Jade & Sol Fish
12th August 2019
Upton Barn & Walled Garden
Keeping up with my Brides & Grooms is a treat. I love to keep in touch and find out how they're getting on much further than just the day. You spend so much time getting to know one another - after the big day it can seem like cutting a limb off!
So, I caught up with the lovely Mr & Mrs Fish on their Paper Anniversary and asked them a bunch of questions that really dig deep into the feelings and work behind planning a wedding - and how they really felt on their special day. I started with a big one, why did they choose their wedding venue?
Sol proposed on Christmas Day 2017 and by January we had already started the process of booking viewings for venues.
We always knew we wanted a barn wedding - it just suited us, our background of being brought up in the country and our interests so we started to look locally in Somerset and Devon.
Upton Barn and Walled Garden was our first choice and we couldn’t have picked to go on a wetter and more miserable day, so much so we missed the entrance entirely and ran
through the offices to take shelter!
It gave us goosebumps as we walked in...
the music was on, the wood burner lit and it just felt homely and ‘right’.
We loved the mixture of the old rustic beams paired with the unevenly plastered walls and
modern accessories. It had adequate space to hold our desired guest number without being too cramped or feeling too empty and could really picture us celebrating the day there with our close family and friends.
The dance floor was draped in fairy lights giving it such a romantic feel and the garden area was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.
Did you have a theme for your day?
I think we had both known for a while that we enjoyed the festival vibe at weddings and
wanted to create something similar for ourselves due to our own passion for festivals.
Glastonbury Festival has always been close to our home and been a festival we have
repeatedly gone to for many years so this was the obvious choice for us.
We tried to make
subtle Glastonbury related choices for the day such as naming the tables after festival
stages, creating a seating plan that incorporated the Glastonbury Tor (designed by De Winton Paper Co), hanging hand dyed blush/ dusky pink tassel bunting from the ceiling and playing some festival related music with cider as a choice of welcome drinks.
For the rest of the theme, I mainly went with continuing the boho vibe by choosing mismatched vintage cutlery, pink goblet glasses, rattan trays (hired from Keeping It Vintage) and tables draped in foliage and wildflowers. I wanted a summery feel to the day but felt pink could allow for a vintage feel.
Finding the dress was surprisingly more straightforward than I had imagined. I always
thought I would be that difficult bride where nothing met the mark but it took 2 shops, 1 day
and whittling it down to 1 designer before I found ‘the one’.
One thing I will say is it’s absolutely true
what people say - you go with an idea of what you want and don’t want and by the end you’ll
go for something you definitely didn’t think you would. I had always envisaged a sleeved
dress with vintage embellishment and no lace - classical.
The ladies at Somerset Bridal were
fabulous and knew what styles would immediately suit my shape. They let me lead on what I
wanted to try on but were on hand with suggestions afterwards. I had completely overlooked
my dress because it came with a cape cover up which I didn’t want. However this could be
removed so once trying it on I was sold.
It was the sweetheart fishtailed dress in colour
‘sand’ with a white lace overlay, covered in embellishment by the designer Justin Alexander.
It did have a contender though by the same designer but had more of a Great Gatsby vibe to
it. I had to go away and sleep on it before returning the next day to confirm ‘the one’. It just
felt right when I put it on.
Although I found my dress by the second shop, it didn’t stop me from making the most of the
moment and trying practically every dress on in the shop before leaving. I wanted to soak as
much of the experience up as possible which again they let me do in a heartbeat.
Inspiration for Hair & Make Up:
After picking a theme and my dress I knew everything else had to pin around suiting that
style. I always knew I wanted my hair styled up (as I have rather thick hair which often falls
out of styles when left down) and came across Brigitte Fisher who specialises in boho
inspired bridal hair. Her work is insane!
From the day I saw her Instagram page I knew I had
to have her. That’s the beauty of having a Monday wedding - there’s more chance of the
suppliers being free so I was super lucky. I went for a low styled, twisted boho bun. I was so
happy with the results - especially when I consider I changed it at last minute after seeing a
different picture I like! Brigitte didn’t panic once and just went with it. I’d absolutely use her
again in a heartbeat. I decided to leave my hair free from flowers or jewels as I wanted my
dress to take centre stage (no pun intended).
For my makeup I wanted something that was a better version of my normal self. Makeup has
always been a big thing to me and I needed someone that I could really trust to do this job. I
came across Katy Pheiffer on Instagram who seemed to make faces look absolutely
flawless. I chose natural warm tones such as shades of browns and pinks to again match the
theme and go with my natural features. I felt like she really understood what I wanted and
mirrored the look I was after. A lot of the makeup that was worn on the day was
Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillowtalk collection.
The Groom's Party was made up of 2 ushers, Sol’s brothers Josh and Reuben along with
Sol's best friend Chris as the Best Man.
All of the boys did a super job on the day of rallying
the guests up for photos and seating on the day and Chris did the perfect job of delivering a
brilliant speech and stag to Sol.
Sol has an obsession with Tweed and would quite happily wear it all day long so he really
wanted to incorporate this into a suit. It was a struggle initially as he didn’t want a colour he
had worn before but it had to go with the colour scheme of the rest of the wedding.
I managed to find a pale blue tweed suit by Peter Posh which fit the bill entirely and because
of the colour it gave a summery feel to the suit which I thought may have been a battle with
tweed often being associated with autumn. This was paired with a pink tie, tanned brogues
and foliage pin holes.
My bridal party was probably rather large by most people’s standards (including my own now
I think of it!) as I had 6 in total - my 3 best friends Zoe, Naomi and Bex and my sister-in-law-to-be Kiz as bridesmaids, my sister Chloe as my maid of honour and my cousin Aurelia as
The girls threw and absolutely incredible hen do for me which I think I’ll remember and
cherish forever! They were super attentive and dedicated to the job so I’m so grateful to
My sister was an absolute treasure throughout, she was the one I took to try dresses on
with, take to the venue and ran things past when I was going stir crazy over table
arrangements. She gave me that reassurance I needed when you start to doubt yourself.
Amen to sisters!!
She also won me the Camper Van photo booth (by Vintage Camper Booths) for the day and this was an absolute hit with the guests.
I let all the bridesmaids choose their own dresses in the dusky/ blush tones. I wanted them
all to feel comfortable in what they were wearing on the day and knew I couldn’t capture that
in one dress. It also fed right into the boho theme with each being individual to them which I
was more than happy with.
I think the flowers had to be the most stressful part for me – constant thoughts about what
arrangements to have/ how many/ of what variety flooded my head on a regular basis. I
found I had numerous ideas for trestle style tables but for round. I ended up gaining a clearer
picture after studying Pinterest regularly and working with our florist Tilda Rose to come up
with ideas of what would work for us.
For the tables we decided to incorporate a range of
wildflowers in dusky and blush pink tones all different varieties and sizes to be put in
individual crystal cut bud vases and for the top table to have a foliage garland running along
the front full of various types of eucalyptus and other greenery. We then wove blush pink and
white candles of different sizes in amongst it.
On the run up to the wedding I had always dreamt of having pink peonies in my bouquet but
little did I know that these would be out of season by August. I was absolutely desperate to
get my hands on some as they make such a statement and are the definition of boho. Sarah
from Tilda Rose was absolutely fantastic throughout and said she would source some from
Holland for me but it would be a risk as to whether they would be ok on the day. I was happy
to take the risk though and couldn’t have been happier with the result – they were absolutely
beautiful and really added a pop of colour to my bouquet.
I made the bridesmaid bouquets myself which I used 1 large peony in each hand tie along
with flowers from mine and my mother in law to be garden such as hydrangea’s and mint
On the Day:
The night before and the morning of the wedding I was incredibly chilled. I remember thinking these nerves have got to hit me as some stage but they never came. I think I was so ready for the day finally to be here that I had nothing but excitement and anticipation for what was to come. I had a great night’s sleep which is unheard of for brides but I think that may have been down to exhaustion as the day before was a mad rush!
The morning absolutely flew by. One minute I was welcoming Brigitte through the door at 6:30am and the next I was being whisked away in a car. I think the first time I started to get any feeling of wedding jitters was when I was speaking to the registrar shortly before lining up to walk down the aisle. I think the realisation came in that moment that this was it - it was here and very real!
Walking down the aisle was actually a lovely experience and all the more special doing it with my dad. I could see how much it meant to him playing that role and the feeling of pride me had. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that and I don’t think it’s something many brides give much thought to on the run up to the day but is actually quite a lovely thing to ponder over. I remember seeing Sol standing under the arbour and feeling nothing but an outpour of love for him and could see he felt the same - we were totally ready for this step.
Walking back up the aisle was AMAZING! You literally feel like a rock star – everyone is lined up and ready to throw confetti and congratulations your way and set the day off with a bang. It was the first time I was properly able to see our guest’s faces as when you’re walking down the aisle you get tunnel vision and can only see that one person in front of you.
Sol was adamant the things he wanted at the wedding were a tweed suit and an old land rover so I felt that was a fair compromise considering I had pretty much chosen every other detail. Again we were luckily enough to have a friend who owned a beautiful cream and blue vintage Land Rover Defender which couldn’t have been a better match to the suits!
I worked extremely closely with Rebecca Vale our photographer over the months of planning our wedding as I knew the one thing that was sure to last forever would be the photos.
She has a natural ability to take the most gorgeous shots without even making you conscious she’s doing so. We made use of the beautiful grounds and set off exploring for wheat fields and open spaces to take natural shots in.
These are some of my absolute favourites because they are just simple but speak a lot about how much fun we were having on the day.
The wedding breakfast was one of my favourite parts of the day – I love a speech and to finally get to hear what the chaps had been planning was feeding my enthusiasm.
We went for the normal 3 speeches (groom, father of the bride and best man) and they did such an incredible job with a mixture of typical micky taking as well as some really touching anecdotes and memories. My dad pulled an absolute corker and managed to sneak a blown up A1 picture of me shovelling food in my face at the age of 6 and having a sulk at age 9 whilst on holiday to show everyone. It was absolutely hilarious.
I remember walking into the room for the first time seeing all my hard work and designs finally together after months of planning and genuinely felt tears of relief and joy overwhelm me. Our photographer Rebecca Vale captured the moment perfectly where you can see Phoebe showing us what they’d done behind the scenes and my astonishment. Again another reason why she is an utter wonder woman!
We went for a 2 course set wedding breakfast (Main and Dessert) and decided on Canapés with welcome drinks instead of a starter – that way it would keep the guests entertained and full during our set photos.
LAP Food & Bars were our chosen caterers for the day and the food was outstanding. We had roasted carver chicken in a white wine sauce for our main course followed by a trio of deserts that tables could choose from which included brownies, raspberries and cream and cheesecake slices.
We decided a set menu was best for us as it kept costs lower and meant I didn’t have to worry about getting peoples order preferences in before the day. I would 100% make this decision again – it worked so well.
Sol’s mum Honour was always going to make our wedding cake for us as I wanted something personal to us and knew it meant a lot to her to do that for us.
We decided we wanted a naked 3 tiered (chocolate and vanilla) cake decorated in flowers and fruit. It was so beautiful and exactly what we were hoping for. I think a naked cake gives a less formal feel to a wedding cake, which suited our theme perfectly. This was used along with our sweet stand as a pudding after our evening food was served.
We chose pizza to be served as our evening food choice served freshly from a wood burning oven in a vintage horse box. Woody Baloo’s were so accommodating and just kept serving until guests were full which is really reassuring when you have a large number of guests all with different appetites.
For our evening Entertainment, we had our hearts set on Levi and the Bean (a local band we had heard at a previous wedding) who have a similar style to Mumford and Sons.
They did a DJ set for us for the first few hours and ended by doing live performances of pre-selected songs. They really knew how to get a party started and by the end of the night everyone were up on their feet dancing and singing along.
Our First dance was to Tom Odell's ‘Grow old with me’. I think the words were simple, easy for our guests to hear and upbeat - we aren’t ones for all eyes on us or for planned dancing so we wanted everyone up on their feet quickly and to enjoy it.
Words from the Bride about... me!
There are absolutely no words to describe the way that Phoebe made us feel on the day of the wedding other than magical and totally looked after.
From the initial meeting through to collecting our props the day after the wedding, the service was absolutely SEAMLESS.
The thing I will remember the most about Phoebe is her constant reassurance about the weather. We were desperate to have an outdoor wedding under the beautiful wooden Arbour in the walled garden and on the lead up to the day it was torrential rain and thunder and lightning.
She always gave us the confidence that no matter what the weather they would have a plan B) which would be just as good as plan A).
She reassured us that even if we didn’t get the ceremony outside she would ensure we’d have some time out there during the day as there’s always a break in the clouds for some sunshine.
Luckily for us the day was the best weather we could have hoped for and the whole thing was held outdoors. Her
quote was ‘it never rains on a Monday’ and I remember saying this to myself every day for a year until that day came. Now it’s stuck so I always think Monday’s are a lucky day for
Another thing that broke the ice immediately for us and Phoebe was discussing our wedding suppliers. I think she thought we had selected the companies with the most out there names going, i.e. Woody Baloo’s and Levi and the Bean! I think from that moment onwards we knew
we’d be memorable to Phoebe no matter what else happened on the day! That then paired
with the fact that we would be expecting a new arrival in the family who was nameless but had to be incorporated on the seating plan as ‘Baby Fish’ – this certainly tickled her too and
she was adamant she had to meet baby Fish at some point during the day.
We just love Phoebe and I have to say it was one of the saddest parts of the day being over
- we didn’t want to lose contact and I’m so pleased so say she’s stayed in touch. It makes
the service much more personal.
And finally... Words of wisdom from the Bride & Groom for any future couples getting married:
Jade: I wish I’d known how quickly the day goes by and to make sure you soak up every moment.
Sol: I wish I had know not to worry so much about saying my vows in front of an audience because it felt like it was only us in the end.
So there you go lovelies! My first whole feature for my gorgeous couple Jade & Sol.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY YOU DREAMBOATS :)
Love Phoebe xx