I really enjoyed photographing the wedding of Zoe and Carl at Winters Barns so I've been looking forward to sharing it on my blog. Their wedding, like the venue, was beautiful, friendly, and relaxed.
This was my first wedding at Winters Barns since they renovated the cottage, splitting it, and creating a dedicated space for the groom and groomsmen to get ready in. It also means the cottage itself is kept exclusively for the bride and groom when staying after the wedding, making it that extra bit special for the couple. I love venues where both of the married couple can get ready there beforehand, as it means I can easily switch between rooms photographing both.
Zoe & Carl's decorations and styling worked perfectly at the venue and were a lovely hint to their love of travel and having met overseas. Zoe and Carl both looked amazing, having chosen outfits that they were obviously comfortable in, but also were perfectly suited to them.
Here is more about them and their wedding in their words:
How did you meet, & how did you become engaged?
"August 2014 - we met whilst working abroad in Greece (we were working for an active holiday company).
In December 2016 we went on a city break to New York, we visited all the usual tourist destinations feeling very Christmassy. We walked to Central Park and onto the famous ice rink. I was skating ahead and turned around to find Carl on bended knee asking me to be his wife."
How long did you take to plan your wedding?
"It took us about a year and a half to plan our wedding. The first step was to find our venue, then we went from there. So many suppliers get booked up a year in advance such as; photographers, make-up artists and florists, so it is important to book these as soon as you find the suppliers you love."
What made you choose your wedding venues and how did you decorate them?
"Firstly, we decided we wanted to get married in Kent as it is near to Zoe’s parents’ house. We also decided we liked the idea of a barn, and we loved the rustic style / feel for our big day. We viewed a few venues, but when we viewed Winters Barns we instantly fell in love with it, and could envisage getting married there. We found that Winters Barns flowed so well. We’ve been to weddings before where you have to keep moving rooms so they can be cleared, and it just gets too much. Another huge factor was that initially we liked the idea of getting married outside, but with weather in England you just can’t guarantee this. At Winters Barns we also loved the ceremony room inside, so we were happy with whatever way it would go on the day."
What inspired you to style your day the way you did?
"For our styling of the venue, we loved the rustic look and this was the main styling for our wedding. As we met abroad and have done lots of travelling together, we wanted to incorporate a travel theme into our wedding too. So we created our own seating plan with a map and all the table names were of places we had visited together. We also wanted to personalise the venue and make it special to us, so we printed lots of polaroid photos of the two of us and put them up all over the venue."
How did you decide on your dress and accessories?
"Dress shopping was my favourite part of organising the wedding. I went with just my mum as I didn’t want my bridesmaids to see it until the day. It was the second shop I went into and it is true what people say ‘when you know, you know’; I tried about 12 dresses on and this was the last one. When I came out to show my mum the both of us just burst into tears, and in that moment we both knew. I didn’t want a veil as the back of my dress was so stunning that I didn’t want to cover it up, so instead I went for real flowers in my hair and it really set my whole look off."
How did you decide on the outfits for the groom and groomsmen?
"We knew we wanted something quite modern and that would fit into the rustic feel of our wedding. We went with tweed style blue suits and Carl went for a grey waistcoat, while all the groomsmen had blue. We loved this idea as the grey waistcoat really made him standout and added something different."
Who gave you away / walked you down the aisle? And did you walk down the aisle to a particular song?
"My Dad walked me down the aisle, & this was one of my favourite moments of the day. When I look back at the photos of this moment it brings back all the feelings I had. We choose the song ‘I came here for love by Ella Eyre – the acoustic version). This is one of our favourite songs and the words were just perfect for the moment. We wanted something modern."
Please describe your wedding breakfast and the reasons behind it?
"For our wedding breakfast we had a 3 course sit down meal, which was catered by Scott Anderson - the food was delicious! We made sure we catered for everyones needs and they had a choice of three. During the wedding breakfast we went round to every table, to make sure we spoke to everyone at our wedding. This was really lovely and everyone was full of compliments."
Did you provide wedding favours? If so, please provide details or what and where you sourced them
"We wanted something different for our wedding favours, so we found on wildflowerflowers.co.uk personalised wedding favours with either Chilli seeds or wildflower seeds. We put these onto the table alternatively. You can personalise these bags and they really worked well with our rustic theme. The best thing about these bags is the fact that you are also donating to charity when you buy them. Our chilli seeds bags supported 'Action for Hunger' charity and the wildflower bags supported elephant sanctuaries."
Please describe your cake and why you chose it?
"I sourced our cake from Fairydust Bakery. I had on Instagram that she had previously made plenty of cakes for weddings at Winters Barn, & her cakes look and taste gorgeous. We went for a naked cake with lots of fresh fruit and asked our florist to supply fresh flowers to add onto the cake too. We used Winters Barns log slice and barrel to display the cake. We choose a different flavour for each cake tier too, and there was plenty of delicious flavours to choose from."
What was your first dance track and what did it mean to you?
"Our first dance track was ‘Elvis Presley - Can’t help falling in love with you’. This was one of the first things we decided about our wedding as we loved this song and loved the words behind it. We heard all our wedding songs so many times on our honeymoon which jogged so many happy memories."
What was your favourite part of the day and why?
"It is so hard to choose our favourite part of the day as the whole day was truly amazing. Our favourite bit was the ceremony finally seeing it all come together, and all our loved ones there to witness our special day. I loved walking down the aisle to see Carl in tears and for Carl to see me in my dress. Walking back down the aisle as husband and wife was also amazing, it was the happiest moment of both our lives."
What led you to choose Nick from Parkershots as your photographer and please can you comment on the results?
"We found Parkershots by looking at Winters Barns Instagram page and I clicked onto photos that I loved and found that Parkershots was tagged. Then I had a look on his website and looked at his blogs and found he has photographed plenty of weddings at Winters Barns. We loved his style of photos as we wanted the more natural style photo then it being really staged. We absolutely love his photos and Nick could not have been more helpful. He was so friendly and made us feel at ease in the day, we felt relaxed, as we were confident he would capture the day in the way we wanted. We have so many beautiful photos we love the hard decision is now to choose which ones we want to put into frames at home."
On reflection, is there anything you would have done differently with foresight?
"There is nothing else we would have done differently; we are so pleased with how the day went and could not ask for more."
If you could impart any words of wisdom to a bride to be planning her marriage and wedding day, what would they be?
"If I could pass any advice onto a bride, it would be to make sure you get all your suppliers booked in at least a year in advance. Then try to get everything sorted at least a couple of months before the wedding, so there is no stress leading up till the wedding. Also plan the day that you want - don’t let other people influence your decisions. It’s your big day!"
Carl & Zoe's Review left on my google place page:
"Nick went above and beyond for us on our wedding day, and also throughout all of our communications leading up to our big day.
He was extremely friendly, polite, and patient, with us and also all of our guests on the day. Most importantly, Nick was so professional, and clearly takes immense pride in his work.
The end results were amazing, we couldn't be happier with Nick's photos of our wedding. Nick provided an online preview the day after our wedding, and the full online gallery not long after. Our flash drive with the full photo package was also with us in a very timely manner. Nick continued his high level of service after our wedding day concluded, right up until our full photo package arrived in the post.
Thanks again for your great work Nick!"
- Brides Gown: Whyte weddings Worthing - https://www.whyteweddings.com/
- Shoes: Charlotte Mills - https://charlottemills.com/
- Hair Stylist: Emma Smisson - https://www.emmasmisson.com/
- Make-up Artist: Lauren Elle Make up - https://www.lauren-elle.co.uk/
- Florist: Distinctly Floral - http://www.distinctlyfloral.co.uk/
- Venue: Winters Barns, Canterbury - https://www.winters-barns.co.uk/
- Cake: FairyDust Bakery - https://www.fairydustbakery.co.uk/
- Caterer: Scott Anderson - https://www.andersonscaterers.co.uk/
- Bridesmaid Dresses: Asos - https://www.asos.com/
- Suits: Slaters, Canterbury - https://www.slaters.co.uk/store-locator/slaters-canterbury/
- Photographer: Parkershots https://parkershots.com/
- Stationary: Us
- Honeymoon: Grenada and Barbados
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