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Happy Friday everyone, I do hope you’ve had a good week? We seem to be well and truly into January now, the old routine has kicked in and plans are being made for the oncoming months. It maybe my imagination but the nights seem to be getting ever so slightly longer, or am I just being overoptimistic? To end the week I have this super cute Country Barn wedding to share with you from Natalie J Weddings. It’s a DIY wedding with lots of pretty pastel details that really sit well with the rustic country venue. A great way to round off the week! Have a good Friday everyone!
Rachel and Andrew were married on 25th July 2015 at St Mary the Virgin Church and their reception was held at Dodford Manor exclusive use wedding venue, Northamptonshire. ‘We decided on the locations of the wedding because it was a convenient location equidistant from both families, beautiful rustic venue with a church in the grounds. We fell in love with it the first time we saw it. Guest-wise we had 95 daytime guests and 120 to the evening. The wedding took 2 1/2 years to plan.’
How they met
We met in 2009 whilst working at ‘Lakota’ bar in Newcastle Under Lyme, where Andy first spotted Rachel from the office CCTV camera, like a stalker! We became friends and it’s been up hill every since. We have now been together for 5 years.
Andy proposed in January 2013 whilst we were on a group holiday in Budapest. We were ice-skating on a frozen lake in the shadow of Vajdahunyad Castle and he popped the question with Rachel’s Nana’s engagement ring. It was very romantic, although he didn’t risk getting down on one knee because of the ice!
How did you allocate your budget
Allocated £20,000 and spent it all! Main budget was split between: Venue 40% Catering & drinks 25% Photographer 20% Flowers 12%, Church 3%.
Where did you splurge and where did you save
Splurged on the exclusive use venue. We made all of the stationary and most of the decorations ourselves, but in reality this probably cost us more overall than if we had bought everything new.
How did you choose your photographer
Andy’s mum Linda was Natalie’s Art teacher at school. They reconnected during a school fete in 2012 and realised that Natalie and Rachel’s Fine Art connection might be a match made in heaven. We looked through her blog on Linda’s recommendation and loved the style of her photography. We knew she would do our day justice so booked her immediately. She was so organised, calm, patient and flexible. She made us feel so comfortable and was a friendly guiding hand throughout our day, which gave us direction and piece of mind. Not only was she the perfect professional but also so friendly and lovely; it felt like we had known her for years!
Veil & ‘Allure Bridal’ gown bought from JJ Designs, Newcastle Under Lyme. Shoes: Dune. Head piece: Rocks for Frocks. Jewellery: borrowed from family.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Suit: Moss Bross.
Bridesmaids dresses & shoes: Bridesmaids own. We wanted each bridesmaid to pick their own dress from within a peachy/nude colour scheme so that they felt comfortable and keep their individual styles whilst still looking coordinated.
Theme or Colour Scheme
Decor: vintage/rustic/country/barn. Colour Scheme: peach/nude/pastel/grey.
Mixed flowers in bouquets, orchid button-holes, gypsophila centrepieces and decorations.
Assorted glass and wooden decorative items from around our/our family’s homes and made by the bride, groom and happy helpers. Our favourite framed photos of us as a couple, wooden trinket boxes, teacups candles, assorted vintage keys and paper tags, vintage Staffordshire tea cups and teapots, gypsophila in tall brass jugs, assorted metal lanterns and birdcages, paper bunting, glass jars full of champagne corks, candles in mismatched jars wrapped in lace ribbon, heart shaped confetti hand-punched from old copy of the book ‘Good Wives’ by Louisa M Alcott.
Starters: Spinach & ricotta tortellini or Thai spicy fishcakes. Mains: Mediterranean Veg tart or Chicken breast with Parma ham and mozzarella in pesto cream sauce with heart shaped parmentier potatoes, seasonal veg. Dessert: Battenberg wedding cake, berry coulis & dairy cream.
Made by family friend Liz. Top tier chocolate sponge, bottom tier boozy fruit cake. Decorated with edible lace icing. Cake mascots: wooden foxes!
Acoustic duo ‘Dandy’ during the meal. Couple’s own iPod playlist played throughout the rest of the day & night.
All stationary handmade by the bride (and happy helpers). Invitations, menus, place names, table plan ladder, signs, order of service, etc.
Personal or Handmade Touches
Filling the venue with photos and decorative items from our house really helped to make the whole day feel comfortable and familiar. Rachel put her Fine Art degree to good use and hand made nearly everything herself. It turned out to be a great idea that we filled a basket full of colouring books, games and non-messy craft for the children, which kept them entertained during the meal/speeches. The best thing we chose to do was to put together a hamper for the bathroom containing all the inevitable emergency items that guests might need throughout the course of the day including: stain remover, plasters, deodorant, hair clips, painkillers, sewing kit etc. So many of the guests came to thank us for it afterwards!
The first look was something we had kept to ourselves and weren’t 100% sure we were going to do, until the morning of the wedding. We’re so glad we did it to calm our nerves and to get a few minutes to ourselves before the day started. And the photos of that moment are priceless. Rachel particularly loved the bouquet toss and the final dance of the night to ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams. Andy loved the sparklers, having a cheeky celebratory cigar with the groomsmen and enjoying seeing everything that we has spent so long planning finally coming together.
Advice to other couples
Take regular breaks throughout the day to spend 5 minutes alone with each other. Everyone tells you that the day goes by so fast, but it doesn’t feel like it at the time because you’re constantly preparing for the next poignant moment/photo opportunity (e.g. cake cutting, first dance, speeches etc). Rachel didn’t start to relax until after the sparklers at 9:30pm when she had no more responsibilities left
Rachel hates surprises! So luckily we don’t remember there being any! Everything went to plan and the weather was perfect.