Emerald and Irvine spent their second anniversary on holiday in St Lucia and it was here that Irvine proposed. A glass of champagne was delivered to their table that had an engagement ring sparkling in the bottom of the glass – “top marks for cheesiness” says Emerald!
Finding ‘the one’
As a barn wedding was on their list of wedding must-haves, Emerald and Irvine started with internet searches, but it was Emerald’s sister who sent them details of Upwaltham Barns:
“Once my sister sent me the link to Upwaltham Barns, that was it! The minute we saw the barns, we just knew, and in fact, I called to ask if I could book even before we visited! The team, very sensibly, said no but it was exactly what we were looking for.”
“On the day we visited, our car broke down and we had no way of leaving Upwaltham, but everyone was so lovely and even took us to the local pub! We knew that this was our kind of place – you want unflappable people helping with your wedding day. Finding your wedding venue is like buying a house or falling in love – when it’s right, you just know!”
Styling Upwaltham Barns
Beautiful flowers were high on Emerald and Irvine’s list of wedding priorities, and although they didn’t have a set theme, the florals became part of the day, as did Irvine’s family heritage:
“Because we met at a carnival and because Irv’s family is from St Lucia, we wanted to include that in the day. We named all our tables after carnival bands and had steel pans playing during the reception.”
“We also know we wanted gorgeous flowers and Emma at Tigers to Lilies suggested Café au Lait dahlias. We loved them so much that they became our wedding logo – we used them on invitations, orders of service and our table plan too.”
To create the soft, romantic atmosphere that they were looking for, Emerald and Irvine decorated the South Barn with drapes strung with lights and fairy lights were also in all the trees and shrubs in the courtyard. The couple also added extra tea-lights and tiny twinkling crystals to their tables for added sparkle.
Dressing for the occasion
When it came to choosing her dress, there was only one option for Emerald as her step-mother is the designer Catherine Goux.
“The detail on my dress was stunning, and it was the result of hours and hours of hand embroidery. Catherine designed my dress with the time of year, the venue and my personal style in mind and the result was the most wonderful dress. It was so beautiful and so comfortable, which was really important to me – I wanted to be able to breathe and dance and eat!”
The groom stayed true to himself and chose a smart but relaxed blue three-piece suit by Ermenegildo Zegna. Given the choice he would have also worn trainers, but his wife-to-be talked him into a dapper pair of brown brogues instead! His three best men chose similar designs, and it’s fair to say that all the guys looked great.
The wedding day
Emerald and Irvine celebrated their marriage with a personal humanist ceremony, conducted by Ed Hardy. Following a beautiful entrance by the bride and her father, the ceremony began. It balanced emotion with humour and reflected the couple’s relationship in a perfect way. After the ceremony, it was time to start the celebrations with drinks, held in the East Barn as the rain fell outside.
“We chose our wedding menu after attending the Wedding Experience evening and wouldn’t have chosen some dishes if we hadn’t tried them there first! For example, we wouldn’t have chosen the pork belly but, when we tried it, there was no way we could leave it off our menu!”
The speeches were also a triumph – Emerald’s mum and dad both spoke with the bride’s father regaling guests with tales of Emerald’s childhood while the mother of the bride welcomed everyone with real warmth. The best men also made brilliant speeches, which proved just how well they know the groom!
“One of our favourite parts of the day was when one of the best men sang ‘Stand by Me’. He took the microphone at the end of the speeches and wowed us all. Irv joined him for a verse (I should mention that they’re both singers!) and everyone sang along and danced – it was such a special, emotional, moment.”
For their first dance, Emerald and Irvine chose ‘These Arms of Mine’ by Otis Redding and although they hadn’t practiced at all, it was fantastic. From there, the evening party just got better and better. The couple’s DJ, Doug from Toast Functions, selected a playlist packed with brilliant tunes and the dancefloor didn’t empty once.
Wedding tips & advice
“Try to relax on the day. This is easier said than done, I know, but there’s nothing to be anxious about. Even if something goes ‘wrong’, it’ll be fine. It poured with rain on our day even though it was the warmest and sunniest October for years, but it really didn’t matter.”
“Know that everyone at Upwaltham Barns knows what they’re doing so just relax and enjoy the planning – it will all work out perfectly.”
If you’d like to see another glorious autumn celebration that took place here at Upwaltham Barns, don’t miss Holly and Ian’s rustic early autumn wedding.
Images courtesy © of Chris Giles Photography
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