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A beautiful English barn wedding with Laura Calderwood Photography

Becky and Pete’s rustic barn wedding combines a classic colour scheme with more contemporary details – and it’s just amazing. Becky told me, “I sort of built the idea of the day around the beautiful rustic barn… my flowers were quite rustic and wild with lots of foliage, so wooden/greenery/purple was our theme!

Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (32)

Gorgeous bride Becky did a fantastic job styling her wedding, along with her mum spending time creating lots of DIY bits and bobs: “I hand-made a lot of the decorations and details – my mum made the favours and planted all of our table centres herself.” They suited the barn at Channels Golf Club perfectly – I especially love the flowers in planters on every table, and the funky purple table numbers!

Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (20)

Images today are by lovely Laura Calderwood Photography. It’s the first time I’ve featured Laura’s photos on the English Wedding Blog and I’m ever so pleased to have discovered her 🙂 Do check out more of her real weddings on her website and on social media at:

 

Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (4)

Together Pete and Becky make a wonderful couple, and to be able to share their day on the English Wedding Blog is a real treat for me. With huge thanks to the bride and groom for a brilliant questionnaire (at the end of the feature), and to photographer Laura for sharing her images with us today – shall we dive in?
claire gould calligrapher signature

Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (1)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (2)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (3)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (5)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (6)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (7)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (8)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (9)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (10)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (11)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (12)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (13)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (14)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (15)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (16)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (17)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (18)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (19)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (21)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (22)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (23)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (24)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (25)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (26)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (27)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (28)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (29)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (30)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (31)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (33)
Wedding at Channels Lodge by Laura Calderwood Photography (34)

Our wedding report: Pete and Becky

Wedding photographer’s website:

http://www.lauracalderwood.co.uk/

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?

Delighted!! We found Laura through a friend of a friend. We’d looked at a number of wedding photographers when trying to decide who to choose who to book, but Laura’s photos, friendliness and professionalism stood out to us as the best of the lot! She made us feel really at ease on our engagement shoot, and dealt with my many emails asking question after question! On the wedding day she was brilliant and captured hundreds of beautiful images that we’ll treasure.

Wedding venue:

We got married in the barn at Channels Golf Club in Chelmsford, Essex, and also had our reception there. http://www.wedding-venue-in-essex.co.uk/ . The staff at Channels were wonderful. Nothing was too much trouble, and Paul and Zoe answered all my questions very promptly. Paul and April were there on the day and made it all go so smoothly – they were wonderful!

Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?

A relaxed and rustic barn wedding with lots of greenery and personal touches!

What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?

We were on a holiday with Pete’s work in Berlin when Laura sent us the link to our online gallery, so my main feeling then was frustration that the hotel wifi wasn’t good enough to view them properly! When we got home, we sat and looked at all of them together, and we were so happy, they were so beautiful and really captured everything about the day. When I sent them to my dad to look through, they made him cry!

Your wedding style and theme:

I was really keen to make sure that day was relaxed and that everyone had a good time. There wasn’t a theme in particular, but I sort of built the idea of the day around the beautiful rustic barn that was where everything took place throughout the day. The bridesmaids wore purple, and my flowers were quite rustic and wild with lots of foliage, so I suppose wooden/greenery/purple was our theme! I hand-made a lot of the decorations and details – my mum made the favours and planted all of our table centres herself.

Any happy tears on the day?

I really thought I would cry during the ceremony – I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed as I turned to walk down the aisle to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Songbird’, but also remember really not wanting to cry, and was fine after that!

How did the two of you meet?

Pete and I first met when we were about 14, we had the same group of friends. It wasn’t until we were 17 that we started going out – December 2014 will be our 10 year anniversary!

How long did you spend planning your wedding?

Pete proposed in January 2013, and I threw myself straight into planning immediately after that! So about 15-16 months.

Best bit of budget advice?

Always ask about VAT. We were quoted prices that didn’t include it, and that can end up piling a LOT more money on top. Also – haggle. We didn’t do much haggling, but I wish we had! If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:

I made all the invitations and stationery. I bought some Kraft card and envelopes from http://www.razzledazzlerose.co.uk/ and the invites were the A6 postcards tied together with purple, green and natural coloured raffia (http://nutscene.com/shop/heritage-range/raffia/) which was also used to decorate the favours, the table decorations and lots of other things!

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

Contrary to what I’ve heard/read about most brides, my dress was not the most important thing to me, and I really didn’t want to spend thousands. Because of that, I thought I would be quite easy to please but it turned out that I was actually quite fussy – I really didn’t want anything too fancy, expensive, or with any glitter or bling, that’s not me at all. In the end, I found a couple of adverts for a bridal wear brand with the model wearing the dress that looked like it had what I was after, (and for less than £600!), so I managed to track down a sample in my size and bagged it for £100 off as it was a sample! It was fairly simple, quite floaty with netting on top and some delicate lace at the waist and on the bodice.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

The dress was called Adelaide, made by Romantica of Devon (although I didn’t wear the brown sash with the big flower!) (http://www.romanticaofdevon.co.uk/collections/romantica/2013/adelaide/full) I bought it from Tantrums n’ Tiaras in Sittingbourne, Kent (the only place I could find that had it in my size!)

Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:

I was attempting to steer clear of glitz and sparkle where I could, so I actually made my own hairpiece from a comb, some marcasite brooches I bought from ebay, some white and purple pearl beads and paper roses. I also made some little hair pins with the pearls and paper roses to wear in my hair (and the bridesmaids had some too). My jewellery was bought from a store on etsy, as well as my garter which was simple lace with a pearl on the front.

The groom wore:

Grey slimline suit from Debenhams hire, with a waistcoat and tie in a blue/purple colour. All the men in the wedding party wore the same suits. He and the other guys also wore cufflinks with their initials on that I made for them from fimo clay.

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

My five bridesmaids wore dresses from In One Clothing in purple. http://www.inoneclothing.com It was really important to me that all my bridesmaids felt comfortable in what they were wearing, and I really liked these dresses because each of the girls could choose their own style to suit them.

Two of my bridesmaids are quite tall, and at In One Clothing they did mid-length versions of the dress, which was great as if the dresses had all been limited to the same length they would have found them too short! I also made the bridesmaids the necklaces and earrings they wore, from the same beads and paper flowers that I used in my hairpiece.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

We were lucky enough to have the lovely Tina and Emma from Beautiful Hair and Emma Brooks Make up. They were brilliant helping all of us to get ready at the Channels Lodge before the wedding – it got a little bit hectic as there were so many of us but they helped to keep us calm! I had a trial with both of them a couple of months before the wedding, and they were both brilliant at making suggestions to help me decide what to do.
http://www.emmabrooksmakeup.co.uk/
http://www.beautifulhair4weddings.co.uk/

Wedding flowers:

My beautiful flowers were done by JB’s florist in Billericay. JB’s is just around the corner from my mum’s house, and we’d been there many times before. I really don’t have much of an idea about flowers, so I told Julie what I was after and she did an absolutely amazing job! The flowers were lovely and rustic and perfectly inkeeping with everything else. http://www.jbsflorist.com/

My mum bought all of our table centre flowers from a garden centre and planted them all in washing up bowls (!) a couple of weeks before the wedding. She had practised the year before, and they had flourished in the lovely weather. Unfortunately, the weeks preceding our wedding were very wet, so the day before the wedding she was frantically planting more! They looked amazing though, and even got asked by another bride looking around as we were setting up which florist had done them!

What do you remember most about the wedding ceremony?

I suppose I remember walking down the aisle most, and then not being able to stop grinning at Pete the whole time during the ceremony!

Wedding readings?

We struggled with readings, we didn’t want anything too soppy or poetic. In the end we chose Edward Monkton’s ‘A lovely love story’ read by my aunt, and ‘On your wedding day’ (Anon) read by Pete’s sister.

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

I didn’t feel the venue needed much decoration really, the barn itself was beautiful and so I didn’t do much. In terms of the tables, we had purple and cream confetti scattered around (http://www.shropshirepetals.com/) and I made the table numbers (I used purple and green paper to decopatch some 3D cardboard numbers).

I also collected lots and lots of jam jars which we used as tealights, I decorated those with hessian and raffia, and made some little favour bags from hessian and raffia too, which contained some parma violets and love heart sweets, as well as some jigsaw puzzle pieces which made photos of us (we ordered these online). The table that completed their jigsaw first won a bottle of bubbly!

The other part of our favours were made by my mum – she does pyrography as a hobby (burning patterns into wood) and she put everyone’s name on a wood slice, which we then put magnets onto the back of.

Other than that, we had a couple of other little touches, like five wine bottles with numbers on which people could put messages in for us, that we’ll open up on different anniversaries, as well as a jenga guest book.

The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?

We decided that after having pudding as part of our wedding breakfast , we didn’t think anyone would really want cake! So we went for a gorgeous cheese wedding cake from Churchmouse Cheeses, they even threw in some biscuits and some extra heart-shaped brie! http://www.churchmousecheeses.com/wedding-cake-cheeses/doormouse

I also knitted our little cake toppers, (adapting a pattern from http://www.alandart.co.uk/). I was really pleased with how they turned out!

Entertainment:

We found The Bears after catching them at a local gig! They were amazing, and they played lots of brilliant songs that had the dancefloor filled all evening! They were happy to listen to the sort of things we were after and build a playlist around that, and they learnt a couple of requests for us too. They were also kind enough to let my brother use their PA set up when he sang and performed our first dance for us. http://www.thebears.uk.com/

We also had a photo booth – this was one of my favourite bits of our wedding, as Pete spend months making it himself! He’s a computer programmer so set it all up, we’ve had lots of requests from other couples who came to the wedding to use it at their own!

On the day tips and advice:

Keep calm, and start doing things as early as possible so you’re not rushing at the last minute! (especially if you’re doing a lot of crafting!) Also, on the day, take a minute to breathe and make sure you spend a bit of time alone with your new husband! Laura our photographer took us away in between the cake and the first dance, and we had a lovely bit of time together and got some wonderful pictures. Also, I would strongly recommend getting a photo booth! We had so much fun the day after the wedding looking through all the hilarious photos that we got from it!

What’s the best thing about being married?

It’s nice to finally be able to call Pete my husband! It feels odd at first but you get used to it quickly!

Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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