Becky and Martin’s travel inspired wedding at Cooling Castle Barn, with Michelle Cordner Photography
A blissfully beautiful real wedding for you this Friday… I’ve been excited to share this one, and I just know you’ll love it! Becky and Martin married in July 2018 at Cooling Castle barn in Kent. They have a shared love of travel and adventure, and styled their wedding with nods to this from globes to photographs on each table and little mini travel cameras – the theme of travelling was all around.
Images are by our lovely friend and English Wedding member, Kent based Michelle Cordner Photography. Becky’s dress is from Wed2B, teamed with shoes from Paradox. Her hair is by Zara Rose and makeup is by Lydia Rae. Martin bought a suit from Moss and teamed it with a dusky pink tie from Asos. Floral styling and bouquets are by The Flowersmiths.
“Luckily our venue didn’t need too much decoration. The barn already felt really rustic and didn’t need much adding to it. We decided to add things like a few extra fairy lights, items to tie in with the travel theme like a light up globe, treasure chests for cards and gifts etc. The rest was all handmade items we added.
We loved making everything, it was so much fun! We decided to chose countries we had visited as table names and made postcards of the countries for each table along with a favourite picture of ourselves in that place. We contacted a printing company about a globe background we wanted to print on a canvas for the table guest list which turned out amazing and wasn’t expensive at all. We went on amazon for our wedding favours which were little cardboard parcels and suitcases, which we put together with sweets inside. We had a few little projects like that which we are so glad we did as when we saw it all together, it was completely worth putting the time and effort into.
Wedding photographer’s website:
We found Michelle by chance through Facebook and loved her photography. It was all so natural and relaxed. We didn’t want the photos to look too staged or forced. Her style was exactly what we wanted from a wedding photographer.
We were so pleased with Michelle. She has been fab from the beginning. She took so much time during the first visit to listen to what we wanted and make sure she understood our needs. The second time we met was a few weeks before the wedding and she went through everything with us to make sure we were all on the same page and happy before the big day. Michelle is so easy to talk to and you feel really at ease with her which is so important. On the day she was so attentive and got all the big shots we wanted.
Our photos came in the post in a gift wrapped box with the images in a USB along with some really lovely Hotel Chocolat gifts, which was such a sweet touch. The images were just what we had hoped for and more. She went above and beyond for us. We had rain all day long and I was a bit worried we would miss out on some lovely outdoor shots. This didn’t stop Michelle from being creative, she took a picture of the two of us under an umbrella in the rain which is one of our favourites. She has given us so many pictures we love and will make a lovely photo album.
Michelle Cordner is a member of the English Wedding Directory, which makes me very proud indeed. Kent couples – discover her beautiful website at www.michellecordnerphotography.com and swoon over her images on Facebook and Instagram @michellecordnerphotography
Our wedding was held at Cooling Castle Barn in Rochester, Kent. We chose this venue as it really stood out to us compared to the other venues we had visited. We wanted a venue that felt relaxed and the rustic barns and little garden had that feel. The castle ruins added another level to the venue, we hadn’t seen anything quite like it. The wedding co-ordinators were so knowledgeable and made us feel that our wedding was in good hands.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Relaxed summertime castle barn wedding
Your wedding style or theme:
We chose a travel theme for our wedding as we both love to travel and have visited a lot of places together over the years. We thought this would work well with the rustic venue and pictured having globes, suitcases and postcards dotted around the barn lit with fairy lights. We both felt this was the best way of putting our own stamp on our wedding and that’s what we did!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We found our suppliers in various ways. Some we found through social media and others were recommendations from friends or found in wedding blogs.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
I would say if there is a way you can plan or make something yourself then do it. I think you need to ask yourself is the time put into doing something yourself worth saving money. Obviously this may take some research, but if the answer is still yes then do it yourself! We made our own wedding invites, table names and places, menus etc which was very time consuming but saved us quite a bit of money. And we really enjoyed getting creative with it.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
I think the photographer is a definite part of the wedding we are glad we didn’t try to cut back on. I think all the other parts of the wedding are just details, but when it comes to photos we wanted to get a good variety and are glad we decided to have Michelle for the full day. It was nice to have photos from the beginning to end of the day and most importantly get a good sunset picture!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We were very lucky to have my brother in law who works in design and my sister who is also very creative. We worked together on a design we had in mind of a love heart created by both of our finger prints. We created the invites with this design and from there we used the same design and made table names and menus which turned out great!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I did, and it was completely unexpected. I had in mind quite a plain dress as I’m not overly keen on glitter, but ended up with the complete opposite!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
My wedding dress was from Wed2B
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My jewellery was my wedding present from Martin. I had matching pearl earrings and necklace which really complimented my dress. My shoes were heeled sandals from Pink Paradox with a few gems on the top.
And what did the groom wear?
Martin wore a blue suit from Moss Bros which we decided to buy rather than hire. He has already worn it again a couple of times to other weddings and it’s nice to have it as a reminder if our day. He wore this with a dusty dark pink tie from ASOS.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My bridesmaids dresses all came from Wed2B. They had such a lovely selection of colours and styles. We chose a dusky pink colour and they ended up selecting an off the shoulder style – I was tempted to get one myself!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I had two lovely ladies come in to do the hair and makeup for myself and my bridesmaids. They both created a soft natural look which lasted literally all day!
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
We chose a lady called Suzanne from The Flowersmiths. She was literally amazing. When we went for our consultation she asked so many questions and listened to what we wanted. She sent us a moodboard later that week which had images of all the flowers we had discussed along with images of our colour scheme with bridesmaid dresses etc. Her attention to detail is great and it was really helpful to have the moodboard so we could piece together how bouquets and centre pieces would look.
We decided to go for white flowers with a hint of peaches, dusty pinks and deep reds. The bouquets on the day blew me away and I had so many compliments on the flowers during the day from guests.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We chose a simple rustic looking cake to tie into our relaxed theme. We had butter icing with a simple flower design made from icing which draped down the three tiers. I found out I was gluten intolerant a few months before the wedding so my mum also made some gluten free cupcakes with a little flower on top which we dotted around the bottom of the cake and they went really well together.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We decided to have a photo booth for the evening. We both went to a wedding which had one and it was so much fun and decided early on we really wanted to have one at ours. We had a photo album of all the photos which we were given at the end of the evening which was great.
We also decided to hire some video cameras and had the idea through a wedding blog. We basically arranged for a few friends/family members to record aspects of the day and then post the cameras back. The company then made this into a 10 minute and 45 minute video. The idea behind it is when someone you know is behind the camera, people are more themselves and you get a more fun and relaxed wedding video. The video we had back from the company was amazing and we have really enjoyed sharing the clip with friends and family.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
I would say try to relax and have fun with it. Wedding planning can get quite stressful/time consuming at times. Utilise friends/family if they can help with any aspect of the wedding planning. Try not to get too consumed in making sure everything is “perfect”, some things will be out of your control and you won’t care on the day!
What’s the best thing about being married?
The best thing about being married is knowing we will always be there for each other.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Photography – Michelle Cordner Photography – http://michellecordnerphotography.com
Makeup – Lydia Rae Makeup – www.lydiaraemakeup.co.uk
Hair – Zara Rose
Bridal Dress – Wed2B – www.wed2b.co.uk
Decorative Hire – Confetti Connections – www.confetticonnections.co.uk
Cake – Nicola Peters – www.suchfuncakes.co.uk
Entertainment – OMG Photo Booth – www.omg-entertainments.co.uk
Florist – The Flowersmiths – www.theflowersmiths.co.uk
Shoes – Paradox London – www.paradoxlondon.com
Videographer – Shoot it Your Way – www.shootityourway.co.uk