Going to university not only brought about a new romance for Hetty and Dave, but also a new home – with the couple staying in the area ever since meeting in 2010. In an homage to Hetty’s love of nature, the couple went on a camping trip to Wales in summer 2021, visiting Skomer Island for a day trip. “We were having a picnic lunch on a secluded cliff edge watching puffins and seals when Dave popped the question!” says Hetty.
The rural charm of The Oak Barn perfectly suited the couple’s rustic, autumnal theme. “We’ve always loved autumn colours and dried flowers, so autumn felt like the right time of year,” says Hetty who opted for rust and burnt orange colours, dried flowers, conkers, orange leaves and white pumpkins.
On the wedding day, an early start meant they all enjoyed a beautiful sunrise. “It was predicted to be a storm on the day, so it was a wonderful surprise to see the sun come up – we even returned the umbrellas as we didn’t use them!” says Hetty. Making use of the smaller barn for the ceremony, the aisle was lined with autumnal orange leaves, with the flower girl scattering extra leaves that the couple had collected from woodlands – with fairy lights and candles creating a cosy, intimate effect.
"Dave said his favourite moment was seeing me walking down the aisle smiling,” says Hetty. “That was probably also my favourite moment because suddenly everything we had been planning and visualising for the past year had become real, and all nerves disappeared when I saw all our friends and family together, with Dave smiling at the end of the aisle." After walking down the aisle to an acoustic version of Came Here for Love, it was a family affair as Dave’s sister-in-law did a reading, and Hetty’s sister sung Jack Johnson’s Better Together.
A drinks reception with Kir Royale cocktails followed the ceremony, with lawn games in the garden, including a hay bale-lined skittle alley. Speeches were enjoyed before the wedding breakfast, which came in the form of roast dinner sharing boards with seasonal vegetables, followed by a trio of desserts: chocolate brownie, gingernut cheesecake and tart au citron.
“We then put on our welly boots for a fun sunset photoshoot. Although the evening was a little cloudy, we finished in a field that looked over a picturesque view of the Devon countryside, and the clouds moved just as the sun was setting, creating a beautiful light and backdrop!” says Hetty. Then it was time for the dancing! “Neither of us like to be the centre of attention, so the idea of a solo first dance was not for us,” she says. “We instead had a fantastic ceilidh, which was a great way to get everyone on the dance floor and having a fun time.” Guests were treated to an evening of dancing as well as a kebab station, which incorporated lamb, falafels, pittas and all the trimmings.
When it comes to advice for others planning their weddings, Hetty’s advice is a practical one. “We created a spreadsheet that worked backwards from 12 months and listed actions to complete each month,” says Hetty. “It was a good way to spread everything out and not leave it all to the last minute – it was much easier to organise everything when you only had a few tasks each month!”
Photography Jonathan Neale photoneale.com
Venue The Oak Barn theoakbarn.co.uk
Dress Coast coastfashion.com
Suits Moss Bros. moss.co.uk
Bridesmaids’ dresses Dorothy Perkins dorothyperkins.com
Hair & Make-up Lauren at Foxhouse Retreat foxhouseretreat.com
Bouquet, buttonholes & hair accessories The Artisan Dried Flower Co artisandriedflowers.co.uk
Table centrepieces MUD Urban Flowers mudurbanflowers.com
Ceilidh band Amber Fire devon-ceilidhs.com
Catering, glassware & crockery Mulberry Catering mulberrycatering.co.uk
Fairy lights Socialights socialights.co.uk
Table, chairs & wagon table Virginias Vintage Hire virginiasvintagehire.co.uk
Photo booth West Country Photobooths westcountryphotobooths.co.uk