FRAN + DREW
Another beautiful summer wedding at the barns, this sunny day back in summer 2018 saw the unique nuptials of Fran and her husband, Drew. With guests travelling over from the other side of the pond, they had a mix of American and English traditions with some delicious food, touching moments, sunset walks and a party to remember!
This selection of photos from David Boynton Photography is a wonderful reminder of that day…. we hope you enjoy! :)
PICKING THE DRESS
This was one of the hardest parts of wedding planning, because I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. I’d never been wedding dress shopping with anyone before and was lost as to what the right way to find the perfect dress was (in hindsight, there is no right way!)
One day my Mum, bridesmaids and I were at a wedding fair when my Mum called from behind, pulling us towards a dress designer she had found. I had zero intention of finding a wedding dress at a fair, but I fell in love with every single Ivory and Co dress on display. After trying on a few and chatting to the designer, Sarah, I picked out what – with a few customisation’s - I thought would be my dress and headed to their studio a few weeks later. We had the place to ourselves and the team there were so knowledgeable and patient – they knew what I wanted before I did! I ended up with a beautiful custom dress that made me feel so special. When I went for the first fitting, the first time I had seen the complete dress, my Mum and bridesmaids looked at me filled with happiness, and I couldn’t stop smiling and twirling round the studio like I was in a 2009 Taylor Swift video! It was a moment I’ll never forget; our wedding felt more real than it ever had before, and I was now even more excited to marry Drew and spend the rest of our lives together.
SUITED & BOOTED
Drew is originally from the US, so when your groomsmen are split over both sides of the Atlantic, finding a suit for everyone is tricky! We ended up buying suits in the UK through Moss Bros and sending half of them to the US. A few minor (or in some cases, major) alterations later, everyone looked great! We have similar taste so picking out a suit was easy. In keeping with the rustic barn surroundings, we didn’t want anything overly formal, so chose a medium grey suit with a subtle birds eye pattern. Drew added a waistcoat and a lighter coloured tie to differentiate himself from the groomsmen and our fathers.
Small touches really make a wedding your own – we made gift boxes made as part of our wedding party favours and packed them with socks, cuff links, a tie and other goodies for the guys (and did something similar for the girls, too!) to complete the look.
THE VENUE & DECORATION
We visited several wedding venues, but the moment we walked into The Granary Estates we knew it was the place we wanted to get married. The barns and grounds were immaculate, and the original features left us starstruck; the barns, courtyard, everything! Knowing how unpredictable the British weather can be, we wanted somewhere that our whole wedding party could enjoy come rain or shine, and both barns and their surroundings offered exactly that.
The great thing about The Granary Estates is that it’s already so picturesque you don’t have to worry too much about decoration! In the Flint Barn, our florist, Clare, added foliage to the vertical beams and some small bouquets to the end of each row of chairs, and we worked with Elizabeth from Hall and Co to add drapes to the main barn.
We created our own wedding stationary including save the dates, through to personalised menus and wedding invitations. I took calligraphy classes to write names and titles and we created a foliage motif using watercolour that I hand painted onto every invite, order of service and menu. It took a long time but was totally worth it to have something so personal and memorable.
For the wedding breakfast, we wanted the tables to look classy and timeless whilst not looking like every other table you’ve sat at for a wedding. We worked with Elizabeth to source grey table clothes (to match the bridesmaid dresses and colour scheme), used gold cutlery and charger plates with a subtle gold rim, and used glassware with a modern shape. For the centre pieces, we had three pillar candles surrounded by foliage loosely placed to give a romantic atmosphere. Finally, we had the personalised menus put on each place setting with a sprig of olive branch in keeping with the foliage theme.
Clare at Clare Jones Floral Design created all the bouquets, centrepieces and floral accents throughout the venue. We wanted flowers that were fairly neutral - whites with a splash of pale purple to match the bridesmaid’s dresses – and a lot of foliage to match the rustic barns. We researched what kind of look we wanted before meeting Clare who took our Pinterest dreams and made them a reality. The bouquets looked stunning and smelt amazing. For the guys, we added purple thistle instead of a flower to the buttonholes to add texture and differentiate them from the girls’ bouquets.
One year on, my Mum still has my bouquet and is filling box frames with the dried flowers as a keepsake; it’s incredible how they’ve have kept their colour!
We had five bridesmaids, all with different hair colour! I had a very particular grey/lavender dress colour in my head and wanted a relaxed style that wasn’t overly formal but still recognisable as a bridesmaid dress. To find “the one”, we ordered about ten different dresses online and made a day out of it; a few bridesmaids came over to mine, we opened a bottle of wine (or three) and tried on all the dresses! It was much more fun (and private) than if we were to go to a store, and we were able to take as long as we needed to decide. Luckily my bridesmaids liked the same dress and all looked stunning in it!
We had our legal ceremony the day before our wedding at the Granary Estates which was the best decision we could have made. It meant that on the day, we weren’t nervous about saying the wrong thing or having to plan the day around the registrar schedule and stress about being on time. We chose to have a close friend conduct the ceremony which made it all the more personal (thank you, Oli, for taking the role so seriously and doing such a great job!).
We planned the order of service together and let our two readers pick out their readings (though we kept veto rights just in case!) and since we weren’t restricted to what we had to say, we wrote our own vows. The bridal party walked in to an instrumental version of a "You Are In Love" by Taylor Swift, which one of my incredibly talented bridesmaids composed and recorded for us. From the moment our eyes met we couldn’t stop smiling at each other! Being in the Flint Barn full of our family and friends made it a really special and intimate moment, there were definitely a few tears shed!
Elizabeth from Hall and Co crafted an incredible menu for us, from the welcome canapes right through to the evening food. We loved the creativity and flexibility to offer our guests a choice of food that we love, and the incredible detail to presentation. Plus, we were able to make some tweaks. She was completely fine making some tweaks to their usual recipes and adding a few touches that made the menu our own. We chose a his and hers cocktail for the welcome drinks, served with eight different canapes ranging from tempura sprouting broccoli with a soy & coriander dip to scallops with chorizo and crème fraiche. For the wedding breakfast, we gave our guests a choice of starter, main and dessert – we had sticky toffee pudding and New York cheesecake for guests to choose and between, a traditional British or American dessert!
We had so many compliments about the food at our wedding, and it’s still something people remember to this day.
We kicked off the evening with our first dance to the song, "Hey Pretty Girl" by Kip Moore. It’s an American Country song that we both love and means a lot is personal to us. The idea of just the two of us dancing in front of more than 70 people was a little daunting, but those few minutes flew by. When we think back to that moment, we remember the big smiles on our faces surrounded by our loved ones.
Being fortunate to have sunshine all day meant we not only had the dance floor going all night, but also made full use of the courtyard for guests who wanted to take a quick break from showing off their moves. We had a fire pit and Adirondack chairs with blankets which together with the fairy lights made for a cosy atmosphere. Towards the end of the night we gathered for a sparkler send-off (it’s somewhat scary being in a big white dress surrounded by your loved ones pointing burning sticks at you, but definitely worth it!) and ended the night on the dance floor with all our guests gathered round in a circle with us in the middle. It was the perfect end to our day… eight hours after we kicked off the ceremony almost everyone was still standing!
We used David Boynton Wedding Photography for both photography and videography. Dave and I went to the same school growing up and I’d followed his wedding photography since he started, so we were familiar with his style and above all trusted him to be there for us throughout the procession time and deliver incredible photographs.
We saw some of the images on the day and got the full album around a month later. Perfect is an understatement. They are perfect to us; we have a wide range of formal, causal and action shots that capture everything we experienced on the day. One of our favourites is of the two of us underneath a huge blossoming tree at the back of the Estates (Dave grabbed us and said, “guys, I’ve found a great tree we can use as a backdrop” - we were a bit sceptical given there are hundreds of trees around, but he really did find something spectacular!) as well as the shots of us in the wheat fields at sunset without a single cloud in the sky. We also had photos of us getting ready earlier in the day. When we first visited the barns and saw the cottages, we thought it would be fun to have a photo taken of the two cottages with us standing in our respective doorways without us seeing each other (sort of a first look but without the look!) We had no idea what it would look like until we saw the photograph; Drew was already suited and booted, whilst I was still in my PJs!
TAKE MY ADVICE...
When you start planning your wedding, do the things YOU care most about, don’t just follow a trend or tradition! For us, this translated to learning how to create the perfect wax seal with our custom stamp for our wedding invitations, moving the legal ceremony to the day before in favour of having a personalised ceremony led by friends and family, and other decisions we took that made the day special to us.
If we could give a single piece of advice, it would be this: during the evening, while everyone is dancing, chatting and having fun, grab your wife/husband and take five minutes together to take everything in. We took a walk around the barns, just the two of us. Just as everyone tells you, the day really does fly by and so by spending a short time alone with each other, we made perfect memories of our incredible, special day.