Becca and Sam’s Fun Filled Barn Wedding in Kent by Nicola Thompson Photography

I have the most stunning wedding to share with you today, courtesy of one of my favourite photographers, Nicola Thompson . I have worked with Nicola many times in my wedding planning days and have always been a fan of her work, so I do love featuring her weddings here on the blog. Today it is the turn of Becca and Sam who were married at Elmley Nature Reserve a gorgeous venue, with outdoor space and a beautiful barn, where they held their reception. The whole day was pure wedding perfection from the signage to the flowers, the entertainment to the food. Becca looked stunning in her Rue De Seine gown, the cherry on the cake of this stunning wedding. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The most perfect, fun filled day with I do’s, booze and bad dance moves.

Becca and Sam were married on 3rd August 2022 at Elmley Nature Reserve- Kingshill Barn in Kent. ‘We fell absolutely in love with the location, even though the first time we came across the venue was during lockdown over Zoom! When we were able to visit in person, we were blown away by the stunning views and we knew this was the place for our big day. What Elmley had to offer fit our vision perfectly, of a party/festival feel atmosphere. Another major factor for us was the majority of our guests had the option to stay on site and continue the party until the early hours, singing around the campfire after the dancing had finished will always be a highlight for us. We had 140 day guest and then 180 for the evening. We got engaged December 2020, started planning in January 2021. Overall, it took about a year and a half to plan.’

How they met
We met in September 2013 during Freshers week in our first year at University of Brighton where we trained to become secondary school PE teachers. We have been together for 10 years.

The proposal
On a random Friday evening on 4th December 2020 in the middle of a global pandemic lockdown, I was in a hoodie and my hair tied up on the top of my head in a messy bun, no make up on ready for a chilled night on the sofa. Sam came home and called me into our front room where we had put together a video with the help of all our friends each taking turns to read out a speech he had written to me. At the end of the video, Sam got one down on one knee and asked the big question. I think it’s safe to say that I was taken completely by surprise, it was just perfect for us.

How did you allocate your budget?
We knew what the most important factors to us were music, food and having a party atmosphere. To have this, we needed to have a top drawer wedding venue- that’s where we new we needed to allocate most of the budget. We had a spreadsheet of estimated prices to help us when deciding on what to go for, we also used wedding blogs online to help us with a rough estimation of what percentage of the budget should go where.

Where did you splurge and where did you save?
The areas that we splurged on the most were, the venue, the food, the band, flowers, photographer, the dress and drink. To save we handmade some of our decorations including signs, table centre pieces and my dad who is an avid potter made everyone’s name places/favours. We had many trips to car boot sales, where we found hidden gems- we would highly recommend this to any bride and grooms to be!

How did you choose your photographer?
Nic was recommended on the Elmley vendors list and her work was also featured in their wedding brochure as well as other wedding blogs. After looking at her Instagram and website, we immediately knew that her fun, alternative style suited us to a T. Nic was honestly amazing and we couldn’t have asked for a better photographer to capture our day.

The dress
Dress was the Gia Stone from Rue de Seine. Shoes were from good old Zara. Earings were from m Monica Vinader

The suit and bridesmaids
Suit was tailor made from Moss Bros. Bridesmaids dresses were from ASOS

Theme or colour scheme
Our colour scheme was mainly sage green with elements of gold.

Our florist Kelly did a fantastic job of knowing exactly what we wanted from the Pinterest board I created. My beautiful bouquet consisted of many different white flowers including roses and gyp and the bridesmaids bouquets were made of gyp.

We had lots of fresh flowers hanging around the barn, a huge fresh flower garland above the barn entrance. Lots of candles and bud vases dotted around, a custom Neon sign with our wedding tag ‘This Marks Forever’. We also had a 100m hand plaited rope, wrapped in fairy lights (which look many hours and a lot of man power) looping from each of the beams in the barn.

Canapés: Sweet potato and black beam tacos with jalapeno cream, picked red cabbage and hot sauce. Buttermilk fried chicken with honey and seaweed salt. Seared aged beef fillet with salsa Verde

Wedding Breakfast A sharing style:
Starters – Sour dough bread, allotment of crudites and pickles with labneh and tapenade to suit the hot August sunshine.
Main – Slow roasted lamb shoulder, aubergine imam baylidi, roasted rainbow carrots with salsa verde, patatas alinadas with sherry vinegar, red onion and herbs, Fine beans with picked radicchio, hazelnuts and almalfi lemon.
Evening food – Salt beef bagels with pickles and mustard. Tahini fried tofu bagels with cream cheese and pickles

Wedding cake
We decided to take a different route for our wedding cake, we had a small rustic chocolate cake made by my cousin Lale and the rest of the tiers of our wedding cake were made of Sam’s Mums delicious double chocolate chip brownies and Krispy Kreme donuts!

We had a fantastic band called Festival Folk who provided our guests with a brilliant roaming acoustic session during our drinks reception and two insane sets in the evening both folk and rock style. We also had their sound technician provide us with fab tunes where we were dancing on our chairs in between each course of the wedding breakfast and the speeches- a real highlight!

Who supplied the stationery?
We created our invitations and menus ourselves on vista print and hand made our confetti bags and name places. We had a company called Rose signage co to create our seating plan and welcome sign.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We had the most incredible honeymoon travelling around Bali for a couple of weeks and then we travelled to the Maldives for a week of pure white sand bliss.

Personal touches
The place names that my dad made were a real personal touch, it was lovely to see how many of our friends used these as Christmas decorations on their tree this Christmas or have them around their homes. We had home made pom pom garlands, hand painted signs, the notorious fairy light rope that was suspended in the barn and we also made the frame that hung up our neon sign ourselves with lots of gold spray paint and faux flowers.

Special moments 
Despite the whole day being absolutely perfect and everything we ever dreamed of, our entrance into our wedding breakfast was a real highlight for us both. Sam had the idea to mix Freddy Mercury’s famous Eh-Oh into my favourite song ever- Spice Girls, Wannabe. The reaction from the guests when we burst into the barn to spice girls was just the best. Everyone we love were all in one room, we danced our way to each table where everyone was up on their feet, singing their hearts out, it was better than we ever could have imagined.

Advice for other couples
Remember that this is your special day. The minute details of what colour sage the napkins are, or how many tealights should be on each table really do not matter. Remember to take it all in by stepping back and watching everyone you love celebrate your love because it will go past in a flash. Brides- if you can, try look at your loved ones as you come down the aisle as that was a very special moment for me.

Biggest surprise 
We bought smoke bombs as we wanted to create these crazy pictures with our bridal party and OH MY GOD, they turned out amazing!!!!
We were surprised that nothing went wrong- or even if they did, we did not notice at all as we were honestly having the absolute time of our lives.



Supplier Shout Outs



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    What a lovely wedding – such an amazing details and personal touch, and the whole wedding looks so vivid and pumped with emotions!


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