After a very special proposal in Iceland, Karis and Ed’s wedding day was just as romantic. Full of vintage details and pretty gypsophila, their big day was all about celebrating with family and friends in a beautiful location.
Finding ‘the one’
Right from the start, Karis and Ed knew that their wedding was going to be all about people. It was also incredibly important to the couple that their venue had a rustic, rural feel and that it would be a relaxed, pretty space for all their guests. They began searching for the perfect barn wedding venue by researching online and then visiting venues on their shortlist, and eventually they came across Upwaltham Barns.
“During our hunt for the perfect barn, Upwaltham Barns really stood out to us. On visiting, we felt that it was simply beautiful and ticked all of our boxes for a relaxed, rustic venue but ultimately, it just felt like ‘us’. The team had so much experience and really had thought of everything. This was a huge bonus and completely took away any stress for us.”
Styling Upwaltham Barns
To work with the whimsical, rustic and vintage feel of the barn, Karis and her mum spent months looking out for props and pieces that they could use to decorate. For a really personal look, Karis and her family all crafted various items for the wedding.
“We stored everything at my mum’s house – bunting, jam jars, jute, blackboards, vintage cameras, a typewriter and so on. I made things along the way and then we had a craft day in the week of the wedding to complete it all. My parents, aunt, grandparents and cousins all got involved with some element of making and it was great fun seeing it all come together.”
Karis knew that she wanted simple yet beautiful flowers and for her, there was one choice – gypsophila. This was used in the bridesmaids’ bouquets, the centre pieces and even as an archway over the East Barn doors. The couple’s florist also created a rustic, pastel tone bridal bouquet using country garden style flowers.
Dressing for the occasion
Like so many brides, Karis spent a lot of time on Pinterest before she started wedding dress shopping. However, the wedding dresses from Karis’s Pinterest dreams didn’t seem to exist in one design. After visiting 12 shops however, the search came to an end:
“By a process of deduction, I found out what I wanted – a lightweight lace dress with a boat neck and a low back with button fastenings. My mum thought she’d seen something in a small Sussex shop that had it all and there it was, hanging on the rail in my size! We decided it must be fate and bought that one there and then. It was a Mori Lee dress and I had layers removed from the skirt to create the floaty dress I wanted. I loved my dress and on the day, felt very comfortable and special it in.”
Karis accessorised her gown with Rachel Simpson shoes, a veil and a wonderful gypsophila garland in her hair.
Karis’s bridesmaids wore gorgeous, dusty green gowns that fitted perfectly with the relaxed feel of the day. These were accessorised with white sandals and simple gypsophila hair adornments. Karis gifted her maids delicate silver bracelets, made by a friend, and these were the perfect finishing touch.
Ed was keen to wear a suit that was both relaxed and came with a vintage feel. He opted for a tweed/wool three-piece suit from Moss Bros in a natural grey/blue colour. Worn with brown brogues, a white shirt and a tie that matched the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses, Ed was every inch the country groom.
The wedding day
Karis and Ed held their wedding ceremony at Upwaltham Barns and chose traditional vows then added their own personal touches with their wedding music and readings. The barn was decorated with lanterns and wicker hearts and looked simply wonderful.
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a celebratory reception with drinks and canapes. One of the couple’s friends played an acoustic set before guests made their way to the stunning South Barn for the wedding breakfast.
“When we looked at the menu options at Upwaltham Barns, there was no doubt what we would choose for our main course because it just had to be my favourite meal of all time – sausage and mash! We felt this fitted with the relaxed, rustic feel of the day whilst filling our guests’ tummies with hearty grub and making me one happy bride!”
The wedding cake continued the laidback look and also matched the dusty pastels of the bride’s bouquet:
“We went with beautiful cupcakes, courtesy of our good friend Leila, from whatleilaeats. They were easy to eat, came in a range of flavours and ultimately looked and tasted stunning. It was lovely having a friend in charge of this as I gave her the general idea and then knew I could 100% trust her to produce something amazing. I hadn’t seen them until all the guests did too and couldn’t believe how incredible they looked!”
Another easy choice for the couple was their evening entertainment. The Blunter Brothers, an amazing nine-piece soul and funk band, have been booked by Karis’s family for years and always get the party started so they were a definite must-have. Karis and Ed chose a personal song for their first dance and it turned out to be a very special moment:
“I will always remember our first dance as one of the few moments of the day where Ed and I could actually just ‘stop and be together’. I blurred out the fact that everyone was watching us and just sang along, laughed and chatted with my new husband. It sounds mad but with so many guests and so much going on, these little moments are rare.”
The guests were also entertained by Rosie, the caravan photobooth, and younger guests also enjoyed their own special tipi area, full of games and activities just for them.
Wedding tips & advice
After the wedding, Karis and Ed escaped for a beautiful and romantic minimoon before their ‘big adventure’ honeymoon later in the year, an unforgettable road trip in America.
“If we could do it all again, we’d do exactly the same! Enjoy planning your wedding – you only do this once so try to absorb and enjoy all of the different elements of planning and have fun with it.”
Karis also loved having her family and friends involved in the planning of the day and one of her top wedding planning tips is to take people up on any offers of help. Having extra pairs of hands available meant that she was able to really enjoy the whole wedding planning process.
“Finally, don’t sweat the small stuff. You put your heart and soul into planning every detail of the wedding, which is important, but remember that it is only one day and keep in mind exactly what you’re celebrating. If one detail isn’t as it should be, it really won’t matter on the day – you’ll be too busy celebrating to care!”
For more real wedding inspiration from Upwaltham Barns, check out Stuart and Ian’s Fun and Fabulous Spring Wedding and see how you could style our venue on your big day.
Images courtesy of © Natalie J Weddings
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