Harriet Danhash, 31, married Sebastian Best, 34, at Gate Street Barn in Bramley, Guildford, on 23rd June, 2018. She says:
I absolutely love flowers and thinking about how to decorate our venue with them was the highlight of the wedding planning process for me. Our florist, Carrie Macey from The Topiary Tree, was so creative and efficient, and lovely, too. Peonies are my favourite flower and I felt very lucky that they're in abundant supply in the month of June. We also both love foliage, including olive and eucalyptus, so were very keen to have those feature prominently in the scheme.
Because the floral decorations were very important to us, we thought long and hard about how to maximise our flower budget. Carrie had great suggestions for how to make our arrangements work even harder for us – for example, that we could repurpose many of them, moving the ceremony's pew-ends to the reception's dinner tables, or using our bouquets to adorn the dessert table and doughnut wall later in the day. Carrie herself was on hand all day and she helped transform the barn before dinner.
We had absolute faith that our caterer, Kalm Kitchen, would deliver exceptional food. We've both been to so many weddings where the catering was played safe and wanted ours to be different. We chose six lovely canapé options, including mini Peking duck pancakes, and chard and brie mini muffins. For the three-course meal we ate a fresh, assorted tomato salad with ciabatta to start, followed by either Hampshire-reared sirloin of beef or a wild mushroom tart – both with chunky chips and salad. Dessert was a trio of puddings that guests could help themselves to in the garden. This display was stunning, with the accompanying chocolate lollipops and macarons making it look worthy of Willy Wonka.
The caterers also designed and made our cheese-wheel wedding cake. Sebastian and I initially bonded over our joint love of cheese, so it felt appropriate that we'd have a stack of our favourites. Kalm decorated it with fresh figs, grapes and some gorgeous cabbage roses and hydrangea stems. We finished it off with a personalised cake topper from The Letter Loft. It was beautifully simple and the perfect adornment. But we ended up so being busy in the evening that we didn’t even get to try the cheeses ourselves – our guests said it was amazing, though!
Knowing that our celebration would be a pretty boozy affair, we also wanted to give guests a substantial evening snack. We hired the amazing mobile food company, Dough&Deer, to serve guests artisanal pizzas from their converted Land Rover Defender – which has a pizza oven in the back! They were very tasty and the Defender had a definite wow factor. Alongside this, everyone could tuck into the doughnut wall Kalm Kitchen had built inside.
Photographs by Storyett