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Our Venues

Lusan Mandongus for a Rustic Wedding at Doxford Barns – Hannah & Jack

23rd July 2020 | Sarah Symonds

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Getting the whole family together for their big day was super important to Hannah and Jack but the wonderful Doxford Barns provided the perfect solution.

From a proposal up a mountain to a wedding in a barn – today’s outdoorsy couple are doing it their way and it’s those personal and handmade touches that make each wedding so wonderfully unique, keeping us so excited about every wedding we feature.

There’s such a sense of fun in these gorgeous photos and our cool couple certainly seem to be living their very best lives on their very best day! Hannah talks about getting all the right vibes when she first viewed the venue and tells us how she knew Doxford Barns was The One, distance be damned! So, if you’re currently on the hunt for your perfect venue, you might want to check this out and perhaps widen that net!

With photography by Rosie Davison Photographer

Proposal

Jack proposed in May 2019, in France, on top of a mountain! We love to travel and, ever since we started travelling, every time we’re at the top of the mountain we take a photo where I’m on top of Jack’s shoulders.

We went up this one mountain in France, that looks onto Mont Blanc, one of the first mountains we went up on our trip of travelling the world back in 2017. I set up the camera on a self-timer, thinking I was recording us so that I could take a screenshot of the best photo of me on Jack’s shoulders and with a view of the mountains. Little did I know that when my feet touched the floor Jack would remain on his knees and proposed to me!

I burst into tears (of happiness of course), it was the best moment. I couldn’t believe it and I’ll never ever forget it.

Setting

Our wedding was on February 22nd 2020. We didn’t mind when we got married. We did however want to get married quite soon. When we went to Doxford Barns, this was the best date that suited us, we cancelled a ski holiday that was booked to get this date too! We are so glad that we did. The most perfect timing.

We got married at Doxford Barns, both ceremony and reception. I looked for weeks for a venue. Our plan was to have a weekend wedding and a place that could sleep our whole family on site, as we wanted to treat our family to a weekend away. Something that we don’t do enough of as we’ve all grown up and gone our own ways.

I saw Doxford Barns through the website ‘Hitched’. We loved it straight away, I loved the rustic feel to it, how beautiful the venue and the area is, the photos were just beautiful. We showed both parents and they both agreed. The problem was the venue was a 4 hour drive from where we all lived.

We decided to visit, arranged a date and away we went. We all kind of hoped that it would be horrible when we got there because of how far away it was.

That didn’t happen. Doxford Barns is honestly breathtaking as soon as you walk in. They had music playing whilst we walked around, the breakfast hall was gorgeous, every little touch, the lighting, the space, the threshing hall. Jack and I loved it, I was crying, I felt emotional straight away, I just knew this was the place. So did our parents!

Theme

We wanted our day to be as natural as possible. Simple, but effective, bringing the outdoors in and as much pretty lighting as possible.

We opted for creams and greens. Made Simply Perfect helped us so much with the set up, they are honestly incredible. Everything we imagined and more was set up on the day of our wedding, it was beautiful.

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Dress

I went for a very simple dress. I have to be honest I was going for a very tight fitting dress the day I went to buy my final choice. However, Katie in White Boutique suggested I try on a dress that has just been delivered. I said “oh go on then”, thinking my mind wouldn’t change as I loved the tight fitting dress. Well, my mind completely changed. The dress Katie suggested I tried on was beautiful. I remember standing there and twirling around with the dress on, I loved it.

I chose it because I felt so much more comfortable and I knew, most importantly, that I could definitely have a good dance in this, whereas the tight one I couldn’t! My dress was by a designer called Lusan Mandongus. My shoes were from the Rainbow Club sale for £15! I’m a bargain hunter.

Groomsmen

Jack wore a tailor-made suit from Moss Bros, Donegal Green in colour. It was gorgeous, he looked so handsome. It was a three piece suit, and he had our intituals and the date of our wedding engraved into the inside of his jacket.

The groomsmen’s suits were hired from The Wedding Barn in Leamington. They were black suits, with a green tie. The guys here are super helpful, they even offered for Jack to come back with his full suit and try it on with the groomsmen to make sure that all of the colours of the groomsmen’s ties and pocket squares matched with Jack’s suit.

Bridesmaids

The bridesmaid dresses were from Wed2Be in Hinckley. They were a forest green colour, to match the theme. They were one shouldered and just dropped to the floor.

Beauty

Our hair was done by the wonderful girls at Beau Monde hair salon and our makeup by Alice Armstrong. They were great, such lovely girls. I didn’t want much at all. I just wanted to feel as natural as possible and they did just that!

Transport

The wedding party travelled up on Thursday to a hotel nearby called The Hogs Head, to get everything ready, then all of the other guests arrived on the Friday afternoon for the weekend to begin!

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Photographer

Rosie Davison is honestly, the most genuine, down to earth, lovely person and such a great photographer! I was so nervous about the photography, as I’ve loved photography since I was a child and so have my brothers and family, so I knew when it came to choosing, I’d struggle.

However, that all changed when we found Rosie. The way Rosie captured the images were so natural and beautiful, showing meaning in each photo. It’s exactly what we wanted. Jack and I both don’t really like posing, it’s not us at all. We wanted super natural shots of our wedding, ones we didn’t even know were taken. Rosie did this wonderfully.

The first time we met Rosie, it’s like we’d known her for such a long time. Rosie is so lovely and really helped us both feel at ease! I would definitely recommend Rosie, in fact I have already and Rosie is photographing at my friend’s wedding in April 2021!

Videography

We had Cmotion Films. I’d definitely recommend getting a video of your day, it is so lovely to watch. I cry every time. We saw bits that we hadn’t seen on the day of our wedding. It’s just incredible to watch back.

Styling

Made Simply Perfect put together the most beautiful bouquet. They’re the loveliest ladies, they work with you to make everything perfect.

We wanted the weekend to feel like a weekend away for people. The cottages that you could stay in were already stocked with bread and milk. We added crisps, sweets and water for those who wanted snacks before bed!!

Stationary wise, we also wanted to add small touches from us. We bought lots of little bits from Ikea, the candles and candle holders. We made our own table plan, with fairy lights and brown paper tags, with brown string and hung them up on the wheel that Doxford Barns provides.

Favours

We didn’t do favours as it all adds up and we didn’t want to go overboard with everything. We wanted people to have a good time and things that they’d remember. So, instead of table names, we printed off photos of the guests on Polaroid style photos. This photo was either a memory of us and the guest or a baby photo of them and was placed on the table where they’d sit. It was such a lovely touch, I thought!

Cake

Emily at Chemily Cakes made our cake and it was honestly incredible. I’ve already mentioned before how natural we wanted the wedding to be, so as you can imagine we wanted the same for the cake. I don’t even need to say much when you see a photo of the cake, you can see the fine details that went into it and how incredible it looks.

It was so beautiful. We went for three flavours; Victoria sponge, lemon and chocolate swirl. They were so yummy, I’d love to have more! In fact, I’ve already ordered from Emily since!!

Also we froze some of our wedding cake for our one year anniversary.

Dining

Doxford Barns’ food is incredible. Easily the nicest food we’ve all had in a long time. My family and friends said it was the best food they ever had, not only at a wedding but for a three-course meal, especially the beef. It was all so tasty, we already want to hire out the venue again for another meal!

We also had a pick and mix trolley and my wonderful mum made tiffin and brownie. They were that amazing, I think I only managed to get two for me and Jack. They were all gone!

Entertainment

The Wild Murphys played for us. We are a big Irish family on both sides! We wanted to have a good old dance, with Irish music and I came across this band online.

One day I was in Birmingham with my parents and Jack and we noticed a big outdoor screen playing Irish music. I couldn’t believe it but it was the Wild Murphys. This was the day after we’d booked them so it felt like it was meant to be. They were doing a tour so we went to see them! They were great.

We also had a DJ for in between the sets that The Wild Murphys played. It was safe to say we did not stop dancing all night!

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Special touches

During our wedding my Grandfather was very poorly so wasn’t able to make it up for the day. However, when I walked down the aisle, my Grandad was on FaceTime to watch me marry Jack. I’ll never ever forget it. My Grandma was able to watch it too. Family is so important to both of us and the fact Grandad was able to watch us meant so so much. He also watched the confetti shot and the speeches.

Thanks to

Honestly, each and every person that helped us out. We can’t thank everyone enough.

If you are after a wedding that is in the middle of nowhere, exclusively yours, candle lit, rustic, with amazing food and the most amazing staff you could wish for to help. Doxford is wonderful. The feel, the warmth, the space and all the extra touches, the barn, the scenery, the ceremony hall, the breakfast hall… I could honestly go on. It’s incredible – I definitely recommend it!

Best bit

The whole day was our favourite, we couldn’t possibly pick the most favourite part. I didn’t think it would be so perfect, but it was. We were so happy to share a day with everyone we love and to celebrate our love.

Marrying Jack was of course one of my fave bits and will be one of my favourite memories! Saying our personalised vows, with everyone we loved there to witness it. That’s the most special, precious memory we now have. We feel extremely lucky to be married and to marry when we did.

The moment my dad saw me in my wedding dress, to walking down the aisle with him. I’ve always loved mine and my dad’s walks, since I was a little girl, and that one was one of my favourites!

Honeymoon

We had a week off together after the wedding so we decided to stay in England and travel around the north of England. We love exploring so we did just that. We went to Morpeth in Northumberland first, to a treehouse, which was perfect. We then went to Edinburgh for a lovely spa, meals out, and also a day trip to ski!

Then on to the Lake District for two more spa hotels. We spoilt ourselves. The UK is beautiful and there’s so much to see, I’m so glad we did what we did. We want to do it all over again.

Advice

Please do what you want to do, not what others want you to do. Do what makes you happy. It’s your day.

Try not to stress, relax and enjoy it, smile and love one another. You’ll love it all, just remember to have that kiss and cuddle, take time to talk to each other on the day as it goes by in a flash but the memories will definitely last forever.

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