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Real Wedding | Emily & Tom | 20 Apr 2018

Photographer: Jessica Raphael Photography Florist: Family Friend Cake: Brides Sister Band/DJ: The Innocent Other Suppliers: Make up - Rebecca Francis; Hair - Mode Bridal (Beverley); String Quartet - Bristol String Quartet

First things first, can you tell us about the proposal?

Tom and I have known each other since we were kids; Tom is best friends with my cousin, Jay (our best man).  We first met in Teignmouth on holiday at a young age; life took us on our own paths until we regained friendship in 2014.  As I was a student at the University of Plymouth, Tom would often drive down on a Friday evening to spend the weekend with me.  To get a break we used to head along the coast to Teignmouth where we had holidayed all those years ago!

To cut a long story short - Tom whisked me off for a weekend break to Teignmouth and on the 25th March 2016 he got down on one  knee (at 8am because he was too eager to wait any longer) and asked me to marry him.  I was so stunned I burst in to tears; he had always said marriage wasn't for him... it was a beautiful sunny day and the setting was perfect! 

What made you choose Redhouse Barn for your wedding day?

We have a running joke that we viewed 30+ wedding venues, but if I'm completely honest I don't think we were far off!  We really didn't want a church wedding, it wasn't for us, but as an Architectural designer I found myself obsessing over architectural details and characteristics, Tom however had a fascination with what whiskeys were served at the bar!  For one reason or another the search continued and we just couldn't find anything that ticked all the boxes - until we walked into Redhouse Barn.  We both walked around almost in silence and took it all in, when we walked back to the car we both looked and said 'that's the one'. It was everything we'd been looking for!  We were over the moon; we'd found the character and sense of space we'd been looking for. 

The smaller intimate ceremony room has a great ambiance, it feels spiritual yet not religious, formal but relaxing, it was perfect.  Another criteria in our search was to be adaptable to the ever-changing weather, I didn't want to go outside if it was torrential rain!  Redhouse Barn couldn't be a better set up, from getting ready in the morning, watching them all work so hard to set up the reception, walking through the Timber Barn, into the lounge to stand at the doors for the ceremony!  If I'm honest we just can't put into words how special Redhouse Barn truly is, they have thought of everything and you quite simply can't find a better wedding venue! 

Was it love at first sight when dress shopping or did you have try a few on before finding the perfect one? And not forgetting the suits for the boys, how did they get on?

The dress was easy (in comparison to the suits) four days after booked Redhouse I had an appointment booked in a small boutique in Bewdley.  I tried on a total of 5 dresses and it was no. 4.  My mum, mother-in-law and sister instantly fell in love and that was it... we took it away that day and my mum had the responsibility to look after it for almost 12 months! 

The suits... Tom is extremely conscious about his clothing; to put it bluntly a little bit designer obsessed! I wasn't looking forward to the suit search... After Christmas I insisted we started looking, as I knew it would take a while.  If I'm honest, I'd prepared myself for a much harder task; we were fortunate to find just what he was looking for in House of Fraser! We were then tasked with organising 7 groomsmen to try on suits, shirts, belts, shoes etc.  But we did it, and the boys looked fantastic on the day.  

So, Venue booked, how was the rest of the planning process?

We found the planning relatively easy going, we knew what we wanted and were able to find suppliers online.  I found it all got a little stressful towards the end, anxiously hoping that everything you had been planning / booked would run smoothly on the day. 

Fast forwarding through all the planning to the actual ceremony, how were the emotions for both of you during the ceremony?

The week leading up to the wedding Tom had become very nervous.  I was excited; I couldn't wait to get to the Barns for 8am on the morning and start watching set up.  I was quite calm all morning until I was asked to get into my dress - then I started to panic.  As soon as I was dressed I had my meeting with the registrars I couldn't wait to see Tom.  So much so I decided to leave the room and join my bridesmaids in the Timber Barn, hiding as our guests were all still outside soaking up the sunshine.  I had calmed down a little again at the point as I watched everyone take his or her seats across the courtyard in the Brick Barn.  Looking back at our wedding video I was so eager to see Tom and make sure he was okay that I did run down the aisle. Tom was extremely nervous, although he had nothing to worry about!

Did you have a theme or colour scheme running through the day? Tell us a little bit about your flowers and any other personal touches.

The colour scheme was Navy for the boys and Blush for the girls however, this didn't go much further other than their attire.  We opted for fresh white linen on the tables and glass candle holders, which looked beautiful.  We had tried to personalise the day as much as possible, Mary (a family friend) provided the most beautiful flowers, we were truly honoured that she was able to do them for us.  My sister made the most amazing cup cakes - 130 she baked and iced the night before the wedding, amazing!  We also had photographs on display of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents wedding days and our table numbers were photographs of Tom and I at ages 1-7.  I almost forgot, I'm sure Tom hasn't, we also made all our stationary, save the dates, invitations, tables plan and place settings!

Sadly my father passed away in 2016, it was extremely important to us to show how much we truly loved and missed him.  The little touches included a broach on my bouquet, rosemary in our flowers for remembrance and my something blue, a blue heart sewn into my dress from my dads old shirt.  We also mad use of Redhouse Barns crystal trees in the Bar area, we had little wooden name tags with white feathers to hang on the tree for all those who sadly couldn't be with us on the day (our little remembrance tree).  My fathers passing was made slightly easier through the high quality of care and understanding provided by St. Richards Hospice, we can't put into words how special the nurses, staff and team at St. Richards  truly are.  We will continue to remember everything they did and continue to do for those in need.  In order to recognise their hard work and give something back we decided to have St. Richards Badges as our wedding favours.  Tom wrote the most wonderful poem that we used as place cards with out guests names on the top.  To continue support my mum dropped off our wedding flowers at the Hospice the following morning for the patients and staff to enjoy. 

How would you describe the food and service throughout the day?

AMAZING.  After our tasting we raved about the food to all of our guests and just couldn't wait to have our menu again on the wedding day.  Our guests have all complimented the food to no end.  My favourite comment was from my great uncle who said 'Em, that food was amazing, it looked just like the really beautiful food you see on the television and I couldn't believe how good it tasted'.   

We would highly recommend Morgans Catering!  Not only for the outstanding food, but their attention to detail, consideration and kind nature throughout the entire process! 

What kind of cake did you go for? Was it traditional/ modern/ flavoured/ cupcakes/ naked?

We had cupcakes, baked and decorated by my wonderful sister!  I don't eat cake but I've had glowing reviews from our guests and they were all gone by the end of the evening. 

How did your first dance go?

Hmmm, it was more of a sway than a dance, we loved the song 'Stand by me' but we found it difficult to dance to, so we just enjoyed the moment!  We had tried to practice once before but it's completely different in a wedding dress with a long train!

What do your guests mention most about your wedding day?

What didn't they mention, our guests have just continued to compliment our wedding which has been wonderful to hear.  They loved the set up of the ceremony through to the reception, the bar, the gardens, the food, right through to the party in the evening.  We have had so many people says it's the best wedding they have ever been to. 

Is there anything you would change if you were to do it all again?

Absolutely not!

Do you have any hints or tips for couples looking to get married?

Don't worry, everything works out in the end.  We had a few bumps in the road during the planning and the last few weeks running up to the wedding - but it was perfect.  Can we do it all again?!

Finally, where did you go on your honeymoon?

We mini-mooned in Teignmouth :o) but we are planning a honeymoon to the Bahamas later on in the year. 

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