Oh my goodness, where to begin? I have to say this wedding really gave me all the feels. It was held on the most gorgeous Autumn day in a rustic barn setting. Oh yes. The utterly magical images are by the brilliant Jen Marino and we are so thankful to be sharing them with you.
WWW readers Grant and Clare were hitched on the 23rd September 2017 at the North Hidden Barn in Berkshire. A hidden gem of a venue with the most stunning surrounding countryside. Our pair wanted a relaxed and enjoyable day for their guests with a bohemian vibe. They kept wedding planning simple by making quick decisions and people, music, food, and drinks were the priority. It made for a really thoughtful and personal wedding day.
So what are my fave things about their wedding? First up, the outfits. Grant and the gents looked so dapper in their brown check jackets and blue chinos. Clare looked so beautiful in her lace fit and flare gown by Lillian West, which hugged her baby bump so gorgeously. Then there were the florals in an array of Autumnal hues, think orange, blush and oxblood tones. There were dahlias, roses, chrysanthemums, olive foliage, fresias and gypsophila to name a few. I really hope my Cafe Au Lait Daliah’s grow into such beauties as featured in Clare’s bouquet. WOW. I have a feeling you will love this celebration as much as me.
Our first date was in Bath. We had decided to go to Bath Christmas shopping (it’s one of our favourite places to visit). I was enjoying a day of shopping when Grant suddenly started saying we had to be somewhere for a certain time. We arrived outside Bath Abbey for a guided tour. I love a guided tour so I was very impressed that Grant had booked it. I started to become a little suspicious when no one else joined us for the tour. We climbed up through all the old stair cases, looked at the bells and behind the huge clock face and ended up on top of Bath abbey outside. Without realising our tour guide had sloped off. I was taking in the amazing view and when I turned around Grant was on one knee and asked me to marry him. I love that Bath will continue to be our special place with great memories.
We always wanted to try and create a relaxed day where all of our family and friends could let their hair down and enjoy themselves. We felt very strongly that we didn’t want it to be stuffy or uncomfortable or formal in any way. Grant grew up in the country side and I love bohemian themes so our aim was always to try and combine them both. Our idea was if we stay true to ourselves and always choose what we love then everyone we love will hopefully love it too.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
We got engaged on 20th December 2016 and set the date for the following September. I didn’t want to have a couple of years of just thinking about the wedding. I began by looking at Pinterest and got some basic ideas and then we decided that we would be impulsive with our choices. If we loved something we wouldn’t spend forever exploring alternatives or options we would just go with what we loved straight away. We found this worked really well. Not giving ourselves too much time to think about things made the planning simple and straight forward and true to us. We also decided we weren’t going to stress about things that people don’t particularly remember. Our aim was to create the best atmosphere and feel. We decided that the people, music, food, and drinks were the most important areas to create the best day for us and our guests.
We set ourselves a budget of £10,000. We ended up spending just under £12,000 for everything. We were determined to still not be paying for our wedding after our wedding day.
North Hidden Barn, Hungerford – we loved this rustic barn because it was local to us and set in beautiful countryside. We also loved that it’s a bit of a hidden gem. You can’t find much about it on the internet and a lot of local people use it. The owners of the barn are amazingly helpful and supportive and allow you to create the venue you want. It’s a beautiful natural barn that can be set up in any way you want.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
Originally I wanted to go for a more bohemian dress. I didn’t want it to be big and over the top. I am a very casual person day to day and I was adamant I wanted to be comfortable on my wedding day. I planned on dancing all night so I need to be able to move around easily in my dress. The dress I chose was perfect because it had stretch in it so it was super comfortable. I loved the lace detail on the dress and the open back. It was very light weight and perfect for our big day. The dress was by the designer Lillian West. I knew I didn’t want a veil but decided to go for a head piece that was provided by a local bridal shop in Hungerford.
FINDING THE DRESS
I’d never looked at wedding dresses before. I had an idea of what I wanted but I was open to suggestions too. I literally turned up with close friends and family, chose ones I liked the look of and just started trying them on. I found my dress in the second shop I looked in and it was the last dress I tried on. We all knew instantly that it was the one.
Grant grew up in the countryside and wanted to reflect this in what he wore. Again he wanted to be comfortable for the day. We also wanted the best men and wedding party to be able to wear their jackets and attire again. Grant decided he wanted to wear dark chinos (the best men and wedding party just wore their own dark coloured chinos) we loved that they all didn’t quite match. We didn’t want everyone to be exactly the same. The waistcoats and jackets were from Moss Bros.
The men just wore their own white shirts and we provided a knitted navy tie to match their dark chinos. We then bought handkerchiefs with pheasants on (all different colours) trying to avoid too much matching for the groom and best men.
THE READINGS & MUSIC
Instead of the usual wedding march I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D – this is our favourite piece of music. We had our closest friend read a beautiful Shakespeare Sonnet 116. Music at the venue was really important to us. I absolutely love dancing and I wanted to make sure I could dance all night long. Luckily we had been to our friend’s wedding 2 years previous to ours and they had had the most incredible live band so we booked them. They are called ‘Got it Covered’. They completely bought the dance floor to life! They performed our first dance live too. Original song by Mumford and Sons, There will be time. They were just amazing and really did create the best atmosphere for our guests to dance all night long.
I had my beautiful sister as a maid of honour and then our two nieces as flower girls. I have quite a few close friends that I couldn’t choose between and I didn’t want to end up with 5 or 6 bridesmaids. I also wanted all of my girlfriends to be able to choose what they wanted to wear to our wedding. Because I only had my sister, I let her choose her dress. I wanted her to feel comfortable and love the dress she was in. She chose beautifully. I didn’t want the flower girls being in exactly the same either. I wanted them to have a similar theme but wearing different dresses. I also wanted them to be able to wear their dress again and for them to be comfortable throughout the day.
We really wanted to create a natural feel on our day and we wanted our flowers to reflect that too. A friend of mine recommended a local lady ‘Saint Floral’. She was just amazing. She forages for a lot of natural flowers for the bouquets. I absolutely fell in love with her flowers and knew they would be perfect for our day. I explained the type of wedding we wanted and how I didn’t want the bouquets to be the same. I wanted natural, wild flowers for the bouquets. I was really relaxed when I met her and explained what I wanted and she chose the flowers and created the bouquets. She captured what we wanted perfectly.
We were incredibly lucky to have two close friends make our cake. One of our friends is amazing at making macarons. We decided that because we loved them so much and we knew everyone would be able to eat them easily that we would have them instead of a traditional wedding cake. We had a base cake with a tower of macarons on top. We were delighted that it was all eaten and enjoyed by the guests. It was delicious!! The macarons were the talk of the wedding and people were smuggling them out.
JEN MARINO!! This lady is the most incredible photographer. I noticed her photos on a friends Instagram and instantly fell in love. Her photos are simply beautiful, capturing people naturally in the most amazing way. I knew straight away that I wanted her to take photos for our special day. Jen and her lovely mum really were the most incredible people to have photographing our wedding. They were super relaxed and friendly which instantly put us at ease. She didn’t have us standing around for hours. She is so talented she would see a vision or picture and before we knew it it was captured. I adore our wedding pictures. She captured our special day in the most amazing way.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
We wanted to keep all of the details and décor as simple as possible. We didn’t want everything matching either. We also wanted to try and make it as cheap as possible. My mum went crazy collecting jars, we decorated them ourselves and lit up the barn with them. A friend’s son cut wood for us for the centre pieces on the tables. All the other decorations were items collected from our house. We wanted the venue to ‘represent’ and ‘feel’ like us and thought that was a cheap and easy way of trying to achieve that.
Unfortunately we didn’t get a honeymoon because I fell pregnant and ended up being 7 months pregnant on our wedding day! Our honeymoon was welcoming our son into the world.
Sounds corny but I can’t think of specific memorable moments. We love how we feel when we think about our wedding. Everyone smiling, talking, laughing and dancing the night away. The atmosphere was magical and we will treasure that forever.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
Try to stay true to yourselves, what you love and what you want. If you do this I honestly believe you will create the best day for you and your loved ones.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Quintin Catering – They were amazing. Food was delicious and amazing value for money. Highly recommend them.
Got It Covered
So so perfect.
Grant and Clare, thank you so much for kindly sharing your wedding story with us, what a pleasure it’s been xo Lou