Fiona and Josh were looking for the perfect venue that looked great, but that they could also put their own stamp on. They found just what they were after in Dodford Manor, an incredible barn wedding venue in Northamptonshire.
"Dodford Manor is a wonderful blank canvas that we could add lots of detail to, although we picked the venue because we liked the way it looked when it wasn't dressed," explains Fiona. "The chairs didn't need covers and the beams looked great with and without decoration."
To make this delightful venue their own, the happy couple added plenty of DIY decorations that they had collected since their engagement, 18 months earlier.
"We had buckets of gypsophila along the aisle and candles and flowers on the ceremony table in the barn where we got married," explains Fiona. "I bought the tin buckets and some candle holders from Ikea and all of the vases we used were from Tesco and were made from recycled glass. We bought some plain bunting online and added lots of table decorations that we picked up from wedding fairs. My mum and dad sat and made all of the favour boxes up and filled them with lots of little trinkets from a shop called Happily Ever after – I could've easily bought the entire shop!
A Unique Theme
Fiona and Josh were keen to make their wedding like no other, so a theme with a difference was the perfect choice.
"Our names together are ‘Fosh' and we have always had a joke about how we are ‘Team Fosh' throughout our relationship," smiles Fiona. Josh even had ‘Team Fosh' engraved on the inside of my engagement ring so from then we made sure that it played a part in our day. My brother is a graphic designer and added it to all of our wedding stationery. He also kindly made us a stencil so we could add it to some of our wedding decorations.
An Elusive Wedding Dress
Finding the perfect wedding dress is not always straight forward, and sometimes no matter how much you plan, the search can prove a hard and stressful one!
"It was a nightmare," says Fiona. "I did the usual Pinterest board of dresses and was quite particular with what I wanted. I think I went to 8 different shops and even convinced Josh to drive me to Wimbledon (not close by as we live near Bedford) to try on a dress that is only stocked in one store. I didn't even buy it in the end! Eventually, I found and fell in love with a Belle & Bunty gown and then had the task of convincing Josh it was worth the price…"
Fiona combined her stunning dress with a beautiful flower crown and some flat shoes from John Lewis.
"I'm all about feeling comfortable. My dress wasn't restricting and was made of silk so you can imagine how comfy I was on the day!"
Josh had a similar struggle finding the right look for him and his groomsmen.
"After months of trawling the internet for the look I wanted, it was relatively easy and cost effective to sort," explains Josh. "We wanted to go for a mismatched jacket and trouser combination but we had six gentlemen who all needed different sizes. We found that Next actually had an extensive range, and could order different sizes if we needed them. The only issue we had was with my waistcoat. It was out of stock everywhere except for the Sheffield shop, 120 miles away. In a spell of desperation, I ended up paying someone I'd never met to go into the store and post it to me!
The Perfect Day
Fiona and Josh tied the knot in the breathtaking Mortain Barn, which provides an incredible authentic setting with a contemporary twist. After soaking up their surroundings with the guests in the exquisite grounds, they took to the light-filled Oak Barn for an unforgettable wedding breakfast.
For Fiona, her favourite part of her day will stay in her thoughts forever.
"My best memory was seeing Josh as I walked up the aisle," smiles Fiona. "It still gets me! I didn't notice anyone else in the room and thought I would be terrified to actually walk."
"If I could provide future brides and grooms with any advice it would be to enjoy the buildup. I stressed myself out so much which in hindsight was so unnecessary. If you have everything in place the day will run smoothly and if you have issues or worries, talk to your suppliers! They have done hundreds of weddings and are used to being asked the same questions."
Images © Liam Smith Photography
To find out more about this incredible wedding venue in Northamptonshire, visit the page.