An English country wedding in a treehouse
28 Oct 2020
Laura Barrett and Stuart Larkins had a small, but perfectly formed English wedding in a treehouse at Fox and Hounds Country Hotel, Devon
Photography: Nick Walker Photography
Tell us about the proposal
Our engagement was a bit unorthodox. At the time we met I was living in Los Angeles and Stuart was living in London. When we discussed whether we wanted to embark on a long distance relationship we both agreed that we only wanted to put in the time if we felt the relationship was going to be ‘end game’. We decided it was worth it and about six months into dating we decided that I would make the move to the UK. Because realistically the only way to move countries is to get married, we discussed it and decided to pursue a fiancee visa for me. The visa was approved in November 2019 and I moved in December 2019, but Stuart still hadn’t officially proposed and it was driving me nuts, I was literally already planning the legal-wedding because we only had six months to get married, so I was like “what is he waiting on?” It turns out he was waiting on the ring to arrive, and he proposed that Valentine’s Day. It was super sweet and private. We had planned on getting married on March 28th, 2020, but the world had other plans and the UK went into a nationwide lockdown on March 23rd, which included banning all marriage ceremonies big or small.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
Since the venue was a literal treehouse I let that drive the theme. It was very English countryside and natural. The colours were deep reds, peach, cream, and green.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We had always planned to do two weddings due to having immigration and legal parameters put on this first ceremony, but I dreaded the idea of just going to a register office. I started searching for the best places to elope in the UK and landed on this gorgeous treehouse in Devon, Stuart loved it too, so we contacted them and the rest is history.
Tell us about the dress
For this first ceremony I actually didn’t have time to go to a bridal shop and try on sample dresses and do alterations, so I ordered it online. Risky I know. But I got lucky and it fit perfectly. It’s not what I would’ve thought I would choose to be honest, but once the pieces of the ceremony started to come together I knew it would fit perfectly in the whimsical setting.
Tell us about your floral arrangements
When I asked Stuart what kind of flowers he wanted his response was simply, “wild” so I ran with that and we did a rustic, wild bouquet and centrepieces.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us
about the details of the day
We kept it really simple but elegant. My shoes were a simple white Prada mule and I wore a simple diamond necklace that my mom had given me to borrow on her last trip to England to visit us. For favours we did personalised scented candles with our names and wedding date on them that smelled of lime, basil, and mandarin.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
Nervous but excited. We played ‘Marry Me’ by Train which was a song we both loved, we decided to skip the personalised vows and readings and save them for our larger wedding celebration that has been pushed to 2021, so that even though we are legally married, our friends and family can be there for the first time we do them.
What was your most memorable moment?
The kiss. That and laughing while trying to get Stuart’s ring on. It would not fit over his knuckle.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Covid-19 was a massive challenge for us. Not only did the government forcibly postpone our wedding, being unable to get married in March put my immigration status at risk. After a lot of help from a lot of different people we were able to sort the visa situation out, but it was really touch and go there for a moment
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We skipped the first dance in order to have more of our family and friends there for it
when we can eventually have a bigger wedding (that and dancing is not technically allowed at the moment).
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
I wish my mom and sister could’ve been there, but other than that it was perfect.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Do whatever you feel comfortable with. Honestly. There are no rules. Get married in a treehouse. Have no bridesmaids. Have 37 bridesmaids. It’s your wedding day, do you.