Pretty Barn Glitter Wedding With Gin & Crisp Bar: Sam & Amy

Crisp bar? Glitter beard? Porkpie wedding cake? Yup this pretty barn wedding has it all…

Words by Amy or Sam. Images by Lumiere Photography.

When it came to choosing a wedding venue, we knew we wanted to go somewhere away from Manchester and Formby (where Sam’s friends and family mostly are). We wanted people to be able to go away for the weekend and just enjoy the romance of it all.

I think we both had made our mind up before we even walked into the barn. We had visited several other types of venue and had narrowed it down to a barn, and Eden Barn couldn’t have fitted the brief any better. We had a lot of our own touches we wanted to add to the day, and we wanted somewhere which we could set up, not a venue where the only decision we had was the colour of the chair ribbons!

I don’t even know where to begin explaining how wonderful the Harker family (of Eden barn) have been. From all the ridiculous requests we sent during the planning process, to how easy they made the setup and actual wedding day, we could never thank them enough. What a wonderful team.

I absolutely dreaded wedding dress shopping after years of prom dresses, graduation outfits etc. I wanted to shop somewhere where I knew I wouldn’t be judged and would also plenty of dresses to choose from, David’s Bridal was exactly that. The dress wasn’t remarkable, or even particularly memorable to most, but when I tried it on, it was the most beautiful I had ever felt.

Sam, god love him, isn’t the tallest and hasn’t felt good wearing tails at other weddings he has been involved with. The venue, we felt, really suited a tweed look. We opted for no jackets for the groomsmen, this saved a fortune and was a good way of making Sam stand out. Everyone felt very relaxed not wearing a tweed jacket on a hot day!

Lynne & Jo our florists were outstanding from beginning to end, especially given my brief was only ‘ABSOLUTELY NO GERBERAS’. I knew the look I wanted, and from our email conversations, before we even met Lynne and Jo, I knew if we were getting married the next day they would have made my vision a reality. People are still commenting on the flowers, and just how glorious they were.  Even writing this, I am welling up at how wonderful the table settings were!

We wanted the band to play Sam’s sort of music while he was waiting so they played The Smiths, Muse and Nirvana. I walked down the aisle to them playing the traditional Pachelbel’s Canon.  I imagine this is from watching ‘Father of the Bride’ at a very young age!

We met in 2012 when we both worked for the same accountancy firm in Guernsey (me being a born and bred ‘Guern’, and Sam from Formby, Merseyside).  Despite becoming friends, we didn’t become romantically involved until June 2014. Things moved quickly, and we had decided to move to Manchester in the August.

We bought a dog shortly after, Bertie, and settled into our new life. In December 2016, I was whisked off to Prague, and on a rooftop overlooking the night skyline, Sam proposed.

The blossom trees were the genius idea of Stems Design and we loved them. Despite originally looking at going for white and green, we quickly realised May allowed us to use the most wonderful colours and floristry. My bouquet had proteas running through it to reflect my South African parents.

The barn is just so spectacular that it quickly defined in our minds the look we wanted to go for. Choosing themes to flatter what was already there, the most wonderful blank canvas. We did have the following…

Guest letter ‘R’ – Etsy.  This is now hanging in our Kitchen, and everyone reads it. Why not combine a new piece of wall art with a guest book.

Gin Bar – Amy’s creation.  We like to be creative in our drinks, and in addition to the main free bar, this area allowed guests to create their own gin mixtures.  With liquors from Guernsey, homegrown herbs and seasonings, there really was something for everyone.

Crisp Bar – Sam’s creation. He is known for his absolute adoration of crisps and created the explanation about how each flavour made it into the prestigious few.  

Table Plan.  We wanted to use polaroid style photos of the guests, and we thought a macrame curtain on a copper pipe frame would complement the venue perfectly (we also planned to recycle the frame as hanging space for our spare room!) This was made by a family friend and looked better than I even imagined it would.

If we could offer any advice?

Amy – Invest in your suppliers, don’t assume going for the cheapest will save you money.  By choosing good suppliers who you can trust, your stress levels will be very much reduced.

Also, budget well and prioritize the things which are important to you. There are loads of cheap alternatives for areas that you don’t want to focus on.

Pinterest and Instagram are fantastic tools, but use them to inspire you, rather than try to copy them. We were very aware that we didn’t want our wedding to look like a crap version of someone else’s.

If we could offer any advice?

Amy – Invest in your suppliers, don’t assume going for the cheapest will save you money.  By choosing good suppliers who you can trust, your stress levels will be very much reduced.

Also, budget well and prioritize the things which are important to you. There are loads of cheap alternatives for areas that you don’t want to focus on.

Pinterest and Instagram are fantastic tools, but use them to inspire you, rather than try to copy them. We were very aware that we didn’t want our wedding to look like a crap version of someone else’s.

Try to realise your own creative skill early on, if you’re anything like me, it’s better to leave it to the experts!  I would also say, if you are buying things (welcome signs etc.) try to get things you would happily use later in your house.  We have framed our welcome sign, hung our guest ‘R’ and utilized our table plan. Lovely memories, and much better than gathering dust in the loft!

Sam – We have been to lots of weddings where there is a real lull post lunch.  It doesn’t need to cost much money, but some form of entertainment before the evening do does wonders and stops people feeling like they need a disco nap.

Our most memorable moments?

Amy – The first set of couple photos we went to do. It was perfect and allowed us to just be together and catch our thoughts after the last 24 hours.

Sam – The moment after the flower girls had walked up the aisle, and seeing Amy, looking more beautiful than ever. It will be a moment I will never forget.

For us, wedding photography was a biggy.  Very posed photography wasn’t for us. We also wouldn’t have wanted to be away from the party having them done.  

I found Lumiere on Instagram, and I adored everything they did; the editing, the style, the natural poses were exactly right.

We moved our wedding date around their availability, and my God did it pay off.  I feel as though we made friends in Laura and Doug, and that reflected in how relaxed everyone was around them on the day resulting in some stunning guest photos.

wedding credits / photographer: lumiere photographic / wedding venue: eden barn / brides dress and veil: david’s bridal / grooms suit: groom hire / brides shoes: monsoon bridal / bridesmaid dresses: asos / bridesmaid shoes: monsoon bridal / hair & makeup: vicki suddaby / florist: stems design / savoury wedding cake: higginsons of grange / catering: southcott catering / glitter bar: wish upon a sparkle

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