I’m so excited to share Jess and Matt’s gorgeous wedding day with you today, it’s just so stylish and thoughtful and I think you’re simply going to love it. Our pair wed on the 16th September 2017 in an incredibly personal church ceremony (and doesn’t the church look simply magical?). Their reception at The Railway Barn in Chelmsford, Essex followed, and let me tell you, it didn’t get any less extraordinary!
With greenery adorning tables and walls, rustic wooden tables and heaving tables of feasting food, I think lots of you will find this to be your dream barn wedding! I love the way Starry Eyed Weddings have brought the woodland in, just so effective.
Lottie Photography captured the whole affair, and what stunning images they are. Thank you ever so much for sharing with us Lottie.
Our couples really do have the best advice and Jess and Matt are no exception. Take heed of Jess’ wise words stressed planning couples!
I grew up by the beach and have always loved being by the sea, my grandparents have a beach hut which is part of loads of my childhood memories!
Matt and I had been dating for 5 years at the point since I was 16 and 3 of those years were spent living far away from one another. One morning I’m on the way to the gym and when I stop at the traffic lights I see what looks like my boyfriend’s little Red Cross pull up next to me. I look over and it’s him, he signals to me to head back home and looking confused and happy to see him I say “ok” through the window!
“Once we get home he says I’ve called your work and we’re going on a trip, get dressed, we’re going out!”
I literally have bo idea what’s going on, I ask “Well what do I wear?!, Do I need a coat? An overnight bag?!” No matter what question I asked he gave no clues away!
Once im dressed, he says, now I have to blindfold you! WHAT!
Reluctantly I agree and get into his little 20 year old car and spend the next 45 mins feeling pretty car sick trying desperately to figure out where we are heading!
The car stops, blindfold still on, I climb out the car, walk up some steps, matt holding my hands, “Please let me take it off” “Not yet, not yet!”
I walk all down a ramp, and onto some very soft squishy flooring. I then at this point, think to myself “Are we on the beach?!”
We walk for a little while longer, my heart is pounding as the idea of a proposal enters my mind!
He counts to three and then I take my blindfold off and I’m met with THE BEST view, down on one knee in the mud, holding my Grandma’s ring, “Will you marry me?!”
YES! I scream.
As I turn around to see where the heck we are, I see that we are stood outside my childhood beach hut! Matt later told me that he wanted to add to the many happy memories that I had here. What a cutie!
We sat for ages drinking Champagne on the beach non stop smiling, just taking in the moment!
We wanted the wedding to be filled with fun, laughter, family, love and friends! we were determined not to get stressed as we had seen too many people get to the wedding day and just want it to be over….erm no thanks. We promised each other that no matter what we wouldn’t end up like that, and we didn’t!
The bridesmaid dresses were absolute steal! We found them in H&M for £30.00 and loved the colour and the fit on all the bridesmaids, I found it really hard to find any dresses in deep navy blue or burgundy as were shopping in summer. I would strongly recommend looking in autumn or winter if you want woodland colours as this is the time of year that shops stock these colours.
My bridesmaid all wore their own shoes. I wanted to buy the bridesmaids a gift and jewellery seemed a great idea. I again brought all of it from Loivsa in Lakeside and went with a rose gold theme. They all had different stud earrings, a dropped leaf necklace and rose gold bracelets – it looked gorgeous with their dark blue dresses.
Our original budget was £8, 000 including everything for the wedding – and ended up spending about £9,000.
THE READINGS & MUSIC
We wrote personalised vows to each other – this was important to us as it was an opportunity for us to speak directly to our other half and speak promises to them – at this point all the other stuff fades like the dress, the flowers, it becomes just about that one person and the commitment and promise you are making to them.
My husband is a very talented musician and so he wrote me a piece of instrumental music to walk down the aisle to. It was the most beautiful piece of music I have ever listened to and it was called “Chamberlain Symphony”. Chamberlain is my maiden name.
The Railway Barn (New Hall Vineyard, Maldon, Essex)
A Relative made the cake. We wanted a naked cake, simple, but beautiful. Once again the colour was a canvas for the burgundy and navy theme of the wedding, it was adorned with fruit and sat proudly on a wooden block which our tree surgeon friend sourced for us.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
Starry Eyed designed our whole reception venue which was so so perfect! Because the venue was so big they concentrated on a few key pieces and then lots of repetition on the tables. Hessian on the trestle tables, brown bottles with foliage, hanging circular ivy décor, a personalised banner behind the top table. Starry eyed completely understood our vision and made it happen in real life!!
A friend who is a florist supplied and arranged all flower involved in the ceremony. The Greenery for our reception at New Hall vineyard was supplied and arranged by Starry Eyed. The Flowers and Colours were chosen because they went with our woodland theme.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
Dress: Wed2Be – Chelmsford
The veil I wore was from my auntie that she wore on her wedding day. I was 3 when my auntie got married and I was her bridesmaid! My tiara was also my auntie’s from when she got married – I absolutely loved this tiara – the beading on it matched the top of my dress and it was so unique – I haven’t seen any tiaras like it.
The shoes were from Moda in Pelle.
My earings were from Lovisa, they sell beautiful cheap bridal jewellery and found some earrings that really popped!!
FINDING THE DRESS
I really wanted to feel comfortable in my dress and not be eager to get out of it at the end of the day. My dress had a low back but a high front which meant that I didn’t have to wear a bra – WINNER!! I had the dress altered so it had a streachy bandeau over the front which gave me some support. The dress was so pretty on top with intricate lace and sequin detail which gave it a rustic vintage feel but then the chiffon skirt that had a beautiful train kept it modern. WED2BE don’t give an amazing bridal experience but they do good quality dresses that are cheap!! Out of all the dresses I tried on – this was my favourite by far – just like partners – when you find the one – you just know.
The suit jacket, trousers and waistcoats were purchased from Burton online. The shirt was TM Lewin. Suits from Burton, shoes were from Topman, tie was Moss Bros.
Our amazing photographer was Lottie Photography – my mother in law recommended her and we are so so glad she did. Lottie is a ray of sunshine who is so professional and excellently talented. She is down to earth and really captured the essence of our day. She was so invisible during the day that it felt that we were able to just get on with having fun!! We completely recommend Lottie and know without a doubt she would capture your day perfectly. We loved the mixture of candid natural shots and beautiful posed photos that she captured. They were presented in a beautiful wooden keepsake box and was so personal and contained little mementos from the day!
Our favourite part of the day was just being surrounded by the people who mattered most to us and seeing our day all come together. Jess’s most special memory of the day was having our private photos done with Lottie in the vineyard and just having 30 mins alone with matt – absorbing the day. We would change nothing about the day at all! I would tell myself not to get stressed about the things that don’t last.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
Don’t get stressed about the little things – if you are; just remind yourself that it isn’t about a wedding – its about a marriage. Make sure you are happy with the decisions – if you aren’t do something about it.
Keep your hubby to be involved and communicate about everything – grooms can feel left out of the wedding planning because so much of it is flowers and fairy lights, – maybe think of some things that you can delegate to them to keep them involved and take some pressure from you. Don’t be afraid to pull in favours – all of our cakes for the ceremony were made by our guests and it made people feel involved and was a great way to save money. Lean on people – I didn’t lean on those close to me enough in the lead up to the wedding and there were so many people offering support – I felt like I could do it all myself but I soon realised that wasn’t achievable.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
What a day, Jess and Matt! I love that you so obviously poured your heart and soul into your wedding without letting the planning get on top of you, thank you for sharing with us. Rachel x