Images by Nicki Feltham Photography.
Sussex-based wedding venue, Southend Barns is a pretty special place and this year marks it’s five year anniversary! In that time, 50,000 guests have raised their glasses, 25,000 bottles of Champagne have been enjoyed and 40,000 corks have been popped! Their couples mean the world to them, which is why they’ve all been invited back to attend their upcoming summer party celebration. If you fall a little bit in love with the spaces below, then you can visit Southend Barns too on Sunday 7th May from 12pm – 4pm.
Entry to the event is free and it is the ideal opportunity to meet with local suppliers and have a peek at the 200-year-old Threshing Barn, the elegant Dairy Barn with its sweeping 22 metre aisle and the luxurious Milking Parlour, which is now a stylish bridal suite.
You can discover more over on our Event Diary, but for now let’s get back to Anuska & Robert’s story…
Notes from the Bride & Groom
We knew we wanted to get married on November 1st as this is our anniversary and we couldn’t think of a more romantic day for our wedding. It was important to embrace the season and we wanted a venue to compliment the natural beauty of Autumn. Southend Barns was perfect – beautiful and rustic, and allowed us to add personal touches that made it our own. Being half Danish, there is a term we love called ‘hygge’ which can be described as a sense of ‘cosiness’ – Southend Barns has that as its essence – the natural barns, the cosy undercover fire pits, and a relaxed feel.
I’m not particularly the ‘Bridal’ type, and although I’m girly, the thought of wedding dress shopping was really stressful. When it came to my outfit, I knew I wanted something I could wear again. I decided on a top and a skirt so that I would be able to mix and match them in the future and then, on the special occasions that I wear them, I will be reminded of our big day. E&W Couture is a beautiful little boutique in Cardiff, so personal and fun, with that touch of ‘alternative’ I was looking for. Once I had the skirt, I found a corset and lace overlay from high street shops. Robert and I both decided on our shoes being our ‘something blue’, mine from Dune with a matching purse, and Robert’s from M&S.
We did the venue flowers ourselves, but decided on professional flowers for the bouquets and buttonholes. I used a local florist, Catkin & Pussywillow, who have such a creative flare mixed with a wild rustic beauty. I discussed with them that I was looking for ‘wild, rustic and seasonal’ and allowed them to design the flowers. When they arrived the morning of the wedding, they were more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. The flowers perfectly complimented the autumnal colours we picked for the bridesmaids outfits and groomsmen’s bow ties. We have since dried the bouquets and have them hanging in the house as a beautiful display that we can keep forever.
We found our photographer through the Southend Barns recommended suppliers. We loved what we saw on her website and loved her even more. Robert and I were nervous to be in front on the camera, but Nicki made us feel so relaxed and comfortable and became like another guest at our wedding.
Anuska and I knew from the start that we wanted out wedding to be personal and really reflect us and our life together. That is why we chose to bring so much of the décor from our own home – books from our bookshelves, candlesticks from our dining table and photo frames from around the house. We also spent many a weekend searching through charity shops wherever we could, to find those extra bits and pieces.
The first thing the guests saw when arriving at the venue were my Father’s step ladders decorated with photos of us, a few candles and pine cones that our nieces and nephews collected on a family holiday. At first my Dad was worried about the fact that the ladders were rickety and covered in paint, but I told him that in certain shops you’d pay a lot for that effect!
The cake is obviously a big part of a wedding day, who doesn’t love a piece of cake?! We had some meetings and correspondence with a couple of professional cake makers but left feeling it wasn’t quite for us. So, we decided to turn to my Mother and Sister who are known in my family as wonderful cake makers. By doing this we were able to get all the combination of flavours and shapes and sizes of cakes that we wanted and could also make sure that everything was nut free (so my very old friend could have some) as well as suitable for coeliacs (like my Sister). What we ended up with was an array of different cakes that was far more real and pleasing to us than the ‘perfect’ tiered wedding cake and most importantly, they all tasted amazing! We even managed to keep the cutting of the cake personal too. Anuska’a Father arranged for us to use a ceremonial Wilkinson Sword ceremonial dagger, presented to her Great-Grandfather when her family owned the company.
For the wedding breakfast, we practiced sample tables on our dining table several times and took plenty of photos and sorted the décor into boxes for each table so that on the day the boys and I could go in and set up all the tables quickly (and with champagne in hand!). It’s great that we have so many items around out house that are now permanent reminders of out special day.
Best Part of the Day:
We can’t possibly chose one moment as the whole day was incredible. Seeing everyone so relaxed and having a great time celebrating our love and future life together was really special and a day we’ll never forget.
Words of Wisdom:
Remember, none of the guests know how the wedding is ‘supposed’ to go, they’re just there to celebrate with you… If any décor gets forgotten or timings go slightly awry just have another glass of champagne, no one will ever know!
Venue Southend Barns | Photography Nicki Feltham Photography | Catering Field & Fork | Bride’s Skirt E&W Couture | Veil David’s Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses ASOS & Monsoon | Florist Catkin & Pussywillow | Stationery Zazzle | Entertainment Righthook.
Lots of love…