20th May 2017

Photos courtesy of Fraser Marchbank Photography

See lots more lovely photos of Carlene & Paul’s day in our gallery here.

Paul and Carlene live in Bideford, and first met at the cinema. They were looking for a picturesque but laid-back venue, that would be good for the children on their guest list – and the big kids too!

What was it about The Old Barn that made you choose it?

We wanted a relaxed wedding with a beautiful setting, somewhere where we could be creative and make it our own. As we had a lot of children on our guest list, we loved the idea of them having somewhere to let off some steam. There was also a lot of big kids who took advantage of the park. Privacy was also important and we were pleasantly surprised that the barn offered this too.

Was it important to you that it was a ‘DIY’ venue – i.e. you could do lots of it yourself?

Absolutely. We made the majority of our decorations ourselves including our kissing photo booth, Pimm’s stall, Up Photo Stand In and signage. We loved that you could make the venue your own, as we didn’t want a bulk standard set up

Did you have a large budget?

We didn’t want to spend a large amount on the day as we did a mini tour of the west coast of America for our honeymoon. We spent approximately £8,000 and made savings by offering services in return for some of the bigger items. Paul being a qualified Plumber came in very handy!

What sort of theme/feel/atmosphere/style were you aiming for for the day?

We had a very relaxed and informal day. Although we had a rustic theme, we incorporated the things we love to make the day special. This included music from our favourite movies, an Up themed guest book and post box for cards, Doctor Who quotes and photos with the Tardis. The sci-fi section of the park was a big draw for Carlene

What did you wear?

Carlene wore an Ian Stuart, fishtail gown in honey. Paul wore a navy suit purchased from Next

Tell us about the actual ceremony …

We got married in the beautiful conservatory. We decorated it with logs and tea lights to make an altar. We also made an aisle runner and wrote a special quote on it. The room looked beautiful as the grape vines and wisteria were just coming into bloom. The Registrar was also fantastic. The ceremony was perfect and we added in our own vows to make it extra special. The best part was having our dog with us who was extremely well behaved and looked very handsome in his Harris Tweed bow tie.

What about your food and drink?

We had a traditional 3-course lunch and a buffet of pasties, salads, cheese and biscuits in the evening.

What about entertainment/music?

We had the dodgems, which was a big hit with all of our guests. Everyone took part and kept queuing up for more.  We also made a kissing booth which was set up as a photo booth. We provided a camera on a tripod with some instructions and props for the guests to help themselves to. There was also a DJ playing a set list we had provided of our favourite music

What was the best part of the day for you, or the thing you loved most about it?

We loved every minute of our day. We never wanted a formal day and loved that we could relax knowing our guests had plenty to keep them occupied

Are you glad you had the day you did?

We’re really pleased we chose the venue. We looked at a couple initially but the others wouldn’t have been so special. There isn’t anything we would have changed. Even the rain shower made for some lovely photos on the bouncy pillows as we had purchased some big and bright umbrellas.

Did you feel well taken care of by the old barn team?

We cannot thank Joss, Nigel and the rest of the team enough for everything they did for us. They dealt with the hiccups on the day that were not theirs to resolve, ensuring the bride remained blissfully unaware. They were also very helpful during the run up to the day, dealing with last minute issues, remaining calm and putting us at ease. Joss and Nigel are true assets to the team and all future couples will be in good hands.

Real Weddings at The Old Barn
"We were aiming for a rustic vintage theme to our wedding - the white walls lend themselves to absolutely whatever theme you would like though, that’s the beauty."