A Summer Barn Wedding
Welcome back to the blog! You're in for a real treat today thanks to Katie & James' Nordic-inspired summer celebration at Hazel Gap Barn, which features a show-stopping Halfpenny London gown, a fabulous flower crown and oodles of ultra-cool details. We'll hand you straight over to our beautiful bride so you can find out more...
ABOUT THE DRESS...
“This was the first and only dress I took a screenshot of on Instagram and sent to my mum and sister. I felt in my gut that this was my dress as soon as I saw it. I wanted something that would stand out and be memorable, something to show my personality and make me feel feminine and sassy at the same time.
“I knew I wanted a very simple fabric. This dress ticked all my boxes: The ruffled hem, the beautiful heavy, luxurious fabric, the strapless style that went with so many different styles of capes, veils, overlay tops etc., and it has pockets!
There was never any doubt that I was going to get my dress from White Closet Studios. My friend was the owner at the time, and she wouldn’t even consider letting me go anywhere else. When you imagine what your wedding dress shopping experience is going to be like, this is it. The studio is absolutely beautiful. I worked with Zoey the new owner during my fittings, and she helped me select a Jesus Peiro belt to wear, before recommending Boutique Alterations in Bramhall, Cheshire to assist in all final alterations.”
ABOUT THE VENUE...
“When looking for a wedding venue the main things we decided on were space, natural light, great food and drink, and no fuss. I managed to come across a website for Hazel Gap. Cripps & Co. had only just purchased it, so it was still derelict and falling apart.
Naturally we booked an appointment to see it the following week! We actually ended up going on my birthday. We turned up to the site – it was muddy, full of bricks and timber, and we stood in what was going to be the courtyard looking at the plans, and photographs of Cripps’ current barns, and we signed up immediately. It was so exciting to watch the venue come to life over the following months. Two traditional red brick farm buildings – the barn itself and the farmhouse – stood either side of a walled farmyard, destined to be a stunning courtyard with water features, seating, trees and planters, sheltered from the wind and perfect for our post-ceremony drinks. We’d purposefully looked for a venue that was beautifully natural – brick, wood and lots of glass for natural light. We were influenced by Nordic styles of greenery, white and candles.
About their decor, “Mainly these were glass vases, large candle holders, and glass and metal test tube style table centrepieces, which were raised on the tables and filled with wild arrangements of blooms. Other than that the tables had some stems of eucalyptus in glass bottles, and candles. There was a high brick wall separating the dining room from the rest of the venue, and we lined this with glass bottles with greenery stems inside.
My mum was our wedding cake supplier! Born of a long line of bakers, there was no chance anyone was baking my cake except my mum. After lots of trials and tasting sessions, she did a three layer cake that included a beautiful carrot cake, a Sicilian lemon drizzle, and finally a St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur cake. It was beautifully decorated in buttercream with fresh flowers grown on a farm in Cornwall that were picked fresh and delivered to Nottingham the day before the wedding. Hazel Gap Barn’s style of feasting really resonated with us. Their motto is, ‘We buy the best, cook it simple and serve it generously.
When we got engaged, this was the only thing I knew for certain; that I wanted to be married in church, and specifically this church. This was my family church growing up. This was my family church growing up. After moving from the Wirral to Calverton, which is a small village in north Nottingham, we started going to St Wilfrid’s Church, and this is where we met many friends who became like family over the years. Growing up, this church was a big part of our life. My dad had been the church warden, my mum, the Sunday school teacher, and we had spent many Saturdays in church where I sang in the choir or played my flute at weddings.
Unfortunately in 2010 we lost my stepfather, and his funeral was held at St Wilfrid’s, along with a police procession, so this bought even more meaning to the church, and in fact on the wedding morning my mum surprised me with baskets full of rose petals that had been fallen from his rose bush in the garden over the last 6 months, which we used as confetti.
Such as asking both sets of parents to stand at the start of our service to promise to support us. I was quite worried about getting through the vows as I am quite emotional at this kind of thing, so the traditional vows felt like not only the safest option, but also simple and lovely.”
ABOUT THE HAIR & MAKE-UP
“Ruby came for a trial and did a full assessment of my skin. Not only was she knowledgeable and skilled in make-up artistry, but she was really experienced in skincare in general, which was really helpful. She listened to my ideas and what I thought I would like, and then used her skills to enhance my face. That simple really – she made me feel the best I have ever felt, yet also just like me!
Sarah was so easy to share my ideas with – she took a lot of emails and photos from me, and turned them into the most gorgeous bridal/bridesmaids hairstyles ever! Everyone looked absolutely incredible – so far beyond what I even imagined. I felt so fabulous all day and I’m so grateful for her, and her talent.
I was lucky enough to have eight incredible women accompany me on my wedding day, and all I wanted was for them to feel amazing. James had six groomsmen, including his best man Jonathan, four oldest friends Jake, Danny, Sam and Lewis, and lastly my brother Matt. Our groomsmen love an excuse to dress up, so all personalised their outfits with pocket watches, etc. They looked wonderful.”
ABOUT THE FLOWERS...
“Louise was recommended to me by a friend who I’ll be eternally grateful to! Louise’s website and Instagram feed are just stunning, as soon as I saw her online, I knew she was for us. We met up in Nottingham for an initial meeting and ended up talking for over an hour! She was totally on board with our idea of incorporating as much natural greenery as possible, and she really helped me to push boundaries when it came to accent flowers within the bouquets and décor.”
About their photographer, “Our photographer Anna was incredible. I had a very definitive idea of what I didn’t want, and I really struggled to find an affordable photographer who worked in the style we loved. I was beginning to panic and then I found Anna. I don’t know where I had been looking but it clearly wasn’t in the right place! Anna booked a video call with James and I to get a good feel for us as a couple – and vice versa.
She listened to what we said we liked and didn’t like, she offered great resources in the build up to the wedding to support us with planning, introduced us to other great vendors if required and generally was a bit of a go-to person for me. Her friendly and calming nature were so so welcome and necessary on the wedding day. She made me (and all of our guests) feel at ease, and the photographs we received back from Anna were perfect.
“We didn’t want to spend our wedding day taking squashed up family photos. We wanted Anna to capture the emotion of the day, the funny conversations, the laughter, the emotion of our family and all of the other great things we experience at weddings. Our photo album is the best ever collection of our loved ones and their experience of our wedding.”
WORDS OF WISDOM...
“There were so many stages to the day: Waking early with my sister and lying in my mum’s bed in anticipation, the bridesmaids all arriving and getting ready together as all the suppliers arrived, the ceremony, the drinks reception, the incredible wedding breakfast, and then a long and brilliant night of celebrating. Even after we left the venue all of our best friends ended up hijacking our car back to the hotel and we sat in the hotel reception drinking G&Ts until the early hours, with me in my wedding dress!
At night, the courtyard became a magical place lit with fairy-lights, flares, fire pits and lanterns, so the evening party could spill outside – it became the focal point for the day and evening where we paraded around with sparklers laughing and soaking up the magic of the day.
Remember why you’re doing this. Your wedding day is about sharing your love with your closest family and friends – let people share in it, they love to feel involved, so give people roles to play where possible as you can’t do everything yourself.”