April 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple shows us what you can do when you have real vision and plenty of original ideas for your big day; celebrating with family and friends in a barn in the beautiful Peak District which – at the time of their first visit – wasn’t yet fully renovated and didn’t even have a door or solid walls!
Needless to say, when their wedding day came around last October, it was brimming with rustic charm, brought to life by all kinds of pretty – including fairy lights, hanging ivy and paper lanterns. This was paired with homemade jam for their favours, a gourmet barbecue, live music, a sparkler send-off and so many other special touches, beautifully captured on camera.
Our bride even added a splash of glitter to the proceedings, in keeping with the vintage glam theme for the day and opted for a neutral palette complemented by sumptuous white and gold. Proof that a barn wedding can be anything but ordinary! We’ll pass the blog onto bride, Hannah, now though to talk us through her special day with hubby, Ben – prepare to swoon!
With images by George Krousti of U and Eye Photography
hannah says: We got engaged in Canary Wharf in London. We were away with some friends and family for a few days in London. One evening (about 11pm) me and Ben went for a walk along the river, and then round the corner I saw some people stood with a guitar and singing (thought it was a little odd late at night) but as we got closer I could hear the song Green Eyes by Coldplay, which has been ‘our song’ since we met in school. I recognised the voices singing as Ben’s sister and one of our friends. Then I realised what was going on! Some of the lyrics had been changed so we stood and listened to them until the end when Ben turned around, got on one knee and asked me to marry him, obviously I said yes! Some friends had arranged a small party, so we headed there and celebrated together.
We got married on Friday 27th October 2017. Twenty-seven has always been a special number for us – my birthday is 27th April, Ben’s is 27th August, we got engaged on 27th July and whilst I was living in Australia (we did two years long distance) Ben sent me a gift when he officially asked me to be his girlfriend and it arrived on my doorstep on 27th May. I’ve always wanted an autumn wedding as I love the colours and cosy vibes.
We had our ceremony at Christian Life Church in Chesterfield (now called IKON church) and had our reception at Peak District Holiday Barn. We are both hugely involved in church and lead the youth ministry there. Ben grew up going to CLC and I have been going since I was 15 and it has become a home to us so there was no doubt that was where we wanted to get married.
We went for a vintage glam style wedding and loved the idea of a barn reception with some glitter! We stumbled across the venue as we couldn’t find anything that quite fitted our idea, so we went off on a tangent looking for somewhere to put up a marquee.
When I called Mark, who owns the barn, I asked if he had a field we could use, his response was ‘we do have a barn out the back instead if you want to look at that’ – we went to look and we were blown away (at an empty barn with no door or solid walls). Mark was amazing and said it was in the process of being refurbished and painted – it was our dream venue right in front of us. It was a year-and-a-half before our wedding and we visited it throughout that time, always confident in Mark, we can’t thank him enough for making our dream a reality!
We went for a colour palette of neutral wood tones, with white and a hint of gold glitter. We’re not a fan of garish colours, so wanted something neutral yet warm and cosy. The vintage style fitted with the autumn season too and I based the gold glitter on my choice of bridesmaid dress as it was something different and gave it that extra pop of fun.
Originally, I wanted a long sleeve lace dress but instead I went for quite a simple ivory satin dress with beaded detail around the waist and neck, with a draped front. It was from a designer dress outlet store in Chesterfield called Sassi Bride. It was the second shop we went to. I’m not too sure how it ended up in the changing room (I don’t remember choosing it or if my mum or the lady helping me chose it!) but when I tried it on, I knew it was the one – it was nothing like what I imagined but I felt like a bride in it.
Ben wore a black suit with a white jacket from House of Fraser with a black bow tie. His shoes were black and white handmade Italian brogues.
The bridesmaids wore gold sequin floor length fitted dresses with a low draped back from eBay. And the groomsmen wore a variety of black suits with a gold bow tie.
Hair By Amanda did my hair and makeup as well as the bridesmaids. Amanda was excellent, very friendly and professional. She was happy to change my eye makeup from what we did in the trial last minute. I’m quite fussy with my hair and makeup but couldn’t fault the way she made me look and feel.
We borrowed a friend’s car as our transport on the day – he drove us and put an ivory sash on the front of the bonnet.
Our day was captured by George Krousti, from U and Eye Photography. We would recommend him without a doubt! He was brilliant from the first meeting when he showed us his portfolio – we loved his style of photography. Ben and I are not the most natural in front of a camera but he was so professional and guided us to get great shots. He was very patient with us! Looking back at the photos, we are blown away with how he managed to capture really natural moments that reflected the day so well.
We had a close friend, Sam, video the whole day too. He doesn’t do it professionally but is amazing!
Another friend of ours, Sarah, did our flowers. She has just started her own business called Flourish Bouquets.
Décor-wise, we used lots of fairy lights and fake hanging ivy, and also spray painted the garden fences and had paper lanterns for the ceremony decoration. The barn was completely DIY. We had hessian table runners with fairy lights, lanterns and wine bottles with gypsophila in. Sarah, who did or flowers, chose each of them to represent an aspect of our relationship. The flowers we used were eucalyptus (representing two years long distance while I was in Australia), eustoma (pretty flowers that grow in tough conditions), white roses (English flower and also my favourite) and gypsophila.
As favours, we gave out a little jar of homemade jam to all our guests (all made for us by a friend). We chose a variety of flavours that went with our colour scheme.
We had a four-tier wedding cake consisting of chocolate fudge, lemon poppy seed, red velvet and classic vanilla, made by a friend, who also decorated it with white and gold alternating layers and flowers cascading down the side. My grandma made her traditional fruitcake too.
My mum and dad provided all the drinks, a selection of wines and barrels of craft beers/ales. We had Town and Country Hog Roast cater for the reception. It was a gourmet barbecue and was incredible! Andy was so helpful in planning and recommended exactly what we needed. The food tasted amazing and there was plenty. The staff were so friendly, lots of compliments on both the company and the food from our guests.
After our ceremony we had some live music with a cold buffet and some drinks. In the evening a friend did a DJ set.
We provided lots of blankets and cushions to make it cosy and warmer, and there was a sparkler send-off and free bar, but the most special things for us was having friends and family involved in various parts of the day.
Following our wedding, we would absolutely recommend our choice of venue! Mark was very helpful and welcoming. The accommodation sleeps up to 26 and it was great to spend time with family and friends for the whole weekend. The barn looked amazing and the size was perfect. I know they are still doing renovations that will make it just perfect.
Both Ben and I loved the relaxed atmosphere after the ceremony. We got a chance to speak to most of our guests and celebrate with them by having some food and listening to live music. It was very relaxed but so much fun.
We went to Thailand for our honeymoon. We started in Bangkok, then spent a few days with some elephants and stayed in a rainforest camp then finished the holiday on a beach resort it Krabi.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, make the day unique to you, as a couple, and don’t get weighed down by the opinions of others.
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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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