Here’s the Winter Mythe Barn wedding of Julia & Graeme.
Lovely to work with the Chiavetta family again after shooting the wedding of Emidio (Julia’s brother) & Amy at Kilworth House in 2015. Julia’s family yet again showed true Italian hospitality during the morning preparations by welcoming and plying me with food and drinks – non-alcoholic of course – after all, a bride wouldn’t want slanted and blurred pictures now, would she?
Julia has done wonders with supplying words for this article, so much detail in fact, that it’s saved me having to write quite so many words for this intro (thanks Julia!).
One final thing. Before you start reading the article below and looking at the pictures. The date of this wedding was the 10th, and the house number of Julia’s parents is 39. Take a look at the first picture, now that’s synchronicity!
So, how did you meet? – tell us a little more about yourselves.
“Graeme and I first met at the wedding of our best friends, Holly and Jonny. Graeme was the Best Man, and I was the Bridesmaid. We really should have met long before their big day but fate had another plan, and therefore it wasn’t until their wedding rehearsal that we first locked eyes. A week later we had our first date and the rest, as they say, is history.”
The proposal – who proposed, where, when & how?
“Graeme proposed at Chobham Common while we were out walking our Labrador Sammy! It was a massive surprise as it was just an average day that became the best day ever.
Graeme stopped to tie his shoelaces half way through the walk – I continued – only to hear him calling my name and asking what I would like for Christmas. I was somewhat bemused but answered ‘You, always’ and then all of a sudden there was this beautiful ring, and Graeme was asking me to marry him!
I have never been so surprised and excited in all my life, I even forgot to say ‘Yes’ and just said ‘ Thank you’.
The world definitely stopped spinning for a while – especially when the surprises continued, and Graeme explained that he had organised for our parents to come down for the day and that dinner had been arranged at a local Italian restaurant. I was the luckiest girl alive!”
How was the wedding planning process for you?
“The week leading up to the wedding was pretty full on – enjoyable – but full on, and I ended up feeling incredibly anxious that I would spend the whole wedding day feeling as stressed.
Luckily this was not the case! I woke up feeling calm and just incredibly excited. The best thing I did in the lead up to the wedding was to create a spreadsheet timeline for the day – this included every bit of info needed, including timings, contact details, things not to forget, etc. I gave it to all the bridal party and Molly (our wonderful wedding coordinator at Mythe Barn) and knew that in their safe hands Graeme and I could relax. Apparently, it was quite a talking point and even made it into the Best Man’s Speech!
Without my mum, sister and Emma (Miss Bush Bridal) I would have without a doubt walked down the aisle in jeans and a t-shirt. I was terrified about dress shopping. I am a grumpy shopper as it is and body confidence is not my strong point! Also, it’s such a big decision, particularly for a flappy decision maker! Luckily Mum and Olivia know me better than anyone, so they came especially armed and then there was Emma, who’s no nonsense, kick arse approach to wedding dress shopping was just the thing I needed. Emma’s honest, careful, funky and fuss-free approach to finding ‘The dress’ is something I will be eternally grateful for!
When it came to finding ‘The dress’ we didn’t have a big moment where time stood still and mum drowned in her tears, but we did all give each other a knowing smile, and I refused to take the dress off! My dress was 7014 by Jesus Peiro. It was the elegant, classic but slightly sexy dress I hadn’t realised I had dreamed of… and it had pockets!!
My wrap/jacket was designed by Emma and made by her in-house designer Laurie. My headband was a bespoke piece from a Miss Bush supplier – By Harriet. Harriet also hand-stitched ‘J + G’ and our wedding date on the underside of the band and named the piece Chiavetta!. My shoes were a very high heeled, Wizard of Oz-esque Gucci extravagance!!
The veil was also from Jesus Peiro and despite me always being unsure about actually wearing it – I am so glad I did as it did finish off my dress.
I kept my jewellery simple – Graeme bought me a pair of Sapphire earrings (my blue) and my mum bought me a silver eternity knot bracelet (my new) – two beautiful gifts that will always remind me of our special day.
The dress and everything I wore will also always be more special than I could imagine because my Mum saved all year for it – a present from Mother to Daughter that I’ll always treasure and every time I look at will always think of Mum.
Graeme was decisive when it came to his suit. He wanted a tweed one and ideally wanted it making. Graeme is 6’7 and before our wedding had never owned a suit that fitted him!. We found Victor Valentine online and were incredibly excited when we realised that they not only made suits but also hired them out – it meant that Graeme could have his bespoke suit and that we could hire similar style suits for the Best Men and Ushers.
Graeme chose a three-piece, navy herringbone tweed suit, which he wore with a Hugo Boss shirt and light brown Barker shoes (that had a navy blue suede detail). The Best Men, Ushers and our Dads all wore a very similar Navy tweed suit which we matched up with Brown brogues and white shirts. The woollen mustard ties and pocket squares were a last minute decision – but proved to be the sun in our winter wedding.
The boys looked so cool, and I love the photo of them all posing outside the venue – you would never guess that two weeks before we suffered a button meltdown and had all the buttons changed from red to navy – one of the best decisions we made – thanks Mum!
My bridesmaids – Olivia, April, Holly and Lily – all wore a dove grey dress by Ariella at House of Fraser, which they wore with ivory faux fur jackets and open toe heels. The girls looked stunning and gave the day that touch of vintage glamour!
A childhood friend, Katy, and her colleague Claire (Katy owns Beau, Loughborough) did our makeup, and Melissa North did our hair.”
Where did you get married and what was it about the venue(s) that appealed so much?
“The ceremony was massively important to us, and Graeme knew how much it meant to me to say our vows in Church. I was really keen that the Church we chose was not one of my childhood churches as I really wanted to get married in a Church that we could class as OURS and therefore create our own history in.
We chose St Peter’s in Market Bosworth, not only for its charming yet very simple setting but mostly because after just one service, we were made to feel like we had been attending St Peter’s all our lives. The parishioners were so warm and welcoming, and they supported us throughout our journey to the altar – and made our 5 am getups to travel from Surrey to Market Bosworth in time for Church all the more worthwhile. Asking to be married there was one of our best wedding decisions for sure!
Our reception venue was Mythe Barn. My sister in law, Amy, first mentioned Mythe Barn to us and after one quick browse of their website we very quickly secured a Christmas viewing. Graeme and I instantly knew that Mythe was for us – not in a film, slo-mo type way – but in that real life, cheesy grin type moment, where we both could imagine ourselves partying in the barns surrounded by our family and friends.
We loved the authentic yet modern and fresh feel of the barns and knew that it would be the perfect foundation for our very personal wedding day. Also, the bridal suite is AWESOME, and the courtyard bedrooms were perfect for our families.”
How would you describe the style of your wedding and what made you decide to go down that route?
“There were some things that we both had our hearts set on before we began any planning or booking. We both wanted the day to be fuss-free, relaxed, fun and very ‘US’. We were keen to stick to the traditional essence of a wedding, but it had to have a quirky twist, and nothing would be done just the sake of tradition. We both loved the idea of a Winter wedding for various reasons but mostly because we are both hopeless romantics about Christmas and for us, Christmas means quality time with family and friends.
Our friend Marcy (of Que-tee) created our blooms. We decided on blue, green and white flowers with lots of mistletoe, olive and foliage. Marcy worked wonders and created so many beautiful arrangements. My favourites were our beautifully rustic bouquets – full of eucalyptus, asparagus fern, blue anemones, thistle, olive and mistletoe. I also loved the wands Marcy made for the flower girls! Marcy also created a beautiful garland for the top table and matching circular arrangements for the guests’ tables – these were finished off with a handful of candles in beautiful glass tea light holders.
A local florist (Rose and Radish) created a stunning mistletoe and white rose arch for the church – which we used again at Mythe Barn.
As Mythe Barn is so beautifully decorated, we decided to keep the interior styling to a minimum and let the place speak for itself. We wanted our personal touches to stand out so didn’t have a theme as such. Grey is my favourite colour and green is Graeme’s mum’s favourite colour – therefore it seemed silly not to use them as our wedding colours. We knew we didn’t want bright colours (understated was another rule of the day) and therefore chose dove grey and olive green as the basis for our colour scheme. After this momentous decision (yes that was how it felt) the planning began – starting with stationery.
My sister in law, Amy, designed our wedding stationery. Amy’s design was utterly brilliant, and her J + G motif became a focus for all of our decoration choices – as did the olive branch heart that encircled our initials. Lily, my friend and Bridesmaid, offered to make us some J & G lights as a wedding gift. They were incredible, and a brilliant feature in the barns – Graeme and I had a great time posing with them – as did our guests.
When it came to decorating Mythe, we started by ordering festoon lighting for the beams in the Oak Barn and bought silver lanterns to frame the room. Both things helped create an intimate feel in the barn. The rest of the decoration was made up of displays of things that meant something to us. The first was ‘Generations of Love’ – which was a collage of our family wedding photos (we asked them to choose a favourite photo from their day). It was great to remember their day during ours.
We also created a display of photos that we named the ‘Candle table’. This was a selection of our favourite photographs of loved ones who had passed away. I added heart tags to each picture, so our guests knew who they were. It was important to Graeme and I to feel that they were with us on the day.
Our table plan was a family affair! I concocted the idea, sourced a pallet, which my Dad then deconstructed and reconstructed to size. Mum then painted it, and I spent a few days with an overhead projector painting on everyone’s name (an homage to my late Grandad John, a signwriter – although he would have been able to do it without the OHP).
We wanted the favours to be something that our guests would use again, so chose to give everyone an espresso cup (representing my Italian roots) and a ‘Three Legs of Man’ mint (Graeme grew up on the Isle of Man). Mum, Dad and I packaged the cups and mint in cellophane with grey Mr and Mrs ribbon and finished them off with a ‘with love’ stamped kraft tag. Dad also made a wooden heart decoration for each guest – which we used as name places, and we bought smaller hearts for our friends’ children – it was lovely to see them re-used on our guests Christmas trees (our Bride and Groom ones made it onto ours!).
Continuing the kraft paper theme, I used kraft notebooks to display each table number, and as the table number correlated to a wedding anniversary year, the books doubled up as message books for us to read on that anniversary (I can’t wait to read them!). We also had two Polaroid cameras circling the room so that our guests could help us capture the day and also add photos to the books.
As we were hoping for a full dance floor my Mum spent every evening of the wedding planning year, knitting slippers for the guests for when their feet became sore– this included ‘bespoke’ slippers for me and the Bridesmaids. I loved seeing our guests carefully choosing ones that matched their outfit – including the men!”
Cuisine. What kind of food and drink was served and why?
“The food was delicious, and the waiting staff were first class. The Risotto was a definite winner, although the Beef Wellington came a close second. Our meal highlight was seeing (and hearing) my work colleagues laying on the floor doing a group Polaroid selfie for our wedding book.
After dinner, we had cheese, biscuits, chocolates and coffee in the bar & we cut the cake which our friend Sarah (of Sarah May cakes) created for us. It was a delicious 4 tier cake (fruit cake, vanilla and lemon, chocolate and carrot cake for the top) – she covered the cakes in ivory pearlescent icing and spent over 10 hours using icing to make a heart shaped, mistletoe wreath for the front of the cake. Wow! Our guests are still talking about how delicious it was!
After cutting the cake, I did an impromptu speech! Blueridge set up a video guest book – which Holly and Jonny looked after – we cannot wait to see it as; apparently, it included some friends doing the Hakka, a mannequin challenge and many drunken declarations.
Our favourite personal touch was choosing a real ale for the bar and naming it after our beautiful Labrador Sammy – the brewery even printed a photo of her on the beer tap (which we got to keep!). It was so lovely hearing our family and friends say they were drinking a pint of ‘Sam’s beer’.”
What were the most memorable part(s) of the day and what was the funniest moment?
“My Bridesmaids and I got ready at my parents’ house and then moved onto Mythe Barn for dressing and final touches. Graeme and the boys hired a cottage local to the Church – conveniently it was opposite a pub!
I loved the wedding morning. Sitting on the kitchen floor in my dressing gown and headband with our dog Sammy. Listening to my dad and the girls discussing how all the dresses would fit in the car and then deciding they needed to ask mum and me. And finally my dad’s reaction to seeing me in my dress for the first time – such a special time.
After a hilarious ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ moment when we pulled up at Church just as two friends raced by shouting ‘Hello’. An even funnier extraction from the car (Dad had to sit in the front as my dress took up the whole of the back seat). And a ‘wet buggy wheels’ vs. ‘train of the dress’ moment, I finally arrived at Church and so did my nerves. I remember suddenly feeling so nervous – but that’s where my Dad stepped in, put his arm in mine and told me everything was ok.
I will never forget how I felt when I saw Graeme – it was a bit like the day we first met, but this time it was OUR wedding. The moment I arrived next to him he whispered ‘Alright?….that’s a big dress!’ and as we started to giggle, all my nerves melted away and for that moment there was only us.
We danced down the aisle and out of the church to ‘You make my dreams come true’ by Hall and Oates – one of our friends said she felt like she was in an ’80s movie and that the credits were just about to roll). We dodged the rain, said a few hellos and raced to Mythe Barn. I remember getting into the car and looking at Graeme and just laughing – ‘We’re married!’.
As we were warned, the day did fly once we arrived at Mythe. The drinks reception was a montage of posing, pouting and chatting to guests (thank you, Molly, for bringing us some Winter Pimms and some canapés!) while being serenaded by film theme tunes.
After slipping off my veil, we sat down to dinner. I loved walking into the dining room as Mr and Mrs Quirk and seeing our happiness reflected in the faces of the people we love most – not to mention seeing the place we had spent all year planning, looking so beautiful.
Our evening was kicked off with our very unrehearsed first dance to ‘Do you love me’ from Dirty Dancing. I have never seen Graeme so happy on a dance floor, and the photographs are perfect evidence of that (Thank you, Ian, for just being the best and for Blueridge Videography for making us feel so comfortable we forgot you were there – we were soo lucky to have you guys!).
The Kitts Project then sang and boogied with us through the night. I particularly loved dancing with the saxophonist whilst the singers grooved in the middle of the dance floor! Amazing. I literally danced the night away.”
Do you have any advice for other couples in the stages of planning their wedding?
- Don’t be afraid to obsess over the details – it’s the details that make the day unique and they are the things that you’ll remember.
- Be the most organised you have ever been – nothing happens if you don’t action it.
- Utilise the talents of your loved ones (and your own) – it adds to the day.
- Remember the things that you first talked about when you discussed your wedding for the first time and keep true to them and yourselves.
- Most of all, ENJOY! Our 11 months of planning went by in a blink of an eye and the day went even quicker!
‘Our Photographer and Videographers’
“Our photographer, Ian, was one of our easiest wedding choices – and consequently one of the first people we booked. Ian photographed my brother’s wedding the year before ours and had also photographed many of my friend’s weddings. When we met Ian on my brother’s wedding day we were all blown away by his calm and ninja like persona. It’s always a worry having an extra body in your house on the morning of your wedding but Ian made us all feel incredibly comfortable, and we all loved having him around. You can see why we were desperate to book him for ours!
Ian has given us a collection of photographs that we will treasure forever. A detailed story of our day that will not fade over time and that will last even when our memory may no longer serve us in the way it currently does. His photographs are frames that capture a moment in time so clearly that you are for that moment transported back to that time.
Much like Ian, Blueridge was also an easy choice. They had also videoed my brother’s wedding, and the results were so beautiful that they were a must for our day. As I work in the Film industry, it was massively important to me that we had our day filmed and Blueridge was a perfect choice. I admire their attention to detail and their ‘in the background’ approach to videography. The kindest of guys and absolutely spot on at their job. We cannot wait to see our film!”
- Ceremony Venue: St Peter’s Church, Market Bosworth
- Wedding Venue: Mythe Barn
- Photographer: Ian Bursill
- Videographer : BlueRidge wedding videography
- Florist: Marcy Oguntoye – Que-tee
- Church flowers: Rose and Radish
- Dress: Miss Bush
- Bridesmaids: House of Fraser and Coast
- Hair: Melissa North
- Makeup: Katy and Claire at Beau Loughborough
- Groom and Groomsmen: Victor Valentine
- Cake: Sarah May Cakes
- Caterers: Galloping Gourmet
- Music: The Kitts Project
- Wedding cars: Rutland Wedding Cars
- Pianist: Cam Gow
- Festoon Lighting: More Production
- Polaroid Camera Hire: You Snap