Laura and Ashley’s rustic wedding at Pitt Hall Barn
As soon as we received the images in our inbox we just knew we just had to share it with you all on The Outside Bride. The outdoor ceremony space at Pitt Hall Barn epitomises everything we love about outdoor weddings. Set within 2500 acres of beautiful countryside on the Hampshire/ Berkshire its easy to see why todays couple, Laura and Ashley, picked it. We are so pleased to share this gorgeous rustic, green wedding with you shot by Dave Fuller Photography.
Laura says “We wanted a rustic woodland feel with lots of wild greenery. We also wanted it to feel laid back and not too formal. A big feature of the day was that we merged our surnames (Housden and Cox) to become Coxden so this featured on a lot of our stationery. Our photographer Dave was a friend from University, we were both in the Surf Club together and it was a no brainer to pick him for our wedding. I had seen his photographs from other weddings and I knew he would be subtle, I didn’t want anything too intrusive; his wife Amy is a great assistant and made sure everyone was in the right place.”
Who was your dress designer and boutique?
I bought my dress from The Farnham Boutique.
Could you tell us a little bit about your dress and its details?
The amazing thing about the Boutique is that they will design the dress bespoke for you from what you find you love from their samples. I combined a subtle fishtail dress with an off-the-shoulder neckline. I tried on dresses in a conventional wedding dress shop and a Wed2Be store but both times I felt like I was on a conveyor belt; Victoria and her staff at the Farnham Boutique really listen to what you like and design you something bespoke, it was perfect!
Could you give us a little detail about any of your accessories?
I initially wasn’t planning on having a veil and I was going to have some flowers in my hair, however at my first fitting my mum wanted me to try one on and burst into tears when I did! So I tried a few different designs and went for a full length veil. Victoria at the Farnham Boutique again created me something bespoke so it had little pearls over it on a simple pearl comb. It did make me feel more like a bride and it made for some beautiful photos!
What did the groom wear?
Ash didn’t want to wear a suit and we didn’t feel it matched with the more relaxed feel of the day so he chose to wear chinos, a shirt and brown shoes from Next. The jacket came from Slaters Menswear. The ties came from The Tie Room after a long hunt for somewhere that sold bow ties and narrow ties in the right shade of dark green.
Tell us a little bit about your bridesmaids/ groomsmen/ flower girls/ page boys…
I chose my 3 best university friends Frances, Jo and Nic as bridesmaids. We had a great afternoon a few months before the wedding trying on a haul of dresses from ASOS! In the end we chose these pale green dresses by ChiChi London.
Who did your make-up and hair?
My friend did hair and the make-up artist Beth I booked via Totally Flawless. Me, my mum and all my bridesmaids had their hair and make-up done which was really lovely the morning of the wedding.
Did you work within a Budget? And if so how did you allocate it?
We set a budget almost straight away, Ashley initially thought I was being outrageous until I proved it was less than the national average!
Could you describe your ceremony and details?
Pitt Hall Barn have an outdoor ceremony area which we were desperate to use but the British weather meant it was touch and go even on the day! It was probably the biggest stress I had in the lead up but also the best moment of the day when I could walk up into the woods and knew I was going to be able to get married outside. Our guests were on hay bales and the ceremony took place in a wooden gazebo that we had decorated with my mum’s homemade bunting. It really was beautiful and everything we wanted.
Did you have any specific readings?
Ashley’s sisters read ‘I Love You Too’ by Erin Hanson, with a dedication to the people that weren’t with us on the day. Its a really beautiful poem about how people show love even if they don’t say the words. I found it on a wedding blog and it in particular made me think of Ashley’s grandad who had passed away in 2016. Our friends Lauren and Mike read ‘When I’m 64’ by The Beatles, they are amazing creative people and they did an amazing job. It was a lovely lighthearted end to the ceremony. Ashley particularly loves that song as it mentions the Isle of Wight, where he was born, so it was nice to get that in!
Can you tell us about your reception venue?
Pitt Hall Barn have a lovely draped barn where the tables were set out for the meal; this connects onto a rustic barn full of wooden beams where the dancing and the bar was. The rustic barn had a mezzanine which was handy for big group shots.
Another talented friend Joanne put together our invites and illustrated a leaf pattern that we used throughout. The table plan and table names Ashley created himself. The place names were laser-cut and wooden; these doubled as our favours.
Tell us about your flowers..
Our flowers were from the amazing Steph at Rabbit and the Rose, even from a brief Google of our local florists I could tell only she had the right laid back feel for me. Her designs are stunning and feel very wild.
What did you do for food?
We had a barbecue from The Fabulous Catering Company followed by a treacle tart. One of my regrets from the day is that I didn’t eat enough! I was just too busy and nervous about my speech. Then later on I was dancing too much to gert a slice of pizza!
What was your cake like?
A friend kindly made our cake, it was a naked cake with a topper from VM Bespoke. The bottom was chocolate with vanilla butter cream, then a carrot cake with orange butter cream and a classic victoria sponge on the top.
Other details and decor, were there any personal touches?
Ashley loves maps so I used a scalloped punch cutter from Hobbycraft to make table confetti from an Ordanance Survery Map! Our guestbook was a wooden ‘C’ made from reclaimed wood from Coach House Woodworks which now hangs at the top of our stairs. I wasn’t planning on having a guestbook as I thought it would just get stored away but this meant we can put it on display and it really fitted with the feel of the day we had.
How did you guys meet?
We met online 5 years ago. I joined Plentyoffish.com, not long after I moved to Basingstoke, and Ashley was my trial run date! I never went on any others and we moved in together 8 months later.
Tell us a little bit about the proposal…
I did wonder if Ash would propose on our trip to Canada but I always thought he would do it in the countryside and I would choose the ring. So I was completely surprised when I turned around outside the CN Tower on our first day in Toronto to see him on one knee! He had chosen a beautiful pear shaped diamond ring (from a jeweller called Samara James) it was perfect and i burst into tears. Ash had to clarify I was saying yes as I had left him hanging on the one knee and he wanted to get up! Toronto will always be a special place for us now.
What did you do for entertainment?
A friend of a friend owns a PA hire company and they were kind enough to lend us the equipment. Ash and his friend Mike set it all up the day before for us. We asked all our daytime guests to request a song and then supplemented this with a few choices of our own. We spent a few hours curating all of the songs into a seamless playlist that we played from an iPhone; the last hour was our ‘Indie Disco’ and there was a few alternative tracks in there! We had an amazing selection, from Rick Astley to Blink 182 and Spice Girls to Arctic Monkeys!
Where did you save money and how did you splurge?
We saved money by having a PA system rather than a band/DJ, and using our friends skills where they were offered! We also made a homemade photo backdrop from plastic plumbing pipes and strips of lightweight fabric then provided selfie sticks. We splurged on having a barrow of local Pilsners and a Keg of ale. This was a must for Ash! I splurged on having diamonds in my wedding band, it will be on my finger forever I figured!
What are your top tips for other couples getting married outdoors?
It is worth the worry about the weather! We chose a venue with a beautiful barn as a fall back option so either way it would have been fine. I would recommend getting your florist to make sections of meadow style flowers, we put these down the aisle and then they were dotted around the barn afterwards.
Many congratulations to Laura and Ashley, it’s clear to see how much love for each other these guys have! Thanks so much for reading.
Photographer: Dave Fuller Photography
Venue: Pitt Hall Barn
Dress: The Farnham Boutique
Grooms attire: Slater Menswear
Bow ties: Tie Room
Bridesmaids dresses: Asos
MUA: Totally Flawless
Florist: Rabbit and the Rose
Catering: The Fabulous Catering Company
PA system: Live Sound Co.
Real Ale: Andwell Brewing company
Are you getting married and planning an outdoor wedding? Check out The Planning Sessions, The ultimate planning guide to making sure you have the best day ever!