July 16th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s couple, Nikki and Mike, are showing us a thing or two when it comes to stylishly pulling off a rustic barn wedding. Traditional yet contemporary – we think they got the balance just right.
Hosting their big day at the quaint Sandhole Oak Barn in Cheshire, the couple kept things pared back and beautiful, with plenty of rustic feels to complement the enchanting setting, with hessian and wood textures, bunting, jam jars, candles and crisp white floral arrangements just a few of the delightful details to look out for.
The wedding breakfast was a particular highlight for the newlyweds – just take a look at the sublime menu they dished up – not to mention their elegant naked cake with a delectable four different flavours to choose from!
Plenty of inspiration awaits though, so it’s best we hand the reins over to Nikki so that she can talk us through all the magical moments of their big day. Enjoy!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.
nikki says: We were staying at a vineyard just outside Bordeaux in May 2016 when Mike proposed. Mike decided to take me for a morning stroll just outside the chateau, which was on the vineyard. We walked though some woodland and then he got down on one knee and popped the question!
We got married on 11th May 2018. The weather has been great the last few years in May, so we decided to hedge our bets and go for that month.
We tied the knot at Sandhole Oak Barn, in Congleton, Cheshire. The setting was just perfect and exactly what we were looking for. We knew we wanted a barn style wedding and Sandhole ticked all the boxes.
We went for a rustic, countryside theme, although we didn’t have a particular colour scheme in mind, it was just more of the rustic feel with hessian and white tied in.
Mike wore a blue suit with a grey waistcoat from Suits Direct, in Cheshire Oaks. The groomsmen wore matching suits to the groom, but with different button holes from Mike.
The bridesmaids, meanwhile, wore blue/grey multi-way dresses from M&S with gypsophila worn in their hair.
January 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Like many people who write for a living, I’m also an avid reader, so I absolutely adore that Diane and Aeddan chose a literary theme for their beautiful Real Wedding in North Wales.
Their lovely literary wedding day was filled with pretty touches, personal details and themed surprises for their guests, but on a day filled with words, it’s really only three little ones that matter the most…
Diane and Aeddan seem to have the i love yous sorted.
Images by Daffodil Waves Photography.
dianne says: We got engaged in May 2013. As a history teacher I love all things historic, so Aeddan surprised me with a weekend away for my birthday which included a visit to Harlech Castle where he proposed with a custom made necklace as he knew I wanted to pick my own ring. We then spent the weekend at a beautiful country hotel.
We got married on 12th September 2014 at Nant Gwrtheryn, which is a restored quarrying village on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. Its primary function is as a Welsh language centre but it also does functions. We chose this venue because we wanted somewhere we could put our own mark upon. We also loved the idea of having a wedding that lasted all weekend with everything including the chapel and the guest accommodation (in restored quarrymen’s cottages) all in one place. Also, Aeddan is a Welsh speaker and I am English so we were able to have a bilingual wedding that brought our two cultures together.
Our theme was words, so we had our tables named after books that we both love and our place names were made from scrabble pieces. As a favour each guest was given a personalised Penguin book cover postcard. There were lots of other literary touches throughout the day.
We picked this theme because we both like reading and the theme evolved with the planning and took on a life of its own.
Our colour scheme was mint green and navy blue. Navy blue was decided upon because I had two bridesmen who needed to be in different coloured suits to the groomsmen and mint green worked well with navy blue.
I had a lace Justin Alexander dress from Bridal Path in Liverpool. I wanted a dress that I felt like the best version of myself in but that wasn’t too heavy so I could forget I was wearing it on the day. As soon as I put my dress on I felt comfortable. I knew I wanted lace from the start so it was an easy decision. Although I knew something was missing, three weeks before I realised my dress needed a belt, luckily the staff at Bridal Path were happy to let me hire one.
My flowers were pastel coloured roses and gypsophilia. I wanted a vintage look to my bouquet which Carol from Acacia Flowers on Anglesey delivered.
Nina Wren did the hair and make up on the day and was fantastic. She made all the ladies look amazing and was very professional.
Aeddan had a suit made from Moss Bros Bespoke, he tried on many suits but was never happy with the fit, so we decided to have one made for him.
The groomsmen also had suits hired from Slaters but these were in grey to match the groom.
Our photographer was Nicola from Daffodil Waves who exceeded our expectations. I would wholeheartedly recommend her. On the lead up to the day she was professional and her level of communication was amazing. I honestly felt like her only bride. On the day she was wonderful, it felt like having a friend there not a photographer. As for the photographs, we were blown away by how amazing she made everything look.
The centre pieces for the reception were provided by Acacia Flowers and matched my bouquet, we then stacked the centrepieces on piles off vintage books. We did much of the decoration ourselves including over 100 metres of bunting that we made. We really wanted to capture our personalities in the decoration which included a vintage ladder that Aeddan painted, a homemade scrabble board table plan and place names made from scrabble pieces. There was also some Welsh décor.
Our chairs were hired from Chair Covers of Anglesey who went above and beyond by decorating the chapel for us on the morning of the wedding.
We gave out various favours including: CDs with music on from the day (for the men), Penguin book themed thank you notebooks (for the women), a personalised penguin book postcard for each guest and activity packs and games for the children.
We had a four tier cake from Benjamin Lee on Anglesey which included chocolate and baileys, chocolate and vanilla and strawberry.
We also had a sweet table, gave female guests flip flops in the evening and had garden games for the children. We had two guest books, a vintage typewriter to fit in with our theme and giant colouring in where guests could colour a character and leave us their advice for a happy marriage, this now has pride of place in our hallway.
We had a harpist in the ceremony who was a family friend who also played at Aeddan’s parents’ wedding.
In the evening we had a soul band called The Soul Boys, Aeddan was adamant he wanted a live band from the start and the Soul Boys kept our guests dancing all night. The band were followed by a DJ who was under strict instructions not to play any cheesy music, we even had an hour of indie music.
I would recommend the venue without hesitation, it is absolutely unique. To have everything on one sight and views out to sea over the Llyn Peninsula was amazing. The service both in the lead up and on the day was professional and attentive. Nothing was too much trouble. Being able to book the venue for the weekend was an added bonus.
Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony. We had a Catholic ceremony which was conducted by a friend the family. He tailored the ceremony to suit our different beliefs and backgrounds. We were able to design a bilingual ceremony that all our guests loved. A particular highlight was our readings an Apache blessing translated in Welsh and A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton.
The bilingual elements of our day made it very special and personal to us, I even learnt some Welsh to surprise Aeddan with in my speech.
Our honeymoon was spent in The Maldives where we enjoyed ten days relaxing on the Island of Kuramathi, Aeddan did manage to fit in some diving however!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that all those details are worth it and your guests will notice all your hard work. We had a vision and a spreadsheet and never compromised on it.
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