Suffolk Barn Wedding
Natalie and Jonny
Happy Monday you guys! I hope you had a good weekend? If you are feeling the Monday blues, allow me to wash them away with this glorious Autumn wedding celebration. WWW readers Natalie and Jonny were married at Suffolk Barn in the Suffolk countryside on the 21st September 2019. There is just so much I adore about their day; from the dramatic golden hour portraits to the live music provided by WWW Supplier Love members Warble Entertainment, hurrah!
Their vision was for a relaxed, rustic and FUN day, with a rustic and countryside vibe at the centre of their styling and it was a triumph. The barn was decked in homemade, personal touches such as the chalk board sign, terrarium card holder and the spectacular cake. Then there were the utterly gorgeous outfits all round, didn’t Natalie and Jonny look stunning? Be sure to also look out for the dreamy Autumn blooms, those of you planning an Autumn wedding are going to love the bouquets and flower arch.
I really cannot thank Carrie Lavers Photography enough for sharing these totally dreamy images, what a feast for the eyes.
The proposal happened at the Fish Hotel in the Cotswold’s in July 2018 (that really hot weekend where England played Sweden in the world cup and won!). Jonny took me away for a surprise weekend for my birthday, we arrived at the hotel on the Friday and had an amazing little hut with our own hot tub in the woods. That evening we ordered pizza to our hut (they called it ‘room service’ from the hotel restaurant) and sat outside chatting away with a glass of wine or two!
The next morning Jonny was up outrageously early pottering around the hut and organising bikes to be delivered for our long bike ride we had planned that day. We headed down to breakfast which, despite offering the best sausages we’d ever had, Jonny only had a very small portion… I should have known something was up!
We went back to the hut and were getting ready for our bike ride and just when we were just about to leave Jonny stopped me and said I had forgotten something… At which point he got down on one knee (with a bit of a fumble) and presented the most gorgeous ring. He had chilled the champagne and had the glasses waiting!
After sharing the news with our friends and family we still went on our bike ride (much shorter than planned!) and headed to the Ebrington Arms which is a gorgeous pub in Chipping Camden. We sat in the beer garden with more champagne, watched the football (although I mainly stared at my ring) and then cycled back to hotel to carry on our fantastic weekend.
What was really important to us was that our day felt personal, relaxed and everyone had a lot of fun! We wanted a rustic and countryside feel that had DIY touches but not at all ‘twee’.
The Planning Process
I think we were both quite surprised at how simple we found the planning process. We only went to see one venue…. We loved it… so we went for it! Rupert who owns the barn was incredibly relaxed and it was clear that we could tailor the venue to the wedding that we dreamed of so it was ideal.
The band we found quite difficult to find, it’s very hard to commit based on videos online but we eventually found one we both liked and went for it. Fortunately it was the right decision as they were great on the night.
Our caterers were recommended to us by our venue, as we didn’t have a wedding planner and Rupert (the venue owner) wouldn’t be there for the full thing, it was really important that our caterers could run the day for us and they certainly did. We struggled slightly with the menu, the first brief we gave them was based on some of our favourite restaurants but at our first tasting we left feeling that it didn’t quite fit with the Suffolk Countryside wedding we were having. Helen and Justin at Movable Feasters were amazing about the change, we discussed tweaks to the menu and settled on a three course meal that was locally sourced, had a contemporary feel but was still classic (the marmalade bread and butter pudding stole the show!).
The rest of the planning came together over time, we spent a lot of weekends making different aspects or sourcing the finishing touches and in all honesty we loved every minute.
The Suffolk Barn, Hawstead. A gorgeous old barn set on a hill overlooking beautiful countryside – it was exactly what we were looking for.
Terri from the Flower Shop in Angel Hill did our flowers for us. In our original meeting I went in all guns blazing with my many many requirements on flowers. It soon turned out our budget didn’t quite stretch there but she did a great job of working through our priorities and we were so happy with the end result. A particular highlight for me was my bouquet which I was just blown away by, I loved the mix of colours and it was exactly what I had envisioned.
Our very good family friend Sophie (@sccakesandmakes) made our wedding cake for us and it was DELICIOUS. We had three tiers, a base of Victoria sponge with a white chocolate and raspberry filling, middle of carrot cake and a top tier of vegan lemon drizzle. We worked a lot on the look of the cake and Sophie completely nailed the brief, it was really beautiful. As an added bonus she also displayed the cake for us for service, she had done macaroons and pop cakes to make a fantastic spectacle.
We also had a cheese cake because I am a massive cheese fiend. We sourced this locally from Suffolk Cheeses and they were fantastic!
The Readings & Music
We actually had one of our best friends do our ceremony on the big day.. It was a decision that we came to as, at one point in time, there was the potential that we couldn’t get the registrars when we wanted them so we hatched a ‘Plan B’. When it turned out we could get the registrars we were both a bit disappointed – so decided the ‘Plan B’ would become the ‘Plan A’.
We had our legal ceremony at the same venue with bridal party and close family the day before. At first we saw this as a box ticking exercise but it soon turned out to be the most amazing bonus day. We said our vows, cracked open some champers and then headed to a local pub for some food – it was perfect!
The added bonus of this was that our ceremony was incredibly personal. Our best friend Lucy (@_lucyneilson) did an amazing job of telling our story, the reasons why we wanted to get married and everything that it meant to us.
We struggled to find readings that weren’t too religious or serious – it took a lot of research to find ones that felt right for us. In the end we had a little bit of serious, with Jonny’s Dad reading an extract from ‘The Union’ just before our vows, and then a little bit of silly (but lovely) with our other best friend Hayley reading ‘Wedding Day’ by Robert Palmer. We also had some family friends of ours doing an excellent rendition of ‘Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac – they’re a very talented brother and sister duo and having them as part of the ceremony meant so much to us (it was also a lot of fun!).
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was from the lovely House of Snow in Bury St Edmunds. It is the Juno dress by Watters Wtoo and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
When I first started looking I had no idea what designers I wanted or even really what style… all I knew was that I wanted it to be ‘romantic’ (that was my buzz word for the day!). I had one day at appointments in London with my two best friends (and bridesmaids) which was great fun, there were a couple of potentials but none that I was completely set on.
The next day I went with my mum, sister and sister-in-law to House of Snow and from the moment we walked in it was a great experience. We all picked out a few different styles for me to try, again, a few potentials but nothing that felt 100% right. It was actually the girls at House of Snow that suggested I tried the Juno dress. At first I was sceptical mainly due to ‘latte’ colour underlay but they confirmed it could come in ivory so I said I would give it a go.
From the moment I looked in the mirror I genuinely knew it was the dress. I was always very sceptical of this eureka moment and I totally get not everyone has it but for me, I just knew that’s what I wanted to wear when I married Jonny.
When it came to discussing the colour I was originally adamant I wanted it in ivory but it was actually my mum who persuaded me otherwise and I am so so glad she did.
My dress was by far the most important thing for me so the rest of the accessories were little touches I picked up over time. The shoes I just wanted to be comfortable and a bit of fun and a pair from Aldo on ASOS completely ticked the box. My earrings were from Liberty in Love and my hair comb was from Lola and Alice, both were the perfect balance of statement but delicate that I was looking for.
For Jonny’s suit we knew we wanted a tweed three piece and ideally somewhere where we could buy his and rent the groomsman’s. A friend recommended The Vintage Suit Hire and after some investigating we decided they were perfect. He went with his dad and tried on a few options, he settled on the navy blue (I was very pleased with this as was excited for the contrast to the mink colour on my dress).
Of all things, we found the ties the hardest decision to make…! I placed a huge order online as there wasn’t really a clear vision so we went for the try all approach. After trying approximately 30 different options with a variety of colours, materials and patterns we settled on ditsy floral green bow tie from the Tie Room. It worked out to be ideal as we bought the groomsmen the classic tie so there was some differentiation from Jonny – they even did a kids version for our page boys!
The shoes he chose were a classic pair of brown brogues from Russell and Bromley, they now only come out for very special occasions!
The bridesmaids all wore the Vienna dress from the fabulous company We Are Rewritten. I was drawn to their simple and elegant styles immediately – they’re the kind of dresses that I knew they’d feel special in on the day but weren’t your traditional bridesmaid dresses. We went for the Vienna colour which was very soft and suited all the girls beautifully!
The groomsmen wore matching suits from The Vintage Suit Hire Company – all in the navy. They were hired but fitted perfectly and looked great on the day. The ties were all from the Tie Room – they were the same fabric design as Jonny’s bow tie. One of the groomsmen, an enthusiastic dancer, ripped his hired suit and The Vintage Suit Hire Company couldn’t have been more helpful and didn’t charge us the world to fix them!
The Details & Décor
Most of the decorations and décor were bits that we made/borrowed from friends and family. For example the entrance chalk board we made from an old door and some chalkboard paint, the ‘Meet the Bridal Party’ sign was clipped on to a grid (one of those jobs that I thought would take an evening and it actually took 5…!) and the terrarium that we used for the cards was my Granny’s that we found in her garage a few months before the big day!
We did rent a few bits from ‘The Little Lending Company’ which is a great little business near Kings Lynn. From them we hired the Persian style rugs that went down the aisle, the table lantern centre pieces and a few troughs for drinks.
Our photographer was the brilliant Carrie Lavers. I found her on Instagram and instantly loved her images, they felt so personal and it was clear she has the ability to capture some incredibly special moments.
As soon as she arrived to the house on the morning of the wedding everything went smoothly. She did a fantastic job of blending in but also knowing when to instruct us to make sure we get the very best shots (all hail the golden hour). We were so so happy with our teaser that came in just before we left for our honeymoon (cue tears all around) and when the final album was sent a couple of months later we really were blown away.
Choosing where to go on honeymoon was probably one of the hardest decisions we had to make. We wanted to go somewhere that neither of us had been before, somewhere that felt like a bit of an adventure but was also pure luxury. After a lot of research we settled on Indonesia.
We did a few different stops in our 16 days… we started in Lombok and stayed at the Lombok Lodge which was pure luxury. Such an incredible hotel with poolside dining, private jetty and the most amazing staff. We then moved on to Nusa Lombongan where we stayed in a one bedroom villa on the cliffside – this was a nice contrast to Lombok as it was a little more relaxed and we had some fun days in beach clubs and snorkelling. From there we moved on to main land Bali with a stop in Ubud for some hiking and then ending at the amazing Ungussan Cliff Resort in Ulluwatu. This was a real treat to finish with, we spent our days at the beach club that was connected to the hotel… kayaking, paddleboarding and drinking a fair few cocktails!
My wedding hair and make up was done by Zena McQuiston. I found her online and after trawling through her Instagram decided it was perfect. She brought an assistant along on the day and they both did a great drop of doing hair and make up for myself, 4 bridesmaids and the mother of the bride!
My brief for my make up was me… but on a REALLY good day. In the trial I took along a few pictures but really I just wanted something fairly relaxed and natural looking. She proposed we went for the peach colour palette vs the pinks I had originally thought and after the trial I was convinced.
Jonny ended up going to Adam’s Barbers in London a few days before the wedding, he had been there as a test run before and loved it! They did a great job and he particularly enjoyed the cocktail that came with the grooming experience!
I’m sure everyone will say it but this is a really impossible question. For us the whole event was just so incredible, seeing all your friends and family in one room, everyone on high spirits is just the most amazing feeling.
If we were going to pick top….
- The ceremony… Having our best friend doing our ceremony and doing such an great job. It was so personal to us and that made it really special.
- The moment right after the ceremony where we had a glass of fizz and a moment to ourselves (mainly to discuss how great everything was!).
- The dance floor… it was always going to be a highlight and from our first dance to the last song I don’t think either of us stopped smiling.
- Having an event planned for the next day with close family and friends to relive the above!
Advice For Other Couples
Just do what is right for you as a couple… it’s amazing how easy it is to put pressure on yourself by looking at other people’s big days but what will make anyone’s wedding amazing is when it feels like it 100% reflects them and their relationship.
Oh… and have a lot of fun!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Carrie Lavers Photography
House of Snow
Oh so romantic, from beginning to end!
Natalie and Jonny thank you ever so much for sharing with us your Suffolk barn wedding. If you are looking for barn wedding inspo, we have some beautiful weddings in our archives xo Lou