Happy New Year everyone and welcome to a brand new decade! I hope you had...
Happy Friday everyone, I hope you have had a wonderful week so far and that you are looking forward to the weekend. As it was my birthday on Tuesday we have are having a party this weekend to celebrate and also to mark the extension now being finished. I can’t wait! I’m expecting a rather fuzzy head on Sunday!
To finish the week we have this stylish same-sex wedding courtesy of Che Birch-Hayes Photography. It’s an elegant wedding mixed with a modern edge, with classic white and green flowers. Sean and Eric look incredibly dapper in their custom-made suits which look amazing against the beautiful barn venue. They mix in their English and Canadian heritage perfectly, creating a light, bright, love filled day.
Sean and Eric were married on the 24th June 2016 at Tower Hill Barns, Llangollen Rd, Wrexham. ‘We wanted a countryside wedding where we could have an outdoor ceremony and a bright, sun filled location for the reception. Tower Hill Barns was perfect for what we had imagined when we first started talking about venues. It was the first and only venue we actually viewed! We knew it was right from the moment we arrived. We had 80 guests. Other than booking the venue, we did most of the planning 6 months prior to the day.’
How they met
We met online by chance on a forum, became friends and the relationship grew from there. We became partners after spending a week together when Eric visited the UK from Canada. We decided to have a long distance relationship. The next time we would see each other in person was in Vancouver months after meeting up in the UK. After returning home from Vancouver Sean decided to take the leap and move Toronto where Eric was living. After nearly three years of living in Toronto we then moved to the UK. Today we are back in Toronto after living in the UK for over 3 years.
How did you allocate your budget?
We wanted our spending to reflect the areas that were important for us, which were the venue, food and our suits.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We decided to splurge on bespoke suits for our big day. Having a beautiful venue to begin with helped us save as we only had to decorate the tables with flowers and place settings. We also made our own place settings, seating plan, and wedding favors.
Why did you choose your photographer?
We both like documentary style wedding photography where the photographer captures both small intimate moments of the wedding as well as the big important ones. Thankfully we have a close friend who is a full time wedding photographer who’s portfolio was exactly the style we wanted. We couldn’t have asked for a better more thoughtful photography team.
We chose to have our suits custom made so we could get the style, colour and fit as close to what we had imagined we wanted to be wearing on our day. We had our suits created by James Personal Tailor and Son in Manchester. We had previously been there to have an alteration carried out and both appreciated the great service and history of the company. Mike Pendlebury who has now taken over the business from his father made the entire process relaxed and comfortable while creating the perfect suits that we had imagined.
Bridesmaids or Groomsmen
The groomsmen wore trousers and waste jackets in a similar navy from Next along with a white shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt and brown dress shoes. We also had two groomsmaids who wore navy dresses from House of Fraser and ASOS.
Theme or Colour Scheme
We choose white and green to keep the colours as natural as possible highlighting the venue’s natural countryside backdrop. With that in mind we did not want to bring anything in that would take away from how great the venue already looked. We also wanted to include a mixture of British and Canadian elements especially when it came to the food and drink.
We decided to complement the venue’s beautiful warm wood tones by keeping to a natural and simple colour palette of white and green. The flowers included fragrant jasmine, hydrangeas, white roses, and phlox as well as others that were in season. The venue was also filled with the blooms of wild flowers that bordered the aisle of our ceremony.
The venue was so beautiful which meant we only needed to setup the table settings and flowers.
For our canapés we had Mini Yorkshire Puddings, Crab Cakes and Goats Cheese Crostini. For the wedding breakfast we had a Roasted Vegetable & Goats Cheese Tartlet followed by the main course of Cornfed Chicken Breast stuffed with bacon and thyme. A Chocolate Torte, Clotted Cream and Honeycomb Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce followed as a delicious dessert.
Later on in the evening we had a Canadian speciality called Poutine brought out and served in small take-away boxes. Poutine is an indulgent dish composed of french fries topped with cheese curds and melted with hot gravy. Trying to source the cheese curds used for making it became a challenge, but luckily a cheesemonger in a London market had them and we were able to have them supply the venue.
We were both shocked at how much wedding cakes cost, even for the clean and simple style we were looking for! We decided to order a three tier cake from Marks & Spencer’s and arranged for flowers to be prepared from our florist to be use as decoration. This decision turned out to be a great one as we both loved how it looked and tasted on the day.
We really wanted an acoustic act after the ceremony while people enjoyed drinks outside on the terrace to get the celebration started. Finding an act was quiet time consuming, but in the end we found an amazing acoustic singer named Natalie. Thankfully she was available and sounded amazing. For the evening we had asked all guests to list a song along with their RSVP which we then combined with our own playlist on Spotify.
For our invites we created our own design with help from our friend Vicky Gerchinhoren who is a talented calligrapher and designer. Once designed we had them letterpress and hot foil printed by Blush Publishing in Wales.
Most of our personal touches were part of the table settings. This included the wedding place names which we put in miniture plant pots covered by the wine glasses to give a look of a terrarium. We also created our own table number holder out of miniature bikes. As a wedding favour we decided to make our own homemade ‘TimBits’, a small round donut from the famous coffee shop chain Tim Horton’s in Canada. Our home resembled a little factory with help from some of our overseas guests making and packing them the night before!
Special Moments or Highlights
Walking down the aisle with our mothers and seeing our family and friends together to celebrate the day. We also had an amazing registrar, Ruth Cooke, who made everyone smile and both of us little more relaxed. However, our highlights were definitely exchanging our vows and Eric’s fathers speech during the wedding breakfast.
Advice for Other Couples
Have moments together throughout the day where you can step aside to take it all in and enjoy it!
When we left from Manchester to go to Wales on the morning of our wedding day the weather was dark clouds and heavy rain. We were both upset to say the least because we really wanted an outdoor ceremony but choosing Wales was a risk to begin with! The staff at Tower Hill Barns were kind enough to set the venue up for both an indoor and outdoor ceremony. About fifteen minutes before the ceremony the sun started to come out and stayed shining the rest of the day. We both couldn’t have been happier!
I’m a photographer specialising in wedding’s based in Herefordshire but work all over the U.K and beyond. My style is mainly relaxed and unobtrusive with a focus on capturing fun and emotion but I also love taking time out to do honest and beautiful couple portraits on the day. If there’s a sunset, I’m there!