A Handmade Barn Wedding With a Thousand Origami Cranes – Hayley & Chris
“If we could do it again, we probably would!” That the was the last thing Hayley said after I asked her about her wedding day. This couple are just so in love, you can really tell from these beautiful images captured by Jay Mountford and second photographer Claire Penn, just how much this couple wanted to be married. Their day was beautifully laid back and totally reflected both their hobbies and personalities, taking inspiration from all the wonderful places the couple have visited together – simply wonderful!
Hayley and Chris were married on the 10th of August at Hellens Barns in Much Marcle, Herefordshire. Here is what Hayley had to say about her fun-loving day:
It was important to me that we married in Herefordshire, I grew up in the county and I still have family that live in the area. It was also important to Chris as he felt that such a beautiful area would be the the ideal location for a good old knees up in a lovely rustic barn, without the bells & whistles of a manor house. Hellens Barn was just that, full of character but blank enough for us to make our mark in terms of decorations. It was also important for us to have a nice outdoor space so everyone could enjoy the fantastic scenery & capricious English weather.
We did most of the decorations ourselves as that’s what we like doing. The centerpiece of the day was a backdrop of 1,000 origami cranes which took us about a year to make. It’s a Japanese tradition that confers either good luck or a wish to the people that create it. Japan is a significant place for both of us as we spent the first three years of our relationship living there. We also wanted a lot of colour & we hit upon the idea of making the inside of the barn look a bit like a Mongolian yurt as we spent an exhilarating (& slightly smelly) holiday there. This involved a hula-hoop suspended by fishing wire from the ceiling with coloured paper streamers radiating out to the walls. This feat of engineering was executed with deft manly ingenuity by the best men, master of ceremonies & my Dad.
We wanted to make the barn warm, inviting, cosy & homely, so we brought some of our furniture from home, namely a big green chair, our dining chairs, lamp-stand and big woolly rug which we got married on. Knowing that neither of us particularly like coordinated matching colours & themes, we decorated the tables according to places that are important to us, making each one individual. The top table was admittedly a bit generic, but the others had a lot of ornaments from home that represented the places as best they could, for example the Bolton table (Chris’s home town) was decorated with musical instruments & sheet music, representing Chris’s misspent youth as a musician & the Bristol table (where we first got to know each other) was covered in framed photographs of fun times we’ve had with our wonderful friends. We also kept the flowers on each table in a selection of jugs & teapots from home, notably a Dalek teapot. We decorated the outside space with hay bales for people to sit on & picnic rugs & blankets from our home. We love a bit of wood & we had a large plank of the stuff acting as a guest book. For wedding favours, the guests were given individual wooden placemats, sliced from logs taken from Hayley’s aunt’s garden. This stunning act of precision woodwork was executed by my Dad & Brother in their professional capacity as ‘Into the Woods’ who also do a nifty line in furniture for children
Keeping with the home-made theme, the flower-girl’s dresses were made by the combined efforts of my mum & aunt, who had to be specially flown in from Australia. It was important that the girls chose their own colours to wear & they did. Our chair covers were provided by Chair Covers for Brides & the flowers were supplied by Wiggly Wigglers, a local supplier who supplies all the flowers and materials with instructions on how to create your own bouquets & buttonholes.
We were immortalised by the fabulous Jay Mountford whom we met at a friends’ wedding & instantly clicked with. We couldn’t have chosen a photographer who suited our sensibilities & sense of childish fun more & she worked wonders with keeping people at ease & took great pictures. She also had a bit of a boogie afterwards, which was great to see. I loved having Jay there to take pictures whilst we were getting ready. Jay kept me cool & calm in the midst of the chaos & excitement surrounding me. Jay’s colleague Claire Penn documented the groom’s party getting ready & clicked well with Chris, the best men & master of ceremonies, also taking fantastic pictures.
We both said that our favourite moment was the minute we saw each other for the first time as we both became instantly relaxed and we could really start enjoying the day. Getting married with all its preparations is massive & the night before you really want to be with your best friend – the fact that we were apart was exciting in a romantic & traditional way, but also added to the nail-biting, which completely dissipated once we were together again.
If we could give advice to anyone getting married it would be have fun do your own thing as it’s about YOU!
Credit Where Credit is Due: Wooden Guestbook & placemats: Into the Woods ♥ Chair covers: Chair covers for brides ♥ Flowers & buttonholes: Wiggly Wigglers ♥ Photographer: Jay Mountford Photography ♥ Second Photographer: Claire Penn Photography ♥ Food: Best of Taste ♥ Grooms Suit: House of Fraser, New & Lingwood Range ♥ Brides Dress: Alfred Angelo, Ashton Rose Bridal Centre, Hereford ♥ Lighting: Lights 2 Sound 4 Hire ♥ Hay Bales: Shortwood Farm ♥
Don’t you just love the thought and passion that have gone into creating each of those origami cranes!
I love the idea of having different tables representing all the places that mean something to you as a couple, the ‘Russia’ table has to be one of my favourites!
Thank you so much Hayley and Chris for letting us share such a special day. We would also like to say a huge thank you to the absolutely darling Jay Mountford and Claire Penn for taking such fabulous photos!
Much Bespoke Love