By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
WWW readers Jenn and Kris are joining us today with their gorgeous Eden Barn wedding in Cumbria held on the 18th August 2019. Think all the fairy lights, oodles of greenery and even a rainbow made an appearance! Wow.
Their wedding was both romantic and relaxed, with them making a real weekend out of their celebrations. I think it’s always lovely to extend the party if possible, which ensures lots of memories made and opportunities for mingling with everyone too. I especially love the botanical vibe to their day, with lots of fresh flowers, rustic wooden touches and eucalyptus used in abundance in the décor. The result in the barn was a very magical setting, so special!
The outfits were all really beautiful, there was fantastic wooden signage and a magnificent semi naked cake too. All in all it was such a lovely day and there are so many thoughtful touches throughout too. Huge thanks goes to Margarita Hope Photography for sharing with us these divine captures of a really wonderful celebration.
Kris proposed on our 2 year anniversary in the same place where we had our first date, and it was a complete surprise! It’s this beautiful park in Sedgefield, called Hardwick Park. Kris brought a picnic and roses…and our dog, Louis. He gave me the first package to unwrap and inside was a small hammer. I was very confused! He then gave me a second package and I unwrapped it. It was a brick – which only made me more confused (but very excited!). I had to hammer the brick open and inside was a small metal plaque; on one side was my favourite photo of us, and the other side were the words “Jenn, you are my soulmate. Will you marry me?”. Of course I said yes! Kris had a bespoke ring made with a leaf and vine design which helped with the inspiration for our wedding. He’s a true romantic.
We both wanted a relaxed wedding in the countryside with all our friends and family. We wanted to make the day really personal to us and to have our dog, Louis, be a part of the day too! We had the idea of making it a weekend celebration for our families which really paid off.
We started looking for venues as soon as we got engaged (September) as we wanted to get married the next summer. We knew we wanted to get married in a barn so started there. We visited a few venues but knew Eden Barn was perfect as soon as we saw it and met Cliff and Carolyn the owners.
Eden Barn is so beautiful! It’s set in the Eden Valley in Cumbria with rolling farmland all around. Neither of us are religious so wanted a civil ceremony. It was important that the location of the ceremony was special, and we adored the feel in the main barn with the festoon lights. The eucalyptus we chose went perfectly with the barn and it looked so beautiful on the day.
We stayed at Low Ploughlands converted barns (very close to Eden Barn) with our families from the Friday and got married on the Sunday. We had a BBQ on the Friday then invited our friends over on the Saturday for a pre-wedding afternoon tea/garden party. A lot of our friends travelled from various parts of the UK to be with us for the wedding (we even had friends visiting from Australia) so wanted to spend some time with them over the weekend, as we knew how quickly the actual wedding day would go. This worked really well because everyone was so relaxed and got to know each other.
My talented Auntie Norma made our cake. It was 3 tiers of vanilla and lemon flavoured sponge. We went for a semi-naked design with flowers to decorate it. I painted some peg dolls of Kris, our dog Louis and I to top it. Painting the peg dolls was one of my last jobs I did the night before we left for Cumbria for our wedding! It was so worth it though because they were so personal to us and now I can keep them forever.
Jenn’s dress was called Melanie by Maggie Sottero from Poppy Bridal in Darlington. I adored the botanical lace back as soon as I saw it. I did have some bespoke lace cap sleeves added to the dress to make it my own. Franky, from Frankie & I did an amazing job with the alterations.
We chose a botanical theme and this linked in with the readings and music we chose. We really wanted readings and music that were meaningful to us. I walked down the aisle to ‘Moonriver’ which is a family favourite and definitely brought a tear to my Dad’s eye. I sobbed! Our readings were ‘I carry your heart’ which is my favourite poem, and ‘love is a temporary madness’ an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Both reference trees intertwining which was an image we loved.
Our first dance was ‘Flowers in the window’ which was sung beautifully by our band – The Odd Bunch! So romantic.
Hair for bride and bridesmaids was by Amanda Bolton. I wanted a natural look and Amanda achieved this so well!
Makeup was by Bellissimi Beauty. Again, I wanted a natural look as I’m not used to wearing very much makeup. The girls were wonderful.
Our photographer was Margarita Hope Photography. We chose her because we loved her style of photography and felt really comfortable with her straight away. We knew we didn’t want to focus on posed photos and Margarita understood this. Her style is very adventurous and romantic and we couldn’t be more in love with our photos. The weather changed throughout our day from sunshine, showers, to wind, and we even had a rainbow appear in the afternoon which Margarita was able to capture for us.
Our florist was ‘Appleby Flower Basket’, a florist local to Eden Barn. We both wanted lots of greenery to decorate the barn and chose eucalyptus silver dollar. It looks beautiful but also made the barn smell amazing. I love flowers so wanted as many as possible. Sandra at AFB made the most beautiful bridal crown for me which I adored. My bouquet was a beautiful mix of eucalyptus, roses and blue delphiniums. The flowers were really beyond my wildest dreams and the entire barn looked incredible.
Months before the wedding Kris made some planters in the shape of ‘LOVE’ and filled them with succulents. They grew so well, and we used them to decorate the area outside the barn. They looked so special.
We mainly used eucalyptus and flowers to decorate the barn. We also had small tea light candles all over the barn which gave just enough light to keep that cosy, romantic feeling. Both Kris and I made quite a few things for the wedding, including the table plan and order of service. I also collected wedding photographs from both our parents and grandparents and displayed those in a frame with love quotes from our wedding music and readings. It was really important to me to have something to represent our families and the love they share on our special day.
Thanks to Betty Kisses Pet Services, we were able to have our dog, Louis, with us for a few hours on the day. This made it complete for us as he’s such a big part of our little family.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were from a mixture of stores (ASOS and Dorothy Perkins). I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable so I chose the blush colour and let them choose their own dresses. They looked so beautiful when they were all together; the colours really complimented each other without looking too uniform. We hadn’t actually seen all the dresses together until 2 days before the wedding as my bridesmaids are spread out around the country – so that was a really lovely moment. Margarita took some beautiful photos of the dresses hanging from the beams in the barn, with our shoes below, on the morning of the wedding day.
Kris and the groomsmen wore modern blue suits from Ted Baker. The groomsmen had personalised cufflinks, and Kris wore cufflinks with the coordinates of Hardwick Park (where we got engaged) and Eden Barn. Kris also wore some socks with our dog Louis’ face on them which were his wedding gift from Jenn!
We went on a minimoon to the Cotswolds and stayed in a treehouse for a few days after the wedding. It was great to have some time away just us after the craziness of the weeks building up to the wedding. A few weeks later we went to Montenegro for the official honeymoon. We both wanted to go somewhere we had never been before and Montenegro didn’t disappoint.
There really were so many – opening up our gifts to each other on the morning, seeing the flowers for the first time, and seeing the barn all decorated with our friends and family there, are just some.
We wrote our own wedding vows and kept them secret from each other; it was so emotional during the ceremony to hear what we had written and the personal promises we had made.
The weather on our day was so variable – we had sun, rain and wind throughout the day. Taking photos in all weathers was a very unusual and memorable experience! We ended up with some amazing shots and were lucky enough to have a rainbow!
Try to make the day as personal to you as possible. Whether that’s through small things like the music you choose to walk down the aisle to, the photos you display or flowers you choose, or really big things like writing your own personal vows. When you see everything come together on the day, you’ll know all the planning will have been worth it! And choose a great photographer! We were so lucky with all the suppliers we worked with, everyone was truly amazing and so kind, and we just want to thank them all for making our wedding so special.
Margarita Hope Photography
Amanda Bolton Hair
Appleby Flower Basket
Betty Kisses Pet Services
So very romantic! And that RAINBOW! Oh my.
Jenn and Kris thank you so very much for sharing your totally gorgeous wedding day with us xo Lou
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