Today’s wedding is real beauty. Set in stunning Tuscany, it takes in the amazing scenery...
Happy Friday everyone. We hope this week has been treating you well. We are now at touching distance to the weekend and I am so exited, I hope you are too! Our Christmas decorations go up tonight and then we are off to a Christmas event at the weekend, what about you?
To end the week in style I am taking you back to the summer with this gorgeous barn wedding from Dewan Demmer Photography. It’s a rustic laid back wedding with a mix of elegance and charm the perfect way to end the week.
Guy and Rashael were married on 25th July 2015 at Bassmead Manor Barn, Staploe, Cambridge. ‘We instantly knew when we walked in that this was ‘the one’. It was everything we wanted from the gorgeous outside setting to the rustic yet modern interior. The atmosphere was so welcoming and relaxing and we wanted our wedding to echo these feelings. The venue allowed on site ceremonies which meant we didn’t have to move our guests from A to B which we were keen to avoid. It also connected really well which allowed people to use the spaces without feeling separated off from the group and celebrations. We had a total of 135 guests and planning took 10 months.
How they met
We met when we were 21 and working in a pub together. There was an instant connection but we didn’t go out on a date until 4 years later when we were in separate parts of the country. That was 8 years ago
To sum up…. It was a disaster. Although the original plan was a romantic midnight walk in London to a park with a bench and a street light this was abandoned when the idea of a stroll after a heavy meal was not well received. In the spirit of improvisation a plan was hatched to move the proposal to The Mall, surely equally romantic. Alas no! Boris had had a Barclays Bike event and so The Mall was swarming with midnight workers in high visibility jackets removing the bollards. None the less, the groom was out of time and so down on one he got regardless of the setting…… luckily it was a resounding Yes. It wouldn’t have been us any other way.
How did you allocate your budget
We decided what was important to us and prioritised from there. The first thing we did was put together a rough guest list size and used this to narrow down suitable venues and calculate catering costs. Our next priority was entertainment. Having an early ceremony made it all the more important to keep our guests entertained and so we allocated quite a large chunk of the budget to music and activities. Next we thoughts about the more practical things like outfits for the wedding party, wedding rings and a florist. We felt these were the things we could splurge or scrimp on depending on what was left in the pot
Where did you splurge and where did you save
Our greatest splurges were definitely on entertainment and we had three separate acts in total. It has always been a childhood dream to have a gospel choir sing at my wedding and so for me this was perhaps the biggest luxury spend of all. It was completely worth it though and every time we look at our pictures we know we made the right decision. The choir were simply amazing and added so much to the atmosphere at the ceremony and drinks reception.
Another entertainment splurge was a Persian band as I wanted there to be some aspects of my culture present on the day. Again, we weren’t disappointed and it was such a pleasure to see our family and friends enjoying the dancing and festivities.
With regards to savings, we are lucky enough to have an incredibly skilled set of friends who helped us make quite a few of the decorations and activities including the photobooth, giant polaroid frame and blackboards. The same friends made the large R & G which were simply amazing and the focus point of so many photographs. Another friend made us 2 phenomenal wedding cakes.
We tried to make savings with the smaller things wherever we could by buying online or purchasing from cheaper retailers or waiting for items to go on sale or special offer. I would say our biggest saving was on the bridesmaid dresses which I got from an etsy store for a bargain price. We had so many compliments and queries from brides to be about these. They were fantastic quality yet a steal for the price
How did you choose your photographer
We knew we wanted a journalistic style of photography and to minimise the posed shots although we acknowledged these were an important part of the day. Neither of us enjoy being photographed and generally speaking we both cringe at photos of ourselves.
As soon as we saw Dewen’s website we were impressed by his style of photography. The shots really told the story of the day and were astonishingly breath-taking. We arranged to meet and instantly loved his energy and positivity. He was keen to give us exactly what we wanted and made us feel confident he would capture amazing memories of our day.
He didn’t fail us at all. On the day he felt like part of the family. Helping out and really getting involved. It was a pleasure to work with him in every way and we have the most stunning pictures to commemorate the wedding.
I had two dresses. The first was a Stella York princess dress and the second a more simplistic dress to wear for the evening festivities by Ghost. Accessories were from the Debenhams bridal collection and the shoes Jenny Packham.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
The groom wore a tailor made cashmere suit from Anthony’s Formal Wear in Billericay. The groomsmen wore suits from the same store.
Bridesmaids wore dusky pink multiway dresses from ‘The Dainty Yard’ which is an online Etsy store.
Theme or Colour Scheme
We had 2 themes really. The first was chabby chic and the second was Marvel comics as Guy is a huge fan. Really we just wanted it to be fun and relaxed.
We wanted a ‘handpicked from the garden’ look and knowing nothing about flowers it was really important that we had a florist that understood the look we wanted to create. We weren’t disappointed. We met our florist at a wedding fair and instantly connected with her. We were so confident that she understood what we wanted even though we couldn’t be specific about flowers due to a complete lack of knowledge. The flowers on the day didn’t disappoint and we were speechless when we walked in to the venue in the morning which was transformed by the gorgeous floral arrangements.
We wanted to create as relaxed an atmosphere as possible and so went for a chabby chic feel. This included homemade bunting, twine and lavender around cutlery and birdcages overflowing with flowers. My very talented maid of honour made blackboards with wedding information and funny anecdotes which we scattered around the venue
We wanted to remember those who weren’t present and so had a table where a lantern burnt all night next to framed photos of those who were no longer with us.
STARTER: Scotch beef Carpaccio with goat’s cheese and asparagus spring roll, virgin olive oil and Parmesan shavings, Crottin Goat’s cheese spring roll, roast shallots and balsamic vinaigrette
PALATE CLEANSER: Lemon sorbet with an aromatic lime and vodka shot
MAIN COURSE: Pan roasted monkfish and tiger prawns, nut brown butter, caper berries and flat leaf parsley, Organic chicken stuffed with Parmesan, sweet basil, sun-dried cherry tomato and spinach
TRIO OF DESSERT: Classic Eton Mess. Red wine poached pears with mascarpone cream. Vanilla cheese cake with raspberry coulis
In the evening we had a tea and wedding cake whilst the bands prepared to play. This was followed by a middle eastern style barbeque serving falafels and chicken, lamb or halloumi kebabs with a selection of breads and dips such as tzatziki, hummous. This was again to bring in some middle eastern tradition.
A very good friend made us 2 wedding cakes. One traditional and one that was more of a novelty cake which showcased our shared hobbies and interests. Each layer of the traditional cake was a different flavour and it was so yummy that it was eaten up before we managed to get any.
This was very important to us particularly as the day was so long. We both agreed when we started planning the wedding that our main priority was to keep our guests full up and entertained and so we went to town with little things they could do throughout the day. This included a gospel choir at the drinks reception, photoprops on each table during the meal, a photobooth with props for the guestbook and a huge polaroid frame that guests could draw on and then pose behind. Finally to acknowledge the middle eastern connection we had an Persian band as well as a pop band. This kept our guests dancing all night.
Martin Metcalfe, a friend of ours, kindly designed our wedding stationary.
Personal or Handmade Touches
We did as much as we possibly could ourselves but we wanted each guest to know how valued their presence was and so put lots of personal touches on the tables. This included labels on the wine bottles, twine and lavender with each set of cutlery and kraft labels which reminded each guest of their menu choices as well as why they were so important to us. We also put photo props on each table to keep guests entertained
Bride: My highlight was the greeting line as I got time to speak to every guest and let them know how grateful we were for their time and efforts.
Groom: My highlight was when my new wife surprised me in her second wedding outfit. It was such a contrast to her first dress and she looked amazing
Advice to other couples
Try and enjoy every moment as it goes by so quickly. It is amazing how many things you miss because you simply can’t be everywhere at once. This is why your photographer is so important as they capture the memories you weren’t there to see.
To our surprise the venue had handed out confetti to all our guests. This meant that when we left the ceremony room we were greeted by a parade of confetti.