Carina and Matt met on a night out in Manchester when they were both at university and have been a couple for ten years.
"It was our friend, Chris' 21st birthday when we met, so naturally he was one of the ushers at our wedding!" they tell us. Matt proposed during a trip that he planned as a surprise for Carina's 28th birthday.
"It was exactly 51 weeks before our wedding then took place," Carina says. "There was a cabin by a lake with a hot tub and champagne where we were staying. Matt had called our parents the week before to tell them and ask for their blessing so the proposal was a wonderful surprise and perfect in every way."
Carina and Matt wanted to get married in Devon where Carina is from so here she tells us all about their magical day at Harefield Barn in Crediton.
The owner of Harefield Barn, Deborah put so much thought and attention into making the barn feel warm and welcoming for us, and we loved the variety of different spaces available. Harefield Barn is a truly beautiful venue with so much potential to make it your own!
We wanted a venue where we could hold both the ceremony and reception and where the focus could be on enjoying the beauty of Devon with our family and friends. Harefield Barn was the first venue we viewed and we knew straight away that it was the one.
We wrote our own vows. We did it separately and didn't share them with each other until the ceremony. It was so beautiful to hear how very similar they were on the day.
Just before I walked down the aisle, my dad whispered in my ear what
a wonderful decision he thought I was making which was such a
memorable moment for me.
From the beginning of our wedding planning journey, the most important thing to both of us was to create a day which reflected us and was going to feel easy and fun for our guests. We both have big, closeknit families and were so excited for everyone to meet. Our parents and siblings were a huge part of the planning and we loved looking around on our wedding day to see the little touches that represented them all.
Because we live in Yorkshire and Matt is from there, we chose Henderson's Relish, a quintessentially Sheffield condiment as our favours to bring an element of Yorkshire into our Devon-based day. Matt's mum, Julie spent time peeling off the old stickers on each bottle and replacing them with our custom-made wedding stickers.
My sister, Zoe and her partner Maisie made the wooden heart-shaped place names using a wood-burning tool.
We tied them around the condiment bottles that we gifted as favours!
My sisters, Izzy and Zoe were my bridesmaids and we knew from the start that they didn't want to wear the same thing. Zoe wanted to wear a suit which Izzy's green floral dress ended up complementing perfectly. I loved that they looked like a pair whilst celebrating their individuality.
Pippa, my godmother did a reading during the ceremony based on a questionnaire that she gave us leading up to the wedding. It was heartfelt, personal and the perfect moment to look out at our friends and family and take in the ceremony.
I wanted plenty of flowers so my dad contributed lots of floral ideas as well as growing some of the table flowers for us which turned out per fectly!
We kept the décor of the day simple with a focus on the flowers and small DIY touches such as the table names which I made by hand.
Our cake tasted delicious and we loved that the designer was able to incorporate real flower petals into the decoration. She also provided tasty gluten-free cupcakes for a few of our guests with dietary requirements.
We named our tables after berries which are Matt's favourite food. I drew pictures of them to create our table plan, table name cards and centrepieces.
I picked the first dress that I tried on because I instantly fell in love with it! Before the appointment, I didn't have a strong idea of what I wanted and this dress made me feel beautiful.
Matt, his brother, James who was his best man and their dad, Richard all wore the same dark blue three-piece suits with green silk ties. The male bridal party accessorised their suits with custom-made cufflinks featuring the coordinates of Harefield Barn. Matt also wore a Seiko watch which I gifted him as an engagement present.
I teamed my dress with a family heirloom - a veil that was first worn by my great-grandmother in 1923. It has since been worn by my granny, aunt and cousin all of whom have gone on to have long, happy marriages and I loved having it as a reminder of their support.
After the wedding, we dried the bridal bouquet which was used by Bella Fiori UK to make coasters as a lasting keepsake of our special day.
We had gifted the children at our wedding small teddy bears that we placed on each seat.
We visited an open day at Harefield Barn where we were able to see it decorated with a light canopy. We booked the supplier immediately because we loved the soft, romantic glow it added to the space as the sun went down.
We had lawn games and a firepit in the evening.
Everyone enjoyed toasting marshmallows!
All three speeches were sweet, funny and so full of love. We didn't have a wedding videographer, but it's the one part we wish we could watch again and again.
Dancing, especially with my sisters, in particular a long-forgotten dance to a 5ive song that we made up as children was a very special moment for me.