Hen Parties, Hen Do’s, whatever you want to call them, are BIG business these days....
Hello everyone and how are you this fine Wednesday morning? I am now back from a few lovely days in Cornwall and it seems like the week is whizzing past, I can’t belive its Wednesday already, the weekend will be here before we know it! Todays wedding is a gorgeous barn wedding, full of pretty details, including lots of paper pom poms, flowers in jam jars and a sweet theme for the table names and favours. Tara and James wanted a relaxed day and this lovely barn venue gave them the country feel and the relaxed atmosphere that they were looking for. It also gave them a lot of freedom to put their own stamp on the day. Big thanks to Murray Clarke Photography for capturing the day for us.
Tara and James were married on 1st August 2014 at Gate Street Barn near Guildford in Bramley. ‘We really wanted a relaxed atmosphere and loved the idea of being married in a Barn. When we came across Gate Street Barn we fell in love with the venue and the surrounding fields and countryside. We also loved the cows in the field and we were told if a cow gave birth on the day of the wedding, the calf would be named after the bride! We had just over 100 guests during the day and a further 10 guests in the evening. It took about 18 months to plan the wedding but we made sure I booked all the big things straight away, like the venue, band, and caterers as I know these things get booked up quickly and so far in advance!
How they met
We have been together for four and a half years and we first met when Tara sang extremely bad Kararoke to a room full of people at our friend’s mums 60th birthday party. Love at first sight!
James booked a boutique hotel in beautiful Bath where we had a lovely romantic weekend. He proposed with a Haribo ring as I am a jewellery buyer he knew I would love to design my own. He forgot to get down on one knee and he was so nervous! I also have a slight addiction to haribos so this was quite apt.
How did you allocate your budget
There were some things we wanted to ensure were good quality and we did not compromise cost on the food as we wanted our guests to have a good meal as a lot of people travelled quite far to be there. The venue was quite a costly expense but we think that it created the perfect setting for our day. I felt I could do a lot of the styling myself so saved money on a florist by decorating all the jam jars myself.
How did you choose your Photographer
I used to work with Murray and I knew how good he was. He is a true professional and great to be around. I knew he would be perfect on the day. His photographs are stunning and we are so happy with them.
The Dress and accessories
My dress was from Whiteleaf in Brighton
My hair accessories were from Vintage Styler
My shoes were from Rachel Simpson
The Suit and Bridesmaids
The suit was made up of various separates and the jacket was from Peter Worth. The Bridesmaids dresses were from Pretty Eccentric in Brighton
The Theme and Colour Scheme
I knew I wanted printed bridesmaid dresses so once I found these quite early on it set the tone for the rest of the styling. The flowers, pom poms and other items all came after I found the dresses
A complete mixture of seasonal blooms. To be honest, I did not know too much about flowers so I let the florist have free reign. She said I was the bravest bride she had ever met! I thought well, she is the expert, she knows it better than me. I did want my bouquet to be roses though so sent her some images from pinterest.
I had pom poms on the ceiling of the barn and I collected various things over the course of the year such as, little hanging hearts, horseshoes, signs and tealights.
We had butternut squash ravioli for starters
Chicken with a lemon sauce and crushed new potatoes for main
Macadamia nut rhubarb crumble for dessert
My friend Emily is the founder of Oopsy Cakesy and she made my cake for me as a wedding present It was a ‘Naked’ cake which consisted of a layered Victoria sponge with berries and cream. Delicious!
We had a Band called the Inlaws who played music from 1950s up to current day. Very Rock n Roll
DIY or buy Stationery
We bought our stationary in the end. I did design it to start with but didn’t like it so I ended up going with pretty pastels to sit with the colour theme.
Personal or Handmade Touches
As mentioned before I decorated all the jam jars. My friends and family collected jam jars for me over a year so I had all the right sizes for each table. I bought various lace and ribbon trims and would sit at weekends making them. My sister Caroline helped me
We also hired a chainsaw so James cut up a felled tree from my Dad’s garden so we had log slabs for all the flowers to sit on to give it that rustic effect.
Myself and the bridesmaids made up all of the paper pom poms and James and the boys hung them in the morning.
Everything was amazing! We just constantly looked around and seeing everyone there for us was so special!
If I had to say something, I loved the speeches. They really set the tone, lots of laughter which is what we wanted our day to be all about.
My heart shaped sunglasses from James the morning of the wedding which I wore for my impromptu speech after dinner after a few champagnes
Advice to other Couples
It goes so quickly. Everyone says that but it really does. Take a step back and take it all in!
Photographer – Murray Clake Photography
Cake – Emily Gabb – Oopsy Cakesy
Florist – Karen Holloway
Caterer – Kalm Kitchen
Venue – Gate Street Barn
Hair and Make Up – Sophia Wyatt
Transport – Greenshades Coach hire