Great Barn Weddings – Toni & Mike
Toni Ardron and Michael Rose were married at The Great Barn Devon in May this year. We spoke to Toni who told us all about how they met, the proposal and all the lovely details of this very special wedding day, captured beautifully by Thomas Frost Photography.
“We met through work, Mike offered me a mushroom Cuppa soup one day when the office was freezing, I think I knew then that I wanted to marry him.
It was an odd proposal, with a bit of background to it. Mike and I went travelling in 2015 for 8 weeks, we were together for every second of every day for that time and knew it would make or break us. We had the most amazing time, but Mike missed so many opportunities to propose. Every time we were somewhere spectacular or romantic I thought ‘this is it, he’s going to do it’ but he never did and when we came home, I decided that we would never get married.
However Mike’s friends made him think about the missed opportunity and he realised that he had made a mistake.
So on Valentine’s Day 2016 Mike set about taking me on a journey back in time, through all the amazing moments of our trip; with jungle sounds in the background he guided me on a memory journey through to the moment we climbed Mount Kinabalu; when he proclaimed “we’re at the top” I opened my eyes and he was on one knee.
We chose the Great Barn mainly because of John and Emma, as soon as we met them we knew we were in safe hands. I’m not a girly girl, and so had not decided on every detail of my wedding, in fact I had no idea how a wedding worked, what I needed, what I should buy or anything. John made it happen, without his professional, laid back approach I don’t think it would have been as well organised or executed as it was. Also the venue is beautiful, originally we planned an outdoor wedding with garden party and lawn games, but when I saw the dramatic interior of the barn I was hooked. We have the drinks reception in the garden which fulfilled my requirement for some outdoor bits, and John and Emma were so relaxed about decorations, props, drinks, sparklers – everything.
My dress was a Sottero and Midgley and was from a boutique in London called Clifford Burr. It wasn’t what I was going to go for, but I was really struggling to find a dress, then when I put it on in the shop, my friend Rachel Evans shouted “she’ll take it” so we knew we had a winner. I loved it so much I didn’t want to take it off. I wore Jenny Packham wedding shoes which were comfy for the first 4 hours. For my jewellery I wore a pearl necklace and earrings that Mike had bought me when we were in the Dordogne, France. In my hair I had flowers, and also my something borrowed, which were diamond and pearl hair pins from my bridesmaid Deana Rowe.
Mike wore an electric blue suit from The Groom’s Room, Plympton. He had an olive tweed waistcoat to contrast with his groomsmen who wore matching blue ones. He also wore brown shoes and the new Tag Aquaracer watch that I bought him as a wedding present.
We didn’t have a colour theme. I wanted to be able to have all the colours I liked. So in my flowers, I have peach, pink, purple, loads of whites and greens.
The moment when I was about to walk down the aisle will stay with me forever; I couldn’t breathe and I had no idea what I was so nervous about. But my dad was just there, strong and helping me get myself together. Then when I was walking down I felt like I was floating, it was the most extraordinary experience. The minute I arrived at the front and Mike was there, I felt so relieved and knew that as long as I was with him, everything would always be OK.
Quite simply, The Great Barn is an amazing venue, with amazing suppliers, and amazing ideas; but if you don’t have someone like John (and Ally from Dartmoor Kitchen) there to pull it all together it’s only ever going to be half as good as it could be. I cannot fault the Great Barn, they made our day what it was. If you want a venue that isn’t going to dictate your schedule, food choice, wine package and just facilitate the day that you want then this is the venue for you.”