Emma and Jack celebrate with sunflowers and sparklers at Upton Barn & Walled Garden
"It was Emma's birthday and we had just booked into the most beautiful hotel," says Jack, recalling his romantic proposal. "Prior to this, I had found a ring I liked, bought it, hid it in the house for three weeks and managed to sneak it into the suitcase. I was unpacking while Emma was on the balcony looking out over the estuary, then she span round to find me on one knee, ring in hand. It's safe to say she was surprised!"
With more than two years of planning for their beautifully pared-back party, some decisions for Emma and Jack took time while others proved brilliantly instantaneous. "After our first viewing at Upton Barn we fell in love as it really lends itself to a rustic country wedding," explains Jack. "The only thing we wanted to incorporate was locality. It was really important for us to support small local businesses and using what was in season."
Simple decor complemented the country venue, with log rounds, large sunflower heads and tea lights on the tables, and sunflowers providing a gorgeous visual punch. "Our seating plan included our sunflower theme, a picture of the arbour and - most importantly - our two cats as well!" adds Emma.
The couple were wed in an al fresco ceremony underneath the oak arbour in Upton Barn's stunning gardens, after which the celebrations commenced in style with canapes, bubbly and photos.
"We then opted for speeches before the wedding breakfast, so everyone could enjoy their food," says Emma.
Caterers, Pickle Shack, created a sumptuous three-course wedding breakfast based on Emma and Jack's local ethos, where a sharing platter of breads, cheeses and local meats was followed by plated mains of roast pollock, blade of beef, and an aubergine and polenta fondant. Honey crï¿½me brï¿½lee, chocolate brownie and lemon verbena tart were served as sharing-style desserts, while a hog roast with all the homemade trimmings kept evening guests' appetites at bay.
"We also had four tiers of incredible sponge cake decorated with seasonal fruits and a few flowers," says Emma.
After-dark shenanigans included the lighting of the firepits, sparklers and dancing to three-piece cover band, The Sparks.
"I would say the biggest standout detail was how smooth the whole day went," says Emma. "Everyone at Upton Barn worked so hard all day, which allowed it to go without a hitch."
"We found that planning little and often really helped us. We wrote a lot of to-do lists and generally we stuck to them," Jack says, recalling their planning process. "Decide on a realistic budget. Before we even looked at venues, we had a serious look at what we could afford - the last thing you want to do is spend money you don't have, as you'll only end up skimping where you don't want to."
Photography Chris Goodman Photography chrisgoodmanphotography.co.uk
Venue Upton Barn uptonbarn.com
Dress Augusta Jones augustajones.com altered & fitted by Kate Walker Bridal katewalkerbridal.co.uk
Bridesmaid's dress AbideMaids abidemaids.co.uk
Suits Peter Posh from The Grooms Shop thegroomsshop.co.uk
Hair The Hair Boutique thehairboutique.co.uk
Make-up Laura Elisabeth Avery lauraelisabethmua.co.uk
Flowers Poppy's Flowers weddingsatpoppys.co.uk
Catering Pickle Shack pickleshack.co.uk
Cake Claire Makes Cakes clairemakescakes.co.uk
Stationery de Winton Paper Co dewintonpaperco.com
Entertainment The Sparks thesparksband.co.uk
Copyright Wed magazine 2018