It's time to get back to my roots with some home-grown, English, mid-week wedding action.
There is something so charming about English barn weddings don't you think? Those rolling hills, wooden beams and guests dressed in all their finery. Debbie and Ben's pretty pastel wedding is full of glamour and sparkle, as well as one show-stopping, gasp inducing, princess style ruffly dress and a unique ‘Corpse Bride' cake! The beautiful photos are by the super talented Studio 1208.
A Not So Traditional, Traditional Wedding: Our wedding was in the countryside, so we wanted a soft color theme. We decided on pastel colors, mainly green and pink. It was a traditional wedding, but we put our own ideas in making it not so traditional, such as me walking myself down the aisle, the guys wanted a game of American football for the pictures and our (amazing)cake was far from traditional.
The Dress: I originally wanted a very simple dress, but when I started looking at dresses, the simple ones just didn’t get me very excited. When I started looking at more elaborate dresses, I was shown Maggie Sottero's SaBelle, and before I even tried it on, I thought it was perfect! It was fitted at the top down to the hips, with just the right amount of detail. I just loved the handmade roses and the cascading bustles, complete with the lace at the bottom of the dress. I just knew I wanted that dress and didn’t care about any other dresses from that point on. As the dress was quite detailed, I decided to go for simple accessories, including a simple tiara – however, I did decide on a cathedral length veil.
The Barn Venue: We think Sandhole Oak Barn was an amazing wedding venue, it is so stylish, and we felt so at home there. It’s quite a large venue, but we knew that had our wedding been smaller, it still would have fit into Sandhole. Our guests had room to explore the place and drink on the veranda whilst still keeping the wedding close and personal. The guests loved the fact they could arrive in the morning for the wedding and that the whole day was in one place. We loved how the whole day just seemed to flow, there was no rushing, but at the same time there was no hanging around.
Bridesmaids in Grey: Our bridesmaid's dresses were Hilary Morgan fishtail dresses, the green-blue color looked stunning at our venue, and the shapes of the dresses made the girls look great and gave the wedding a very sophisticated look.
Pastel Florals: I wanted to go for flowers with pastel colours. Distinctive Designs recommended I go for a shower bouquet with soft Ruscus, Sweet Avalanche and Amnesia Roses, along with Sarah Burnhart Peonies and pale pink Double Eustoma. My florist finished the bouquet off with diamantes in the rose heads. The bridesmaid’s bouquets were much simpler, using mainly cream roses. Our venue was decorated with the same to complement the beautiful natural oak beams.
Photography & Videography: We were introduced to Studio 1208 when our original videographer cancelled on us. We were gutted, and thought this was one of the worst things that could possibly happen. Ironically, we now think this was the best thing that happened to us! I thought we were going to be looking for another videographer and photographer for months, but as soon as we met Nick and Maria, we knew we wanted them to do our wedding. They were so flexible, there were no time limits, they simply said, we come at the beginning of your day and we leave at the end. I thought their work was amazing.
Our friends and family advised us not to have a video, as we would never watch it, but what Nick and Maria put together is so watchable – we have watched it a thousand times over! The photographs they took are equally amazing, and I honestly cannot remember them being there most of the day – I don’t know how they got the photographs they did without us knowing. We still say our videographer canceling on us was the best thing that happened to us.
Decor & Details: Our centerpieces were done by our florist. We decided on a mixture of birdcages and candelabras. The birdcages were filled with ivy trails and the same roses from my bouquet along with some lilies. The candelabra's were decorated with ivy and roses. We made our favors ourselves, with a mixture of boxes in the shape of a brides dress and little organza bags. We filled them with love heart sweets.
To help personalize our wedding even more, we decided to name our tables after theme parks in Florida, we are both huge fans, and wanted to have that incorporated into the wedding somewhere. So, for each table, we had a picture of each theme park attached to a table holder which was within a cream plant pot to keep the country-chic look.
The Menu: The food was delicious!
For the wedding breakfast, we had a trio of starters including Prawn Cocktail, Smooth Chicken Pate topped with Homemade Onion Chutney and served alongside a Toasted Brioche Finger and Honeydew Melon with Raspberry Coulis.
For the main dish, we served Chicken Breast stuffed with a Mushroom and Cream Cheese Mousseline atop Dauphinoise Potatoes with a Creamy Pink Peppercorn Sauce accompanied by crisp seasonal vegetables. For the dessert, again we served a trio, including fresh vanilla crème brûlée, warm sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and custard, and a brandy basket filled with strawberry, raspberry and blueberry compote topped with vanilla ice cream.
We served our wedding cake as dessert. Our wedding cake was a hit! A topsy-turvy wedding cake in the style of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, even our cake topper was of the Corpse Bride.
The Music: We had Richard Millington playing on the grand piano for the wedding ceremony and during the wedding breakfast. He played Des’ree ‘Kissing You' as I walked down the aisle, and then Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man', Elton John’s ‘Your Song' and ‘Cannon' by Pachabel for the signing of the register. Finally, we walked out to ‘Let There Be Love' by Frank Sinatra. In the evening, we did our first dance to Al Green ‘Let's Stay Together'. We gave Cheshire DJ’s a list of songs for the evening, and this ensured that our dance floor was full all night, so everyone young and old, got the chance to get up and dance.
Such a beautiful wedding! Want to see it in motion? Here's their wedding film, also shot by Studio 1208:
Below Debbie and Ben share some REALLY good advice on following your heart and not sweating the small stuff…
Advice For Other Couples: Our advice would be to not let your wedding take over your life, as on the day, all that matters is that you get married and you and your guests have a great time. We thought that if the little things were not right, then the day wouldn’t be the same. The truth is that on the day, you don’t care. On our wedding day, one of the caterers came over and told me that we had printed the menus wrong (we had written that it was duck pate not chicken) had I known this before the wedding, I would have been freaking out, but on the day I just didn’t care and I just laughed.
Also, have what you want and don’t let family members and friends tell you otherwise. Listen to their advice, but if you really want something then don’t let other people put you off. People told us to have a normal wedding cake as people would laugh at us, but our cake was one of the wedding's biggest assets, our guests loved the cake and it constantly had people crowding round it.
For my own reasons, I decided to walk down the aisle on my own. My dad was at my wedding, but I felt right walking myself down the aisle, again I was told this was not traditional, however our wedding was far from traditional. I’m so glad now that I did walk down on my own and me and my dad were happy with my decision and that’s all that matters. Always go with your decisions and it will all work out.
Many thanks to Debbie and Ben for giving us a glimpse into their special day and to Studio 1208 for sharing their stunning photography. Check out their website for even more photo and film loveliness.
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