Great Barn Weddings – Jennifer & John
“During a moment of stillness, standing there hand in hand, we heard the sounds of chatter and laughter drifting on the breeze coming from the Great Barn.”
Jennifer & John were married at St. John the Baptist Church in Higher Ashton and held their wedding celebrations at The Great Barn, in September last year.
The happy couple were so pleased to share with us, just some of the memorable moments from their special day and how they met, just over two years ago…
“We met the summer of 2014 in Indiana, U.S.A. John was on a work exchange in Indianapolis for Rolls-Royce and I was a Professor at Ball State University.
“I flew over to Manchester Airport on Christmas Day, landing on Boxing Day. John was there to greet me with flowers and then drove the two of us to Malvern to meet his parents and siblings the following day. That afternoon we went for a walk at the British Camp on the Malvern Hills. The weather was a bit overcast and towards the top of the hill it did start to sleet, but with no one around, John proposed on a wet knee.
“We decided to get married in the UK due to the number of family members that would be able to attend in the UK verses the U.S.A. From there we decided we wanted to be at a destination where both sides of the family would travel and enjoy spending more time together. John is a surfer and always enjoyed the Devon area. All these points came together when we searched for an interesting site in the countryside and found the Great Barn. We were instantly in awe of its history and welcoming space. We soon realised we’d hit the jackpot with John and Emma, the owners, who looked after us and thought of every detail making the whole experience, of organising an international wedding in 8 months, achievable.
“My dress was designed by Kathleen McDermott, owner of Kambe Original Brides, in my hometown Highland, Illinois. Kathleen has been fitting me with dresses since high school prom. The buttons on the back of my dress were from my mother’s and grandmother’s wedding dresses. I also had a piece of lace from each of their dresses and my father’s baby blue pocket square sewn on the inside bottom of the dress. My shoes were Benjamin Adams, London.
“Accessories -pearl earrings by Tiffany Jewellers, New York. (borrowed from my mother); -pearl and diamond necklace was given to my grandmother by grandfather; -engagement ring by Mitchel & Co, Birmingham; -wedding band by Rogers & Hollands, Chicago; wedding hair comb from Affordable Elegance Bridal, online; -wedding handkerchief made from my christening bonnet and a piece of lace from my mother’s and grandmother’s wedding gowns. (this handkerchief was pinned below the bridal bouquet)
“My husband wore an English morning suit from Cox F L & Son, Malvern. His shoes were Loake. Wedding band from Rogers & Hallands, Chicago. John made his, the fathers’, the ushers’, and the ring bearer’s cufflinks from collected shells.
“Our wedding theme was the family tree, which can be seen from the leaves on the invitation and cut out table numbers, to the tree centrepiece adorned with favours of gilded trees on glass medallions. We also had a table of family wedding photographs and marriage certificates going back three generations. The colour scheme was purple and orange.
“Anneli, our photographer, took us away from the wedding breakfast at sunset to take photos by an old pear tree. During a moment of stillness, standing there hand in hand, we heard the sounds of chatter and laughter drifting on the breeze coming from the Great Barn.
“We would highly recommend the Great Barn to other brides and grooms. Not only is the space spectacular, but John and Emma are both amazing to work with. Emma provides a copy of her ‘bride’s bible’ containing a list of professionals. Having this list took the effort out of searching and we had the confidence that we would be in good hands whomever we chose. We can’t speak highly enough of the delicious food served by Dartmoor Kitchen and the stunning flower arrangements from Joanna Game.
“With an international guest list, it was extremely helpful to be able to gather family at the Great Barn a few days before the wedding. We were able to not only house family within the cottages of the Great Barn but host a rehearsal dinner the night before, a tradition more common in the U.S.
“The extra time also allowed us to decorate the reception venue. John was very open in our idea of bring a large branch into the Great Barn as a symbol of our family tree. Though we did bring a tree stand it took some extra engineering from John and his team to stable the large branch with approximately 80 hanging glass medallions!”