A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Ideas

Upon looking through the collection of images for today’s wedding, I quickly got the Sam Sparro song, Black and Gold stuck in my head, and as you scroll down, I’m sure you’ll start to see why!

I just love the sharply elegant styling of this day, from the tuxedos to the gorgeous silk dress with its delicate lace overskirt, to all the accents of black, white and gold.

Lydia, a Marketing Manager for Premium Country Pubs, and Jonathan, a Project Manager working in restaurant and bar design, were married on the 28 July at All Saints Church in Clive, Shropshire, followed by a reception at the beautiful and historic oak-beamed Pimhill Barn at Lea Hall.

Images by Nigel John Photography

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Lydia searched high and low for the right dress, and eventually discovered the wonderfully supportive and creative team at Rachel Ash Bridalwear in Warwickshire, who are part of our directory of trusted suppliers, Little Book. There, she found the beautiful ‘Sayonara’ dress by Caroline Castigliano; an elegant v-neck bodice dotted with sequins, falling to a simple, fishtail silhouette crepe skirt.

“I tried every style out there, disappointed to discover my dream of wearing something floaty and totally plain just didn’t suit my figure. I found a dress by Rime Arodaky, which was the closest I had come to liking something, so almost bought it, but thought I’d go ahead with the one last appointment I had at Rachel Ash, just in case.”

“Having tried on the styles I’d planned to see to no avail, I told Ash about the Rime dress, and she instantly returned with Caroline’s ‘Sayonara’. It was perfect – the shape and simplicity of the crepe skirt, but with gorgeous detail and structure on the top. Simple but special.”

Over the crepe skirt, Lydia also wore an overskirt of delicate, floral motif lace, custom-made by Karina at Rachel Ash Bridalwear.

“Ash and their seamstress Karina made me feel so confident, and agreed to make a bespoke overskirt. It was the perfect combination, and being able to put my own spin on the dress was so special. I loved the process of designing the skirt, and Karina even sewed our initials and wedding date into it, which I will treasure forever.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

With effortlessly radiant make-up by Keshia Golbourne, Lydia’s hair was styled into a sleek knot by the brother of one of her bridesmaids, and dressed with a pretty, wired hair comb of golden leaves and seed pearls from Etsy, and an elbow length veil from Rachel Ash.

“I wore a necklace that was my wedding gift from Jon – the Tiffany Elsa Peretti Bean in gold. His nickname for me is Bean (probably shouldn’t share that!) and I had already the silver one, but the gold to match the wedding accessories was perfect. I had also bought him the Tiffany Bean cufflinks, so it was a really cute surprise for us both on the wedding morning.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

With effortlessly radiant make-up by Keshia Golbourne, Lydia’s hair was styled into a sleek knot by the brother of one of her bridesmaids, and dressed with a pretty, wired hair comb of golden leaves and seed pearls from Etsy, and an elbow length veil from Rachel Ash.

“I wore a necklace that was my wedding gift from Jon – the Tiffany Elsa Peretti Bean in gold. His nickname for me is Bean (probably shouldn’t share that!) and I had already the silver one, but the gold to match the wedding accessories was perfect. I had also bought him the Tiffany Bean cufflinks, so it was a really cute surprise for us both on the wedding morning.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Earrings were black and gold bar pendants from A Box For My Treasure via Not on the High Street, and Lydia also wore a very special family heirloom sapphire ring as her ‘something borrowed’ and ‘something blue’.

“My shoes were the ‘Carrie’ design from SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker. I bought them from the Bellagio in Las Vegas with my bridesmaid Sara, who lives in New Zealand, which makes them extra special.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Earrings were black and gold bar pendants from A Box For My Treasure via Not on the High Street, and Lydia also wore a very special family heirloom sapphire ring as her ‘something borrowed’ and ‘something blue’.

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prezola aug  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

“My shoes were the ‘Carrie’ design from SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker. I bought them from the Bellagio in Las Vegas with my bridesmaid Sara, who lives in New Zealand, which makes them extra special.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Lydia’s bridesmaids looked lovely in ballet pink dresses of different designs, from the ‘Core’ collection by Shona Joy, which they wore with shoes and jewellery from ASOS, whilst the flowergirl’s dress came courtesy of Monsoon.

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

For the wedding flowers, Lydia wanted a natural, contemporary look, and florist Michele Gledhill worked wonders, with Lydia and her bridesmaids’ bouquets filled with white David Austin and spray roses, lisianthus, phlox, veronica, and striking fern leaves and eucalyptus.

“Michele got it straight away, and was so flexible. Apart from asking for her to stick to white and green (to keep it simple) and include David Austin roses and a lily for Jon’s buttonhole, I left it to her, and absolutely loved what she created. The black velvet ribbons that matched Jon’s tuxedo lapels were little details that were super special.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Setting the scene for the look and feel of the day were beautiful, calligraphy style letterpress invitations from Tankerville Press.

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Jonathan looked smart and sharp in a bespoke tuxedo from Colmore Tailors, which he wore with the Tiffany Elsa Peretti Bean cufflinks gifted to him by Lydia. Not to be outdone, the couple’s gorgeous bulldog, Winston, wore his own black tie (harness!).

“I was in the first year of sixth form girls to join the boys boarding school Jon attended. Although he had left by the time I joined, we had lots of mutual friends, but it wasn’t until 2009, after university, when we bumped into each other in a local pub that we hit it off. Six years later, on Christmas Day visiting our friends in Margaret River, Australia, Jon popped the question on the beach to my complete surprise. I  never thought he would do it! We saved and planned the wedding for 2 ½ years later.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet is one of Lydia’s favourite films, and so she walked down the aisle with her proud dad to a song from its soundtrack – Kissing You, by Des’ree, played live by Echo Strings.

“It was the perfect balance of something different, but was also very poignant and emotional. My dad, sadly passed away suddenly just three months after the wedding, so that memory now holds an even more special place in my heart.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

“We decided early on that we wanted a church wedding, which helped us narrow down our venue search from literally anywhere in the world to at least the UK. We found Pimhill first, as we were searching for a no corkage, blank canvas venue with a classic English countryside location. We visited all the churches within 15 minutes, and fell in love with the feeling inside All Saints, and its huge spire visible as you approach the village.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

The couple exchanged their vows, along with rings, which they had made bespoke for them in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter (sadly, no further details supplied about the jeweller). Both rings were simple, with Lydia’s a slim platinum band, and Jonathan’s a flat court ring in platinum.

“Our first reading was Love is a Temporary Madness from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Although not massively unique, having been together for 9 years when we got married, we felt this summarised the journey we had been on so perfectly.”

The second reading was an extract from the Gospel of John – The Marriage at Cana (John 2:1-11).

“This reading was totally apt as I was working in wine at the time! My niece also wrote a prayer, which was really personal and special.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

During the signing of the register, Echo Strings played Halo, by Beyonce, and Young Forever, by Jay Z, which was a brilliant reminder for the couple of seeing them live in concert, with friends, in Paris. As they walked back up the aisle together newly married, the string quartet played Brown Eyed Girl, by Van Morrison.

“The ceremony was definitely up there as our favourite part. It really felt like it was just us, our gorgeous bulldog Winston (our ring bearer) was there watching, everything came together perfectly, and it was truly special and felt so personal. We loved that we put our own spin on the ceremony, and were so glad we put so much thought into choosing the music.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Family and friends saw Lydia and Jonathan off as they drove away from the church to Pimhill Barn in a classic, cream coloured Mini Cooper (Jonathan’s favourite car), complete with tin cans dangling from the back!

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

I love the chic and minimalist on-the-day stationery designed by Lydia: a monogrammed order of the day mounted onto a wooden easel, and a gin themed table plan hanging from a gold frame.

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sassi holford aug  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

“We wanted to look back and feel our wedding look was timeless, with nothing too trendy or of the moment, so agreed early on that a contemporary, classic feel was for us. I love how Jon looks in a tux, which inspired the idea for sticking to black and white. We both like minimalism and simplicity, so stuck to 4 core colours throughout, adding natural greenery and a little touch of metallic gold to the monochrome feel.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

One of Lydia’s bridesmaids created an amazing green and white flower wall installation, whilst Lydia’s dad made a fire pit, which he laser cut with Lydia and Jonathan’s names, and the date of the wedding.

“We handmade almost everything – a filly functional branded bar, floating drinks list, beer barrel stools, signage, giant pallet letters, a backdrop for the string quartet, games, seating plan, menus – the list goes on! My sister handmade us s’mores to toast over the fire, too. The amount of effort and love everyone went to in helping us bring the dream to life was incredible, and it paid off to create a unique and completely personalised look.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Favours were mini bottles of Chase GB gin, and as a pre-dinner treat, each table was given the recipe for a bespoke gin cocktail for the ‘chief mixologist’ of each table to make there and then, and a recipe to take home.

“We wanted put a personal touch on our drinks throughout the day. We chose wines and Champagne from vineyards we had visited around the world, and made neck tags for them with photos of our trips with friends and family.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Florist Michele Gledhill created spectacular statement arrangements, which hung from the barn ceiling together with fairylights, and the space was sectioned off with floor to ceiling white drapery.

“We’re still unsure whether it was stupid or genius for us to take on the styling of a completely blank canvas barn ourselves, but we did and we fully threw ourselves into it. Thanks to a lot of Pinterest inspiration, sleepless nights, some big ideas and very generous friends and family, we think we managed to pull off transforming it into a glamorous and gorgeous space.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Working in the restaurant industry, delicious food for the day was a top priority for Lydia, and the couple spent a while searching for just the right caterers, and found them in Bears Pantry and Libertine Burger.

“Bears Pantry are next level event caterers – literally nothing was too much trouble. Everyone was blown away with the food, bringing to life our favourite dishes and bespoke menu to perfection, from a gigantic grazing table of our favourite foods, and replicating Burger & Lobster’s garlic butter sauce, to surprising us with a ‘Tideswell Treasure Chest of Tasty Treats’, filled with miniature versions of our favourite desserts, they were worth every penny, and more.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Janice at Cupcakes Plus stepped in after the couple’s original cake supplier let them down, and did a magnificent job with an elegant, white iced cake decorated with black ribbons, gold leaf and fresh flowers.

“My sister actually recommended Janice, and she did a fab job of bringing the vision to life. We had carrot cake (Jon’s favourite), chocolate and hazelnut (for me) and Victoria sponge.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

“We finally settled on a street food pop up for the evening, after eating our way around every stand in Birmingham, we both agreed burgers are the only thing to satisfy the late night munchies and the guys at Libertine were amazing – all our guests raved about them.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

After the meal ended and the cake was cut, Lydia, Jonathan and Winston headed out into the glorious, golden sunshine of late afternoon with their photographer, Nigel John, who has worked wonders here with his evocative, joyful images.

“Choosing a photographer was probably one of the hardest decisions in the whole wedding planning process. We were actually recommended Nigel by The Twins, who were fully booked. At the time, he was relatively new to wedding photography, but from what we had seen was incredibly talented. After a Skype session, we knew he was super laid back and so friendly.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

“The next year (a year before our wedding), Nigel was placed in Rangefinder’s 30 rising stars of wedding photography – we weren’t surprised at all, and are so glad we spent so long choosing the right photographer.”

“We were truly blown away by the memories captured, we didn’t have to give him any direction and literally forgot he was there. Don’t rush, ask for recommendations from other photographers if they’re booked.”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Back inside the barn, and on a dancefloor filled with sparkly gold confetti, Lydia and Jonathan danced and spun to their first dance song, which was Ray LaMontagne’s You Are The Best Thing, followed by a version of Thrift Shop by Macklemore, played by their evening entertainment, Twisted Tubes.

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn WeddingElegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Remember that your guests just want to be fed, watered and entertained. Spend your budget wisely there and everyone will be sure to have an amazing day. Then invest time into the things that matter most to you both; whether that’s music, activities, speeches etc., it’s likely only you will notice the small details, so make it count where you care. Take time researching and invest in a great photographer as a priority, it pays back ten times when you sit down to look back over all your hard work.”

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prezola aug  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

“Spread the load, and know that less can sometimes be more. These are two things we would go back and change, we definitely made life difficult for ourselves and paid the price in still setting up the venue at 9pm the night before! Oh, and getting more than 4 hours sleep the night before is a good idea, as I discovered!”

Elegant Caroline Castigliano bride  - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

Wow! I hope you’ve enjoyed this super stylish and sweet wedding as much as I have. Thanks to you both, Lydia and Jonathan, and thanks to Nigel John for his magical images. You can see more of his work on our pages, as well as more beautiful designs from bridalwear designer Caroline Castigliano, here.

With love,

Laura

 - A Caroline Castigliano Dress with a Lace Overskirt for a Contemporary Classic Black + Gold Barn Wedding

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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