Alexandra and Darryl met when they were children. “I was friends with his sister,” says Alexandra. “We then met later at a mutual friend’s engagement party. We share a love of Formula 1 and have lots of mutual interests.”
Darryl popped the question on Christmas Day. “He wrote it on a card and woke me up early as he was so impatient,” shares the bride. “He thoughtfully sought the permission of my dad before proposing, and it was wonderful being able to share the day with family. It was definitely a surprise, and I didn’t even believe him when I read it!”
"The Barns and Yard is a gorgeous setting, and the owners have done an incredible job at renovating the space, giving it a very relaxed yet smart vibe," adds Alexandra. "The shed was an instant draw due to the wonderful combination of modern and rustic décor, and the on-site accommodation gave the day a lovely atmosphere."
Daisy Belle Floral Design provided the flowers. "I chose a waterfall bouquet with sunflowers, gerberas, an abundance of eucalyptus and blue delphiniums to honour our friend Del who is no longer with us," explains the bride. "The bridesmaids carried smaller versions which we then used as decorations for the main tables. We also chose copper pillar candles to emphasise the lighting in the barn."
"We purchased a semi-naked cake from Home Farm Kitchen," recalls Alexandra. "The three-tier design was made up of lemon, elderflower, white chocolate, fresh raspberries and black forest with kirsch and cherry compote. It was beautifully decorated with lots of delicious buttercream and fresh flowers to match our colour scheme. We displayed it on a hoop stand embellished with eucalyptus and blue delphiniums."
The happy couple chose four round tables for their guests and a top table. "We allocated our nearest and dearest with a table but asked them to sit where they liked," says the bride. "For our place names, we printed them on seed paper with everyone's food choices."
"Our favours were tree seeds," shares Alexandra. "We also gave out bags of sweets in biodegradable glassine bags. Darryl and I supplied some of the décor ourselves as we run a stationery company called HiveWeddings. We made a rose gold welcome sign, a seating plan, cards and a gift sign. The Cotswold Vintage Party Hire provided the floral arch, garland and wreaths. It used mainly artificial flowers with a few fresh versions from the owner's garden. This was tailored to fit our theme and was the perfect backdrop for the day."
The food and canapés were provided by Martin Lovell - Professional & Private Chef Services. "He kindly let us choose our food options, so we went for a classic roast option," adds the bride. "The food was amazing, especially the Eton mess! The evening food was provided by Ian at The Old Dough Hook. The pizzas and accompaniments were delicious. We cannot recommend both caterers highly enough!"
"I wore an A-line dress from La Boutique, a fantastic shop in Exeter that sells new, used, and sample designer dresses and all of the profits are donated to charity," explains Alexandra. "My gown had a beaded bodice with a lovely V-neck back and long train. I accessorised with deep red heels and a stunning belt and back necklace made by my best woman, Lucy. She spent days painstakingly making these with tiny beads. After the band's first set, I changed into a short yellow dress from ThePrettyInfinity with rose gold shoes that I could dance easily in. My necklace was a wedding gift from Darryl, my earrings were from MyHartBeading, and I wore two bracelets."
Darryl and the groomsmen opted for grey checked suits with white shirts and yellow ties."The bridesmaids chose full length, light grey dresses from ThePrettyInfinity," recalls the bride. "They all picked different styles that suited their tastes and body shapes which looked beautiful. They also had flower crowns provided by Eve at Daisy Belle Floral Design."
"We hired a band called The Mini Big Band who were absolutely fantastic," says the bride. "We cannot praise them enough! They performed swing and jazz songs, which I love as I used to play the trumpet. Darryl chose this specific band as he liked the magical delivery of the singer as well as the talent of the whole band. They were professional and fun at the same time. It went down really well with all our guests."
"We were relaxed on the morning of the wedding as the setting was so perfect," shares Alexandra. "I was nervous about standing in front of our friends and family during the ceremony as we're both very shy people, but the day was mostly relaxed and fun. The photos certainly show how the smile never left my face. Having everyone there to celebrate with us meant a lot, especially after a hard year due to COVID-19."
Alexandra and Darryl were nervous about their first dance, but it turned out to be a magical moment. "We weren't sure if we would do the first dance, but I decided to ask my grandparents to join us," adds the bride. "They had a difficult time after my grampa had a stroke the previous year, but his recovery has been wonderful, and it meant so much that they were able to dance with us. Luckily all eyes were on them!"
"One of our favourite moments was the speeches," explains Alexandra. "My best woman, Lucy, wrote a gorgeous poem for us which was so moving. All of the bridesmaids were great at helping me get ready, doing my hair and make-up and generally making the day a lot of fun. I want to thank my parents too as they helped us have the wedding of our dreams. Our close family were incredible with helping us to prepare the venue, and Nicky and Lisa from Barns and Yard were amazing at making sure everything ran smoothly on the day. Our photographer, Daniella Marinos, was also fantastic at making us feel relaxed, and she got so many photos that really showed how fun the day was."