A Relaxed Homemade Barn Wedding

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Morning WWWers, i hope you are having a lovely week so far. To start today we have a beautiful wedding and later on i shall be announcing the winner of a certain contest i have been running ;-)

Sophie and Chris were married at Priory Barn in Syningthwaite at the beginning of the year and wanted a relaxed family orientated day.

Their wedding really was a DIY affair with contributions by loved ones to create the loveliest decor. With stationery designed by Sophie, a wish tree, gorgeous blooms arranged by themselves and personalised bunting.

Sophie looked amazing in her romantic dress with fur shawl, while Chris opted for a blue tweed suit. They looked gorgeous! I so love this laid back affair.

Thanks so much to the brilliant India Hobson for sharing her images with us today.

 

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The Proposal….  Chris planned a trip to Paris for my Birthday and popped the question in front of the huge Christmas Tree at Notre Dame (I love Christmas). It was very romantic apart from the tramp who had front seat tickets to the proposal! He did have a big plan to take a river cruise and propose in front of the Eiffel tower at night but when we got down to the river the boats had stopped for the day so it was onto plan B…

The Vision for the day….  Neither of us really had a set idea of what we wanted on our wedding day, I’m not the sort of girl who has been dreaming of the day since I was a little girl so there were no set ideas. The main vision we had for the day was that we wanted it to be relaxed and family orientated, Chris’ Nana is in her 90’s and it was very important to us that she was there and she enjoyed herself so a lot of effort was put into that.

The Planning process….  I led the planning process really, putting ideas to Chris for a thumbs up or down. I’m quite a creative person and knew I wanted to do a lot of the detailing myself so did a lot of research on blogs and magazines pulling pages out and sticking them in scrap books and on pinterest coming up with ways that we could do things differently and more to suit us as a couple. My parents were very helpful during the planning stages at giving us a kick up the bum, as well as collecting images they thought suited the style of wedding we were trying to achieve and offering help and support throughout.

Budget…. Nothing set but we wanted to keep the costs as low as possible without compromising on quality.

The Venue…  We only visited 2 places when looking for venues. I found Priory Barn in Syningthwaite on the internet and thought it looked beautiful, I was determined to have a winter wedding and on the pictures online of Priory they had hundreds of fairylights outside in the courtyard giving it a winter wonderland feeling. As soon as we stepped into the Barn on our first viewing we both knew there was no way we could go anywhere else after seeing there. The barn itself is absolutely beautiful, very well refurbished and very relaxing, just what we wanted. It came with 7 beautiful cottages surrounding the courtyard outside meaning that our families and close friends could stay the night after the wedding making it more of a wedding weekend and very much in keeping with our relaxed theme people could nip back to their cottages for a lie down or cup of tea when the mood took them. Serena, who runs the barn and cottages was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable with a great list of suppliers and was very patient with us while we worked through dates and costs with her.

The Dress + Accessories… The dress was an LB bridal dress from Posh Frocks in Guisley, I got it in the sample sale and fell in love with it as soon as I tried it on.

The necklace was a great find just 2 weeks before the wedding in a Ted Baker outlet as Cheshire Oaks. The fur shawl was from Zara for only £25 and felt much more expensive.

I had bought a pair of blue suede shoes from Bertie which I love but a month before the wedding I saw some beautiful Nine West glittery shoes that looked much more special for a wedding, I don’t usually spend a lot of money on shoes but I couldn’t resist these as they matched my dress so perfectly. They were also indescribably high so I had to practice wearing them around the house for a month before the big day.

Finding the dress….   The search for a dress was fairly simple and stress free. I first went into York with my Mum to try on a few dresses in a bid to find what suited me and what I liked. As I had no prior vision of what dress I wanted this was a bit trial and error, after a day with my Mum I knew I was after something quite Grecian and flowing but hadn’t quite found ‘the one’ yet. A week or so later, my good friend Gemma who had got married a year before, took me to some of the shops she had been to n her search. Again I tried a few dresses on but nothing that grabbed my attention until the last shop, we ended up in a little shop in Guiseley, Leeds and Patricia, the shop owner grabbed a few options to try on. As soon as I tried my dress on I knew it was perfect, it fit well and was incredibly comfortable, fitted at the top with gorgeous jewelled detail on the waist, flowing skirt and small train… and to top it all off it was in their sample sale for only £500, bargain!

Groom’s attire…  Chris bought a lovely navy blue suit in the Ted baker sale a year before the wedding but a couple of months before the big day when taking his trousers in for alterations he saw another blue suit in the same shop with a subtle tweed hint and a lovely waistcoat, he couldn’t resist it and on the premise that ‘you only get married once’ bought it, he did look very handsome in his new suit on the day despite my frustrations of his ‘suits’ costing more than my dress.

The Readings + Music… We decided not to have any readings, we didn’t want to put any of our guests on the spot and have them feel nervous about the ceremony so we opted for a very simple and quick ceremony.

The music was a tough choice, we didn’t have an ‘our song’ but having been together 10 years we had lots of songs that were special to us. In the end we decided to try and build up the tempo through the ceremony starting off with slow-ish, moody, romantic songs as the guests entered, I went for Kissing You by Des’ree to walk down the aisle, it’s a lovely slow song but kicks in a bit about 30 seconds in which meant it built up to my entrance a little. Then we had a Mumford & Sons song, Lover of the Light while we signed the register, the lyrics to this are beautiful and reference the vows we’d just taken so it seemed the right song for us. For our leaving song we had the Dave Clark 5 ‘Glad all Over’, it’s an upbeat, funny song that our guests joined in with which was lovely and it flowed really well into the more upbeat songs we chose for the drinks reception which was perfect.

Beautiful bridesmaids… I decided to have my sisters as bridesmaids. I’m the middle of 3 girls so it was really nice to be flanked by my sisters on such a special day, it followed through the family theme of the day and meant that getting ready in the morning having my whole family around me was really special and incredibly relaxed.

The Flowers…  We had a few problems with flowers, after getting quotes from a few places I decided to do them myself…we weren’t after anything too extravagant and after having a few chats with my mum we decided to give it a go. We had a test run at my Mum and Dad’s house and decided that with a bit of time it would definitely be possible to achieve simple bouquets, buttonholes and table centres. Because of the time of year a lot of florists we approached said that they wouldn’t be able to get flowers in as it was so close to New Year, however, my Mother in Law asked the local market florist and although he wasn’t open over Christmas he was willing to source the flowers and deliver them to us between Christmas and New Year so they had time to open. So, 2 days before the wedding I spent a lovely day with my Mum decorating cake stands that my Dad had made for us out of old mismatched crockery and putting together the bouquets for me and my sisters, it’s was a really special day spent dancing and singing round the kitchen putting together the flowers.

The Cake… Neither of us really like fruit cake so we didn’t want the traditional white tied cake but at the beginning we weren’t sure what else we could have. After a bit of research I saw that people were using cupcakes as wedding cakes which would mean that we would be able to have different flavours to suit everyone. Emma from Emma’s kitchen is a friend of Serena from Priory Barn and I saw her on twitter first, after perusing her website I found that she did many different flavour options and decoration options and we were sold…cupcakes for everyone!

Your Photographer…  From the first conversation after we got engaged it was clear that the photography was really important to both of us, it is one of the only things that you get to keep after the big day and something that you can look back on forever and relive important moments with family and friends. Something that we both dreaded, was lots of set up posed shots of the day, neither of us particularly like having our photo taken and with it being a winter wedding we didn’t everyone to have to stand outside for hours in the cold standing in different positions so we wanted someone who would capture our day without the photography taking over. As soon as I saw India Hobson’s website I knew she was the photographer for us…lots of guest shots and pics of the happy couple just enjoying their day, no forced smiles and cold guests just beautiful weddings. We booked her after just a couple of emails.

A couple of months before the wedding we met up with India on what was quite possibly the worst day of the year in Heaton Park in Manchester for our pre-wedding / get to know each other type of thing. It was all really informal and we discussed with India her approach and what we wanted and how she normally works…it was great to meet her before the big day and I would recommend to any brides to be to make sure they meet their photographer at some point before the wedding, this person is going to be with you for one of the most important days of your lives and it’s important you get on and aren’t uncomfortable around them.

On the actual day I don’t remember seeing much of India, she was amazing at hiding in corners and bushes and snapping away surreptitiously just grabbing us when she needed something. We received the photo’s a couple of weeks after the wedding and there were loads!! Having seen India’s website and previous work we were expecting them to be good but she by far exceeded our high expectations, she  somehow managed to take a beautiful picture of every one of our guests not to mention lovely images of us and a fantastic document of our day that we can treasure forever. The photo’s she took that day documented perfectly the relaxed and informal day that we created and also gave us stunning pictures of all our loved ones enjoying themselves, something we can look back on in years to come and be really proud of.

The Details + Decor….  I was in my element designing the details and decor…as a graphic designer I was desperate to have little details everywhere and make things personal to us. Chris’s Mum and Nana are huge fans of scrabble and I wanted to incorporate that into the day so as a surprise for them so I designed a table plan based on a scrabble board with each person represented by a tile and we bought a vintage scrabble board from ebay for a couple of quid and took photo’s of each of our guests names spelt out on the board intertwined with their family’s names to use as place names, it looked great and lots of the guests took the photo’s home with them to frame.  Following on the family theme we borrowed china from our aunties and parents that has been passed down through our families for the afternoon tea. We even had a set from Chris’s nana that last made an appearance for his christening.

My Dad made a wish tree for us from sticks him and my Mum found whilst out walking, we spray painted it white and hung dried oranges and pine cones from them adding a splash of colour and a lovely wintery aroma.

We collected a load of vintage mismatched china and made cake stands out of them to use as table centres and placed them on log rounds boughts from a saw mill near Chris’s work.

My Mum is a wiz on the sewing machine and made us bunting spelling out ‘all you need is love’ and Mr & Mrs Elderkin.

I spent hours making little confetti cones out of paper doilies to fill with dried cornflowers to use as confetti.

The best man’s wife and our friend, Gemma set up an amazing sweetie table filled with our favourite sweets with personalised paper bags and little metal scoops for guests to help themselves.

I collected and framed photo’s of family weddings through the years and displayed them around the venue, it was lovely to see people trying to work out who everyone was and it really brought the families together as they discussed it between them.

The bar was run by my older sister Jemma who is a landlady of a pub, she brought all the drinks from her pub and we hired glasses from the supermarket to serve them in. The bar was manned on the day by 2 experienced barmaids who also happen to be friend s of my younger sister Amy, it was lovely to see 2 friendly faces behind the bar and they did an amazing job.

All of the details at the wedding were made or donated for the day by family and friends which gave us a lot of work to do in the run up and particularly the day before the wedding but made the day extremely special. I loved doing it all so much that I have gone into business with Gemma (sweetie table extraordinaire) we have just set up Lovebirds & Co offering personalised wedding stationery and on the day designs, sweetie carts and wedding styling for couples wanting a day designed entirely around them. We wanted to be able to offer a unique wedding day personal to the couple with lots of beautiful details to couples and families that perhaps don’t have the time to be able to do it for themselves or just don’t know where to start. We’re really excited to be working together on something we feel so passionate about.

The Honeymoon….  Nothing planned yet…we can’t go until June when Chris gets some time off work so it’s still in the planning stages.

Memorable moments… It was all memorable…the morning was amazing getting ready with my family, walking down the aisle with my lovely dad was really special, seeing Chris for the first time when I got to the top of the stairs, seeing all our guests smiling at us when we said our vows, confetti moments, speeches, talking to all our guests, getting a few minutes on our own while we went off with India for photos, dancing dads and uncles, and definitely the ‘Family Jaeger’ instigated by my cousin who had come over from the Cayman Islands for the wedding…a very special day filled with amazing guests.

Advice for other couples…  Make it your day…don’t do things just because that’s what you do at weddings, make it personal to you as a couple. Choose an amazing photographer and you’ll never forget the important moments in your day. Remember everyone who is there is there because they love you, you don’t have to impress anyone, just be yourselves and have the day you dream of.

Credit where credit is due…

Venue – Priory Barn http://www.priorycottages.co.uk/

Photographer – India Hobson http://www.indiahobsonweddings.co.uk/

Caterer – Feast http://feastyorkshire.com/

Flower supplier – Blosson and Blooms on Sherburn-in-Elmet market http://www.blossomandblooms.co.uk/

Cupcakes – Emma’s Kitchen – http://emmaskitchenonline.co.uk/

Sweetie table – Lovebirds & Co www.lovebirdsandco.co.uk

Stationery – Lovebirds & Co www.lovebirdsandco.co.uk

Décor and Detailing – Lovebirds & Co www.lovebirdsandco.co.uk

Dress – http://www.poshfrocksleeds.co.uk/

 

Such a heartfelt day. Thanks so much to Sophie and Chris for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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