A rustic spring wedding at Rivervale Barn in Hampshire
24 Feb 2020
Friends and family pitched in to create Kelly and Sam Hazle's perfect day, which featured a lilac colour scheme, rustic details and teabag favours
What were the top two must-haves at your wedding?
Once we had fallen in love with our venue, our perspective changed as at Riverale Barn we didn’t need to worry too much about making the venue look a certain way. We then decided our top two must-haves were:
- Great food, which caters for dietary requirements. Sam loves food so it was really important that we found somewhere that had good variety, options for dietary needs and plates that just made people excited when they saw them. The catering team were absolutely fantastic.
- Photographers that are happy to capture ‘us’ rather than the posed versions of who we are. When we first went to look around Rivervale Barn, we met Vicky and Phil also known as Senior Mac. We instantly found them easy to talk to and they were more than happy to focus on candid photography which is something that we really wanted. The photos are just amazing and we are so grateful that we have these to reflect on whenever we want to relive the day.
What was the theme of your day?
We decided on a rustic theme for the day, opting for subtle touches on the dining tables rather than statement pieces. The aim was to highlight the light, open and natural feel of the barn (even during the April showers).
We had bay trees either side of the ceremony room doors and petals on either side of the aisles. Sam’s mother and aunt were very kind and made us bunting, which was hung throughout the dining room and a very lovely friend cut confetti for the tables using old sheet music which she used at her wedding.
We also had wood slices, jam jars and tea lights on each table which looked effective but not over the top. We incorporated lots of wicker baskets, wooden accessories and kraft tones with the stationery (made by Sam's dad), which all came together nicely.
What colours did you choose, and why?
We had a variety of wisteria, lilacs and creams for the flowers with a selection of foliage within the designs. I had always imagined having a lilac colour scheme for my wedding and this was echoed in the bridesmaids' dresses and the ties, which were both a subtle wisteria.
We were also lucky due to the flowers that were available at that time of the year fitting within this colour palette. The stocks smelt gorgeous and the lilac wax flower was so pretty within the bouquets and table flowers.
What did you love the most about your venue and what made you choose it?
We weren’t even going to go and see Rivervale Barn as we had just arrived back from visiting family that morning and didn’t think we would have time. However, we went… and wow! I honestly had tears in my eyes from the moment I walked through the door and I remember Sam saying it was going to be a hard venue to beat.
You can’t walk into this venue without noticing how light, warm and beautiful it looks. The gardens are stunning, with different areas for photo opportunities and having the honeymoon suite on-site was a huge bonus for us.
The staff at the venue were friendly, accommodating and helpful. The whole team ensured that the day ran smoothly and everyone commented on how effortless the day had felt from start to finish.
What was the atmosphere you were hoping to create?
We wanted it to feel as relaxed as possible to ensure that people felt they could enjoy the venue as much as we did. We weren’t very strict on timings or who did what, and it was important to us that we actually had time to spend with our wedding guests rather than being taken for photographs all day. When looking through our photos, we are laughing in pretty much every picture and that, to us, captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.
Tell us about the details of the day.
When planning we had collected lots of signs that we used in different areas around the venue and we decided to have teabags as wedding favours as we both love drinking tea.
For the evening, I provided flip-flops for the ladies so that they could enjoy dancing without worrying about blisters the next day.
Our photographers provided our photobooth for the evening, which was great fun, and we also had a sweet cart.
When did you know you'd found the dress?
I found the whole wedding dress shopping quite stressful and it was really hard to say yes to that one dress that is supposed to be perfect. I had seen so many dresses before this one and I thought I was set on a style that I wanted. But when I tried on a more fitted style, my mum and bridesmaids nearly cried and said I needed to stick with this design.
My dress was by Maggie Sottero, which I found in Confetti Bridal in Wokingham. When I first put it on, I loved how flattering it looked and that each time I moved there was a subtle sparkle in the lace. I had always wanted a train and the length of this one was perfect, plus I wanted a high neckline and my shoulders slightly covered.
Originally it had an open back, but the lovely seamstress worked hard to add matching lace to cover the back of the dress. I also had the neckline lowered slightly so it was more comfortable.
My shoes were a simple ivory heel, which were very comfortable and complemented the design of the dress well. I had a beautiful veil with beads around the edge and wore earrings and a matching bracelet, which my mum bought for me to wear.
What did you choose for the suits?
Sam hired his groomsmen suits from a local shop called Anthony Blay, who we saw at a wedding fair at Rivervale Barn. He always thought he wanted a tweed suit, but when he tried it on he didn’t like it as much as he thought he would. Instead, he went for a grey suit with a tweed waistcoat, which looked much better and his best man had the same waistcoat to match.
Sam wore his grandad’s black shoes, his dad’s cufflinks and a watch that I gave him on the morning as a wedding gift.
How did you make your ceremony personal to you?
We had Us Two from Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne, which was read by two very good friends of ours. One of my bridesmaids read an extract from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, which we felt captured our relationship really well.
What entertainment did you choose for the day?
We made our own playlist for the arrival of our guests, ceremony and dinner. We had a brilliant DJ for the evening who had requested a playlist from us before the big day.
What was your first dance song?
Better Together by Jack Johnson
What did you choose for your catering?
We had a drinks reception with a variety of canapés and Pimm’s with strawberry, mint, orange and cucumber or sangria flora with edible flowers.
For our wedding breakfast, guests could choose from the following:
- Starter: Confit duck, garlic and parsley, spiced cauliflower puree and pickled radish; or mushroom Scotch egg with pickled shitake and mushroom ketchup, shallot, thyme and celery leaves
- Main: Grilled supreme of free-range chicken, goat’s cheese and pepper stuffing, basil pesto mayonnaise; or roast beef tomato with grilled halloumi, buttered baby spinach, asparagus and baby leeks
- Dessert: Vanilla cheesecake with raspberry coulis
Our younger guests were served child-friendly alternatives.
Tell us about your wedding cake
The cake was a naked cake with three different tiers by Jeni's Cakes and Flowers and she also made us a variety of gluten-free cupcakes based on the same flavours. We provided takeaway cake boxes so our guests could enjoy a slice at home, rather than have anything wasted. Jeni also provided our sweet cart.
What was your favourite moment of the day?
There were so many, but when we approached Vicky and Phil to tell them that we would be happy to go outside in the rain for photographs is a moment that will stay with me. They happily obliged and we had such a laugh while in the gardens. I look back at the amazing black and white photo in the rain with such a lovely feeling as we were both so happy, even if we were a bit soggy.
Another amazing moment was sitting at the top table with Sam and looking out to all of our guests who were having such a good time. We have never had everyone we love and care about in one place, so it was a very special moment for us.
Were there any little surprises on the day?
Sam’s brother, who was our best man, had written a song which he performed as part of his speech using a stage piano. Sam didn’t know this was happening, so it was a complete surprise. People are still talking about his speech now, it was amazing.
What advice would you give to other couples still planning their big day?
- Don’t get caught up in the wedding stereotypes; do what you want to do.
- Find a venue that makes you smile every time you visit.
- Include people in your bridal party that you know will still be in your life when you are old and grey.
- Choose a photographer that can capture who you are as a couple.
- Add little quirks and personal touches that will make you smile when you see them.
- If you have a budget, try hard to stick to it and find alternative options if something is working out a bit too expensive.
It can honestly be the best day of your life, but only if you stay true to yourselves and not worry about other people’s opinions. Most importantly, enjoy every single minute.
Steal their style:
Venue: Rivervale Barn, Yateley
Photography: Senior Mac
Hair and make-up: Hair Design and Make Up By Michelle
Flowers: Flower Monkey
Dress: Maggie Sottero from Confetti Bridal, Wokingham
Bridesmaids' dresses: ASOS
Groomswear: Anthony Blay Bespoke Menswear
Cake: Jeni’s Cakes and Flowers
Entertainment: Innovents Entertainment and Services
Signage: Grace and Bramble
For more Hampshire wedding inspiration, browse the latest edition of Dorset Hampshire Surrey Sussex & Wiltshire Bride magazine.