Today’s modern, boho summertime barn wedding in the idyllic Cotswolds is full of soft and romantic pastel colours, elegant details, and beautiful seasonal flowers – not to mention the loveliest wedding party member – our couple’s gorgeous dog, Kenzie!
This is the wedding of Ashley and Alex. Ashley works in fashion product development, and Alex is a procurement manager, and this happy couple were married on the 29 June 2019 at the beautifully restored Barn at Upcote, near Cheltenham.
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Beautiful make-up was by Alexandra Sinclair, and Ashley’s manicure (complete with nail polish in a shade called ‘Something Borrowed’) was by Just Gels Cheltenham. On her feet, Ashley wore Jimmy Choo’s gold, sparkly ‘Lang’ heels.
Hannah made a pretty hair comb of pink spray roses and hypericum berries with eucalyptus for Ashley, which looked lovely in her braided chignon by Kirsty from Individual Glamour.
“I had always dreamed of having the true ‘Say yes to the dress’ experience at Kleinfeld Bridal, so when I was in Toronto visiting, I took my Mum and my bridesmaids with me. I had followed Enzoani on Instagram for a very long time, and was thrilled when the ‘Juri’ fit just as I had imagined.”
“Wedding Days of Cheltenham did all the alterations. They were absolutely lovely from beginning to end.”
Ashley wore a tennis bracelet gifted to her by Alex, and layered two scents by Jo Malone.
“I had an amazing experience in Cheltenham with one of Jo Malone’s assistants, Megan. I chose their limited edition Silk Blossom, and paired it with Cardamom and Mimosa.”
Ashley looked spectacular in her dress, with its intricate yet sheer Guipure lace bodice, low back edged with sparkling stones, and a dramatic illusion lace train.
“As we are not traditional, and it was not a church service, I didn’t want to be conservative with my dress. I always wanted a really fitted dress with an open back, and I loved the tattoo lace and the way it hugged my curves. I also loved the cut-away lace on the train.”
Alex wore a blue suit with a subtle check pattern, with a contrasting light grey waistcoat, white shirt, and blush pink tie from Cheltenham outfitters Regency Groom. Best Dog Kenzie was smartly turned out with a eucalyptus buttonhole.
“The venue was the perfect space and size for our wedding. They were flexible with the venue set-up, and the courtyard space kept the wedding intimate. The team were unbelievably helpful, it was such an amazing experience.”
“They were so supportive on the day and everything ran so smoothly. Having a team that goes the extra mile definitely made a difference.”
First down the aisle were the couple’s two smart pageboys in outfits from The Children’s Place, their flowergirl in a lovely pink Monsoon dress, and their dog Kenzie. The bridesmaids followed in pretty ‘Desert Rose’ hued dresses by Morilee, and shoes from Nine West.
“Each of the girls wore love knot bracelets and Jo Malone perfumes picked out for each of them individually during our appointment in Cheltenham.”
Ashley and Alex chose to hold their ceremony outdoors in the venue’s courtyard, and this made for a beautiful, sweeping ‘aisle’ walk down the garden stairs.
“I have always loved the idea of getting married outside, and we really based our venue choice around somewhere that would be flexible with the unpredictable UK weather, and to walk down a set of stairs to the altar. From there we knew we wanted a really relaxed, fun atmosphere,with a lot of floral decor. I love mixing pastels, boho, and modern looks together.”
Chris from Tux Fizz sang Marry Me by Train as Ashley made her way down the aisle together with her father. As a backdrop, there was a copper arch, beautifully made by a friend for the couple, and decorated by florist Hannah.
“We met when we were 14 during a student exchange programme in France. I’m Canadian, and after keeping in touch through all the years, I finally travelled to the UK in 2011 to visit Alex, and we have been together ever since. We were officially married in May 2014 at Cheltenham Registry Office, and in 2017 decided to start planning our wedding.”
Being already legally married meant that Ashley and Alex could have a truly personalised second ceremony with all of their family and friends, and celebrant Ruth Gwilliam worked together with the couple to put together a beautiful service.
“Ruth was a pleasure to work with. She was so thorough, really accommodating of our quirks, and didn’t mind our relaxed style. We both wrote our own vows. I vowed to always take late night trips to McDonald’s with Alex, and he vowed to be an attentive Instagram husband – but we tied in some serious bits as well!”
Explore lots of more wedding readings here on Love My Dress
Wedding rings came courtesy of Birmingham jewellers Mitchel & Co., and close friend Jessica read the piece He’s Not Perfect by Bob Marley, which she kept as a surprise for the wedding day.
Capturing the modern country romance of Ashley and Alex’s day was photographer Siobhan Beales. I just love this collection of gorgeous images, filled with soft and beautiful light, and Siobhan’s approach to her work.
“Can’t recommend her enough, one of the best photographers I’ve ever experienced at a wedding. She blended in seamlessly, and looking back at the photos sometimes I don’t even know how she managed to get some shots whilst being so inconspicuous!”
“Her style is impeccable, and people always comment that they’ve never seen such beautiful wedding photos. She also happens to be one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and is a true pleasure to work with.”
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“We have our photos on a running loop on the TV and our Google Home Hub, so we get to see them all the time, and to this day we’re still seeing ones we feel like we haven’t seen before. Seeing the photos regularly always brings a smile to our faces.”
I just love the fact that beautiful pastel pink David Austin roses (the variety is called ‘Generous Gardener’) grown in our couple’s own garden were the cornerstone of the exquisite floral arrangements by Hannah Lauren Floristry and Design.
“I had a very specific idea of what I wanted for my bouquet, and after meeting with Hannah I knew she understood my vision. Peonies are my favourite flower, and with our wedding being in June it was the perfect time of year. I also wanted a lot of eucalyptus and foliage.”
“We wanted delicious, slow cooked meat shared on serving boards at the table, and had a really hard time finding many caterers who do this, but The Lazy Pig smashed it! We had so many comments afterwards about how great the food was, and they came back to serve seconds so no-one felt awkward about sharing.”
“The food was so so good! A very relaxed and enjoyable wedding breakfast. Then they offered two different evening foods, too, which everyone raved about.”
“We had three large floral hoops, which I picked up from a previous bride on Facebook Marketplace. One of my absolute favourite parts of the decor.”
When it came to a wedding cake, Ashley had followed Hannah Culley’s Cakes for a while on Instagram, and was always impressed by her wonderful, delicious creations. For the couple’s cake, Hannah baked one tier of Victoria sponge, one of Oreo flavour, and one of white chocolate and raspberry.
“My vision for the cake was completely understood: a three-tier semi-naked cake with a gold drizzle, gold foil, macaroons, and dressed with flowers that tied in my bouquet.”
Beautiful stationery with elegant, modern lettering, including a welcome sign, order of the day, table plan, menus and place cards (as well as invitations) were by More Than Words Studio. Ashley’s leather jacket was from Superdry, and it was custom hand lettered and painted by More Than Words, too.
“Everything was designed and created with attention to detail and really set the tone for the day. Our welcome sign was Pinterest inspired – one day when drinking wine and listening to music, Ella Eyre was playing and that’s when I thought of putting ‘We Came Here For Love’ on the sign – it felt so true.”
Instead of cut flowers, Ashley potted different succulents sourced from Cheltenham and Gloucester Flowers, which also doubled as guest favours, and pastel pink napkins were also made by Ashley, using a length of beautifully textured linen from eBay, which she cut so that the edges would gently fray. These were then secured with twine, and decorated with sprigs of lavender.
“When I look at the photos I don’t think I could pinpoint one very favourite part because every photo really brings up a different memory. I think we both spent the entire day smiling.”
“Alex says his favourite part was seeing our dog Kenzie coming down the aisle! We probably should have practiced our first dance a bit more, and I regret not hugging my dad at the altar, but we hadn’t practiced/discussed the walk, and I was nervous!”
“Our first dance was to Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. Alex introduced me to Snow Patrol, and we bonded over their music as teenagers, so it’s very sentimental to us. I found our band, Tux Fizz on Instagram and loved their style.”
“I always saw videos of them getting involved with the crowd, which I think is an amazing way to get more people up on the dancefloor. Chris, the lead vocals performed at the ceremony, during the reception drinks, played keys during the wedding breakfast, and the rest of the band joined for the evening.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“My parents’ contribution is without a doubt the main reason we were able to have our wedding, so I wanted to set as realistic of a target as I could at the beginning knowing things would crop up. When we wrote out the budget we decided that my parents’ contribution would cover the big spends such as the venue and the catering, and that we would pay for everything else. We started a spreadsheet with a budget for each category (venue quotes, catering quotes, dresses/suits, shoes, music, photography, hair/make-up, flowers, cake, gifts) and my aim was to come in under budget on each target set to allow room for those unexpected things.”
“The budget came to £21,000, and being meticulous with spending tracking we spent £20,500. I was a very DIY budget bride, and Alex even joked in his speech about how much time was spent on Pinterest!”
“Budgeting is very important, and I think it helps to keep you realistic – and if you do succumb to the Instagram ‘need to have this at my wedding’, look at your budget and see what you can sacrifice to make room in the budget for extras. Do as much as you can yourself if you want to, use Pinterest and watch YouTube videos.”
“Another thing we still feel was so important is the size of the venue. We had 90 guests, and some venues are just too vast for a smaller group, and people disperse quickly and areas can feel empty. The courtyard was perfect for keeping everyone together, so the space never felt too bare.”
Ashley and Alex, thank you very much for this glimpse into your gorgeous day. I hope everyone else has enjoyed this as much as I have, and it’s been made all the lovelier by these images from Siobhan Beales Photography, so thank you Siobhan. You can also enjoy more real weddings featuring her work right here.
Until next time!