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Today’s wedding oozes modern style set against a rustic farm backdrop. Ellie and Steve held their gorgeous barn wedding at The Barns at Lodge Farm with just under a years delay due to Covid. The wait was worth it though, as this Epping wedding is just divine. They filled the venue with white flowers, and a super stylish décor, featuring accents of gold and some gorgeous personal details. The whole day is chilled, relaxed and oh so pretty. Big thanks to Joseph Kinerman for the wonderful photos.
Ellie and Steve were married on 14th April 2022 at The Barns at Lodge Farm, Epping. ‘We liked the idea of somewhere local as we are from the same town. We visited the Barns in late 2019 and liked that it was a blank canvas – you can bring in any supplier you want and make the space your own. Each of the barns opens out onto a courtyard which makes it a really social space and it has a great industrial/rustic feel that’s quite rough and ready -in the best way! All the staff at the Barns are so friendly and lovely and the Instagram page shows the versatility of the spaces. We had just over 100 guests, with a few not able to come due to Covid. Then about 20 extra in the evening. As the venue is spacious, it can hold a large amount of people without feeling cramped. We got engaged in August 2019 and were originally due to marry in June 2021. So most things were organised and in place for that date – once we’d postponed, it was just the smaller details to sort.’
How they met
We went to the same school and were in the same year at school but only had one class together. We had separate friendship groups and were oblivious to each other really and each went off to college/sixth form then uni and met years later in 2015 on Tinder!
It was the August bank holiday and Steve persuaded me to go for a walk – a usual route we do through Epping Forest that ends up at a great pub. I begrudgingly agreed when all I wanted to do was sit in the garden! On the walk, I had walked ahead and I turned round to find him on one knee. It was really low key which was just what I wanted. We had a drink at the pub and really enjoyed those few hours of just us knowing we were engaged before telling our family and friends. Its so nice to have a place we can walk by and remember it too.
How did you allocate your budget?
Once we’d taken a look at some suppliers to get an idea of prices, we decided on a rough
number and started a spreadsheet to breakdown all the elements and try to factor in every
aspect of the day.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We splurged on the food as that was important to us and we’re really glad we did. Once we’d found Gather and Feast and had a tasting with them, we knew it would be 100% worth it. We saved on stationary – Ellie is a designer so created all the signage, menus, order of the day & invitations. We also created a DIY Photo Booth with inflatable props and a gold foil curtain which didn’t cost much at all.
How did you choose your photographer?
I found Joe Kinerman on Instagram and immediately liked his style. He had shot at similar venues and his style was exactly what we wanted – relaxed and very much capturing the moment. We met him face to face early on and loved this personality which made the decision even easier.
My dress was the BB:09 by Bon Bride. I found Pippa on Instagram and again, loved her style. She’s based in Beckenham so I went to try on some dresses and a few made the shortlist. I tried dresses on in other places but knew her styles were my favourite. I went to Bride and Alter for the fittings and decided to add a belt to add some interest at the front of the dress. My shoes were from Office and I also bought some trainers for the evening that were from Kurt Geiger. I didn’t wear a veil as I knew I wanted my hair down and preferred the dress without. I wore a Monica Vinader bracelet that Steve had given to me on the morning. Hair and makeup was by Carina at PowderBlue artistry.
The suit and bridesmaids
Steve’s suit was hired from Coles in Epping along with the pocket squares and ties. The Best Man, Groomsmen and Dads wore M&S suits. They all had shoes from Dune. The bridesmaid dresses were a bargain that I found very early on. They were from Dorothy Perkins. I knew I didn’t want the traditional full length bridesmaid dress and these ones fitted all the girls so nicely. I let them choose their shoes themselves as I wanted them to be comfortable and wear a style that suited them.
Theme or colour scheme
I shyed away from a fixed colour scheme. I didn’t want anything too matchy-matchy. Hints of gold were carried throughout – my shoes, edging on the plates, on the stationary, the Lindt bunny favours etc. The bridesmaid dresses matched the ties and pocket squares but otherwise it was all fairly neutral. We had mainly foliage and white/neutral flowers.
Sarah at Orchard Blooms was great. We chose mainly foliage (eucalyptus, ferns) to decorate each barn with additional white flowers of roses (unsure of the names of the others!). I wanted soft, pillowy and anything seasonal and she delivered just that. I’ve always loved anemones and emailed Sarah asking if she’d be able to source any for my bouquet – I didn’t think they were in season. But she managed to find them and added them in, I was so chuffed!
The main decoration was the flowers. We had white drapes in the main reception barn and Sarah created 5 hoops to hang from the ceiling with foliage flowing down. We visited an antique place and found some metal hearts and giant letters that we spray painted gold which were placed around the venue. There is so much interest in the buildings, textures and farming accessories of the venue that we didn’t feel we needed a lot.
After the ceremony we had a selection of canapés – pork belly, arancini, asparagus in parma ham and lots more. Then once guests were seated we had antipasti sharing boards, followed by sharing salads and potatoes on the table and BBQ meats of steak and chicken as well as salmon. For dessert we had giant sharing pavlovas for guests to dig into. We loved the Ottolenghi sharing style that Gather and Feast offer. In the evening we had cheese toasties, wedding cake and brownies by Brucey Bakes.
My Mum made the wedding cake and it was perfect. We had it simply decorated with gold foil and a soft flowing ribbon that I’d seen on Pinterest and loved. The bottom tier was red velvet, the middle was elderflower and lemon and the top tier was chocolate.
Tom Ryder played the acoustic guitar throughout our reception as well as in the ceremony. He had learnt 3 songs of our choice for me to walk into, sign the register and for us to both walk out too – this felt really special. We also had an illustrator at our drinks reception to illustrate portraits of the guests which we’d seen at a previous wedding and loved. Jupiter Ray then kicked off our evening reception with pop/Motown songs and their dummer DJ’d into the night once the band had played their live sets. It was spot on and got everyone up dancing till the end. We also had a corn hole set and fire pits set out in the courtyard which were really popular.
Who supplied the stationery?
I designed all the stationary but we got the invitations and menus and order of the days printed at Moo. We printed the large order of the day and seating plan at Vistaprint.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We had a week in the Cotswolds. We have a few weddings to attend abroad this year so thought we’ll enjoy those this year and head somewhere further a field next year. Perhaps Japan or Argentina.
Stationary was all by Ellie. The cake felt really personal too as it was made by my mum. My cousin built us a corn hole set which was really special and I painted on our initials totie in with the stationary. We got our guests to sign them too so we have the set to keep along with all the well meaning drunken messages! Steve’s wedding band is engraved with our wedding date and initials too.
The highlight was honestly just having everyone together in one place. Especially after the last two years and with everything being so uncertain. And just having everything come to life after all the planning. Getting ready together with my bridesmaids in the morning was really lovely and relaxed too. And obviously meeting Steve at the end of the aisle!
Advice for other couples
Don’t stress about the little things – it’s only you that know about them and if it doesn’t go to plan nobody else knows. We also had a dance lesson for the first dance, nothing too structured, just a few moves that meant we weren’t shuffling around the dancefloor.
Budget for a videographer – they are 100% worth it.
Not being nervous! I thought I’d be really nervous about walking down the aisle with everyone looking at me but it all faded away and I was just so happy and excited.
On the day: www.occasionqueens.com
Hair & Makeup: www.powderblueartistry.com
Acoustic singer: www.tomryderweddings.co.uk
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