Wedding at Upton Barn & Walled Garden, Devon
Into the Garden
Abi and Jake’s perfect summer party at Upton Barn “We met at secondary school when we were 11 and have been best friends since then, but we didn’t get together until we were about 19,” reveals Abi. “I was on a five-month round-the-world trip and when I came back we realised we felt like more than friends.”
The couple were travelling when Jake took the opportunity to pop the question at dawn on a mountain-top in Bali. “We had got up at 2am to hike up Mount Batur to see the sunrise,” remembers Abi. “It was a tough hike and Jake was poorly! When we got to the top, we sat down and Jake put his blanket around me. We were watching the beautiful sunrise when Jake asked me to pull back the blanket. When I did, he was holding a beautiful sapphire ring! We spent the descent talking about what we wanted our wedding to be like and planning telling our family and friends; it was the most exciting time.”
Selecting Upton Barn for their “rustic West Country-themed” wedding, a neutral colour scheme perfectly complemented the gorgeous rural venue, where everything took a relaxed and informal vibe. “And we didn’t have much décor because we loved the venue just as it was,” adds Abi, whose mum arranged the flowers in big wild bouquets to suit.
“I loved the whole day but my favourite moment was walking down the aisle and seeing Jake waiting for me. I was so happy to see him and so excited for the ceremony to begin,” says Abi of her personal highlight, which Jake agrees was also one of his standout memories: “The ceremony was my favourite part, which isn’t what I was expecting!” he comments.
Drinks, canapés and garden games entertained guests during the post-ceremony celebrations, which were followed by a two-course picnic basket-style wedding breakfast featuring ‘posh’ sausage rolls, duck and plum scotch eggs, pâté, mini cheese boards and salads. Dessert comprised miniature scones with cream and jam, and lemon posset, while a brownie tower made by Abi was served as the wedding cake.
“The day was perfect and everything went as planned,” she reflects. “Before the first dance, Jake and I went to a nearby cornfield for photos. When we returned, two of our close friends performed our first dance song, ‘Stand by Me’. The rest of the night involved dancing, getting merry and toasting marshmallows!”
Combining two forms of entertainment with one standout performer, their DJ doubled up as a magician. “After he’d set up his equipment, he mingled with the guests and performed magic; it was amazing!” says Abi.
Keen to caution other couples of the potential planning pitfalls, she says: “Remember why you are getting married. It’s easy to get caught up in the small details and lose sight of what you’re planning – a day to celebrate your love. Don’t underestimate how much time the small things require and call on friends and family – in our experience they were more than happy to help,” she adds as another word of advice. “And don’t skimp on the big suppliers. If you can afford it, using suppliers with lots of experience will help your day run smoothly and ensure you have nothing to worry about.”
Photography Nova Photography novaweddingphotography.co.uk
Venue Upton Barn & Walled Garden uptonbarn.com
Dress Lazaro from Ellie Rose Bridal ellierosebridal.co.uk
Bridesmaids’ dresses Thedaintyard thedaintyard.com
Groom’s & groomsmen’s outfits Marc Darcy marcdarcy.co.uk
Hair The Updo Girl theupdogirl.com
Flowers The Flowermonger theflowermonger.co.uk
Transport Exec Cars Exeter execcarsexeter.com
DJ & Magician Gary Dadds garythemagicdj.co.uk
Copyright Wed magazine 2019