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There are many things I love about this gorgeous barn wedding. I love the rustic chic theme that runs throughout, the soft muted pinks and greens, the amazing country flowers and the venue is just amazing. But most of all I love the table centres, now who doesn’t want a cake as a table centre! The bride and groom wanted to make sure that everyone got a slice of the wedding cake so they put one on each table for the guests to help themselves; GREAT idea! Also instead of a guest book they had a guest bench that everyone signed and is now placed lovingly in their garden, what a sweet idea. Big thanks to Kelly from Lola Rose Photography for the beautiful photographs, I really love Kelly’s style of photography, crisp and clean yet soft and romantic at the same time!
Zoe and Stephen were married on 13 July at All Saints Church, Nr Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, with the reception at Preston Priory Barn, Nr Lavenham, Suffolk. ‘As soon as we walked into Preston Priory Barn we knew it was the perfect place for our wedding. It was the perfect size and had great features such as the wagon and beautiful beams and it has a great courtyard perfect for guest to enjoy some bubbly and a canapés. The owner of the barn was also very kind and relaxed so we knew the barn was the perfect place for our day. We had 105 guests to day and an extra 30 to the evening, it took a year to plan.’
How they met
We originally met at school 20 years ago, but got together 4 years ago.
Stephen took me to Venice for my birthday and surprised me by proposing whilst we were there!
Why did you choose your photographer?
We met 4 or 5 photographers but asked Kelly Green (Lola Rose Photography) to photograph our wedding as we loved her style of photos. If you look at her website / blog you will see what I mean – she takes such amazing photographs and has such an eye for detail. When we actually met Kelly we knew we had made the right choice, she was so friendly and professional.
My dress was by Naomi Neoh but I didn’t have any accessories other than simple pearl bracelet by Lisa Angel. I think my shoes were from Next!
The suit and bridesmaids
We needed 11 suites in total, so all were hired from Greenwoods.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were Alfred Angel from Bride-All in Exning, Newmarket
Theme or colour scheme
As it was a summer wedding in a rustic barn, we stuck to light colours. The bridesmaids were in dusky pink and my dress also had a hint of pink, so they all worked well with the foliage and light pinks and blues in the flowers.
We were really lucky that Stephen’s Mum’s friend used to own and run a florist shop and volunteered / had her arm twisted into doing our wedding! She was so amazing and managed to get exactly the ‘look’ I was after. There are lots of beautiful flowers in the barn courtyard, so we decided to work with that to create a country garden theme. We had a lot of foliage in the flower displays to bulk them out, with lots of cream and amnesia roses and hydrangeas. Also among the flowers were larkspurs, wax flowers, astrantias and delphiniums.
The barn is very rustic so we decided to keep the decoration as simple as possible. We collected over 100 jars, decorated them with lace and used them to dot candles and bunches of flowers all around the barn. The venue has two large urns, lots of baskets attached to the barn walls and an old fashioned wagon, so we filled all of these with flowers – I think that in a barn wedding there is no better decoration than flowers.
Canapés were: Thai fish cakes with a chilli and lemongrass dipping sauce, Cajun spiced chicken skewers, Green Olive and feta cheese tartlet, Red pepper Provencal topped with mini mozzarella, Marinated baby prawns with aioli & Shredded crispy duck and beetroot pancake.
Starter was: Crayfish salad or Crisp filo tartlet of plum tomato and parmesan with rocket pesto and a baby lead salad.
Main course was: Slow braised shin of beef in whiskey, crème fraiche and mustard sauce, dauphinois potatoes and a julienne of vegetables or gruyere cheese and wild mushroom wellington with a creamy white wine sauce, dauphinois potato and a julienne of vegetables
We had a trio of deserts: Trio of deserts – Chocolate brownie, individual vanilla cheesecake and a shot glass of Eton Mess
Evening food was served in the same way canapés would and was mini fish and chips, bacon rolls, or pizza slices (Stephen’s favourite!)
We had a Pianist called Matt Cater who played throughout the afternoon welcome drinks and the meal and was fantastic – he can literally play anything, old or new! Then in the even we had a DJ playing plenty of classics which kept us on the dance floor all night!
Personal or handmade touches
• My favourite personal touch was the jars decorated in lace with candles in which we placed on the tables and on the beams of the barns. We also made our favours which took hours of cutting vintage fabrics to decorate pots of honey and filling bags of hessian with wild flower seeds!
• We felt that, although cutting the wedding cake is a great set-up for a photo, people often don’t get to eat a piece, so we thought it would be a nice idea to put one on each table as the centre piece. They were Victoria sponges (made by one of my Bridesmaids mums) covered in cream and strawberries, in the middle of a circle of flowers, which was a bit different and seemed to break the ice on the tables.
• Instead of a normal guest book, we decided to have a guest bench. We had one made especially then asked our guests to write a messages on it. We are now going to varnish the bench then put it in our garden.
A very special moment for me was walking in to the Church and seeing all our friends and family waiting for the service. It was great to get to Stephen at the top of the isle as I knew he would be nervous! The speeches were a particular highlight. The groom, Father of the Bride and Stephen’s two best men did a great job and had us all in stiches!
Advice for other couples
I think the most important thing is to keep the day relaxed so you enjoy it as much as possible. We got all the important jobs sorted nice and early so the lead up was enjoyable rather than stressful, which I believe made the day better. There will always be a few hiccups during planning, but try to enjoy it all as much as you can.
The biggest surprise must be the weather. It was the hottest day of the year so far and was an absolute scorcher! Stephen and I were boiling in our outfits, but it was great for our guests and meant we could enjoy being outside well in to the evening.