Planning a wedding from overseas is never an easy task, especially with ‘dodgy internet’ as Hannah tells us. But WWW readers Hannah and Paul totally pulled off their country barn wedding set on Heron’s Farm on 5th May 2015.
A relaxed vibe was order of the day with an injection of personality to reflect their roots in the UK but also their travels in South Africa and Tanzania. I so love the pretty blue colour way they chose for the décor, Spring blooms in white and blue worked so well with the bunting and attire.
Hannah wore a lace Verise Bridal gown teamed with fresh blooms in her hair. Oh so beautiful.
Thanks so very much to the wonderful Karen Flower Photography for sharing these photographs.
THE PROPOSAL | Paul had the plan to propose whilst we were in the UK for a two week visit. We were so busy, as we always are and spending a lot of time running all over the country seeing friends and family. He gave himself one day to sort out the whole process; calling my dad, buying the ring – fortunately he had the foresight to look at ideas for rings online and he had listened to my (very unsubtle) hints that I liked Tanzanite… Can’t have anything else when you live in Tanzania! So I came back to his mum’s house (she wasn’t in thank goodness!!) flustered from a busy day and hoping for a quick turnaround as we had plans to meet my Dad for dinner and were already late. I was slightly suspicious as he answered the door completely ready, which was (and still is) unheard of. I quickly changed in his cramped bedroom, turned around and he was on the floor on one knee! Obviously I said yes! He said he couldn’t wait to ask, and was too nervous to take it all the way back to Tanzania, as soon as he saw me he couldn’t keep the secret!
THE VISION | We wanted something not too big, laid back so guests could really enjoy themselves. We loved the idea of a barn in the countryside, and definitely wanted to be able to have the whole day in one place. May was a good time of year for us with work being less busy, and we knew it would at least be green with spring flowers out, even if it were raining! We wanted to the day to echo our personalities and centre on our roots in the UK but with aspects to reflect our travels in South Africa and Tanzania.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I do not recommend organising a wedding from another country. And I definitely do not recommend organising a wedding from an African country where internet is dodgy and you have hundreds of potential venue photos to download, blogs to read, flowers to decide on and dresses to peruse!! My mum and bridesmaid Sarah, and her partner Tim for the male perspective, were absolutely invaluable for this process. We literally could not have done this without them. They visited potential venues, fortunately not many as we fell in love with the first one, Heron’s Farm. And much to our delight it was even better when we finally (very nervously…) visited it. A flying visit to the UK over Christmas was extremely hectic, however we ticked off a lot of things, which would normally take months. Then it was the long wait until we came back again three weeks before the big day!
THE VENUE | Heron’s Farm was the first venue visited by my family and bridesmaid, Sarah and we loved it straight away. It ticked all the boxes, a beautiful converted barn where we held the ceremony and reception, outside space with lovely countryside surrounding and accommodation on site for us, and guests to stay. We were extremely lucky to get a date there!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was by Verise, off the rack at a designer discount store! It was fairly simple and quite fitted satin with full-length French lace overlay, with a dropped waist and altered to have a low v-neck back. Shoes were lace overlay heels by Rainbow Club.
FINDING THE DRESS | All taken care of within 2 weeks over Christmas when I was in the UK! After 3 or 4 different shops and around 12 different dresses in the last one I finally found the one. With some alterations to the back and a few repairs I was able to take the one I tried in the shop, time didn’t allow for special order. I was worried it would be dirty and look second hand but after some dry cleaning and sprucing it was perfect!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Paul, his best man, Chris, my Dad and our ushers wore navy suits with waistcoats, blue ties and handkerchiefs, and brown brogues. Paul went for something slightly different with a floral patterned blue tie and handkerchief.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | There was a reading by our good friend Brigitte of On Your Wedding Day by Nita Penfold. Music during the ceremony was one of my best friends Vicky playing her guitar. We went for a DJ in the evening.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The gorgeous Sarah, Catherine and Alex. Sarah I met whilst working in South Africa, we bonded instantly over our love of cheetahs! Cat and Alex are friends from university, with these girls we’ve all shared some of the best and some of the worst moments of our lives! They were the most fun, supportive and flexible bunch, ready to both shut up Bridezilla and tell me I looked gorgeous at all the right moments! They organised my epic hen do which was a fab weekend of great food and booze in an amazing mansion with all my favourite ladies!
THE FLOWERS | The flowers were from Green Parlour in Pangbourne. We went for blues, with various arrangements of flowers in small jars and vases for the tables. They fitted wonderfully with the venue. Emma was amazing, they were beautiful!
THE CAKE | This was made by my lovely friend from uni, Rachel. She painstakingly prepared three different, and all vegan, cakes, which she hand decorated and very appropriately topped off with a cute elephant couple! She even matched the cake to our African kanga bunting!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The wonderful Karen Flower! Her photography style was just what we were looking for, a mix of must-have shots, combined with gorgeous reportage. With a photographer husband, the pressure was on to find someone perfect and she definitely delivered! We were delighted with our photos; Karen captured the day beautifully.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We knew we liked the idea of a blue theme, but didn’t want it to look too organised or put together so went for a mixture of tones. We had African bunting from Neema Crafts, hand made in Tanzania, it looked amazing hung in the barn. We kept the table decorations simple, so the flowers stood out. I hand made the place names and used a mirror for the table plan, and Paul’s photos took centre stage as the table names, African animals. Paul’s aunt made us lavender bags, which we hung on the chairs and the favours were home made jam made by a friend. We also hung photos of us with friends and family on the wall of the barn, which looked great and brought back lots of memories!
THE HONEYMOON | Scotland was the first place we lived together and was the perfect choice as with our current living situation being in Tanzania we weren’t really in a position financially or time wise to go further! We spent time in Edinburgh, and then visited the Isle of Mull, which was beautiful! The weather wasn’t amazing but we made the most of our time there with a lot of wildlife watching and lovely dinners. The highlight was a long walk through forest, farmland and along the coastline where we were lucky enough to spot two sea eagles, we’re total wildlife nerds so it made the honeymoon for us!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole day was perfect!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t try to organise a wedding from Tanzania! Try not to worry about all the little details on the day, instead make sure you enjoy it, it goes way too fast!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Karen Flower Photography
Venue | Heron’s Farm
Food and Drink | RS Catering and Events
Dress | The Wedding Warehouse
Cake | Rachel Hudson Cake Decorator
Flowers | Green Parlour
Suits | Healy Menswear
Bunting | Neema Crafts
DJ | Visually Sound
Photographs of the animals | Paul Tickner
How idyllic? Wow.
Hannah and Paul, thanks so much to the both of you for sharing your amazing nuptials with us xo Lou