Kate & Michael were the first couple to marry at The Oak Barn – a stunning 18th Century Oak Barn nestled in an enviable rural position within Kent’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Not only were they the first to marry at this new venue, but they found ‘the one’ on this very platform.
It’s such a pleasure to tell their story today…
We were the first ever wedding at The Oak Barn and it really is a very special space! I’d driven through Benenden the previous year and came home to tell my boyfriend that I’d found where I wanted to buy our forever home. When we got engaged we found the venue and instinctively knew it would be perfect! The barn was still a building site when we signed up, but we fell in love with the barns position in the valley and loved the concept the owners were creating around using low carbon technology and restoring original building materials as part of the renovation.
I looked at lots of bridal designers but struck gold at Suzanne Neville, her designs are really classic and simple. My dress was corseted with an empire neckline and a cropped jacket to keep me warm in February! My bridesmaids were all in a dark navy, almost petrol blue. The dresses were adjustable so they all wore it individually to suit their shapes (thanks Marks & Spencer!). Our hair and my bridesmaids make up was done by a local wedding hair and make-up artist, Ally. I really didn’t have any preference on how they wore their hair and just wanted everyone to feel comfortable. My own make up was done by Jen Oliver, who is an Educator for Bobbi Brown, who is lucky enough to be a friend of a friend. My husband and his groomsmen were all in black tuxedos with a Tom Ford bow tie.
We wanted our styling to be classic and simple. We did black tie for our dress code, which was perfect for a winter wedding. I was worried that I’d played it a bit safe by not having any décor apart from flowers but when we saw the barn finished just a few weeks before the wedding I realized that actually it didn’t need anything, it was just simply a stunning backdrop in itself. Inside the barn is a gorgeous log burner so the whole place just glows. It snowed the day before our wedding too which made the whole venue look magical!
A local florist called See Rose Floral Design created our flowers. Clare was amazing and so helpful even after I changed my mind a few times. We had blush and red roses with Eucalyptus sprays, scabiosa seedbheads, succulents and berries. I still have one of the succulents potted in my house.
We didn’t have a cake… in my experience barely anyone eats it. We had macarons as our favours from the Crow Kitchen. Our caterer was Sarah Hall, who lives in the same village as the venue. We loved Sarah the moment we met her, she is so warm, assuring and her food is incredible. The food at our wedding was delicious and all our guests raved about her food. Sarah also seamlessly organized everything we needed to hire, including the staff. I cannot recommend her enough if you’re getting married nearby.
We picked Matilda Delves because we didn’t want formal photos, we basically wanted lots of photos of everyone hopefully enjoying the day and if you have a look at her gallery online that is exactly her style!
Best part of the day
We truly loved every minute of our wedding, it completely surpassed all our expectations, I would love to do it all over again. The feeling of having everyone you care about in the same room celebrating is totally a one-off and so special. My most memorable moment was walking back into The Oak Barn when everyone stood up from their table to welcome us back in. We walked into the applause and cheers from all our friends and family with The Source & Candi Staton ‘You Got The Love’ playing; it was the most amazing reception and we were both so happy!
From one bride to another…
Hire a planner! We used Amulet Events, our planner Nadia was a friend of my sister’s and I was worried about not having someone on site as our venue was dry hire. I chose and booked all our suppliers but Nadia managed all the logistics in the run up and ensured that everything ran seamlessly. I didn’t have any stress or anxiety with Nadia on board, it truly meant that I genuinely enjoyed the planning of my wedding, the build-up as well as the day.
Venue The Oak Barn
Photography Matilda Delves Photography
Catering Sarah Hall Catering
Beer Kegs Love Beer
Wedding Favours The Crow Kitchen
Florist See Rose Floral Design
Hair & Make Up Ally B Make Up Artist
DJ Mint DJs
Wedding Planner Amulet Events
Furniture Hire Jubilee Hire
Photo Booth Captive Photography
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