Claire & Senaka’s elegant rustic Kingscote Barn wedding, with Martin Dabek Photography
I’ll let you into a little secret right now: the LAST photo from Claire & Senaka’s Cotswolds wedding is my favourite. The things Gloucestershire wedding photographer Martin Dabek can do with nighttime wedding photography just blow my mind! But before you get there, we have the loveliest wedding at one of our favourite barn venues to share with you today. Our gorgeous couple tied the knot on a September day (not this year!), styling their celebrations with botanical details, pretty signage and foliage. Claire’s dress with that adorable belt and lace detail is from Clifton Brides, and we love Senaka’s suit too (and that fabulous floral tie!) – all in all, the perfect elegant rustic wedding day.
Wedding photographer’s website
How did you choose your photographer?
We searched on the internet for photographers in Bristol and narrowed down a short list of ones who had quite a natural style. We met Martin first and booked him straight away, he was so friendly and relaxed we felt immediately at ease. We loved his photos especially the way he captured the little moments of the day.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We loved Martin and his photos of our day!! From the minute he arrived in the morning he put everyone at ease and made us all laugh and relax. He was happy to take our suggestions as we wanted a few traditional ‘line up’ photos but he also guided us and had lots of great ideas for amazing photos. He captured so many special moments of the day. He was brilliant at directing us and our guests, it was a big wedding and he managed to get photos of everyone we wanted without it seeming he was giving instructions all the time. Afterwards he made a beautiful album incorporating our favourite photos and his. We could not recommend Martin more highly!!
Videographer details if applicable – and any thoughts for other couples about having a wedding video?
We did not have a videographer. Martin videoed the ceremony, speeches and first dance. It’s great to have them to look back on and to show elderly relatives who couldn’t attend.
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
We had the wedding at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury. This is my local church (Claire) where I was Christened and confirmed and is where I always knew I would get married. Its a beautiful church and feels like home to me so I felt really relaxed there. We were incredibly luck that my godmother is a vicar and the local vicar agreed that she could hold the service – that was incredibly special.
The reception was at The Kingscote Barn. We looked at loads of venues but as soon as we drove down the drive to the barn we just knew it was the place, we booked that day! The barn is just gorgeous and the setting incredible with a fabulous terrace overlooking a lovely valley. The team there were brilliant, nothing was too much for them, they made our wedding planning feel very personal despite them having so many weddings there. They helped with recommendations and every decorated for us in the morning following our instructions to the letter. The accommodation on site was lovely and was great to stay there and extend our time at the barn.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
We loved our outfits. I found dress shopping surprisingly fun as I’m not normally that excited about shopping. My sister actually spotted the dress in Clifton Brides and as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one! Myself and a friend made my veil after watching some youtube videos and it turned out beautifully and was so nice to wear something we had made on the day.
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
Our florist was Jacaranda in Nailsworth. We loved their no nonsense approach. We know virtually nothing about flowers but with only some guidance on colours the flowers were beautiful and coordinated with the bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen’s ties and colours in the barn perfectly. Emily did all the flowers in the barn in the morning and a garland across the balcony which really made the barn look gorgeous.
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
Our cake was made by Rachel’s Cake House. She uses eggs from chickens in her garden and had delicious flavours. We had victoria sponge, lemon and my favourite gin and tonic flavour! I was so yummy and we had lots of compliments about it afterwards. It was a semi-naked cake with flowers, and Rachel coordinated with the florist herself to arrange the flowers on the cake.
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
I got a bit crafty before the wedding and made some flower letters to say C&S to go on the welcome drinks table. My Dad made a 6 ft frame for photos and the table plan which the florist added a greenery garland to. These little touches made the barn feel really personal on the day.
For the meal we had sharing platters and so on each table had a chefs hat and flowery apron for one guest to wear to serve. We weren’t sure how they would go down but when we came into the barn for dinner all the table’s servers were wearing their hats and aprons and people were still wearing their aprons on the dancefloor!
Instead of a guest book we had a photo mount which everyone signed. We put the group photo in and its lovely to look at on our wall in the bedroom now!
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
Our readings were Love by Roy Croft and Romans chapter 12 verse 9-16
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
All of me by John Legend. When we first started dating this song was always on the radio!
Favourite wedding suppliers
Make up: https://www.facebook.com/powderandpaintbristol/