Gabriella and Anthony Luxurious White Backyard Wedding in California by Briana Nolan
Happy Monday everyone! and if you are in the UK Happy Bank Holiday to you!...
Well hello everyone and how are you all? The sun is shining and it is at least feeling like spring! We have a few days of brilliant sunshine forecast here in the UK, so I hope you all get to make the most of them. I am still stuck inside, hoping to test negative very soon, so I can escape the house and enjoy what spring has to offer! There is plenty of sunshine in today’s barn wedding that has been sent into me by the lovely Jess Yarwood. Hannah and Eden should have got married in 2020, but like so many other couples had their wedding postponed till last summer. It was certainly worth the wait though, and their day is bursting with smiles love and good memories. Along with plenty of music, beautiful flowers, and delicious food.
Hannah and Eden were married on 2nd August 2021 at Owen House Wedding Barn, Mobberley. ‘We knew that we wanted a barn wedding and even before visiting Owen House we had a good feeling. Once we did visit we booked straight away and every time we went back it just reaffirmed our decision. The venue is beautiful and relaxed and the family who run it made us feel welcome and confident in our choice from day one. They are constantly adding things to the barn to make it an even better experience for couples and their guests. We had just under 100 guests and it took 2 years to plan. We got engaged in 2018 and planned the wedding for 2020 but didn’t end up getting married until 2021. We planned the ‘big things’ within the first couple of months but enjoyed taking our time with everything else.’
How they met
We used to sit next to each other in college – in 2008 – and were good friends. It took a group holiday with friends in 2014 for our first kiss but we have been together pretty much every day since, for the past 7 years.
Eden proposed in Florida, where we had been on holiday together before. We were drinking margaritas overlooking the water at Universal Studios on the first night of our holiday and he completely took me by surprise as he showed no signs of nerves or any rush. We celebrated with plenty more margaritas and a Chinese takeaway, before heading back to the hotel where we were greeted with champagne, roses and chocolate-covered strawberries. It was the perfect blend of personal touches and romantic cliches!
How did you allocate your budget?
We both knew that it was really important to us to have the right venue, photographer and videographer. These were areas where we didn’t really want to ‘budget’ – we only want to do this once and we wanted it to be right. That was a consideration at every step for us: we didn’t want to have any regrets about missing out on anything that was going to be important to us – and we don’t. We were fortunate enough to have the day that was everything we had both wanted
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
One of our ‘splurge’ areas was the drinks. After the year that everybody had had previously we wanted our family and friends to be able to enjoy the day and we wanted the atmosphere to be one of a relaxed party. We saved on stationary as this area was just not as important to us – especially given the situation with Covid. We could never be sure how many more sets of invites we were going to have to send!
How did you choose your photographer?
We both distinctly remember being a bit stumped as to how we were going to be able to choose a photographer. We were of the view that ‘photos are photos’ and as we trawled through websites of different Cheshire photographers we just couldn’t see anything that particularly stood out to us. Until we landed on Jess Yarwood’s website – it was like love at first sight! Her photos were so natural – both in the sense of the lighting and the way that she captured the moments of the day. Then when we first contacted her she was so enthusiastic and friendly and we knew we wanted her to be a part of our day.
The dress was Pronovias and I got it from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. I went to three different dress shops in one day, determined to finish the day having found ‘the one’ and I did. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted – and I’m not one to spend a long time worrying about what I’m wearing anyway! – but it felt special and still ‘me’. My veil was from Sarah’s Wedding Boutique in Northwich. I had received such lovely service from the ladies there when I was dress-hunting that I wanted to go back and give them some custom, especially as a small local business. They also provided my hair accessory.
The suit and bridesmaids
The suits were from Whitfield and Ward. They fit the style of the venue so well and the men all looked amazing. We would recommend them in a heartbeat. The bridesmaid dresses were from ASOS and then altered to better fit the girls by Katrina Wilson.
Theme or colour scheme
We just kept coming back to thinking about the rustic style of the venue and the laid back but special atmosphere that we wanted.
Flowers are another thing we were both clueless about but Elly at The Potting Shed in Alderley Edge listened to our ideas and then created the perfect look. They were even able to incorporate the birch slices made by Eden’s step-dad which gave the day a personal touch.
We had light-up letters (H&E) from The Word Is Love and a giant disco ball for the night from Hipswing but the barn is so beautifully decorated anyway that we didn’t feel it needed much extra.
Our food was incredible and from the lovely Vanilla In All Seasons. We had so much fun meeting with them and planning our menu. The sticky sausages were a canape highlight and then the main meal was tempura prawns to start, steak pie, chips, mushy peas and LOADS of gravy for the main and then eton mess to finish. We had so many great comments from the guests about it being the best wedding food ever – and we are inclined to agree!
The cake was from a local bakery called The Devonshire Bakery. We went cake-tasting back in February 2020 and their lemon cake was to die for! We had a semi-naked three-tier cake with two layers of lemon and one of vanilla sponge. We were sad to have to give some away to our neighbours when we left for our honeymoon – but are looking forward to eventually getting to the layer that is in the freezer! We also ordered a cake topper from Etsy which was our silhouettes along with our cockapoo, Oscar. He is involved in everything that we do but is still a bit ‘naughty’ to actually attend the wedding so that was our nod to him!
We had the brilliant Gillan Edgar singing me down the aisle and during the reception drinks. We absolutely love his style and friendly nature and he was great at responding to requests on the day. At night, we had a band from Stafford called Live Wires who we had seen at a friend’s wedding a few years back. Music is a big part of our lives and we both feel that it really sets the tone so it was important to us that that was right. The dancefloor was packed all night so they did a great job.
Who supplied the stationery?
We designed the stationary ourselves on Vista Print. It was one of the areas that we decided to save money on – but they were very generous with giving some financial support when we had to re-order invites for 2021 so we were really glad that we used them.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We had huge honeymoon plans to do an American East Coast road trip and go to Jamaica but that wasn’t possible due to Covid. We were SO lucky that we did manage to get to Jamaica after the wedding which was incredible. And, even more luckily, we have had all the fun of re-planning the America portion of our trip and get to have a Honeymoon 2.0 this year.
The centrepieces and table plans were made by us both. The tables were names after songs that mean something to us and we wrote these onto vinyls. Neither of us are particularly creative but we were both keen to have some homemade elements. I was so impressed with Eden constructing the table plan (at quite short notice too!) and that I had enough of a steady hand for the centrepieces.
We also ‘made’ the favours which were little glass bottles filled with the ingredients for our guests to make themselves a B52 shot. We liked the idea of it being a bit of an activity for them – and B52s became a bit of a Saturday staple in our house during lockdown!
It’s hard to pinpoint anything but there was a moment before we ate where All About You by McFly started playing and everybody spontaneously started singing along while we stood at the top table dancing. It was such a natural, joyous moment that we couldn’t possibly have planned for but the song will always remind us of that moment now.
Also, sitting together at the end of the night, drinking champagne and talking about the day was the perfect way to end it.
Advice for other couples
We had read so much about taking time out together through the day and so were really conscious of doing this. Probably 4 or 5 times through the day we stopped and reminded each other to take it all in. Every time we stood there, holding hands, thinking ‘we are finally married!’ and looking around at all of our loved ones talking and dancing, we just felt so incredibly lucky.
The fact that only two guests weren’t able to come because of Covid! It was obviously a really tough time for everybody and we were so worried about what we would do if any of the wedding party (including us!!) couldn’t be there!
It was also surprising just how well everything went. I think you expect there to be hitches and problems that you just have to cope with on the day but it really was perfect to us.
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I love the rustic style! In my opinion, this is one of the best styles for a natural and casual wedding and reception. Interesting details and a happy bride and groom – great photos!