Vicki & Jon were our last wedding of the season and what a great wedding to end a wonderful summer!

Following a super emotional wedding ceremony in the barn, Vicki & Jon had a reception on the lawns and the rain held off until all the guests were dining in the wedding marquee. The biblical rain didn’t stop the boys heading to the riverwalk for a whiskey & cigar shot by the fire globe, albeit under brollies!

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Vicki has been kind enough to share her experience of the planning year, her memories of the day and she has some tips for couples planning their own wedding.    So here is what she has to say…

How did you find us?

Jon and I had been searching for venues in our local area (Buckinghamshire) and didn’t find anything that jumped out at either of us!

We weren’t being overly pro-active with the searching process, after visiting a few and feeling quite deflated and started toying with the idea of eloping

I began looking for venues in the UK and on that same day (Thursday December 17th 2015) I found Ever After!

I was literally searching ‘Elopement Venues UK’ in google when it popped up, it was the name that initially attracted me as it just sounded very  fairy-tale like.

I sent the link to my now husband and the next thing I know we had made an appointment with Nicola and travelled down on the Sunday to view the venue!

It was clear that we both fell in love with Ever After at first web browse as we wouldn’t have made a 7 hour round trip if we weren’t convinced!

(That’s funny, I never knew that Vicki & Jon were considering one of our elopement weddings!   They booked a larger summer wedding which just shows you never know how things might change…)

What caught your eye about the venue?

What I think we both loved is the quirky, indoor-outdoor feel to it. It’s not like any venue either of us have seen before and I had looked at A LOT online – we loved how green, natural and rustic it looked, I also spotted a chandelier hanging from a tree in a picture and I think I was sold..

(ah, you mean this one…)

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What were your first impressions when you visited?

 After driving 3.5 hours and marvelling at the Dartmoor moors on the way in we found ourselves descending down a single track road and admittedly we were both wondering where on earth we were going to pop out!

As we pulled up we were greeted by Chip and Mouse, which endeared us straight away and of course a warm welcome from Nicola and Steven.

We were both instantly impressed by the wedding barn, it’s easy to imagine exactly how you want it to look – the amount of flowers, trees and well preserved greenery coupled with the sound of the river in the background was key for us!

We were both wowed by all of the little areas around the venue that gives it that extra something special!

Can you tell us a bit about your experience of the year leading up to the wedding

We had exactly 9 months to plan our wedding so during that time we visited Tavistock a few times to better acquaint ourselves with the area so that we could recommend it to our guests.

We spent some evenings in the Cornish Arms over a few glasses of wine trying to work out what else needed to organise/buy. We stayed at a few different B&B’s, so that we knew what our guests could expect.

Nicola was super helpful and knowledgeable throughout the process.  During our visits we felt at ease and talked through what we needed to do/what was done and were given plenty of helpful suggestions.

It was great to receive supplier recommendations as well, it was key to us as we are not from the area and knowing that they were directly recommended made us feel more confident about our choices.

(Our contacts with local wedding suppliers can be a valuable resource if you need it.   We work with you to understand who will be the best fit for you and we only recommend suppliers we think will do a fantastic job for you…)

 Tell us about the wedding day itself!

 The day itself came and went too quickly! That being said, we both loved every minute – even the stressful ones!

(I’m sure Vicki won’t mind me saying that she was a very nervous bride going into the ceremony, part of  my role was to help Vicki and her Mum focus on some practical issues (‘don’t look at your feet!’) in order to distract their nerves before they walked down the aisle together)

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Nicola and Steven were incredible, they were always on hand and even when they weren’t visible we knew they were behind the scenes helping!

Every single one of our guests said that they understood exactly why we picked the venue and we had quite a few ‘one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to’ so were pretty happy with that!

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Everything flows really well, from the second people arrive for welcome drinks to the moment they leave – There is so much available to keep people amused that no one is just ‘standing around’.

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One thing I will say to all brides and grooms that read this; try not to worry if there is rain – our day was not spoilt by it; in fact it kept everyone in one place and ensured that guests were on the dancefloor or propping up the bar!

(the rain in the evening was unbelievable!  It started to rain just as we wanted guests to move into the marquee for the wedding breakfast so the timing was perfect from that point of view.   I just wanted to share this shot of groom Jon making his speech after the wedding breakfast, everyone is warm and toasty in the marquee but if you look just behind Jon in this shot, you’ll see Steven whose shirt is wet through!   Most guests didn’t know it was raining at all.   And we have noticed that if it does rain and your guests are inside the marquee a) it’s a great space as you can see below, guests love it and b) everyone spends a bit more time together as they’re not spread out around the garden. 

We worked out that in 2016, we had rain on 1 in 7 of our summer weddings and with every single wedding where it rained, couples still had some photos outside.   A good photographer will be able to adapt to the rain, taking some of your photos inside but also getting you outside either in a break in the weather or grabbing one of our brollies and getting some great rain shots.)

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So do you have any advice to other couples about planning their own wedding?

Our advice would be make sure that you’ve secured the big things (photographer, invites, dress, registrar, cake) first before you even start to stress about the little details.

I think it’s good to know your ‘theme/feel’ early on and what kind of colours you want. Definitely start a Pinterest board as it seems to be one of the first things that suppliers will ask you about and you can both keep track of your thought process.

I also made sure I followed different wedding related sites on Instagram and Facebook to get ideas…

Our best ideas were discussed over wine in the pub….  So we also made sure that we wrote check lists and kept them updated so that we didn’t forget any creative genius!

Most importantly, try not to stress too much (which I probably did) everything works itself out and on the day all the little things that you guys worry about won’t even be noticed by your guests!

Good tips from Vicki.  Big stuff first, get the big picture for your day in your mind and then the details and finally, let those details go if they don’t come together in the end.

2016-11-15_0015 All photos by Lucy Turnbull.

You can see more photos from Vicki & Jon’s wedding over here on their real wedding page.

Drop me an email nicola@lowergrenofen.co.uk if you want to talk to me about how to have your wedding here at Ever After.