Extraordinary Real Wedding: Jenny and Luke's Rustic Barn Wedding
I first met Jenny when she attended our leadership programme (with my leadership development hat on), it was some months into the programme, when we were doing a session on presenting with impact that Jenny chose her wedding as her practice topic. Clearly she had a live of weddings just like myself! Seeing here beautiful photo's and hearing the absolute passion she spoke with I asked her if she would consider being featured on the blog.
Speaking with Jenny she told me:
Luke and I met back in February 2014 and after 3 years of dating he proposed to me on a beach in Thailand. We had been on holiday for nearly two weeks when he proposed, and he had carried the ring around with him in a pair of socks. Every few days I would ring home to call my parents and update them on our adventures traveling around Thailand and each time I would start the call with “we’ve had the best day today…” and each time they were waiting for me to say Luke had proposed but no it was just another story about what we had been up to that day.
As before any big holiday couples go on, people kept saying that they thought Luke would propose so he wanted to keep me waiting until the penultimate day of our holiday to ensure it happened when I least expected it. When it took him so long to get down on one knee my parents could only assume, he had either lost the ring on our travels or that he had changed his mind!!
Once we returned home, we pretty much started planning the big day straight away. There was quite a rush to get a venue booked as we wanted an August wedding the following year (2018) and we soon discovered that venues get booked up at least 2 years in advance.
I was very nervous on the run up to the big day about having all eyes on me. However, on the day the nerves went away, and I was the most smiley and relaxed bride. Even the registrar commented on how she had never seen such a happy bride.
I had always dreamed of getting married outside, so the main criteria for when looking at venues was an outdoor ceremony area. We started our search with venues local to our home, but we struggled to find somewhere that ticked all the boxes. It was my dad who then suggested we look at venues in the Cotswolds as it was roughly 1.5hr drive from where we lived. We were then spoilt for choice!
I found Hyde House online and we instantly fell in love with the venue the moment we viewed it. It had a lovely outdoor arbour and the barn was beautiful Cotswold stone. The venue was also having a new barn built which was due to be finished in April 2018
(4 months before our big day).
I could only ever imagine an outdoor wedding and with weather in this country being so unpredictable I was slightly nervous about it raining on our big day and not being able to have the ceremony outdoors. However, as soon as the new barn was built, we went to view it and it was stunning!
From that moment I knew that come rain or shine the venue was everything we could have dreamed of.As it turns out– we had beautiful sunny weather for the big day, and we got our outdoor ceremony.
The venue was also situated close to Stow-on-the-Wold and many of our guests made a weekend of it and had a little holiday in the Cotswolds. The venue was also exclusive with 20 rooms for wedding guests – it was so nice having our nearest and dearest stay overnight and it meant we could all meet for breakfast the following morning and reminisce.
I also loved that the venue was a blank canvas. I follow Hyde House on Instagram and even now I love seeing the different themes that people choose for their wedding day.
At the time of planning our wedding, blue,grey and blush seemed to be the ‘in thing’ and we both really liked this colour scheme. We opted for navy suits and my bridesmaids had grey dresses. I then added the blush colour into the flowers.
We used a company called Cotswold Blooms and she created the bouquets, centrepiece flowers, entrance flowers and a flower arch for the ceremony arbour. We were really happy with the colour scheme that we chose for the big day and everything complimented each other nicely.
My dress as well as the flower girl dresses were ivory, and I bought them from a local shop called Georgina Scott Bridal. My dress won wedding dress of the year in 2018 and was designed by Essence of Australia. I really like the style of their dresses. I had always wanted a big train and my dress most certainly had that - the back of the dress was my favourite part – the detail was stunning.
Two of my three bridesmaids were pregnant and were due a month before the wedding day, so it was important to me that they felt comfortable in their dresses. We went for a long grey, floaty dress and they all looked beautiful as you will see from the pictures.
In the barn where we had our wedding breakfast, we had hanging lanterns from the ceiling which were grey, blush and ivory. We hired a company called Every Event Hire to install the lanterns as well as fairy lighting from the beams of the barn.
For our place names, we had slate and my sister-in-law added everyone’s names in calligraphy. My mom, dad & I collected the slate from a beach near Dartmouth (Dartmouth is my happy place!)
For centre pieces we had wooden logs and with the help of family and friends, we collected jars on the run up to the wedding and I used these for the flower vases on the tables. I wrapped twine around the tops of the jars to make them look more rustic.
The table name theme was different years, Luke & I then created Polaroids with pictures of us from that particular year.
We opted for a naked cake for the ceremony, again, these were very in at the time of the wedding. Cake tasting was definitely Luke’s favourite part of the wedding planning. We had 3 tiers to the cake – red velvet, carrot & pecan and a good old victoria sponge.
We went to an open day at the venue and there was a string quartet playing. This wasn’t something I had previously thought about having but I remember hearing them play and they gave me goose bumps. We knew instantly that we wanted them for our big day.
On the wedding day itself, Vyne String Quartet played whilst guests arrived, during the ceremony and during the drink’s reception. My entrance music to the ceremony was Pachelbel Canon in D – it still makes me tear up when I hear it play now. They were amazing and I wish I could hear them play all over again.
Luke also went to school with a guy called Christian Fletcher, he is now a magician and has won multiple awards for wedding entertainment. We booked Christian to come and mingle with guests during the drinks reception and whilst we went off for our photos. The guests loved him.
For décor, I hired a company called Lulabee and Laura the owner came to set up the venue for me on the morning of the wedding. Lulabee also specialises in bespoke wedding decoration hire so she put together our table plan, photo wall, wedding signs and created a few displays for us. Again, everything had a rustic feel so lots of wooden crates, logs and candles etc. Laura was so easy to work with and she styled the venue beautifully.
We used a photographer called Gary Roswel. Gary is Cambridge based but had previously photographed 2 other weddings we had been to and we loved his work. Gary brings his wife on the day so jointly they get some fantastic shots and can capture both the bride and groom on the morning of the wedding, to ensure no important moments are missed. They were also so good at putting us at ease.
One piece of advice I would have for any bride or groom is to get a videographer. This was not something we had thought about doing for the day but a colleague of mine kept telling me that it was one of her biggest regrets by not hiring one.
Luke was not sold on the idea at first (especially as we hadn’t budgeted for it), but I was able to talk him into it. Luckily one of our close friends works in the film industry and was able to recommend one of his friends to film the day for us. This was one of the best decisions we made for the big day – we watch the film over and over – it still makes me laugh and cry each time we watch. The day goes by so fast and I remember trying to take each moment in but when you look back, it starts to feel like a blurry dream. It’s so nice that we can re-watch our most perfect and magical day.
A mention for the suppliers:
Wedding Venue – Hyde House (Stow-on-the-Wold) http://hyde-house.uk/
Wedding dress & suits – Georgina Scott Bridal https://georginascottbridal.co.uk/
Flowers – Cotswold Blooms http://www.cotswoldblooms.com/
Cake – Cake by Rachel https://www.cakebyrachel.co.uk/
Decoration and venue styling – Lulabee http://www.lulabee.co.uk/
Lighting and hanging lanterns – Every Event Hire https://www.every-event-hire.co.uk/
Photography – Gary Rowsel https://www.garyrowsel.co.uk/
Videographer – Owain Ulyet
Magician – Christian Fletcher http://www.fletcher-magic.com/
String Quartet – Vyne String Quartet https://www.vynestringquartet.co.uk/
Hair & Makeup – Oxford Wedding Hair & Makeup http://www.hollypreston.co.uk/