Another fab blog from my team member Laura, from her wedding at Gildings Barns on Thursday.
"Emma and Shelley wanted an understated wedding day to celebrate their 17-year relationship, alongside their closest friends and families.
The beautiful Gildings Barns just 5 minutes from their front door was the perfect location. Set in beautiful countryside with open views and a rustic country feel, it was decorated everywhere with gorgeous country-style blush pink and sage green flowers in jam jars collected by the brides and their friends, during the run-up to the day.
The couple hosted a drinks reception before the ceremony, so everyone could settle in and feel relaxed, wandering around the different areas in the barns and enjoying some of the surprises the brides had planned! The weather had not blessed us with blue skies today, but it did not stop everyone enjoying themselves. The games started early, and especially the crystal maze inspired ticket collecting wind tunnel which was a big hit!
Shelley had prepared a playlist for the drink’s reception, and I was tasked with making sure that people knew that when they heard ‘Greatest Day’ by Take That, that was their signal to come and join Emma, Shelley, and me at the ceremony area, where we were already waiting for them.
The ceremony was pared down to include the couple's Love Story, readings by Shelley’s two nieces, and a simple ring exchange to reflect the understated feel they wanted. The focus was really on the Love Story in this case, and of course, with over 17 years’ worth of history and shared experiences to explore and share, this was a wonderful way to celebrate Emma and Shelley’s relationship and commitment to each other.
Their beloved dogs, Rosie and Tate, were a surprise part of the ceremony, bringing the couple’s rings down to join them in the front. They caused quite a stir, and it was clear to see how much they mean to the couple who have devoted their free time to rescuing and nurturing a whole menagerie of animals. They even asked for donations to Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare in place of gifts, creating a QR code for guests on the day! The dogs became an unexpected but welcome part of the couple’s ring exchange and everyone could see the chaos and love that they bring to Emma and Shelley’s lives!
At the end of the ceremony, we moved to the open space in the ‘threshing’ barn for a toast to the couple and a confetti shot by their photographer. The party then really got started with a delicious BBQ from the catering team at Gildings and dancing for the rest of the evening.
I left the couple on a high, happy that they had celebrated their relationship with their friends and family in a way that both reflected them as a couple and that they were completely comfortable with.
I came away with a memento of the occasion, in the form of a seeded paper heart, to plant in my garden and watch grow the way that Emma and Shelley’s love grew in their early days together and I look forward to seeing it blossom!!
I wish Emma and Shelley much love and many happy adventures together in the next 17 years to come and those beyond!!
See more about Surrey Ceremonies