There’s a minimum of fuss to Natalie and Tom’s West Sussex wedding – they chose elegant, understated details and they chose well. Their table plan is simple and contemporary; the flowers are modern and summery; venue styling is subtle and chic. I love everything about their day.
Barn weddings come in all shapes and flavours these days, and Natalie and Tom went for pretty pastel colours with a bright and seasonal style. The menu was veggie (which is awesome!) and guests had plenty of traditional games to keep them occupied after the meal.
Images are by my lovely sponsor Jennifer Sinclair Photography. Jennifer is a Hampshire wedding photographer whose style is romantic, natural and relaxed. Natalie told me, “We loved having Jennifer share our wedding day. She blended in with our day perfectly and all the guests commented on how professional she was… Our wedding photographs were perfect and just what we wanted – she really captured the day.”
Discover Jennifer Sinclair Photography here:
The English Wedding Blog interview: Natalie and Tom
Wedding Photographer’s Website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We originally contacted Ginny Marsh who was already booked and referred us to Jennifer. We looked at Jennifer’s website and liked the style of her work and met up with Jennifer on a wet and cold winters day at the wedding venue. Jennifer loved the venue and despite the awful weather could see lots of amazing opportunities for photographs.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
We loved having Jennifer share our wedding day. She blended in with our day perfectly and all the guests commented on how professional she was.
Jennifer had the perfect balance of being both very personable but also capable of shepherding our guests for the pictures we needed. She also took us out on a pre-wedding shoot to get us comfortable with being in front of the camera, and this was a great opportunity to get to know her better. This really helped us to feel more relaxed for our photos on the day.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photographs for the first time?
After we returned from our honeymoon, Jennifer came to our home and showed us our photographs on a slideshow via our TV. It was lovely to be able to relax in our home and replay our wedding day. It brought back lots of happy memories. Our wedding photographs were perfect and just what we wanted – she really captured the day. We couldn’t wait to share them with friends and family.
Bartholomew Barn, West Sussex
A stunning rural wedding venue in West Sussex. We chose the venue for it’s fabulous location and pretty cottage gardens. Francis the owner was so helpful and relaxed, we knew as soon as we met her that this was the venue for us.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A perfect midsummer celebration in the Sussex countryside
Where did you find your suppliers?
Francis from Bartholomew Barn was so helpful in recommending wedding suppliers.
We chose Bethan from Farmyard flowers who was recommended by a family friend – our flowers were absolutely beautiful and exactly what we had hoped for.
The evening band was really important to us; We were delighted that we chose OJ’s Soul Band from Tailored Entertainment.
My brother had chosen a wedding car as a surprise for the wedding and I couldn’t have been more pleased with his choice of the Vintage Rolls Royce from Wedding Car Hire. Eric the driver took us for a spin after the ceremony where we had champagne and chocolates! It was lovely to have a quiet moment alone together on the day.
Toni Todd Hair and Makeup. It was great to have a make up artist that did both hair and make up. She did an amazing job and we all felt stunning.
Top Tips for Saving Money for your wedding
We got married on a Friday – purely because there were no Saturdays available at the barn, but we did find some suppliers offered discounts for Fridays.
Having friends and family pitch in on things like the wedding cake and decorations also helped to save money.
What elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on
The band – we really wanted to have great music and the band made sure everyone was up and dancing.
The photographer – we wanted to make sure we’d have photos to treasure of our special day, and Jennifer’s pictures are just that.
Where did you source your wedding stationery?
After much searching, we finally found Pear Paper Co’s website. (http://www.pearpaperco.com/). We loved the fun design of the Spring Fair Suite which fit perfectly with our wedding theme and the service from Samantha was excellent – she turned everything around so quickly and we were really pleased with the final results.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
My wedding dress was just perfect. It was an elegant, guipure lace ivory dress. I loved the low V-back with buttons all the way down. As soon as I tried it on I knew it was the one for me!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique?
My dress was by Nicky Flynn and I bought it from a local boutique, Swoon Wedding Gowns in Weybridge. Deborah and the girls there were so helpful and they even helped me get my dress dry cleaned after the wedding.
Tell us about your accessories, shoes and anything else?
I wore Rachel Simpson shoes on my wedding day, I love the vintage style and they perfectly complemented my wedding dress.
I wore my favourite perfume by Paul Smith, “Portrait”
I wore a pearl necklace that Tom had bought me for my 30th Birthday, and found some drop pearl earrings to match.
I also found a beautiful beaded bag in the sale at Anthroplogie and the tones blended perfectly with the bridesmaid dresses of coral.
And what did your groom wear?
My groom wore a “Hugo Boss” navy blue tailored suit and brown shoes to contrast. All groomsmen wore blue suits but with the groom’s suit being a darker shade, and champagne coloured ties and pocket squares.
Tom had also given his groomsmen a pair of cuff links each as a thank you gift, which they all wore on the day.
Beautiful Bridesmaids – What did your best girls wear
My two bridesmaids, two of my best friends, wore coral knee length dresses from House of Fraser. I chose the dresses because they were a lovely bright colour for a summer wedding and I loved the soft elegant look of the dresses.
Hair and Make Up
Toni from Toni Todd hair and makeup
I chose a hair stylist that could do hair and make up because I wanted all the girls to be pampered and it made it much easier on the morning to have someone who could come to us.
Toni did the hair of the bride, mother of bride and brides maids. She was amazing and although had quite a few of us to fit in, she made us all feel very relaxed.
Describe your wedding flowers
I wanted flowers to be soft and shades of pastels. I love peonies so with peony season being early Spring through to late June, they were definitely the choice of flower by Bethan.
The rustic feel of the barn was perfect for our style of wedding. Our wedding tables were named after pubs; we had met at a pub (“The Half Moon”) so the table names were of our favourite pubs with some connection to the people sat on that table. We had small jars of flowers at the tables in different sizes as wanted a rustic, countryside feel.
Order of Service and table plan was produced by Samantha at Pear Paper Co who also designed our invitations.
As we are both vegetarian, all of the food on the day was vegetarian. There were a few jokes made in the speeches, but everyone commented on how delicious the food was!
Home Made element
Our wedding cake was made by the groom’s sister Jenny. We set her a challenge as I am allergic to dairy, but she made a different cake for each tier: fruit, lemon and a raspberry sponge, all completely dairy free, and they all tasted delicious.
My school friend Katie and her mum also hand made some beautiful bunting for us which looked stunning hanging in the barn.
For the wedding favours, we filled small glass jars with a variety of different pastel coloured sweets such as bon bons and pear drops, and stamped the jar tags with our initials. The jars looked really pretty on the tables and seemed to go down a treat with the guests!
The groom’s dad also hand made some wooden wedding signs for us to help direct guests to the venue.
During the ceremony we had two readings: a poem, “Touched by an Angel” by Maya Angelou, and “When I’m Sixty-Four” by the Beatles.
I walked down the aisle to “The Promise” by Tracy Chapman, one of my favourite artists. During the signing of the register, we played “Signed Sealed Delivered” by Stevie Wonder and “Friday I’m in Love” by the Cure. For the recessional song we chose “It must be love” by Madness.
We hired lawn games – skittles, giant Jenga and giant connect four so guests had some entertainment during the reception
We are both big music lovers and so finding the right band was very important to us. We chose OJ’s Soul Band from Tailored Entertainment. They got the party started straight away and the dance floor was packed all evening.
Our first dance was “(Your love keeps lifting me) Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson. We wanted a song that was upbeat and celebratory, and this was one of our favourites.
On the day tips and advice
The day really flew by – so take time to step back and take it all in.
Make sure your ushers know what’s expected of them if they have duties to fulfil.
If you can, it’s nice to have some time to yourselves on the day – your first day as a married couple!
What’s the best thing about being married?
What we loved most was being able to let each other know how much we mean to one another – in front of all our closest friends and family. We’re so excited now for the next chapter and sharing the rest of our lives together.
Favourite Supplier List for other brides and grooms
Francis from Bartholomew Barn
Nicky Noakes from Good Taste Catering
Bethan from Farmyard Flowers
Eric our driver of the Vintage Rolls Royce from Horsham Wedding Car Hire
OJ Soul Band – Tailored Entertainment
Jennifer Sinclair Photography
Samantha from Pear Paper Co
Deborah from Swoon Wedding Gowns
Toni Todd from Toni Todd Bridal Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist