a beautiful rustic barn wedding in Staffordshire, with a hint of Harry Potter | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Merry Monday! Kirsty tried on over 100 dresses before she found her dream gown, which was made bespoke and my goodness, she looks gorgeous in it. What I love about Kirsty and Scott’s wedding is that they took everything they loved and put it all in to their day, for the people they love. There are so many fun and personal touches that make this such a fun and pretty wedding. And no wonder Kirsty couldn’t just choose one favourite moment, there are several touching images from their day. I hope you enjoy. I am always in favour of a wedding that has Harry Potter vibes!

photography | Mylo Photography 

I had a few things that I knew I wanted from my dress; ethereal (think ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’), colour and a decorative back.  I went to around 20 shops and tried well over 100 dresses and I couldn’t find what I was looking for.  I came across Dorothy Rose Bridal (Ellesmere Port) on Facebook and found out that the owner Sophie designs all the dresses herself so they can be completely bespoke made.  I chose the Sonja dress which had everything I was looking for, the ethereal feel from the tulle skirt, it was a champagne colour and had the dramatic back I was hoping for.  I was really happy with my choice of dress until a couple of months before the wedding when I realised something wasn’t quite right.  I went to try my dress on again and realised that the neckline really didn’t suit me and I wanted it changing to more of a Bardot, off the shoulder look.  Sophie sent my dress off to alterations and the next time I saw it, it was exactly how I’d imagined it.  I had a champagne coloured bow back belt bespoke made by Love Frocks to finish it off.  I had my shoes shipped from the American store Macy’s, they are by Betsey Johnson.  The bottom of the shoes are a tiffany blue colour, so they were partly chosen to be my ‘something blue’ and because they were gorgeous!  For a couple of hours in the evening I changed into a tea length Chi Chi London dress and gold Converse so that I could join in the Ceilidh (more info below), once the dancing had finished I changed back into my wedding dress.

Bride’s hair accessories/veil:  Both my hair accessories and veil were bespoke made by people I had found on Facebook.  As our rings are rose gold, I found it impossible to find rose gold accessories for my hair, I put my trust in Red Boo-Tique who specialises in festival headwear that she sells via Facebook and I am so glad I did.  With the help of Red we designed a rose gold and tulle flower vine to go across the front of my head and matching mini vines to thread through the back of my hair.  My veil was from Clair Eliza Donoghue, again I found her via Facebook.  I love Shakespeare and wanted to incorporate that into my wedding so had Clair make me a cathedral length drape veil that hung on either side of my head, like something that Juliet would wear when marrying Romeo.

Our flowers were from a local florist to the venue called Blossoms Florist based in Leek.  Based on our shabby chic/ vintage theme we chose cream and pink roses and gypsophila.

As we had booked a barn we wanted our theme to match so we opted for a rustic / shabby chic/ vintage wedding with a Scottish twist (plus a bit of Harry Potter and Shakespeare) Think lots of bunting, hessian and lace.  I handmade a lot of the decorations for our wedding including chalkboards, a pallet that we used as our order of the day and our table names.  I twined anything I could get my hands on; cake knives, champagne glasses and decorations and hand painted personalised Converse for my bridesmaids to wear during the Ceilidh.  The bunting we used in the barn was my ‘something borrowed’.  My best friend and bridesmaid Brooke handmade the bunting for her wedding two years prior and although we had completely different venues it fit perfectly in ours and looked amazing.

   Airbrush make up and hair by Bridal Hair and Make Up of Cheshire.  Vicky and Anna are the dream team when it comes to getting the bride, 4 bridesmaids, two mums and an auntie ready in time for a 2 o’clock wedding!

The bridesmaid dresses were one of the first things I had bought after getting engaged.  I knew I didn’t want long, plain dresses so chose pink floral tea dresses from Lindy Bop.  As the dresses are patented I wanted simple jewellery so opted for handmade pearl bracelets and necklaces.  I also gave my sister who was chief bridesmaid a special pearl belt to wear.  Each bridesmaid had different coloured shoes to match the flowers in their dresses.  It was no easy task to find 4 pairs of pastel coloured shoes that all looked similar but luckily Faith and Dorothy Perkins saved the day.   My little flower girl wore a tulle dress and a matching bow belt to mine and a little flower crown on her head.

As Scott’s family are Scottish, we initially wanted kilts for the wedding, however the sheer cost to provide kilts for everyone and the difficulty in finding a tartan we decided against it.  Instead, we opted for Scott to wear a navy tartan suit from Next, with tan brogues from River Island.  I bought an extra bridesmaid dress from Lindy Bop and cut it up to make pocket squares so that the groom and groomsmen matched my bridesmaids. I decided I wanted to set Scott and our son Josh apart from the others by buying them pink bow ties (more info on bow ties below).  I wanted to buy something for Scott to remember the day by so I surprised him with an Omega watch on the morning of our wedding.

Groomsmen’s outfits/accessories: Each groomsmen had a plain navy suit from Next, tan brogues from Primark, the floral pocket square and a sage green bow tie.  I couldn’t find anything in the UK that matched the pink and sage green that I was looking for so I had them handmade in Lithuania by a seller on Etsy.

Our son Josh who is 10 was born with a palette problem which meant his voice didn’t sound like everyone else’ Josh had a third and final operation to fix the problem in March, two months before our wedding.  Josh was so pleased with how his ‘new voice’ sounded he asked to do a reading and he also wrote his own speech.  Both of which were captured by our amazing videographers Big Bear Wedding Films (I’d love to give them a shout out for being awesome) so we can watch these special moments back for years to come.

Our venue offered a ‘Host a Roast’ menu.  Each table is given a roast meat and one person is specially selected by us to carve the meat.  The carver was given a chefs apron and hat to wear whilst serving the table.  It provided the exact result we were going for, guests were laughing, taking pictures and having fun during what can sometimes be a fairly slow part of the day. The Ashes, Endon, Stoke on Trent.  As soon as we walked into the ceremony barn of The Ashes we knew it was the venue for us.  We love character and live in a barn so having a barn wedding was an easy choice to make. The Ashes has won Wedding Venue of the year and it is easy to see why, the venue is amazing, the staff are on hand 24/7 to help with your day, the location is perfect…the list could go on.

Mylo Photography.  Although Mylo are based in Sheffield, miles from where we live or the venue we had chosen as soon as we saw their portfolio of mainly natural, relaxed photos we knew they were the ones for us.  Scott and I aren’t posy, over the top people and we wanted a photographer that would capture our wedding as the fun, relaxed day we had planned.  Our photos came out so amazingly, my sister who is getting married in July this year has also booked Mylo.  We had an engagement shot with Mylo a few months before our wedding, we would recommend this to anyone as it gives you an idea of what to expect on the day and makes you feel a lot more relaxed whilst having your photos taken.

As we got engaged in Edinburgh after an amazing afternoon tea I came up with the mad idea of providing everyone with an afternoon tea favour which turned out to be one of the most challenging parts of the whole wedding.  We sourced over 100 cups and saucers, handmade over 100 miniature scones and relabelled tea bags with handmade labels that said ‘Time for Tea’ on them, we also put in a mini jam and a shortbread biscuit, the idea being that our guests could go home the next day and enjoy afternoon tea on us as we had done when we got engaged.  The cup and saucer were tied together with twine and we added labels to each cup with our guests names so that they doubled up as their table place name.  For the children we stuck with a similar theme, we bought drinking mason jars and added a chalk label for their table place name and filled it with cookies so that whilst the adults were enjoying afternoon tea the children could have cookies and milk.

We decided months before the wedding that we wanted a naked cake as if fit perfect with the rustic barn.  Our good friend and one of our groomsmen Ben Read Cakes made us a 4 tier cake made up of lemon, strawberry, Victoria sponge and a white chocolate layer.  We didn’t want fresh flowers or fruit around the cake as the wedding was in May and we didn’t think they would last well in the heat so Ben handmade 4 halos of sugar craft flowers to go around each tier, we intend to frame each halo to hang in our house as a beautiful memento of our day.  Finally, we asked Ben to make us owl cake toppers, I gave him some of the tulle from my wedding dress to make the brides veil.

New York and Mexico!  As I have a severe nut allergy I’d never ventured further than Spain and we couldn’t think of a better time to go further afield than for our Honeymoon (risky!).  We spent 4 days at The Hudson Hotel in New York near Central Park and then over to the Now Sapphire in Riviera Cancun, Mexico.  The two weeks were amazing, now I’m not so sure we can just go to Spain anymore.

We went a bit overboard on the entertainment for the day but feel that every penny was worth it.  I love owls (hence the cake toppers) so booked Flying the Knot wedding owls.  Angel the owl flew our wedding rings to our best man, after the ceremony we were able to have photos of Angel and these are some of my favourite photos they Mylo captured.

We have a string quartet for the ceremony called The Dotted Crotchets, they then moved outside during the drinks reception.  We asked a good friend Bobcat Magic to bring his awesome magician skills along to entertain the guests.

We asked Chester Exotic Animals to come along with some of their animals like Angus the skunk as well as snakes, birds, turtles and lots more that our guests could hold, learn about and take photos of.

In the evening, we had Strictly Weddings DJ who also provided our LOVE lights, a personalised dance floor monogram and a tv that we used for a slide show of photos of us with all of our family and friends.

As well as the DJ, to keep with the Scottish theme we also had a Ceilidh band called Flaxmere Ceilidh Band who played all of the traditional Scottish Ceilidh songs that we could dance to.  It was amazing to see Scott’s Scottish family and my English family as well as all of our friends joining in and giving it a go!

  • Don’t listen to the people that say ‘don’t worry you still have a year to go’. Time flies and it will get away from you quickly so make sure you keep on top of planning and don’t leave everything until the last minute
  • I made the mistake of booking things for myself, things that I really enjoy but then didn’t get to appreciate like the string quartet, the magician, an ice cream cart and a sweet table.  Although my guests loved it all, I could have probably saved myself some money by not booking a million and one things and they still would have had a great time.
  • Above everything else, don’t scrimp on your photographer. The photos will be the only thing you have to look back on for years to come, so make sure they are perfect.
  • For anything handmade Pinterest and YouTube are your best friends.
  • Don’t let people tell you in what order to buy and book things. I bought my bridesmaid dresses very early on and the looks and comments I received from brial shop owners who thought I had made the wrong decision choosing their dresses before my own.  It’s your day, do it exactly how you want to!