From the moment we started planning our wedding, we knew that we wanted a barn venue. We liked the idea of a blank canvas that we could put our own stamp on. With this in mind we trawled the internet for barn venues offering what we wanted. After looking at photos, reviews and information about suppliers, Ufton Court ended up being the only one left on the list!
Our next step was to organise a visit. As soon as we drove up the drive we fell in love and hoped that everything we were yet to see lived up to the initial ‘wow’!
It did and the rest is history!
We decided on a rustic theme as all of the little touches that we already knew we wanted to incorporate into our day, came under that. Although the fairy lights already around the barn were pretty, we wanted more! We chose Oakwood Events to create random loops of festoon lights with paper lanterns, in keeping with our colour theme of pinks and whites. We were so pleased with the overall effect this had; it was amazing!
We created our own table plan and put lots of thought into the design of our cake, gift and sweet tables as well as the placement of the many accessories that we had bought during the planning phase. We are eternally grateful to Chloe, our coordinator, for recreating perfectly, the vision we had. We hired some items from Ufton and also Victoria at Extremely Lovely Weddings. A good friend designed and made all of our chalkboards, a lovely personal touch.
Event Dressing: Oakwood Events & Extremely Lovely Weddings
Our civil ceremony was held in the Tithe Barn, in front of 70 of our family and friends. We walked up the aisle to The Piano Guys version of ‘A Thousand Years’ and back down to ‘Marry Me’ by Bruno Mars. We had 2 readings as part of the ceremony, read by a close friend and one of our bridesmaids. Chloe even made a guest appearance walking our very nervous flower girl up the aisle! It was a beautiful and emotional ceremony and if there was one part of the day that we could do all over again, this would be it!
Despite thinking dress shopping would be quite stressful, we both found the perfect one on our first trip out. We chose not to see each other’s dresses before the big day but we were assured by a few chosen people that they complimented each other and that we hadn’t picked the same one! Sara’s dress was the first she tried on, and despite trying on many more, none compared to that one. Emma’s experience was in reverse, falling in love with her dress in the last shop!
It was so exciting wondering what each other’s dresses were like and that first glance of each other was a very special moment.
We met with a few florists who offered advice on the ideas that we already had. We then went to Ascot Wedding Show and got talking to Beverley at VFB florists in Thatcham. Straight away we liked the service they offered and arranged to go to their shop to discuss our ideas. We knew we wanted roses, gypsophila and bourvardia and they were able to advise on style and create beautiful arrangements for us. They guided us on our centrepieces so that they fit our rustic theme. The venue looked beautiful and the jam jars of flowers dotted around, tied everything together.
Flowers: VFB the Florist
One attraction was that Ufton don’t charge corkage. This meant that we could save money by finding deals on alcohol!
It was great that we had a choice of caterers to choose from. After looking at the menus and styles of each, we met with the lovely Darren at Fosters Catering! He went through what they offer and examples of the packages they have. They were really helpful and flexible from beginning to end. We had a selection of canapés served with our welcome drink of Pimms, plus milkshake and party rings for the children. The wedding breakfast started with ham hock, we then had stuffed chicken for main and a lovely lemon tart for dessert. All our guests were very complimentary about the delicious food. In the evening we chose to have burgers and sausages as we love a good BBQ!
We really had no idea what a crucial role the caterers play; from the timings of the day to setting up, producing amazing food, keeping all our guests happy and being the last ones standing along with us at the end of the evening, we couldn’t have done it without Kirsty, Darren and their team!
Catering: Fosters Catering
Our cake was everything we dreamed it would be! Before we started looking properly, we both knew we wanted a naked wedding cake. Gary, from The Reading Cake Company, made our cake. We had a very helpful tasting session, and from this we were able to choose our final flavours. We had 4 tiers consisting of chocolate, raspberry and white chocolate, black forest and rhubarb and custard. Every tier tasted amazing! It was decorated with fresh fruit and shortbread hearts along with a few corsages provided by our florist. We had also bought a ‘best day ever’ cake topper which Gary put on for us.
We love a good boogie so a DJ was a must. We have friends who have a DJ business so this was a natural choice. We travelled to the venue in camper vans hired from Rusty and Roses; the fact that Roses could be transformed into a photo booth in the evening was amazing and our guests absolutely loved posing for photos, as did we! Finally we hired Victoria’s ice cream cart, who we met at the Ufton Court wedding fayre; they offered a delicious selection of ice cream flavours to choose from. We had an unlimited supply of our chosen 6 flavours, along with toppings and sauces, for the 2 hour hire period. This was also a hit with all our guests, young and old!
Transport and Photobooth: Rusty and Roses
Icecream Cart: Victorias Ice Cream Cart
A photographer who we felt relaxed and comfortable with was very important to us. We already knew Katie (Katie Joanne Camp Photography) as she is our friend’s sister in law, so it was a natural step for us to approach her. We had seen many beautiful photographs she had taken and loved her style. She came to Ufton Court’s wedding fayre with us and we had some pre wedding photos taken. She was then with us on the day, from the bridal prep at the hotel, through to the sparkler shots once it got dark. Katie went above and beyond and captured many beautiful moments for us to look back on.
Enjoy and make the most of the planning, as this is the exciting part that helps you build the perfect day you have dreamt of.
Soak up every minute of the day as it will be over before you know it!