1st June 2012 . Amazing Wedding Decor + Style

Inspiration Galore at The Great Barn

Hello oh wonderful ones,

I hope good weeks have been had by all.  Right now as I look out my kitchen window the sky is grey and there’s the smell of pending rain in the air.  Just in time for a four-day weekend full of barbecues and street parties (I have both planned), and quite a difference from the stunning ‘hotter than the Med’ weather we had last week! But hey-ho, it wouldn’t be Britain without a rainy bank holiday, eh?

Last Friday my Mum and I had a day of ‘wedmin’ related travels in the depths of the Kent countryside.  The weather was simply glorious, and as we sat on a hay bale in the orchard of the wedding venue, I actually commented “I think it might be too hot!”.  Yes, I have well and truly now shat on any chance of a sunny day for my wedding next year. Ha!

But it was lovely to get back to The Great Barn, having not visited since January on a sunny but freezing cold day.  It was hard to imagine a wedding day without heaters back then, but of course this time round it was all about how to keep people cool!

View of The Great Barn from the orchard

The Orchard

My beautiful Ma testing out a hay bale. (They work.)

With it being late May we’d missed the trees in full bloom but there was still a little blossom left on the apple trees, and the grass had been mown in preparation for a wedding the next day.  I’m planning on hanging streamers from the trees to inject a little colour, but other than that it just needs to be filled with beautiful people and sunshine.

We had called ahead to make sure it was ok to pop down, and were warned that with a wedding the following day there may be decorating preparations in full swing.  Fortunately for us when we got there around midday there wasn’t a soul to be seen; the only sign of a forthcoming wedding being a couple of gazebo roofs and some tables of props inside the barn.  We were able to snap away and really try to get a sense of layouts and logistics which was very helpful.

The upper level where the ceremony will take place

The lower level where the drinking/dancing will take place in the evening…

Yes, that is me playing the air guitar on stage. Problem?

The barn really is so beautiful in its natural state that I’m going to keep the decorations as simple but as striking as possible. The people who were getting married the next day had put some bunting up, and there were lovely little love hearts and signs hanging around the walls, but with so much- well- wood around, I feel it is too easy for all those lovely little bits and bobs to get lost.

I’m taking inspiration from this STUNNING California wedding which has me bouncing up and down on my chair with excitement.  If you don’t think this is beautiful than there is something wrong with you.

Tanja Lippert Photography

Tanja Lippert Photography

Tanja Lippert Photography

There will be festoon lighting everywhere, and a multitude of colourful paper lanterns over the dance floor, but aside from the table decorations I think that will be it.  Hard to imagine when looking back on those pictures of an empty barn, but I know it’s going to work.  Can’t. Frickin. Wait.

One of the bigger challenges is how to make the back of the barn look good.  The orchard is out the front and naturally very pretty, but the back is a little more… industrial.

The barn from the other side

And to the left slightly… the catering entrance where the vans etc will be parked up.

Looking out from the barn

The catering area is ugly but necessary.  And as we can’t be out in the orchard once the music starts in the evening (too close to local residents), this back area will need to be used.  Weather permitting we are going to have a fire pit which will provide some sort of distraction, and I intend to string festoon lighting from the barn to the bottom of the stairs, but apart from that I think I’ll be relying on myself and my guests enjoying ourselves far too much at that point to even care!

The other question to ponder is to marquee or not to marquee? With the entire day’s festivities taking place inside the barn, people will need to vacate the space at several points during the day for furniture to be moved around.  If it’s raining… gulp.  So I am going to have to provide some sort of gazebo/marquee construction (I hate marquees!) for around 100 people…  Yes, there is still lots and lots to think about.

But it was lovely to go and see the barn in all its start-of-summer glory, and I can only cross my fingers and *hope* that Mother Nature looks kindly on us next year.

And just because I know that Paul finds it hard to imagine the barn decorated and full of people (hello Paul, I know you read this), I thought I’d share some images of previous weddings that have taken place at The Great Barn.  So without further ado, here’s one barn done three very different ways…

1. Vintage lanterns and greenery galore in this super-chic wedding- photography by Wild Weddings:

2.  A 1940’s RAF-themed wedding- by Neil Hanson Photography:

3. An informal and fun country affair- by Sara Thomas Photography.

I love this couples’ style and they did some beautiful things to the barn both inside and out- you can see the full wedding here:

Sara Thomas Photography

Sara Thomas Photography

Sara Thomas Photography

Sara Thomas Photography

Sara Thomas Photography

It really is a blank canvas dream.

Have a fantastic Bank Holiday weekend everyone and if there are any Great Barn brides (or grooms) to be out there who might stumble across this blog, do say Hi.  Would be great to share plans!

Sama xxx

Sama x

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No Responses to “Inspiration Galore at The Great Barn”

  1. Carly Harris

    Hi Sama,
    We are also getting married in the Great Barn next May!!!!! (the 4th)
    I will definitely be keeping a close eye on your blog and am keen to share plans. Here are some of our ideas decorwise https://pinterest.com/mrsgooch2b/wedding-party-inspiration/ however I will no doubt get freaked out about how much further on with planning you are than us (we’re still drawing up a photographer shortlist).
    Looking forward to seeing your future blogposts.
    Carly xxx

    • theutterblog

      Hi Carly,

      Yay, thanks for getting in touch. How exciting to hear from someone else getting married at the barn… Just had a nosey at your pinterest- very beautiful! Are you having a blue colour scheme then? (I love blue hydrangeas so much.) We’ve got some similar ideas for streamers and lighting!

      Please don’t be freaked out by how much I’ve done- I’m one of those annoying girls who has been thinking about her wedding day for a very long time so I’d say I’m more abnormal and you’re more normal… haha.

      Good to hear from you- feel free to keep me posted with plans and such!


      • Carly Harris

        Hi Sama,

        Yes, I was so excited to come across your blog, especially as I believe the great barn only holds something like 18 weddings per year. Yes, we are having a blue colour scheme with a bit of pink thrown in for good measure.
        Love your inspiration images with the lighting and such – the barn lends itself so well to that kind of thing with all that space and height! I’ll be particularly keen to find out if you manage to find a good lantern supplier!
        All the best,
        Carly x

    • claire

      Hi Sama,

      I adore your blog!! it has given me so many ideas for our wedding at the Great Barn in 2015 (just a slight amount of preperation time! hehe!)

      The Port-a-loos were something that was really bugging me… how did you manage this one? did you put them in the attached open area where the hay bales are? (i wanted my photos there, so a bit gutted when Joan suggested this area). Nobody ever puts up photos about the boring, planning stuff and how they plan all the catering vans/rubbish weather issues!)

      Also if you have any tips would love to know some about the barn etc 🙂

      Your wedding looked amazing, how on earth did you set all that up!

      Jealous of your honeymoon aswell, looked fab.

      excited to see some more posts and photos soon,

      Claire xx

      • theutterblog

        Hi Claire!

        I’m jealous that you haven’t yet had your Great Barn wedding! Thanks for saying hello, I will indeed be posting more about last bits over the next few weeks.

        Portaloos actually went round the side of the barn in the end, on the slightly sloping piece of concrete. They didn’t seem concerned it was sloping and managed to prop them up so they were flat. It worked well though because they were the ‘gents’, and then the ‘ladies’ used the side door to get to the toilets in the barn.

        I’m happy to help so any other queries feel free to email me! Xxx

        • Claire

          Oh Sama I’m not the best at all this technology, I tried to email, but have no idea what I’m doing to find your email! Hehe!

          Who did you hire the port-a-loos and tables chairs from?

          I love the fact they put them round the side out the way, I hope they can do that for us!

          I think your website is great, and I love getting my “utterblog” email updates when something new is posted!

          Claire x

          • theutterblog

            Haha, you can just go to the Contact page up top and email me that way if you prefer! Portaloos were from Four Jays which are pretty close by. Tables and chairs were from Academy Furniture Hire nr Gatwick. The best deal for black chiavari chairs I could find! xx

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