Barn at Berkeley Wedding – Gemma & Ayo
In March this year I had the pleasure of joining Gemma & Ayo to capture their beautiful wedding at The Barn at Berkeley, a stunning barn venue in South Gloucestershire. Gemma & Ayo spent the last two years planning their big day and it was worth every minute.
With the best weather you could ask for this time of year, drinks were had outside after a beautiful ceremony. Following the wedding breakfast and speeches, guests were let loose in next door’s adventure park which went down very well to say the least (see photos below for the evidence…). An absolute highlight for me was when Ayo changed into traditional Nigerian attire for the reception and together with Gemma was covered in dollar bills by their family on the dance floor!
That’s enough from me. Gemma herself has taken the time to share all the deets of her big day with Ayo underneath the photos below. Enjoy!
How we met… After I finished uni, I moved in with my parents in Gloucestershire so I could save to go travelling. I knew absolutely no one and was convinced I would never have a social life again. Little did I know I would meet Ayo. I started a new job and ended up meeting Ayo through work. As he was someone that had worked there for a while, he ended up being given the task of helping me out. I was initially extremely shy and would barely even speak to him but eventually we decided to go on a date and it blossomed from there.
Finding the venue… After doing some research online, we decided that we wanted a barn wedding. They all looked incredibly beautiful with a laid back country vibe and needed very little in the way of decoration. When we began visiting potential barns, they all seemed so expensive just to hire the venue, without even including the catering costs. Just as we started to think about giving up on our barn vision, a friend suggested The Barn at Berkeley, a barn we hadn’t come across when doing our research. We managed to book a viewing and fell in love with the barn. It was reasonably priced and ticked most of our boxes. The fact that you could hire Cattle Country’s slides next door was an instant winner.
The dress… I’m very fussy when it comes to what I wear, my friends can vouch for that as they all hate to come shopping with me! I thought it was going to be impossible to find the one dress I was happy to walk down the aisle in. I had an idea of what I thought I wanted, however upon visiting the first bridal shop, All About Eve in Newport, it became apparent that what I wanted didn’t suit me. The assistant in the shop then picked out a strapless Stella York dress for me. It was everything I didn’t want but I agreed to try it on and instantly fell in love with it. It complimented my figure and the blush tones flattered my pale skin tone.
The shoes… I wanted heels for the main part of the day due to being on the small side, but I also wanted flats to change into for the evening. I didn’t know the style I wanted, but I did want a nude colour to go with my blush dress. I stumbled across my Dune heels within the first 5 minutes of going into Selfridges. They were a perfect match for my dress and they felt comfortable which was an added bonus. I went for some grey Kurt Geiger trainers with glitter to add some fun to my dress in the evening.
The bridesmaid dresses… I was looking for a modern look for my girls. I also wanted them to all feel comfortable which was no easy task as they are all completely different shapes and sizes. I found the grey sequin dress on ASOS and loved the look of it immediately. I ordered them and got all the girls together to try them on. The dress suited them all, complimented my dress and made them look amazing. An added bonus was that they all loved the dress too! For our flowergirl Isla, we found the perfect dress in Monsoon. She fell in love with it as soon as she put it on and it looked great next to my dress. She also picked a white flower crown which finished off the dress with a cute boho vibe.
The groomswear… I left the suits up to Ayo. He wasn’t into the traditional tops and tails and wanted something with a more modern feel. He went on a shopping trip with his best men in Bath and as men do, they planned to have it all done and dusted within one day. After carefully choosing where to go for lunch, they eventually hit the shops. They ended up in House of Fraser and found the exact style of suits Ayo was after. He went for a slightly different grey shade to stand out from the groomsmen and finished this off with a blush pink bow tie from The Tie Room to match my dress. Our pageboys had navy suits so that they stood out from the groomsmen. To inject a bit of fun, we finished these off with cute custom made marvel bow ties we found on Etsy.
The flowers… We found Longlevens Flowers through a friend’s recommendation. To keep the cost down, we chose flowers that were in season and within our pink/grey colour scheme. We chose pink gypsophila for the bridesmaid bouquets and centrepieces. This looked fab next to their grey dresses and was a bit more unusual compared to white gypsophila. For my bouquet I went for pink and white tones with some foliage. I had anemones, ranunculus, gypsophila and freesias and they looked beautiful together!
The ceremony… The ceremony took place in the loft at the barn which looked amazing with the chandeliers and the sun streaming through. I was very nervous walking down the aisle but once I got to face Ayo, I relaxed and knew I would be ok. We had readings from my mum and Ayo’s sister which were very emotional and the ceremony seemed to be over in a flash. The funniest moment of the ceremony was when I got to Ayo and I heard one of my bridesmaids snort because she was trying so hard to stop crying!
The party… The reception was all about our guests having fun and relaxing. We had a DJ for the evening entertainment as we both love a good dance. We also hired the slides in Cattle Country for an hour which was a big hit with the guests. Judith’s photos of our guests having fun on the slides are some of our favourites as she captured these moments perfectly. Ayo is Nigerian and I am from Brighton originally, so we chose evening food that was a bit of both of us: Simpsons Fish and Chips and Nigerian food – both went down very well with our guests. Later on Ayo got changed into a traditional Nigerian outfit for our “2nd dance” which was to Nigerian music. This involved us being showered in money which was a memorable moment for us and our guests.
Other fabulous suppliers who made this wedding happen: