May 2017

Photos courtesy of  Sam Box Photography

You can see lots more lovely photos of Harriet and Tom’s wedding in our gallery here.

Harriet & Tom are both 25 and live in Exeter, Devon. Harriet is a copywriter and Tom’s a waiter/barman, and they first met at secondary school.

Why did you choose The Old Barn for your wedding day?

What we loved about The Old Barn is that is a blank canvas, so we could do as much or as little as we liked to it. We wanted to go for a rustic look (with a few personal touches thrown in) and the venue was the perfect backdrop for that. It was also important for us to have a venue where we could hold both the ceremony and reception, as we wanted to minimise any travelling for guests.

Plus, how many wedding venues have dodgems?! Once we heard about that, we were sold.

Was it important to you that it’s a ‘DIY’ venue?

When we initially started to look for a venue, it wasn’t a priority, but when we viewed The Old Barn, it was a big selling point. We’re both a bit geeky and Tom has a great eye for decorating, so it was brilliant to have a venue that we could put our own spin on.

Did you have a large budget?

Not really. We wanted to keep costs down as much as possible – while your wedding day is important, it is just one day, after all.

The Old Barn’s pricing was much more reasonable than similar venues, and had the benefit of being right next door to an adventure park. As a result, we visited the TARDIS and went on a train ride during our big day, and got some awesome photos.

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

We’re not overly formal and spend most of our time trying to make each other laugh, so we wanted the day to be relaxed and fun. We thought that The Old Barn had a very natural and warm feel to it, which was ideal for what we were going for.

What did you wear?

I wore a tea length dress from Phase Eight and an awesome pair of shoes from Etsy. Tom wore a waistcoat from White Stuff, chinos, shoes from M&S and his granddad’s pocket watch, so at least one of us arrived on time.

Tell us about the actual ceremony …

We had our ceremony in The Old Barn’s conservatory, which was lovely and green when we got married in May. We really liked the fact that it was full of plants, light and colour, but also provided cover from the elements if the weather turned for the worse.

What about your food and drink?

We had the wonderful team at H&A provide our lunch and evening meals. They served a barbecue in the day and a buffet in the evening. There was plenty of choice, so even the picky eaters were elated. The team were incredibly organised and handled any difficulties with ease, so all we had to worry about was asking for a prosecco refill.

For drinks, we provided our own for our main meal (The Old Barn doesn’t charge corkage, which is brilliant) and let guests buy their own drinks from The Old Barn’s bar in the evening. The bar had a great range of choices and we were pleasantly surprised by the affordable prices.

For our cake, we had Kirsty from Crumb Creations make us a brilliant naked cake. It went down extremely well with our guests – we almost didn’t get any!

We were also lucky enough to get the Hockings van to drop by and serve our guests the world’s best ice cream (any North Devon natives will agree with me).

What did you choose for your music?

For the ceremony, we played our own music through The Old Barn’s PA system. The team set it up so one of our guests could play it on their phone from their seat, so they didn’t have to miss out on anything.

Our evening music came in the form of The Diversion, who are a Devon-based indie-ska band. They maintained a high-energy atmosphere and put a really cool spin on some classic songs. They had people dancing all night and made sure the wedding ended on a high note.

What did you love most about your day?

One of the best parts was getting to see our friends and family have such a great time. The dodgems were amazing, and the kids enjoyed getting to play in the Milky Way Adventure Park next door.

There was even room to get Rock Band set up, which is a favourite video game of ours. I’m particularly grateful to The Old Barn team for helping with this, as we would have missed out on some lovely moments had it not been there. The video game ended up doing a brilliant job of getting people talking and obliterating any awkwardness.

Did your guests enjoy the dodgems?

We all did – it was a great laugh! We made our own playlist for this part of the evening, which was another cool way that we were able to personalise things.

All of our guests, young and old, absolutely loved the dodgems. Even the people who didn’t go on them said it was fun to watch and was a unique experience – especially at a wedding.

I even got to make some announcements over the tannoy system, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid.

Are you glad you had the day you did?

We were pleasantly surprised by how well everything went and couldn’t have asked for anything better. Some of our guests also said it was the best party they’ve ever been to, so we’re chuffed that our friends and family people had as much fun as we did.

Did you feel well taken care of by The Old Barn team?

We were extremely well taken care of, before, during and after the wedding. The team were very friendly and helpful – exactly the sort of people you need around to make sure your wedding is as good as you’d hoped it would be. They always found the time to answer our questions, help us figure out the finer details and tackle any unexpected problems to ensure that we had a great time. It was an outstanding level of service and we couldn’t recommend them enough.

Real Weddings at The Old Barn
"Our aim was for the guests and us to have fun, we wanted a really casual easy day. With all the flexibility, amazing staff & the dodgems we definitely got that!"