Matt proposed to girlfriend Julia on Holcombe Bay in Norfolk, during a surprise weekend away. “We were walking along the deserted beach in the sunshine with nothing but blue sky all around. I was a little way ahead of him, jumping puddles, and when I turned around he was down on one knee asking me to marry him,” smiles Julia. The couple celebrated in true coastal style by drawing their names and hearts in the sand before finding a gorgeous hotel to enjoy a champagne dinner in at sunset.
The wedding planner
Like most brides, getting organised with her own little wedding notebook was first on Julia’s ‘to do’ list. By using magazines like Brides and Perfect Wedding, along with top online blogs, Julia was able to fill her notebook with all her favourite wedding ideas before pinning her top ideas on Pinterest. With a dream of a barn wedding, it wasn’t long before the couple’s perfect theme came together, combining country and vintage. “We found our ideal venue, Bury Court Barn, online through the Country House Wedding Venues website. Despite visiting on a rainy dull day in June, we were so taken in by the warmth and spirit of the venue that we knew it would be perfect,” smiles Julia.
Julia and Matt bought their venue to life with their vintage country theme, combining teacups, birdcages and rustic jam jars with natural materials like wood, lace and hessian. “We had pom poms hanging from the beams inside the barn and a milkchurn filled with flowers next to the table plan. We also opted for low table arrangements for a relaxed feel,” explains Julia. “We even managed to save money on our flowers by using the bridesmaids bouquets as part of the table styling!” The couple’s styling concepts were brought together by stylist and florist Hanna Paine, whom they shared ideas with via their Pinterest boards.
To match her vintage inspired theme, Julia chose a full length lace dress with a sweetheart neckline, from British wedding dress designer Chanticleer. “It had beautiful details like satin covered buttons down the back and a beautiful satin bow,” smiles Julia. “It made me feel and look a million dollars, but I only actually found it three weeks before my wedding day, it was actually my third dress!” she laughs. She accessorised with a gold hair piece, worn to the side of her head, and pearl jewellery. Her five bridesmaids all wore baby pink skater style dresses from Karen Millen, matching Julia’s baby pink LK Bennett shoes. “The skater style dress was perfect as one of my sister’s had had a baby three weeks before the wedding while two of my other friends were pregnant – but you couldn’t tell at all,” says Julia.
A scrumptious feast
Julia and Matt tied the knot on 27th September with a religious ceremony at a nearby church, before celebrating their reception at Bury Court Barn. The couple began their first few moments as newlyweds with a drink in the splendid garden, enjoying Crement, lemonade and gin cocktails with friends and family. “We also had six different canapés including mini beef Yorkshire puddings, chilli prawns and vegetable tempura. All were delicious and so beautifully presented on black slates,” explains Julia. The wedding breakfast that followed was equally tempting and included a shepherd’s pie main and choice of puddings – from lemon tart to chocolate mousse. A ploughman’s buffet and wedding cake was also served into the night. “Our biggest splurge was definitely on the venue and the food but it was worth every penny!” says Julia.
Of course, good photography and entertainment were also high on Julia and Matt’s wedding list. For their entertainment, they hired DJ Sliding Vinyl, who got the dance floor going with the couple’s first dance to You Are the Sunshine of My Life, by Stevie Wonder. “We decided to choreograph a two minute dance to the song too, which we enjoyed learning!” smiles Julia. When it came to their photos the couple knew they were in good hands with Sarah Legge. Having shot Julia’s sisters wedding three years ago, Julia and Matt had seen Sarah’s work go from strength to strength and knew she’d be the perfect photographer for their big-day. “Sarah has such a focused, warm and friendly approach and put everyone at ease. Of course, this resulted in picture perfect photos throughout the day,” says Julia.
Julia’s top tips:
- Enjoy the process and don’t get caught up in the stress of it all. Every few months take a step back and look at where you are in the planning process, knowing that you’ll never have this much fun again!
- Consider a videographer. We didn’t have one but it’s one thing we wish we’d sorted for our day
- Make use of the talents of your family and friends
If you’re looking for a barn wedding venue in Hampshire, why not give the wedding team at Bury Court Barn a call on 01420 550499.
Images © Sarah Legge Photography