I know many of you will be making last minute preparations for your lovely rustic barn weddings over the coming months. So I think you’ll really enjoy this home made country wedding filled with personal touches and happy times.
WWW readers Daniel and Hayley were hitched on Friday 5th August 2016 at The Great Barn, Waxham in Norfolk. The barn is large and very atmospheric, surrounded by countryside and is open in the summer to visitors. Something Daniel and Hayley were pleased with, so that they can return for future visits too. Being ample in space they decided to split the venue into different areas, which worked really well. There was the long rows of tables, a hand made wooden bar, relaxed seating area, polariod photo booth and of course the dance floor. It’s can be a really great idea to zone your day, and being in one place keeps the atmosphere buzzing too. They also had fun and games outside, with a chip van to feed hungry guests and an ice cream cart. It looked like such fun.
They wandered in the fields for some truly lovely portraits with their photographer. And didn’t they look gorgeous? With Hayley in lace and Daniel in a blue suit and bow tie, they certainly looked the part. Enjoy this wonderful story WWWers.
Beth Moseley Photography, thanks so much for providing these gorgeous shots.
THE PROPOSAL | Dan once told me as we walked through a park on a cold wet day during a trip to Edinburgh that he planned to propose one day in Paris. So three years later, in 2014, when we were planning a holiday Dan said he wanted to go to either Venice or Paris. I hadn’t forgotten our Edinburgh conversation and so jumped at the chance to go to Paris. I then spent the next few months convincing myself that he had probably forgotten that conversation and I shouldn’t be expecting anything.
In August we found ourselves in Paris and after a gorgeous day wandering the streets and parks, looking in shops and eating ice cream we decided to visit the Eiffel Tower that evening. As we stood in the queue it was announced that they were closing the top due to high winds but we could still go half way up. Dan was getting a bit anxious and suddenly we left the queue with him saying that we should go another day when we could go to the top. I didn’t mind as I wanted to go to the top and see the full view. Dan later revealed that his sudden change of mind was because he could see people going through security and didn’t want the ring to be discovered in his pocket. Instead we wandered by the river, watched some couples ballroom dancing on the street and made our way back to our apartment. After pouring some wine and pulling a chair up by the window seat Dan tried to light some candles in the toaster, which made me laugh and still does! I really wasn’t bothered about candles. I asked Dan to take a photograph of me by the window and I love that photo now because at the time I didn’t know that the next minute he would be on one knee nervously proposing. Obviously, I said ‘yes’.
THE VISION | From the start we knew we wanted a relaxed, DIY wedding that felt more like a big family gathering than an overly formal event. We wanted it to be really personal to us and a really enjoyable day for our guests.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | It took us a long time to find the right venue that would suit our limited budget and our vision. We knew that we wanted a barn and we wanted the freedom to completely make it our own. We also wanted the whole day to be at one venue so when we found the venue and discovered that they were in the process of getting a license to hold ceremonies we knew it was perfect.
We did lots of research and lots of family members got involved in making various things for the day. Dan’s mum made the bunting, which was one of my favourite things! My mum did the flowers – making the beautiful bouquets, corsages and button holes as well as preparing the table flowers, some of which were in wooden boxes my dad made. Following the DIY theme, Dan designed the invites, made the bar and the fairground lights, whilst I made the seed packet wedding favours and put together a children’s area.
We didn’t want a formal sit down meal so went with something at the opposite end of the scale and had gourmet chips provided by Hot Chip. Dan and his brother Ali, also used to run a small ice cream bike business so of course this made an appearance. Unfortunately it rained just at the time we had planned for guests to enjoy the ice cream but it was still very popular.
THE VENUE | The Great Barn, Waxham. A huge thatched barn on the Norfolk coast. I love the fact that unless there is an event on it is open to the public in the summer season so we can go back to the spot we got married whenever we feel like it.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My very talented sister, Louise, made my beautiful lace wedding dress, which I added a sparkly belt too and accessorised with some gorgeous heels from Debenhams.
FINDING THE DRESS | We visited a bridal shop to try out different options to find a style that suited me as I am quite tiny so didn’t want anything that would drown me. Then we designed the dress together and spent a lot of time researching and sourcing the lace, fabrics and accessories. I absolutely loved the process of designing and my sister making my dress. We had numerous fittings and I just loved how perfectly it fitted my body.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Dan wore a navy suit with a bow tie. He had a specific idea of the look he wanted and it took a lot of searching but he finally found the perfect suit. We wanted our friends and family to be comfortable and happy in what they were wearing so the best men wore suits that they had chosen themselves. I also loved the vintage feel of un-matching suits and how the button holes tied them all together.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I am a huge fan of the film ‘About Time’ and since hearing the song ‘The Luckiest’ by Ben Folds on the soundtrack I knew that was the song I wanted to walk down the aisle to as that is how I feel about Dan and it always makes me cry.
Our first dance song was chosen by Dan and was ‘1985’ an album track by the Mystery Jets. We wanted, and got, a song that was unique to us and now not only does it remind me of our first dance at our wedding but dancing in our dining room to it when Dan first suggested it.
We also booked a wedding singer, Dale Bullimore, to entertain the guests with a vintage Big Band style playlist whilst we were having photographs taken. He was very popular with the guests and I only wish we had been able to see more of him.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 5 beautiful bridesmaids – my sister, Louise, and our amazing friend Samantha. Louise made both of their beautiful dresses in blush pink. I also had three younger bridesmaids – Sophie, Katie and Ella. They also wore blush pink dresses from BHS.
THE FLOWERS | We did all of the flowers ourselves buying some from Norwich Market and most from an online wholesale flower nursery.
THE CAKE | We wanted a naked cake with seasonal fruit on. It ended up with a LOT more fruit on than we envisaged but it meant there was plenty to go round. I loved our glittery gold ‘Mr & Mrs Guest’ cake topper!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was the amazing Beth Moseley! We knew of Beth before we got engaged and loved her natural style of photography so didn’t think twice about booking her. She made us feel extremely relaxed and captured some great moments as they happened. I love how she has captured the expressions of so many family members and friends as they reacted to things like the confetti being thrown as well as the children playing outside. She even came back after leaving to take some extra photographs with the backdrop of a beautiful sunset.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | As our venue was so big we had to find ways of breaking it up by creating different spaces within it. As well as the rows of tables and the dance floor we created a seating area complete with black and white Audrey Hepburn films (I’m a big fan) playing and piles of old books. This was particularly popular with our older guests. We also had a bar area with the home made bar, chesterfield sofa and a darts board. Our DIY photo booth area was also very popular as we provided a polaroid camera so guests could take away their photos to keep. One of my favourite parts of the décor was the strings light hung behind the DJ booth (which of course Dan made) with the trees and fairground lights.
THE HONEYMOON | Instead of wedding presents we asked for donations for a honeymoon as our budget didn’t stretch that far . Our guests were very generous and we spent a very relaxing week in Gran Canaria.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There are many memorable moments but the one that stands out for me as summing up what it was all about was my youngest bridesmaid cheering and very excitedly declaring ‘you’re married!!’ as we came out of the ceremony room after the wedding.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t try to do everything yourself! Be super organised! We had a few last minute panics involving songs on our playlist not playing and the table runners not fitting the tables. Enjoy the planning process and don’t get stressed about it. Everyone has their own ideas and advice for you but it’s your day do what you want to do.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Beth Moseley Photography
Singer | Dale Bullimore
Wholesale flowers | Triangle Nursery
Food | Hot Chip
Weren’t all the lovely pink and gold details just so pretty?
Thanks so much to Daniel and Hayley for sharing their delightful story xo Lou