The beautiful colour scheme subtly weaving its way through today’s summer barn wedding is dreamy, ethereal perfection. There are shades of blue, from the palest pastel to powder, and soft dove grey with accents of copper and rose gold here and there.
Read on for a country church ceremony with a rustic, animal friendly barn reception, with specially organised glamping facilities for our couple’s guests.
Lydia Stamps Photography + Follow
On the 10th August 2019, veterinary physiotherapist Laura married Jason, a teacher. They held their ceremony at St. Mary’s Church in Warsash, Southampton, followed by a reception at The Barn at Avington, which is next door to a working farm near Winchester in an idyllic, riverside setting.
On her feet, Laura wore Rachel Simpson ‘Mimosa Quartz’ shoes – a brilliantly sparkly take on Rachel’s now iconic, Art Deco inspired shoe design – and these were chosen at Hannah Elizabeth Bridal.
“My inspiration for the scheme and style of the day was based around my hair piece by Agnes Walker, who specialises in headpiece design using vintage jewellery.”
Laura’s Agnes Walker hair vine was a delicate creation of rose gold and silver wire leaves with pearls, and she chose this piece at The Bridal Bazaar from What Peggy Did Next. Very special bridal lingerie, including a bespoke garter, was by Pompadour Couture Lingerie, via Hannah Elizabeth Bridal, where Laura used to work!
“I borrowed my sister’s pearl earrings from her wedding day. My bracelet was a gift from Jason, with a robin and a wren on, symbolising my grandparents who are no longer with us – the most perfect gift.”
“Having worked in a bridal boutique (Hannah Elizabeth Bridal) for a few years, I was very clear about the dress I wanted. I’d seen it on Instagram, found out the designer and then tracked down the UK stockist well before we had even got engaged!”
The designer in question was Leanne Marshall, whose dreamy designs are all sustainably made in New York. Laura chose the ‘Grandy’ top – a long sleeved tulle design with floral embroidery and beautiful beaded embellishment all over – which was paired with the ‘Raincloud’ skirt – a dove grey silk organza confection of ethereal beauty.
“I purchased my Leanne Marshall gown from Rock the Frock in Chelmsford. We had to visualise the overall look because I could only try on the skirt at a trunk show and the top wasn’t available. It was worth the risk though.”
Wedding transport came in the shape of a cool, vintage Landrover Series 3 in limestone cream, hired from Swanmore Wedding Cars. Laura’s beloved father accompanied her down the aisle to the theme music from the TV show, The Darling Buds of May.
Jason wore a splendid bespoke waistcoat in tweed from Healy & Son, and I love the accents of blue running through the fabric, together with Jason’s blue chinos, a matching tweed jacket (hired from Healy & Son), braces, and a bespoke floral print tie.
“We desperately wanted our two dogs to be able to be involved in the wedding, which reduced our venue search significantly. The Barn at Avington was very new (not even finished yet!) and we viewed it before its first open day with the events organiser Beth.”
“Hearing her vision for The Barn got us excited again, and it was the perfect blank canvas set in the beautiful Hampshire countryside, which gave us the opportunity to get creative with the space, have our family stay on site, and still include our beloved four-legged/three-legged friends too!”
Laura’s bridal bouquet was a magnificent pastel toned affair by the talented Jenni Bloom Floral Design, filled with sweetly scented Old English roses and sweet peas, delphiniums, dahlias, cafe latte roses, hydrangea blooms, achillea, astrantia, Japanese anemones, wax flowers and jasmine, accented with dried flowers, grasses, honesty, garden herbs and lots of greenery.
“Jenni’s brief was that it was to look like it had been swept up out of an English country garden.There was also a plethora of English foliage including British-grown eucalyptus.”
Laura grew up in the Hampshire village of Warsash, and St. Mary’s Church vicar Mike conducted the couple’s lovely ceremony.
“We felt our ceremony was so personal because we had spent lots of time discussing marriage and what it meant to us with our vicar in the months leading up to the big day. We did cheekily ask him on his last visit to our home if our dogs could be present at the ceremony.”
“We were thankful he said yes as they had been slightly playful on his previous visits!”
There was a canine themed ceremony reading, too – All I Need to Know About Life I Learned From My Dog (Anonymous) which the couple found on Pinterest.
“Our rings were by Anais Jewellery Design. I worked with Kelly so she knew my style and had designed my engagement ring. She made us bespoke his and hers wedding bands, where the orange blossom design of my wedding band made up the central portion of Jason’s wedding band.”
“We met at university in Aberystwyth in Wales when we were both members of the swimming and water polo team. We were friends throughout university and only started becoming romantic after we had graduated.”
“We did several years long distance before Jason moved down to Hampshire where we both lived in a caravan while my parents extended the family home – talk about a baptism of fire!”
“Jason proposed on a little romantic weekend away with the dogs at the farm where the TV show The Darling Buds of May was filmed. We’d been for a long, slightly snowy walk and were very chilly and Jason tried insisting that I sit on this old tractor in the farm yard for a photo – I kept telling him, ‘I can’t sit on that, it’s falling apart,’ and when I turned around, he was down on one knee! It was such a lovely and very ‘me’ way of asking – and we were spoilt with a ‘perfick’ champagne afternoon tea in one of the barns.”
Here’s Jason’s version of how the proposal went down!
“I knew the Darling Buds Farm would be the ideal place to propose, but I hadn’t planned out where exactly. As soon as we arrived the evening before I was looking around trying to plan. I had mentioned it to the owner previously and was texting her the plan.”
“She was incredibly accommodating, and I was so thankful to her. I am slightly disappointed that I couldn’t get Laura to sit on the tractor though, however the seat was definitely not usable. With the unplanned snow, it worked out beautifully – some would say ‘Perfick’.”
Handfuls of dried flower petal confetti tumbled through the air as Laura and Jason left the church, and these sweet, happy moments (and many more) were captured in luminous, magical style by Lydia Stamps Photography, whose beautiful work has featured on our pages many times.
“On planning the wedding, a photographer was the supplier I was most worried about, mainly because I had captured a few weddings myself after college, but also because the photographs are the lasting physical reminders you get to keep of the day – so you want the style to be representative of you as a couple so you’ll happily display them in your home for years to come.”
Together with Lydia, Laura and Jason even visited Laura’s horse on the way to the reception!
“We met Lydia of Lydia Stamps Photography at a wedding showcase organised by What Peggy Did Next. I’ve known one of the team through my industry connections and she recommended Lydia to us.”
“As soon as we got chatting we both knew she was the one for us! She was as excited as us about our ideas for our wedding, and she instantly made us feel relaxed as she wasn’t about the ‘sell’ at all.”
“I was so pleased we were able to book her as she is so incredibly popular and exceptional at her art.”
Laura’s bridesmaids looked wonderful in sequin and tulle dresses from ASOS, which they wore with their own choice of shoes. Some opted for Rachel Simpson ‘Mimosas’ in different colours, too!
Ready and waiting for guests to stay overnight in at Laura and Jason’s reception venue were pastel coloured bell tents from Baylily Bell Tents, all decorated with bunting.
Drinks were enjoyed outside, and guests could also help themselves to favours from Laura and Jason, who had grown herbs planted in terracotta pots.
Inside the barn, trestle tables were set for dinner, with long trailing runners of grey chiffon, decorated with bud vases, candles and elegant tableware. Above the tables were three ‘cloud’ installations made from gypsophila in different colours, and honesty seed heads.
“On the end wall of the Barn we enlisted the help of family to install a dried hydrangea wall feature with hoops and ribbon all sourced and made by me.”
“The stationery was all homemade – I designed the invitations on Microsoft Word, and they were printed on Deckle edge paper which we hand finished by tearing them ourselves.”
“Similarly, I hand wrote all the place names in bronze metallic pen on deckle edge paper, and we used watercolour pastels in dusky blue to edge them.”
There were old family wedding photos hanging in frames, and on top of a stack of vintage suitcases, the couple’s three-tiered rose gold wedding cake, which was made by a family friend.
“It was lemon and elderflower, and it was so yummy! I’d photographed her wedding for her a few years ago, and it was lovely to be able to ask her to help us with our own special day.”
“Our table plan was made by sourcing vintage cricket bats and using each one to detail where each guest was to be seated. Cricket is Jason’s first love and it was important for me that we incorporated that into the day.
There was even a little impromptu cricket match instigated by our flowergirls and guests!”
After drinks and canapés, everyone sat down to an incredible feast from Smallpiece Catering, including delicious sharing boards of cheeses and meats.
Live evening entertainment came courtesy of The John Adams Band, who also played Laura and Jason’s first dance song – one of their own – Million Lives.
“We heard him perform it at a gig in Winchester and locked eyes with each other during it and knew it was the one. John’s story behind it resonated deeply with both of us. The John Adams Band absolutely got the party going, and every guest commented on what great fun they were!”
“Jason had heard John performing one summer at the Portsmouth Beer Festival– he would describe him as a mix of Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and James Morrison, and does the best mash up of Shut up and Dance by Walk the Moon and What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction.”
“Jason – I saw John Adams on his own at the Portsmouth Beer Festival. Not only did he sound incredible, he had a great range of covers and mash ups and had an amazing rapport with the crowd present while on stage. I knew Laura would love him as a wedding performer – this was before we were even engaged.”
Laura and Jason, that was simply magical, thank you so much! What a treat to begin the new year with, and all captured so wonderfully by Lydia Stamps Photography. Thank you, Lydia.
Until next time.