Retro 50s DIY Crabbs Barn Wedding | Rhia + James | Grace Elizabeth, Alternative Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Colchester, Essex


When bride Rhia first got in contact with me back in the summer, I knew from her messages that right away we would get along, so it wasn’t long before we organised meeting up to chat about their plans. It was the middle of summer, with the blazing hot heatwave, and I think I must have spent about three hours at their home… No wonder that now we are such good friends! Funny how you never know where one facebook message might lead six months down the line!

We chatted over drinks as she told me all about how she’d planned a 50’s styled DIY wedding, with a retro tea length custom-made dress (we kept that part from James though!) was going to have violet hair, her beautiful floral and book-worm tattoos on show and a Harry Potter twist for the reception. I was immediately sold for this Christmassy wedding at Crabbs Barn in Kelvedone (which I am so sad to hear is closing soon!)

We began the day at Rhia’s dad’s house, whilst she got ready with her maid of honour (also her sister in law) and her two bridesmaids (also fiancé James’ sisters) and the rest of her family. The morning was super chilled out and there was clearly a focus on family at this wedding! More and more of my couples are booking me for their intimate, small wedding days and I am such a fan of them because you quite literally end up on first name terms with everyone!

The weather wasn’t looking great for the day, so much so that Rhia had invested not only in umbrellas, but in converse wellie boots, just in case it was too muddy. I tell you, this girl was prepared for ANYTHING!

The ceremony itself was one of the sweetest I’ve seen, and not just for the vows, but for the fact that Ellis, their eldest, was in the middle of them both for every word they said. He was so excited about his mummy and James getting married that he just had to be there!

After the ceremony, we zipped through the family and couple photos before the light totally disappeared and then we had a wonderful meal, followed by the speeches. I was in tears for them both for laughing and crying (not that any of you will be surprised - those father-daughter speeches are so beautiful), and then it was the cake cut and the dance.

A truly lovely day which it was just wonderful to be a part of, and one which I am so glad took place, because it now means I have a super lovely new friend in Rhia.

Thank you so much, James and Rhia, for your trust and love towards me on the day, both from yourselves and your family. You are truly lovely and I wish you so much happiness.

Enjoy the photos, and as always, if you're not fed up of me yet, you can join my newsletter, here, too!

Love always,

Grace xo

Vendors: Venue: Crabbs Barn | MUA: Nikki Barker | Dress: Honeypie Boutique | Suits: Jeff Banks | Caterers: Jamie Lee Smith Catering | Decor: Mostly DIY

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