EMMA + DAN
Winter weddings are always so magical at the barns. With our 18ft Christmas tree taking pride of place in the barn, fairy lights twinkling throughout and the toasty fire pit crackling outside, our rural venue is the perfect place to celebrate your wedding during the winter months.
Emma and Dan knew that they wanted a barn wedding and we were happy to oblige, playing host to their winter celebration at the barns in December. Our recommended photographer, Tom Halliday, was on hand throughout the day to capture every smile, embrace and now cherished memory, for Emma & Dan to keep and look back on in years to come. Scroll down to see a selection of these photos and Emma’s words of wisdom…!
PICKING THE DRESS
I had always known that I wanted a dress with sleeves but had no idea what shape to go for. The girls at Fleur De Lys Bridal in Saffron Walden were really helpful and the first time I went they allowed me to try on as many dresses as I wanted in whichever shape. I actually held a dress the first time that didn’t turn out to be ‘the one’. After having another look online I picked a few more dresses to try on at another visit and that was when I found my dress.
The moment I put my dress on and came out to reveal it to my Mum, Nan and bridesmaid Sian there were tears in everyone’s eyes and I knew it was the one. I loved the beautiful intricate detail on the sleeves and bodice which I felt were perfect for a winter wedding and the illusion back added something extra special to the dress. The floor length plain veil I chose really made me feel like a bride and everything came together perfectly on the day.
SUITED & BOOTED
The suits were from Anthony Formal Wear in Colchester; Dan & I went to choose them together but I really wanted Dan to choose how he wanted himself and the boys to look on the day. He went for a navy suit with a navy and cream puppytooth waistcoat. Dan had a scoop neck waistcoat and a matching hank and bow tie, whilst the rest of the groomsmen had burgundy ties and hanks to tie in with the bridesmaids. They all looked really smart on the day!
THE BRIDE SQUAD
I had four bridesmaids and three flower girls. Sammi, my best friend for the past twenty-six years was my maid of honour and then Alex, Charlotte and Sian were my other bridesmaids. Sammi, Alex, Charlotte and I have travelled some of Australia together and have shared a lot of happy memories over the years. I couldn’t have imagined getting married without those four girls by my side; they truly are such a special bunch and I’m very lucky to have them. Elsie, our beautiful daughter was one of our flower girls as well as our niece’s Elys & Ruby; they all looked so lovely on the day with their gold and cream dresses and fur boleros.
I saw the bridesmaids’ dresses soon after Dan & I got engaged and fell in love with the colour and the lace sleeves. I knew they would be perfect but they were out of my budget so I hung on and ended up managing to get 20% off them on Black Friday luckily. They were from Coast and all the girls were so pleased with them and felt beautiful in them which was so important for me. I loved staying at the cottage the night before with all my favourite girls and the morning getting ready with them all was perfect. Also when we all came out of the ceremony we were all singing and dancing to the exit song and had a big group cheers at the end. They are all stunning girls and I was so proud to have them stand by my side.
THE VENUE & DECORATION
The Granary Estates was the first venue we looked at after we got engaged and we both came away knowing it was the one. I had always imagined I would get married in a barn and the Granary excelled all of my expectations; both the flint and granary barns are stunning with lovely old features. During Christmas the barns are literally magical, with an 18ft Christmas tree in the granary barn and fairy lights flicking away in the flint barn it was the perfect place to have our winter wedding. The glass walkway linking the two barns and the courtyard are also beautiful features of the barns.
Hall & Co transformed the flint barn into a soft seating area post ceremony and they also hung a canopy of fairy lights over the dancefloor which added to the Wintery feel. We went for mercury gold, deep burgundy and textured green foliage as the themes for the wedding. They were incorporated throughout the day to create the rustic winter wedding we had both imagined. Our suppliers were amazing and transformed the venue into everything we had ever wanted with beautiful flowers, foliage and candlelight used as the centrepieces. We also wanted to add personal touches to our day so I handwrote the chalkboard and place names and we made our wedding favours; also decorating the venue with photos of our loved ones special days.
Our flowers were by the amazingly talented Emily of Emily Tallulah Flowers; Emily is my good friend Grace’s sister and I had previously seen weddings and other events she had supplied for in the past and knew she would be perfect. Not only is she very kind and warm but she has an ability to transform your ideas into everything you could want and more. We had beautiful burgundy and hanoi ranunculus, Juliet roses, peach avalanche roses and quicksand, as well as textured green and gold foliages. I was literally obsessed with my bouquet and couldn’t have been happier with all the gorgeous flowers that filled the venue on our big day. The colours of the flowers fitted perfectly with the venue and our theme.
I actually felt quite calm before the ceremony, I think the girls were quite surprised but I was really excited and looking forward to seeing Dan at the end of the aisle. We had chosen our favourite song for me to walk down the aisle to and as soon as I heard that the tears started. It was so special for us sharing the day with our family and friends; Sammi and my cousin Alice did beautiful readings. We chose them because the words really resonated with us both and to a certain degree summed up our relationship perfectly.
I can still remember every part of the ceremony; Dan & I had written personal vows that neither of us had read before and it was an extremely emotional moment, I could barely get my words out through the tears but I am so glad we chose to write them as it made the ceremony feel even more personal. The Flint barn looked perfect with the canopy of fairy lights, Christmas tree in the corner and the beautiful floral aisle ends; it was the perfect setting for our ceremony.
We chose Hall & Co as our caterers; the day we first met with Elizabeth she was so professional and lovely and took the time to really get to know our likes and dislikes. We had lovely canapes and a two course wedding breakfast. For the mains our guests had a choice of slow braised pork belly or shin of beef, both with mash and spring greens. With me being a chocaholic the obvious choice for desert was a dark chocolate mousse, coffee mascarpone and a spiced caramel biscuit. We had so many comments from our guests to say how amazing the food was on the day.
We had around 60 additional evening guests join us to celebrate in the evening. We decided to go for a DJ, Andy of Soundwave Disco who has been an old family friend was the obvious choice and did a great job on the night. We chose the acoustic version of Sam Smith – Latch as our first dance; it was actually one of the things we left until last to choose but after listening to it a few times we knew the words were perfect. Dan was brave enough to lift me on the night (after nearly knocking me out a couple of times at home on the ceiling) at the exact moment the confetti cannons went off which came together exactly as we wanted it to.
Tom Halliday was our wedding photographer and he was absolutely amazing on the day and the lead up to the wedding. He’s such a genuine, friendly bloke and his style of photography is just out of this world. We had seen some weddings he had shot before and immediately knew we wanted him to be our wedding photographer, other than the venue he was actually the first supplier we booked for our wedding. His photos are just absolutely stunning and I couldn’t even begin to pick a favourite as they are all so beautiful and sum up the day perfectly. They arrived in our inbox within 5 weeks which we were so pleased about as we got to re-live the day all over again so soon after the wedding. I’ve had quite a few printed off and put in frames ready for when we move into our new home in March and we can’t wait to see the album.
TAKE MY ADVICE...
I remember the first moment I saw Dan at the bottom of the aisle and feeling so happy and lucky to be marrying him. Also just looking around at our amazing family and friends and feeling so lucky to share the day with all those we love the most as well as the big tear-jerker moment when my Dad came in the room with my daughter Elsie to see me for the first time.
Because we had 2 and a half years to plan the wedding I think it all went pretty smoothly in the end as we didn’t ever really need to rush anything in the planning process. The last decision we made which was probably one of the best decisions was to have a videographer; the day flies by so quickly and now we look back and are so glad we have those memories to watch for the rest of our lives. OW Productions was a great choice and we are both so excited to watch the video back!
My top tip would just be ENJOY every moment and don’t stress over the little things. Everything will fall into place on the day and if it doesn’t go exactly as you planned then don’t worry – no one around you will notice it as all they care about is you and the love you have for each other.