Jo & Craig
The Old Kent Barn
Photographed by Louisa Dettmer Wedding Photography
The Old Kent Barn is a family wedding venue in Kent striving to offer the very best facilities and a first class personal service. South East Events Team of the Year 2021, South East Countryside Venue of the Year 2020, National Countryside Venue of the Year 2019, & 3-time Kent Wedding Venue of the Year.
Jo & Craig chose to get married at St Mary’s Church Chartham for their December wedding with a reception at the award-winning The Old Kent Barn. We asked Jo to share her story with us.
Scroll down the page to see links to all the wedding suppliers and Jo’s top tips for other Brides.
Jo’s Wedding Story:
After getting in engaged we were keen not to have a long engagement, so we started looking at venues quickly. Jo had always wanted to get married in her local church as that is where her parents had got married and she had been Christened there too. After having attended lots of beautiful weddings of friends recently we were keen to have something a little different. As we both love Christmas, we decided to opt for a winter wedding.
The dress I bought was the very first dress I tried on, an Allure Romance design from Amore Brides in Canterbury. As it wasn’t exactly what I had imagined I would wear I continued the search to find that dress. However, I was unsuccessful and after trying on around fifteen dresses I went back to my original one. Apparently, it is quite common you end up buying the first dress you try on!
I accessorised with my Nan’s necklace as something old, borrowed and blue. My bracelet was a present from Craig from Swarovski and my earrings were a present from my bridesmaids from Pandora.
We spent a long time researching different venues and then had a day of visiting lots of them on their Open Days. For us it was important that we had exclusive use of the venue and we also were keen for the bar area to be in the same area as the dance floor. With it being a winter wedding, we needed to make sure the inside space was beautiful and large enough to have people milling around. We fell in love with Old Kent Barn from the moment we arrived. The inside and outside space is absolutely stunning, everything we could have wished for and more. The thing which really stood out for us with Old Kent Barn was their customer service. I honestly trusted them with everything, and I am a control freak. Their communication was excellent throughout and nothing was too much trouble. I couldn’t recommend Old Kent Barn enough.
We didn’t have a strict colour scheme but the main colours we used were burgundy and golds. We felt these tied in well with the wintery theme. We also used lots of pine cones, berries and greenery to add to the effect. We filled the Church with candles to make it warm and cosy and used lots at the venue too. Our guests enjoyed fresh mince pies that our Grandmother had baked that morning and it went down well with everyone.
The Bridesmaids wore Imi lace maxi dress from Coast in Merlot, I chose these because I felt this was a perfect colour for the time of year. They were bought in the sale and as they were sold out online my lovely sister rung around multiple Coast stores to get all the sizes we needed. It did take a while, but we got there in the end!
For the boys we bought the suits as we couldn’t find what Craig wanted anywhere to hire, they were designed by Guide London bought from Red Menswear in Chatham.
For our flowers we chose mainly roses (the deep dark red ones) to try and keep in with the colour scheme. We coupled the red ones with white, and then added lots of greenery and other white and red flowers too.
Our cake was three tiers with our favourite flavours, chocolate, lemon and vanilla. I searched Pinterest for ideas and took the design to the company who made our cake! It was delicious.
We partied the night away to the sounds of our AMAZING live band GrooveZoo who kept the dance floor packed all night long.
Advice for other Brides.
Make sure you do exactly what you would like to do as a couple. We found it was easy to get swept along with feeling like you ‘needed’ things when actually you don’t. Plus, don’t be afraid to ask people for a discount! It is always worth an ask.
Swarovski – Pandora
Hair Necessities by Mel
Homemade by the Bride
Greenwood Catering Company