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Fiona & Reece’s Rustic DIY Country Wedding

Following a romantic Christmas Eve proposal, Fiona and Reece set about planning their wedding day. As the couple are both teachers, a school-holiday date was essential, as was a venue that would allow them to plan the relaxed, rustic and flower-filled wedding that they wanted.

Finding ‘the one’

Fiona and Reece were clear that they wanted an all-in-one wedding venue to make sure that everything was in one place, relaxed and easy for their friends and family. After searching close to home and not finding the perfect venue, the couple began to look further afield.

“Upwaltham Barns gave us the most amazing feeling as soon as we arrived. It’s in a beautiful setting, it has a relaxed feel and we love the fact that it’s a family-run business. The décor is also stunning, and the team were so open to our ideas. Food was also very important to us and it’s absolutely delicious at Upwaltham Barns!”

Styling Upwaltham Barns

The couple worked with a palette of blush, whites and creams with hints of navy to create their rustic, country wedding. Fiona also knew that she wanted to fill the venue with flowers and decided to make all the floral decorations herself, along with her mum and friends.

“We spent hours putting the flowers together! My wonderful mum made the bunting around the barn entrance and I created the ceremony arch in the East Barn myself using faux flowers.”

Fiona’s favourite blooms are peonies and, as these are at their best in May, they were incorporated into her bouquet. Made by Amy, Fiona’s oldest friend and bridesmaid, the bouquet also included lots of roses and greenery to look romantic and natural.

“My amazing uncle, who is an incredibly baker, made over 200 delicious doughnuts as our ‘wedding cake’ and there wasn’t one left!”

“The rest of the decorations were mainly DIY, all completed by myself and my family as we love being creative and making things ourselves. This made everything so much more special.”

Dressing for the occasion

Fiona bought her dress from Sass & Grace, an independent boutique near Winchester. Her dress featured high neck detail with a low back, and she loved the way it hugged her figure in a feminine and classy way.

“It was everything I could ever have wished for and more. I truly felt the most beautiful I had ever felt in my life.”

The bride accessorised her look with a delicate floral vine threaded through her hair, vintage tear-drop Swarovski earrings and Carvela heels.

Fiona’s bridesmaids wore blush pink and mocha gowns to complement their colouring and the dresses were personalised with a touch of sparkle.

Reece and his groomsmen wore navy Red Herring suits with blush pink ties and brown shoes. The groomsmen wore matching waistcoats with Reece opting for grey plaid waistcoat to stand out.

The wedding day

The sun shone on Reece and Fiona and the day was wonderful, from start to finish. The couple’s ceremony in the East Barn featured an emotional reading written by one of the couple’s friends from university.

Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a sunny drinks reception in the courtyard before a mouth-watering feast.

“Our wedding breakfast included roast pork with all the trimmings, including pigs in blankets as they’re Reece’s favourites! We also loved the trio of puddings – chocolate brownie, lemon posset and fruit meringue.”

The speeches were another highlight of the day and we have to mention Fiona’s father who welcomed Reece into the family in style, despite his nerves. Reece’s speech was a hit with everyone, making all the guests feel appreciated and talking about Fiona in the most emotional way.

Fiona and Reece started the evening reception with a fabulous first dance to James Bay’s ‘If you ever want to be in love’ and the celebrations continued late into the evening, with Simon Clarke making sure that the dancefloor was definitely the place to be.

Wedding tips & advice

“Pinterest was my best friend during the planning process, and I found so many ideas there. I’m very organised so I bought a wedding planner early on to keep on top of our budget and our to do list!”
“If you feel nervous about walking down the aisle, just know that as soon as you see your partner, they’ll be the only person that you see during the whole ceremony. It feels as if it’s just the two of you and your nerves will fly away.”
“If we could do it all again, we wouldn’t do anything differently. The whole day was perfect, and it was everything we had ever wished for.”

If you’d like to see another glorious celebration that took place here at Upwaltham Barns, don’t miss Stef & Guy’s boho autumn wedding.

Images courtesy © of Alisa Roberts Photography

Upwaltham Barns

The heart of the South Downs

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