Shustoke Barn Wedding at Christmas | Emma and Neil

Shustoke Barn Wedding at Christmas | Emma and Neil

Emma and Neil’s 20s inspired Shustoke Barn wedding

What was it like to work with me as your Shustoke Barn wedding photographer?

Working with you was like working with a friend! You are so easy to get along with and we didn’t feel like we were being staged into uncomfortable poses. Both our parents have said how lovely you are too.

Bride and groom in wedding ceremony

How did you get started planning your Shustoke Barn wedding?

I wanted something unusual. I knew I wanted to get married as close to Christmas as possible because I wanted a big party and everyone to be in the festive mood. Our parents had a traditional approach to a wedding so a themed wedding took some convincing on both parts.

How did you bring your individual personalities to your wedding?

I love old vintage glamour and I love Christmas!! It just felt perfect to mix the two together. Neil just let me get on with it.

I also knew that I wanted to choose our wedding rings from the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, I’m proud to have something from a place with so much history and that is so close to home!

It was lovely walking around all the shops and knowing that it was all made in my home city, my wedding ring is so unique and individual you wouldn’t find it anywhere else.

Informal group shot of bridal party at Shustoke Barn wedding

Why did you choose to get married at Shustoke Barn?

We chose Shustoke Barn as we wanted a venue that was relatively close to home because we had decided to make the wedding an adult only occasion.
Shustoke Barn is a really pretty venue, with high ceilings and a beautiful courtyard.

As it’s a smaller venue it was easier to visualise how things could come together instead of worrying about how to decorate multiple rooms in a larger venue.

Ceremony backdrop with copper and foliage Shustoke Barn wedding

What did you both wear?

My dress was designed by Eliza Jane Howell. I’m like a magpie for shiny things and when I tried on the sample dress I knew it was the one I loved the beaded tassels, the sleeves and all the embellishments! I knew I didn’t want to wear white as it’s not a colour I can pass off easily.
Neil wore a suit from Slaters Menswear with claret colourings to match the bridesmaids.

How did you style and theme your Shustoke Barn wedding?

We had a 1920’s themed wedding. We wanted everybody to dress up in 1920’s attire. Some people were a little apprehensive about this probably because they thought I was having them on!

I left the decor upto the lovely Katie from The Vintage House That Could and she did a fabulous job, with lots of lovely greenery and copper based accents.

The cake was made by Catherine Thomas and it looked amazing. It was a three tier cake, the first two tiers had a portrait frame on with a stag on the top. Quite close to the time I panic emailed Catherine and asked for gold sequins for the bottom tier which really finished the design off. She also made some exceptionally tasty cutting cake for our vegan guests.

Robert from the Secret Garden did our flowers and also a large wreath for the balcony they looked stunning in beautiful winters reds and purples.

The food provided by the barn was amazing, our guests are still talking about it weeks after, and have all said it was the best wedding meal they’d ever had.

Wedding guest dressed in 20s outfit Shustoke Barn wedding

How did you make your Shustoke Barn wedding ceremony your own?

Our ceremony was originally meant to be at my childhood Catholic Church, but due to renovations, we decided to just have the ceremony at the barn. Also the wedding can be unpredictable in December so it made sense to keep everyone under one roof. Although we’d invited a lot of guests to the day it felt informal but in a warm cosy environment.

I walked (skipped) down the aisle to a string quartet version of The Pogues Fairytale of New York. It was a Christmas wedding and we did get engaged in New York so it felt like the perfect choice.

Our first reading was read by Simon, a friend from work that consistently joked that he wanted to do a reading at the ceremony, I called his bluff and we are both too stubborn to back down. His reading was about celebration and being merry.

Our second reading (and my favourite reading) was read by my bridesmaid Kate. I’d sent her a list of approved readings from the registrar. After reading a few to her husband who wasn’t keen on any of them, she suggested reading the lyrics of a song which relates to mine and Neil’s more individual sides. I asked her to read Huey Lewis’s the Power of Love. Seeing the guests looking around and realising it was a song from the 80’s was brilliant. I couldn’t hold it together and started laughing by the second verse, however Kate held it together perfectly and absolutely nailed it!

The last reading was read by Neil and was taken from the film the wedding singer – I wanna grow old with you. The words ring a little too true!

Bride and dad arriving at Shustoke Barn

What was your plan for the reception and party?

Neil and I have been together for 14 years and he finally sorted himself out and proposed to me. We both decided to just have a massive party to celebrate.

Neil didn’t have many planning responsibilities. I think the only thing we planned together was the venue and the DJ, so everything was a surprise to him. He didn’t know what was going to happen next!

My favourite bit was the singing waiters. They were disguised with the Barns staff and really kicked the party off! Everyone got up to sing and dance and it was a massive surprise to everyone! Even my mom who knew was shocked when the waiter fell over as part of the act!

How did you choose your first dance song?

Choosing a first dance song was probably the most difficult decision out of the whole process. We both have different tastes in music and there were so many options.

I eventually put 10 songs into a container and asked Neil to pick them out. Neil didn’t like the song that he picked out so we finally agreed on the Beach Boys Wouldn’t It Be Nice. Totally love the Beach Boys anyway so it was fine by me!

What’s your advice to other couples planning a wedding?

I wouldn’t do anything differently! I loved it from start to finish.

My advice is don’t get too stressed out and do what makes you happy. Limit input from anyone else as it’s your day and you should be able to express yourselves in your own individual style.

bride and groom under lights Shustoke Barn wedding

Shustoke Barn Wedding Suppliers

Shustoke Barn Wedding Photography from Parrot and Pineapple
Brides dress – Eliza Jane Howell from Ivy Tower in Ivory Tower Bridal Couture in Knowle 
Headpiece and feather boa from Donna Crain on Etsy
Bridal Shoes Racheal Simpson shoes (emmerline) 
Florist – The Secret Garden in Lichfield 
Styling and planning – The Vintage House That Could 
Wedding Cake – Catherine Thomas Cakes (website down)
Groom and groomsmen suits from Slaters menswear 
Bridesmaid Dresses Adrianna Papell dresses 
Dj The vintage wedding Dj 
Surprise singers Silver Service wedding singers 
Vintage photo booth
Bridal hair and make up Sarah Russell Hair and Makeup Artist 
Bridesmaid hair and make up Shannon Cannon Makeup artist 

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Kingstanding Farm Wedding | Warwick | Mike and Soph

Kingstanding Farm Wedding | Warwick | Mike and Soph

Mike and Soph’s Kingstanding Farm Wedding in Warwickshire

What was it like to work with me as your Kingstanding Farm Wedding photographer?

Lovely. You made use feel so relaxed. It felt like having a friend there. Not once did we feel awkward or false. We had so many people say to us after that they loved our photographer, and how lovely she was.

Bride and groom laughing Kingstanding-Farm-Wedding-wedding-cermony Bride and groom in front of bell tents Kingstanding-Farm-Wedding

How did you get started planning your Kingstanding Farm Wedding

We both knew we wanted it to be as relaxed as possible. Our favourite seasons are autumn and summer. A summer wedding and hopefully a dry sunny day was our ideal. We started looking on Pinterest and also googled alternative wedding venues. Soph also knew that she desperately wanted to get married in the same registry office her mum and dad did.

Two people bouncing on white bouncy castle

How did you find wedding planning?

It was quite relaxed. Things got a bit more stressful as we got closer to the day. Like trying to make our wedding seating plan! We wanted it to be quirky and our reception was on a farmers field with tipis so we wanted it to fit with that. Soph started the seating plan, using old wooden pegs for names. We started to glue them onto old twine, Soph soon lost her temper and encountered many burns from the glue gun. Mike came to the rescue and carried on though.

We got a little carried away with making things. We spent most nights in the run-up sitting in our kitchen painting and making things.Bride putting on white bridal trainers Groom in tweed waiting for bride Kingstanding-Farm-Wedding

How did you bring your individual personalities and your values into your wedding day?

We wanted a plastic-free wedding as much as possible, so requested paper straws, real plates and cutlery and glasses. We both love random things, Soph adores the muppets and Mike loves nightmare before Christmas so our cake reflected that. With us both being nurses, we follow a comic called Awkward Yeti. It has two characters called Heart and Brain. It basically sums us both up! We love watching movies so decided to theme our tables around our favourite movies.

Which venues did you choose and why?

We decided on the black prince room at Coventry registry office. It’s a 16th-century building in the middle of the town surrounded by 1970s buildings. It’s so mishmashed and we love that. Also Sophs mum and dad got married there.

The reception was at Kingstanding Farm in Beausale. The field there was literally just a field. It hadn’t been trimmed or anything. But once we met with Olly and chatted through what he wanted he was so accommodating that we decided to bite the bullet and book him. Olly delivered everything he promised and everything was amazing.

Bride and groom in front of red car Kingstanding-Farm-Wedding Kingstanding-Farm-Wedding-bride-looking in mirror Bride and groom cutting quirky cake Kingstanding-Farm-WeddingWhat is your advice to other couples getting married?

Decide what you want and stick to your guns. Take people’s advice but remember it’s just advice. If you want something a little different then do it. It’s your day. Also, on your actual day, make sure you get some time to step away from it to enjoy your family and friends having a great time. You did that! You organised it all!!

Kingstanding Farm Wedding Suppliers

Kingstanding Farm wedding photography – Parrot and Pineapple 
Brides dress – Ditsy Rose Bridal Warehouse
Grooms Suit – Marc Darcy
Custom Vans Trainers by SparklemixxBoutique
Florist Annita’s Floral Designs
Ceremony Venue – Coventry Registry Office
Reception Venue – Kingstanding Farm Warwick
Catering Plum Catering
Stationery Prim & Glad
DJ Paul Musgrove
Transport Dapper Stead 
Tents from Enchanted Bell Tents
The Big White Bouncy Castle Company

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Voewood wedding | Norfolk | Jen and Dan

Voewood wedding | Norfolk | Jen and Dan

Jen and Dan’s colourful Voewood wedding in Norfolk

What was it like to work with me as your Voewood wedding photographer?

It was bloody amazing to work with you! You’re funny, care-free and, most importantly, you’re a frigging amazing photographer! We felt so at ease having our pictures taken and, when we went outside to do our couples photographs, it felt as though we were going for a little break and a chat with our friend rather than posing awkwardly for photos! There were no awkward poses to be seen!

From a planning point of view, you were flexible, and, whilst retaining your own inimitable style, adapted yourself to us, and our wedding’s vibe, and listened to our thoughts and suggestions throughout.

Dog at wedding ceremony Voewood wedding

How did you get started planning your Voewood wedding

It basically started on Pinterest – where I think most wedding planning starts these days! Then I found Rock and Roll Bride and the planning started to get more serious! I wanted to get married before I was thirty, so that meant that, between getting engaged and the wedding, we had only 14 months to plan everything. So things got real pretty fast!

Thankfully, both of us were on the same page with the vast majority of things, so there were no awkward questions. One of us would have an idea, we’d sit down and talk about it, and then, for the most part, then integrate some form of it into the wedding.

Voewood wedding father of bride seeing bride for first time

What was it like planning your Voewood wedding?

There were a whole mixture of emotions during planning. The multitude of things you need to remember is quite overwhelming, and Jen would regularly wake up from a stressful dream only to add something else to the already massive ‘To Do’ list!
We also had a conflict of projects because Daniel was writing and designing a book that documented our Mongol Rally adventure and it was especially important that he finished it before the wedding because he wanted to gift it to his best man who completed the rally with him.

Bride and groom having their first dance Voewood wedding

In part, the planning wasn’t as easy as people had told us it would be. People were telling us, “Oh, enjoy the planning process because the day goes by so quickly,” but Jen in particularly felt totally overwhelmed at times – despite being incredibly organised.

Groomotorial note: Jen had all the major stuff planned and organised months in advance, and did an absolutely incredible job. Our planning was complicated slightly by the fact we were essentially hosting 40-ish people at our venue, over the course of a weekend. As such, we had to think a wealth of other things to consider – such as additional catering. Whilst the bulk of the actual wedding day planning was completed relatively early on, we both struggled to achieve a sense of closure on the planning front before the wedding, because of the sheer number of little things we also wanted to plan on the side. We were conscious however that, with these small things, the big day wouldn’t have been affected if we hadn’t had time to complete them. Dog being dressed for wedding Voewood wedding

How did you bring your individual personalities and values to the day?

We wanted a wedding that people would say, “Oh, that’s so you!” and that’s certainly what we achieved! We wanted dinosaurs, so we had dinosaurs. We didn’t want traditional florals, so we didn’t have traditional florals. Our favourite food is pizza so, of course, we had pizza for our meal! The venue itself was super quirky and arty which reflected our personalities anyway so that was a great starting point!

The whole time we were planning our wedding we wanted to incorporate things that we loved without worrying about what others might think of it. It doesn’t matter what someone else thinks about your wedding – you’re not doing it for them – you’re doing it for both of you!

Again – and very thankfully – we were both very much on the same page for most of the planning (although there was a lot of aeroplane stuff that Daniel wanted that somehow mysteriously didn’t make the cut…). We have the same sort of design style, and so we were lucky in that all the ideas we both had were well received by the other.Voewood wedding birde having dress fastened Bride and groom being showered by colourful confetti Voewood wedding

Why did you choose Voewood House for your wedding venue?

We chose Voewood House in Norfolk because it’s bloody beautiful. It’s a Grade 2 listed ‘Arts and Crafts’ house. As soon as we saw it we knew this would be the one! The house is completely unique and was styled by a variety of artists.

We also loved the fact that it was a venue you hired for the whole weekend. Everybody had told us that our wedding day would fly by in the blink of an eye. We really wanted to spend as much time with the people we wanted at our wedding – many of whom we’d not seen in a long time. Hiring a country house meant we had the day before to spend time with our friends and family.Emotional moment between bride and bridesmaid Voewood wedding

What is your advice to other couples getting married?

Ideally we’d have saved up a little more before getting married (because it’s going to cost more than you think!!!). In the year preceding our engagement, we bought our first house, drove from London to Mongolia, and got a puppy. So not only were we rushed off our feet, but our bank balance had already taken a bit of a battering. Having slightly more funds available to us would definitely have eased the stress enormously.

We’d also say that you should only invite people you really, truly want there on your special day. Forget distant cousins that you don’t remember, and people your mum insists you know (but don’t!). Be ruthless with your guest list because it’ll quickly snowball. Focus on spending quality time with the lovely people that make your life what it is!Bride and groom cutting cake Voewood wedding

How did you manage your wedding budget?

Our budget ended up being more than expected but, thankfully, our financial situation was flexible. We were warned not to get ourselves into debt for the sake of our wedding. Careful consideration was given to things we definitely needed, and what things would just be a nice addition.

At the start, we set a rough limit for each of the main things like clothing, rings, venue, food etc. Just so that we did know roughly how much we’d end up spending.

Bride and groom smiling and hugging Voewood wedding

Voewood Wedding Suppliers

Venue – Voewood
Props, bar and event management by Dottie Events and Hire
Bouquets, buttons holes, floral decoration and succulent favours – Romeo & Succulent

Brides dress – The Couture Company 
Cape Veil – Crown and Glory
Bridal high heeled shoes – Vivienne Westwood x Melissa
Bridal rainbow sparkly boots – Dolls KIll

Grooms suit – Tailor Me
Cufflinks – Posh Totty
Grooms shoes – Irregular Choice

Bridesmaid outfits – Curious Coco
Hair and make up – Amanda Steed
Cake – Claire Owen Cakes
Pizza caterers – The Pizza Project
Wedding band – Popmania
Wedding Stationery – Poppet & Moose
Videographer – Papertwin Weddings


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The Bond Company Birmingham Wedding | Rachael and Phil

The Bond Company Birmingham Wedding | Rachael and Phil

Rachael and Phil’s Colourful Wedding at The Bond Company, Digbeth

What was it like to work with Parrot and Pineapple?

Amazing! You made us so comfortable and gave us the exact style of photographs that we wanted. You really showed our day at it’s best.
Communication was great.  You wanted to know so much about us and it was great to meet up before the wedding. And then you were brilliant after, getting a selection to us within a week!

How did you get started with planning your wedding at The Bond Company Birmingham?

We sat down and decided what was important to us and what we could do without. We knew we wanted a venue that suited us as a couple and that we knew photographs would be equally important. Once we found our venue and photographer, we just spent a few months reading magazines, blogs and looking on Pinterest to pad out the ideas we had. The very first thing we did after getting engaged was visit to the Eclectic Wedding fair. That’s how we found both our venue and Rowan at Parrot and Pineapple. We love simplicity!Bride and groom watching wedding brass band The Bond Company Birmingham Wedding

How did you find planning your wedding?

We found it relatively stress-free. It was really fun planning a day just for us. We wanted things that we’d enjoy, and little personal details that would represent us as a couple.

The wedding day and a lot of details (including my dress) was already booked when we found out we were pregnant! We were so happy, and it made our wedding a million times more special because our Ted is so wanted, and we didn’t know if we’d be able to have him. Our wedding photos mean even more to us, because we know Ted’s there hiding under my dress!Bride getting ready at home holding cat The Bond Company Birmingham Wedding

How did you bring your individual personalities and your values into your wedding day?

I think for us, our personalities came through because of the details. Our values hopefully shone through in the ceremony. We believe in love for all, and we wanted to show our love and desire to spend the rest of our lives together. We also don’t take things too seriously, so everything was very low-key and relaxed.

One of my favourite parts of the day was Phil’s speech, or rather letter to me. We wrote letters at the beginning of our relationship so for him to write me another letter rather than do a speech was perfect. It included so many of our inside jokes that probably made no sense to anyone else. It made me completely wet myself laughing. As I was seven months pregnant making me laugh like that was very risky! But I love that he showed how hilarious he is, even if he is only hilarious to me ?


The music was a big thing for us, especially Phil, he spent months tailoring the soundtrack to our wedding. Every song that played throughout the whole day was from mixtapes we’d sent each other over the years. Phil walked down the aisle to the Back to the Future theme, and I walked down to Il Mondo by Jimmy Fontana- a song that Phil always hilariously sings along to. Our first dance was Pencils in the Wind by Flight of the Concords.

We picked our outfits completely independently as well, I didn’t like the idea of going to a wedding dress shop and being told what ‘suited’ me, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted in my head and I can’t believe I actually found it available. Phil didn’t want a traditional wedding suit, so he picked each element from somewhere different over a few months. He wanted purple trousers because he wore purple trousers on our first date.

alternative groom wearing mismatched suit with floral pattern tie and sunflower button hole

Decorating The Bond Company Birmingham with DIY elements and personalised decor

‘Happy Marry!’, a phrase that Phil says to people at weddings was displayed in gold foil balloons at the reception.


We had gold painted cats as our place holders, as well as a photo of our three cats on the top table. We love our cats and it was so brilliant that Rowan was able to take some photos of them with me in the morning. They’ll forever be apart of our wedding day.

gold painted cat with name tag label as DIY wedding decoration at The Bond in Birmingham

I made all of the stationery from our save the dates to the invites and the order of the day envelopes with confetti. I love to make stuff, I have a degree in art and it felt nice to be able to make our day so personal by actually making a lot of the elements.

Handwritten wedding day schedule with gold calligraphy to decorate the paper bag of confetti.

We got all our flowers from supermarkets the day before and I did all the arrangements, that is one of things I’m proudest of as I’d never done it before.. or practised and I think they looked great.





We had a table with photographs of people that we would have loved to have at our wedding but they had sadly died, as my grandparents had only died in the January before the wedding I know my Dad, Auntie, Uncle and cousins liked seeing pictures of them.






Why did you choose The Bond Company Birmingham for your wedding?

We picked it because it suited us! It wasn’t showy or too fancy, and we loved the idea of our wedding being in the middle of industrial Digbeth. The juxtaposition pleased my brain! Also, the whole day could be at the same venue as we utilised the different rooms they have.

What is your advice to other couples getting married?

Our advice would be to have the things you want, that will make you feel special. Don’t feel pressured into have things because they fit the ‘wedding’ tick list (unless that’s the kind of wedding you want of course). One thing we’d do differently is to try not to defend our choices to relatives with ideas of what a wedding should be.

Bride and bridesmaids The Bond Company Birmingham WeddingSuppliers for The Bond Company Birmingham wedding:

Wedding dress: Collectif
Suit: Topman and ASOS
Shoes: Irregular Choice and Dr Martins
Flowers: Lidl, Aldi and Asda
Venue: The Bond Company Birmingham
Cake: Victorious Cakes and Cookies
Bridesmaids dresses: Chi Chi 
Band: Heavy Beat Brass Band

More colourful and laidback weddings like this:

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The Londesborough Pub Wedding | London | Hannah and Phil

The Londesborough Pub Wedding | London | Hannah and Phil

Hannah and Phil’s low key and relaxed Londesborough Pub wedding in London

How did you get started with planning your wedding at The Londesborough Pub?

We didn’t really ‘get engaged’ as such. When Phil and I ‘had the chat’ and agreed to get married, I did a bit of research on pub for a pub wedding and civil ceremony in London. We essentially booked our venues within a week after that. It was all quite easy for us as we weren’t getting married on a Saturday, and the options for the type of wedding we wanted weren’t that massive. I think if you have to go and look round loads of venues, or fix on a Summer date really far in advance it’s probably much more difficult.

When we told everyone we were getting married in the next few weeks their faces were funny when the answer was ‘no no we are not just engaged we are actually getting married on the 30th December in London, it’s booked – expect your invite!’

Bride and groom looking at celebrant at Clissold House wedding ceremony

How did you find planning your wedding? Was it easy? Did anything funny or interesting happen along the way?

It was fine. I did 99% of it, Phil wasn’t so bothered. It’s also easier to organise things if one person has it all in their head. I do a lot of organising stuff at work, so I just made a list and did it in big chunks in the holidays. Using the Londesborough helped because Amber knew everything and was so helpful. I think it must be much more difficult to organise a wedding if you are using multiple venues or more suppliers/caterers. We just cracked on and didn’t hit any barriers or last-minute disasters really.

Brde and groom leaving Clissold house to shower of confetti

How did you bring your individual personalities and your values into your wedding day?

We are both quite low key, so with each decision, we tried to do what was most relaxed and good for our guests! Clothes were a priority so we weren’t that low key with those decisions! We both also really like a good party, so we wanted a band, a free bar and basically a pub lock-in! There were lots of people travelling long distances and from overseas, so we wanted a relaxed day with minimal formal stuff. This meant we could spend as much time as possible chatting to people.

Bride toasting guests during wedding speeches at Londesborough Pub London

Why did you choose Clissold House and The Londesborough Pub for your wedding venues?

We wanted a pub lock-in vibe for our wedding. Something really relaxed and informal, with great food and the opportunity for a party.
Our ceremony was held at Clissold House because Stoke Newington Town Hall wasn’t available on the day we wanted to get married. It was actually amazing! Being in the park for photos was so lovely, as was seeing loads of people going about their day with their kids and stuff. We even got told by some small kids on scooters that we looked like a prince and princess!

Bride and groom walking down London street holding hands

Phil and I went to a talk about the History of Clissold Park in September with Amir Dotan. That guy knows everything about Stokey! This was amazing as it was in the room we got married in. It was so interesting to learn about the 19th-century campaign to keep the house and the park in public hands. We are so glad they did. I’m a History teacher so I loved knowing something meaningful about the building we got married in. I’m not sure the people in the cafe outside appreciated having confetti chucked in their flat whites, but what can you do!

How did you style your wedding?

We went for flowers which were as seasonal as possible. There was vintage pink and dark red roses, lots of winter foliage and cream roses. Fiona Fleur was amazing to deal with and produced beautiful flowers which were entirely in line with what I had imagined.

We didn’t really have a lot of decoration. The Londesborough pub looks pretty amazing when it’s set up for weddings. We had white paper lanterns and jam jar flowers on the tables and big floral arrangement at the front of the pub. One of the students I teach who can do lovely calligraphy wrote out the name cards. Thank you Pico! The table plan was written up onto the board for us by Amber at the Londesborough. I ordered the invites online from Papier. Their service was really efficient. There was lots of choice and they were reasonably priced. Unfortunately, Phil only pointed out to me when he was addressing his that I had spelt the name of the venue wrong….. (note to self, proofread properly). No one else noticed, or at least no one was impolite enough to say.

A dancefloor full of guests at a Londesborough pub wedding

What did you eat at your Londesborough Pub wedding?

The food at The Londesborough was absolutely amazing. Lots of our guests said it was the best wedding food they had ever had. They may have just been being polite. Part of the reason I wanted to get married in a venue which is used to doing food all the time is that so many wedding caterers do food which is not great and very expensive!

We had a Croquembouche from Boulangerie Jade in Blackheath. It was amazing. Phil also wasn’t free on the day I booked to do the tasting, so I got to eat 8 profiteroles, which was ideal. It looked absolutely spectacular and our mums spent ages boxing up the profiteroles so people could take them home.

We also had a four-layer cheese wedding cake from the East London Cheese Board at Froth and Rind in Walthamstow. Fraser was so helpful and we got to try a lot of amazing cheese. We had vegan cheese from La Fauxmagerie in Brick Lane.

Bride and bridesmaid walking down curved staircase at Clissold House

What is your advice to other couples getting married? What would you do differently?

Try to plan it so you can spend time together and enjoy the day. Try to be as relaxed as possible. Our wedding was informal and I think that helped us have a great day. The only time I felt ‘on show’ was at the ceremony. The rest of the day we were just chatting with our friends and family. I might have got married on a different day so we could play loud music until midnight, but we couldn’t do this because of the time of year. Honestly, I think our wedding worked really well for us and our families. That’s all you can ask for!

Wedding guests toasting speeches at Londesborough pub wedding

What was it like to work with me?

Great! Thank you so much for all your help. It really helped that you had done weddings at our venues before, and so you knew exactly how the day would work. It really helped us put together the timings, and think about what was going to happen, where people were going to stand etc. Logistics basically!

Candid shot of bride and bridesmaid chatting to registrar at Clissold house

Londesborough Pub wedding suppliers

Wedding Dress: Lena Medoyeff from Heart A Flutter
Fake Fur Jacket: Liberty in Love 
Headpiece and Earrings: Hermione Harbutt 
Shoes: Rachel Simpson 
Groom’s Suit: Reiss
Bridesmaid dress: Maids to Measure
Flowers: Fiona Fleur
Ceremony Venue: Clissold House
Reception Venue: The Londesborough Pub
Cake: Boulangerie Jade
Cheese: East London Cheese Board
Wedding Band: The Hype 

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The Londesborough Pub Wedding Photos

Want to know more about me? I’m Rowan, AKA Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography

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Bay Tree Hotel Wedding | Oxfordshire | Sara & James

Bay Tree Hotel Wedding | Oxfordshire | Sara & James

How did you start planning your wedding at The Bay Tree Hotel?

We had a rough idea of what we wanted – which was two different weddings. One in the UK, which is where we live, and one in the US, which is where all of my family lives. We started with a budget, deciding how much we could save each month, and worked our way through the planning from there. The venue was the most important to us to find first, as we imagined the rest of planning fell together from there – dress, decor, colour scheme, etc. Plus it was the most expensive so we wanted to find the perfect venue for the best price (and hopefully would give us more wiggle room in the rest of the expenses).

Bride groom groomsmen and bridesmaids pose for group photo in the garden at Bay Tree Hotel Wedding


How did you find planning your Oxfordshire wedding?

I initially thought planning a wedding, let alone two, would be simple – venue, attire, decor, food, done! Turns out it’s not that easy, especially when you are working with a different caterer and venue. Everyone involved have to be aligned down to the minute.

bride and groom laugh at wedding speeches sitting at table
It is also a lot more time consuming that one thinks. For example, we used Paperless Post to send the invitations out via email. The struggle it took to get everyone’s email address was unreal. We planned to send out the invites in January and ended up not getting everyone’s email address until March!

On this same note, another tip would be to not wait until the few days before the wedding to get the little finishing touches done. Several reasons for this. One huge one is that you may have family and friends from out of town coming up a few days before the wedding. I found that I really wanted to cherish this time with them rather than finish up wedding planning, because this would probably be the only time in my life all my favourite people would be together in one place. More importantly, you may have heightened stress the few days before the wedding. If one small, incredibly unimportant thing goes wrong, you will end up in tears, crying to your mother that your future husband doesn’t know the difference between card stock and photo stock.

Why did you choose The Bay Tree Hotel for your wedding?

We chose to get married at The Bay Tree Hotel in Burford, Oxfordshire. The venue is not only absolutely gorgeous, but you get so much for your money. The package included a ceremony, dinner and reception including a DJ, 21 hotel rooms, all in an exclusive-use of the hotel. What really did it for me is when we went to tour the venue before booking it and it was set up for a wedding later that evening. When I walked down the aisle, I immediately got goose bumps and that’s when I knew that I needed to have it!

Bride and groom dance surrounded by wedding guests at The Bay Tree Hotel in Burford Oxfordshire

How did you bring your individual personalities and your values in to your wedding day?

We both agreed that neither of us liked super traditional weddings, and wanted to take the bits and bobs that we would enjoy doing. We wanted to keep it simple, relaxed and fun because that’s the kind of people we would like to see ourselves as. We had hand-made / self-assembled centrepieces, a cosy venue, and loads of games, Polaroid camera’s and props to entertain.

Vicar leads wedding ceremony at The Bay Tree Hotel in Oxfordshire

I am also from the US and my husband is from the UK so we had slightly different wedding traditions that we wanted to incorporate. James’ dad had performed the ceremony for us as he was a priest, the meal was very traditionally English and the speeches were very American. All my bridesmaids had a part in the speeches. My bridesmaids included 3 American friends and my Dutch friend – there was no holding them back. My maid of honour took the lead speech and my sister sang this incredible song she wrote on the ukulele, which had everyone in tears. Needless to say, we really tried to make this day our own instead of making it traditional.

What is your advice to other couples getting married? What would you do differently?

Respect what each other want on your wedding day. Try to incorporate what is important to each of you. Try to make wedding planning fun and don’t do everything by yourself! It’s a good exercise in working together as a married couple. Try to not sweat the small stuff, because you most likely won’t remember those things on your big day.

Bridesmaid drinks shot surrounded by other bridesmaids and bride at Oxfordshire wedding

What was it like to work with me?

It was amazing working with Rowan! From the start, she was incredibly friendly and helpful planning out the day. I received so many tips on how to make sure the day ran smoothly including timings, when to best take the photographs and random things I never would have thought of. On the wedding day, she was super flexible with what we wanted to shoot and I honestly barely noticed her taking pictures during the ceremony and speeches. Last minute, James decided he wanted a picture of all of the wedding guests with us in one shot. Before I could say, ‘James, you’re crazy we’re never going to be able to do that,’ Rowan started gathering everyone to take a picture. It ended up being my favourite picture of the evening! She’s an absolute rock star!

Wedding guests holding shots all reach in to clink glasses

Bay Tree Hotel Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Dress: Wed2Be

Groom Suit: Moss Bros

Bridesmaid Dresses:  Lulus

Venues: The Bay Tree Hotel

Invites: Paperless Post


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