20th April 2012 . Real Weddings

A Winter Wedding at Cooling Castle Barn

Thank the Lord, it is Friday. cooling castle barn

First up, apologies that I have been so quiet this week.  A last-minute acting gig meant I was working in one form or another aaaaaall week, so I just haven’t had a chance to blog.  I am OFF today though (yay!) and have a first on The Utter Blog for you, in the form of a real-life wedding…

Lauren and Lewis are ‘sixth-form sweethearts’ who were married on 5th December 2010 at Cooling Castle Barn in Rochester.  We were actually all at school together, so it’s an absolute pleasure to have them on the blog, but for now I will hand over to Lauren…

Lewis and I met in sixth form at school. He was the cute boy that used to hang out in the common room and I have to admit I always had a soft spot for him. I guess we just naturally got together and 5 years later he popped the question. It was Christmas Day 2008 and we were exchanging stocking fillers in bed when he got down on one knee (which was quite difficult in bed) and pulled out a stunning princess cut diamond ring. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

All images via Danni Beach Photography

Being a curvy girl, I already had a good idea of what dresses I should be avoiding but I was pretty clueless on what would suit my figure.  I made an appointment at Confetti and Lace in Lakeside Shopping Centre and all I had was one cut out from a magazine that I happened to like. To my surprise (and what I believe was a touch of fate), they happened to have the exact dress in the shop and it was in my size too! I couldnt believe it. I did try on other dresses but as soon as tried on Sabelle by Maggie Sottero, I just knew it was the one and no other dresses compared. Even to this day, I havent had a dress wobble and would choose my dress again. It had everything I could have wished for; a sweetheart neckline (essential for the larger bust), a gorgeous beaded bodice which held me in, and a full taffeta skirt with lace and ruffles. It was perfect.

I chose to wear my Mum’s veil that she had worn on her wedding day. Not only did the vintage lace match the lace on my dress perfectly, it also meant a lot to me, to wear something that my mum had 30 years earlier. I also wore a gold necklace that had been worn by each female in my family for the last 100 years. I originally didnt want a necklace to detract from the dress but to wear a piece of jewellery that had been passed down the generations was something I felt honoured to do and I think it looked perfect.

Lewis and I had always been slightly ‘anti’ the traditional groom attire and preferred the more relaxed look of a smart suit.  However, when Lewis went to try some suits on, it became clear that this didnt feel enough for him.  He felt like he was going to work.  We had a re-think and decided to go for traditional tails and headed to Austin Reid at Bluewater. We chose a pale gold colour for Lewis and a champagne colour for the two best men and the usher. There were a few problems with the suits due to the heavy snow, meaning I spent the day before the wedding getting trousers turned up at the local dry cleaners but this was hard to avoid and was no-ones fault but Mother Nature’s!

Ever since I watched the film ‘Father of the Bride’ as a child, I had this vision of a snowy wedding day. I am the kind of girl who gets overly excited about Christmas adverts in November, cold winter days and of course fairy lights- lots and lots of fairy lights! This led to us having a December wedding and me being able to put my vision of a winter wedding in to action.  Never did I imagine that my dreams of a snowy wedding would come true and the day would actually be set in a backdrop of 6 inches of snow!

I wanted the day to feel warm and cozy as well as having that winter magic feel. I was lucky that Cooling Castle Barn had already decorated the barns with Christmas decorations which consisted of lots of fairy lights and large Christmas trees in each of the barns . For all the extra touches we had the help of Laurie from Cherry Tree Events who shared the same vision. With a little help from her team, Laurie provided us with stunning bouquets, button holes, chair backs, hurricane lamp centre pieces and the floral arrangements. I could not sing her praises loud enough. When I saw the barns on the big day I was overwhelmed with how my vision had come to life.

All images via Danni Beach Photography

My advice to other brides-to-be would be relax and enjoy the journey starting from the engagement! I loved being engaged and I think it is sometimes easy to turn into a bridezilla and forget to take time out from planning and spend time just being in the moment.  For me, the most memorable part of our day was standing in a field of snow after the ceremony. Although we were having our photos taken by the fabulous Danni Beach, we felt completely relaxed. We chatted, laughed and the whole situation felt like we were part of a Narnia film. It was utterly magical and this is a moment I dont think I will ever experience again.

The pictures in the snow are absolutely my favourites- so serene and yet so dramatic!  And isn’t Lauren just a beaut? Although don’t be fooled… behind that gorgeous face is a filthy sense of humour.

Thank you for being the first real wedding on The Utter Blog, Lauren and Lewis!

Go on, leave some love…

Sama xxx

Sama x

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3 Responses to “A Winter Wedding at Cooling Castle Barn”

  1. Laura Jayne

    Gorgeous wedding! I went to a wedding there a few years ago in April and it is amazing how transformed the venue looks in winter! xxx

  2. Angela Gates

    Beautiful winter wedding! Just wondering though, did many guests have trouble getting to Cooling Caste in that snow? Only ask as I’m seriously considering booking CCB for my vow renewal in November 2015.


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