I really do love the variety of wedding styles and stories we feature here at WWW, we are truly blessed to share the beginning of a beautiful marriage for our featured couples. Each and every single one is entirely unique, personal and filled with love, today’s real wedding is no exception. A dark and atmospheric day with heaps of style and such joy.
WWW readers Josh and Holly were hitched on the 4th February 2017 at the Ash Barton Estate in Devon. The venue fitted in perfectly with their wish list of accommodation for their family and complete flexibility. Holly is a wedding pro, owning a wedding hire business, and so knew exactly what she wanted to achieve and how to go about it. Relaxed and heart warming was at the core of their wedding ethos and using local suppliers was super important to them too.
To ensure their atmospheric vibe was created, they used black draping in the barn with twinkling lighting, branches suspended from the ceiling and sequin table cloths adorning the circular tables. Festoon lighting, mirrored table centrepieces and Sheba cat food tins (yes really – read the report for the low-down) finished the look. Didn’t it look divine?
The gorgeous couple wore super darling outfits. The gents went for dark velvet jackets and bow ties and the girls were in pale pink beaded frocks. Holly found her dreamy Sassi Holford gown at WWW fave the Bristol Bridal Boutique, didn’t she look a vision? Wow.
Luna Weddings, thank you so much for providing these stunning images today.
THE PROPOSAL | We have been together since we were 15, and marriage wasn’t an overly important thing to us, but I had always said as long as our children go to primary school with the same surname as me then that’s all I’m slightly set on. I really didn’t expect Josh to propose, I assumed like every other laid back decision in our lives that we would just get married! So on Christmas day morning 2015, the last present I was allowed to open in a electric gate motor cardboard box (josh installs electric gates) with a hand scribbled WILL YOU MARRY ME note, in ‘sharpie’ pen true to Josh style as he writes everything with a sharpie, and 2 engagement rings with a note to say he couldn’t choose 1, so bought 2!!! Again in true Josh style as he doesn’t do decision making very well! They were both oval, one from Boodles (my absolute dream ownership) and one from a jeweller we know.
THE VISION | Atmospheric, relaxed and heart warming wedding and nothing that any other wedding we had been to had. Josh wanted family to be able to stay at the venue and I wanted complete flexibility to do what we wanted.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We were engaged for 14 months and booked the main aspects within 4 months, things kind of fell into place perfectly. Because we wanted to use as many local suppliers as possible, there wasn’t ample to choose from and the ones available were the bee’s knees anyway! All the suppliers work at the venue regularly, so that took a large chunk of stress away.
THE VENUE | Ash Barton Estate.
Having worked within event management myself and with my wedding hire business, I knew exactly what I didn’t like and definitely couldn’t be restricted by any venue rules!! Josh found Ash Barton online, we were able to book a viewing for the following week and paid the deposit the following day!
The owner Simon completely sold it to us with his relaxed attitude and what really stood out for me (Holly) was that he has been in the events industry forever so runs Ash Barton from his ‘behind the scenes’ perspective. You have entire run of the venue for the weekend, so I knew I could go for it!!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress is a Sassi Holford Beatrice dress, purchased from The Bristol Bridal Boutique. The owner Laura, set the genius boutique up after being put off with shop experiences for her own wedding and purchasing a dress from a similar set up. The room is in her own home, and the selection of sample dresses is amazing. They all come from a boutique so are from iconic designers.
I knew I didn’t want any lace, definitely no strapless and something classic!
Peep toe dusky pink satin shoes from Monsoon.
Crystal bracelet that Josh bought for me the day before.
Rose Gold earrings – bought by our friends for my 30th birthday a month before the wedding.
Hair vine – Handmade from Easy.
FINDING THE DRESS | I was randomly searching online for the type of dress I thought I would like, I had seen the Beatrice online and clicked the first google image of it, which led me to ‘the Bristol Bridal Boutique’ so I emailed them immediately to check if the photo was current and if they had the dress stocked, it just so happened she had only received it a few days before and her beautiful set up is 2 minutes from our office :-) being 3 months pregnant, I wanted to get something quickly before my bump grew any more!! I tried it on in a lunch break, took my mum and 3 year old daughter back 2 days later, then my mum kindly purchased it with money given to her by my granny.
We then visited my granny straight from purchasing my dress, so that I could tell her myself that her money had bought my dress, with her usual wit she asked if it was pink polka dot etc etc and I said she would have to wait and see it in real life……. then sadly the next morning she suddenly passed away. It was almost like I was meant to tell her myself and see her that last time.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | ASOS blue velvet jackets, with black bow ties and dress trousers from T.M Lewin. Patent black shoes were purchased from various retailers.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We aren’t religious so only wanted something personal.
Readings were buy Josh’s sisters, we wanted them to be themselves and be a light hearted welcome for everyone!
I walked down the aisle to Ingrid Michaelson ‘Little Romance’ chosen because during a working stint at the National Wedding Show, they used it as the catwalk song – this played every hour or so throughout the day and I just loved how happy and lovely it was! Also, because no one knew the song!!
We had surprise singers for the ceremony, only ourselves and best man knew they were arranged, they jumped up as we were announced as ‘Mr & Mrs’ to sing ‘All you need is love’ then followed by ‘Signed, sealed, delivered’ and ‘Marry You’ they had the whole chapel standing, clapping and singing! Exactly the atmosphere we wanted!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 8 in total.
Best friends: Holly, Alana, Lauren all friends since secondary school.
Cousins: Ebony, Poppy, Thea and Luna my second cousins and really couldn’t not have my mini girl team involved!
Flower girls: Luna (cousin) and our daughter Minnie.
The bridesmaids wore dresses from good old ASOS, most purchased as broken on Ebay and my mum then fixed the broken bits!! They worked out a 5th of the full price :-)
Flower girls wore BHS dresses.
THE FLOWERS | Supplied by Twigs Flowers in Barnstaple. The lovely Deryn is such a lovely lady, even with my change of ideas 6 weeks before! I absolutely love flowers, but in my line of work I always see them being leftover and thrown away, so I really didn’t want excess flower waste, so we kept them to a bare minimum. My flowers, I wanted dusky warm colours with lots of texture but still very classic and simple.
THE CAKE | Beautifully made by Josh’s cousin Laura instead of a wedding gift!! Completely left to her own devices because we wouldn’t have had one otherwise! She made 5 tiers of Mojhito, cherry & white chocolate, lemon, passionfruit & mango and Victoria sponge.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The fabulous Anna and Mike of Luna Weddings. Absolute stars with incredible talent, I chose them because I really liked their style when they popped up on google searches, thankfully they were available for our date. They are such a lovely husband and wife team.
Anna became an extra special person when we had a scary accident with our 6 month old daughter only 1/2 hour before the ceremony. So we weren’t able to get many photos of the 2 of us, nor was I able to put our daughter down very often and group photos were rushed because of this.
I was worried about seeing the photos, but they captured the magic and I am in love with the photos! We aren’t very good at lovey dovey pose or even being in front of a camera in general, but that didn’t stop them capturing the real us, which I love more than anything.
Josh even got goosebumps and teary eyes watching the slideshow they sent!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Where do I start?!
Atmospheric – I was certain I wanted an atmospheric wedding, from ceremony to reception. The chapel for the ceremony is very basic and oozes it’s own charm because of this, so we only added candles to this room.
The barn for the reception, I wanted transformed with black draping, to add the feeling of entering a completely different venue. It is a basic barn from outside, but once you walked into the door it was black, with star cloth walls :-) We then had a curtain unveil for guests to enter the wedding breakfast tables, we had suspended 8 large branches from the 16 metre high barn ceiling,
We spent weeks collecting the branches, and stringing micro lights around them for above the tables.
We had borrowed warm filament festoon from a friend who had just closed his pop up bar in Bristol, and we strung this through the centre of the room.
I have large 4ft tall ‘LOVE’ letters filled with faux flowers, so these stood in the reception bar area. We moved a dressing table and umbrella stand from the main house, and lit this for a present and card stand. I bought lots of giant foil heart balloons and strung these to the top of the dresser. I bought a few cheap sequin table runners and layered these for the cake table, then added some 3ft latex balloons in bunches. I enjoy my work, so this was one big playground for me!!
It only took 2 days to set up!! Josh’s dad transported all of the stock from Bristol to Braunton on his truck, the rest we had crammed into various family vehicles that were travelling the same day as us!!
Josh built a personalised bar with ‘bryants bar’ cut out and lit. I collected vases and used my own stock for the centrepieces, made up of mirrored cube vases stood upside down onto mirror plates with random selection of vases, glasses, light bulbs etc filled with minimal fresh flowers and candles. I secretly took a selection of Josh’s collection of trophies from his various hobbies, and added these to the centrepieces. He bought some Sheba cat food tins, as a joke because Sheba is his nickname, so we added these to the tables.
Sequin tablecloths were a major must for me, so hired these from Pudding Bridge! I think I planned the whole wedding around sequin tablecloths and hanging branches!!! Ha ha!
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Dubai, because Josh has always wanted to visit and it was ‘guaranteed sunshine’ for February and safe with 2 children. However the week we went was the coldest on record for 10 years!!! We still had an amazing family holiday and made lots of memories.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | How magical our friends were at one of the scariest moments with our daughter, on our special day.
During the ceremony, looking at everyone singing, dancing with the biggest smiles and thinking ‘we are so so lucky’.
Holly’s dad doing THE best, most simplest and meaningful speeches I have ever heard at a wedding :-) He did us proud because he usually likes to talk! :-)
The best man’s speech was just brilliant, it was heart warming and hilarious and he even made sure he plugged my business!!!
Dancing with umbrellas until 2am with our best friends will stay in our top moments forever!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t get caught up in the details that won’t be noticed or remembered, those are generally the more expensive add on’s that really don’t matter.
Stop and take it all in even just for a few moments. Don’t feel bad if you don’t get to speak to everyone, guests appreciate how manic it is!
Don’t over think the planning process.
Enjoy it and remember why you are getting married!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Luna Weddings
Hair | Devon Wedding Hair
Flowers | Twigs Flowers
Make Up | Liz Stinchcombe
Catering | H&A Catering
Draping | S&H Technical
Furniture | South West Event Hire
Band | R J Reeves Entertainment
Singers | Love Actually Experience
Table cloths | Pudding Bridge
Centrepieces | The Hire Emporium
Bar | The George at Braunton
DJ, Disco and Sound system | Flybase
Festoon Hire | Cinematag
What a fabulous party.
Josh and Holly, thank you both so very much for sharing your amazing wedding celebrations here at WWW xo Lou