Happy Friday everyone. After last week’s goings on (loss of gas and electric and then...
Today I have the first real wedding of 2022 and I am delighted that it comes from one of our Boho reader’s. Amy sent me her boho luxe barn wedding via the Facebook Group and I am over the moon that she did as it’s the perfect real wedding to start the year with. Amy and Anthony held the most stunning day and filled it with some magnificent flowers, DIY decoration and stunning ideas. The colour scheme of peach, blush and gold is just pure perfection. The flowers are amazing, the hanging ceremony backdrop is breathtaking, the signage and all of the individual projects put together by Amy are so special. I just adore this wedding, what a way to start the year! Big thanks to Amy for sending it into me and to Darina Stoda for the lovely images.
Amy and Anthony were married on 29 July 2021 at Godwick Great Barn, Norfolk. Early on in our planning we knew we wanted a relaxed setting, a place we could personalise, and we were not tied to specific suppliers or meal choices – we quite like our food and wine, and wanted to be able to choose this ourselves. We also were keen to find a venue that offered on site accommodation so that we could have some pre and post celebrations and our families could stay with us. A barn seemed to fit with our initial ideas and style, we visited a couple but they didn’t quite fit the bill. Then we saw Godwick online and decided to book a visit, unfortunately this was the first weekend the country went into lockdown.. So we ended up being Godwick’s first virtual tour! Even through a screen, Godwick was beautiful, and we knew straight away this was the venue for us. They had the flexibility that you could choose your own suppliers, it was a blank canvas for decorating and they had gorgeous on-site accommodation at Godwick Hall. When things started to open up again we managed to visit and stayed in their Shepherd’s huts a couple of times, and fell more in love each time we visited. We had 95 guests, we initially planned our wedding for April 2021 but postponed to July 2021, which gave us a year and a half of planning time, and I’m pretty sure I used every minute of that time!
How they met
We have been together for about four and a half years now, and we met via a dating app, got chatting and after a short time we decided to meet in real life before we risked becoming penpals! We met at Southbank Christmas market in London and went in search of mulled wine. Conversation flowed easily and we quickly arranged a second date.
New York has become a really special place to us over the years, and in February 2020, Anthony planned another trip for us. The night before we went home, we went up to the cocktail bar on our hotel rooftop. Anthony suggested we go outside to take some pictures, it had a beautiful view overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. After a mini photo shoot Anthony told me to close my eyes, when I opened them he was on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was a perfect way to end our trip, and both of us were a little teary!
How did you allocate your budget?
We allocated a good amount of our budget on our venue and the catering initially as these were very important to us, and the band.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We wanted to ensure we had the perfect venue, I wanted lots of flowers and decor, and Anthony wanted good food! So I think they were the main splurge areas. We also knew we wanted a band who could also provide drinks reception entertainment so splashed out a little on that. We saved on stationary as I designed it all myself.
How did you choose your photographer?
Darina was on the list of recommended suppliers from Godwick, she was actually the first photographer we looked at and, just like choosing Godwick, I knew she was the photographer for us! Her style is just out of this world and I loved looking through her pictures. She also turned out to be a ridiculously nice person, I’m so happy she was able to photograph our wedding, she also came to London and photographed our civil ceremony too, she really made us feel at ease.
My dress was by Rue De Seine, the Sia gown, I’m just completely in love with it, it wasn’t one of my original choices when I went to try on dresses, but I saw it online and on my second trip to Lovely Bride, I asked to try it on, my mum and one of my bridesmaids told me it was the one, and they were right! I found a lady on etsy, LeatherbyHannaKo, who made custom fit and design shoes, she made me a champagne velvet pair of shoes that fit perfectly. I felt my dress did not need any big accessories, so I wore a pair of diamante studs and a bracelet that Anthony gave me as a gift on the morning of the wedding.
The suit and bridesmaids
Anthony chose a made-to-measure suit by Tailor Made London. He really enjoyed the experience of being measured and picking colours, materials and specific elements for his suit. He is a blue fan so always knew his suit would be in a shade of blue. We didn’t want groomsmen or bridesmaids to fully match, so asked the men to wear a suit in their chosen shade of blue. The bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses, I liked the idea of bringing in some sparkle with the bridesmaid dresses so some of them had sequins on, they each chose a dress that fitted their style and body shape as I really wanted them to feel comfortable. We went for blush shades for the dresses, and my flower girls also wore the same shade. I was nervous about seeing everyone together but thankfully it all worked perfectly.
Theme or colour scheme
I became a huge fan of the ‘boho luxe’ theme through my early research and planning, so that became my main focus and aim. I joined a wedding planning group called Bungalow, which offered workshops to help you plan and design your wedding, this helped me with many different aspects, but especially helped me to create a wedding mood board which allowed me to focus my ideas and stick to a colour scheme, which ended up being soft peaches, blush and gold.
Ohh I loved our flowers! They were by Floral Sistas, based in Norfolk. I didn’t have any specific floral requests, just colours that fitted our theme and I fully trusted the florists to put together beautiful designs, and they did not disappoint! We had nudes, blush and peachy shades with warmer caramel tones in blousy roses, spray roses, astilbe, caramel carnations as well as having dried elements included with lots of pampas grass, bunny tails and scabious seed pods. The bridal party’s flowers all complimented this perfectly with a mix of the flowers and dried elements.
Floral Sistas really delivered on the floral decor around the barn, and Penny from The Little Lending Company helped us bring everything together, we hired a lot of props from her, to fill the barn, outside area and the bar, and she was there the day before to help us set up, her eye for detail is a wonderful talent! We hired Penny’s hanging hexagon structure which she styled with drapes and then Floral Sistas filled with flowers. We also had jute rugs and two wicker chairs dressed in foliage for us to use during the ceremony. Godwick has a beautiful old staircase which was dressed in foliage and we placed candles around it and throughout the ceremony space, which made it look really romantic and cosy.
I discovered Tanya from Daydreamer Creative Studio on Instagram, she makes beautiful bespoke banners. After following and admiring her work for sometime, I decided to take the plunge, go for it and order one for our wedding. I’m so glad I did, she took my ideas and designed the perfect banner for us, with a quote from a song we wanted to use in our ceremony ‘this will be our year’, which we played when we signed our marriage vow certificate. The banner fit very nicely into a little alcove in the barn. I also couldn’t resist the neon sign trend and at the last minute hired a pink sign that said ‘all you need is love’, Penny suggested we hang it in the window by the tables, which was perfect and it lit up the area in the evening.
Floral Sistas decorated the back wall of the barn where the dining tables were set, and the tables were decorated with lots of Penny’s vessels filled with flowers and dried elements, tealights and Ester and Erik candles. I still can’t get over how beautiful it all looked.
We hired tableware from Banqueting Hire in Norfolk, and chose white china plates to brighten the darker wood tables, with gold cutlery, crystal glassware, and a peach coloured water glass. I’m really pleased with how it came together and fit with my moodboard and theme.
Our caterers, Florentina, created the most delicious food for our wedding, we still think about it daily! We began with a selection of canapes during our reception drinks. Then, we went for sharing platters for our meal to fit with our aims of keeping things informal and relaxed. for the starters we had a selection of antipasti as we are lovers of all things Italian, the main course was rib eye steak, roasted chicken with honey, lemon and pesto, with triple cooked chips, roasted portobello mushrooms and a green salad – it was delicious. Finally for dessert, we chose a chocolate mousse. All the food went down very well with our guests, and we finished things off with teas, coffees and espresso martinis.
In the evening we had snacks for around the fire pits, slices of pizza, sausage rolls and marshmallows, it fit really well and gave people a chance to have a break from the dancing.
A very kind and generous friend of mine offered to make the cake as our wedding present, and she went above and beyond with this task! During lockdown she kept us going with cupcakes to try out different flavours, and sent us a full trial cake! She ended up making us two – a three tiered cake with a chocolate tier, a lemon and rose and pistachio. And then a two tiered fruit cake as I love fruit cake! She decorated them in edible gold foil and flowers from Floral Sistas – they were beautiful and I really love that they were made by a close friend.
We always knew we wanted a band, the original band we booked couldn’t make our postponed date, so we booked a new band called The Manhattans, I feel they were meant to be, as we got engaged in Manhattan! We had an acoustic set in the afternoon from them and then the full band in the evening. To see everyone on the dance floor singing along and having a great time, after so long, was an amazing feeling, and sight! The Manhattans were brilliant and we would definitely recommend them. Along with the music, we had a personalised corn hole game outside which became quite competitive at one point between a few of the guests and fire pits provided by Godwick, which were perfect to finish off the evening.
Who supplied the stationery?
Our save the dates and invites were designed by Bekki at Shes Wild Weddings, they were beautifully designed and Bekki was very accommodating when we needed to reprint for our postponed date.
I decided to create the on the day stationary myself and designed the table plan, menus, signs for around the barn like table numbers, bar menus, cards and guestbook, cocktails and late night snacks etc. digitally using Canva and Printed.com, it was quite the learning curve, but a lot of fun, and I must credit Anthony for his careful checks of typos and even spacing! I hand wrote the place cards on cotton rag paper and added gold foil, I also hand wrote a few other little signs for things like the confetti and the tipple trolley.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went to the Maldives in December.
As I mentioned, I really wanted to give making the on the day stationary a go myself, and I’m really pleased I did. I also made a wedding newspaper as our order of service, I had seen it in a couple of weddings online and loved the idea, we included a welcome to our guests, history of the venue, a crossword puzzle all about us, song lyrics – as we had two sing-alongs in the ceremony, an ad for the band, order of the day, and ‘guest editor’ paragraph from our dog Louis!
There were many! It had felt like a full on build up to the day with all of the covid restrictions and changes, so walking into the ceremony with my dad and seeing so many people I hadn’t seen for a long time felt really special and emotional. When everyone joined in with the surprise sing-alongs in the ceremony it was an amazing feeling and really made me relax into everything and enjoy the moment. My niece Chloe, who was a flower girl gave a reading, an extract from Les Misérables, and it was very sweet to see her standing in front of everyone so confidently.
I asked my brother if he would like to be the Master of Ceremonies and introduce us for the wedding breakfast and introduce the speeches, he did, and did a brilliant job at it! Everyone giving a speech – my dad, Bridesmaid Antonia, Best Man Callum and Anthony, were very, very nervous in the lead up, but they did such a fantastic job, having us all laughing, and then crying, definitely a feeling I will never forget.
Advice for other couples
Do not compare yourself or your wedding to anyone else, it is very easy to get caught up in Pinterest and Instagram, but every wedding is unique and personal. Bring in as many personal touches as you can, it is a big celebration of you after all!
That everyone was right when they told me small details won’t matter when it gets to the day! All the little stresses disappear and it just becomes the best day ever.
The second surprise was that everyone joined in with the singing in the ceremony!