David’s proposal to girlfriend Sian wasn’t taken as seriously as he had hoped. After going out together for dinner one Friday night, Dave got down on one knee and proposed to Sian, using her grandmother’s ring. “I was so shocked, I thought he was drunk! I told him to ask me in the morning when he was sober – but he wasn’t actually drunk anyway. He called my dad the following morning and I said yes,” smiles Sian.
With the proposal finally official, the couple began planning the details of their day. David bought Sian a wedding planning book, which helped her to begin thinking about the finer elements of their celebration and then the couple began their hunt for a venue. “David is one of 11, so we had to find a venue that could accommodate all his family,” explains Sian. They planned on inviting 150 for the day celebrations and more for the evening, so finding a venue to accommodate their needs proved to be very difficult. “We used the internet to source our venue and visited just a few,” says Sian. “When we walked into Rivervale Barn, we both fell in love with it. The high ceilings were lovely and Dave loved that it had a place we could stay in overnight, just for the two of us. I also loved the gardens and having a nosey around the kitchens. It really did tick all the boxes,” she adds.
Beating the budget
Once the couple had confirmed their booking with Rivervale Barn, it was time to start the saving. Sian’s parents kindly paid for the main elements of the wedding, which meant that the couple could concentrate in saving for their ultimate honeymoon, cruising the Mediterranean. “We obviously spent the most on the venue, but we tried to make savings elsewhere. Our favours – cute bags of sweets - were really cheap. Doing them ourselves worked out a lot cheaper than buying them online,” explains Sian.
With their budget and wedding venue sorted, Sian and David were free to start getting creative, planning the wedding of their dreams. “I was addicted to Wedding Ideas and Perfect Wedding magazine. I got so much of my inspiration from them both. I also made a scrapbook filled with all my favourite wedding flower ideas,” says Sian.
It wasn’t long before the couple’s bespoke vintage theme came together – featuring vintage touches as well as things they loved. The majority of the décor was themed around birdcages and birds and the overall colour scheme was purple. The pair also chose to theme their tables with the names of Italian cities, such as Roma and Firenze, to reflect David’s Italian heritage.
Sian and David were keen to remember those who had sadly passed away and were unable to make the occasion. They bought a tree to hang pictures of their nearest and dearest that couldn’t be there and decorated the rest of the tree with birds. The couple also wanted to make sure their littlest guests remained occupied during the wedding breakfast, so they provided colouring books, loom bands and sweets for each of them.
Keeping in mind their vintage theme, the couple opted for a cupcake wedding cake, with each miniature cake wrapped in vintage paper. The flavours featured throughout the cupcake tower included lemon, red velvet and raspberry cream.
Pearls and petticoats
Despite vintage featuring heavily throughout the couple’s décor, Sian had a completely open mind when it came to her wedding dress. “After trying on a few gowns I decided I liked the A-line shape and purchased an ivory gown in this style from David’s Bridal,” explains Sian. Her dress was detailed with silver beading and had pearls adorning the sweetheart neckline. “When I put it on, me and my mum cried and I didn’t want to take it off,” smiles Sian. She finished off her look with a fingertip veil, tiara and pearl and diamond jewellery given to her by her parents and soon-to-be husband.
With the help of Sian’s dad, David too found the perfect wedding attire. He opted for a grey suit with dark striped trousers, a waistcoat detailed with Cadbury purple and a purple cravat. Sian’s bridesmaid and three flowergirls reflected the purple theme with dresses featuring this colour too.
The couple’s august wedding began with a civil ceremony in Rivervale Barn. They decided to incorporate a few special readings and songs into their ceremony to make sure it remained personal to the two of them. “I walked down the aisle to One Day Like This by Elbow as it always made me smile. For signing the register we had At Last by Etta James and Feeling Good by Muse, picked by my husband. He thought they reflected what our parents would be thinking and feeling! And we exited as husband and wife to All The Time in the World by Louis Armstrong. We are both huge Bond fans and it was the song used when Bond got married,” explains Sian.
Sian and David’s reception was all about good food. They kick started their celebrations in foodie’s paradise with canapés including mini fish and chips, risotto balls, pork belly and mini shepherd’s pie. Their three-course wedding breakfast included a lamb main and cheesecake dessert – Sian’s favourite course. “The whole day from start to finish was brilliant, but if we could do it all again we’d stop fretting about making other people happy and concentrate on what was important to us,” smiles Sian.
Sian’s top tips:
- Shop around and go to the wedding fairs, you can pick up some good bargains there.
- Set your budget straight away and keep on top of it during the planning process.
- Don’t worry about the little things such as table plans and décor. People will be enjoying their food so much they won’t even notice!
Images © Senior Mac Photography
To find out more about weddings at Rivervale Barn, contact the wedding team on 01252 413232.