Luke proposed to Jenny while the couple were on holiday at his childhood home in the Algarve. During a morning stroll across the cliffs, Luke got down on one knee and asked Jenny to marry him. “He pretended to trip over on some loose stones behind me. I turned round wondering how we would get back to the villa if he was injured only to find him on one knee with a box! When we returned to the villa we celebrated with our friends and called our family back home. It was perfect,” smiled Jenny.
Home or away
With family in both the UK and Portugal, the first decision the couple had to make was where to hold their wedding. “We had originally looked at Portugal however I really wanted my granny to be present, therefore we decided on England,” explains Jenny. Once the location had been sorted, Jenny started to collect styling ideas on Pinterest - all of which featured a pretty, rustic look. “The most helpful websites when it came to wedding style were Pinterest and Whimsical Weddings. We made several pinboards ourselves and hired a Sussex-based stylist to bring all our ideas together for our big-day,” explains Jenny. “We decided to hire a stylist because I am a bit of a control freak and I didn’t want to spend the morning of the wedding worrying about setting up.”
With the couple’s dream wedding coming together, they needed to find the perfect rustic barn venue in which to hold their celebrations. “We couldn’t find anything in London that suited us so we took to the Home Counties,” explains Jenny. “When we visited Upwaltham Barns we were utterly blown away by the ambience of the venue. The owners and team were so helpful and I loved the fact that there were two barns; one for the ceremony and the other for the breakfast,” smiles Jenny. Following the venue’s recommendations, the couple also opted for suppliers that were local to the venue, had worked there before and were easily contactable. “It was so gratifying using local companies and we felt we got a really personal, caring service. I would definitely recommend using suppliers who have worked at the venue before.”
Jenny began her hunt for the perfect wedding dress in South West London, but decided to continue the search in the more friendly boutiques in the countryside. “The staff were so much nicer outside of London. They took the time to ask me about the wedding, my style, any body hang-ups and looked at my Pinterest board,” explains Jenny. Upon the advice of the sales staff, Jenny tried on a gorgeous lace Maggie Sottero dress and instantly knew it was ‘the one’. “It fit like a glove and was so comfortable,” smiles Jenny. She finished off her look with simple pearl drop earrings and a vintage veil. Her hairstyle also incorporated some lace from her gown, which really added to the vintage vibe. “A lot of the guests commented on my up-do, so I’d definitely recommend incorporating lace into your hairstyle if you’re going for a vintage look,” says Jenny.
Serenaded by strings
The couple’s ceremony took place in the North Barn. Beautiful music from a string quartet welcomed guests and set the scene during the signing of the register. “The quartet played Canon in D as I entered and later played more modern tracks like A Thousand Years, by Christina Perri,” says Jenny. Despite their November wedding day, Luke and Jenny’s drinks reception still took place in the courtyard thanks to the fabulous weather. Canapés and Prosecco were served to guests as the couple slipped off for their official photographs.
A chic celebration
For the evening entertainment, Luke and Jenny hired a pianist whom they’d discovered at a piano bar in Kensington. “It was one of our biggest splurges but he was sensational. Everyone danced right through to the end of the night. Our guests had also pre-requested songs for him to play which was a great way of building the playlist,” says Jenny. The couple chose to have two dances, a first and a final dance. Tom Odell’s Grow Old With Me opened the night, while Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud closed the couple’s celebrations. “Our final dance was actually our favourite. By midnight, everyone was on the dance floor and it was pitch black by the stage. The whole barn was lit with candles and the atmosphere, together with the song, was very memorable,” smiles Jenny.
Jenny’s top tips:
- Use Pinterest for all your wedding inspiration
- Make sure you include an information sheet with the invites so that all the guests have the information they need prior to the day
- Use a venue that hosts weddings all the time – they’ll always fill you with confidence before the big-day
To find out more about an Upwaltham Barns wedding, give the wedding team a call on 01796 300 252.
Images © Phil Holden Photography