Today’s couple are just darn right cool and their mismatched eclectic barn nuptials a delight to read.
Helen and Dean chose to get married on the 30th May 2015 at Pimhill in Shropshire. They hoped to create a wedding which was different from the norm, without a colour theme and supporting independent business. Awesome!
There are so many elements of their day I love, the brilliant signage, the chevron heart cake, the epic bar and blooms to name a few. The attire of course was super stylish with Helen wearing Stephanie Allin Bardot and Dean rocking denim jeans with a smart jacket.
Thanks goes to the fabulous Assassynation for providing these images.
THE PROPOSAL | We went to Brussels for a long weekend in January 2014, just for a bit of a post-Christmas break and to sample the local beer! Whilst we were there we went to Bruges for the day on the train, spent the whole day there and then on the way back to the station Dean took me for a walk around a lovely park, which I now realise was him trying to find the perfect place to propose. He spotted a tiny little bridge near a lake (which we’ve since found out is called the lake of love) and asked me to marry him. I came out with the standard response of Really?! But then obviously said yes! He’d been carrying round the box in his pocket all day, petrified that I’d suss him out, but I didn’t guess at all :)
THE VISION | Initially we just knew we wanted something different, a bit of a festival type wedding, rather than a package from a hotel or typical wedding venue. We fancied a tipi or top hat but realised that we couldn’t legally get married in one, and decided we wanted the wedding all at one venue. I guess we both just knew that we didn’t want a ‘weddingy’ wedding but something a bit different that reflected us. I also was determined not to have a colour theme, much to the horror of some people initially, but they soon realised it wasn’t going to be a bad-taste affair and everything would fit together perfectly!
In the end, all of the suppliers that we used were people that we genuinely loved – independents, many of whom were start ups, and just all round amazing people! The final wedding came together like nothing we could ever have dreamed of.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Google was our best friend! We tracked down the venue first, and then after that we booked the photographer and DJ. All of the others suppliers followed bit by bit. Everyone says the groom will be useless and uninterested – but Dean genuinely did way more than me.
After that it was just lots of making things, ordering bits and bobs and keeping an eye out for stuff that we wanted on the day. We enjoyed the process and didn’t find the planning stressful.
A few months before the wedding, Sassy, our photographer suggested that we use a wedding co-ordinator to bring everything together on the day, and initially we were dubious as everyone we’d found online felt very corporate and not us at all. She recommended Sharelle at Appletree Weddings and Events, and as soon as we met her we knew she was the one! Totally like us, totally got us and our vision and is just a lovely, lovely person. We really do recommend that everyone needs someone like Sharelle for their wedding!
THE VENUE | Pimhill Barn at Lea Hall, not far from Shrewsbury.
Dean is amazing at searching for hours and hours on Google, so after a lot of searching we narrowed it down to a few venues.
When we went to visit Pimhill for the first time, it was just amazing, even though the weather was awful. I was so sure beforehand that I didn’t want to get married in a barn, but I cried when we viewed it. It was so beautiful and the perfect place to bring in all of our own suppliers.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Stephanie Allin – Bardot from Agape Bridal Boutique in Cheshire, Head band – Laura Donovan Bridal Accessories, Shoes – Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon.
FINDING THE DRESS | I’m really fussy with clothes, and was exactly the same with my wedding dress! I knew I didn’t want any bling on the dress, and was pretty sure that I’d go for a short dress.
After lots of looking around on blogs, I’d spotted a dress I liked called Bardot and went on a mission to find it at a shop close to me.
My Mum came up from Birmingham to go dress shopping with me, and we headed to Agape first – I couldn’t recommend them enough, the ladies there are so lovely and helpful. I tried on a short dress first which we realised did nothing for me. When I tried on Bardot I loved it, as did my Mum!
I always knew that I wanted the Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon shoes, so I bought these at the Vivienne Westwood shop when we were in Cardiff one weekend. I also knew I wanted to wear converse at night, so I bought myself a new pair to change into in the evening.
My headwear was the trickiest to find. I have super curly hair, and knew that I was going to struggle to find the right thing to put in my hair. I tried veils and they just didn’t suit me. I then went on a massive search for a lovely hair vine, and came across Laura Donovan’s site via Agape. She made me a beautiful vine which I wore across my forehead.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Now this was probably trickier than the dress! Dean had always dreamed of a Paul Smith suit, but when it came down to trying on suits, he didn’t like anything he tried. We liked the mis-matched tweed look, and in the end, just a few short weeks before the wedding Dean chose a navy wool jacket from Slaters, a Ralph Lauren shirt, Ralph Lauren chinos and a knitted tie from Marks and Spencer. His shoes were Autograph by M&S. A few days before the wedding, Dean had ordered some jeans to take on honeymoon and as he was trying one pair on I suggested he tried them on with the rest of the wedding outfit – it looked brilliant, so the chinos went back in favour of the new jeans! We wondered if we’d get any stick for him wearing jeans, but on the day he looked great and everyone loved it.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | It took us so long to decide on the music, and pulling together a playlist was one of the first things we did once we’d got engaged. We booked Disco Wed pretty quickly as we loved the idea of the shed and the amazing music that they play. Jason, our DJ was amazing!
Our song was always I Love You by The Bees, but we decided it just didn’t really fit, so we went for some other songs we loved and just had that playing during the drinks reception. I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of Sun Don’t Shine by Will Heard, and we walked out after getting married to Everyday People by Arrested Development. We had our first dance to an acoustic version of My Number by the Foals, and then we had our amazing DJ mix in Born Slippy by Underworld into Lovely Day by Bill Withers to finish – he didn’t think it could be done but he mixed it perfectly and it was the perfect end to the day!
The readings were done by each of our brothers, my brother Matt read out a section of I Like You by Samuel Stoddard, and Dean’s brother Gregg read out I Wanna be Yours by John Cooper Clarke.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 3 bridesmaids and a flowergirl. My cousin Kirsty was my beautiful chief, and my lovely best friends Krisie and Stacey were my other two. My Goddaughter (and Krisie’s little one), Mia was my flower girl.
They wore green spotted 50’s style dresses, custom made by Plum and Pigeon, with underskirts to make them pop out. We went for some ribbon as a belt around the waist, and after much debate between heels and flats, the girls wore cream converse.
Not forgetting the boys, Dean had his best friend Andy as Best Man and our brothers Matt and Gregg as Groomsmen. They wore M&S navy suits, grey knitted ties, and matching pocket squares to the bridesmaid dresses.
THE FLOWERS | Neither of us are really into flowers, and barely knew the names of any flowers before the wedding (and still don’t!). We came across our florist, Jasmine’s Floral Fancies by chance. We’d been to visit the venue, and on the way home had stopped at a local café for some lunch. Jasmine had a little shop there and we went in to ask about whether she did wedding flowers. She said yes, and helpfully ended up moving to a house less than 5 minutes away from our wedding venue! I wanted a natural looking bouquet, so gave Jasmine some colours and ideas and she came back with the perfect bouquet! We had a few bunches of wildflowers in jugs, but mainly went for potted lavender and rosemary plants for the tables.
The buttonholes were gypsophilla and rosemary wrapped in twine.
THE CAKE | We had it from the Little Cake Cupboard in Cardiff, and loved it so much! Dean did the stressful drive down there from Chester a few days before the wedding to collect it, and it made it back in one piece! We went for Chocolate Mud, Lemon Drizzle and Vanilla cakes.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The amazing Sassy from Assassynation. Literally cannot recommend this lady enough! She is so enthusiastic and really genuinely interested in plans and the run up to your day, and is the font of all knowledge, she was always on hand with suggestions whenever we asked. She’s also beyond cool!
She was amazing on the day, and somehow manages the mammoth task of organising the guests for their pics, lots of them are still gushing about her now! We love our pictures so much, and can’t imagine having gone for anyone else.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Pimhill is such an amazing venue that it didn’t really need a lot.
Our family spent months before the wedding collecting jars, which I then decorated with string and lace. We used these as tealight holders and as mini vases for some gypsophilla which we dotted round. We used some bunting and a few fairy lights around the barn from Sharelle (Appletree).
We’d picked up little things like tiny chair bunting, silver hearts on string and mini blackboards from little village shops and eBay, but that was about the extent of the décor.
Sharelle also sorted some giant letters with D & H, Mr & Mrs Bennett and Love, which she lovingly painted for us in our chosen colours.
We broke wedding breakfast norms and decided to go for Paella as our meal, we wanted something relaxed and after much taste testing at UK street food markets, Las Paellaras fitted the bill perfectly. We booked Polly’s Parlour to serve ice cream for dessert as everyone loves ice cream!
The bar was really cool; Agatha the old ambulance really did have everyone talking about her on the day. Dean is obsessive about craft beer so he wanted something where he could control what was on tap and the bottled beer stocked. Hoban & Sons were more than accommodating with our requests and they fitted into our day perfectly.
THE HONEYMOON | We rented a brand new VW California campervan and did 3 weeks driving 3000 miles around France. It was perfect; really us and we just wish we could have done it for 6 months, the 50 bottles of wine we brought back softened that blow!!!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | All of it! The ceremony itself was so special, we were both really emotional and it was lovely.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Keep focused that it’s about the two of you and what you want, we weren’t stressed during the whole planning process, but in the few weeks before the wedding we were ready to elope! Some guests and family will stress you out with various requests, but on the day they’ll love every second, so keep that in mind! Also, search the net and read blogs for inspiration, it’s where you find out about most things, and we found that the typical wedding magazines just don’t give you that.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Sassy at Assassynation
Venue | Pimhill
Event co-ordination | Appletree Weddings & Events
Food | Las Paellearas
Bar | Hoban & Sons
Ice Cream | Pollys Parlour
DJ | Disco Wed
Furniture Hire | Anthology
Flowers | Jasmine’s Floral Fancies
Cakes | Little Cake Cupboard
Dress | Agape
Headpiece | Laura Donovan
Bridesmaids | Plum & Pigeon
Make Up | Helena Restall
Hair | Guyz and Dolz
Thanks so much to Helen and Dean for sharing all about their brilliant nuptials xo Lou