Dreaming of sunshine and cardigan weather? Me too, and today’s glorious wedding day will be sure to transport you there for a while.
WWW readers Josephine and Matt married in September 2013 and held their wedding day at the beautiful Brick Kiln Barn, Suffolk. It was important to Josephine and Matt that there were no stuffy formal moments and that their day had a relaxed feel.
There was a real outdoorsy feel to their wedding, with speeches on hay bales outside of the barn and fete games to keep guests entertained. They had a home made feel to their décor and guests brought scrumptious cakes.
Josephine looked elegant in a chic silk crepe dress with her hair in a beautiful up do. Matt wore a suit by Next without the jacket while the bridesmaids looked pretty in peach.
Thanks so much to the ever wonderful Brighton Photo for sharing her images with us today.
The Proposal… Matt has been coming along to our annual family holiday in Cornwall for 7 years, and knows it’s my favourite place. One evening in May 2012, Matt tried to coax me down to the beach for sunset. Having had a perfect day with a long headland walk, surfing, a snooze on the beach and just eaten a huge dinner I was comfy on the sofa and took some persuading! Once he got me down there he dropped down on one knee and all I can remember is laughing, then crying and saying ‘ Oh my God, are you really asking me!?’
The Vision for the Day… Above all relaxed and informal. We wanted a fun day that wasn’t going to be stressful for our families or for us. No stuffy formal moments, just great times with family and friends. Fun, food, laughter and dancing.
The Planning Process… After an early surge of activity looking at venues in Cornwall, we decided logistically it wasn’t going to work, so we then had about 6 months of doing nothing before settling on our location in Suffolk where my parents have a cottage. The planning was in the most part lots of fun, making signs, designing the invites, gathering all sorts of props and deciding on our readings etc. At times it felt like it was taking over all our available time, but we really enjoyed our weekends down in Suffolk sorting out all the finer details.
Budget… We didn’t have a huge budget, and our biggest bonus was probably the venue which compared to other barn venues was great value and allowed us to bring all our own booze with no corkage. We spent most of the money on the food and booze and bought lots of our props on ebay, handmade things and made sure to assess whether something was really worth having.
The Venue… Brick Kiln Barn in Sibton, Suffolk. A beautiful old restored barn which very friendly and helpful owners who just let you get on and plan the wedding you want. They don’t do loads of weddings and we were actually only their 2nd full wedding so it was often of a case of trying things out. We were incredibly lucky with the weather which meant we could use their huge field for our reception and speeches. The barn holds up to 70 people for the ceremony / dinner and has a lovely intimate feel.
The Dress + Accessories… I wore a silk crepe dress which had a lace section in the train and a bow at the back. Towards the end of the night so I could dance properly, I changed into a little embroidered shift dress which I’d bought 5 days beforehand from ASOS!
Finding the Dress… Was to be honest the only part of the whole wedding process I didn’t really enjoy. I felt weird in many of the dresses I tried on and just wanted something fairly classic and simple. No sparkles, not covered in lace etc, and I found it really hard. I also didn’t want to spend lots on it so spend a lot of time researching, looking at vintage dresses, looking at high street options and actually bought 2 other dresses before I settled on this one!
Groom’s Attire… Matt is very tall and always struggles with sleeve and leg length. Next were great with their extra long lengths so he wore an off-the-peg suit from there and had it tailored to perfection by the old gent at the dry cleaners round the corner for £35. I don’t think the jacket got worn throughout the whole day!
The Readings + Music… We had three readings; Union by Robert Fulton, A Lovely Love Story by Robert Monkton, and Blessing of the Hands. Matt’s sisters also sang for us, a wonderful acapella version of Happy Together by the Turtles. I walked in to by Apex Twin, and we walked out to the Lumineers Ho Hey. We created playlists for pre ceremony, during dinner and in between the bands which worked well. Our band were 3 guys called The Walting Street Band. They are fun and quirky and did great covers with one of them playing a tuba!
Beautiful Bridesmaids… My beautiful bridesmaids were my sister Rachel (who looked fabulous 7 months pregnant!), and two of my best friends, Lucy and Miranda. They all wore different peachy coloured dresses that they’d chosen. Lucy lives in Abu Dhabi and we had to get Rach a second dress after she got pregnant so up until the day I hadn’t seen the three dresses together or any of them actually wearing them! Luckily it all worked out and they looked perfect together, matched the flowers amazingly well and they all looked gorgeous.
The Flowers… A local florist called Catherine Hill created our flowers. She was great and they were beautiful. I wanted to keep them neutral and have lovely subtle pinks and peaches. I’d seen a bouquet on a previous blog where the bride had sprigs of lavender coming out which I loved to Catherine created something similar to that and did a lovely rustic wrap using lace and twine. We kept it simple around the venue with a few jars of the mixed flowers, sprigs of gypsohilia, and single lisianthus.
The Cake… Cakes! We had many many wonderful cakes baked by several of our guests! I loved the idea of having a help yourself cake buffet for dessert, adding to the informal nature of the day. So we asked and were so amazed by how many people were more than happy to bring a cake! We had coconut meringue cake, sour cream chocolate cake, banana and cream cake, lemon meringue tarts, blackcurrant cheesecake, chocolate mousse pots, fruit cake, and a beautiful victoria sponge from my mum. The table full of them looked amazing! Matt and I and our mums were the cake servers and it was great fun having everyone come up and choose a little bit of everything! We were eating cake for about a week afterwards (no complaints from me!)
Your Photographer… Our photographer was Heather Shuker from Brighton Photo. She lives close to us in London and was fab! Her pictures capture just the feel we wanted for the day, very informal, fun and relaxed. We met Heather a month or so before the wedding and had a walk around Crystal Palace Park and did a few shots which I think we were both a bit apprehensive about, but was definitely a good idea in advance of the wedding. We’ve had so many positive comments on our photos and love looking back over them! Heather just got on with it on the day, worked really well with everyone else involved and worked really hard to get some fab shots!
The Details + Decor… Lots of vintage lampshades bought from ebay or borrowed from work! Brown paper, chalkboards and simple flowers. Simple white bunting recycled from my parents Jubilee street party the year before and traditional fete games fashioned from jam jars, wood and a locally borrowed coconut shy!
The Honeymoon… A blissful week in Cornwall immediately after the wedding (Highly recommend both The Salt House in St Ives and The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth), followed by a fantastic trip to Sri Lanka over Christmas and New Year.
Memorable Moments… Waking up with Matt and going for a walk on the common and seeing glorious blue skies in every direction. My aunt Dilys coming to pick me up dressed as a chauffeur. Walking into the ceremony and seeing the face of my best friend in Australia on an ipad via a skype link! (She was pregnant so couldn’t come). Messing up my vows, and Matt’s ring not fitting. Matt’s sisters singing. My dad reading out from a letter I’d written him from school camp aged 9, starting with me exclaiming that I was having a nosebleed as I wrote! Matt and I going out into the field during the dancing to have a minute to ourselves and seeing a shooting star at that exact moment. Seeing the cake table for the first time – better than I’d ever imagined it! Waking up married! Breakfast with family and friends at mum and dad’s cottage the next day. So many fantastic memories of a wonderful day.
Advice for Other Couples… Everyone says it, but don’t get caught up with stressy little details about things that really don’t matter. I’d even say don’t worry too much about the dress! I still wasn’t happy with it on the day, but when I think back on the day it’s the last thing I think about. I was marrying my Matt with all our favourite people around and it was amazing!
Don’t feel you need to spend loads of money on everything. By asking our friends to bake cakes we saved on the cost of a dessert and everyone seemed genuinely pleased to be able to contribute. Also do things the way you want. We did our speeches outside before the meal, I got a lift to the barn in my aunt’s Nissan (!), and we didn’t have a table plan. Whatever works for you is the way it should be.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Photography | Brighton Photo
Venue |Brick Kiln Barn
Band |The Walting Street Band
Flowers |Catherine Hill Flowers
Hair |The Lounge hair
Absolutely beautiful, take me to the summer now! Hehe. What a stunning scenic setting too.
Thanks so much to Josephine and Matt for sharing their wedding story with us today XOXO Lou