Happy days! It’s time to share Jason and Ellie’s DIY barn wedding held at Deepdale Farm in Yorkshire on the 8th June 2019. First up I must mention that they achieved their incredible celebrations on a budget of £11,000, which is really amazing. Part in thanks to the huge labour of love by themselves as well as their loved ones to craft and create. They hand made stationery and signs, as well as gingerbread favours, bunting and a photo booth backdrop. They arranged the flowers with their nearest and dearest and Ellie’s sister made the lovely cake too. All in all it’s a real showcase in how to pull off a creative, fun and personal wedding day.
Their wedding was also really colourful thanks to the Uno touches, the pom pom cake table backdrop and the fresh colour pop blooms. I also must mention the wonderful attire, Jason and Ellie both looked amazing, hello dress with pockets and floral accessories!
We have Jessica Grace Photography to thank for sharing with us these marvellous images today. Enjoy.
I proposed to Ellie on one of the most perfect days in the summer of 2017, July 8th. I took her on a camping trip and we went for a stroll. Once I had found the perfect spot to ask the big question, I asked her if she wanted a Betty’s fondant fancy. I passed over the box (of 4), she carefully opened the box and on top was a note saying ‘Hand back the box to your boyfriend’. I then opened a letter containing a poem. The poem ended with me popping the question. Inside the box of fondant fancies, there laid the ring within it’s box. There was not room for 4 fondant fancies as the ring took up the 4th ones space. Ellie said yes (of course!), she was beaming with happiness and love. We couldn’t wait to tell family and friends.
We had an idea of what we both liked, that being a natural, colourful yet elegant look and feel. The concrete vision was not possible until the venue was chosen. The venue was chosen after a lot of research and visits. We eventually came across Deepdale Farm and immediately fell in love. With the venue locked in, we were able to follow through with our vision of having a floral, colourful and fun wedding.
The Planning Process
Planning spanned across from the moment we got engaged until moments before getting hitched. Once I put the ring on Ellie we had discussed rough ideas. It wasn’t until a few months when we started looking at venues in more detail. We knew after doing some research that booking a venue as early as possible was vital.
We were very organised when it came to looking and booking i.e. venue, photographer, food, music etc. This gave us an early indication of what the overall budget would look like, also giving us the opportunity to spread costs leading up to the wedding. We both wanted the wedding paid for before saying our vows.
As we entered 2018, designs of save the dates and invitations were being made by ourselves. After the save the dates were sent out we had some breathing space. Across the year we sought after all sorts of items, props and furniture. The flower jars we used were in fact Aldi passata jars. We had to eat A LOT of meals containing this stuff. We both went to auctions almost every month to bag a bargain and seek unique pieces that would add to the décor of the venue.
Ellie’s style of planning was loads of written notes, lists etc. Whereas I prefer to use spreadsheets – this helped us keep track on payment dates, projected and actual spend.
We didn’t necessarily have a strict budget, but we wanted to keep costs low without sacrificing quality. With the help of family/friends and a lot of DIY i.e. making our own favours, designing frames, table numbers etc – we were able to limit spend.
£11,000 in total.
The venue we actually found through a wedding blog. One evening, whilst scrolling through venue photographs, we happened across a blog with images of a couple who had got married at a Yorkshire barn – and fell in love with the place! Luckily for us, the venue was less than an hour from where we live, so we did a bit of investigating and found the location online. It had only started doing weddings the previous year, so they hadn’t quite got their website up and running properly, but we sent an email and went to view it as soon as we could.
The Details & Décor
When it came to the small touches, we designed and made the majority of what was on show. Such as examples included:
- The wrap around logo on the bottles of water on the table.
- The UNO card game themed table numbers and name placers (we LOVE UNO).
- The table plan board (hand painted).
- The order of the day (hand painted).
- Home made gingerbread favours (shaped in love hearts with ‘J&E’ imprinted).
- Homemade bunting.
- Signage (all hand painted and crafted).
- Seaside-esque photo opportunity board. Designed, crafted and built home made.
We left the majority of making things closer to the wedding date which meant at times there was some pressure. However we persevered.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I found my wedding dress on a trip to Brighton with my family and maid of honour. I wasn’t expecting to find a dress there, it was an opportunity to have all the girls together and try on different styles so I could start looking for ‘the one’. I had tried on a range of styles and actually noticed my dress on a mannequin towards the back of the shop. My sister encouraged me to try it on- the princess look wasn’t the style that I thought I would like, but instantly felt a million dollars in it and loved how the satin skirt seemed to shimmer in the lights. I bought it that day.
Me and my groomsmen outfits were actually a mix of various brands. The jacket and waistcoat were hired from Moss Bros, there was no matching trousers with this set. However, they did have photos on their website and in store of suitable trousers which went very nicely with the two piece. Whilst I could have bought these from Moss Bros, I opted for similar trousers at Next. Best part…cheaper…and they still looked great! The shoes were bought from Burton. The floral ties were also bought separately from another clothing outlet (to be honest I cannot remember where from!). Looking back now, having my stag do in Thailand, I could have bought the ties from there…
Forever the savvy planners, we actually went to a flower wholesaler and bought all our flowers from there. This took more planning than anticipated as we only had a basic knowledge of flowers to begin with, and obviously didn’t really know what would be available the week of the wedding etc. To be honest, this was probably the most stressful part of the wedding planning but we wouldn’t have done it any differently! We went a few days before the wedding and had such a fun time picking out bunch after bunch of what we both liked, keeping in mind we would need some for the bouquets and buttonholes too. We then organised to get them delivered to the venue the day before, another nerve racking experience because if the flowers had got lost, the venue would have looked very sparse indeed! But luckily it all went to plan, and we actually had such a lovely day the day before the wedding with family and friends helping to vase them all up. And then the evening before, at the bridesmaid’s house, all us ladies spent the evening sat round the table making our own bouquets – we had a lovely evening. My mum put together the buttonholes for the lads, which got delivered the next morning. My eldest sister even took the time to make me a flower crown, something that I had said I wanted but never got round to making, and my heart fills with love whenever I think about it.
I’m all for saving money as best I can, so decided to do my own hair and make up for the big day. I treated myself to a posh foundation and some fancy lipstick, and to be honest I haven’t used them again since! I found it quite relaxing to do my own though to be honest, it gave me 10 minutes the morning of to just sit in front of the mirror with my own thoughts and make myself look pretty for when Jason would see me. I enjoyed doing it.
The Readings & Music
The music we chose to walk down the aisle was the Cinematic Orchestra, to build a home. It is quite a powerful song which makes an impact and we think it really helped set the mood for the whole ceremony. There is also a section of the song that builds up into a crescendo – a perfect place to make an impact in my dress! And it was long enough to allow each of the bridesmaids to walk down the aisle individually, that was important to me.
We had two readings, one read by my three sisters and one read by Jason’s old friend Tom. Both were friendly, easy listening and cute readings, we didn’t want to bore the guests with dreary or predictable readings.
There was no strict make up procedures for myself and the groomsmen. We all looked and smelt great!
We got all the bridesmaids dresses from Chi Chi London online. As all my girls were such different characters, I couldn’t imagine them in all the same outfit. So decided the best thing to do would be to choose a style of material I liked, keeping with the floral theme, and then let them choose which fit of dress they liked the best! And it worked out perfectly – they each looked so stunning in their dresses and each reflected their character perfectly. I’m really glad we did it this way, and then each of them felt comfortable and confident for the whole day which was important to me.
Talking of a family affair, my sister made us our wedding cake, and boy did she make a cake to remember! It was no small feat to make a 4 tiered wedding cake, and she did it so beautifully, it looked like a work of art! The biggest stress for her was probably transporting the cake from her house to the venue the day before, driving about 5 miles per hour through country roads to get it there in one piece. But it looked fantastic, we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Plus our favourite cakes, carrot cake, a fruit cake for any future christenings, a Victoria sponge and a chocolate and cherry cake – simply delicious as well as looking like a masterpiece.
Jesse was fabulous from start to finish. Jason and Jesse actually went to university together, which was lucky for us because we wanted someone who was not only professional but who was also a friend, we knew we could rely on her. And her photos are so gorgeous anyway, she manages to really bring the beauty out and all her photos are warm and make you smile. She put everyone at ease, which is important to us, which allowed her to capture just the most amazing photographs of everyone and their true smiles.
Again, luckily for us, Jason went to university with his friend Tom who is actually a cameraman professionally, although had never done anything like wedding videos before. And boy, did he do well. Watching our wedding video brought back the whole day, and it was so heart warming seeing all the footage of people enjoying themselves, their reactions throughout the day, smiling and laughing and dancing the night away. I couldn’t recommend having a wedding video enough if you want to re-live your day over and over again.
Believe it or not, we’ve not actually yet had our official honeymoon. We’ve both been very busy! We did however have a really cute mini moon. We stayed in a picturesque cottage on the border of Scotland for 3 nights, complete with hot tub and amazing views. We really were able to relax and reflect. What had been a crazy 6 months leading up to the wedding, it was time for a well earned rest!
We do plan on going away later this year to maybe Bali. We have not yet confirmed the booking, as we are indecisive…there’s just so many amazing places we want to have our honeymoon!
Besides the obvious moment of seeing my shiny gorgeous wife walking down the aisle, there were so many moments that made the day unforgettable.
Leading up to the wedding you worry about ‘what if that happens, what if this happens’ – on the day you let it all go and the good times roll. Whilst we did have rain on the day, it did not dampen the spirits (if you pardon the pun). A special moment for me was walking back down the aisle with Ellie, the sun broke through the clouds and shined on us as we were greeted by all our family and friends as Mr & Mrs Leonard. It was perfect timing.
Another one, very funny – would be at the end of the day. The last song had been played, the bar was closed and the guests have left. Our accommodation was in the nearby village (about 2 miles away) and transportation was very limited. The weather had cleared up. Although we had offers from friends to drop us off, myself, Ellie and several others including the best man, maid of honour and my brother decided to walk from the farm back to the cottages. Off we walked in pitch black darkness, through dodgy farm tracks – we opted to go the short cut which meant climbing over a fence. You can imagine what type of challenge Ellie had climbing over this! The walk home was hilarious, my brother hiding in hedges trying to make us jump, ruining our shoes because of mud and puddles. It was nice to also talk to each other and discuss the hell of party that just came to end. It was a wonderful way to end the day.
Advice For Other Couples
As stressful as a wedding can be in planning, try to enjoy it. It’s not every day that you get to plan a day celebrating love, and having all your nearest and dearest in one room together. We realise that choosing a DIY wedding can seem a bit daunting, but if you take the time and really plan well, the rewards can be immense. So try to enjoy each moment, relish in knowing that each thing has been chosen and planned, made and decorated by people you love and who love you back. It makes the day so special.
Try not to worry too much! It’s easy to get stressed and worry about ‘what if this happens or what if that happens’ – on the day all that goes away. You invite the people you love, they are there for you. If by chance the temporary toilets get flooded and you have to walk the plank to get to them…it’s fine. The guests made do and actually loved it! Another highlight.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Jessica Grace Photography
Music & DJ
Matt Strafford Band
Bakery (Wedding Breakfast & Scones)
Summit Kirkby Moorside
Pizza (Evening Food)
Woodfired Pizza Company
Very fun and so many wonderful DIY touches too. To see more budget weddings head to our archives to inspire you!
Jason and Ellie thank you so much for sharing with us your brilliant wedding celebrations xo Lou