Hazy summer days of wandering, exploring and balmy weather. This image above really transports you right there doesn’t it? In fact the incredible images here today by Barney Walters really document a wonderful wedding, filled with love, joy and candid moments. It’s so very glorious.
Claire and Rob were wed on the 30th July 2016 at Lyde Court in Herefordshire, a beautiful barn venue, which enabled the pair to hold their stunning ceremony in the open air. Their outdoor ceremony really looked so special, and personal song and reading choices made it all the more meaningful to the couple. Singing around the campfire into the early hours with their loved ones must have been pretty magical, as was the sparkler exit at the end of the evening.
Books, dinosaurs and beer pong were order of the day and the bride and groom searched high and low in charity shops for hidden gems. The barn adorned with their finds, fairy lights and bunting really looked the part. As did the newlyweds who looked stunning in their chosen attire. What a brilliant celebration.
THE PROPOSAL | We took a year off work to travel the world in 2013 – 2014. Half way through our trip, on Christmas day, we were in Chang Mai in Thailand. We decided to go to an elephant sanctuary and while we were washing the elephants, Rob pulled out the ring box and proposed!
THE VISION | We wanted a relaxed and fun day where our friends and family could enjoy themselves and celebrate with us. We wanted most of the day to be outside (however optimistic this may have been booking a wedding in July in England) and we also wanted to be able to keep the party going as long as possible. Lyde Court was perfect for us. We kept the singing going around the campfire until 4am (and a fair few of the guests carried on after we went to bed!).
Having the bunk houses on site was ideal – they provided cheap accommodation for our guests and meant we could keep celebrating until the wee hours. The full English breakfast the next day was just the ticket to help us nurse our hangovers and relive the night all together.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We booked Lyde Court two years in advance of our wedding date, so we were able to take our time with the planning. We knew we wanted our wedding to be a representation of us as a couple, so we had to fit in what we were best known for, dinosaurs and books in for me and beer pong in for Rob! We scoured charity shops for the dinosaurs and books and headed to B&Q for gold spray paint and beer pong tables and we were pretty much done! We did little bits here and there and used our spare room as wedding ground zero.
THE VENUE | Lyde Court in Hereford. As we mentioned, what really swung it for us was the beautiful grounds and the fact that the owners and registrars were happy to conduct the ceremony outside overlooking the rolling hills of Hereford. What was also great was the barn, which was just as beautiful as the grounds. In booking an outdoor wedding in July, we were very away that the English weather might not have the same ideas as us on the day, but our ‘Plan B’ of using the barn really didn’t feel like a ‘Plan B’ because it was so lovely in its own right. The bunk houses meant our friends and family could stay on site for £25 each (including breakfast the next day) and continue the party long into the night!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was by Sassi Holford and purchased from Ivory Tower in Knowle.
FINDING THE DRESS | Ready to give up after trekking through six other dress shops with my parents and best woman, we found two awesome dresses in Ivory Tower! In the end, we went with the more relaxed and informal dress in order to match the surroundings of the countryside. The ladies at Ivory Tower were amazing and very professional. I would highly recommend them to any nervous or stressed-out brides out there!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Rob’s suit was from T.M. Lewin and his waistcoat and tie was from the wonders of the internet! We bought the same suit and waistcoat for the best man with a different coloured tie. It worked out to be a similar price to hiring the suit and Rob has worn it to a number of weddings since our own!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We used Spotify for our entrance and exit music – ‘Hey Soul Sister’ by Train for our entrance and ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ by Hall and Oates for our exit. During the ceremony, our good friend David read from ‘A Lovely Love Story,’ which is a modern fable about a lonely dinosaur looking for love. At the end of the ceremony, Rob’s dad played the guitar and sang ‘Grace Darling’ by The Strawbs, which was lovely and made everyone very tearful.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Rob and I decided to keep the wedding party small and have a best man and best woman each. My best woman was my childhood bestie, Penny. She wore a mint green dress from Ariella.com and was a joy to behold. Breaking with tradition, we asked her to give a speech and she smashed it. She was super organised throughout and even made her well-stocked emergency kit which, although teased about, was actually great as we used it to sew a button back onto Rob’s waistcoat just before the ceremony!
THE FLOWERS | The flowers were a mix of succulents and peach petals from The Herefordshire Flower Studio. As well as the two bouquets, we also had the button holes for the gents and corsages for the mums and a sweet little flower wand made for our 18 month old niece.
THE CAKE | Rob made the cake! It was quite the operation the day before the wedding! Louise at the Herefordshire Flower Studio provided the succulents to decorate.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was Barney Walters. He was a superstar from start to finish. We met Barney when he shot a friend’s wedding, at which I was a bridesmaid, in 2015. Rob and I were sold not just by his calm and sunny demeanour but mainly by the insane sliding dive he took across the lawn of the reception to catch a candid moment between some guests! We tried to book him there and then but, ever the professional, he told us to have a look at his website when we perhaps hadn’t drunk as much gin and let him know if we liked his style. Barney was great at putting us both at ease on the pre-shoot and by the time of the wedding, it felt totally normal for him to be hanging around with us, he even arrived early for family breakfast the day of the wedding!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Aside from the DIY dinosaurs and the charity shop books, we also had an assortment of vintage glass bottles and succulents around. We stamped out some quotes from our favourite books and put them in IKEA gold-spray-painted frames and fluffed up a mountain of pompoms from Hobby Craft to hang around the space. The most important item was the 3ft tall cardboard dinosaur who held the beer pong rules for us! It was really a hodge-podge of items but it all pulled together in the end.
THE HONEYMOON | We’re both teachers, and so had the remainder of the summer holidays available to us for the honeymoon (don’t hate us!) We flew to Montreal in Canada a few days after the wedding and spent the remaining weeks making our way across to Vancouver before returning to work in September.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The most memorable moments for me are walking down the aisle with my mum and dad and the speeches. We asked both sets of our parents to make a joint speech, which was lovely and a break from tradition. Rob and I also made a joint speech before hearing the hilarious comments of our best man and best woman. We also both have very fond memories of our friends singing (not-so-tunefully) around the campfire at 4am while drinking the last of the wine!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Do what makes you happy and don’t feel like you “have to” have something or uphold a tradition, which doesn’t feel like the right fit. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family. Our DJ was a university friend of mine and another friend did my make-up on the day. Our friends were happy to arrive early and help set up the barn and the grounds. Most importantly, have fun!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Barney Walters
Venue | Lyde Court
Catering Team | Wedding breakfast of Afternoon Tea provided by Sisters Catering, Evening food provided by Pizza Heaven Catering
Florist | The Herefordshire Flower Studio
Dress | So Sassi by Sassi Holford purchased from Ivory Tower
Hair Stylist | Charlotte Evans from Giinger Hair Boutique
Suit Designer | T. M. Lewin
How wonderful that the wedding was all held outside, such a treat for all.
Thanks so much to our lovely couple and to their photographer Barney for sharing their story and images here today xo Lou