Old Greens Barn Wedding
Relaxed, magical, flower-filled, a celebration of the last of the summer sun!
Brett and Vicky
We are really embracing the Autumn season today with WWW readers Brett and Vicky’s totally magical Old Greens Barn wedding in Surrey. They love the Autumn season so it was a no brainer to choose their wedding date as the 15th September 2018. They chose the most beautiful seasonal colours including burgundy and dusky pink, complete with totally epic flower arrangements, just you wait and see!
Also adding to the magic of the barns were fairy lights and candles twinkling away with cosy and romantic atmosphere. Lots of thoughtful and DIY elements were included; board games, blankets and a fire pit to name a few. It’s also super awesome to see two of our Supplier Love members involved, shout outs to Tailored Entertainment and Vintage Camper Booths for providing the live music and photo booth! Brett and Vicky looked just gorgeous alongside their wedding party in their chosen attire and I just adore the banner table plan, so stylish.
I can’t thank Matt Penberthy Photography enough for sharing these mesmerising images today.
Brett had been acting strange all day and I’d already declined a walk once, scuppering his plans, but after a drink in the pub he asked if I wanted to go to one more place and I agreed. When he started driving down the country track at our local park on a cold December evening I quietly wondered if in fact I was going to be one of those people, splashed across a magazine claiming their partner of many years had tried to murder them in an unexpected psychotic episode. Fortunately, I put my trust in him and was rewarded with a beautiful proposal from ‘our bench’ at a moonlit lake. I had to wait to get back to the car to see the ring properly and it was beautiful! He later told me he had picked the spot as we could easily return to it and relive the happy memories when we were walking our long awaited for but as yet invisible dogs!
We both knew we wanted a fun, laid back and intimate vibe, somewhere private where we could celebrate with our closest friends and family. We’re winter babies and love Autumn, it’s light, it’s colours, that feeling of the evenings beginning to draw in but with lovely crisp bright days. I have a passion for flowers and nature so we knew they had to feature heavily and felt a barn would give us the perfect venue and suit the warm forest fruit colours we’re naturally drawn to.
The Planning Process
Initially we’d planned to marry in Cornwall where we met and Brett grew up. We visited a few hotels but decided that while many were beautiful, they really didn’t suit us (as we’d expected) but we couldn’t find a barn that matched our expectations either. A lot included accommodation in the price which we wouldn’t necessarily need or had other stipulations so eventually we ended up looking closer to home and found our perfect venue!
Once we had the venue sorted, we started booking other essentials such as the caterer, photographer, furniture hire etc. then we both picked 3 things we’d really like to have, followed by some things we’d like budget permitting. Live musicians and a photobooth were high on our list!
The Readings & Music
We had a very traditional service. I entered to Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major played on the organ and exited to La Rejouissance by GF Handel. We had three hymns including the classic Jerussalem as it’s my mums favourite. Our Mums partners respectively read Colossians 3.12-17 and and Duet by SElina Jobbins. while we signed the register, an instrumental version of Annies Song by John Denver was played.
We didn’t have a set budget. We booked the venue and then set a list of priorities, ticking them off first before we added in things which would be nice to have but not essential.
When we found Old Greens Barn after quite an exhaustive search, we knew it was perfect! The grounds were stunning with fishing lakes and old rustic farm buildings. They were really relaxed and allowed a 3 day hire which meant we had plenty of time to set up with the help of family and friends and I could add all the creative touches I wanted.
While the barn offered a blank canvas, we had to bring in everything down to the cutlery, outside furniture and a field kitchen. This allowed us the freedom to pick absolutely anything we liked though, including any suppliers we chose which was a creative joy, albeit adding some extra stress and a whole lot of indecision at times!
Once we had found the venue we knew we wanted a traditional church service but it was too far from our local churches so we spent a sunny weekend visiting a short list of ones local to our venue. I didn’t just want to pick the closest one as I felt it important to feel a connection to it. When we found St Barnabas something clicked and the fact it was in the most beautiful surroundings perched on the North Downs, only added to the feeling. We went back soon after to a service and found the congregation so friendly and welcoming, it confirmed our decision.
One of my oldest friends Sam kindly created our delicious cake as a wedding gift. We kept it very simple with a crowd pleasing vanilla sponge circled with Eucalyptus and created toppers from model pandas, which my clever sister fashioned a little flower crown for!
Our florist Felicity was a dream to work with. Not only is she a very special talented soul, she understood our brief 110% and brought it to life so beautifully, exactly as we envisioned it. She was happy to roll with my suggestion that I’d like to grow a lot of the flowers at our allotment to stretch our flower budget (which must have added some extra stress for her!) and allowed us to provide/create a lot of the vessels and structures used for the flowers. She also did the most amazing job with our bouquets, they smelled heavenly and were full of texture that made my heart so happy. Dahlias and Roses in shades of burgundy, raspberry, dirty pink and apricot were on my list of must haves while lots of different forms of Eucalyptus and Love Lies Bleeding also featured heavily.
The Details & Décor
I’m from quite a creative family so we spent a long time creating lots of little touches for the wedding and everybody helped. I designed and printed all the stationery myself, my sister made the table plan and my mum spent ages dying moss for the place names as it wasn’t the right shade of green! All the wood at the wedding came from an old tree which had fallen at our families property so my step dad spent timing cutting it up for us and I plan to incorporate it into something we can have as a keepsake for the future. Me and Brett also decided to make our own bar which was quite a project, but it was lovely spending sunny afternoons together in my Dads garden, where he chipped in and helped too.
Weddings can be a long day so we wanted to make sure that everybody was comfortable and having a good time while in keeping with what we wanted. We created a side room for down time with sofas, blankets and refreshments and an outdoor area with a fire and seating for people to relax and enjoy the views. There were lawn games as we were blessed with good weather and kids gift bags on the tables to help keep them quiet! We also made sure that food and drinks were plentiful and hired an acoustic guitarist for the day and live band for the evening who were both so fantastic and really helped to set the atmosphere and keep people entertained.
To help create the warm and intimate environment in the barn we hung our own fairylight canopy and had lots of candles, replacing real ones with LED on the tables which had kids! Brett also created the copper frame which the florist flowered to serve as a backdrop and focal point in the barn. The charger plates and coloured glassware were a last minute extravagance once I was sure we had the budget which really helped bring the tables together.
Finding bridesmaids dresses that had something that would suit everybody in the colour I wanted was a bit of a challenge! I knew I wanted light pink so the bouquets would be highlighted against them but it had to be more of a dusky rose than baby pink!
I finally settled on the Maya dresses from ASOS as there were a range of coordinating styles allowing the bridesmaids to pick something they hopefully felt comfortable in as this was really important to me. On the morning of the wedding I gifted them with matching personalised bracelets for the day.
Brett had carte blanche when it came to the suits as long as they were either grey or navy based! He tried on a few tweed style ensembles but decided on navy suits with tweed style waistcoats in the end. He picked a designer brand from Debenhams which he managed to get in the sale for the main suits and waistcoats but treated himself to a different but complementary waistcoat from Next for himself. The shoes, shirts, and accessories all came from Slater Menswear, with burgundy ties and pocket squares to tie in with our colour scheme.
We always knew that at the end of all our hard work (and money) we’d be left with our memories and the photos, so it was a big decision picking the right person and knew it wasn’t a place to scrimp on the budget!
After a lot of searching we happened across Matt and knew his style would suit our day perfectly! The light and warmth in his pictures was exactly what we wanted and they capture all the love! We were keen to have a more natural documentary style to the pictures without too many cheesy or formal shots as we’d rather be soaking up the atmosphere ourselves. As an added bonus, he was a pleasure to have about on the day, although at times you’d barely notice he was there! He also did a great job of putting us at ease during the couples shoot knowing that neither of us is especially comfortable in front of a camera!
We took a week off after the wedding so we had a chance to recover and regroup before heading off to Santorini for a week. I’d been before on a college trip but was keen to return with Brett and hadn’t been able to justify the luxury accommodation previously so it was the ideal opportunity!
There’s a reason Santorini is such a cliche honeymoon destination and we had the most amazing week creating so many more memories to cherish. One night we’d just finished having a candlelit dinner with a live pianist playing in the background when I checked my phone and found an email from our photographer with an initial set of previews. We sat and watched them there and then over a bottle of wine and dessert :)
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was a light gold and pewter Maggie Sottero with pretty vintage inspired beading. I tried on quite a few dresses but liked that this one was a bit different and it didn’t have lots of fabric or big skirts which made me feel swamped! I wore a jewelled headband from Debenhams during the day to complement the dress and a simple necklace gifted from Brett on the morning of the wedding.
In the evening I switched to a slightly more relaxed sleeved Phase Eight gown which had a more bohemian feel with the main intention that it would suit my very much lusted after flower crown, unlike my main dress!
I picked the very lovely Olivia who did my hair and make up as well as my four bridesmaids. I had a trial beforehand where she was so warm and friendly, and was able to put me at ease with my ever misbehaving skin! She was so accommodating and came to the hotel on the day, where her calm and laid back presence was a godsend amongst a little bit of chaos! It was really important to me that the bridesmaids felt happy so they all chose their own hairstyles and we kept the make up natural.
Most of the day is a happy blur but a few details stick out. One of my favourite moments is our first dance, something I was mildly dreading but actually, I mainly forgot about everyone watching us and it was so special to have our first dance (George Ezra – All my love) played live by the band.
The other was when we got back to our hotel room. We’d brought back a pizza to share as we hadn’t had chance to eat through the evening. We sat on the floor and devoured it (amazing pizza!) while we took ten minutes to ourselves happily reflect on the day before we headed back down for a few last drinks with some of our loves.
Advice For Other Couples
I vowed I would be super organised and not leave everything until the last minute, then I was still up at midnight the day before the wedding constructing order of services. Thankfully I had good company and help (thank you Hayley!) and good gin but I wouldn’t recommend it! Remember everything will take twice as long as you expect to!
Try not to get too stressed when things go wrong or not to plan, especially on the day! A million little things didn’t go as I’d so painstakingly planned but it didn’t matter, just roll with it and enjoy soaking up all the good times and your loved ones :) The likelihood is that none of the guests will know none the better anyway!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Matt Penberthy Photography
Brass Candlesticks, Lounge Furniture, Wicker Chairs
Wow, so special. I do love a barn wedding.
Brett and Vicky thank you ever so much for sharing your dreamy wedding story with us xo Lou