Do-It-Yourself and Upcycled Barn Wedding

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Claire and Lou wanted a relaxed wedding that all their guests would enjoy. “The inspiration for our wedding came quite naturally”, Lou told me. “All we wanted was to feel comfortable in our outfits and for our guests to feel comfortable too. We wanted people to socialise as much as possible and for everyone to have an amazing time with us. We wanted a nice flow on the running order and our priority was to ensure that no-one was hanging around waiting for the next part of the day feeling hungry or bored!”

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The wedding was held at Southend Barns in Chichester. “The minute we saw our venue we knew that it was perfect”, she continued “I walked around the grounds and imagined certain props in certain places and got an idea of what would work and what wouldn’t. I got a lot of my décor inspiration by simply standing in the middle of the venue and looking around and thinking about what I could do.”

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“We made all the decorations ourselves. The vintage suitcases were purchased on eBay and upcycled. Bottles and jars were saved up over time and decorated using various lace ribbons. Antique books for centrepieces were bought on eBay. Photo frames were bought in Poundland along with the buckets used to hold popcorn. I also handmade the confetti cones using some old wrapping paper that I found in the cupboard at home.”

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“We made the ceremony our own. Claire was the first to go down with her dad followed by her ‘best people’, then I went down, also with my dad. My brothers, Chris and Sean, followed behind me and Sean was carrying Bruce, our French Bulldog. He was dressed for the occasion in a bow tie and he had our rings on some lace around his neck. I joined Claire and we made our marriage vows to each other. The ceremony was the most nerve-wrecking part of the day. As we walked back up the aisle, hand in hand, we knew that the hard bit was over and now it was time to celebrate!”

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Both brides wanted to look feminine and wore white dresses. Lou’s was from Pretty Eccentric in Brighton and Claire’s was from Phase Eight. “We asked our ‘best people’ to pick any dresses or outfits they liked. We knew that by doing this their personalities would shine through and they would be up for having more fun because they felt good. We also felt that all of the different colour choices from people’s outfits would make such great photographs!”

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“We really didn’t have anything too traditional at our wedding and we were very much ourselves. Anyone that knows us will know that we don’t put on a front. What you see is what you get and I think our wedding reflected that. It was a care-free day of fun. Although we had a plan and timings for the day we didn’t really stick to it because we just wanted things to flow and happen naturally.”

“The best thing about planning the wedding was the wedding day itself”, Lou concluded. “To see all of my handmade items in place, to see all of our friends and family having an amazing time and realising that all of the hard work had paid off.”

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