If there is just one good thing to be taken from the whole Covid restrictions era, it has to be outside first dances! There was just something about them that I found so special, and when the guests all join in it feels like you’re at a festival and I am ALL about that!
Rachel & Sam had exactly that, a brilliant first dance in the courtyard of Shustoke Barn to Tina Tuner’s ‘Simply the Best’ which soon exploded into a big old party! The perfect end to a wonderful day. Of course there was a lot more that happened in the build up to that fantastic finale… including a fake vomit necklace, but I’ll let my photos fill you in on all the finer details
Bride and Groom Q&A
How did you guys meet?
We met at university 10 years before we got married. A lucky coincidence that we had mutual friends and then ended up living down the road from each other
How did the proposal go down?
He proposed on the hill near his old house where we first said we loved each other. He had bought a small picnic with him so I wouldn’t be suspicious. We drove to the Peacock at Rowsey afterwards (thoroughly recommend) where he’d put flowers in our room and he’d prepared a playlist of meaningful songs that we listened to on the way. We had a long boozy dinner to celebrate.
How did you choose your Shustoke Barn as your wedding venue?
Shustoke Barn is just down the road from the church that my grandparents got married in in Shustoke. It was lovely to get married somewhere that was beautiful and sentimental. We couldn’t recommend Shustoke Barn more highly – the people were wonderful.
What sort of experience did you want your guests to have?
A fun easy day with food and drink flowing! We just wanted people to let loose a bit!
Can you describe some of the details and stylings, did your wedding have a theme?
To be honest, neither of us are particularly creative. We had the mindset that our suppliers were the experts and let them guide us. We wanted a reasonably classic vibe and let them guide us from there.
What was you best decision during the wedding planning?
Choosing the right venue – we felt it was really important to find somewhere that felt like ‘us’. Also, letting the girls pick their own bridesmaids dresses – they were given a budget and a colour, but that was it.
What was the hardest decision?
We were stung by the COVID-19 restrictions. 2 weeks before the wedding we had to cut 70ish guests. That was really horrid.
What were your favourite memories of the day?
Walking into the church with my girls and holding my dad’s hand. Unsurprisingly, the actual ‘getting married’ part felt amazing. The speeches were all cracking and our mums co-hosted an ice-breaker drinking game. We had our first dance to The Best by Tina Turner in the courtyard of Shustoke Barn and that was pretty special. It was the first time in about 18 months that people had been able to dance so everyone got really into it.
What advice would you have for any couples planning their wedding?
It’s all in the planning. Big spreadsheets, make lots of time and list out every small thing you can think of, and then making arrangements for it. Even though COVID-19 threw in some curveballs, we were ok because we had contingency plans.