Barley Wood House
// Emily and Ben, what can I say about these two?
The very first time we met during the consultation we enjoyed a full-on roast at a lovely little pub near Bristol with their dogs. We talked for hours about everything food and travel.
The 2nd meeting, (a week before the wedding) we met again, a lengthy coffee and chatted for ages. These two are genuinely the nicest couple!! So friendly and endearing.
/ The forecast was rain.
Right up until the penultimate day, then (Emily and I who were texting daily as we weather watched) suddenly the weather had changed. The rain cleared by 10 and the sun came out.
Barley wood house was suddenly awash with bright light and clear blue sky.
Ok, so if you don’t know Emily and Ben, here’s a little interview I did.
So how did you guys first meet?
My maid of honor Louise set us up on a blind date in January 2010. She went to Uni with Ben and they have been friends for over 15 years now. I started working with Lou in a shop called Maze in 2009, we became really close and she asked if I fancied going out with one of her friends. My options were ‘short and dark’ or ‘tall and ginger’. I chose short and dark and that was Ben West.
How did Ben pop the question? Anywhere nice?
Ben surprised me for my 30th birthday in June 2018 with a trip to Florence, Italy. We were enjoying a wonderful evening on the balcony of our hotel and Ben got down on one knee and proposed. He had been hiding my engagement ring for 4 months. We were in Dubai in Feb 2018 visiting our friends and little did I know that he snuck away to design my engagement ring.
What made you guys choose the venues?
Ben happened to have been to the venue on May 2018 for an evening wedding reception. He knew we wanted an outside wedding close to Bristol and Barley Wood was perfect. It’s also owned by the YMCA charity which means all the money we spent hiring the venue for 3 days/ 2nights goes straight back into supporting the charity. We loved this idea. We could get married outside which is exactly what we wanted and we were able to have the venue all weekend to share with friends and family.
What theme was the inspiration for your wedding?
There wasn’t an initial theme, to begin with, but as I started working with Kirsten Butler – The Little Wedding, and our ideas and Pinterest boards turned into a garden party theme. Birdcages filled with flowers, foliage decorating tables, and the staircase. I just knew I wanted an outdoors wedding which is where my picnic hamper wedding lunch came in. An interactive way of meeting other guests because you had to ask to ‘pass the pork pie’. It also worked with the grounds we had, the space in the beautiful house. It had a homey approach.
What made you choose your first dance song and what was it?
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye
We just love it! It wasn’t a natural first choice as we’ve never had ‘’a song’’ but its a great song, we know the words and we love to dance around the kitchen while it plays!
Any tips for future bride and grooms planning their big day?
Get yourself a wedding helper! Not a planner, but someone that can encourage great ideas and decorate the venue on the day. I couldn’t recommend Kirsten Butler – The Little Wedding Helper enough. She took away all my stress on the day, met with me on quite a few occasions to come up with ideas and sent me lists of what I needed to get in preparation. She also had loads of props already which we used. The best bit of advice anyone gave me!
Finally, (The best bit of any wedding) where is/was your honeymoon and how was it?
We had a mini-moon in Rock, Cornwall with our 2 dogs. We rented an Airbnb, it was secluded, quiet, in the country, but a short drive from Rock and other beautiful Cornish villages.
Our main honeymoon is in South Africa in November for just over 2 weeks. The honeymoons have been Ben’s jobs. That was the deal, I did the wedding, he plans the honeymoons. Perfect
Now a quick mention to the fab people that made this day possible:-
Barley wood house – Venue
The Little Wedding Helper– Kirsten is a dream
Lace & Grace Bridal Boutique – Dress
Louise alway– Bridal Hairstylist
Nina Norman – Makeup
The Wild Picnic Company– Lunch
G.Bros Pizza –Evening street food