The wedding industry has been largely “back to normal” for a good seven months now and already it feels like a lifetime ago that weddings were going ahead under heavy restrictions. Reduced numbers, masks, table service, no dancing… While many postponed again seeking a wedding a la 2019, some of my couples were stoic and went ahead anyway… and actually, those smaller weddings were bloody lovely and Charlie and Andy’s wedding at Huntsmill Farm back in May when we were still under Stage 3 restrictions was absolutely no exception. Originally planned an an autumnal wedding, now fourth time lucky they kept their gorgeous autumnal colour scheme which felt vibrant and fresh and guests were treated to a magic show after dinner in the absence of dancing AND Mother Nature gave me a helping hand… that rainbow couldn’t have been more fitting.
How did you meet?
We met on the dating app Bumble! Chatted online for a week and then met for our first date in Thame where Charlie was living at the time. We went for drinks in a pub after dinner, and they had to ask us to leave as they were closing! Suffice to say, we knew very early on that this was special and we became officially a couple a few weeks later.
Tell me your proposal story:
It was April 2019, and we had talked about going for a walk one evening after work up to Ivinghoe Beacon, a National Trust spot not far from where we lived. Charlie ended up working late and getting home a bit later than planned, but we decided to still go for that walk (probably with some encouragement from Andy!)
We got up onto the ridge and the wind was really blowing and a bit colder than we had realised! Charlie was complaining of her ears hurting it was so cold and asking to turn back, but Andy said let’s just walk over to the other side of the hill to watch the sunset. Andy then got down on one knee… Charlie completely forgot about the wind and the cold at that point!
Why did you choose to hold your wedding at Huntsmill Farm?
We were looking for a relaxed barn venue with accommodation that we could spend the whole wedding event at with our closest friends and family, and had searched online for places that fit the bill .We came across Huntsmill Farm and loved the look online, so booked a viewing. A few days before we went to visit, we went for dinner with Andy’s best friend (the best man) and his wife and they recommended his cousins venue/farm… turns out that was Huntsmill farm! We fell in love with the venue on first sight, and were greeted so warmly by Henry and Ruth who run the place, there was simply nowhere else for us to get married, it had to be there!
A relaxed barn wedding venue in Buckinghamshire
What was it you loved about your outfits and accessories that made you choose them?
We decided to keep both our wedding outfits a surprise for the day – Charlie wanted to be surprised by what Andy was wearing too!
‘The dress’ was chosen after a few visits to different shops, and Charlie loving the princess style dress – it just felt so much fun to wear! And the champagne colouring went well with the original autumn theme of the wedding… the cowboy boots were decided early on, because of comfort, fun and wanting something Charlie could wear for years to come (heels are just not her thing!) Andy took a while longer to choose his suit, and it ‘suited’ the farm relaxed venue and atmosphere we wanted for our day. Andy’s favourite piece were definitely his brown shoes with green laces!
Tell me about the vision you had for your wedding including your theme/colour scheme/styling/flowers:
So originally we had an Autumn theme for an October wedding… Charlie’s favourite animal is a fox, and these colourings fitted perfectly along with teal/greens – we just wanted to incorporate our favourite colours as well as keeping the relaxed farm/barn vibe… and then Covid happened! Another important aspect was having sustainable seasonal local flowers, so just we went with what was available in seasons as we finally got married the following May. Our florist helped keep our favourite colours in the scheme, and she also dried some of the flowers from the October to use, which was just a lovely touch in Charlie’s hair piece and the button holes.
Wedding styling using seasonal, local flowers
What were the most wonderful parts of the day for you?
So many wonderful parts! Charlie getting ready with her bridesmaids, being able to live stream the wedding to all our friends and family who could not be there, the comedy magician, all the food! Although Covid meant we had to change our plans, having a small wedding felt so intimate and special, we just felt so lucky and happy to be surrounded by people who love us. The speeches were very special – Will, the best man, had practically the whole room in tears!
Why did you choose Hannah Hall Photography as your photographer, and what was your experience of your photography on the day?
Hannah is one of Huntsmill’s recommended photographers, which is how we found her, and after one visit to her website we were sold! We watched the 2018 highlights video and just fell in love with the way she captures so many moments of a wedding, as well as vivid colours and action shots. We wanted someone who would capture the day, and get photos of all the things we might miss because the day goes by so quickly! After our introduction virtual chat, we knew Hannah HAD to be our photographer and she has just been the most wonderfully supportive person all the way through the wedding planning process (and 3 postponements!) and provided us with advice and encouragement all the way through. Every time we postponed the first phone call we made was to the venue, then the second to Hannah! We highly recommend having an engagement shoot (if you can) as it was so great to meet Hannah properly before our wedding day too.
And then the wedding day itself, it just felt like having another friend at the wedding. Hannah is so organised and will help out where ever she can (doing up ties, fixing button holes!) she makes everything run so seamlessly and half the time you don’t know she’s there! She will do everything she can to get the best shots (including rolling around on the floor whilst the magician performs!) We just knew we could trust her completely to capture our wedding perfectly.
What would be your best bit of advice to other couples planning their wedding?
Remember why you are getting married! It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement and madness of planning a wedding, and sometimes things do not go to plan (do we have to mention Covid again?!) sometimes you forget that you are doing all of this to marry the love of your life. There were so many things we had to change, but the one thing that never changed was our love and wanting to be married, and it was absolutely the best day of our lives
Make it your day, do it your way and remember to enjoy it!