Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

rustic charm. a chic barn wedding in the peak district – josie & romin

December 1st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (55)

The weekend is upon us and we’re super excited as December 1st signals the beginning of the festive season (to us anyway!) so this weekend we have seasonal soirees, mulled wine drinking and tree decorating on the agenda. But before we hurry off to find our fairy lights and baubles, we’re sharing this classic barn wedding that’s brimming with all the charm!

Josie and Romin tied the knot at The Ashes Barns earlier this year, the perfect backdrop for their relaxed rustic themed wedding, complete with exposed stone walls, beams and bunting galore. Their stunning photographs capture precious moments from their special day, from their bridesmaids donning some rather fetching wellies, to the couple meandering through pretty pastures with friendly cattle in tow.

What perhaps makes these images extra special though is that they were taken by the groom’s brother, professional photographer John of JPR Shah Photography. At first unsure whether to capture this special family day himself or totally immerse himself in the celebrations, John tells us that he decided he could do both…

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (5)

john says: When my little brother announced his engagement to Josie, I was genuinely thrilled, but I was also a bit torn – I really wanted to attend and be present without a lens for his big day, but I also really, really wanted to capture his wedding memories for him, which in itself, is a privilege. When I suggested it to them, they both had similar concerns – they didn’t want me ‘working’ during their celebrations, but they also said I was the only person they’d want to photograph their day. That settled it for me, I was going to shoot their day and the photography would be a wedding present from me! I really needn’t have worried! The photographer holds a very unique position on the wedding day – I witnessed everything from the best seat in the house, and spent more time with them than any other guest, and capturing their love on camera was such a joyous thing for me. Without sounding cheesy, it was a genuine honour and an absolute pleasure to shoot their day for them. I laughed, cried, danced, and even gave a speech, and after the first dance, I was partying away with a prosecco in my hand!

So, in John’s case, he could have the wedding cake, and eat it! Bride Josie tells us more about the day…

With images by JPR Shah Photography.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (35)

josie says: We went to Manchester for a few days to see The Lion King. In the evening, we got ready and went out for an amazing Italian meal before going to the show. We went back to the bar at our hotel – Rom disappeared and then came back and we went to our penthouse suite (we were upgraded as Rom had told the staff what he was planning to do). We went up to our room and as I opened the door there were candles all over the table, champagne and my favourite music playing. At this point I had no idea what was about to happen – I turned around and Rom took my hands (he was shaking like a leaf!). He got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was so shocked I think it took me about five minutes to respond! I said yes, of course. We then went out and celebrated in the Hilton with some cocktails.

We got married on the 4th May 2017 – we brought our wedding forward from the September.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (39)

We got married at The Ashes Barns, Staffordshire – we had our wedding in the West Barn and the reception in the East Barn. We chose this venue as we really wanted a barn wedding to give us that rustic, relaxed feeling to our day. The Ashes team were absolutely fabulous when we looked round and we felt confident that we’d be able to have everything we wanted for our day.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (51)

Our theme was just a country, rustic feel with lots of flowers – including bridesmaids in wellies!

We initially wanted a sage colour theme to match the tones around the barns, however, as we had so many flowers it became more multi-coloured!

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (16)

I wore a dress called Pleasant by Pronovias – It was my dream dress! I bought this from Brides of Chester. Rom wore a blue subtly tweed three-piece suit with a sage tie.

Our groomsmen wore a very similar suit jacket and waistcoat with the same ties – two of them wore chinos and one (our fabulous photographer) wore a matching kilt. Our bridesmaids wore Chi Chi London bardot tea dresses in blue, adorned with blush and green flowers.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (27)

On the day, my stepfather picked me up and took me to the venue where I got ready in The Old Dairy with my bridesmaids and mum. Rom arrived with his brother, John.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (32)

Our photographer was JPR Shah – John is Rom’s brother and it was amazing to have him and his wife shoot our day! We’d recommend them to everyone – Rom and I aren’t exactly ones to take photos of ourselves and they made us feel at ease and the photographs from the whole day are just incredible.

Each of John’s photos almost tell a story which is exactly what we wanted. Instead of looking back on our day and seeing posed photographs, john captured genuine moments which we will cherish forever.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (41)

I carried a bouquet of ivory and blush-peach David Austin Roses, gyp and foliage.

For our reception we used many different decorations, from bunting (hand made by my sister-in-law) and decorations, which I made myself. I spent the year before collecting bits and pieces and making decorations. On the day, the amazing team at The Ashes put everything in place.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (46)

For our favours, we had little white laser cut boxes with macaron candles inside and used this with labels for our place settings. Rom’s mum also spent months and months prior to the wedding beautifully hand painting champagne flutes which we used for our toast and gave people as favours.

My mum made our wedding cake. She made a four-tiered lemon drizzle cake which was covered in ombre icing and flowers – as we got married on May 4th, I surprised Rom by having a wookiee from Star Wars trying to escape out of the back of the cake.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (48)

We had a range of drinks throughout the day from wines to Prosecco, Pimms and elderflower presse.

We used Jenkinsons Caterers for our food and it was outstanding, as was their table service!

After the ceremony we had canapés and for our evening food we had a cheese board and cakes. For our wedding breakfast we had mango and goats cheese parcels followed by a selection of beef with seasonal veg, and then for dessert, a trio of sweets.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (56)

A string quartet called 440 Quartet played during the ceremony and we had songs people would recognise, including The Lion King whilst we signed the register.

In the evening, we had a rock band called Wildcard – we chose them as our first dance was a rock song and we like that style of music, although they played mainstream music too, so all of our guests could enjoy them.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (60)

We had so many little details! We had gift bags for the bridesmaids and light saber cufflinks for the groomsmen. Our flower girl walked down the aisle with a sign saying ‘hurry up I want cake’ on one side and ‘has anyone seen the rings’ on the other. There were sweets on the bar, toiletries and makeup in the ladies toilets. We also had bunting in the courtyard and personalised touches everywhere.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (65)

We would definitely recommend the venue. The venue itself is stunning and very practical as you can get ready at The Old Dairy in the morning, with great facilities and still in keeping with the day. Then there is the West Barn for the ceremony and the East for the reception so there’s no changing around of rooms and always somewhere to go if it rains. The staff are amazing and can’t do enough to help. They made our day run so smoothly, I didn’t have to do a thing!

Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony; it was just so relaxed and full of giggles.

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (43)

We went to Bali and Gili Trawangan for our honeymoon. It was the most incredible trip of our life! We visited temples, coffee plantations, pool bars, saw dolphins, swam with turtles and elephants…it was perfect!

A Barn Wedding in the Peak District (c) JPR Shah Photography (63)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, when it gets to the week or so before your wedding – stop and relax. You don’t want to be stressed in those few days, just enjoy some time together getting excited before the big day!

the big picture

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about the author

Alexis Forsyth
Originally from north of the border, Alexis has lived in the North East for the past 15 years and considers herself officially an adopted Geordie. A qualified journalist - Alexis took up the position of editor at the region’s longest running business publication in 2015 before moving into a marketing role for one of the UK’s largest independent arts and craft galleries. Alexis currently edits her own lifestyle blog, where you can find her latest musings on all things Newcastle-related, together with a smattering of her Instagram-worthy cocktail and foodie pics. Yet to find Mr Right herself, Alexis sees this as a mere formality when it comes to tying the knot, as she’s already picked out her dream wedding dress, theme and venue...

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