Afternoon lovelies, I hope you are having a beautiful day so far. Let’s make it even better with another super lovely celebration…
WWW readers Ben and Claire chose to marry on Saturday 14th June 2014 at Cripps Barn in the Cotswolds. They wanted their wedding to be relaxed with great food and drink. I love the rustic feel of their DIY décor for the magnificent barn; there were some fun letter lights, sparklers and photo booth too.
Thanks goes to Jen Marino for providing the delightful images.
THE PROPOSAL | It was at the London Olympics, we had both desperately tried to get tickets and eventually got some for the final of the diving. We’d had a lovely day in the Olympic park, watched the diving and were about to leave when Ben pulled me over to a quiet area with wildflowers in front of the stadium which was lit up, and proposed. It was complete shock and made a brilliant day unforgettable.
THE VISION | We wanted a relaxed day with friends with good food and plenty of drink. We also wanted it to be somewhere where people could make a weekend of it.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The planning process was really straightforward. Once we knew what sort of venue we were looking for, everything else just fell into place. We took a lot of inspiration from wedding blogs such as WWW, Pinterest and wedding magazines.
THE VENUE | Cripps Barn in the Cotswolds. Ben had always said he wanted to get married in the Cotswolds, we didn’t do too much looking around but once we saw Cripps Barn (and the picture postcard village of Bibury) we knew it was the perfect relaxed venue we were after, plus the food looked amazing. In the run up to the wedding and on the day the Cripps staff were brilliant and the food and the service on the day were exceptional.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was ‘Daphne’ by Augusta Jones (with a slight alteration to the straps from the Augusta Jones ‘Anita’ dress), which I wore with a full length veil. Ben’s name is Benjamin Adams and so there was only one choice of wedding shoe for me! The hair slide was from Glitzy Secrets and my vintage Pearl and Diamond jewellery was a gift from Ben, which I opened on the morning of the wedding.
FINDING THE DRESS | I only visited a handful of dress shops before picking the dress and had good experiences at all of them. I brought my dress from Cicily Bridal, the whole shopping experience there was fantastic. Lisa and Victoria, the owners are so lovely and their shop is filled with the most beautiful dresses.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ben had a tailor made suit from A suit that fits. He wore it with a TM Lewin shirt and Paul Smith tie, pocket square and cufflinks. He wore Loakes shoes and a vintage Heuer Verona watch that was a present from me, given to him on the morning of the wedding.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had two readings, which were both read brilliantly by my mum and Ben’s cousin Emily. My mum read Union by Robert Fulghum and Emily read some extracts from Don’t for Husbands and Don’t for Wives by Blanche Ebbutt which we thought summed up our relationship well.
I entered the Barn to Canon in D Major by Pachebel. Whilst we were signing the register we played songs performed by late Grandfather’s choir and we exited the ceremony to Tom Odell “Grow old with me”.
Andy Cherry played acoustic guitar during our drinks reception and canapés which set a lovely atmosphere. Ben had heard Bleu Light Special our DJ’s in a bar in Birmingham, they played an amazing mix of new stuff and cult classics and had the dance floor full all evening.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My beautiful bridesmaids were my oldest friends Nikki, Sam and Jenny. They all looked beautiful in dresses by Alexon from House of Fraser. Our gorgeous flower girl was Ben’s goddaughter, Imogen, who wore a dress from John Lewis.
THE FLOWERS | The flowers, including the hanging baskets and bouquets were provided by Passion for Flowers. Karen and her team did an amazing job of understanding our vision perfectly and made the venue look beautiful.
THE CAKE | The cake was an M&S cake decorated by a cake topper from Wedding of my Dreams and some flowers from our florist. I didn’t try any of the cake but I’m told it was delicious, the ordering and collection process was really stress free and I would definitely recommend using them.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We found Jen Marino on WWW looking at another wedding she had photographed at Cripps barn. Once we had seen her work we knew she’d be able to do a brilliant job for our wedding. We really wanted shots of us both getting ready and so Jen was assisted on the day by a 2nd shooter Chloe Lee. Both Jen and Chloe were so nice, unobtrusive and friendly on the day. We are over the moon with our photos.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We collected various rustic bits from all manner of places, garden centres, markets and Homesense and the Range. We also collected, and had all of our family collecting, lots of different jars and bottles for the table centres. My mum tirelessly made all the hessian squares for the tables. All the stationery was handmade by ourselves. We wanted to make the venue personal to us so we included photos of our parents and grandparents’ weddings at the entrance and photos of the guests and us (both young and old) in the area where the wedding breakfast was held. Ben even arranged for my Dad’s favourite beer “Hooky” to be on tap at Cripps. We wanted to make sure our guests had plenty to keep them occupied so after the wedding breakfast we set up giant Jenga and Quoits in the Garden, Cripps lit their fire pit and we had marshmallows for toasting and sparklers. We also hired some “Love” letters from Doris Loves to light up the dance floor. We had a budget photo booth using our collection of fancy dress items and using an Eye-Fi card in our camera set up on a tripod, which sent pictures to our IPad as they were taken for people to see.
THE HONEYMOON | Kenya on Safari followed by a week in Zanzibar, both amazing a truly a trip of a lifetime. We booked the honeymoon through Turquoise holidays and would really recommend using them. They scouted out the best deals and recommended different combinations of hotels to make sure we got the perfect trip.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking back down the aisle after the ceremony as Man and Wife and the speeches, my Dad, Ben and Ben’s best man (also Ben) all did a brilliant job and had the room in hysterics and tears at the same time.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Make sure you don’t get too lost in the planning process, take some time for just the two of you all through the day and make sure you have fun.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Venue | Cripps Barn
Dress | Augusta Jones
Dress Shop | Cicily Bridal
Groom’s Suit | A Suit That Fits
DJ | Bleu Lights Special
Musician | Andy Cherry
Flowers | Passion For Flowers
Honeymoon | Turquoise Holidays
Such a gorgeous wedding day. Le sigh.
Thanks so much to Ben and Claire for sharing their wedding story with us today XOXO Lou