A Glamorous & Relaxed Black Tie Winter Wedding at Barnsley House in the Cotswolds

I’m trying to pause for a moment to assess just how quickly December is racing by – and I still haven’t got everything I need to get for Christmas!

Apparently I have two days left with 19th December being the last day for orders to ensure Royal Mail can deliver them ahead of Christmas day. I had better get on it! In the meantime, it is my absolute pleasure to share the most gorgeous wedding of Joanne and Andrew, who tied the knot on 15th December 2018 at the most splendid and beautiful country house that is Barnsley House in the Cotswolds.

David Jenkins Photography + Follow

“As a bride who works in events, I did a huge amount of research at every stage of the wedding planning process, but our venue search was by far the most important to us and something we put a huge amount of time into.”

“As soon as we arrived at beautiful Barnsley House, we knew in our hearts that it was the one, and thankfully the luxury country hotel also had everything we were looking for in an events sense.”

“Barnsley House provides an idyllic Cotswold location, a stunning country house with an instant wow factor on arrival, beautiful St. Mary’s Church within a few minutes walking distance, chic interiors, wonderful food, first class service and The Village Pub across the road for our guests to enjoy.”

“We didn’t want it all to be over in one day so we opted for a weekend of celebrations and made Barnsley House our home for a weekend; a relaxed Italian welcome dinner on Friday, the ceremony and wedding celebrations on Saturday and a farewell lunch at The Village Pub on Sunday.”

“We didn’t have a specific theme in mind, we simply wanted a relaxed but chic country feel and a touch of winter glamour for the wedding day.”

“Achieving that feeling for ourselves and our guests inspired our venue, food, music and styling choices from start to finish.”

“We wanted a relaxed country weekend for our closest friends and family to enjoy, with enough guests for a party atmosphere but not too many to prevent us from spending some time with each guest on our wedding day.”

“The bridesmaids and flower girls wore different styles of Ghost dress in a champagne shade, a colour which was also picked up in bouquets and button holes but balanced with plenty of greenery to ensure the winter country feel was maintained.”

Joanne looked the epitome of effortless glamour in a long sleeved, lace Pronovias gown which she discovered at Silk Brides boutique in Lichfield.

“When choosing my wedding dress I wanted something as classic and timeless as possible so opted for a Pronovias mermaid design made entirely from lace with an off the shoulder neckline and French sleeves.”

“I wore a matching lace-edged veil for the ceremony. I also wore a matching lace-edged veil for the ceremony.”

“We opted for a black tie dress code to bring a touch of traditional Christmas glamour, with the groom and best man in Hugo Boss tuxedos.”

“Andrew proposed on a tiny island in the Seychelles in December so once we’d returned home from paradise and started to get our head around wedding planning, we decided a December wedding a year after our engagement made sense for us.”

“We wanted to get married somewhere that had a special feeling for us as a couple, but also provided an enjoyable and easy event experience for our guests.”

“We were also looking for a church ceremony, which meant our search was geared towards venues with a church within easy walking distance…and a pub nearby for everyone to enjoy a drink before the ceremony.”

“The church decor was simple and classic with greenery and plenty of candles, a theme which carried through into Barnsley House for the reception and wedding breakfast.”

“The wedding day itself was everything we’d hoped for and more. The ceremony was heartfelt and personal, which was a result of us spending a considerable amount of time getting to know our vicar, his congregation and the church ahead of our wedding day.”

“Music was incredibly important to us and we took considerable time to choose fitting music at different stages of the day to set the mood we were looking for. Hand Fulla Soul were key to this and were the perfect band for us and our party.”

“Their mix of soul, funk, disco and swing along with the big band feel was exactly what we were looking for.”

“They played two very special songs during the ceremony and there was not a dry eye to be found after Adeola’s stunning performance.”

“They played some swing music for us during our drinks reception to set just the right mood, then ensured that after dinner the dance floor was absolutely packed from start to finish.”

“The whole day was captured perfectly by our photographer, David Jenkins, who made us feel at ease throughout. We were looking for beautiful photography without too many posed, overly formal portraits and that was exactly what David gave us, in his unique and distinctive style.”

“So much so that it was incredibly difficult to choose which shots to put into our bespoke album after the wedding!”

Our wedding car also brought a Cotswolds country feel to our day; a gunmetal grey Land Rover Defender belonging to one of our bridesmaids and driven by one of our most special friends.”

“Diamond earrings borrowed from my grandmother. It was special to wear a coat belonging to my grandmother for some of our outdoor portraits too.”

“Wearing my hair down on a blustery December day was a risk but my hair and make up artist, Holly, ensured that it was secure enough to move between the church and reception with ease.”

“After the ceremony, guests walked back to Barnsley House for a drinks reception and canapés followed by the wedding breakfast and speeches.”

“The wedding breakfast was exactly what we’d hoped for – a room full of love and laughter with a soundtrack of soul and Motown music.”

“Our table settings were neutral and simple to fit with the beautifully designed interiors – white linen throughout with beautiful table dressing by Flowers By Passion, which focused on simplicity – greenery, grey candles and gold candlesticks of varying sizes.”

“The wedding breakfast was a traditional winter menu – shallot tart followed by roast lamb and apple crumble for dessert.”

“Afterwards we offered guests a cocktail hour rather than wedding cake, with espresso martinis and G&T on offer. The cocktail hour was the perfect time to really start the party and we transitioned the music into soul, funk and disco.”

“We nodded to Christmas at certain points but we were keen to avoid our wedding turning into a Christmas party.”

“Barnsley House was already beautifully decorated for Christmas so small additional details such as lanterns, carols during the ceremony, swing music during the drinks reception and some mistletoe placed at the church and inside Barnsley House by one of our bridesmaids gave a festive feel without overpowering the wedding.”

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Our advice to other couples would be to stay true to what you want for your day, play to your strengths as a couple and as individuals, enlist the help of your friends and family where possible and trust your suppliers to help you bring to life your perfect day.”

You can see more beautiful wedding day photography from the incredibly talented David Jenkins here on Love My Dress. I have enjoyed sharing David’s work for several years now and he remains one of my favourite wedding photographers ever.

Thank you so much Joanne and Andrew for allowing us to share your most beautiful wedding day – and happy 2 year wedding anniversary to you both!

Sending love to all today,

Annabel x

Credits & Thanks



Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Annabel is the founder of Love My Dress. She has a passion for photography, walking, yoga, nature, and loves to support talented artists and creative businesses. In 2013, she became a published author. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters Eska and Leanora and menagerie of furry hounds. Annabel supports Philip in the running of the family flower farm at at Moonwind Flowers. She is also co-founder of What About Weddings.