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Real Weddings

Justin Alexander for a Classic, Floral Wedding at The Barn at Willerby – Emily & Sam

06th November 2020 | Sarah Symonds

This is the one where Emily and Sam tie the knot on a sweet summer’s day in Willerby with a pretty and muted pink palette. Total wedding perfection.

Elegant, light and beautifully floral – exactly what one would expect when the Mother of the Bride is a florist. Emily had not one, not two, but a whole team of pro florists working on the styling for her big day. With an abundance of quintessentially English flowers and foliage adding a certain romance and charm to this already picture perfect day, and a little sausage pooch in a bow for added cuteness! We always love when there’s a furry friend playing a part in the big event.

Adding to the al fresco summer feel, we’ve got the details of a BBQ feast, which is basically de rigueur for any Great British outdoor party, and an adorable little bar in a retro caravan to keep everyone suitably hydrated. Equal parts quirky and kitsch, this is one bar we wouldn’t mind being seen propping up. Let’s speak to Emily, forget we’ve ever heard of Covid and party like it’s July 2019!

With photography by UNVEILED Network Member Tabitha Stark Photography


Emily says: Sam proposed to me in Venice on 28th March 2018. We had spent the day in Burano and then headed out to the Hilton Hotel Sky Lounge for a few drinks, which is on an island just 15 minutes away on a water taxi. On the walk back Sam got down on one knee with the stunning backdrop of the lights of Venice. I cried with tears of happiness and said yes. It was perfect. We then celebrated at a hidden jazz bar with lots of prosecco!


We got married on the 6th of July 2019. We knew we wanted a Saturday summer wedding as we wanted an indoor/outdoor feel. We got married at The Barn at Willerby. We had looked at a few venues across Hull and East Yorkshire. The Barn was our last stop, it wasn’t finished yet but after looking around we knew that’s where we wanted to get married. It has floor to ceiling bifolding doors so we could have the indoor/outdoor feel, which was what we wanted for our summer wedding. They also didn’t restrict us to certain suppliers either like other venues had, so we were able to choose who we wanted for our day.


We knew we wanted a classic and delicate wedding with a romantic modern style. My mum is a florist so I have grown up to love beautiful flowers. Pretty, elegant and British-grown flowers were a big part of our wedding, with a palette of mauve, blush, dusty rose and ivory with gold accents.


I knew I wanted something elegant and romantic when it came down to picking my dress, but also modern. The neckline gave it a modern twist that a lot of dresses I tried on didn’t have, which I loved. The train was my absolute favourite part, button detailing going all the way down. I wanted something that I felt comfortable in, could dance the night away in but still feel amazing at the same time. It was a Justin Alexander dress from UNVEILED Network Member Emily Bridalwear in Sheffield.


Sam wore a navy blue suit with checked detailing from Skopes and tanned leather shoes from Daniel Footwear. The best men and our dads wore the same suit and shoes as Sam.


The girls wore mauve floor length dresses from TFNC which complimented my dress and the flowers.


Amy and Ellie did our hair and makeup on the day and they didn’t disappoint. They are such lovely girls, I felt like I had known them years. They put you at ease and it just felt like having my friends round.


Tabitha Stark Photography was our photographer. We met Tabitha and her husband David at a wedding fayre at The Barn. We loved how timeless, elegant and soft her photos were and after chatting to themm we just felt so comfortable. They are such a down to earth, lovely couple and Tabitha takes beautiful photos.

We knew we didn’t want to standing and posing for long periods of time, we just wanted to enjoy our day and let Tabitha capture the special moments, and she did just that. We love our photos!


My mum and her flowery friends, Sanctuary Flowers, Liberty Lane Flowers and Ivy Lane Florist, created our beautiful wedding flowers. My bouquet was soft, romantic and full of fragrance and the buttonholes complemented the bouquets.

We had a stunning floral ceremony arch and a meadow lined aisle filled with the most beautiful delicate flowers that smelled amazing! The meadow aisle arrangements were also used for our top table. For our table centrepieces we had a mix of British country garden flowers and foliage arranged in a low footed gold compote.

The flowers used throughout our wedding were David Austin roses, Cafe Latte roses, Garden roses, lisianthus, jasmine, sweet peas, delphiniums, campanula and scented herbs such as rosemary and mint.

Our stationery was done by Boutique Wedding.


I had followed Juniper Cakery long before Sam even proposed so I knew exactly who I wanted when we booked our wedding.

I wanted to create something fun but still keep to the style of our wedding. I have always loved Olivia Burton watches and asked if Juniper Cakery could incorporate this in the design of the cake. We went with a three tier cake which consisted of salted caramel, chocolate and Sicilian lemon sponge. The girls decorated the cake to match our colour scheme and added sugar florals, gold butterflies, a gold hummingbird and rough gold edging. Felicity and Krystle are truly amazing at what they do. They create such beautiful cakes that taste delicious.


Sam really wanted to be able to choose the menu for our wedding day. He wanted people to really enjoy the food and for it to be a talking point of the day.

Annika’s Apron offer BBQ sharing boards so we decided to go with the modern grill option for the main. They served a huge bone in rib eye steak, chicken skewers, tomato and shallot salad and Italian potatoes with a side of chimichurri and aioli sauce. For dessert we had chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream with a salted caramel bourbon vanilla sauce. The children had cute little packed lunches which was a lovely touch

The food was incredible and people still talk about how nice it was, even a year later. Annika and her staff were so professional and did an amazing job from start to finish.

For the wedding reception we wanted a street food vibe and decided to have a hog roast served from the van. Alice from Homegrown Hospitality was great and the hog roast was delicious – the best crackling we’ve ever tasted!


We chose a band called The Kickstarts who were recommended to us by UNVEILED Network Member Warble Entertainment.

They were amazing and so flexible. They recommend a set list to you but you can swap and change songs to whatever you like.

The dance floor was full all night and we ended the night with our favourite song by Mumford and Sons, I Will Wait For You. They created a great atmosphere for our guests!

For entertainment through the day we wanted to add garden games and I found Emma Lane on Instagram. Her games are different to others I found and fit perfectly with our style and The Barn.

Special touches

We wanted to have our siblings be a part of our day. Sam had his brother as one of his best men, my brother did a beautiful reading by Bettie Meak called The Promise of Marriage, and we had Sam’s sister as one of our witnesses.

My Grandad passed a few years ago now but I still wanted to have something of him with me on our wedding day. My Mum wrapped a silk ribbon around my bouquet and attached a locket which held a photo of my Grandad. It made my bouquet even more special to me and I would recommend anyone to do this who has lost someone close to them.

Thanks to

The Barn was the relaxed wedding venue we wanted. Olivia, Debbie and the staff worked hard on our wedding. Our favourite part was the outdoor patio area and the orchard. Thank you to everyone who helped make our day so special!

Best bit

My favourite part? We had just sat down to have our meal and we just took the time to stop and take a moment to take it all in. We looked around at all our loved ones who shared our day with us and we both felt so much love and happiness in the room, it was an incredible feeling.


Our top tip would be to remember it’s your day so have what you want and don’t sweat the small stuff. We took time out together to take it all in as it can be overwhelming. Lastly enjoy being surrounded by all your family and friends.

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