautifully as did my headband.
The Cake… was a gorgeous birdcage cake made by a talented friend. I thought I’d go for something a little bit different, which would tie in with the theme well. It had 3 different flavours – carrot cake, white chocolate and lemon! It was absolutely delicious as well as beautiful.
Your Photographer…. was AMAZING!!!! Vicki from PhotographybyVicki was just amazing from start to finish. Neither Phil nor I are good at posing for photos so we opted for an engagement shoot to help us prepare for the day and it was a great decision. She really put us at ease and captured some amazing shots, which helped us feel more confident on the big day. From morning to night, she helped create such a calm atmosphere and somehow managed to take the most gorgeous images without us really even noticing she was there. We have had endless compliments about her and couldn’t recommend her highly enough.
The Details + Decor…. This was the fun bit! I spent so many hours planning all of the little details and loved every minute of it. Bunting from Dily Dally Bunting complimented the barn so well and we also hung personalised ‘Soph and Phil’ bunting over the ceremony barn door. Other favourites were our birdcage table plan, willow trees with hanging hearts and fairy lights, wicker hearts hung on chairs down the aisle and our personalised wedding crate filled with flowers in the court yard. I also spent hours searching for jars and rustic containers for our candy buffet and found a graphic designer who created a ‘wedding thumb print tree’, which guests printed on the day in place of a guest book. It’s now framed as a lovely keepsake. We kept the theme of birdcages running through with a birdcage letterbox for cards and on our wedding stationary. We also hired some old vintage florist steps and hung funny photos of our guests on them. Our ice cream van also went down very well!
The Honeymoon… was 10 days in Venice and then Lake Garda. It was amazing and we spent so much time reflecting on the day and all our happy memories.
Memorable moments… Agh! So many! Drinking bubbly while my bridesmaids and I got ready, seeing each other for the first time, reading our love letters, eating ice cream in the sunshine, amazing speeches, dancing until our feet hurt and finishing the night off with sparklers under the stars! The food by our caterers Nibbles2Nosh, was also absolutely delicious and their service was second to none. We were so lucky! When we were eating there was also a special moment when suddenly everyone started singing along with our guitarist!
Advice for other couples… We were advised to try and take some time throughout the day for just the two of you and this was such good advice. Try to just stand back together every so often and take it all in. The day passes so quickly and those moments will be the ones you treasure. Also, make sure your wedding reflects you and your personality from the venue to the details. Finally, invest in an amazing photographer and ultimately the photos are what will help you remember the day!
Credit where credit is due…
Upwaltham Barns - http://www.upwalthambarns-weddings.co.uk/home.html
Nibbles2Nosh – http://www.nibbles2nosh.com
Photographer – Vicki @ http://www.photographybyvicki.co.uk/blog
Florist – Kerry Pullen @ Rose Cottage Flowers. (07773 395198) http://en-gb.facebook.com/RoseCott
Humanist Celebrant email@example.com
Ice Cream Bike http://www.icecreamtrikebike.co.uk
Bunting – http://www.dillydallybunting.co.uk
Guitarist – http://www.themusicofbyron.com
Confetti – http://www.shropshirepetals.com
Well that sure was one pretty way to finish a Friday :-) Thanks so much to Sophie and Phil for sharing their wonderful wedding with us today.
Hoping you have a great weekend WWWers XOXO Lou
Tags: Barn Wedding, Benjamin Roberts Wedding Dress, Flower Crown, Humanist Wedding, Monsoon Bridesmaids, Photography by Vicki, Pink Wedding Ideas, Real Weddings, Rose Bouquet, Rustic Wedding Ideas, Upwaltham Barns Wedding
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