Just over a year after sharing their proposal story with us, Fiona and Josh married at the beautfiul Gate Street Barn in Bramley, Guildford. Set in the heart of the Surrey Hills, it was the perfect venue for Fiona and Josh’s rustic – and dinosaur – inspired wedding.
Fiona and Josh made sure that every aspect of their wedding remained personal, from making the wedding stationery and favours themselves, to using their hens’ eggs in their wedding cake.
Find out more about their big day below.
I absolutely hated dress shopping. Being pulled and pinned into dress after dress (I think I tried on about 50 altogether) then having to parade up and down in the middle of a shop is not my idea of fun. I really struggled to find anything that I felt comfortable in and found the whole affair pretty stressful.
I was beginning to lose hope when I found a little shop that was closing down and selling off their samples, so I snuck down by myself one Sunday. I didn’t even notice my dress on the mannequin to begin with – one of the girls in the shop suggested it to me and I reluctantly said I’d give it a go. As soon as I’d tried it on I knew it was the one – it was the only dress I actually felt like myself in. My dress was called Petal by Jenny Packham, and I was really lucky that they were also selling their sample of the matching headdress.
All our beautiful flowers were put together by my Aunty Mandy. She spent months before the wedding collecting old terracotta pots and wooden crates of various sizes then filled them with gypsophila, hydrangeas, roses and loads of greenery. She also made a huge gyp garland to hang across the back wall of the barn where we had the ceremony, and handmade all the bouquets and button holes.
Our cake was made for us by the very talented Emma from the commercial team here at notonthehighstreet.com. It was a three tiered masterpiece – with two rainbow layers in different flavours and a base of Victoria sponge, all baked using eggs from our own pet chickens. We finished it off with a couple of sprigs of fresh flowers, added by my Aunty first thing on the day, and the ‘Just Married’ Wedding Cake Bunting by Vintage Love Stationery.
We didn’t really have a colour palette or theme in mind when we started planning the décor and styling, however I knew I wanted to do as much myself as possible, including all our stationery and favours. Using the chickens’ eggs in the cake evolved into a bit of a farm theme, with all our tables named after breeds of chicken and little jars of mini eggs as the favours.
We also managed to throw in a few dinosaur references (I’m the world’s biggest Jurassic Park fan) – one of our readings was “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton, and we gave all the babies at the wedding little stuffed dinosaurs. I made all the stationery using kraft paper, with a lot of string tying and glue gunning involved. The Paper Pom Poms by Life’s A Party were my favourite part of the décor – they were so pretty hanging all the way down the aisle.
THE FIRST DANCE
Our first dance was to Andy Williams “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”. I was absolutely dreading the first dance – I thought it was going to be the most cringeworthy experience of my life – but it ended up being one of the best parts of the day. We didn’t take it seriously at all and just picked a song we both found really funny. We loved it when everyone charged onto the dance floor to join us as the first chorus started!
There really are too many to choose, I literally loved the entire day. The two parts of the day I was dreading the most – the ceremony and the first dance – actually ended up being some of my favourite bits of the day, and the speeches were all brilliant with most of the party in tears of laughter by the time they’d finished.
PEARL OF WISDOM
If you plan to make anything yourself, it will take you a LOT longer than you think it will. It was not fun sitting up until 3am tying all the chair bows a week before the wedding! Give yourself more than enough time to get everything done well in advance to save yourself serious stress leading up to the day itself. And if you plan to have paper pom poms, get yourself a team of helpers and bribe them with wine – they are absolutely worth the effort but take a seriously long time to assemble!
Photographer: the amazingly talented Seth Baines
Venue and catering: Gate Street Barn and Kalm Kitchen
Dress: Petal by Jenny Packham
Brides’ shoes: Rachel Simpson
Hair and make up: Jo at Love Hair
SHOP FIONA & JOSH’S RUSTIC WEDDING LOOK
Decorating your tables with hessian burlap table runners is the perfect way to add a rustic finish to your venue. Pair with rustic wedding table numbers to complete the look.
Tissue paper pom poms are a great, affordable way to decorate your venue. Available in a range of colours and sizes, pom poms add a sense of fun whilst remaining stylish.
Instead of opting for a traditional cake topper, why not try using miniature bunting to continue the rustic theme right up until dessert.
Is there a better way to declare your ‘Mr and Mrs’ status than with real moss covered letters? No, we didn’t think so either.
Whether you’re hanging it inside your wedding venue or outside the church, hessian bunting can create a rustic look just about anywhere.
Alternatively white bunting will create a more luxurious feel. It looks beautiful in any setting whether inside or out, and will complement almost every wedding palette and style.
This vintage style silver diamante hair comb will add the perfect finishing touch to your big day.
To read about other notonthehighstreet.com weddings or for more styling inspiration, visit the weddings section of our blog.