Morning Lovely Peeps and Happy Bank Holiday Monday!
I hope you’re all enjoying the long weekend.
Today’s real wedding is a bit of a special one for me as it took place at The Great Higham Barn in Kent, the very same venue Bob and I chose for our wedding almost 3 years ago to the date (we got married on the 4th May 2013.) I was absolutely delighted when the lovely Denise of One Love Pictures got in touch to see if we wanted to feature it. Viewing the pictures completely transported me back to our wedding weekend and it was so nice to see another couple equally as happy as we were in exactly the same space. It was also great to see how different their wedding was to ours. The Great Higham Barn is a blank canvas venue so you have the complete freedom to make the space your own. They have few restrictions and are incredibly accommodating. We had a festival wedding with tipis and cider, Lyndsey and Jeff had a more upmarket day with champagne and cocktails! Same space but a completely different wedding which is exactly how it should be!
Lyndsey and Jeff said I do on the 18th July 2015. Their wedding was a decadent affair with plenty of champagne, cocktails and a theme of ‘luxury in the country’ throughout. They wanted to ensure they hosted the best party of their lives with all of their favourite people and they didn’t hold back….
We wanted our guests to feel spoilt so we selected premium champagne, wines, cocktails and spirits which were served throughout the entire day. We are renowned for hosting memorable events so wanted to ensure a party atmosphere from start to finish with the dance floor always busy.
With a good mix of pretty natural decor and minimalist styling, Lyndsey and Jeff certainly brought the VIP club lounge to the country!
Look out for Lyndsey’s gorgeous bouquet of white and yellow. I love it.
Lyndsey and Jeff talk us through their day…..
A Brunch Picnic, Primrose Hill and a Hand-made ring….
On my birthday, 2 years prior to our wedding day Jeff surprised me with a Brunch Picnic at the top of Primrose hill, overlooking the local park. He proposed with a hand-made ring he had made at secret weekly classes at jewellery school! He had engraved it with ‘will you marry me’. Later that day we went and bought my engagement ring together and Jeff had arranged a celebratory dinner in Mayfair with my immediate family – so they were all in on the surprise!
My Dress Chose Me…..
My bridesmaid and best friend Jen suggested a small boutique near her home, Morgan-Davies in Hitchin, Herts and I found my dress on one visit. It was by the designer Allure, and was their Roma princess dress and everything I was adamant I would never wear as a bride (!) but as they say the dress chose me!
Jimmy Choo, Jon Richards and Gucci….
My shoes were Jimmy Choo and a Christmas gift from my Husband to be and sister Sally. The head piece was by Jon Richards and my veil was borrowed from my brothers’ best girlfriend Emma. My earrings were Jon Richards to match my headpiece but my watch was Gucci and was my bridal gift from my Husband-to-be surprising me on the morning of the wedding.
Woodland Ceremony, Rugs and A Pagoda….
We had a lot of overseas guests (my husband is Australian) so we needed a venue which could accommodate the majority of our guests and as we were getting married in July really wanted to have an outdoor reception in the glorious English countryside. Great Higham is a beautiful venue of a newly renovated barn, cottages and oust buildings surrounding by the Kent countryside. On the grounds there is a gorgeous wooded area and our planner suggested we use this area for the ceremony. He (ambitiously) suggested we build a pagoda to have the ceremony under, decorated with bunches of flowers and white flowing chiffon. The aisle was lined with rugs and then lined with candle lanterns decorated with sunflowers. We were absolutely blessed with the weather and the wooded area provided a little cover from the sun – and the ceremony area looked incredible! We bought an outdoor sound system for the entrance music and the vows. We had Turning Pages when I walked down the aisle and then Signed, Sealed Delivered for after the ceremony – to get everyone in the party mood!
An Acoustic Guitar and A Fiddle….
We had a marquee built by Kent Marquees in the grounds of Great Higham Barn, and separated the indoor space for dinner and then the after party. We wanted to have long tables for dinner and these were decorated with simple, but effective, floral arrangements and clean lines of blue and yellow. My cousin’s ex husband played background music of acoustic guitar and vocals with his friend on the fiddle during the canapé reception. Jeff had the great idea of creating a luxurious lounge club feel for the evening party and Anthony took that vision and created something so much more. We hired in furniture and LED furniture.
A Gift of Cake and Minimalistic Flowers
Our cake was a gift from my Aunt, Uncle, Cousins made by my Cousins’ friend Gemma Nauman. It was a four tiered cake, bottom was Victoria sponge, second was a dummy tier, third lemon drizzle and top tier fruit cake – I wanted a ribbon effect around the cake with the icing died ombre yellow.
For my flowers I wanted them to be minimalistic with modern button holes and a modern bouquet for me. We had low-level floral arrangements on the dining tables as well.
Delicious Food, A Tower of Cheese and Wine Tasting….
We had our catering provided by Chives Catering which was incredibly delicious. We had canapés to start, oysters kilpatrick, scallops wrapped in parma ham, mini potatoes stuffed with cheddar, chorizo stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, baby yorkshires with beef and horseradish cream, filo parcels of feta, spinach and pine nuts.
Main course was a choice of saddle of lamb, slow roasted kangaroo served in a filo basket or aubergine cannelloni followed by a duo of desserts, which were strawberry and macadamia roulade, and white chocolate and season berry cheesecake.
For the evening guests we provided a cheese tower with crackers and chutneys, along with Waitrose platters of sandwiches and rolls.
As we are both wine-lovers, one really fun thing we organised during the champagne and canapés was wine tasting. We self selected 5 wines – 2 red, 2 white, 1 rose and wrote personalised tasting notes with the idea being that people could mingle, discuss the wines, laugh at the notes and select a wine to match with dinner. Our planner came up with using old corks as a way for our guests to remember what wine they choose. After a few glasses of champagne we knew peoples’ memories might start to get fuzzy!
During the evening we supplied a full bar containing some of our favourite vodkas, gins and liquors, and also we had selected 5 of our favourite cocktails which were served to our guests. We think it is safe to say our guests were well watered!
A DJ, Singer and Live Saxophonist….
For our entertainment we had a DJ (David Holbrook, Diskojuice) and a live saxophonist for post dinner entertainment and my cousin (David Lynch-Blosse) sang and played guitar during the canapés.
The speeches – hearing from some of the most important people in our lives talking about us – it was heart warming, humbling and at times, very very funny.
We guess try and take it all in – the day goes incredibly quickly and you want to remember everything. We hired the venue for a week with close family staying in the barn, but we also planned some events around the big day – a casual rehearsal dinner the night before with pizzas and wine, and then a bbq on the Sunday with caterers. This way we managed to spend quality time with all of our guests.
Also try and save money by utilising décor twice throughout the wedding – we used our flowers and lanterns later on in the evening and also used the chairs for the reception for the ceremony as well. We then had the groomsmen make themselves useful and move the chairs back!
Finally if you can afford it – get a planner! Honestly, if couples can afford it then we would absolutely recommend hiring one – their experience and organisation skills, are invaluable especially in the final run up to the big day. We are both very busy professionals and just found we didn’t have to time to focus on the details but Anthony had these all covered – even the details we wouldn’t have thought about!
The Line Up
Photography: One Love Pictures
Venue: Great Higham Barn
Wedding Planner: Anthony Muntane
Brides Dress: Allure Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bride’s Hair: Hair By Jodie
Bride’s Make-Up: Carla Nichols at Dolls House Make-Up
Groom: Hugo Boss
Bridesmaid Dresses: Debut for Debenhams
Marquee: Kent Marquees
Furniture Hire: City Furniture Hire
Flowers: Lotty’s Flowers
Floral Table Arrangements: Ruby Tree Creative
Decor & Styling: Anthony Muntane & Ruby Tree Creative
Catering: Chive Cateres
Cake: Gemma Nauman