Jason and Abbie invited me to shoot their intimate Swallow Barn wedding in July. Swallows Nest Barn is a rustic, They had a lovely outdoor ceremony with their family and a few friends. They are such a unique, quirky and adorable couple who love to have a laugh (as you can see from the images!) and their handmade wedding reflected their style and personality as a couple perfectly.
I’ll pass you over to the bride who has given insight into their day and the planning stages leading up to it.
Venue: Swallow Barn at Masson Farm
We chose a Swallow Barn wedding at Masson farm for our ceremony and Hilcote Country Club for our reception. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to get married outside. I love flowers and the countryside so when I stumbled across Swallow Barn on a google search, I fell in love! We went for a visit and Jason loved it to; it was just perfect. However, to do the whole day there, we would have needed to hire tipis which would have came up to way too much, and with the only way to get up to the venue being a taxi, it was just not practical for the amount of people that we wanted at the night reception, so we decided to have the reception nearer to home, which also meant that family and friends could have a good old drink with out worrying about how they were getting home.
We were hoping it would be a nice warm day as the wedding was in July, so we didn’t want anybody getting hot and bothered. I saw the page boy outfits on Pinterest and they were perfect (they were just so cute), so we recreated them from Matalan and Next! The bow ties for the bridal party were from Notonthehighstreet, the flower girls dresses were from Zara, and the shoes were from Next. My maid of honour’s outfit was from Debenhams, since I only had one bridesmaid, I let Heather choose her own dress. I just gave her the colour to work off and we went shopping together, as sisters do!
My engagement ring was from a designer called Michelle Oh who does an alternative style to your typical diamond ring. When Jason proposed he knew that I love unique things and picked the perfect ring on his own! This made my ring choice so much easier as it has a matching wedding band that we got from Notonthehighstreet.com so it was a no brainer. Jason decided that he didn’t want anything too flashy as with work he thought it would get damaged so he chose a quirky matte ring from Notonthehighstreet.com.
A family friend made us the cake. We wanted a cake that both Jason and I would enjoy so it just had to be chocolate! I decorated it myself with dried flowers and cake bunting from hobby craft, and the mice on the top were a valentine’s day present that Jason had bought for me 5 years go from a shop we just happened to stumble across in Sheffield.
Flowers: The Rose Bower
The fact that I love flowers made this decision an important one. We used The Rose Bower which is a local florist to us, we always drive past and comment on how lovely the window looks, always in a style similar to our own. I had also seen lots of her work around and always loved it.
Photographer: Laura Rhian Photography
Once we got into full wedding planning mode we soon realised how important a good photographer was, as it’s probably the only thing from your wedding that really lets you relive the memories. Me and Jason had never had professional photos taken and we never really take that many photos ourselves so we are useless at posing. When we found Laura and her photos were just natural and in the moment they were perfect, I could just see the happiness of the people she had photographed and I didn’t even know the people so we decided she was perfect for us.
Jason and I love vintage and quirky things and afternoon tea, so the theme had to be afternoon tea. We collected most of our decorations from car-boots with family and then got busy crafting. I made the favours myself (tea cups turned into candles), my sister and good friend helped to turn scrap fabric we collected into bunting, and so on. I saw the idea of photos to set places at my friend’s wedding and loved it, so me and Jason dragged all of the photo albums out and made a collection of our favourite memories that we had shared with our guests as another favour to them.
When you were planning, what were the most important things that you wanted for your wedding?
We wanted the day to be us, we didn’t want to do things just for tradition but because it reflected us as a couple. We are very close to our family and so it was very important to us to have a fun day with them. We wanted it to be a day that both us and them could cherish forever, we didn’t want the awkwardness that distant relatives can bring so we decide to invite only immediate family to the day and two very close friends so that we could just have a fun family day where everyone just got along and felt comfortable. We wanted a good laugh and party with our friends at night, so we had a larger reception. We also said that for us our day would always be special even if we got married on the garden, so decided we wouldn’t scrimp but we would set a smaller budget than most so we could have an amazing honeymoon instead. When we got engaged we waited two years on purpose so I could craft things myself and just have fun with our wedding. I think family was the most important thing for us.
Is there anything that you wish you had done differently?
Honestly I would have not changed a thing. It was just perfect and just us. Even the things that went wrong make us laugh and we all loved it.
Can you offer any advice to couples in the planning process?
To just have fun with it. Don’t let family or others expectation get you hung up, do what’s important to you as a couple and cherish every single moment. When wedding planning stress gets too much, go for a picnic or a day out together to remind each other why you are getting married in the first place.
If you would like to chat to me about your wedding plans, click here.