An English country wedding at Clock Barn in Hampshire
09 Mar 2020
Becky and Cody Harridge's summer wedding made the most of the great outdoors with garden games for all their guests to enjoy
What were the top two must-haves at your wedding?
We are huge foodies so the food and drink was the most important thing for us. We also just wanted everyone to have fun and the wedding to have a relaxed feel to it, so having a venue with lots of different spaces for guests to enjoy was important.
What was the theme of your day?
Our theme was English country wedding and we wanted everything to be quite rustic and not too formal. Our friend made the place names and we decorated the jars of flowers ourselves. We bought a lot of things from independent sellers on Etsy such as the personalised signs and table plan.
We are huge Harry Potter fans so we wanted to incorporate Harry Potter into our wedding somehow without it being too in your face. The table names were all places from Harry Potter and our cake topper was a Harry Potter quote.
What colours did you choose, and why?
Pink is my favourite colour so I knew from day one that it would be our main wedding colour. We went for soft blush pinks and whites as these suited the time of year and worked well with the white bunting that was already up in our venue.
What did you love the most about your venue and what made you choose it?
We only looked at one venue as we knew from the moment we arrived that it was the one. Everything about Clock Barn is stunning but we particularly loved the long drive up to the barn, the beautiful gardens and the fact that there were a few different spaces for guests to relax in. The fairy lights and the bunting also gave it such a beautiful atmosphere.
How did you decorate your venue?
The venue is beautiful as it is so you don’t actually have to do very much to decorate it, although we did want to put our stamp on it.
We decorated the fireplace in the stable room with pictures of us throughout our ten-year relationship, which was lovely.
We had wooden log slices as our centrepieces which fitted our rustic theme and we had the table names printed on them which made them a bit different. Each table had wooden confetti, 'advice for the bride and groom' cards and three jars of flowers on the log. The place names were made by our friend and were printed on little luggage tags and the children had little activity books at their places.
Outside the barn we had a 'welcome to our wedding' sign, which the florist decorated with flowers and foliage and we also had an order of the day sign at the entrance to the barn.
We had giant light-up LOVE letters on the dancefloor, which looked beautiful and were a great backdrop for pictures.
Tell us about your flowers
Our florist was amazing, she managed to create exactly what we wanted even though we weren’t exactly sure.
She created a beautiful floral arch at the entrance to the barn and each table had three jars of flowers on it and each jar was different. She used a mix of foliage, pink and white flowers to create the look.
I asked for my bouquet to not look too 'done' and to have loose flowers with the main colour being pink with some hints of white and she completely met the brief. My bouquet was finished off with lace from my dress wrapped round the stems and a charm with pictures of my grandparents attached which was incredibly special to me. The bridesmaids' bouquets had more white flowers than pink and white ribbons hanging down which complemented their dresses beautifully.
When did you know you'd found the dress?
My dress was by Essence of Australia, a brand which I knew I wanted to try after researching online. I wanted something that would make a real impact when I walked into the church and the train just gave it the wow factor. It also had beautiful lace detailing and tiny sequins, which I loved. Every time I went to try the dress on, I noticed something different which I hadn’t noticed before as the lace was just so intricate.
I bought my dress from Pure Couture in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, a shop which had been recommended to me by friends. I told the staff there that I wanted something which covered some scars I had on my chest and they picked out a selection for me to try. The one I chose didn’t quite cover my scars so they added some more lace to the top. They did such a brilliant job that I couldn’t tell apart the original lace from the new lace.
I bought some classic wedding shoes from Rainbow Club, which I bought from the same shop as my dress. My main concern was that my shoes were comfortable, so they weren’t too high and I kept them on for most of the day. I also wore a veil which had tiny sequins on.
I also borrowed some diamond studs from my mum, which was my 'something borrowed' and wore my great grandmother's engagement ring on my right hand, which was my 'something old'. My 'something blue' was my garter, although nobody got to see that. Finally, I wore some fake gypsophila clips in my hair, which suited the rustic English country theme.
What did you choose for your suits?
Cody knew he wanted to wear a top hat and tails for our wedding day, as when else do you get to wear these? The suits were rented from Impeccable in Hatch End, Hertfordshire and we were really happy with them as they looked great in the pictures and really suited the feel of the day.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
The bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS and shoes from New Look. It took quite a while to find the bridesmaids' dresses as I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, but I knew I wanted the bridesmaids to feel comfortable on the day so it was great that they were nice and floaty.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
I always knew I wanted a church wedding and our ceremony was held at All Hallows Church in Whitchurch, which was only a five-minute drive from Clock Barn. We had traditional religious wedding vows and we wanted Cody’s two sisters to have a role in the wedding so they both did a reading. We had one religious reading, 1 Corinthians 13, and also a reading from Winnie the Pooh.
What entertainment did you choose for the day?
As the wedding was in August and the gardens at Clock Barn are so beautiful, I knew I wanted our guests to spend a lot of time outside. We bought a selection of outdoor games such as croquet and lawn darts and these kept the kids (and adults) entertained throughout the day.
We knew we wanted a band to play in the evening and chose Lo Fi through Warble Entertainment who were brilliant and got everyone up on the dancefloor. They did three live sets throughout the evening and DJ'd in between, which worked brilliantly and meant they could play a wide variety of music.
We also had a photobooth in the stable room, which provided hours of endless fun for the guests.
What was your first dance song?
Elvis Presley's I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You, an oldie but a classic.
What did you choose for your catering?
We had drinks and canapés outside following our ceremony and arrival at Clock Barn.
For our wedding breakfast, we chose scotch egg for the starter, beef wellington for the main course and a trio of desserts which included a vanilla cheesecake, crème brûlée and a mini scone. We knew we wanted simple food executed perfectly and this is exactly what we got. We also had a surprise course, which was a chocolate lollipop that came with a glass of dessert wine. The lollipop came in a box of dry ice and was very impressive.
We had pizzas and ice cream in the evening. The pizzas went down a treat and the ice cream cart was such a fun addition.
What was your favourite moment of the day?
The ceremony was our favourite moment of the day. I particularly loved walking down the aisle with my dad, seeing Cody waiting at the end of the aisle and the church filled with all our family and friends who were all there for us.
I think that during the wedding planning process you spend so much time planning the food, the flowers, and all the little bits in between that you forget that the whole purpose of the day is getting married.
What advice would you give to other couples still planning their big day?
I would trust and listen to the recommendations of your wedding venue as they have planned so many weddings, they know what they are doing. I would also say to just enjoy the planning process and don’t sweat the small stuff. We enjoyed every moment of the planning process and even if things didn’t quite go to plan, we didn’t let it affect us.
Wedding planning should be fun not stressful. The day flies by so quickly, so I would suggest taking a few minutes to yourselves during the day and to just enjoy every minute of it.
Steal their style:
Venue: Clock Barn, Whitchurch
Photography: Mia Hooper Photography
Flowers: Garden Inn, email@example.com
Dress: Essense of Australia from Pure Couture
Bridesmaids' dresses: ASOS
Hair and make-up: Totally Flawless
Suits: Impeccable Wear
Cake: Reilly Cakes
Band: Lo Fi, via Warble Entertainment, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photobooth: White Booth
LOVE light-up letters: Love My Lights
For more Hampshire wedding inspiration, browse the latest edition of Dorset Hampshire Surrey Sussex & Wiltshire Bride magazine.