As soon as I opened Vicky and Simon’s enquiry, my jaw dropped. Their venue, Hidden River Barn Carlisle, is such a stunner I kept all my fingers crossed they would book in with me as their wedding photographer. Then, after I’d met them for the first time on a Zoom call, I crossed my toes as well, because they were so lovely and relaxed I really wanted to get to photograph their day!
Obviously (spoiler alert!) as you’re reading this, they liked me too, and I had the pleasure of shooting their rustic, relaxed Hidden River Barn Carlisle wedding on the August bank holiday weekend. From the very first call, it was clear that Vicky and Simon wanted a relaxed, celebratory wedding, where the focus was on having fun and partying with their family and friends. This made for such a gorgeous atmosphere all day, with no stress, just excitement!
Hidden River Barn Carlisle
Vicky and Simon knew that Hidden River Barn Carlisle was the venue for them as soon as they saw it – it was actually the only venue they looked at.
It’s easy to see why. Set in over 200 acres of ancient Cumbrian woodlands, Hidden River Barn Carlisle looks out over the River Lyne. And when I say ‘looked out’, I mean it literally, thanks to the HUGE picture window at the end of the barn. This gives the barn a thoroughly cool, contemporary edge, whilst still retaining its incredible rustic, romantic charm. With ceremonies taking place facing it, and receptions taking place with the top table in front of it, it also makes for a magnificent backdrop.
The barn is set over two floors, and Vicky and Simon had their ceremony on the mezzanine, before heading to enjoy their drinks reception outside. They exited the building in a shower of confetti, which were biodegradable petals bought from Macmillan Cancer Support.
As well as the mouth-watering canapés from the Hidden River Café (the catering arm of Hidden River Barn Carlisle, which also includes the Hidden River Barn Cabins too), The Ice Dream Experience had set up their tricycle to serve delicious cones of traditional scoop ice cream to their guests. They’d even brought an extra boater hat for Simon!
While guests enjoyed the ice cream, drinks and nibbles and played with the giant garden games, we took some group shots, as well as photos of Vicky and Simon’s dog Poppy, who even wore a lilac lead to match. I also snuck away with Vicky and Simon to take some couple’s portraits of them by the window. (Can you believe that Vicky told me in the pre-wedding questionnaire that she usually looks ‘awful’ in photos? She looks sensational!)
Wild, romantic wedding flowers
Vicky and Simon didn’t have a wedding theme, per se, but the vibe was certainly elegant rustic (which matched the aesthetic of Hidden River Barn Carlisle perfectly).
They worked with their florist, élégance en fleurs, on some beautiful floral arrangements with a wild, romantic feel. From the off, Vicky knew she wanted a lot of eucalyptus, and Lynne certainly delivered, with an abundance of greenery around the venue. The flowers mainly followed a chic purple colour palette, brought to life with roses, thistles, lavender, hydrangea and more.
As well as the bouquets for Vicky and her bridesmaids and the buttonholes for Simon and his groom’s party, Lynne created two tall floral arrangements to perfectly frame the ceremony space. Big boughs of eucalyptus, studded with lilac and purple feature flowers, draped across the tables at the reception too. Instead of regular candlesticks, each table was also adorned with candelabras kitted out with sage green taper candles, which mirrored the jaw-dropping chandeliers that hung from the barn ceiling. I loved this detail so much – it made for such an epic, elegant display.
A relaxed wedding celebration
The cake, created by Mama Cakes, kept the rustic, relaxed theme of the day, with two tall tiers of semi-naked cake decorated with a lilac purple drip and some more flowers to finish it off. Vicky had also created a sweet table to the left of the venue, where guests could help themselves to pick ‘n’ mix. The space also featured photo frames of loved ones who were sadly no longer with us.
After their first dance (captured from above, giving a gorgeous birds-eye view) their guests piled on to the dancefloor to join them. In keeping with the laid back feel of the day, guests were free to then wander onto the decking outside, take their picture in the photobooth or bust some shapes with Vicky and Simon on the dancefloor – though they were hard to keep up with – they pretty much danced the whole night through! They had premeditated this, though, and halfway through both slipped into some comfier shoes. Simon wore white slip-ons, whilst Vicky wore sparkly nude trainers. They’d also provided flip flops for guests who might want to change too.
I absolutely adored working on this Hidden River Barn Carlisle wedding, and having the privilege of immortalising Vicky and Simon’s day for them. It was such a lovely day to be part of, with a gorgeous atmosphere that more than matched the beauty of the setting.
If you’re planning a Hidden River Barn Carlisle wedding and are looking for a wedding photographer to capture it, I’d love to hear from you. Alternatively, maybe you’re planning a fun, relaxed celebration elsewhere, and want a wedding photographer who’ll fit right in to capture the magic – I’d love to chat either way! You can get in touch here.
With thanks to
Wedding Dress: Romantica via Bisous Bridal Wear https://bisousbridal.co.uk/our-designers
Hair and Make Up: Yasmin Bridal http://www.yasminschwitzer.com