Jane & James’ English Garden Party
Back in 2012, I predicted outdoor weddings would start to make an entrance in UK weddings and I’m so pleased to see more and more couples embracing this beautiful trend. There might be some silly rules about marrying inside but, as today’s couple shows, there are plenty of ways to get round that. I’ve noticed more and more outdoor wedding ceremonies on b.loved, especially in the past few months, so you can find lots of outdoor wedding inspiration here!
Today’s couple, Jane and James, embraced the opportunity say their vows in the meadows of Chaucher Barn last summer. The surrounding countryside provided it’s own decoration for their relaxed garden party-style wedding. The gorgeous bride wore a beautiful crocheted Kelsy Genna dress and carried a simple bouquet of gypsophila, creating an effortlessly stylish bridal look. Their use of pretty rustic details kept the day fresh & modern, with photographer Katherine Ashdown capturing every beautiful moment. With the addition of a mustard yellow VW Campervan their couple shoot has a distinctly Seventies-boho vibe.
The proposal was on Christmas morning last year. We had a busy day ahead of us, visiting lots of friends and family before hosting Christmas dinner at our house. With lots to do, we quickly opened presents from each other before we left. When we’d opened all the presents under the tree, James announced he’d forgotten to bring one in from the wardrobe. Shouting from the bedroom he said that as it was so big, he hadn’t wrapped it so I was to close my eyes. Only at this point did I think ‘maybe?’… Then when he asked me to open them, there he was, crouched by my side with a beautiful emerald ring. I can honestly say this was the biggest surprise of my life. Normally incapable of keeping a secret he had a worryingly good poker face in the run up to the proposal that I didn’t suspect a thing!
I found my dress on Etsy, very early on in my search. The dress was made by a young New Zealand designer, Kelsey Genna. I knew I wanted lace, and once I saw this dress, nothing ever compared. Although I had initial apprehensions about the dress being made on the other side of the world, Kelsey took comprehensive measurements sure enough delivered my perfect dress. I had two gorgeous little flower girls (my cousin’s daughters) who chose their own floral dresses with bees and ladybirds. The cream lace in their hair matched that around my bouquet and the wedding cake. I was never one for everything matching perfectly. We wanted an informal day where everyone felt completely relaxed. Aged only 2 and 3, the girls did a fabulous job throwing their dried rose petals down the aisle of the wild flower meadow at the barn.
We got married at the beautiful Chaucer Barn in Norfolk. Although we live in Manchester, my family and I have always taken holidays on the North Norfolk coast (and in our 8 year relationship James and I have made several trips) so this place had real meaning for us. Chaucer Barn and the staff were fantastic at providing a stunning venue, yet a blank canvas to create a wedding that was truly personal to us.
Etsy, Folksy and Pinterest were my main sources of inspiration. I wanted to make sure there was a coherence to the style of the wedding, but nothing too twee or over-thought. We were so lucky to have so many friends and family eager to help too. ‘National Trust’ green (sage green) was the colour used for our invitations and order of the day, however there wasn’t a strict colour scheme. ‘Florals’ were the theme really, to tie in with the outdoor setting, so the flower girls’ dresses, bunting and table cloths were chosen with this in mind. We played to the strengths of our friends and family. My mum made and decorated our beautiful cake and made the bunting for the marquee, whole my dad created the wooden table name plaques. We tried to keep everything as simple as possible, not only for aesthetics but to keep stress to a minimum, so I picked purely white Gypsophila for all our flowers!
As our wedding ceremony was outdoors, we were required to have a ‘dual-ceremony’. The official ceremony with our parents and witnesses followed directly after, inside the barn. Once we had signed the register, we walked down to meet all our guests who were waiting by the VW camper van for our big group shot. This was our favourite moment.
We had Longing to Belong by Eddie Vedder (lead singer of Pearl Jam, one of James’ favourite bands) immediately followed by an upbeat number – Paramore’s ‘Still Into You.’
I’d say do as much as you can yourself, making it as personal to you as possible. It was the little personal touches that the guests commented on and appreciated. We had a barn dance that went down a storm. It was great fun for all ages and got everyone involved.