Warwickshire based real bride Gina tells us all about her love story to Luke, from meeting to the impressive surprise proposal and planning their dream wedding at Shustoke Barn, nestled in Coleshill’s countryside.

Real Wedding at Shustoke Barn wedding

Our Love story

I met Luke through mutual friends when I was seventeen and ironically at the time I was definitely not interested in having a serious boyfriend, but after spending more and more time together we naturally fell into a relationship and our love story began.

It was an exciting time getting to know each other and meeting new friends at an age where we wanted to go out and explore the world. We grew closer as our careers formed, we became a part of each others families and we partied away on some amazing holidays.

The Proposal

We loved our partying holidays but in 2015 we decided to try something new and organised a big holiday travelling around North America. Our first stop off was Manhattan, New York, we explored the city, sampled the cuisine and on our third and final night we decided to go to the top of the Empire State Building.

Across the dark skyline you could see the whole city lit up in lights, it was magical and we both began taking photos to remember the evening. Luke really wanted to ask someone to take a photo of us both and eventually decided on a man to ask who kindly agreed.

I remember standing next to Luke arm in arm posing ready for the photo when all of a sudden he began to move and then all of a sudden got down on one knee!

He pulled out a small box and showed me a ring , I can’t remember his exact words as I was in complete shock but I just remember saying yes and grabbing him to stand up.

I don’t normally like being the centre of attention! The man taking the photo then asked me ‘is this real?’ I thought, I bloody hope so! We looked at the photo he had taken later and realised Luke had opened the ring box the wrong way round but the moment was a perfect surprise.

I couldn’t wait to tell my family, however we left it a couple of days before putting it on social media just to enjoy the moment of becoming each others fiancée.

Wedding planning

What was the most important element when planning your wedding?

Our guest list- Having who we wanted at our wedding was our top priority as for us family is everything. There are certain family and friends who we knew we needed to have at our wedding so we made a list and got a rough estimate of guest numbers.

This doesn’t mean we invited huge numbers however we were realistic with who we actually wanted there.

How many wedding venues did you view?

All together I think we viewed five venues and then we were lucky enough to find Shustoke Barn. We actually had reserved a different barn but the next day we visited Shustoke and found it just suited us more.

How/when did you know Shustoke Barn was the wedding venue for you?

On first impressions Shustoke Barn won us over, the venue looks incredible as soon as you arrive from the driveway right through into the high vaulted barn and impressive courtyard.

The staff had a no pressure attitude and really wanted to help us achieve our dream wedding. Even on our second visit to pick menu choices there was a relaxed approach, making us feel at ease and excited about our big day.

Once we had chosen and booked our venue everything else just fell into place and I can honestly say I absolutely loved the planning of our wedding day.

Our Wedding Day

When our wedding day arrived, me and Luke had been together for six years and the whole meaning of the day was that I was marrying the person I loved.

We were incredibly blessed to have our day during a British heat wave (not always guaranteed for May!) and our family and friends enjoyed sipping prosecco soaking up the sun in Shustoke Barn’s courtyard.

We kept the details elegant and simplistic with pops of blue running through our colour scheme. My bouquet included blue hydrangea and white gypsophila which matched the gypsophila filled glass jars on our tables.

My bridesmaids wore navy and silver which complimented well with Luke’s sky blue tie (yes, he is a Coventry City Sky blue’s fan!). The interior and exterior of Shustoke Barn itself has the wow factor so we let it do all the talking.

I was engaged by 22 and married by 24, and it now occurs to me never again will we both attend an event where it is only the people we know and love the most present, it sounds cliché but my wedding day really was ‘one of the best days of my life!’