Oh there’s so much prettiness in today’s real wedding to perk up your Monday, no end.

Victoria & Joel are childhood sweethearts, who reconnected as adults, and tied the knot with a beautiful English countryside wedding.

Their day, filled with hay bales, tea cups, pretty florals and big smiles, was captured by wonderful duo, Matt & Esther. 

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Victoria was a glowing bride in a bespoke Emily Wetherell gown which was made from her own drawing, while Joel was entirely dashing in his military suit (British Army uniforms are especially princely!). 

Their meaningful church ceremony was followed by cake on the lawn outside, before a military guard of honour saw them head off in their red Jag convertible.

Their beautiful barn wedding reception was the quintessential English knees up, with family style food, charming decor, and the most idyllic farmyard setting (complete with geese and ponies!).

If you’ve always dreamed of a countryside wedding in the summertime, this gorgeous wedding will have you reaching for the Pimms cups and Victoria sponge stat.

Wedding Day Snapshot

Beautiful English Barn Wedding | Matt & Esther Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

Our Love Story

We first met at secondary school where a young love blossomed; we held hands on the bus. Victoria moved schools aged 13, and the love story was paused until 13 years later when Facebook reconnected the couple.

The proposal was epic: Joel orchestrated all the children and teachers at the primary school where Victoria worked to be in the playground, and when Victoria stood out on the balcony above the playground, they shouted: “Will – you – marry – HIM!” as he walked across the balcony to her and went down on one knee.

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The Inspiration

English countryside in bloom!

Rustic, hand-made, and soft with whites and pinks, evergreen for bridesmaid dresses.

Our wedding in three words? Rustic, creative, magical. 

The flowers were roses and seasonal white/pinks – the most beautiful and tailor made seasonal flowers by Emma (found at Lymington market). 

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The Ceremony

A school friend composed a beautiful choral piece using our favourite Psalm – Psalm 100. It was sung by four friends who were in the choir at school – it was amazing!

A great friend of ours also sung ‘Oceans’ with her guitar – it was very moving.

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Advice for Other Couples

Budget: everything adds up! Keep it realistic and prioritise the key aspects of the day (for us it was venue and food).

It is fun to do lots by hand but it can be very time consuming so plan for that time!

There definitely felt like there was more to do than there actually was when we got started.

Really don’t worry about all the details – every wedding is different, and every wedding is amazing because it is a celebration of love!

I found that everyone wants to help when there is a wedding – friends, family, friends of friends and family, neighbours, colleagues – anyone! We embraced it and it definitely enhanced the day.

Enjoy it!

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The Budget

The biggest spend was the food (around £5K) – I splashed out on hiring Joel a Jaguar E type for the wedding and first day of honeymoon as a surprise (otherwise our wedding vehicle was my Uncle’s old Land Rover); otherwise the rest of the wedding (including dress) came to about £5K.

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The Photography

Matt and Esther photographed a friends wedding and captured the spirit and atmosphere so beautifully – we knew straight away that we wanted them to do our wedding!

Photos are so important as they are the lasting souvenir of the event – we really wanted photos with atmosphere, that told a story in themselves.

We were over the moon with their work – I have the pictures as my screen saver and a year later they still look as wonderful as the first time I saw them!

Matt and Esther captured the feeling of the day perfectly and gave us the best gift of lifelong memories – the best part of the wedding. 

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The Venue

It was an organic farm, surrounded by fields with everything hand-built – it was relaxed, creative and gorgeous!

All the guests stayed in the farm stays and the central barn was redecorated to our taste. 

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The Decor & Details

I love tea and have always enjoyed English tea parties, so the favours were old vintage teacups and saucers collected from charity shops and car boot sales. It was so much fun matching the design of the cup to the personality of the guest!

Everything else was DIY – we made a large chalkboard for messages, luggage tag labels with lavender for place names, and lots of flowers in all different types of pots.

My mum had also found old crystal vases that she made into candles to put around the courtyard and on the bar.

My mum had the brilliant idea to leave a pile of rugs by the barn for guests to wrap up in when the inevitable evening chill descended.

She and her friends knit blankets to send to orphans in South Africa – everyone looked fabulous and cosy wrapped up in the brightly coloured blankets!

The paper goods were designed by Victoria – we had a stamp made by the English Stamp Company which went on our placenames and envelopes in the same green as the bridesmaids dresses. It was lots of fun!

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The Refreshments

Our meal was a ‘family style’ meal: large serving platters on the tables that were shared and served to each other, adding to the relaxed atmosphere and providing potential ice breakers for people who had never met before!

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The First Dance

‘Dela’ by the South African artist Johnny Clegg… a childhood favourite, upbeat and celebratory and captured the feeling of passionate love, “I think I know why the dog howls at the moon”!

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The Honeymoon

We went to Croatia and stayed in some beautiful hotels. Luxury hotels are not usually what we would choose for a holiday, but it was amazing to have that time to rest, be pampered and enjoy beautiful landscape and good food!

Anywhere where you can rest and digest the details of the wedding is perfect!

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So pretty, right? I just love family style catering, it really adds to the atmosphere, and isn’t that haybale barn wall incredible? I love the teacups too – such a sweet touch!

Thanks so much to Matt & Ester, and of course, Victoria & Joel for sharing their beautiful barn wedding with us.

Be inspired by more remarkable real weddings

Photographer: Matt & Esther / Reception Venue: Warborne Farm / Bride’s Dress: Bespoke by Emily Wetherell / Groom’s Attire: Army uniform / Bridesmaid Dresses: Emily Wetherall / Catering: 7th The Wave / Wines: Las Bodegas / Flowers: Emma's Flower Hut / Cake Baker: Our wonderful neighbour Lynne