Real Wedding: A beautiful big day at Brinsop Court
From a childhood romance to saying their vows, Emma and Steve celebrated their special day within the stunning setting of Brinsop Court, enjoying a flower-filled wedding with sentimental touches.
The happy couple: Emma Barnes (nee Sunderland), 29, owner of wedding stationery and calligraphy business Emerald Paper Design; and Steve Barnes, also 29, an Independent Financial Advisor, from Cheltenham
Wedding date: Saturday 2 September 2017
Ceremony venue: St Mary’s The Virgin Church, Burghill, Herefordshire
Reception venue: Brinsop Court
Theme: We didn’t really have a theme for the day; I just knew that I wanted lots of foliage and flowers in berry shades with different metals as accents
Photographer: Marta May Photography
Flowers: Issy and Bella Floral Design, with Kate Cullen ribbons
Dress: Alfred Angelo Bridal dress from Cotswold Bride. Alterations by the brilliant Annette Bell in Cheltenham.
Bridesmaid dresses: Zara – oh how I loved these!
Groom's outfit: Hired from Moss Bros
Cake: Curtis and Co Cakes
Catering: Clever Chefs
Transport: A Morgan two-seater sports car
Entertainment: Music from The Distractions Band; magic from Darren Campbell Magician
Hair and beauty: Hair by Tabitha MacCurrach-Paine, and make-up by Naomi Emmanuelle
Rings including engagement ring: Wedding bands created by the very talented Ryan at R J Spicer, and the engagement ring is a vintage 1800’s ring
When and how did you first meet?
We first met in Year 5 at St Edward’s Junior School, Cheltenham. Yep it is a childhood romance!
Who popped the big question and how did they propose?
Steve popped the question whilst we were away in the Lake District celebrating our 10-year anniversary. We went for a walk, well attempted a walk, but the weather was so bad that we didn’t get that far – the wind and rain were pushing us over!
Steve got down on one knee and asked if I would do him the honour of being his wife; I believe I took a while to reply as was in utter shock! Yes, we had been together for a long time but I didn’t think he was ready for the next step.
How long did it take you to plan your wedding?
We got engaged in November 2015, so were engaged for 22 months but we weren’t really planning it for all of that – we wanted to enjoy that phase of being engaged and not rush it.
Why did you choose your venue?
We had been around a number (maybe 10 or so) venues around the Cotswolds and unfortunately none of them ticked all the boxes (we had quite a long list!)
I was starting to lose hope when my Maid of Honour suggested we looked slightly further afield, around Herefordshire, as she used to work that way and said she used to see some stunning properties.
As soon as I saw Brinsop Court I could imagine our big day taking place there, the building, decor and people were all amazing. Two big selling features for us were the amount of onsite accommodation and the fact that we could really put our own mark on the venue; it’s a stunning canvas to be unique and personal.
Was there an inspiration or theme for your wedding?
I don’t think we really had a set theme for the wedding. I think for me, working in the wedding industry and seeing stunning weddings all the time meant I knew exactly what I did and didn’t like!
What made you choose your photographer?
Steve and I loved Marta’s work as soon as we saw her website, and the fact that she had already photographed weddings at Brinsop was another big tick.
How did your wedding photographer capture your big day memories?
Marta and Artur were just amazing on the day, it was great having two photographers as none of that preparation time before the ceremony was missed, as one could be with each of us.
Did you hire a wedding planner or was it a DIY affair?
No, we didn’t have a wedding planner, just us and the brilliant team at Brinsop.
Did you make, design or create anything yourself?
Oh yes! I obviously did all the wedding stationery including save the dates, invitations, order of service, table plan, place names, menus and some signage.
I also created a large backdrop for behind the top table, we did this (well my dad!) using AstroTurf, a strong frame and my calligraphy laser cut by the fab Daisy Says I Do.
For the tables, as well as Issy and Bella’s beautiful florals and foliage, I had collected bottles which we sprayed different metallic shades for some of the flowers to sit in and we also planted little succulents into recycled tins.
Tell us about the wedding dress…
I feel like when shopping for a wedding dress it is so much pressure, you feel the need to find the most perfect dress EVER! Georgie at The Cotswold Bride was so lovely and that’s where I found my dress. It had a lot more lace on it than I ever thought I would go for!
I went for alterations at Annette Bell in Cheltenham and she worked her magic, turning it from a dress I liked into a dress I loved and felt like a princess in! Annette made the back lower, changed the shape of the v at the front, made it a little more fish tail, so fitted at the hips and down the thighs, and she even added some beautiful beading to my belt.
What did the groom wear?
Steve was in tails, I think he always imagined himself in tails getting married so I wasn’t going to stop him! His waistcoat, cravat and handkerchief were a pale gold and he got some new super shiny Kurt Geiger black shoes to wear.
Did you incorporate any special family details or heirlooms, for example?
At the time of the wedding I had lost one of my Grandmas who I was very close to and my perfect Mum. So on the day I had a small photo of each of them attached to the wedding bouquet so they were with me as I walked down the aisle. I also wore my Mum’s eternity ring which my Dad gave her when I was born.
I also wore my Grandma’s pearl earrings which I had modernised by R J Spicer, I can now where gold studs with or without the pearl drop. Finally, I gathered photos of both our parents and all of their parents on each of their wedding days. I then framed each photo and added a little tag to say who was who; it was lovely to have the six wedding photos together.
Did you have something old, new, borrowed and blue?
Yes I did, although I didn’t do the borrowed! The something old was my Grandma’s earrings; the new was my shoes; and the something blue was my garter.
What song did you walk down the aisle to?
Pachelbel – ‘Canon’ in D Major.
Did you have any special readings during the service?
Both readings we had were lovely and made even more special as my Godfather and Steve’s Godfather did one each.
What did you have for your wedding breakfast?
We had pulled duck confit to start, then fillet of beef and finally treacle tart (it was my Grandma’s favourite) to finish off.
What kind of cake did you go for?
It was a five-tiered cake by the very talented Curtis and Co Cakes. We wanted something simple, elegant and delicate and we were not disappointed! The sugar flowers were just a whole other level!
What was your first dance song?
‘You & Me Song’ by The Wannadies
What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
Emma: Oh gosh I definitely can’t give one answer for that! Every second was amazing and so special, from spending time getting ready with my special girls, to the car drive to the church with my Dad (we may have taken a few selfies!), to walking into the church and seeing Steve, the first kiss as Steve threw me backwards! The confetti walk, the magician, the food, the speeches – oh the speeches were just amazing! I have watched those so many times now! Then the dancing and celebrating after. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Steve: I actually really enjoyed the day before the wedding, we collected the Morgan from Malvern and then drove it over to Brinsop Court, the sun was shining so we had the roof down and it was great fun. Then obviously the ceremony (!) and finally the whole evening part, just seeing all our friends and family relaxed and enjoying themselves.
Did everything go to plan?
Pretty much, or as far as we know!
What advice would you give anyone planning their big day?
To try and enjoy the planning phrase, don’t get weighed down in the pressure and politics. It’s your day and you guys should do what you want! (Luckily our families were onboard with our plans from the start so this wasn’t an issue!)
Is there anything you know now that you wished you’d known before the big day?
I don’t think so – just that people weren’t lying when they said the day goes so, so quickly!
And finally, where did you spend your honeymoon together?
We got a last minute (booked two weeks before the big day) trip to Rhodes and stayed at a brilliant hotel called Casa Cook – well worth a look and is Instagram heaven!!!
Wednesday 13 June 2018
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