Michelle was whisked away by boyfriend, Adam, to Rome, for Valentine’s Day in 2013. Little did she know he had planned the perfect proposal over dinner whilst they enjoyed an evening in one of the most romantic cities.
Finding the one
When the couple arrived home, they set upon finding the perfect venue to celebrate their nuptials. “A good venue was one of our wedding “must-haves”. We wanted somewhere that was light and airy and offered us exclusive use. The food was also really important – we’re big foodies!” laughs Michelle. After scouring the internet and wedding magazines for what seemed like ages, the couple finally found a venue which sparked their interest. “We came across Bassmead Manor Barns which was just an illustration at the time - as it was still being developed. We went to visit it on the same day. When we arrived, it was just a large patch of mud with some run down barns - but there was a very lovely Rickety Barn set up for weddings. The owner, Richard, was so enthusiastic, and I completely trusted that the venue would be amazing when it was finished,” says Michelle. Luckily, on the venue’s open day a few months later, the final result exceeded Michelle and Adam’s expectations. “It was more than we could have imagined. We were so pleased with the end result and couldn't have asked for a better setting for our wedding,” she adds.
Creating their perfect day
With the venue sorted, the next thing on the Michelle and Adam’s list was sourcing fabulous wedding suppliers. The couple found the majority of suppliers through friends, from their wedding photography, right through to their cake maker. They also used the web to find a guitarist to play during their ceremony and a wedding band for evening entertainment. For her dress, Michelle went to local bridal boutique Maison De La Bride, in Peterborough. She tried on just three dresses in total and ended up choosing something very different to what she’d imagined. “I thought I would have a very simple straight down wedding dress with no train and no veil. I ended up with a long train and the longest veil possible,” laughs Michelle. The groom and groomsmen ditched the tradition for tails and opted for a smart, modern, skinny style of suit from Topman.
An eye for style
On the day itself, Michelle and Adam took advantage of the neutral palette and natural style of Bassmead Manor Barns. “The venue is so beautiful it didn’t really need a lot of decoration,” explained Michelle. The couple opted for simplistic styling that complemented the barns perfectly. In the Rickety Barn they added two bay trees to either side of the registrars table. They also used ivory chair covers and ivory organza ribbon to add that special wedding touch to the guests’ chairs. Pale pink and white flowers were added to all the tables in the Dining Barn to complement the look of the barn and the countryside location of the venue. Michelle’s dad walked her down the aisle whilst their guitarist played Chasing Cars, by Snow Patrol. “Our guitarist made our ceremony even more special. He played Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight, and The Beatles Michelle by Belle, as we signed the register. As we exited the barn as newlyweds, he played Jason Mraz, I’m Yours,” says Michelle.
A feast fit for a king
After the ceremony, the couple celebrated with friends and family over a drinks reception with delicious canapés. They included crispy risotto balls, curried lamb with mint and yogurt dip, king prawn and vegetable tempura, deep fried crispy pork belly, and mini fish and chips… to name just a few! The fabulous food didn’t stop there. For their wedding breakfast they chose Galloping Gourmet’s Premier Menu. Guests started their fine dining with a smoked bacon Scotch egg accompanied by apple puree and crisp pancetta. The main was scotch blade and fillet beef, with dauphinoise potato, butternut squash puree and crisp horseradish. To finish, the wedding party indulged in a trio of desserts - classic Eton mess, seasonal crème brulee and a scone with strawberries. For those who still had room, there was also a cheese board served up after the wedding breakfast, featuring three local cheeses with chutney and biscuits. Tea and Coffee was also served with chocolate petit fours. “It was simply the best food we’ve ever had!” says Michelle.
Once the wedding party had allowed some time to digest their food, the evening do kicked off, starting with the first dance. “We choose Billy Joel’s Always a Woman to Me, for our first dance. The band we hired learnt the song especially for us. It was brilliant – my favourite part of the day!” says Michelle. With sets from the wedding band, The Charming Skulls, throughout the evening along with DJ sets in between, the couple and their guests had no excuses but to dance the night away.
Michelle’s top tips:
- Don’t panic! Venue managers are there to help you. Rebecca, our venue manager at Bassmead Manor Barns, was always at hand to help us on the run up to our wedding - as well as on the day.
- Do what you want to do. It’s your special day - so stop worrying about everyone else.
- Calm your nerves. We were both so relaxed on the run up to the wedding, and on the day itself I was very calm until about 30 seconds before walking down the aisle. Remember the room is full of friends and family, so relax and smile!
Images courtesy Jade Sayers Photography
If you’d like to find out more about holding your wedding at Bassmead Manor Barns, give the friendly wedding office a call on 01234 860006.