July 2nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
If you’re in love with the idea of tying the knot in a rustic barn, then today’s real wedding will be giving you all kinds of butterflies. Say hello to newlyweds Emma and Marc, who tied the knot during the Easter break at the sublime Owen House in Cheshire.
Floating candles, fairy lights and lanterns all help to set the romantic ambience, complemented by fabulous arrangements of pink, cream and green flowers that really embody the au naturale setting. It’s enchanting beyond words and everything we could hope from a classic barn wedding.
There are plenty of other fabulous highlights to look out for, too, including a prosecco cart, heart shaped fudge pieces as favours and – breaking with convention – the bride ditching heels for a pair of Converse! We think you’re going to be Pinterest-happy with this one, ladies!
With images by Sarah Beth Photo.
emma says: After being together for seven years, Marc decided to pop the question while we were on holiday in New York. We had enjoyed a short walk around Central Park with friends in the morning and then, whilst walking near a bridge, Marc asked to take a selfie with me. Looking in his bag for the ring, he then passed me the ring box to which I asked “what is this?” and he went down on one knee and popped the question.
We did not have a set date in mind but knew we wanted either a spring or summer wedding. I’m a teacher so with Easter being a two-week holiday, this was the ideal time for us.
After visiting a number of venues and knowing that we wanted a barn wedding, Owen House was the perfect choice. When visiting the venue for the first time, it was not dressed and was rather plain, but even from this we could see the potential it had, and we fell in love with it. The ceremony room is ideal, with fairy lights along one side of the room and rustic benches, windows and doors. It was the perfect barn venue for us.
We thought we knew what we wanted, but this changed over the course of planning the wedding. When we finally made a decision, we went for a rustic but modern theme. The rustic being the barn and some of the decorations and the modern being the dresses and the rose gold theme that ran throughout the favours and décor.
From trying on a range of bridesmaid dresses from dusty pink to creams, it seemed apparent that our colour scheme was going to be natural. My maids of honour and bridesmaids were originally going to wear dusty pink, but after visiting Dotty Bridal, and trying on their multi-way dresses in a sample colour mink, the girls and myself fell in love with the colour and decided to go with this shade. In addition to this, when I met with the florist, she had some flowers displayed in her house called ‘quick sand’. This was my favourite colour and I fell in love with it and it worked perfectly with the theme and the other pinks, whites and greens used throughout the day.
When visiting Dotty Bridal, I just knew this was where I would buy my dress from. My mum and my maids of honour came with me for each session to try on the different dresses and as soon as I walked out with my dress on, they burst into tears and I knew then that was the dress for me. The whole dress experience was fantastic. The alterations were also done at Dotty Bridal by a local seamstress, who made it fit perfectly to my shape.
I have never worn heels in my life (being so tall), so I wasn’t going to start on my wedding day and risk falling down the aisle! I decided to wear a pair of Converse from Schuh which were super comfy all day!
The boys got their shirts, chinos, jackets and their waist coats from Next and then purchased their ties from Etsy. We wanted a rather casual look for the men, rather than a full suit. The boys loved their chinos and they worked well with the suit and the jacket.
As a special touch, inside Marc’s suit jacket, he had pictures of his grandma, who had recently passed away, along with a butterfly as it was her favourite creature. Also, on the bottom of his shoe, we had written ‘Andy’, as this is from his favourite film Toy Story and with Marc’s dad also named Andrew, it linked perfectly.
Our beautiful goddaughter was our flower girl and she wore a dress and lace sleeve, both from Next. The bridesmaids, meanwhile, wore multi-way dresses from Dotty Bridal. These dresses are ideal for people of different shapes and sizes and meant the girls could wear the same dress but tied in different ways.
In the morning, myself and the bridesmaids went to Coco North hairdressers in Waterloo, Huddersfield. I have been following them on Instagram for months, admiring their work. Amy was great at understanding what I wanted and knew how to pin my hair up with ease. She also recommended my hair extensions, which were from Hair Rehab London, which matched perfectly to my hair colour. For my bridesmaids, I knew I wanted their hair down, with waterfall plaits and flowers. The girls at Coco North were super at preparing the girls hair and placing the flowers in for a scattered look.
Once we returned from the hairdressers our makeup artist Gina Young, was ready to do our makeup. We opted for a natural look, which she achieved by using browns and creams on the eyes with soft fake eye lashes.
For transport, I have always loved camper vans and a contact at my work – who had recently hired a camper van for her own wedding – passed on the contact details. The camper van was beautiful and named Faith. It was perfect for our wedding theme and was great for photos after the ceremony.
Sarah Beth took care of our photography on the day. Sarah was just the nicest, warmest and most welcoming person you could ever meet. She is so talented, and her work is so fresh and natural. I would highly recommend her to anyone; it was like having a good friend there throughout the day.
Sarah Beth is also training a young man named Kurtis to be a videographer, so we hired him as part of the package. The video was amazing! We keep watching it over and over and again, and like Sarah Beth, he was very welcoming and captured so many images and videos of the day.
For my bouquet I wanted a loose bouquet with light pinks, creams and greens. I asked for it to be tied with hessian rather than ribbon to go with the barn and rustic theme. Marc had bought me a new necklace to wear for the wedding day, so I decided to tie the necklace I was originally going to wear, (which he had bought me for our first Valentine’s Day) around my bouquet as my something old.
From the moment we met Lynne of Stems Design, the florist and venue stylist, we knew we had to go with her. She was so warm and welcoming and offered fantastic ideas on how the venue and the flowers should look. The flowers were beautiful, we have never seen flowers like these before and Lynne and her team present them in the most beautiful way.
She used a range of floating candles around the room with vases of different shapes and sizes to arrange the flowers. For the ceremony room, Lynne placed lanterns down the aisle and more candles and small plants around the room. She also arranged the flowers on the cake, which looked stunning and perfectly placed.
For the table numbers we used rose gold frames with a picture of myself and Marc from when we were the age of that table number.
All the wedding stationery – from the wedding programme to the guess who sheets and the I spy sheets – were all created ourselves, spending hours cutting out tiny hearts and then hole punching them, but it was all worth it as they looked beautiful on the table for the guests to read and look at throughout the wedding reception.
We booked The Word is Love after seeing the love letters at a wedding fair. The letters were fab all day long and looked great for the photos as well as when the band was playing. Luminate Events supplied the hanging copper lights that hung down above the top table.
The favours were created by Oliver James Sugarcraft, the same man who created our wedding cake. We decided to go with heart-shaped fudge wrapped in a clear cellophane bag. Around the bag we had also created labels which said “love is sweet”. These looked great on the tables and all the guests enjoyed eating the fudge throughout the night, with none left over!
Back to the cake! Every year we visit a local show called Honley Show and always visit this one store called Oliver James, as he makes the best pieces of cake and cupcakes. Oliver is also a good friend of one of my maid of honours, and once we were introduced to him we knew that we wanted him to make our cake. The cake itself looked beautiful and tasted delicious! We had four tiers, which included, lemon, chocolate, carrot and Victoria sponge. At the top of the cake we had bunting that said ‘Mr and Mrs’ – this was created by a local supplier called Nellie’s Wooden Workshop in Holmfirth.
During the reception, the guests used the prosecco cart, which is owned by Owen House Wedding Barn, to help themselves to the fizz.
For the wedding food, we used Vanilla in Allseasons. Every guest complimented the food saying how nice it was. The sharing starter was ideal, giving the guests the opportunity to socialise. The two main dishes were perfect, and they went well together – the chicken was lovely and the sea bass tasted so fresh! The trio of deserts were fantastic; there was just the right amount of each one to try.
From a recommendation, we decided to go with Agent Smith for the night entertainment. One word to describe them was ‘wow’ – they sure bring the party! The guests absolutely loved these guys with them being so quirky and mixing different songs together.
During the day, we hired Laura and The Guitarist, who again were amazing! They sang and played all the way through the wedding reception and the music flowed so well. Her voice is great and the song choices played during the set were perfect.
We booked The Old School Photo Booth after meeting Ben at a wedding fair. We could see that the booth was perfect for our wedding theme and venue. I liked that you could see the image straight away and I am so glad that I booked the guest book option where guests get to keep a copy and then a copy goes into the guest book. For the photos we could add our own logo and design on the photo at the bottom which then linked in with our theme.
We also had a book called ‘Our Story Book’ which showed images of all the years we had been together. It also included cinema tickets, wristbands and receipts of different places we had visited.
As another special touch, my two maids of honours did a speech during the wedding where they changed the words to the Friends theme tune to link with all my mishaps over the years. My favourite TV show is Friends, so for them to do that for me was just amazing!
Following our wedding we would definitely recommend Owen Barn to other couples – the venue is just perfect for a barn theme wedding. Vanessa and her team work so hard to make the day perfect and they are so efficient with making sure all the supplies are on time in the morning of the wedding and everything is in place before the guests arrive. The barn also has rooms attached that are ideal for a wedding. The beauty room, which is on the side of the barn, is ideal for getting ready with the girls, there are large mirrors, good lighting, a docking station for music, glasses to serve yourself drinks and plenty of room to get ready. ‘The Tens’ onsite accommodation are so quirky and great for guests to stay over. They also provide you with a breakfast basket which myself and Marc ate outside on the small balcony while admiring the view.
I loved the whole day from start to finish! During the ceremony, we had two special readings, one from my mum named The Day and another from one of the maids of honour called The Lovely Dinosaur. The speeches were super too! My dad is not the most confident with speeches so did a short and sweet speech welcoming Marc into the family and thanking family and friends for coming. The groom’s speech was very heart felt and emotional thanking everyone for being at the wedding, doing a big shout out to the flower girl, who is the other love of his life, and then emotionally thanking the parents for everything they have done. The best man speech was funny, with references towards Marc’s dancing, the stag do and many golf holiday encounters.
We are yet to go on our honeymoon – we’ll be going in the summer for a trip to Koh Samui, Thailand. We did have a mini moon to the Lake District where we stayed in a spa hotel and had a relaxing few days away, enjoying sunsets in the outdoor hot tub and driving a boat in the lakes throughout the day.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, make sure you spend at least five minutes by yourselves, as bride and groom, just to take everything in and to have a little chat about everything that is going on. Dance the night away with all your guests and enjoy being in the moment as the day just flies by, you will not believe it when the DJ tells you he is playing the last song!
And finally, for the brides, have all your maids of honour and bridesmaids around the night before the wedding to have a chilled girls night in doing nails and beauty treatments, this really helps settle the nerves and it is any excuse to watch Bridesmaids. Most of all, enjoy it!
Throughout the wedding planning process, I visited Brides Up North to look for local suppliers and read the real weddings with a similar theme so I could get more ideas on what we wanted our wedding to look like. Myself and my maids of honours also visited a wedding fair in Leeds, held by Brides Up North too, which we fully enjoyed, sampling the cakes and prosecco on offer!
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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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