Last month, I had the pleasure of photographing James and Clare’s wedding at Owen House Wedding Barn. Style wise, this wedding was incredible. I was fortunate to be able to work alongside some super talented suppliers, who are also good friends of mine. I’m a HUGE fan of anything floral and this wedding ticked every single box for me. The venue is super cool and proved to be the perfect backdrop for a very relaxed wedding. James and Clare wanted to do things their way, choosing not to have formal speeches, cake cut and first dance – although there was a bit of swaying together on the dance floor in the evening. I think that’s one thing about weddings that I love the most. There are traditions but couples have the freedom to make the day exactly what they want. Here is Clare with some more info on how she planned their wedding.
We found Owen House Wedding Barn on the internet and luckily they had an open day that weekend. From the moment we first arrived we knew it was absolutely perfect for us. The venue is split into a few sections with a beauty barn for the bridal party to get ready in the morning, a smaller barn beautifully lit with walls of fairy lights for the service and the main barn for the wedding breakfast and party.
The location was perfect with loads of little hidden places that made the most perfect backdrop for our photographs. Kris and Vanessa are also absolutely amazing, they were on hand to answer any queries, helped to dress the venue in the morning and made sure the day went smoothly.
The venue also had beautiful guest rooms that allowed our guests the chance to stay over, with the most scrumptious breakfast in the morning.
My engagement ring was made for us by the most amazing Jewellery design James Newman based in the Jewellery quarter in Birmingham. We designed the ring together with James Newman, He sourced the most stunning diamonds and we had a morning deciding on the perfect one for my ring. The ring took several weeks to make but the wait was defiantly worth it.
We both wanted something a little different for our wedding bands so we decided to make them ourselves. A friend recommended Victoria Delany also in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, we picked our materials I went for a rose gold to match my engagement ring and James went for a yellow gold band. She spent the day carefully helping us mould and shape the most perfect rings.
I used a few online wedding tools at first to put together lists of things that I needed to do. But then just replied on my mum to keep me on track and tell me when I needed to organise something.
Stationery & decorations
My bestfriend Michelle helped me design all the stationary from the save the dates, to the invitations and all the bits used on the day. We created loads of designs but went with a floral theme to go with the wild flowers that I was having on the day. Michelle also created seed packs that we used for wedding favours on the day.
My inspiration for the décor was to be in keeping with the barn theme, natural wild flowers with a floral twist. My mum was also a massive help she created me metres of bunting, Fabric floral love hearts that we used to decorate the venue and for the wedding favours. She also made me a best day ever sign which I absolutely love, we hung this just behind the wedding cake,
I always thought I would go for a long sleeve dress but hated everyone that I tried on. I went to a few bridal shops but knew instantly that the Bridal lounge were the ones to help find me my perfect dress, they were so lovely helping me pick out dresses, suggesting different styles and designers. It was actual one picked by the girls that I went with. I knew instantly that it was the dress. I loved the fit and the simple elegant style. The name of the dress was also the same as one of by besties so an extra sign to have it. My veil was my borrowed item from my bridesmaid Michelle
My shoes were Sophia Webster, I went for the Chiara butterfly stilettos. I absolutely fell in love with them. The girls at Sophie Webster Mayfair were amazing, I tried on loads of different style but loved the Chiara’s too much. James treated me to my perfect shoes.
Wedding Party Fashion
I had 1 bridesmaid and 3 flower girls, one of my friends Holly owns a small business that creates the most stunning handmade clothes Holly Nancarrow Clothing. I knew from day one that she would make me the most beautiful bridesmaid dresses and she did. I wanted to keep the flower girls really simple, we went for an ivory satin with a liberty blue floral fabric waistband. I gave my bridesmaid Michelle the freedom to decide on her dress which Holly also made. She picked the style and designed it alongside Holly, changing the colour to a Navy satin but keeping the same band that the flower girls had in the liberty fabric. Michelle had Dune rose gold heels and the girls had rose gold glitter ballet shoes ordered from Etsy.
We opted for a really naturally feel for the boys, we wanted them to feel comfortable in their suites, so we just insisted on matching ties and dickie bows for the boys. Holly made these also with the same Liberty fabric used in the waist bands of the girl’s dresses.
I’d decided on Brown Sugar Blooms to do my wedding flowers years before James had asked me to marry him. I’d seen her work at many vintage fairs and followed her on Instagram and Facebook. Her work is always truly stunning and I knew that she would make my wedding flowers perfect. Which she did, He role on the day went far beyond what I ever expected, she spent the whole morning transforming my venue. Her attention to detail and the care she gave was effortless. Everybody commented on how stunning my flowers were. We can’t thank Nicola enough for working so hard, she was amazing and the arrangements truly made our day and brought my vision to life.
Our venue recommended Barratt’s Catering to us. From the initial conversations to our food tasting they were so accommodating. They allowed us to completely create our Menu. The food was perfect, everybody commented on how amazing the food and the staff that Barratt’s provided were. They effortlessly made everything run smoothly.
We decided on Woodland Mushroom and Asparagus Filo Tart, Champagne and Chervil Cream Sauce to start, followed by Roast Chicken, Old Fashioned Sage and Onion Stuffing, Proper Gravy, Bubble and Squeak, Roast Potatoes, Three Root Mash and to finish Apple and Blackberry Crumble, Vanilla Custard, Blackberry and mint Compote. In the evening we went for their Kebabs with the most amazing flat breads and salad.
We found a lovely local cake maker Tickety Boo Cakes who created us the most perfect 3 tier wedding cake. We had 3 different flavoured layers. White chocolate and Raspberry, Lemon Sponge and Carrot cake. We went for a semi naked cake and Brown Sugar blooms provided us with some beautiful flowers to decorate it with.
We originally were not going to have a photographer but were persuaded by a few friends and family. We spent ages searching the internet to find a photographer whose style we loved. Then we came across Laura, we both instantly knew she was the one. From our first meeting she put us both at ease, her work is both natural and funky. On the day she captured the most amazing photographs. All of our family and friends commented on how good she was on the day – we barely even knew she was there and made us feel so comfortable and relaxed.
We saw Old Skool Wedding Booth at an Owen House open day. His photos and set up were amazing. We loved his props and backdrops and every photo was always excellent quality. We went for a package that included unlimited photos to literally everyone had a copy. All our guests loved the booth and the photos are amazing. We also got digital copies of all the photographs.
The only tip I can give to any brides out there is not to worry. I enjoyed every minute of wedding planning and thought of nothing else but having fun and spending time with the ones we love on the day. I think this really helped in making it a stress-free experience and the more relaxed you are, the more natural your photos will be too. Just chill, have fun and make it the best day ever. After all you’re marrying the love of your life and that’s the main thing, everything else will come together and you’ll be so surprised at how much love and support you’ll receive from friends and family.