Mark & Guy’s Contemporary Barn Wedding

The Lowdown

Where: Gaynes Park, Essex
Theme: Contemporary Barn Wedding (with Lego and superhero flourishes)
Photographer: Steve Hobart Photography

Mark and Guy met online and after much chatting via the web, they decided to meet in Soho. When the time came, the café they chose was closed for refurbishment, so Guy ended up picking Mark up on a street corner! Some time later, the weekend after they’d been to a wedding, Mark was eating the Love Heart wedding favours when he came across on enscribed with ‘Marry Me‘.

“It seemed to answer the question I had in my mind and so I asked… I bent down on one knee, handed Guy the candy, and asked “Will you marry me?”.

Tears filled Guy’s eyes and he said yes before hugging Mark and giving him a huge kiss. This is their love story…

“It turns out that Guy had been thinking of asking me, too, and had asked his Mum for advice. She was also the first person he called when we got engaged.”

“We looked at a few venues and provisionally booked one, but someone recommended Gaynes Park, and when we visited, we immediately fell in love with it. The immaculately maintained gardens and unspoiled rustic beauty of the Mill Barn were our favourite aspects of Gaynes Park, plus the gardens meant our younger guests had plenty of space to run around in. We booked a Sunday wedding (because most of our friends work on Saturdays), 16 months in advance.”

“We didn’t have a scrap book, and the wedding file developed over time, but we did watch a lot of wedding T.V shows – Mostly Don’t Tell the Bride so we could see what not to do!

“We wanted a traditional wedding, understated but beautiful in its own right. Neither of us liked the idea of a themed wedding, but we did want hints of what made us ‘us’. So we had Lego keyring place names made with mini-figures on top with the date of the wedding on them; and these doubled up as wedding favours.

We also had superhero table names and arranged movie themes as the background music.

“We didn’t follow the ‘Something borrowed, something blue…’ tradition, but we did add a personal touch to the outfits. All the gentlemen, including us, wore silver Lego block cufflinks and button holes with Lego superheroes on them. The ladies were given a silver chain with a single silver leaf attached. Their floral sprays also had Lego Superheroes on them.

“Our ceremony was held in the Orangery. Both Guy and I were walked down the aisle to Gabriel’s Oboe, by our mothers. I from the bottom end, and Guy from the side, through the gardens. We met in the middle, where our mothers handed us over to each other before they led the way to the altar.”

“Despite being told to repeat after the registrar, a nervous Guy still muddled up and got the words wrong.”

“We were very lucky with the weather so had our drinks reception outside the Orangery. Bucks Fizz and orange juice were served as well as a barrel of beers for those who’d prefer it.”

“We had 100 guests for the day and the evening, with no extra coming later. After the photos and drinks were finished, we moved into the Mill Barn for the wedding breakfast where we had a starter of seasonal vegetable soup. No-one knew what was in it but everyone enjoyed it.”

“Being a Sunday, we decided on a Sunday roast for the main. The chicken was beautifully cooked and served with Yorkshire pudding, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes and vegetables served separately. Since it is difficult to please everyone, we decided on a trio of desserts, including a lemon meringue pie, a raspberry cheesecake and a chocolate torte.

“Guy’s uncle read a speech, in lieu of his father, and was humorous but touching. I didn’t get to finish my speech as I was too emotional and my new husband stood up to give me the tightest hug ever, before I had finished. My best man’s (my brother) speech was funny, witty and more importantly, written by my Dad.”

“After the teas and coffees in the Orangery, we were ushered back into the Mill Barn where the cake had been moved to in front of the curtains. Our wedding cake was a plain white 3-tier white chocolate & raspberry sponge with autumn leaves made from icing draped down the side.”

“We cut the cake, the music started, the curtains were drawn and The Jersey Guys (a Jersey Boys tribute act) began their performance. The Jersey Guys were our big ‘must have’ and was a total surprise for the guests. They all loved it. After their opening number of Walk Like A Man we had our first dance to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, we had our first dance – a simple step in each other’s arms as everyone watched, cheering. Later in the evening, we had a DJ.

“Our advice to anyone getting married? Plan, plan, plan. We were able to enjoy the day, due to the fact that everything was organised and planned ahead to the finite detail. Constant communication between suppliers/performers and the venue is key, ensuring the smooth running of the day.”

Photography Credits: Steve Hobart Photography

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