Real Wedding: An understated barn wedding at Blackwell Grange
With the sun shining and drinks flowing, Katherine and Matthew tied the knot at Blackwell Grange, celebrating their big day with an elegant, understated and chic Cotswold wedding.
The happy couple: Katherine, 27, and Matthew, 29, from Kenilworth
Wedding date: Sunday 27 August 2017
Ceremony & reception venue: Blackwell Grange
Theme: An elegant and understated barn wedding
Photographer: Helen King Photography
Flowers: Flower Thyme, Warwickshire
Dress: The White Boutique, Leamington Spa
Bridesmaid dresses: The White Boutique, Leamington Spa
Groom's outfit: Matthew wore a suit from Black Tie, Coventry
Cake: By the Groom’s mother and Godmother, with brownies by Beki’s brownies.
Videographer: Agne Wedding Films
Photobooth: That Photobooth Company
Why did you choose your venue?
We wanted to get married at a venue where we hadn’t been before for any of our friends’ weddings. We have always loved the Cotswolds and knew the venue was not too far from us so we booked an appointment to view it.
Did you have a theme for your wedding?
We’d describe our wedding as simple, elegant and understated. We wanted a relaxed day with a little glam. We felt this reflected us best as a couple.
How did you decorate the venue?
We used a lot of flowers to decorate the ceremony room and dining tables. Our photographer also gifted us with a large framed print of one of the photos she took of us during our engagement shoot which we placed on the wedding card table – it’s one of my favourites.
What flowers did you have?
When I first met my florist and told her what I was looking for, she straight away could see my vision. I only requested one type of flower; David Austin Rose. They are so pretty and have an amazing smell! The rest I left to my florist. We were so pleased with the end results and they look so striking in our photos.
Did you make or design anything yourself?
All of the wedding stationery was designed and made by the bride. It was so fun making them and made it extra special. My friend made us a beautiful bespoke wedding card box which was a great centerpiece for our wedding card table.
Tell us about the dress
I bought my dress from the White Boutique in Leamington Spa. I originally wanted lace – it’s so timeless and I have a lot of lace in my wardrobe! I tried on a lot of dresses but I hadn’t fallen in love with anything.
The lady at White Boutique asked me to try on a very different style dress which I initially wasn’t impressed by – it looked so plain! As soon as I walked out of the changing room to see myself in it I actually said ‘wow’. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was on. It suited my petite figure perfectly and went with our look for the wedding – simple, elegant and understated.
What did the groom wear?
The groom hired all the suits from a company in Coventry called Black Tie.
Where did you get ready before the ceremony?
My bridesmaid and I had our hair and makeup done at my mum’s house in Kenilworth. We all then drove to the venue to make the finishing touches to the venue and put our dresses on.
Where was your ceremony held?
We had both the ceremony and reception at Blackwell Grange. We wanted our guests to have a relaxed day and not worry about travelling elsewhere.
We hired an acoustic duo to play music during our ceremony which was beautiful. We chose all the songs they played from a collection.
Did you include any special readings?
We had three readings during the ceremony read by the groom’s godmother, bride’s aunty and one of the groomsmen.
We spent quite a while choosing the readings as we wanted to make sure they fit well in each part of the ceremony. In the end we chose On Your Wedding Day, Union and All the Best. We amended some of the wording to make it more personalised.
Where did you have your drinks reception?
We had our drinks reception outside the reception barn. The weather during most of August had been awful so we were so lucky to have such a beautiful sunny day! Everyone took advantage!
We served Pimm’s, beer and elderflower sparklers along with a few canapés – crispy fried cod with chips and tartare sauce (my nephew loved these!); baked camembert with sourdough crostini; crispy mushroom, truffle and baby leek risotto balls; and Thai chicken skewers with sweet chilli glaze.
What did you have for your wedding breakfast?
For starter we had bruschetta, followed by a surprise course of lemon sorbet with an aromatic lime and vodka shot.
For main course we had a roast rib of beef, which one guest per table was chosen to carve. For dessert we had a selection of canapes, including salted caramel ice-cream cone, mini scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam; and raspberry Eton mess.
What food did you have in the evening?
We had wood-fired pizza for the evening. We chose three different pizzas so out guests had a choice of Margherita; vegetarian; and barbeque chicken with ham and roast garlic.
How did the events team at Blackwell Grange help with your big day?
The events team were so helpful during the planning process and made sure we were happy with our food choices and arrangement for the day. Everything ran so smoothly on the wedding day – I didn’t have to worry.
What was your favourite moment of the day?
We loved the whole day but particularly loved having all our favourite people with us. I initially didn’t want a straight top table as I don’t think they are particularly sociable and I don’t like being the centre of attention.
On the day I actually enjoyed facing all our guests and watching our guests enjoy the food, talking and laughing. All our hard work had paid off.
Were there any little surprises on the day?
What is lovely about Blackwell Grange is that when guests arrive they only see the reception barn. They are then directed to the ceremony barn which we felt was a lovely surprise for guests.
What advice would you give to couples planning their big day?
Make lists and let your family know the plans so they feel at ease. Try to keep calm on the day. Make sure you have breakfast, it’s a long day!
Book a videographer, they are expensive but worth every penny. We love re-living our day when we watch it. I promise you will not stop smiling on the day.
Finally, where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went on a three-week road trip around California and Nevada. We stayed in 13 different places but our best bits have to include Disneyland, a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, and watching a baseball game.
We also saw Coldplay live in San José, visited the Big Trees National Park, walked the Golden Gate Bridge and drove the famous Highway.
Wednesday 25 July 2018
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