Great Barn Weddings – Kate & Neil
“The Great Barn was actually the first venue we saw and we fell in love with the place- it was everything we wanted for our ‘Devon Countryside’ wedding.”
Weddings are, of course, extremely personal and today’s is no exception. Because Neil, the groom, grew up very close to the couple’s chosen church, which he could see from his home, the couple knew that getting married somewhere with such personal meaning, was crucial to building new memories together.
So it is with the greatest of pleasure that we introduce you to Kate and Neil, and share their beautiful wedding photographs, courtesy of Chris Morgan…
“The ceremony took place at St Peter, St Paul and St Thomas Church in Bovey Tracey. Neil grew up in Bovey Tracey and could see the church from his bedroom window, so it was important to us to get married somewhere that was special to us and somewhere we’ll hopefully live with our own family one day.
“The reception was at The Great Barn. This was actually the first venue we saw and we fell in love with the place- it was everything we wanted for our ‘Devon Countryside’ wedding.
“We met on the hockey pitch- which to all our friends wouldn’t be a shock as we have both grown up playing hockey. Neil’s mum insists she knew we would end up together from the moment we met- something to do with Neil asking who I was and the way he reacted. It wasn’t until a year later that her instinct proved correct. Mother’s always know best!
“He almost accidentally proposed over Whatsapp! Neil’s sister, Lauren, was travelling in Australia at the time so he phoned her to tell her what he planning. Lauren (the most excitable woman in the world!) insisted he send a photo of the ring… but he sent it to me instead… Luckily, I was with his mum at the time so when he rang, I handed the phone to her to answer, as I was driving. I didn’t get it back for a couple of hours whilst she waited for this picture to come through- I thought they were planning something for my birthday!
The actual proposal was perfect. It was a treasure hunt in our house, and with my competitive nature I love a challenge. There were about ten clues all related to our relationship somehow. For example: ‘you wore this top on our first date’, and my next clue was there. Once I had all the clues, a message was on the back telling me to meet him a particular place on Dartmoor for the sunset. I missed the sunset but he got down on one knee and I promptly cried!
“Neil grew up in the countryside, and I have loved Devon since I moved here nine years ago. We had an idea of wanting a converted barn for our reception and The Great Barn blew us away. It was everything we wanted- the location, the gardens and the classic feel to it all.
“I loved John from the moment I met him- a true gent in every sense. I knew that our wedding would be in great hands, and no other venue we had considered even came close.
“I bought my dress from Serenity in Newton Abbot, which I would highly recommend to anyone- Jennie is wonderful. It was a Justin Alexander design, antique lace with a high neckline and a beautiful train. I added a satin and pearl sash to it, and matched this with pearl drop earrings. (I had heard about brides knowing when they tried on ‘the one’ and this definitely happened with me.) No other accessories as I’m not one for wearing a lot of jewelry, so I kept it simple.
“Neil wore a hired morning suit from Serenity, as did his grooms’ party. Grey with a baby blue cravat (to match the bridesmaids).
“We had two themes running side by side: travelling, but Devon being home. We had baby blue and sunflowers running throughout the day, as both are very summery and have a countryside feel- our save the dates, orders of service, bouquets and button holes all featured this. Having strawberries and scones (baked by Thomas’s Bakery in Bovey Tracey) in the gardens was also one of the lasting memories of the day for me- it just captured everything I wanted for our wedding.
“As Neil and I have done a bit of travelling, including one five month trip, we wanted to incorporate that too. Our tables were named after places we’d been, our table plan was a sign post that Neil made and our invitations were designed as a plane ticket.
“There were so many special moments across the weekend. My sister-in-law doing my make up in the morning. Arriving to the church to the sound of bagpipes was very special for me. Neil carrying me out the church- also my favourite photograph from the day. Seeing everyone enjoying their scones in the garden, with the garden games going on around it. The food! The food was amazing. Dartmoor Kitchen is incredible, and we still reminisce about how fantastic all three courses were. The dancefloor in the evening. Our band, The ZuZu Men, had everyone on their feet and letting their hair down.
“The Great Barn is a beautiful setting, and it is finished to absolute perfection. It is exclusively yours, and being able to stay in the cottages really adds to the whole occasion- I wanted to move in permanently. Emma and John are the most perfect hosts, and nothing is too much trouble for them- they’re behind the scenes constantly so you don’t have to worry about a thing. I always have my fingers crossed that someone I know will get married there so I can go back!”