Cosy Winter Barn Wedding

Cosy Winter Barn Wedding

We’re getting all classic, cosy and wintry this afternoon with a super special wedding story.

Carly and Dan chose to get married on the 26th February 2016 and chose the magical Cooling Castle Barn in Kent to hold their celebrations. The barn looked amazing with the twinkling fairy lights and tree style centrepieces. The DIY door knocker table names were a lovely touch too, really sweet. There were classic roses used throughout and the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets looked oh so pretty in dusky pink tones.

Carly picked her exquisite lace Enzoani ‘Dabra’ gown after deciding the first dress she chose wasn’t quite the right choice. She looked so elegant and timeless with her hair swept up and a cathedral length veil finishing her look. Simply stunning. The boys were suited and booted in blue suits and tan shoes for a modern yet classic style.

Thanks so much to Kerry Ann Duffy for providing these delightful photographs.


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THE PROPOSAL | Dan proposed to Carly in Turkey at his parents’ villa when they were there for a 12 day holiday. Dan had Carly’s ring made and hid the engagement ring in the pocket of his shorts in his suitcase. When we got to the villa, Dan then hid the ring inside the bath by taking a panel out of the bath (he knows Carly is sneaky and if she suspected anything, she would no doubt go on the hunt to find any clues!).

We were getting ready to go out for a nice romantic meal, overlooking the town of Fethiye. Carly thought Dan seemed quite twitchy and nervous but didn’t suspect anything. After Dan had got himself ready, he disappeared out of the bedroom knowing that Carly would be taking a while to get ready (women!). He suggested that Carly put on his favourite dress for her to wear and once Carly was ready Dan was back up in the room ready to give Carly the most romantic proposal video…. He had put together a clip of photos from various holidays and things that we had done in our lives all to the beautiful song by Eva Cassidy ‘Songbird’. Once Dan had given Carly the video to view, he told her to view it and then meet him downstairs.

The video clip ended with ‘so meet me downstairs and I have a question to ask you….’ When Carly opened up the bedroom door, there were flower petals everywhere, which Dan had put outside the room and all the way down the sweeping marble staircase. By this point, Carly was in tears I must add! At the bottom of the stairs was Dan on one knee, Dan had Ed Sheeran ‘Thinking out Loud’ playing in the background. It was all a very emotional moment for both of us and Carly was in shock!

THE VISION | We had always envisaged having a barn style wedding. We were originally planning on a summer wedding however when we found and viewed Cooling Castle Barn, we fell in love instantly. We therefore sacrificed the summer wedding and went for a winter wedding instead, which went perfectly with what we had wanted – lots of wood and cosiness!

THE PLANNING PROCESS | From the date we booked Cooling Castle Barn and the time we had from getting engaged was around 18 months (it seemed like a lifetime!). Carly got straight on to the planning as soon as we returned from our holiday. We thought that a rustic themed wedding would go well with the venue and we both absolutely love wood and the cosyness of it so we decided to go along the rustic route.

THE VENUE | Cooling Castle Barn, Kent.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Carly’s dress was Enzoani ‘Dabra’. Her head piece was from Debenhams and her jewellery was from Ivory & Co.

FINDING THE DRESS | So… Carly bought her dress from Bellissima Bridal in South Woodham, Essex. Carly only went to Bellissima and found ‘the one’ instantly… or so she thought! Carly originally had a gown from Mori Lee however around 6 months prior to the wedding, she got cold feet and decided that the dress perhaps wasn’t ‘the one’. Bellissima were absolutely amazing, in particular Kaye, the Assistant Manager there. Carly had had sleepless nights over the dress and emailed Bellissima at all hours of the morning to request that she went back in to try the dress on again. Carly went back in to Bellissima around 6 months before the wedding and after getting cold feet about the dress, she tried on some other dresses and finally found the gown she got married in. It really was a case that the dress was meant to be because even though Carly’s original gown had been delivered to Bellissima, Kaye had a conversation with the Mori Lee HQ and a full refund was given which meant Carly was able to have her dream dress by Enzoani.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Anthony’s Formal Wear in Billericay, Essex.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | We didn’t have any readings. Carly walked down the aisle to Eva Cassidy ‘Songbird’. Signing the register we had Rod Stewart ‘Have I Told You Lately?’, Ellie Goulding ‘How Long Will I Love You’ and Lionel Richie ‘Stuck on You’. We then walked out to Michael Jackson ‘Love Never Felt So Good’.

During the course of our wedding breakfast, we had a guitarist/singer called Ben Eve from Essex who was absolutely brilliant. We would highly recommend him to anyone.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The bridesmaids wore Alfred Angelo dresses and they were bought from Precious Moments Bridal Wear in Rayleigh, Essex. The bridesmaids all picked their own dresses to make sure they all felt a million dollars and hadn’t been put in a dress that didn’t suit their figures or shapes.

THE FLOWERS | The flowers were provided by Danny Watchorn Designer Florist in Kent. The bride’s bouquet was a compact hand tie design bouquet of Amnesia Roses, Bubbles spray Roses, Quicksand Roses, Bombastic spray Roses and a touch of cream Astilbe. Handle of bouquet bound in hessian, with a cream lace overlay, finished off with a cream Pearl pin line.

The bridesmaids bouquets were the same as the brides but a smaller version and they had theirs finished with a white lace bow.

Groom’s buttonhole: A single Quicksand Rose, with a single Bombastic spray Rose and a single Bubbles spray Roses. Stems were bound in off white lace.

Groomsmen buttonholes: Buttonholes of a single Quicksand Rose. Stem to be covered in hessian.

Table Arrangements: 10- Birch trunk design arrangements. Flowers in off white, white and green, with a hint of colour, as Bride’s bouquet. Arrangement to include Hydrangeas. 5 lace top tea lights placed around base, with fresh cream, pale pink and sandy coloured Rose petals and a few crystals scattered on the tables. Design finished off with 5 glass bubbles, with a tea light in them, hung from the arrangement.

Top table: A long low design, with small bowls sunk into arrangement with a floating candle in them. 3 Lace topped tea lights placed each side off arrangement, with petals and crystals scattered. Top table was swaged with hessian and lace bows.

THE CAKE | This was provided by Bev at Smarshmellow in Rayleigh, Essex.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Kerry-Ann Duffy. She is the most amazing photographer and we are so glad we used her. She made both of us feel so comfortable and relaxed on our day and we could not recommend her more.

We also used Unique Visuals in Essex for our videography. We have now received our video back from them, which is absolutely amazing.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | So, the table numbers were made by Dan. We had seen the idea of the door knockers on Pinterest and decided to give them ago and thought it would be nice to just have them lent up against the rustic tree trunks provided by Danny Watchorn for our flowers to go in. The door knockers were made from old palettes and floor boards. We then ordered from Etsy, the rustic door plates to go on top. These were actually from America! We then went to the Range and got the wooden numbers to stick on which Carly glue gunned on.

We had two twiggy birch trees which were placed on either side of the top table on the posts at the barn. These were decorated with fairy lights by Danny Watchorn. Danny also decorated the barn with fairy lights on each post and we had the floating heart which was put in the ceremony room and then transferred onto the plough for the wedding breakfast.

Carly’s dad also made some beautiful white ladders which were placed in the main barn. Carly then got flowers and ‘bits and bobs’ as can be seen in the photographs to add to the ladders. She added photos in frames of both Dan’s parents and her parents on their wedding days and photos of other family members on their wedding days. Danny Watchorn then added jam jars filled with flowers and some fairy lights.

THE HONEYMOON | We went to Grenada in the Caribbean and stayed at Sandals. We flew out on the Monday after our wedding on the Friday.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | All of it! There really wasn’t a moment when we weren’t grinning from ear to ear.

Something that we will both cherish forever is that on our honeymoon, we found out we were expecting our first little bubba, which is due on 6th November 2016 :-)

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Try not to over think the minor details too much, there were so many things that we had sleepless nights over and us as a couple didn’t even notice them on the day! We think that as long as you are sharing your special day with your friends and family, the day will be perfect.

Advice for brides – don’t be too hasty and buy your bridal gown too early!


Photography | Kerry Ann Duffy – The best photographer EVER! We could not be happier with our photos and Kerry is so lovely. She really did make us feel so comfortable and relaxed on our big day.

Venue | Cooling Castle Barn – The venue was absolutely fantastic from start to finish. They really did look after us, the food was beautiful, the bar prices were very reasonable and there was not a single hitch on the day!

Film | Unique Visual Wedding Films – These guys were brilliant and we are over the moon with our beautiful cinematic wedding video. They were discreet and again, made us feel so comfortable and relaxed on the day.

Bridal make up and hair | Emma Smisson – Emma was absolutely fantastic. She again made me and the bridesmaids all feel very much at ease on the day and she did a brilliant job of making us all beautiful on the day. Emma went above and beyond and helped Carly get into her dress on the day and put her veil in too!

Flowers | Danny Watchorn Designer Florist – We have to give a lot of our wedding looked on the day to this guy and his team. The flowers were beautiful and the way he decorated the barn and the venue for us was absolutely stunning and more than we had ever hoped for. We could not recommend Danny more!

Guitarist and singer | Ben Eve – Ben was absolutely brilliant and he played some beautiful songs, which got a lot of people jigging in their seats and singing along. Highly recommended!



Oh so romantic.

Carly and Dan, thanks so much for sharing your cosy winter wedding here today xo Lou


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