Can you share your proposal story?
It was our 4 year anniversary and we were planning to go away (to Barnsley House!!!) for the weekend to celebrate. I was on my way back from work and Chris asked if I could come to Battersea park to meet him because he'd bought a hot dog but had left his wallet at home. This is typically quite a Chris thing to do, and his wallet was actually at home when I went back to pick up the car. I drove to the park and when I got there Chris led me to the spot where we had had our first date and asked me to marry him! I was genuinely so surprised! We drove home, drunk champagne, called friends and family and then drove down to Barnsley House first thing the next morning for the best celebratory weekend imaginable!
What made Barnsley House stand out to you as a wedding venue?
We looked at a number venues all over the country. We wanted a summer wedding which would be outside with lots of space and greenery and something that felt special and intimate. Barnsley House couldn't be more perfect for this and, on top of that, the village pub and church both being within walking distance were huge factors for us. We loved it that our guests could just walk back from the ceremony to the reception and we pretty much took over the entire village by renting out the pub too!
Having stayed at Barnsley House for our engagement weekend, we knew how excellent the service was and the food and drink was never anything less than perfect. We were so excited about the prospect of inviting our family and friends to stay with us for the night of the wedding in the most beautiful hotel and setting.
Whats your top tip for wedding planning?
Even if you think you have lots of time to play with, do as much as you can as soon as you can! And - work with a planner that knows the venue really well. Rachel was a gift from the heavens above and her advice and knowledge of the venue, and what worked and didn't work at previous events, was invaluable.
Any regrets or things you'd do differently.
Chris and I really did have the best day(s) of our lives. We didn't want it to end and spent hours reliving every detail. One detail which I might have done differently would have been to have even more flowers than we did because they looked amazing and you can never have too many!
Highlight of the day:
Lucy had entered the church and was coming up the aisle. I was faced towards the alter and the Vicar wouldn’t let me look round at her until she was just behind me. When he finally gave me the nod, I turned and saw Lucy and was overwhelmed by so many things at once - the music, the happiness of all my friends and family - but far more than any of that, I was overwhelmed that this stunning women was about to become my wife. It was the first and only time that I’ve experienced a moment of perfection.
I felt so elated after the ceremony! It was the best feeling in the world. We walked around to the back of church and met Elise who was waiting for us with two glasses of ice cold champagne which we drunk while waiting for our guests to exit the church and line up for confetti throwing (also an amazing experience!). It was so special to have those first few moments together to take it all in.
Our speeches were also such a highlight. Chris, my mum and Alex (Chris's brother) all said the most beautiful things and our speech spot at the temple was sublime. The sun was coming down and everything looked like it was glowing.
Chris, how did Lucy's dress compare to what you'd imagined?
I did imagine something sleek and elegant. Lucy is not the sort of person that would go for a meringue. However, I was blown over by just how elegant it was. The fact that there were 3,000 hand stitched petals on the dress tells you all you need to know about the level of craftsmanship and design that went into creating it. A thing of beauty.
Suppliers involved in this magical day:
http://www.charleysmithweddingphotography.com/ (All images used in this post are by Charley)