Here's another blog by our lovely Laura from her ceremony at Gildings Barns last weekend!
"On 7th October 2023 an Indian summer's day blessed the wedding of Joe and Laura Swain.
Driving up to the beautiful Gildings Barn that morning I was greeted by a beautifully sunlit Barn with flowers prepared by the bride Laura hanging over the door and a welcome sign next to the flower girl’s basket of petals, decorated with eucalyptus and a blush pink rose. Medina, Laura's sister and flower girl, was going to help create a beautiful entrance in a mere matter of hours...
Jo from the team at Gildings greeted me with a hot cup of coffee and as I set up the ceremony space, with the certificate ready for signing and the readings prepared for their family members, and I was really pleased the sun was shining down on this gorgeous couple.
They met 12 years before as just fresh-faced teenagers and had grown stronger together during a long-distance relationship whilst studying for their careers and moving in together during COVID had brought them even closer.
Joe and his groomsmen arrived (in a vintage VW Camper Van!) with the first few guests around 12 noon and was settling his nerves in the sunshine whilst the final preparations were made for the ceremony.
The Guests gathered on the patio in the sunshine with him and enjoyed some music from Jon (The Surrey Pianist). I almost couldn’t believe it was October!
More vintage VW Campers arrived with the bridal party, and I ushered all the guests to take their seats in preparation for the ceremony. Rich the photographer was capturing the arrival of the bride whilst I got the guests ready for the big wow moment – Laura’s dress!
Laura is a true rock chick, and her guests were stunned when she arrived in a beautiful lacy, layered white gown. There were even a few gasps amongst the gathered guests! Laura’s bridal party were all beautifully dressed in pale sage green complimentary dresses.
Laura’s sisters, Charlotte and Kirsten, set the scene with a reading from Friends – Joey’s suggested ceremony script from Monica and Chandlers wedding! Laura and Joe are so laid back and have the best sense of humour and this was reflected throughout the ceremony!
Joe and Laura had invited only their closest friends and family to their wedding, and I had been in contact with some of them in preparation for the ceremony to reflect on the years they had spent getting to know not only each other but also each other’s families. I brought together the details that Laura and Joe had shared with me with the stories and reflections I gathered from their friends and family to surprise them with their love story on the day… it was a gift to them on their wedding day to share some of their memories and feelings from the past 12 years.
Joe’s Uncle Dave bravely joined in the fun with our reading lottery for the second reading of the ceremony – he was a great sport, and everyone enjoyed the drama of the moment, a palpable sense of relief was felt when he took the centre stage to read The Future, by Emma Salmon.
Joe and Laura included the traditional vow and ring exchanges in their ceremony with the support of their best friends Hannah and Rob, and Laura’s Dad Simon, and Joe’s mum Lisa, helped the couple to sign their certificate, before I had the privilege of presenting them to their guests as the happily married Mr and Mrs Swain!
I left the couple and their guests to enjoy the last of the afternoon sunshine and begin the rest of their celebrations, after we managed to do a beautifully sunny confetti shot on the patio! I’m pleased to say that I also managed to resist taking one of the Colin the Caterpillar cakes with me for my journey home!
I’m sure that the wedding party had a great time rocking out that evening, Uncle Dave’s band were making an appearance, and I was sent, by a little birdie, a video of Laura still in her stunning wedding gown but with the addition of her big black boots, rocking out to Queen!
Many congratulations to you both, long may you be rocking out with each other!
Venue: Gildings Barns
Photographer: Richard Paice ( www.dickspics.co.uk)
Celebrant: Laura from Knight Ceremonies
See more about Surrey Ceremonies