August 30th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
If a chic barn wedding is your kinda thing, then you’re going to be all a flutter with excitement over today’s real wedding, set in one of our favourite corners of the UK – the Lake District.
Three Hills Barn was the unique blank canvas Emma and Josh were craving for their special day earlier this summer, offering up a dose of laid-back, outdoorsy feels, which was the most perfect of backdrops to bring their dream wedding to life. We’re talking deckchairs, hay bales and a saxophone player, not forgetting a pop-up gin bar in the oh-so-pretty marquee. And that’s before we even mention the fabulous country views and surroundings.
The couple also hosted a ‘Wedding Bake Off’ – an ingenious idea that involved all the guests and supplied everybody with plenty of sweet treats on the day. It wasn’t all forward planning though…the couple enjoyed a few surprises too, but we’ll let Emma tell all, in her own words!
With images by Camilla Lucinda Photography.
emma says: We got engaged while on a weekend away in Edinburgh at the top of Arthur’s Seat, a small hill just outside the city centre. When we got to the top, we were completely alone and could see the castle and all the way out to sea. It was a complete surprise and very romantic.
We got married on 23rd June 2018 as we really wanted a summer wedding.
Our wedding venue was the lovely Three Hills Barn in the Lake District. The venue is in the North Lakes, near to Keswick, which has always been a favourite place of ours.
I heard about the venue through a friend at work. I was describing the venue that we wanted, something that would be relaxed, and a blank canvas for us to make our own. Three Hills was the only venue we looked at, it was just everything we were looking for. It was important to us that our wedding would be unique and that we could put our own stamp on the venue.
Mark and Jenny who own the barn (which is on a working farm) were fantastic; such lovely, laidback people, which is exactly what we needed when planning our wedding. Nothing was too much to ask, and they accommodated everything that we wanted for the day.
As we live in Manchester, it was quite a distance for our friends and family to travel, but that made the weekend all the more special as our guests were great and treated it like a holiday, enjoying the rest of the weekend in the Lakes.
We wanted a very relaxed and informal atmosphere. We didn’t have a theme as such, but one thing that ran throughout the day was gin. We had a gin bar in the marquee and used gin bottles as vases for our flowers. We’d asked friends and family to collect bottles for us, and we ended up with hundreds to choose from – not sure what that says about our friends!
Early on I saw one picture of a bouquet on Pinterest which became a bit of a basis for everything else, so the colour scheme kind of came from that. The colours were dark and blush pink, but we were keen to have lots of colour during the day.
My dress was by Stella York and purchased from Ava Rose Hamilton in Lancashire. I would definitely recommend paying them a visit, as they have such a beautiful boutique. I had no idea what style of dress I wanted and was looking forward to trying on lots of different styles. But this was only the fifth dress that I tried on. I just couldn’t leave the shop without having it!
I wore a watch that was my great grandma’s and a Swarovski crystal bracelet of my mum’s, both of which my mum wore on her wedding day to my dad.
After scouring practically every suit shop in Manchester, we decided on Next for Josh’s and all of the groomsmen’s suits. Josh had decided he wanted a blue suit from quite early on, and we thought it would be nice for Josh to be slightly different from the groomsmen, so decided for the groomsmen to wear grey waistcoats. They all wore tan brogues and a dark pink tie.
I bought Josh a watch as a wedding gift which my dad gave to him on the morning of the wedding. The watch went perfectly with his wedding suit and wedding ring.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were the first thing we picked for the wedding after booking the venue. They were by Elise Ryan and were from ASOS. I really liked the mismatch style, so I went for two different dresses that were very similar in style but different colours. The girls picked their own shoes, bags and hairstyles and they all looked absolutely beautiful
Charlotte Gray from Hair Bonito in Wigton did our hair on the morning of the wedding. We had hired a lovely house, which was the perfect place to spend the morning of the wedding, and Charlotte came to us which was great as the morning was so relaxed and so much fun. Charlotte was brilliant, I’d had a trial, but the bridesmaids just showed her pictures on the day of the styles they wanted and she was able to replicate them perfectly.
Makeup was done by my brother’s girlfriend, Olivia, who is very talented and a total perfectionist, which is exactly what is needed.
We travelled to the venue on the day in a VW Wedding Beetle.
Our photographer was the lovely Camilla of Camilla Lucinda Photography.
Camilla was fantastic and I couldn’t recommend her enough. She was a pleasure to have around. On the morning of the wedding, she fit right in with all the girls – she was so organised both on the day and in the run up to the wedding and the photos are stunning. Best of all, she had a preview of 40 photographs online for us the very next day, which was a lovely thing to wake up to the morning after the wedding.
One of the best decisions we made when planning the wedding was to have Milly Davey Flowers do the flowers for our wedding day. Milly is a childhood friend of both of ours, and an amazingly talented florist. We were clueless when it came to flowers, but Milly was able to create exactly what we never knew we wanted! She completely transformed the venue, and my bouquet was just perfect.
My mum made individual clays hearts for each guest with their names etched into the front of them. It took her hours and hours, but they looked great and were something nice and personal for people to take home.
We thought it would be a bit of fun to have a Great Wedding Bake Off. As such, we challenged our guests to bring their own sweet creations and did they deliver! Our friends and family really got into the spirit of it, and there were some very impressive entries. The desserts not only tasted amazing, the Bake Off table also looked brilliant. Our family did bring along a professional wedding cake by Lou-Lou’s, which made a great centrepiece for the Bake Off table and tasted incredible. We also had a cake made from cheese rounds, and pork pies in the evening. There was a lot of food!
Our caterer was Liz Brough from Liz’s Country Kitchen. Liz had been recommended to us by various suppliers that we’d met in the Lake District, and she certainly lived up to her reputation! Liz is lovely and her food is fabulous. We wanted a really relaxed and informal meal, so we opted for lots of canapes in the afternoon followed by one sit-down course. All the food was on sharer plates in the middle of the table, so people could just help themselves.
In terms of entertainment, Girl on Sax played saxophone in the marquee in the afternoon whilst our guests enjoyed drinks and canapes. Then in the evening Girl on Sax was joined by DJ Mark Jay (Maximum Music UK), and together they were fantastic! The dance floor was never empty all night, and our guests had an amazing time!
During the day, we spent time outside where we had the marquee decorated beautifully with foliage and flowers by Milly. We had lots of deckchairs and hay bales set out for people to enjoy a few drinks in the sunshine whilst Girl on Sax Ellie played. It was exactly the kind of atmosphere we’d imagined and it was really lovely to see all our guests enjoying the day.
Following our wedding, we would 100% recommend Three Hills Barn. It’s a beautiful setting and best of all it’s a beautiful blank canvas to make your own. We were really keen to personalise our wedding and make it unique to us, and Three Hills was perfect for that.
For us, the highlight of the day was the ceremony. It was just so overwhelming to have all our family and friends in one place, especially when people had to travel so far, and there were some really special moments – my friend George sang two songs accompanied by her boyfriend Ben on guitar. The first was Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love with You, which is a really special song in my family. The second was All You Need is Love by The Beatles, and all our wedding guests sang along!
Josh and I are moving to Australia in October, so we are honeymooning on the way with six weeks in Indonesia. We spent the week in a lodge up in the Lake District for our minimoon, which was lovely and the perfect way to relax after the wedding. We were also lucky enough to have 30 degrees and sunshine all week. When you’ve got the weather there is nowhere we would rather be!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to accept help from people. There were so many family and friends who helped with different aspects of our day. We couldn’t have done it without them and they made our day even more special.
There were also some aspects of our day that were a complete surprise to us. We hadn’t seen the wedding cake, we’d given Milly the florist free reign over the flowers and the decorations, and it was so lovely as the bride and groom to have some surprises waiting for us at the venue, rather than knowing every detail inside out.
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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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