real wedding: shakespeare-inspired barn wedding {jo & shaun}

Hello b.loved’s!  It feels like a long week this week doesn’t it? Perhaps another beautiful real wedding might just be the thing to shake of the January blues?  Jo & Shaun’s day is filled with Shakespearean references, vintage-chic details and homemade charm.  I especially love the clever table plan and Romeo and Juliet place settings for the bride and groom!  With literary touches throughout their day, including old books on the tables and a typewriter guest book, the details are all the perfect representation of bride Jo’s background in the theatre.  Their outdoor ceremony has a real touch of Midsummer Night’s Dream to it, Jo’s simple and elegant silk dress, relaxed and slightly forest-nymph hair, the back detail adding a sense of theatre and the red dresses and waistcoats of the bridesmaids and groomsmen theatrically set off against tumbling green vines.

The beautiful images today come from Norfolk-based photographer Karen of Fuller Photography.

Jo tells us more ~

Shaun and I met in 2003 whilst working together in a store called Just Add Water.  There was an instant attraction between us but it took Shaun over a year to pluck up the courage to ask me out.  Since then we have not looked back.   We are completely inseparable and the best of friends.  7 years after our first date, whilst on holiday in Greece, Shaun finally popped the question I had waited so long to hear.  Shaun had planned to propose that evening at sunset in the town’s Amphitheatre.  Sadly though we had arrived to the worst weather on record!  Soaked through but laughing we dived into a lovely little taverna for shelter.  When Shaun got down on one knee I couldn’t have cared less about the weather, and of course I said yes!

My background is in acting and I have a great love for performing in period plays as the dresses are so fabulous.  When Paula from Camilla Brides pulled out a beautiful silk 1920’s style dress I couldn’t believe my luck.  I knew instantly it was the dress for me.  I had great fun searching for the perfect accessories and found a vintage dress clip to go with it, a beautiful hand-made hair slide and a gorgeous hand-made cuff.  I had my heart set on Shaun and the groomsmen wearing brown herringbone suits without the jackets.  I wanted a laid back casual feel as Shaun is not often in a suit and I wanted him to feel relaxed on the day.  I stumbled across the bridesmaids’ dresses whilst out shopping one day and had to have them. They were 50’s style vintage prom dresses in deep burgundy red which matched the colour of the silk on the back of the men’s waistcoats perfectly.  They were great dresses for dancing in and the girls all looked fabulous.


If I had to describe our wedding theme I guess it would be vintage-chic inspired but it was all very much homemade and reflected us as a couple.  You could say I’m a bit of an organised person so I was completely in my element planning the day.  My inspiration came from my theatrical background and I picked up ideas and images from the internet.  There were plenty of personal creative touches, some included a Polaroid photo booth, a typewriter for personal messages, a small vintage case full of confetti cones, beautiful hanging jars full of flowers, homemade jam and a scavenger hunt.  I also created a table plan with a difference.  Our guests were given a character from a Shakespeare play and had to find their place by linking their character to the play script on the table.

There were so many favourite parts of the day, but one moment I shall never forget was when I couldn’t get the ring on Shaun’s finger.  It was the hottest Saturday in September and his finger had swelled in the heat.  When I finally got it on his finger I threw my head back and laughed saying “well that’s not ever coming off again”.

What was your first dance, and how did you choose the song?

Our first dance was to Jack Johnson’s ‘Better Together’.   We’ve never really had ‘A Song’ but this one reminded us both of the early days of our relationship.  The words were meaningful to us and Jack is also one of Shaun’s favourite artists.  However, our last dance of the night turned out to be the biggest highlight of the day.  Our DJ played ‘Sing Sing Sing’ by Benny Goodmen (a fabulous swing dance tune) which is one of the longest songs ever.  As we started dancing our guests drifted to the sides and started clapping.  With the encouragement of our guests we both rose to the challenge and kicked up our heels and made it to the end of the song.  I haven’t laughed so much in years.  It was the perfect finish to the most perfect day.

Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding?

Enjoy your engagement period and give yourself plenty of time to plan your big day.  Remember it’s your day, there are no rules for what you should and shouldn’t do so just be true to yourselves and get creative.  Everyone says it, but the day really does go by in a flash so just try and relax and enjoy every minute of it.



Photographer: Karen Fuller // Dress: Justin Jennings Design by Camilla Brides  // Shoes: Next // Vintage Cuff: Jo’s Little Bridal Shop // Bridesmaids dresses: House of Fraser // Stationery: Handmade by Bride // Venue, Catering & Formal Flowers: Dairy Barns // Other flowers: DIY // Hair: Bex Rivett  //Makeup: Paula Daynes //  Cake: Homemade // Magician: Bob Percy // Ceremony Music: Chris Warner // Drinks Reception Music: Rebecca Warner // Evening Reception Music: DJ Earl Harlem


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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