Pronovias Elegance For a Timeless Winter Barn Wedding in the Cotswolds

133 A backless Pronovias dress for a glamorous winter barn wedding. Images by Winnington Co.

Today’s wedding is a classically elegant affair and a perfect seasonal Twixmas celebration (you know, that relaxed festive time between Christmas and New Year?) with gorgeous neutral florals and twinkling fairy lights set within a cosy stone barn, with a magical sprinkling of sparkling winter frost thrown in for good measure.

Graphic designer Lucy and Chris, an officer in the British Army were married on the 28 December 2017 at the beautiful Stone Barn, Upper Windrush near Cheltenham in the heart of the glorious Cotswolds.

“People always said to me ‘It must be great being a designer because you know what you want and can do it yourself’…it’s safe to say the hardest client you can have is yourself! I kept seeing different styles and wanted to do them all, but that would have just never worked. In the end I decided that I wanted the style to be simple, contemporary and timeless; something I wouldn’t look back on in 20 years and think ‘Why on earth did I choose those?’ “

Photography by Winnington & Coe.

48 A backless Pronovias dress for a glamorous winter barn wedding. Images by Winnington Co.

What a talented pair Elle and Ben are, from Winnington & Coe. They captured Lucy and Chris’ day wonderfully, using the magical and crisp winter light to brilliant, fine art effect.

“These guys are seriously the A-team when it comes to photographers. Being a designer the photography was so important to me. I looked at hundreds, but while there are so many great photographers out there, so many of them were just miles over budget for us…Elle came to the house in the morning where I was getting ready with my family and bridesmaids and just instantly slotted into place, she was cool and calm and was always on the lookout for an amazing shot, yet still found time to have a good sing along with us and even offered to braid my bridesmaid’s hair for them.”“At the venue and photographing the rest of the day Elle was in her element entertaining the kids for the best shot, yet never made us feel that we had to stand for hours posing for photos. I still have people asking me now if Elle was one of my friends because she was just so great and easy to get on with! Ben was a total photographic ninja, we barely saw him, he fitted so seamlessly into the background that nobody knew he was there.”

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Hair stylist Charlotte Tillyer provided a calming oasis for Lucy on the morning of the wedding, not only styling her hair in a graceful arrangement with a pearl and crystal comb from Amazon, but allowing the bride a chance to relax too.


“Charlotte set up salon in one of the bedrooms, which allowed me to have a little bit of calm amongst all the getting-ready madness, and she did such a lovely job which suited my veil perfectly. Charlotte was so patient with me leading up to the wedding as I was texting her non stop about my hair colour.”

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Stacey Peplow and Hailey and Charlotte Tillyer were my glam squad were such a great team. Stacey and Hailey were where the party was at! They didn’t stop talking and singing from beginning to end and were such great people to have around on the morning of the wedding. I was so pleased with my makeup, despite my best intentions to keep it topped up during the day and looking my best, I didn’t touch it once but it didn’t move at all. Stacey knew exactly what would suit me and we went with the very first look that she tried at my trial.”


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To choose her wedding gown, Lucy headed to the Wedding Club in South Kensington, selecting a chic and simple backless dress with a beautiful train by Pronovias.

“There were so many things I loved about my dress – it was simple, timeless, classy and oh so comfortable! I also loved that there was nothing that anyone could not like about it – it wasn’t going to offend my Gran by showing too much skin but it was also young and flattering.”

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The bridesmaids were the picture of winter elegance in dark navy blue high-necked lace dresses from Chi Chi London, which they wore with their own shoes. Providing a lovely contrast to the dark blue were the soft and creamy florals, with bouquets from Go Wild Flowers. Buttonholes were provided by the Great British Florist.

“Both brought my vision to life perfectly and it looked just how I imagined.”

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Lucy paired her gown with a romantic cathedral length veil with lace edging, also from the Wedding Club and deep blue velvet sandals from Miss KG. She wore pretty pearl earrings from Etsy and also borrowed a bracelet from her mum.

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For the ceremony and wedding breakfast Chris wore his magnificent military uniform together with a watch from Skagen. Later in the evening, he changed into a smart navy blue suit from Burton Menswear to match those worn by the groomsmen.

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Initially meeting at sixth form, Lucy and Chris had been together for seven years before Chris proposed on the very spot where he had always said he would like to build a house.

“He has always been a romantic and planned the whole weekend perfectly, including getting his dad (who was also his best man) to walk up to the woods at 6am to hang notes in trees, and gathering my entire family for a celebratory lunch. It seemed I was the only one not in the know and it was a complete surprise – so much so that when I saw him down one one knee, the first words that came out of my mouth should not be repeated! We had a long engagement of almost three years due to work commitments, but the wait was so worth it – it gave us more time to save and do it exactly the way we wanted…”

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Together with her dad and six bridesmaids, Lucy walked down the aisle to the song I Will Spend My Whole Life Loving You by Imaginary Future, which her dad liked so much, he’s still playing on repeat!

“Our celebrant from Gloucestershire Council was absolutely lovely, she made us both feel so at ease and was so warm and welcoming to our guests – it was like having a family friend lead your ceremony!”

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“We wrote our own vows to keep our ceremony personal and modern. We made heartfelt promises to each other but also some lighthearted ones (I promised to always try not to be late, and Chris promised to not get mad at me when I am).”

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Singer-songwriter Amelia Caesar provided beautiful music during the ceremony.

“She was a total dream. She was extremely sweet, very professional and totally committed. She played and sung beautifully, and it wasn’t until she was leaving to go home that I found out she had tonsillitis. She wasn’t going to let anything stand in the way of our plan for the day!”

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Lucy’s gran read Laura Hendricks’ poem Love Is Friendship Caught Fire, which meant a great deal to them both, and Chris’ aunt and godmother read Union by Robert Fulghum. The couple exchanged rings during the ceremony – Chris’ ring from Etsy based Rings by Rita and Lucy’s from Love Fine Diamonds.

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“The stationery was all designed by me, of course. It took what felt like two years to design our invitations because I was so indecisive but once I’d set the style for that, everything else came together really quickly. We had a wedding website which was so handy for RSVPs.”

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“When I told people we had two photographers they kept asking ‘Where’s the other one?’ He was hiding in bushes and around corners to get all the sneaky, natural shots that nobody knew were being taken, and they are just perfect. We still laugh today at how we stumbled across Ben coming out from behind a plant pot.”

“Not only were our photos amazing (despite my extremely expressive face) but we just loved that our guests loved Ben and Elle as much as we did, we had so many comments after the wedding on how lovely they were – these guys are just the perfect wedding suppliers, they work so well together and we couldn’t recommend them enough.”

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The couple decided to keep the barn decor simple, allowing the lovely, rustic space and weathered stone walls and beams to be shown to best effect.

“We were lucky that the venue really didn’t need anything in terms of decor, it is just stunning as it is. We only added little things to personalise the space and to add little comforts for our guests like blankets, slippers and toiletries and cosmetics in the ladies loos. We had a s’mores station, giant balloons, vases with heart foliage that my mum made, lots of fairy lights and foliage and the gorgeous venue did the rest. We also hand painted lots of little signs to add a touch of personality.”

30 Pronovias winter barn Cotswolds wedding123 A backless Pronovias dress for a glamorous winter barn wedding. Images by Winnington Co.

Guests were treated to Baileys hot chocolate as favours, in sweet mini jars with extra chocolate chips and marshmallows – perfect for a winter’s day!

“Stone Barn provided all of our catering… we couldn’t have asked for more, the food was out of this world. We had canapés followed by roast lamb and all the trimmings, which was brought to the table in bowls and on boards for guests to carve themselves – it just felt like a big family Sunday lunch. The dessert arrived in the same way, a huge dish of chocolate fondant straight out of the oven. Waking up the next morning Chris asked me what my favourite part of the day was, I couldn’t really answer because it was just all amazing but when I asked him the same question, he didn’t even hesitate….’Those roast potatoes…’, and there I was thinking that his best bit should be seeing me walk down the aisle. I can’t say I blame him though!”

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Lucy’s friend Dimple made a stunning semi-naked cake decorated with fresh figs and foliage. The bottom tier was carrot and spiced orange and the top-tier was green tea and pistachio.

“I had tasted many of Dimple’s cakes before, each one a worthy winner of the GBBO’s showstopper challenge, and had no doubt that she was the woman for the job! Ours was the first semi-naked cake that Dimple had made but it was EXACTLY like the pictures I’d shown her. It was perfect. Our cake toppers were from Etsy, our names in wire and our dog looking up at them.”

112 A backless Pronovias dress for a glamorous winter barn wedding. Images by Winnington Co.27 Pronovias winter barn Cotswolds wedding 28 Pronovias winter barn Cotswolds wedding29 Pronovias winter barn Cotswolds wedding

Lucy and Chris used the Glos Folk directory to find barn dance and ceilidh band Baily’s Beads, who began the night’s entertainment in fine style.

“I could not recommend these guys enough. A ceilidh was the perfect way to get everybody dancing and these guys kept the dance floor completely full to bursting the whole time that they played. Lots of our guests had never been to a ceilidh before but it was another aspect of the day that they raved about.”

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“We don’t have ‘a song’ as a couple and it was so difficult to find something romantic but original, so we went with one of our favourite songs of the time ‘How Long Will I Love You’, by Ellie Goulding. I also had a dance with my Dad which took him by complete surprise ‘You’re Still the One’ by Shania Twain – Shania Twain always takes me back to my childhood and the lyrics were so apt.”

More entertainment came from band Firefly, who filled the dance floor late into the night.

“Nothing was too much trouble for Suzy and the band, they were so accommodating from our very first enquiry and again, on the night they put on an amazing performance and kept everybody on the dance floor.”

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Later in the evening everyone enjoyed artisan pizzas from Baz and Fred.

“All our guests just couldn’t believe how much food there was, it just kept on coming and was beautifully fresh. I was still stuffed from lunch but I heard so much about them!”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Don’t let people stress you out, just breathe and move past it….And if you forget any last-minute things, just don’t worry – you will be the only one to know that it’s been forgotten. Just enjoy it.”

“Transport was something we really didn’t feel the need to spend money on. Nobody was going to see it so we decided we’d much rather use the money on great food and of course, wine! We were lucky though that one of my bridesmaids had a white Land Rover Defender, which suited us and the venue perfectly. My Dad drove me to the wedding in that, which was a very special moment.”

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Lucy and Chris, many congratulations and a huge thank you for sharing your enchanting winter wedding with us. Thanks also go to the brilliant team of Winnington & Coe for their beautiful images. You can see more of their work on Love My Dress right here.

Until next time!

With love,




Credits & Thanks

Laura Callan

Laura Callan View all Laura's articles

Laura is a freelance writer and content creator who loves telling stories. She has keen eye for photography and art, and lives with her husband, cats, and huge amounts of books.

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