Great Barn Weddings – Daisy & Oliver
It’s been a little while since we posted a wedding on here, but, as you can imagine, August is an incredibly busy and exciting month in the wonderful world of weddings and that is no exception at The Great Barn. Every weekend has been filled with beautiful brides, dapper grooms, incredible finishing touches, loving families and friends, ready to party and share in the special days that we are also lucky to be part of.
So, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Daisy and Oliver, who were married at the beginning of July. Theirs is, by far, the biggest wedding we have hosted with 200 guests. And we think the table layout worked really well to accommodate such a size, without losing that intimate feel. Photographer Emma Solley, has created some outstanding imagery and our good friend, Joanna Game, has done it again with her stunning floral creations.
Let’s hand you over to Daisy so she can share more special memories of one awesome day in Devon…
Ollie and I met at our freshers’ week at Edinburgh University in 2005. (In fact we ‘first met’ twice as the second time he forgot that he had met me two days earlier and reintroduced himself!). We started dating two years later and have now been together almost nine years.
Ollie had just heard that he had got a new job as a commercial airline pilot that required him to move to Abu Dhabi in the UAE (I live in London). This was something he had been working towards for a long time but it was an important turning point for us as it meant we would be apart for 18 months while he completed training. He proposed soon after getting that news on a freezing beach in January on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. It was a beautiful place that was very important to us as we travelled to the Highlands and Islands a lot when we lived in Edinburgh. We were engaged for 18 months.
My family are from Exeter so we wanted a venue that was ‘the best of Devon’. We both have really big families so we also needed to find somewhere that could fit our 200 guests. It was actually the first and only venue we visited as we both immediately felt it was perfect and had complete confidence in John and Emma from day one. They were very understanding about our unusual situation (Ollie was by then living abroad and the nature of his job meant that there was a chance we would have to change the date quite late on in the process) and they offered us the flexibility we needed to feel we could commit to the venue. They also seemed completely unfazed by our large number of guests, and were full of encouragement and enthusiasm from day one. I have never felt in such capable hands and they made the whole planning process a pleasure.
My dress was actually a silk skirt and two tops (one silk, one lace), made by the designer Andrea Hawkes in London. It felt simple, modern and comfortable – and I looked like myself (in contrast, when I tried on a few ‘traditional’ dresses I absolutely hated the corset, tulle etc, and I felt like I was wearing a dressing up costume!). I really enjoyed the whole process as the dress was bespoke and Andrea and her team were such fun to work with. Plus, I really admired their design aesthetic which seems so fresh in the wedding dress world. I also had a full length veil from Andrea Hawkes.
My gold shoes were from L.K. Bennett as I wanted to be able to wear them again. I’m lucky that a good friend Leila Swift is a very talented jeweller and she made our wedding rings and also transformed some jewellery of my grandmother’s into a pair of earrings that I could wear on the day.
Ollie and the groom’s party hired three-piece suits from Moss Bros. Ollie was only in the UK for one week in the 6 months leading up to the wedding so hiring suits was the most straightforward option. His tie was from Reiss.
Emma and John recommended the florist Joanna Game to us and we couldn’t have been more delighted! My mother and I had a wonderful first meeting at her studio to discuss different ideas and were so impressed with her talent and enthusiasm. Many emails, Instagram images and another meeting followed and the flowers on the day were completely beautiful – better than I could ever have imagined.
They also work exclusively with Dartmoor Kitchen and our experience with them was incredibly positive as well. We had a great tasting session and the food on the day was really exceptional and the service very impressive.
I really enjoyed the ceremony – much more than I expected to as I thought I would be very nervous. We had a friend of ours read an introduction which put our situation in context (with Ollie living abroad and only getting five days’ holiday for his own wedding etc!), some friends sang and it was all much more moving than I expected.
I would recommend the Great Barn to absolutely everyone (and have been doing so since we first visited). The setting is second to none, but the main thing is the extraordinary service you receive from John, Emma and their team. We felt like we had our own wedding planners as they knew the answers to everything, had the most amazing advice, and always made us feel like our wedding day was unique (even though we knew that they must have weddings every week!). They went above and beyond what we expected and took away so many potential stresses – we will always be incredibly grateful. On a practical note, they obviously have very good relationships with everyone else we worked with (the photographer, caterers, florist) which really helped to make things run smoothly. And they were clear about costs right from the beginning – so no nasty surprises (and I know lots other venues where this hasn’t been the case).