Real Weddings

The Wedding of Donna & Sarah

9th October 2021

A pop of pride colours were a surprise inclusion in this gorgeous same-sex wedding; photos proof that even in the rain, you can still have an incredible wedding!

Deep reds and sage greens, pairing perfectly with autumnal-time of year, were used in this classically beautiful wedding for the same-sex marriage of Donna & Sarah.

Chilled vibes, acoustic covers, and an all-around relaxed atmosphere were the order of the day for this gorgeous couple who went all in with a Mrs & Mrs cake topper, signature cocktails, and a surprise appearance from a rainbow umbrella that took the wedding photos to a whole new level. Being a same-sex couple, the pair had wanted a venue that was accepting and having come across our page dedicated to same-sex weddings, they felt confident we could deliver on our word. [Spoiler: of-freaking-course we can!]

Same-sex lesbian couple in Essense of Australia wedding dresses on the lawns of Tower Hill Barns in the wildflower meadow; Richard Miller photography
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I remember reaching out to them very early on in our engagement, asking if they accept same-sex weddings and Jo replied, ‘of course, we would love to host your day.’ From that moment on we just fell in love with the people and the venue itself. It ticked all the boxes, the look of the venue itself, the quality of the food and drinks, and the friendliness and the warmth the staff exude is like nothing else–it was everything we could have hoped for.

The Theme:

Our favourite season is Autumn so October was the perfect month for us. We didn’t have a specific theme but we knew the autumn colours of the deep reds and sage greens with the backdrop of the barn would look incredible–and it didn’t disappoint! Our flowers were perfect and when we saw what Rock & Meadow had created, we knew they were the perfect choice for us and the perfect complement to the already beautiful venue.

The Ceremony:

Sliding the bow skilfully across his violin, Craig Owen welcomed guests arriving at Donna & Sarah’s rustic (inclusive) wedding one cool, autumn afternoon in October. During the ceremony, nerves took control and both brides ended up blundering their wedding vows, resulting in crowds of laughter from their family and friends, which created the perfect atmosphere of love in which to say, I Do.

Speeches, dancing & party time:

The speeches were a really special moment for us. Both our dads gave amazing speeches and it was so beautiful to hear how proud they are of us and how much both families love one another. I (Sarah) gave a speech too which I was nervous to do but it went really well. We had the speeches after dinner so our guests could let the amazing food go down before party time!

Our first dance took place outside on the terrace, with our guests holding sparklers. It was amazing! We danced to a version of The One by Kodaline. We’d practised a little at home in our kitchen in the lead up to it and it went off really well. We ended up asking our guests to join in towards the end of the song because it was just too beautiful not to share at that moment.

Same-sex lesbian couple in Essense of Australia wedding dresses on the lawns of Tower Hill Barns in the wildflower meadow; Richard Miller photography

The Food & Drink Experience

We knew the food would be amazing but WOW when we went for the menu tasting we were just blown away! The quality of the food and the service only confirmed to us that we had made the right decision in choosing Tower Hill Barns as our wedding venue. We had the Bramble as our reception drink which we named ‘The Brides Bramble.’ This literally went down so well. We’d tried it at the menu tasting night and as we LOVE gin it was 100% the best choice! We also had a signature cocktail which was the Fidel Castro. Again, we loved this and so many of our guests enjoyed it too.

The Mrs & Mrs Cake-Topper

Our amazing cake was made by Sally from Tab Nab Cakes. We had it displayed on the barrel stand under the staircase in the dining hall. We had originally planned to go for a semi-naked cake but changed our minds and, we’re glad we did because our cake turned out beautifully! We had three tiers of deliciousness with real flowers placed on each tier, finished off with our ‘Mrs & Mrs’ cake topper.

We cut the cake together and have so many pictures of that moment. We served some of the cake but had lots of it to enjoy the week after the wedding too.

The Back Story + Engagement

We got engaged in 2018. We had a 10-day holiday planned, firstly visiting one of our favourite hotels in Knutsford, followed by York for a few days, and finishing up in Richmond at a lodge for a few nights.

On the first day of the holiday, we arrived at the hotel and spent a lovely few hours in the spa. When we returned to the hotel room, we enjoyed a relaxing bath (one of our fav things to do) and a glass of red wine, and Donna just told me she loved me and popped out the ring. I was so shocked I just started crying. It was such a special moment. We called the parents who were so happy and excited for us. But what Donna didn’t know and what BOTH sets of parents knew was that I (Sarah) was also planning to propose during our holiday!

I was so shocked I just started crying. It was such a special moment.

I had a dilemma whether to just get the ring out and propose back to Donna straight away or to stick with my original plan and propose later in the week at the lodge. After much debilitating, I decided to stick with my plan. We had an amazing few days visiting York being in our engagement bubble, and then the moment arrived for me to propose to Donna.

I had woken up early one morning and left Donna in bed whilst I set out rose petals and candles in the living room of the lodge. One of our favourite songs is ‘Love on Top’ by Beyonce (this was actually the 2nd song we played after the first dance at the wedding ) so I blasted this song as loud as I could to wake her up and so she came out to everything I had set up, and I proposed too. She was half asleep so didn’t quite understand what I was doing but it was beautiful and we had a laugh talking about how we both couldn’t believe we were both proposing during the same trip, and that our sneaky parents knew it too!

Rainbow-coloured wedding photos

We wanted a really chilled photographer who would be more in the background rather than bothering us with pictures all day, and so it felt natural that we went with Richard Miller–particularly for his candid wedding photos. Donna’s maid of honour had asked if we wanted a rainbow umbrella in case it rained and we’d said, “No, it won’t rain.” Luckily for us, Danni didn’t listen and sure enough, during the wedding, it rained for about 30 minutes and so out came a rainbow umbrella! We’re so glad because the pictures are insane and it was nice to have that pop of pride colours in our wedding.

Our wedding photos are insane and it was nice to have that pop of pride colours in our wedding.

Would you do anything differently?

We would hire a videographer, to be able to watch it back would be amazing so that’s our only regret. But honestly, our biggest advice would be to really take the day in. Enjoy your day and don’t feel obligated to spend your day with everyone. Let them come to you and really absorb each and every moment because when they say it goes fast, boy does it go fast!

More real #THBWeddings + wedding inspiration

The boho summer outdoor wedding of Stacey & Tom

A relaxed, casual, intimate wedding with personal details for Nome & MJ

A pop of pride colours were a surprise inclusion in this gorgeous same-sex wedding

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