Today we are so excited to share the beautiful wedding of Jennifer who married on 1st June 2019 at St. Mary’s Church, Kings Worthy and West Stoke Farm, Stoke Charity. Her photographer was Maddie Waters.

Tell us about finding the dress

I knew that I wanted a dress that I was comfortable in and reflected my normal style – I didn’t want to go for something totally different to my normal style as I knew I would be concerned on the day that it wasn’t very me. My main focus was to make it as timeless as possible; I didn’t want the dress to feel too dated in years to come.  I also liked the idea of having a bolero to allow for a second look on the day.  I booked in to visit Brides of Winchester a few months beforehand and it quickly came round to one August afternoon as I teach and had to find my dress in the holidays. It was instantly clear that Vicky knew what she was talking about. I always knew I would need quite a few adjustments to a dress due to being 5ft 1″ but Vicki was so knowledgeable about which dresses this would work with and why.  I didn’t say aloud at the time but I did know when I tried on the Beatrice dress that it was likely to be the one. It was a similar style to others I had tried on but was so much lighter and easier to move.  The silk fabric looked so much more elegant and expensive than others I had tried previously.  When Vicki added the Sassi Holford bolero I was certain however, as it is an important decision, I went away for a day (I felt under no pressure to rush my decision which again made this shop different to others!) and went to another shop that I had already booked nothing came close. I returned on my own the following day and asked one of my bridesmaids to pop in to get her opinion. She was certain in seconds and that made picking the dress very easy. 

How did you choose your venue

I’ve always known I wanted to get married in a CofE Church. We started attending our local church and really enjoyed getting to know our fantastic vicar and the congregation. We walk or run past the church with our dog Bramble numerous times a week. It meant a lot to be close to home so we knew we wanted a reception venue close to home too. You can walk to our reception venue from our house down a footpath in less than 45 minutes (although we did get a bus for guests on the day!). We also wanted something rustic and DIY rather than commercialised. We were lucky enough to have been to a wedding at our venue two years previously so it was always in the back of our minds. We saw 3-4 other venues but knew when we met the owners of the barn that it was the right place for us. Being so close to home and in the next village just made sense. Our venue is a Victorian barn on the site of a working equestrian farm. It is rarely rented out for weddings making it even more personal and special. You have to do absolutely everything yourselves which is exactly what we wanted although when you wake up thinking about electricity voltage and carpet colour you do have to wonder if you’ve made the right decision – thankfully I love organising! 

How did you choose your photographer

I searched for photographers online and on instagram. As soon as we saw Maddie’s pictures we were certain they were what we wanted. Maddie seems to make every day, whatever the weather, seem bright and beautiful. 

What was your theme?

We didn’t want to overwhelm with a theme but we went for a rustic look to suit the barn and a slight literary theme. We used 2m of old books to create our center pieces. I found the books online via a store that sells old books to pubs and shops for decor. The books were stacked and topped with glasses we collected and wrapped in hessian. Simon’s mum kindly sewed all the hessian sleeves for the glasses. We used blue ribbon on the napkins with rosemary from my mum’s garden. My mum and auntie did a lot of the styling in the barn and we did the flowers on the tables ourselves with a range of light coloured flowers from Dutch Masters Florists. I photocopied pages from some of our favourite texts and some famous quotations and put them in gold frames around the barn near all of the specific decor. 

What flowers did you choose?

As we were married in June and I knew we wanted to use some colour in the barn we chose a coral and blue theme. The main rose in my bouquet, the bridesmaid’s bouquets. the milk churns and the cradle in the barn is called Miss Piggy and is a beautiful coral/pink mix. I wanted some lighter colours in there too and the Blooming Workshop used some cream roses, delphiniums, nigella and wildflowers. My bouquet also had a dusky coloured rose in it. We made double use of everything we had in the church so the milk churns were moved during the reception as were the bunches of gypsophila we used on the pews in the church and the swags from the lych gate. This saved us in decor and made the most of both venues. The flowers lasted a very long time and still looked beautiful a week later! 

Tell us about the cake

My generous Auntie Sue made and decorated the cake from scratch. We couldn’t believe the size of it or that they managed to transport it from St. Albans in one piece! My auntie made a three tier sponge cake with buttercream covered in buttercream icing. Each layer was a different flavour. We had lemon, elderflower and passionfruit.  Although people made a dent in it on the day it was so big that we have frozen the bottom layer and are working our way through it!  

How did you feel on the big day?

On the morning of the wedding, I felt very calm. I hadn’t felt calm the day before so this was good! It was a lovely morning with everyone running around but it didn’t feel stressed. My bridesmaids and flower girls arrived early and began getting ready with our fabulous make up artist and hairdresser who helped to create a calm atmosphere.  Walking down the aisle went very quickly. I couldn’t stop smiling at everyone. During the ceremony, I again felt calm as we knew exactly what was meant to be happening. All our meetings at the church helped hugely as did the rehearsal. Once the vows were done, it was very easy to relax into the day. 

What was your first dance?

We went for an upbeat first dance of Hall & Oates You Make My Dreams! It was a bit of a bizarre choice but we wanted something people would join in with and that we normally would dance to if it was played. 

Top tip(s) for other brides

A month or two before the wedding, start to think about the little details. Before then it did seem too soon. If you’re doing it all yourself then remember the little things are great but don’t worry if every detail isn’t thought about. There are some things I worried about that wouldn’t have made any difference if they weren’t there! If you borrow things from people then make sure you make a list of what belongs to who and get it back to people asap. If you’re lucky enough to get gifts, make a list of who got you what so that you can send thank you cards that are personal. I bought a lot of second hand things on Facebook Market place and Sell My Wedding as people do tend to use things only once and you can get some great bargains. 

Highlight of the day

We truly enjoyed our drive to the reception drinks in our vintage Austin Limousine as it was a lovely day and journey. The reception drinks were good fun as everyone looked so relaxed and happy and Maddie and her husband Nick (our videographer) made our photos happen so smoothly that we had plenty of time to talk and laugh with our family and friends. We also enjoyed having our photos taken after dinner when everything was done and relaxed. We had great weather so the light was also brilliant.  Simon particularly enjoyed the impromptu cricket match that happened outside the barn. 

List of wedding suppliers not mentioned above

Catering – Vanilla Catering 

Marquee and furniture hire – Pole to Pole Marquees

Band – The Cheers Function Band

Singer at reception – Lucy Machin from Tailored Entertainment 

Make Up – Laura at Georgina Chambers Make Up 

Hair – Tori at Riot Hairdressing

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful wedding 🙂