A Whimsical Vintage Barn Destination Wedding in England
Lisa and Rory
Fate played a part in the meeting of Lisa, a graphic designer, and Rory, a business development manager. Both from the United Kingdom originally and raised in the United Arab Emirates, they attended the same school and even shared mutual friends. Years later, they found themselves at the same New Year's party, but it wasn't until three days later, on a flight back to London and seated next to each other, that they realized the universe was trying to tell them something. After four and a half years together, they returned to the U.K. once more for their English country wedding on Saturday, August 6, 2011.
Hello!Lucky printed the invitations on vintage handkerchiefs. They were tied with ribbon and a tag was printed with each guest's name.
The invites were then affixed to card stock printed with the details of the weekend and a response postcard.
Because of their wedding venue's limited capacity, Lisa and Rory had to split their guests into two groups: full wedding guests and party guests. Inspired by Jen Lopardo at L'Office Optimiste, they wanted their second invite printed on a balloon. Hello!Lucky designed it to resemble the hankie invite and attached it to a decorative card with ribbon.
"Let's Party!" topped the festive piece.
Lisa and Rory's nuptials took place at The Olde Bell Inn, in Hurley, England -- less than an hour from London. With enough rooms to accommodate all of their guests (and a late-night liquor license, to boot) the venue was perfect. Its quaint country location and pretty gardens helped seal the deal.
To reflect the beautiful landscape, the couple chose sunny yellow, sky blue, and grassy green for their wedding color palette.
Lisa wore a bespoke gown and veil by Britta Kjerkegaard of The Couture Gallery, bejeweled Christian Louboutin shoes, and vintage pearls borrowed from the maid of honor.
Rory sported a made-to-measure three-piece tweed suit from a tailor in Dubai, a green-and-white floral Liberty of London shirt, and a Spencer Hart tie. He also wore bright yellow socks from Uniqlo and a pocket square made from the same fabric as the bridesmaids' dresses.
Lisa's all-yellow bouquet was created by Chantal Flores Chantal Flores Design.
Ceremony programs doubled as fans.
A Thoughtful Touch
Vintage handkerchiefs were set out so guests could dab their "tears of joy" during the ceremony.
Lisa was escorted down the aisle of the inn's Tithe Barn by her father, Brian.
During the ceremony, the man of honor, Nick Batanoni, read William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 16" and Rory's godfather, Chris Mitchel, recited George Elliot's "To Be One with Each Other." Maid of honor Sara Al Qaiwani sang "Estrellita" (Spanish for "little star") by Mexican composer Manuel Maria Ponce, accompanied by the four-piece band New Hot Cross Club.
A mix of smilax, ivy, and soft ruscus was draped organically from the chandeliers.
Chloe Browne of Caught the Light photographed the newlyweds on small streets near the inn and around the property.
Two signature libations were offered during cocktail hour at the inn's pub, The Malt House. The "Marital Bliss" was made with fresh lemon juice, water, sugar, and vodka. The "Pimms O'Clock" contained Pimms, lemonade, orange juice, apple juice, lemon juice, cucumber, and mint.
A Sweet Treat
During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed a quintessential frosty summer treat: ice cream. The vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate delight was made from organic ingredients on the premises and served out of an ice cream cart.
Father-and-son duo Tony and Chris sported matching outfits and enjoyed cocktail hour outside on the warm summer day.
Lisa and Rory's wedding planner Mary Herrington of Forever & Ever Events transformed the ceremony space for the reception. The entrance was decorated with hydrangea wreaths, garlands, and perforated paper bags filled with candles.
Tables boasted subtle floral-pattern cloths sourced and dyed by the bride's parents to echo the countryside's scenery.
The Seating Chart
A banner designed by Hello!Lucky outlined the seating assignments of the pair's 140 guests.
The Table Names
The tables had pub-inspired names.
The Place Settings
Each plate was topped with a trinket that reflected the table's title. This stag matched the "Stag and Legless" table. Others included carrots for the "Insipid Carrot" and feathers for the "Slap and Tickle."
The Guest Books
Guests dined on a beetroot, Ticklemore, and seasonal woodland-herb salad with soft-boiled duck egg; braised Berkshire Down lamb with white beans and mint, spring greens, and Jersey Royal potatoes; and sticky toffee pudding served with jugs of clotted cream and vanilla custard.
The Photo Booth
A photo booth from Say Fromage had a French toile-patterned fabric backdrop and a healthy stash of props. Guests snapped photos and stuck them into an album.
Lisa and Rory danced to Ella Fitzgerald's "Cheek to Cheek" under the sparkling light of a disco ball.
A New Take on Cake
In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, Lisa and Rory opted for a "cake" of cheese wheels. The four tiers of British cheeses came from Tastes Delicatessen in the neighboring village of Eton, and were accented with fresh figs and grapes.
Photography: Chloe Browne of Caught the Light
Location and Catering: The Olde Bell Inn
Wedding Planner: Mary Herrington from Forever & Ever Events
Florist: Chantal Flores Design
Wedding Rings: Cara Jewellers
Photo Booth: Say Fromage
Rentals: Theme Traders
Hair and Makeup: Kaz Fernando