Matthew and Amy’s wedding at The Barnyard

We have an absolute smasher of a real wedding for you today on The Outside Bride. Matthew and Amy were married at St Marks Church in Gillingham, Kent [ not too far away from where my lovely mum grew up!] followed by a beautiful, relaxed marquee reception at The Barnyard in Upchurch, Sittingbourne. The shining, red apples in the venues orchard really made for the perfect backdrop to this gorgeous September wedding captured by Denis and Anastasia from Moments catchers. 

Tell us briefly how you both met as a couple: 

We go to the same church in London and have a large group of friends who hang out in our every day lives together – it took Matt 3 years to ask me on a date!

Tell us a little bit about the proposal: 

Matt proposed in the bell tower of St Anne’s, Limehouse, where we have spent time volunteering for the night shelter he works for. He tricked me into thinking that he needed help setting up before going on our date. Halfway up the bell tower is a small concave shaped room where he had lit over 100 candles and lanterns. After he asked me to marry him I had to check, ‘Are you sure?!’. Luckily, he was. And luckily we didn’t burn down the Grade 1 listed building!

Tell us a little bit about your dress and its details: 

I bought my dress from Mirror Mirror, London. Vanessa spent endless time helping me to alter the Pronovias dress I chose, to completely change the neckline to be off the shoulders as I had imagined. Part of the back was cut out to make the shape a little more interesting. The appliqué detail down the right hand side of the dress and train was very delicate and no extra appliqué or sequins needed – I loved it!

Could you give us a little detail about any of your accessories?:

My shoes were from The Bridal Dressing rooms, a small independent shop in Cosham, Portsmouth. My earrings were from Accessorize for £10, why spend anymore than you need to if they look nice?!

Who did your make-up and hair?: 

The wonderful Elissia from Bridal Makeup Kent (BMK)

Partners attire

Matt wore a suit and tie from Next with shoes from River Island! Nice and simple high street purchases.

Who was in your wedding party?

We had two younger cousins are beautiful flower girls with five Bridesmaids, three of which were church friends, one was a friend from  university and maid of honour was a friend of 14 years from secondary school! There were  five Groomsmen –  three friends from church who Matt has lived with as housemates for years, one was a family friend who Matt has grown up with, and his two brothers were best men!

Could you describe your ceremony and details?:

The ceremony was at the church that Amy has grown up at in Gillingham, Kent, St Marks. We have a strong Christian faith so it was special to be able to have the wedding in a place that has meant a lot to Amy as she has grown up. We also both have big families and are privileged to know many great people – I think there were around 250 guests!

Did you have any specific readings?:

We chose two bible passages as readings, one that reflects what we try and do in our everyday jobs as nurse and operations manager of a homeless shelter – love in action and helping and serving others (Romans12:9-2). The other talked about how compassionate God is toward us (Psalm 103:8-18) which is something we wanted to focus our day around and we grateful for.

Can you tell us about your reception venue? 

The Barnyard is a beautiful orchard in the middle of the Kent countryside, with a large permanent marquee in the grounds, surrounded by orchards. The apples were bright red in September and looked great in photos! There were plenty of large open spaces for guests and tables tucked away outside for those who needed to sit.

What did you do for food?: 

The service was smooth and so many people commented on how impressed they were with the organisation of the whole day. The team at the venue outdid our expectations – food was wonderful, warm, big portions (to my husbands delight!) and so yummy.

What was your cake like? 

A stacked 3 tier naked cake decorated with flowers, a carrot and banana cake, a coffee and walnut and a gluten free chocolate cake on top! Made my our wonderful friend and talented baker Liz.

With regards to the other details and decor, were there any personal touches?

Amy’s friend Amber painted a large tapestry type display that said ‘I have found the one whom my soul loves’ (Song of Solomon, 3:4) that we hung at the end of the marquee behind where the band stood in the evening. Our stationery was from

Flowers and Florist details

Our bouquets and buttonholes were by Ashlea Flowers in Dartford. Talented friends and family generously used their flower arranging skills to make displays for the church and the centre pieces for the venue tables and cake.

What did you do for entertainment?

 Groove Revolution, a 7 piece jazz band from the South-West joined us to play two live sets in the evening which was great! 

Did you work within a Budget? If so how did you allocate it?: 

Yes, we worked within what we hoped would be less than the average budget people seem to spend! We ended up keeping to budget – but it’s hard to allocate as you often don’t realise what things will cost more until later on in the process – and what nice surprises you’ll get when things are a bit cheaper!

Where did you save money and how did you splurge?

We splurged on the things that were really important to us – the dress ended up being more than we had budgeted for. The little things that neither of you are really fussed about become clear as you plan (and start to run out of time!). The things that guests seem to remember (food, being warm and laughing!) are worth spending more on.

What are your top tips for other couples getting married outdoors?

Prepare yourselves for the chance of rain – it didn’t rain on our wedding day in the end, we were very fortunate, but we had made up our minds that we would enjoy the day however the weather turned out! I also forgot my bouquet on the morning when leaving the house and had to steal a bridesmaids as I walked down the aisle. I was reunited with it later, but was so annoyed at myself – give someone the task of remembering these small things! Try and get an evening photo shoot just before sunset as well as any others during the day. The colours will make amazing romantic photos.

Congratulations to Matt and Amy, it looked like an amazing day. If you have a real wedding that you would like to share with us be sure to get in contact here. We absolutely love seeing them!

Much love

Emily x


Photographer/ videographer- Moments Catchers

Venue- The Barnyard

Flowers- Ashlea Flowers

Dress- Mirror Mirror, London

MUA-Bridal Makeup Kent

Band- Groove Revolution

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