I am so excited about today’s blog post, as it’s featuring a REAL LIFE super duper mega awesome wedding at the gorgeous Stone Barn in Aldsworth, a Cotswold wedding venue gem.
I first spoke to the bride, the lovely Adeline, via twitter when she was planning her big day in the Cotswolds and needed a few pointers in terms of suppliers. I followed her wedding journey online and when she tweeted me a link to the images online post nuptials, my jaw dropped. It is a massive inspiration for all you Cotswold brides, especially those using this venue, so I asked her if I could possibly share the photo’s alongside her round up of the planning process.
This is it.
Really hope you enjoy the read, and soak up every detail. The colour scheme is SO fresh. And despite the rainy weather Adeline and Andy look radiant.
Jessie has very kindly asked me if I can share my Cotswolds wedding on her blog. Of course it was always going to be a big fat yes for her as her own wedding was one of the first wedding’s I found online and fell in love with! I contacted Jessie just as she was setting up her wedding planning company and although I never got a chance to meet her personally, we had a great time tweeting back and forth discussing suppliers and styles.
The Wedding Vision: Andy and I got married on 28th April 2012. Neither of us are traditional and we wanted to reflect our personalities and the things we love into our wedding. We both have a soft spot for the Cotswolds and thought a barn would really suit us. We settled on a vintage country-fete theme with lots of homemade goodies and lots of fun! This included a cake bake-off where we asked guests ‘if you can bake, please bring cake!’ (I LOVE cake!)
The Venue: Once we decided to get married in a barn and had chosen to search in Gloucestershire (also possibly Somerset too), we came across quite a number of venues! We narrowed it down more by wanting somewhere we could get married AND hold our reception, somewhere with wheelchair access and with a rustic, relaxed feel.
When we started viewing venues, we found the approach of some to be too corporate for us. When setting foot in The Stone Barn in Aldsworth (Now known as Cripps Stone Barn – www.crippsstonebarn.com) though we were instantly wowed by the beauty of the barn, the vast space in the cow shed and how friendly the staff were. We were instantly drawn to their god-grilla too! (largest indoor BBQ in Europe I think!) Their whole approach fitted our personalities and we knew we could decorate the barn with plenty of bunting, apple crates, cakes and flowers to become completely ‘us’!
Everything the barn did was amazing! I cannot recommend them highly enough! The food was out of this world and the fact that at each table one of our guests carved the lamb for everyone else will be a memory that will stick with everyone.
When it came to suppliers, I was so grateful to Twitter and The Stone Barn for pointing me in the right direction! Planning a Cotswold wedding from Edinburgh was always going to be a little difficult, but having people in the industry and other brides-to-be on Twitter there for support was a huge help!
Photographer: I thought this might be a difficult decision as I was marrying a photographer, but it was a pretty easy task in the end! We chose to go with Ann Kathrin-Koch (www.annkathrinkoch.com). She was fairly new to the wedding circuit at the time, but after we had met her at a mutual friends wedding the previous year and Andy had spent most of the time eyeing up her – uh-hum – ‘equipment’! We knew she would be perfect! She has such a wonderful eye for a shot and her style completely fitted for the feel that we wanted. We became very close to Ann and her partner (and second shooter for the day) Marco over the next year and even got to explore the Cotswolds with them on a crisp, hazy day in November dressed as bears (yes you read that right!) (www.annkathrinkoch.com/blog/2011/11/23/andeline-andy-two-bears-in-the-cotswolds/) and we couldn’t have been happier with everything they did!
Florist: We met with two different florists at The Stone Barn for consultations. We wanted to use a local florist to put together the bouquets, button holes and individual stems of wild and spring flowers for our centre pieces (placed in vintage pharmacy and beer bottles we had been collecting from flea markets in Edinburgh and Glasgow!)
The first we saw seemed lovely. They had sent us an estimate quote over email, but as soon as we met them the price doubled! I’m not even entirely sure why! We wanted daffodils, tulips and wild blooms. All flowers that were in season and easy to source.
Thank goodness we met Beth Cox straight afterwards (recommended by the barn – firstname.lastname@example.org). Beth reminded me of Alice from The Vicar of Dibley with a true passion for what she does! She delivered on the flowers, BIG TIME! The bouquets smelled AMAZING with little sprigs of rosemary hidden in amongst them! And she had managed to incorporate the blue Scottish Thistle we had asked in the guys button holes!
She collected the bottles from us the day before the wedding and set up all the table displays for us! She was amazing and the cost was almost a third of the other quote we had been given by the other florist!
Stationery: We are so lucky to personally know the extremely talented Katie Leamon (www.katieleamon.com) who did all our wedding stationery for us. She has work stocked in places like Paperchase and Liberty’s of London and were so grateful to her for taking time out of her busy schedule to put together our Save the Dates/Invites and details we needed for the wedding day. We told her our theme and let her put her own style and mark on it.
Cake: I asked Jessie who had made her beautiful cupcake tower for her wedding and she pointed me in the direction of Louise at Cirencester Cupcakes (www.cirencestercupcakes.co.uk). Louise was so patient with us! First I wanted a cupcake tower then I wanted a giant cupcake. Neither of those seemed to fit too well with the country-fete theme though. We also had to take into consideration that some of the guests would be bringing cakes along for our cake bake contest too! We weren’t even sure of the number of cakes that we would end up with!
After searching endless wedding blogs, I found a picture of a gorgeous tiered victoria sponge with strawberries and raspberries. It looked delicious and would completely fit the theme! You can’t have a country-fete without a victoria sponge!
Louise was fab and made the most delicious cake! She gave it a more rustic, ‘cobbled together’ look and even made a lactose free top tier for me (I still love cake despite this!).
In the end between our 80 guests they had made 40 cakes! Yes you read that right! Some of the guests even tried to bribe Andy and I once our ‘Judges’ rosettes went on! We were totally over-whelmed by the effort everyone went to!
Wedding attire: The first outfits were bought for my bridesmaids. Over a year before our wedding. They were 50’s style navy floral dresses that were exactly what I had visioned the bridesmaids to wear. I called all the girls, got them to head to a Zara to try them on and snapped them up for £35 each!
These dresses then set the bar for the other outfits. The guys all had to be in navy. Andy and his best man, Dan in a full suit and the three ushers with white shirts and vintage braces! We got them all bright yellow socks too which was a great touch!
I thought I would be in a short 50’s dress like the bridesmaids, but after a trip to a sample sale held by Clifton Brides in Bristol (www.cliftonbrides.co.uk), I tried on a few dresses and happened upon a spring 2011 Jenny Packham dress. It really wasn’t anything I had visioned my self wearing, but I couldn’t help but feel glamourous and effortlessly gorgeous in it. It was so comfortable and I knew Andy’s jaw would drop when he saw me in it! I panicked that it was three dress sizes too big for me, but the seamstress did an amazing job on it! I even had room for all that cake too!
Make-up: I used Sophie Chamings to do my make-up (www.sophiechamings.co.uk). She was a supplier recommend to me via twitter. I booked her quite last minute and didn’t get to have a trial as I was too far away in Edinburgh! She did a fabulous job though and was just lovely!
Music: Again someone we knew! We are quite lucky to know so many creative people! I’ve known Alex Taylor (www.alextaylormusic.co.uk) for over 10 years and he did a wonderful job moving from playing the guitar and singing to Djing. He kept everyone on the dance floor until late! He even did an acoustic version of our first dance for us (23 by Jimmy Eat World).
Homemade/Personal details: Andy and I are fans of going to flea markets, so it was fitting to try and incorporate some finds into our wedding style. We settled on the vintage theme because of this and wanted to use items we loved and we would use again.
We collected vintage beer and pharmacy bottles from Edinburgh (where we lived), apple crates from Wisbech (where Andy grew up) and letter press blocks from London (where we have spent most of our couple life). We liked making these items about our lives together.
I spent hours making 200ft of bunting to drape around the pillars in the barn. I bought loads of material from Ebay and Mandors in Edinburgh. I thought about buying the bunting but I am so glad I made it all. All our guests knew the effort we had gone too!
My mother-in-law also worked very hard for us! She made all the favours for the guests. We had hot apple chutney for the boys and Limonchello marmalade (made from homemade Limonchello) for the girls! The day before the wedding a bunch of us gathered in the snug of The Wheatsheaf Inn (www.cotswoldswheatsheaf.com) where we were staying (I highly recommend this place!) and put the gingham tops I had made and the name tags our stationer had made onto the jars (over a couple of glasses of wine of course!)
Our photo wall went down really well with everyone too! We made sure we had at least one photo of every guest up! We pegged them up with miniature pegs and some vintage string we had found at a flea market!
We also had a friend of Andy’s draw a thumb print tree for us (http://joderuiter.blogspot.co.uk). I had seen this on a few separate blogs and thought it would be a great idea for a guest book. Having some draw it for us made it personal with little details like the bunting and cakes incorporated into the sketch!
I have rambled on quite a bit here… sorry! We really wanted to make the most of using local suppliers, people who knew us to make everything just that little more personal and a touch of our own homemade style to make all our guests relax and enjoy the day. It will always be remembered as the best day of my life. Not only did I get to marry my best friend but we got to share it with our most important people. Everything we chose to do and the people we chose to help us bring it all together were amazing and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
I asked Adeline for her number one tip for other brides getting married in the Cotswolds, and she said: