Molly and Andrew’s English Country Barn Wedding in Kent by Chris Blackledge 

Today we are staying in the UK and making the most of what the Kent countryside has to offer us, with the gorgeous Country Barn wedding of Molly and Andrew. The whole day is just beautiful from start to finish. Simple in it’s decoration to make sure the venues beauty is aloud to shine, but filled with the most stunning flowers. The day is laid back and chilled, all helped along by a collection of incredibly helpful bridesmaids and groomsmen, all doing their jobs perfectly. I love it when all the friends and family pull together to make sure the wedding goes off without a hitch, all adding their talents to make sure the day is full of personal touches, form the cupcakes to the signs. A gorgeous English country wedding, from start to finish and all captured perfectly by Chris Blackledge.

It was a blur of happiness, fun and laughter. We felt surrounded by wonderful people in a beautiful place and it all came together into the perfect day.

Molly and Andrew were married on 19th August 2023 at Minster Abbey (Minster-on-sea) and Elmley Nature Reserve. ‘We focused our search on Kent where Molly’s family lives as we wanted to be out of London (where we’re both from). We also wanted a reception venue that provided something a bit different but also felt very relaxed and as soon as we saw Elmley it felt perfect! We had 150 guests and it took 18 months to plan.’

How they met  
We met through a mutual friend – Molly’s best friend from university worked with Andrew and he set us up by forcing us to text each other (awkwardly)! We’ve been together for over 7 years – and are now expecting our first baby!

The proposal
We were on holiday in Iceland and visiting Reynisfjara black sands beach – the sun was rising so it was a stunning scene! But it was also good fun as we both knew it was coming – we’d even gone to get the ring together a couple months before…

How did you allocate your budget?
We knew we’d end up with about 150 guests so were conscious that this would drive up the cost of a lot of things when budgeting, but knowing this helped us to prepare. We tried to work out everything we’d need to spend money on, then researched each to figure out rough costs, and then these were revised as we went along.

Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We focused on the guest experience and splurged there – including the venue as it set the tone for the whole weekend. While we spent a little bit more on the venue itself, it meant we were able to save on things like drinks (which we could bring in ourselves without corkage) and decor, which we also kept minimal but did ourselves (by ourselves we mean Molly and her bridesmaids!). We also splurged on the food (which was delicious) and made sure drinks were freely flowing, including after dinner cocktails which went down a treat. Most of our savings came from the help of talented friends and family – the stationary was done by a friend, cupcakes made by a bridesmaid and the signs were a joint effort from Molly, her dad and her bridesmaids. Another saving tip was moving the flowers from the church to the reception and reusing them there – that was another fun job for some of the bridesmaids!

How did you choose your photographer?
We were recommended a few by our venue so we went through and picked our favourite in terms of style, we also felt like Chris had a really relaxed approach and he was on the same page as us with not wanting to spend too long away from our wedding taking formal photos. We’re so pleased with how the photos of the day turned out!

The dress 
My dress was ‘All Who Wander’ (but managed to save a few pennies here by picking it up in a sample sale!). I kept accessories to a minimum, just a few bits of simple gold jewellery (mainly bits I already owned or inexpensive pieces from high street shops) and real flowers in my hair.

The suit and bridesmaids
Andrew’s kilt was from MacGregor & MacDuff, where we also hired jackets for his ushers. We bought them tartan trews from Anderson Kilts.
The bridesmaid dresses were David’s Bridal, as there were 7 of them I wanted 2 shades of green to mix it up a bit.

Theme or colour scheme
The colour scheme was oranges, peaches, apricots, pinks and greens – tried to keep it very earthy. I love oranges but didn’t want to go too dark as it was a summer wedding, so the lighter pinks and greens helped it to feel summery and light.

I was very open to what the florist thought was best, and I’m so glad as the flowers were one of my favourite things! We had Eucalyptus, butterfly ranunculus, cosmos, roses, spray roses, dianthus, dahlia, astilbe.

I felt like the venue didn’t need too much decor, and wanted to keep it simple with the focus on the flowers. Everything else we brought in ourselves just to accentuate them on the tables – I wanted bud vases that supported the colour scheme in pink, orange and green so collected these for tables, alongside long peach candles, amber bottles and gold frames for the table names (which I pressed eucalyptus into and used Posca pens to write the names on the glass of the frames – inspired by Pinterest!). The only other decor we had was signs which we made ourselves – got a big gold mirror off Facebook Marketplace which we used for the table plan and utilised the Posca pens more for a rustic wooden Order Of The Day sign.

Started with smoked mackerel pate, followed by roast lamb and garlic potatoes and finished with custard tart. The real stars of the show were the canapes (mini steak & chips, BBQ pork belly, goats cheese tart and more) and the late night Mac & Cheese which I still think about today!

Wedding cake
A cascade of cupcakes made by my very talented bridesmaid who has her own cupcake business (very lucky for me).

We had a ceilidh! Andrew is Scottish and it was one of the first things we both agreed on – nothing like a ceilidh to get everyone up and dancing. At about 10pm the ceilidh stopped and we switched to a normal DJ set – courtesy of another friend! We also had a family friend play the bagpipes to mark the start of the Wedding Breakfast, it really set the atmosphere off! Finally, we cobbled together a couple of lawn activities to keep people entertained after dinner – Andrew made a coconut shy which he was very proud of, and we had a ‘crisp buffet’ for people to help themselves to a packet or two…

Who supplied the stationery?
Another talented friend designed and printed our save the dates and invites, designed our website and helped with the place names. My sister painted a picture of the church for the front of the Order Of Service, which we used a local church contact to help with the final design.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went the Monday following – to Hawaii! It was unreal and just what we needed post-wedding.

Personal touches
The personal touches were my favourite things – one of the bridesmaid sang ‘Into My Arms’ by Nick Cave during the ceremony (while we signed the register) and it was beautiful. We also homemade personalised tattoos for every single guest and left them on their table place – bringing out lots of embarrassing nicknames and funny stories. The crisp buffet was another hit and inspired by Molly’s love of crisps – plus super easy to pull together!

Special moments 
I woke up really early on the day as I was so excited, so I went for a little solitary walk around the nature reserve as the sun came up – it was so peaceful and gave me a quiet moment before the madness of the day. Also, getting into the car post-ceremony to head to the reception venue – it was just me and Andrew and we were full of adrenaline and relief that the scary bit was over! In general the whole day really was amazing from start to finish so it’s hard to pick a moment… the drinks reception in the sun when we got to see and chat to all our guests, watching everyone fall around trying to do the ceilidh, crying and laughing at the speeches…

Advice for other couples
Give people some tasty food and flowing drinks and they will have a good time! Guests don’t mind how fancy or polished something is if they’re well fed and watered. While it’s obviously your special day, you’ll have a better time knowing the people around you are having fun, so we spent a lot of time thinking about maximising their experience and the flow of the day, which meant the atmosphere around us was amazing.
Look at your guest list and the talents you can utilise! We obviously did this a lot, and it really paid off. If you feel cheeky asking, suggest the favour is their wedding present to you, which most people are more than happy with!
You’ll be nervous beforehand, but once it starts that all stops and you stop thinking about the details and plans and just enjoy yourself.

Biggest surprise 
How helpful the ushers were! (Maybe my expectations were too low…) We’d given them a list of all the vendors and numbers, and they actually used this to sort a few problems on the day out which we weren’t even aware of happening until afterwards! The bridesmaids too were so helpful (but I knew they would be!) – things kept happening before I even needed to ask anyone or think about it.



Supplier Shout Outs



Chris Blackledge Kent Wedding Photographer

www.chrisblackledgephotography.co.uk [email protected] / 07912851540 / FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM 

Based in Kent but happily capturing wedding stories across the UK and Worldwide. Established in 2010 with the aim of making memories and capturing awesome wedding stories naturally, truthful and creatively.


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