I wanted our day to be beautiful, natural, simple and elegant. It was built around the outdoors and it was important that people felt relaxed without losing the sense of occasion.
Words by Nina. Images by Johnny Dent Photography.
We married at Ash Barton Estate, Braunton, North Devon. At Ash Barton what you see is what you get, you hire the whole estate for 4 days (Thursday to Monday) there are no added additional costs and it has pretty much everything you would need to put on a wedding and amazing pre and post parties.
We wanted a venue that was beautiful but relaxed, somewhere that felt personal. We wanted somewhere that we could be legally married outside, that our guests (or at least some of them) could stay onsite, without hidden corkage extras and supplier restrictions and Ash Barton ticked all those boxes.
On top of that, the owner (Simon) and caretaker (Pete) were extremely responsive and supportive.
I loved the simplicity and its elegance of my Pronovias wedding dress. At the time I chose it, the neckline was unusual and I had only seen one other with that neckline. It was the only dress that I tried that I felt completely comfortable in and that had the ‘wow’ factor for me.
The ceremony. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. I had a long entrance, winding my way through the flower meadow to the pergola but it was so magical.
As I entered the area with the guests I was greeted by Oscar, Alastair’s 2-year-old nephew and our very cute page boy, shouting out my name ‘Nini’ repeatedly in excitement, at that moment any nerves I had melted away.
We wrote our own vows and had 2 personal readings, one was a very personal and beautiful poem written and read by Alastair’s sister, Caroline, and the other was a poem that we chose and loved, read by Alice, a dear friend. The ceremony felt intimate and personal, it was emotional but such a very happy and momentous occasion.
We walked out of the ceremony to ‘Happy’ by Pharell Williams followed by a procession of the bridal party and all our guests, when we looked back up the meadow we could see them winding out behind us, it was an amazing sight.
We chose Johnny after falling in love with the photos he took of our neighbour’s wedding and after meeting him on skype how could we say no after seeing his handlebar moustache! Johnny put everyone at ease, most of the time I was completely unaware of his presence, moving subtly around to catch photos of us all from every possible angle!
During the photoshoot he put us both at ease, getting us to play a game to take our minds off the fact we are being photographed and making sure our smiles and laughs were genuine. He was careful not to take too much of our time but took us out to catch a couple of photos at golden hour and again once it was dark.
For wedding decor, we bought some hanging baskets from Homebase and nurtured at home before the wedding to hang up outside. We had a homemade photo booth that was a gold large frame hung from a gold chain that people could use props provided and stand behind taking photos using the remote control camera we had set up.
The Ash Barton Estate is truly beautiful and the majority of our day was outside and didn’t need extra decorations. The pergola in the wildflower meadow had a small flower arch and milk bottles/jars of flowers lining the aisle. We used hay bales covered in white blankets instead of chairs or pews during the outdoor ceremony.
The party barn is lined with white drapes and has fairy lights hung across the ceiling. We hired giant LOVE letters that were above the dance floor. In the dining area, we just added simple long trestle tables, tall green tapered candles in simple gold candlesticks, with a loose foliage runner and a few jars and milk bottles of flowers. The napkins were tied with a simple bow in dark green ribbon.
Photographer: Johnny Dent / Venue: Ash Barton Estate / Wedding Dress: Pronovias / Flowers: Offshore Blooms / Bridesmaid dresses: Whistles / Makeup: Justine Olver / Hair: Amy and assistant from SALT hairdressers in Braunton /