I love a creative bride and groom, I really really do! Jenny and Louie are the best of blog stars today with a fabulously creative wedding from Ufton Court Barn.
Jenny’s dress is by Chanticleer, and it’s beautiful. She’s a stunning bride and Louie’s her equally gorgeous other half. Don’t you just adore that flower crown?
The portraits from their day are some of my favourites: Ufton Court is a pretty special venue and one I’ve never featured before on the English Wedding Blog. I’m thrilled to be able to show you around it (virtually hehe) today!
Deciding not to have any particular theme, Louie and Jenny chose things they loved to add personality to their day: the Monopoly table plan is a highlight and the flowers are fabulous as well.
Images are by lovely Benjamin Stuart Photography. Benjamin is based in Berkshire and travels throughout the UK to photograph weddings. Check him out here:
The English Wedding Blog interview: Louie & Jenny
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
When first seeing Ben’s portfolio, we absolutely loved his style and personality. On the day he just fitted in with the guests perfectly, his nature and joyfulness put guests at ease and delivered brilliantly natural photos! On our honeymoon we talked a lot about particular memories from the day that the other person possibly had not seen. As soon as we got back from our honeymoon, Ben had the photo’s ready and turns out he had got most of those moments on camera ready for us to see!
Ufton Court Barn, Ufton Nervet, Reading,
6th September 2014
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
More than we could have ever imagined.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
We both agreed that Ben had managed to capture the wedding day perfectly! It was lovely to see parts of the day we had both missed, had been masterfully captured by Ben. Every photo was meaningful and contributed to the emotion and delight of the day!
Your wedding style or theme:
We consciously decided to steer clear of a particular theme or style – opting for a wedding that reflected our personalities, likes and tastes.
Where did you find your suppliers?
Jen searched for quite some time for different suppliers, and used anywhere from google and blogs to friends recommendations.
Best bit of budget advice?
Every single wedding has a budget (big or small), and we found it invaluable to make a comprehensive budget, listing every possible expense. From transport, to the honeymoon to the glue for the invitations, we knew exactly what had been spent and could calculate what could realistically be achieved within the budget.
Don’t be afraid to get messy, do some DIY! You will be surprised how many new skills you can acquire after a few evenings on Pinterest or Youtube tutorials…DIY is both cost saving and very satisfying – especially when impressed guests ask where you bought it from!
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
We decided to design and make our invitations from scratch. We wanted rather elaborate pocket-fold invitations, with a ribbon close-tie, that would have cost around £8 to get made – so we designed and made everything for a fraction of the cost.
Again, we followed the DIY route when making the table plan, table numbers and place settings. We both love board games, particularly Monopoly, so the Monopoly style table plan was custom made with meaningful places as the destinations around the board.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I went to about 8-10 bridal shops trying to find the perfect dress. I then thought about trying to get one made from scratch but that seemed too terrifying for me! So when I went to Brides of Winchester and they showed me the chanticleer dresses and said the designer, Tracey Middleton-Salt was happy to make changes to the dress, this just seemed ideal.
As soon as I tried the dress on at my final fitting, with my veil and shoes, it was perfect! From the silk to the lace, it was just very me.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Chanticleer from Brides of Winchester
Glitz and sparkle – the bride’s accessories:
Earrings and bracelet were both 21st birthday presents. My shoes were from Monsoon and the floral crown was made by our florist, The White Horse Flower Company.
Suited and booted – the groom wore:
Louie wears a suit to work everyday and wanted to wear something a little less work-like for the wedding day! After visiting many suit hire shops, Louie had narrowed the search to a navy blue, tailored fit, tailcoat and trousers. With groomsmen from 6’7” to 5’5”, finding a single style to fit all proved almost an impossibility – except for Jan at ‘Just for Guys’, Liss.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My beautiful bridesmaids wore dresses by Ghost.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I hired a professional to do my hair and make up. I was worried that on the day I would be incredibly nervous, and so trying to do mascara with a shaky hand seemed a bit too ambitious. It was definitely a good decision, not only did Tori do my hair and make up perfectly, she also had such a calming influence on the morning whilst getting ready. I do not think the morning would have ran so smoothly without her!
We had the lovely Lindsey from The White Horse Flower Company do our wedding flowers. As soon as we met her we knew we wanted her to do them. She has such a creative flair! We had so many comments about the beautiful flowers from our guests on the day and even after. She did everything we wanted and more! We could not recommend her enough.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Ufton Court is such a beautiful venue, with use of the Tudor Barn, manicured courtyard and extensive grounds, we were surprised at how little we required to decorate it. The majority of decorations were provided by Ufton Court (such as bunting and lights in the trees), the florist or the caterers. However we made the venue our own by adding more fairy lights in the form of curtains and hearts.
DIY – tell us about any handcrafted elements of your wedding…
Wedding Stationery – Pocket-fold wedding invitations. Monopoly style table plan with meaningful place names as destinations around the board. Table numbers and place settings were all made in Monopoly theme style.
Confetti – the bride’s mother picked, press-dried and shredded confetti ready for the big day!
Cork L & J Letters – after collecting wine bottle corks from friends and family for several months and in true ‘Art Attack’ style used PVA glue to stick them together.
Wedding Post Box – we bought the cardboard template from Hobby Craft and used cream and gold spray paint to decorate.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
The cake was made by the amazing SK Cakes and was more modern than traditional. The outside was precisely iced and decorated with hundreds of intricate flowers; the inside was half chocolate and salted caramel and half vanilla sponge with butter icing and jam.
Steel Strum – acoustic duo from Brighton with a steel pan, acoustic guitar, drum and tambourine. We saw the pair busking whilst shopping in Chichester and have never seen buskers with such a large crowd. Steel strum played for two hours during the drinks reception and created an amazing atmosphere under the summer sun!
Garden Games – during the drinks reception there were numerous garden games (giant jenga, croquet etc.) spread over the courtyard and provided fun and entertainment to all the guests.
The Weekend – 5 piece band, again from Brighton, by coincidence. This amazing band is renowned for starting the party and getting the dance floor filled and they certainly did that! The band played 3x40minute live sets throughout the evening reception with DJ sets in-between. We would 100% recommend a band instead of a DJ as the atmosphere of live music is incredible and never fails to get people in the party spirit.
Photobooth – provided by Wonderbooth. The Photobooth was full all night long and we have 100s of hilarious photos of friends and family all in the guest book provided by the Wonderbooth team.
On the day tips and advice:
Enjoy the day, as it will go by so fast! Everyone tells you this but you simply don’t believe the whole day can go by so quickly. Try to leave as-little-as-possible to do on the day as you want to enjoy every minute and not be worrying about last minute jobs.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Having that special person by your side every step of the journey; to support one another, get to know each other even more and knowing you have the future ahead of you!
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Venue – Ufton Court – http://uftoncourt.co.uk
Photographer – http://www.benjaminstuart.co.uk
Flowers – White Horse Flower Company – http://www.thewhitehorseflowercompany.co.uk
Caterer – The Wild Fork (formerly Pot Kiln Anywhere) – http://www.thewildfork.co.uk
Cars – Solent Bug and Bus – http://www.solentvw.co.uk
Dress – Brides of Winchester – http://bridesofwinchester.co.uk
Hair and Makeup – Tori Harris – http://toriharrismakeup.co.uk
Suit Hire – Just for Guys, Liss. – http://www.just-for-guys.com
Band – Steel Strum Acoustic Duo – http://steelstrum.weebly.com
Band – The Weekend – http://www.warble-entertainment.com/hire/the-weekend/1498/
Photobooth – Wonderbooth – http://www.wonderbooth.co.uk
Cake – SK Cakes – http://www.s-k-cakes.co.uk