Couple: Amy and Brad
Venue: Shustoke Barn, Warwickshire
Photography: Damian Burcher
“Brad and I went to nursery together and were friends throughout school; we were both in our mid 20’s when we finally got together. It took a while but I finally said yes to a date and we were engaged within a year.
“Brad proposed at home after decorating the hall and kitchen with hundreds of candles and flowers. It was our one year anniversary of dating so I just thought he was being really romantic. He gave me a scrapbook of some of our favourite pictures throughout the year, and on the last page it said “will you marry me?”. I was unbelievably shocked, but I of course said yes!”
“My wedding dress was Vera Wang from David’s Bridal. I didn’t truly fall in love with my dress if I’m honest. I really didn’t enjoy the process of buying one and found the attention hard to deal with. In the end I went to the shop on my own after work and chose one that ‘would do.’ It just wasn’t that important to me and I wanted the process of finding one to be over.
“However, on the day Brad went wild for the dress making me feel unbelievably beautiful, so I would say I fell in love with it then. It was really comfy and I could move in it so well – I felt like it was a really fun dress.
“My bridesmaids wore Asos dresses I bought in the sale. They were absolute bargains and the girls looked amazing. I even got one of the dresses for myself!
“The groomsmen all wore Moss Bros tailored suits, each with different linings and their initials stitched in.”
Wedding Venue and Styling
“Originally we planned to marry abroad, but we felt we should see at least one UK venue as we knew more family could come should we stay closer to home. We only saw Shustoke – we only needed to see Shustoke – it was perfect. Very little needed dressing as the room spoke for itself.
“We aimed for rustic, romantic, natural and timeless wedding styling. I was really inspired by Jam Jar Weddings and Events who added most of the personal touches to the wedding. I made the seat reservation tags for our bridal party and grandparents, a programme to read while the guests waited, and the miniature packs of ‘happy tears’ tissues on the seats. My favourite items were the confetti cones I made from my old school books which had ‘Amy loves Brad’ written all over them!
“Our centrepieces were gin bottles I had saved over the years. I put a little tag on each one to say where we drank it and who with so that every table was named after a fun time or holiday we had!
“Jam Jar created the most amazing hexagon and foliage to go behind us as we signed the register. She also styled the side tables, table plan and order of the day, and provided the confetti and some little touches down the aisle. She added flowers and signs to our seats and all over the venue which made it personal and perfect.”
“Damian Burcher came recommended by a school friend and as soon as we met I knew we didn’t need to look any further. I loved Damian’s work because it was so fun, natural and candid and not staged. I really didn’t want the stereotypical ‘all in a line’ posed wedding photos – I wanted photographs of us being ourselves, being silly.
“Throughout the day it was like Damian wasn’t there. He just kept shooting as we mingled, taking every opportunity to capture some seriously stunning photos. My favourite picture is the one as the sun is setting and Brad is kissing my head. I don’t even remember posing for these photos because we didn’t spend hours trying to get the perfect shot, Damian just did it!”
“Our wedding cake was amazing, especially the bottom tier which was ‘peanut butter cup’. You know how most couples say “oh we never got a chance to taste the cake”? Well, Brad and I asked the venue to serve less than half, and we took the rest home with the intention to share and freeze it… but we ate it all within two days!
“When we were teenagers Brad and I used to hang around down the park and we would all meet (in a time without mobile phones!) under the big tree. Our wedding cake base was in the style of that big tree with ‘A & B’ carved in to remind us of those years.”
First Dance and Entertainment
“We chose ‘Crazy’ by Aerosmith for our first dance song. It’s a song close to our hearts but we did worry our guests wouldn’t know/enjoy it. I would have happily skipped the first dance because I really didn’t want everyone looking at me, but it was definitely a highlight of the wedding for me. I’m so pleased we went with ‘our’ song because it was like no one was there. We just went for it and had loads of fun, and it will forever be one of my favourite memories.
“Apollo Music provided the entertainment throughout the day and night. Piano music greeted the guests and played as I walked down the aisle, and two guitarists played in the courtyard during drinks and canapés. The band sang our first dance and played throughout the evening, with a DJ playing later.”
“Without a doubt the ceremony was my favourite memory. I was so nervous for everyone to be looking at us for so long but I really felt like no one else was there. We really meant our vows and took our time saying them, enjoying every second. We laughed, we cried we had fun; it was perfect.”
Advice and Tips
“Nothing matters as much as the commitment you are making. Stop sweating about what things look like, what you look like, or what everyone else will like or think. The only thing that matters is you two. So pick your favourite food, your favourite flavour cake, your favourite songs… your favourite everything. It is a real privilege to be marrying someone you love so much so that should be your only focus; enjoy every second.
“To make sure we didn’t over-spend we had a set amount which left our account each month and we didn’t touch it. We kept that up after the wedding too!”
Photography: Damian Burcher
Venue and Catering: Shustoke Barn, Warwickshire
Styling (Excluding Flowers): Jam Jar Weddings and Events
Groomswear: Moss Bros
Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
Cake: Cakes by Sophie Page
Stationery: Vista Print
Entertainment: Apollo Music