Charlotte Balbier

polka dots & petals. a bespoke gown for a relaxed wedding at the ashes – alexe & declan

May 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Rustic Wedding in Staffordshire (c) Deborah Stone Photography (43)

We’re continuing to ease you into the week with this wonderfully relaxed real wedding in beautiful rural Staffordshire.

In keeping with their choice of rustic venue, Alexe and Declan planned a laidback and fun day for their guests with nods to their passions and interests carefully built in.

Fine attire was high up on both the bride and groom’s agenda, with Declan and his groomsmen sporting herringbone tweed suits from a London tailor, and Alexe having her beautiful vintage style dress made bespoke in Sheffield.

Now, over to Alexe for all the details…

With images by Deborah Stone Photography.

A Rustic Wedding in Staffordshire (c) Deborah Stone Photography (34)

alexe says: We got engaged in Barcelona, on an Easter mini-break in April 2014. Declan had booked the holiday as a surprise, which he told me about on Valentine’s Day, but I had no idea of his intentions!

Our wedding date was 30th March 2016 – a Wednesday, and just after the Easter bank holiday, just to be awkward! I’m a teacher so it was in the first week of the school holidays and then we had our honeymoon during the second week. I originally dreamt of a summer wedding, but realistically, the price of the venue was more reasonable in March and we both decided that a spring wedding would be lovely, as we couldn’t rely on the good old British weather to be good in the summer so if we did have good weather in March it would be a bonus. In the end, we had a beautiful sunny start to the day, a wee bit of rain during the drinks reception and some snow in the late afternoon during the wedding breakfast.

A Rustic Wedding in Staffordshire (c) Deborah Stone Photography (38)

We got married at The Ashes, a barn venue in Staffordshire, near Leek. We found it while we were Googling alternative wedding venues. It instantly appealed to us as it has the most beautiful grounds and a lake and also the team give you the freedom to decorate the venue as you wish and tailor the day to exactly how you want it. From the very first visit, we felt that the staff would do their best to make everything right for us. Something that really attracted me was that you could arrange the seats in the ceremony barn in an arc setting, so it was more cosy and intimate and everyone could hear what was going on. Another important thing was that you could provide your own drinks with no corkage charge, which meant that we gradually collected booze in order to spread the cost. The only downside was that we did end up with a house full of booze just before the wedding, but we couldn’t drink any of it! Luckily, the venue returned the booze that was not used on the day, so we benefited then!

We didn’t really have a wedding theme as such, but with The Ashes being a rural barn venue we wanted the day to be laidback and fun.

We didn’t consciously choose a colour scheme either, but with the Tour de France bunting (green, yellow and red polka dot) and my parents’ teapots, we ended up with springy greens and yellows as our colour palette.

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