Before “virtual venue viewings” became the norm in 2020, Sophia and Danny, who were both living in New York, found their dream venue in the Cotswolds thanks to a Mother-in-Law’s scouting trip and a virtual viewing of the barn sealing the deal.
Working with Jeni from Vanilla Rose Weddings, Sophia and Danny created a truly beautiful celebration – oh and I bet you can’t get 2 minutes into their highlight film without shedding a tear.
Notes from the Bride + the Planner
Jeni + Sophia say…
Sophia says: At the time we were venue hunting, Danny and I lived in Brooklyn, NY and, from afar, we quickly narrowed in on the Cotswolds region for the location of our wedding venue.
It’s an area of indisputable natural beauty, with reasonable proximity to Heathrow airport for our international guests. We were fortunate enough to have Danny’s family make a trip out to a few venues in the Cotswolds on a Sunday afternoon on our behalf. I received a call from Danny’s mum who confidently said, without a doubt, that Cripps Stone Barn met all of the criteria we discussed. Right from the open view of rolling hills, the endless natural light, the rustic subtle elegance, the capacity to accommodate our large number of guests, the at home feel of the open kitchen, and it being an ample sized space but with some intimacy.
After our “virtual” viewing, the Stone Barn team made our decision even clearer when they presented the various services and delicious menu options available to us. Ensuring that even with the distance, we would be able to depend with surety on an experienced and helpful venue team.
Alongside my parents, Danny and I bravely embarked on a trip to New Delhi’s colourful maze of shopping districts and bazaars to buy our traditional Indian wedding attire. For the wedding party, I held to a vision of soft natural pastel colours, accented with gold embroidery. My bridal lengha was blush rose with gold accents adorned by a gold layered necklace, bangles, jhumka earrings and a tikka headpiece. Katie-Jane Whitlock elegantly styled a loose hair up do that held throughout the long day and Katy Pheiffer made me feel naturally beautiful and flawless with my makeup. The bridesmaids’ saris were various shades of gold and cream. Danny wore a white and gold sherwani suit for the wedding ceremony and then changed to a navy lounge suit from Kent & Haste for the reception. Beyond the wedding party, the fusion of Indian and British attire of our guests made for a colourful, vibrant and inclusive celebration.
Vanilla Rose Weddings says: Whilst blending both Indian and English cultures, my Design for Sophia and Danny was very much focused on the light of their personalities. They are both incredibly welcoming, kind and uplifting, and I wanted to reflect that in their wedding celebrations. We selected a colour palette of late Summer/early Autumn tones to complement the venues setting in the rolling Cotswold hills. We included a range of Indian textures, patterns and colours, and layered it with some classic English touches. Rustic, with a unmistakable air of luxury and elegance, the guests were led through an immersive experience of both Sophia & Danny’s cultures throughout the weekends celebrations.
Having worked with Rachel at The Rose Shed a number of times in the past, I knew she would be the perfect florist for Sophia & Danny’s garden inspired style. After creating a dream wishlist, Rachel created the most beautiful arrangements for the bridal flowers, ceremony and reception. The highlight was the Mandap Ceremony arch accompanied by a huge floral chandelier which was suspended over Sophia & Danny throughout their nuptials. They were filled with unstructured blousy florals and natural foliage, and including garden roses, dahlias, hydrangeas, astilbe, stocks and an abundance of mixed soft greenery.
Sophia says: Danny’s dear and very talented nan made a three tier fruit cake, with the most detail oriented gold designs. Our guests continue to rave about the food prepared by the Stone Barn team, starting with the canapés; which included Devils on horseback, Welsh rarebit, and Cripps’ smoked monkfish. Our main meal was Roast Lamb and Seasonal Greens and finally our dessert was a delicious Ginger Pudding with caramel sauce.
Chris Parkinson (Beneath the Pines) was our photographer on the day. He exquisitely captured the subtle details and big moments of the day with unparalleled patience and a smile. His ability to brilliantly catch movement, plays on light, and the emotions of family and friends will allow us to relive that beautiful day to the fullest. James Alexander (James Alexander Films) was our Videographer. He’s an extremely talented filmmaker and storyteller, who captured the colours, sounds and timeless moments in a uniquely cinematic, bohemian style.
Best part of the day
The best part of the day for me was when Danny and I began our wedding recessional after the ceremony, which was officiated by the very talented, Chanda Vyas. We could let a breath out and connect with our loved ones. The tears, the smiles, the waves as we walked out of the venue was yes, an end to the formal ceremony, but a true beginning to our lives together, supported by all of those around us. Danny and I took a moment outside alone in the field before the day continued, and in that pause, felt the true reality of our union.
From one bride to another…
While ensuring your guests and family are content and heard during the planning process, make sure to speak and establish the “Must Haves” with your partner from the start. Whether that be the food, the music, the venue or the flowers. Often it is a journey of considering opinions of others and compromising where needed, but also ensuring to prioritise certain elements to make it uniquely yours.
Secondly, if possible, aim to have a dedicated Wedding Planner to help bring the overall vision, décor and logistics together. Jeni (Vanilla Rose Weddings) brought together our initial ideas and vision into a cohesive, seamless reality. From recommending vendors, to creating timelines and communicating aesthetic and design with the florists and the venue. Plus so many more details that we would have never considered. Most importantly, Jeni allowed Danny and I to be present and enjoy a day that passed too quickly.
Venue and Catering Stone Barn
Wedding Planner Vanilla Rose Weddings
Official Photography Beneath the Pines
Behind-the-Scenes Chloe Ely Photography
Floral Design The Rose Shed
Hair Stylist Katie Jane Whitlock
Makeup Artist Katy Pheiffer