Wedding at The Oak Barn, Devon
Love in Bloom
Merle and Alex's rustic French-style wedding at The Oak Barn
Merle and Alex first met during a night out in the French ski resort of Chamonix when they were both working for the same airport transfer company. "As we met in the mountains and we both love it out there so much it was only fitting that we got engaged there too!" says Merle of Alex's snowy proposal in Austria on Christmas morning 2012.
Bringing a touch of French style to their rustic country wedding at The Oak Barn also proved rather fitting. The couple hired the rural venue for a whole weekend of celebrations. "We wanted the day to reflect us as a couple and our life together," she continues. "After so much planning and time spent imagining what the ceremony would be like and what the barn would look and feel like on the day, it was fantastic to see everything come together. It was even better than we had imagined."
Strings of bunting, rustic furniture, vintage table runners and jam jars filled with delicate arrangements of daisies, gypsophila, phlox and lavender complemented the rustic feel of the venue. Flanked by bridesmaids in pale yellow frocks, Merle's floaty dress and Alex's blue vintage suit completed the relaxed and stylish picture.
Accordion player John Slater performed French cafe style music, including the couple's favourite songs from 'Amelie', as guests arrived for the personal ceremony, which featured readings from Merle and Alex's mothers and the couple's self-penned vows. The exit provided Merle's favourite moment of the day, as she recalls, "We walked down the aisle holding hands after we had exchanged vows to the sounds of the accordion player coming down from the mezzanine, looking out into a sea of happy faces and thought 'wow, we really did it!'"
After canapes on the lawn, the wedding feast continued the laidback vibe of the celebrations. A hog roast was served alongside mixed platters, Mediterranean salads and a bounty of delicious desserts including old-fashioned French chocolate tart, Dutch apple pie and Bailey's cheesecake. Cafe swing jazz band The Night Owls took to the stage in the evening, performing a medley of dance floor filling music from the 1920s to the 1950s.
Looking back, Merle recommends other couples consider their own extended festivities. "Make a weekend of it if you can. Your wedding day goes so fast that it's nice to make the most of it and have time with your family - especially if they have travelled along way to be there!"
"Remember to collect some keepsakes from the day and your time running up to it so you can make a little album to remember the day," she adds. "I was so excited by it all that I completely forgot but luckily Alex's mum was on the case and now I have lots of little reminders of our engagement and the day to look back on."
Photography Vince Chapple www.vincechapple.com
Venue The Oak Barn, Hittisleigh Barton www.theoakbarn.co.uk
Catering Piglet Cottage Hog Roast www.pigletcottage.com
Dress Pronovias from Ava Rose Hamilton www.avarosehamilton.co.uk
Bridesmaid dresses Debut from Debenhams www.debenhams.com
Hair Lyndy Ewings www.hairbylyndyewings.co.uk
Make-up Anna RJ www.annarj.com
Decor hire Virginia's Vintage Hire www.virginiasvintagehire.co.uk
Devon Vintage China www.devonvintagechina.co.uk
Flowers Peamore Flora www.peamoreflora.co.uk
Entertainment John Slater www.accordionjohn.co.uk
The Night Owls www.thenightowlsband.co.uk
Copyright Wed magazine 2015
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