A cow barn wedding venue, a gorgeous lemon and grey colour scheme and an elegant but laid back country vibe.
I love Laura and Dave’s wedding – and their gorgeous photos by Memories & Milestones…
Dave proposed. The plan was for him to get down on one knee in front of friends and family on Boxing Day 2015. The reality was that he got too excited and drunkenly proposed after a few drinks on Christmas Eve! He then had to repeat the process twice more over the next couple of days for friends and family!
Where it all happened
We wanted a small venue for our Devon wedding. We have been to so many weddings over the years in amazingly beautiful venues that are so big none of the guests mingled or talked to each other or even danced because there were too many places to hide! We wanted to throw people on top of each other and minimise the escapees!
The girls got ready at The Osborne Hotel in Torquay. We wanted to find somewhere that we would be able to also spend our first night as man and wife and The Osborne fit the bill. It was a beautiful room and Dave gained some brownie points for organising for a bottle of Bollinger to be waiting for us when we arrived to get ready!
We had a celebrant service and our reception at Torbay Party Barn.
We had decided as soon as we were engaged that we wanted our wedding to be as personal to us as we could make it. When we started looking around at wedding venues we quickly became frustrated at the lack of flexibility with the venues that you’re also able to get married in. When we mentioned this to our wonderful photographers they suggested we speak to Sarah Chapman, a celebrant. We met with her and she advised that we go to Cockington and do the ‘paperwork’ to become legally married the day before. We could then tailor our service to us. This sounded spot on so that’s what we did!
Sarah put together a very personal service for us. She spent time talking with us before the wedding to find out how we met and what we liked/disliked about each other! We then completed a questionnaire from her to include the people we wanted to remember and any special stories we wanted to share. We wrote our own vows and had 6 each because we couldn’t narrow it down. We had 3 funny and 3 serious ones and after talking to each other about why we were there getting married we read them out in turn. Every guest we have spoken to since the wedding has remarked on how personal and moving the ceremony was – it even made the Dads well up!
When we went to look at the barn on a working farm, it housed approximately 40 heavily pregnant cows! Whilst my Mum was feeling a little weak at the knees and already starting to panic, I was jumping up and down inside at how perfect it was! The barn is filled with character and Andy and Sarah, the farmers were fantastic – we could do as much or as little to the place as we wanted!
We decorated the barn ourselves and I would say it took around 2 days to do. Given that it isn’t a hotel or similar, we had to think of everything from chair and table hire (Total Event Hire) to baby change (Ronnie’s old changing unit!) to plates and cutlery (recycled palm leaf plates and cutlery from littlecherry.co.uk) so it took some planning and organising to make sure everyone had what they needed!
We were so pleased with the result – it looked better than we could have hoped so all the hard work was worth it!
What they wore
Laura wore a tea length strapless lace gown, grey sash with a lemon flower and a lace bolero. All bought from the lovely Lorna at Luna Daisy in Totnes. I have to say that I was really nervous about buying my wedding dress and really not looking forward to trying any on. Lorna was amazing. She spoke to me before my visit to see what styles I had in mind and she had laid some out ready for me when I arrived. She made the whole process so enjoyable! From when we bought the dress to the wedding I lost 2 stone. Luckily my wonderful mother-in-law is a sewing genius so she managed to alter the dress to fit perfectly but wasn’t able to do the bolero. Lorna organised a replacement 3 days before the wedding! She was a complete saviour! My favourite bit of the outfit by far though was my sparkly lemon Irregular Choice shoes! The plan is to dye the dress to be able to wear it again.
Lisa (Maid of Honour) wore a grey lace dress bought online. Mother-in-law again came to the rescue to alter this one and it was teamed up with a lemon petticoat from Lindybop.co.uk.
Edith (Bridesmaid and daughter) wore a lemon dress from Rosetti Brides in Torquay. Hers was the hardest dress to find I think. Being 9 she’s at a real in between age – too old for poofy flower girl dresses and too young for the slinkier bridgesmaid dresses. This was a perfect in between and she looked and felt like a princess!
Dave wore a light grey suit from House of Fraser (which cost more that Laura’s outfit I might add!!). He took Edith along with him to make sure the colour matched the sash – she’s a harsh critic so no wonder he looked so good on the day! He’ll also be able to use the suit for work so that’s a bonus!
Best men, users & Dads – we asked the boys to wear brown shoes, charcoal grey trousers (from Next) and we bought them all (including Dave) matching lemon ties from M&S. We then bought them light grey braces from britishbraces.co.uk. We spent weeks trying to find lemon yellow braces and it was a nightmare so we opted for grey and are pleased we did in the end.
The colours for the day were grey and lemon yellow. If I’m honest I’m not sure how that came about – it may have been because of the sash on my dress and we went from there!
As we were getting marreid in the barn we were going for a country style theme.
As we have a young family, everything was done on a budget so I scoured through Pinterest looking for ideas on centre pieces and decoration ideas. I settled for simple decoration – bunting, candles, lots of fairy lights, and tin can centre pieces!
My family thought I was crazy when I asked them to keep their tin cans for me but they turned out beautifully. I got the majority of the ribbons and jar decorations from our local haberdashery, Bobbins in Brixham. The 200m (yes, 200 metres!!) of bunting was made from fabric I bought from charity shops – curtains, tablecloths etc, along with a roll of hessian I bought from Ebay. I must admit, I haven’t sat in front of my sewing machine yet since the wedding!!
Our florist was the wonderful Jackie from The Flower Studio in Brixham. She is just wonderful and I can’t praise her enough. We showed her a couple of ideas we had for button holes and bouquets and she made some suggestions for us. I think my brief to her was that I wanted our bouquets to look like we’d picked them out the fields on the way to the ceremony! We asked for bouquets for bride and bridesmaids, button holes for the boys and mums and two bouquets to give to our Mums as a thank you. We then had 40 centre piece tins to fill for the trestle tables. We actually ended up having a few cancellations on the day so had to move tables around and had some centre pieces left over. We put some on the bar and the trailer that was the backdrop for the ceremony and I’m so glad we did – they looked wonderful.
The end results were just stunning. When Jackie arrived on the Friday evening with the flowers for the tables it bought tears to my eyes – they just bought the whole venue to life! The bouquets were exactly what I pictured and the button holes for the boys looked spot on!
It turns out we had 2 bunches of flowers per tin can on the tables so 80 bunches of flowers to distribute on the Sunday! We gave a lot to guests that we having lunch with us on the Sunday but took the rest around to the people who helped with the wedding – beauticians etc, sent some in to our daughter’s school and sent some to the nursing home that Dave’s Gran sadly passed away in in the lead up to the wedding.
Our cake was yummy! We had wanted a naked cake as Laura isn’t a fan of fruit cake and we wanted to use our wedding cake for pudding!
Once again, Dave’s talented Mum came to the rescue. She had asked if we wanted her to the make the cake and, having spent the years sampling her baking delights, we weren’t going to refuse! We spent a bit of time going through ideas and she made the sponges a month or so in advance and froze them to save time. She then took all the pieces up to the venue on the Saturday morning to construct it! She also made a few little fairy cakes for the mini guests!
The cake stand was from a wood yard in Newton Abbot!
What they ate and drank
We were at a Basement Jaxx gig in Exeter last year and ate some amazing wood-fired pizzas and said if we were ever going to get married we’d have the South Devon Pizza Company there to feed everyone! They cooked three types of pizzas for us and some garlic bread. We also ordered three different salads from them which they kindly dished out in the salad bowls prior to everyone sitting down.
We had the tables laid out in sprigs and guests went up to help themselves to the pizzas. Then for pud we had wedding cake and fresh fruit (which Laura’s brother dished out in rather fetching plastic gloves!!).
The Pizza Company then ramped up the ovens again later in the evening and cooked up the remaining pizzas for the evening guests. I think we ordered 100 pizzas in total and before they left the farm they bought the remaining ones in to the barn in pizza boxes for us to finish off!!
For the drinks we used Elite Mobile Event Bars. They met with us prior to the wedding to discuss our requirements – how many guests, what we wanted to pre order and how we wanted everything served, and gave us some samples of the wines they supply to try. They were so organised and really helped us achieve what we wanted. We didn’t want anyone’s glass to run dry during the speeches or the meal and thankfully they didn’t! We ordered from them welcome drinks of mojitos, pimms and bottled beer, a glass of Prosecco for the speeches and red and white wines for during the meal. They then opened the bar then had set up the night before for guests to purchase their own drinks. We had said before hand that our friends were pretty big rum drinkers and they made sure they had enough with them to keep an army of pirates merry!
Memories and Milestones were our photographers. There was never any question about us using them! My Mum has worked with Mel for a number of years and in 2014 they were the photographers for Dave’s brothers wedding.
Mel and Jen met with us a couple of times before the wedding to make sure they had all the details of the day. They asked if we had any particular shots that we wanted but we had both agreed that we wanted most of the day to be candid. We only wanted one shot of the bridal party outside the barn and that turned out just as we wanted!
It sounds like an odd thing to say but you wouldn’t have known that Mel or Jen were there at all – and a number of people had said that. The photos we received from them (in a beautiful little wooden box with some sweeties) summed up the day perfectly. They really managed to capture the spirit and personality of the day and we can’t wait to get some printed and hung up in the house.
We didn’t opt for a photobooth but I did produce some posters for people to use a specific hashtag when they posted photos online to help us gather them up.
Elite Mobile Event Bars also provided a disco for us. We had music playing from the minute we said our ‘I dos’!
During the meal we had movie and TV theme tunes playing which got a lot of conversation going with people who may not have known each other – there were also a scary number of people singing along to the Ghostbusters theme tune!
We had spent a long time putting together a play list as we had asked our guests for song requests with the RSVPs. Sadly, this is the only thing that didn’t get used so we were a little disappointed with that but we still managed to have a few dance offs and we all had very sore feet in the morning!
We are hoping to have our honeymoon in 2017. As we have two children it proves a little difficult to disappear without them but we will!!
We’re hoping to do a 4/5 night European break but are currently ‘discussing’ the location! 🙂
Favourite part of the day
Both of us have struggled with this question because the whole lead up to the wedding and the day itself was so enjoyable.
It was a beautiful moment to hear each others vows and a little surprising how similar they were. The 10 minutes we had on our own for photos was a lovely moment to catch up and reflect on the ceremony.
Advice to others?
Periodically take a step back and remember what the day is about. It’s not about whether the music will be too loud for Auntie Mildred or whether you think Uncle Bob should sit next to your slightly strange colleague – it’s about you and your fiancé getting married. Do what you want to do that symbolises your relationship and make it a celebration!
For the day itself, mainly the brides – EAT!! I must have only had 2 slices of pizza across the whole day and that didn’t help the sore head the next morning!