I love it when a couple plan a wedding day with fun and personality at the very heart. It injects such a happy, easy going vibe to the celebrations and WWW readers Haleema and Sam did just that. They were married in a church ceremony before hosting their reception at Wrays Barn at Whinstone View in North Yorkshire on the 31th August 2017. It’s really wonderful to see a barn wedding with a fresh and timeless style of décor. Think muted colours, teamed with greenery floral arrangements, natural kraft paper stationery and chalk board signage. Also keep your eyes peeled for an incredible strawberries dipped in chocolate tower cake, yum!
Onto the outfits because well they were just stunning! The bridesmaids were elegant in dove grey multi-way maxi dresses, meanwhile the groom and the groomsmen wore dapper check suits with floral ties and rose buttonholes. Bride Haleema looked so beautiful in her lace halter-neck fit and flare gown with cathedral veil, wow!
Sally T Photography captured all of the precious moments and pretty details so perfectly. Thank you Sally for sharing these images with us today.
We got engaged on 17th August 2015 in Venice. We are avid travel lovers and we were 2 weeks into a 3 month backpacking trip across Europe, South America and The USA. We arrived in Venice, where we were staying for 3 nights, to a little b&b that we had booked for the entirety of our stay. As we were checking in, Sam confirmed with the Receptionist that we were there for the one night, whilst I stood there oblivious thinking he had just made a mistake, as we were meant to be there for 3. Off we trotted up the stairs, started unpacking and Sam said, ‘aren’t you going to ask why we’re only staying one night?’ Turns out he had booked us a lovely hotel stay for the next two nights, disguised as an early birthday treat for me. The next day, we checked in, spent a lovely afternoon wandering around Venice and decided to have an ‘impromptu’ ride on a gondola. After a little while, we turned down an empty canal and Sam got down on one knee and asked me to marry him (with a thumbs up and cheering from the gondola guy!!)
We both wanted a day that felt relaxed and we didn’t feel the pressure to tick off any traditional or stereotypical wedding boxes; we wanted the day to just celebrate getting married and becoming husband and wife. Once we returned from our backpacking trip, we agreed that a barn venue would give us the relaxed vibe we were looking for and allow us a space to spend quality time with our guests. As much as a barn venue is rustic, I would say our vision for the smaller details was always very fresh, timeless and classic. We wanted to look back on our pictures and feel like you couldn’t pinpoint the era in which we were married, choosing all aspects that we loved rather than simply following current trends.
The Planning Process
We booked our venue around 18 months before our wedding date. This gave us plenty of time to save, plan and look for the suppliers we really wanted for our day. We actually really enjoyed planning and would do it all over again if we could! The aim was to tick all of the big boxes within the first few months of booking. So we firstly booked our photographer, DJ and florist. We soon realised that the best suppliers were booked years in advance so this pushed us to organise these bits as quickly as possible. For the finer details, Pinterest was a big inspiration!
Our budget was initially smaller than what we ended up spending. We had 18 months worth of planning and saving every last penny!
We got married at St Mary Magdalene Church in Yarm, where we live. Our reception was at Wrays Barn – Whinstone View in Great Ayton, a local village near where we live.
The Readings & Music
I walked down the aisle to Elbow – One Day Like This, one of our favourite songs and we walked out of the church to The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun.
One of our groomsmen read the reading ‘He never leaves the seat up’ (anon) which was perfect for us. Light hearted and funny.
Sam wore a tailor made suit from Bakers Tailoring. We couldn’t recommend Paul, from Bakers, enough! Sam opted for a double breasted navy suit, bow tie and braces. The suit had a lovely subtle large check running through and our initials were embroidered on the inside of the suit breast pocket
The Details & Décor
One of my favourite details we had was ‘The Richardson’ letter balloons that we hung behind our top table. We also made our own photo frame, which we covered with fake flowers and wooden ‘#richoswedding’ lettering. We had a loose travel theme in which we named our tables places we had visited and had a painted globe guestbook for everyone to sign. We really loved choosing all the smaller details and trying to make each choice personal to us.
Our inspiration for flowers was to have lots that were very neutral and natural looking. We had mainly white and grey colours, with lots of foliage, for the bouquet, church and table decorations. Our long tables were lined with lots of amazing smelling eucalyptus! Our flowers were mainly hydrangeas, roses, gypsophlia, grey echeveria and brunia.
Karen, Heather, Abigail and Tiana all wore dove grey, multiway dresses from Victoria Lou Bridal. I ordered the dresses online and was over the moon when they arrived. Karen, Heather and Abigail all wore the classic style dress with each dress tied to suit the style they liked best. Tiana wore the tulle version of the dress in the one shoulder style.
Instead of a traditional wedding cake, we opted for a chocolate strawberry tower, as chocolate strawberries are our favourite! Sam’s aunty actually made the tower for us and we had so many compliments about it. We also had a friend make cupcakes for us, filled with fresh strawberries!
We spent 3 days in Singapore and 12 nights in Bali for our honeymoon. We had the most amazing time and would definitely recommend as honeymoon destination(s)!
Sally Thurrell (Sally T Photography) was our photographer for the day and we opted for a second shooter, in which Sally recommended and brought along Katie Byram. Sally was the only photographer we met with as we knew from the moment we came across her photos that her relaxed, natural style of photography was exactly what we wanted! Sally also offered a stop motion video, which we had never come across before and we were absolutely over the moon with ours.
The Dress & Accessories
I absolutely fell in love with my dress the minute I put it on. It was a halterneck style, full lace and slim fitted with a long train. I loved the halterneck on the dress and had not come across many dresses with this particular neckline. The neckline was embroidered with beading and scalloped, which was really flattering. I also opted for a cathedral length veil, in which was lined with very delicate lace embroidery.
My shoes were from the Asos bridal range and I adored them! I wore minimal jewellery, Pandora earrings and Pandora bracelet with a heart charm Sam had given me as a wedding present.
Finding The Dress
I only visited 2 bridal stores before finding my dress and on the day I found it I wasn’t even planning on trying any dresses on. Me and my mum were out shopping and I nipped into Miranda Marie Bridal Boutique on Yarm High Street to make an appointment. The owner, Miranda, said she had a slot available there and then. My dress was the third dress I tried on in the boutique and I immediately knew it was the one!
Haleema – The car journey to the church with my mum before she walked me down the aisle, impromptu line up outside the church after we married to say hello to each guest, moment alone with Sam in the car on the way to Whinstone View, very funny speeches, the dance floor being full all night.
Sam – Haleema’s surprise wedding speech, saying our vows, the speeches, our first dance and dancing all night with our guests.
Advice For Other Couples
Stay true to what you both really want for your wedding day and remember not to sweat the small stuff as it all comes together on the day. Enjoy every moment!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Sally T Photography
Victoria Lou Bridal
Oh so beautiful! I just love the confetti cannon first dance moment too, perfect.
Haleema and Sam, thank you both so much for sharing your special story here with us xo Lou