Yes – that’s right…this wedding has horses. I can virtually hear the ooohs and awwws from here. I think Steph and Tom’s venue may be one of the most idyllic I’ve ever seen and luckily the British weather held out for their ceremony. Everything just looks so beautiful bathed in the Spring sunshine.
Steph and Tom seemed to keep the music pumping, the food coming and the drink flowing all day long – they even had a late-night campfire with marshmallow toasting. I know. AMAZING.
I’ll pass you over to Steph who makes a very stylish Bride in her fitted lace gown – which by the way she rocks in the unusual champagne tone. It works so perfectly with her skin tone. AND it was the first dress she tried on!
Winding Country Roads
Steph the Bride: The perfect venue was at Clavelshay Barn, North Petherton near Taunton. Tom and I had spotted it online and thought it was worth a visit and were definitely not disappointed. We knew on the first visit that it would be perfect. Winding country roads, humming birds, sweeping hills, cows and quaint country houses , beautiful gardens … and a chance to make something truly our own. Sue who owns the venue was also a lovely and very genuine host who went above and beyond to help us create our special day.
Hair and makeup wise I was inspired by 1950’s classic glamour as for me it’s timeless and would really compliment my dress. My makeup was very simple, just a simple black eye flick, false lashes and a touch of Bobbi Brown’s Plum Rose lipstick which is a fabulous colour that I would definitely recommend.
Mine and my bridesmaids makeup was done by the very talented Lucy Davis. I had hair extensions for the day to add thickness to my hair which were perfectly coloured matched and put in by my wonderful mother Loraine Williams put in a few weeks before, she is an absolute pro and has her own business from home doing this. To compliment my hair Louise Alway (available through Lucy) beautifully styled and curled my hair to have luscious volume and bouncy waves. I also wore Chanel Chance on the wedding day which was a classic scent.
Classic, Fitted Lace
My dress was from the Carina Baverstock Couture Boutique in Bradford-on-Avon and is named ‘Mystere’ by Claire Pettibone. I’ve always been into fashion and classic lace fitted styles and fell in love with Claire Pettibone’s original designs the moment I spotted them online. I discussed my day and theme with the boutique owner and she just knew. It was the first dress I tried on and I never looked back! My dress was champagne coloured, fitted, had capped short sleeves, features intricate beaded detailing and a stunning vintage lilac flower on the lower back which was absolutely stunning. I loved every minute wearing it and felt extremely glamorous.
Tom looked very dapper on our special day and had his bespoke air force blue three piece suit and white shirt handmade by the very-talented P J Robinson and Sons tailor in Alcester. They are a proper old-school four generation tailors and he knew immediately after meeting Lawrence that this was the place for him. His shoes and socks were from Reiss and the groomsmen’s ties were from TM Lewin.
Cute Kitten Heels
I wore a gorgeous Jenny Packham headpiece that complemented the colours and design of my dress. Otherwise I am pretty tall so couldn’t really go for a high heel but found some cute jewelled kitten heels from Nine West online on sale for a bargain of £19. I was really pleased about that, what bride doesn’t like a bargain?
I actually brought the bridesmaid dresses before I had brought my own which was risky, but we were having a Spring wedding and I thought the colour and style would suit everyone’s body shapes and skin tones perfectly. All the bridesmaids wore a nude / pink dress from Fever Designs and accessorised as they liked with beautiful headbands and netted underskirts. The flower girl Elsie’s (my niece) dress was from Monsoon whilst the pageboy’s suit was from Marks and Spencer’s.
A Country Tea Party
Once our venue was sorted everything else sort of came together. We did most of our research on Pinterest and fell in love with the idea of a country tea party style wedding. The colour scheme naturally progressed after purchasing the bridesmaid dresses and my own.
Decor-wise we knew we were having a marquee so wanted to spruce it up a bit and make it a bit country glam. We had fantastic hand-made table-clothes by Tom’s mum Barbara with lace runners hand-stitched along them; old bottles and jam jars lined the table centres, whilst shattered glass and gold tea lights set the mode. We also had beautiful splashes of colour in our flower displays and home-made jam with luggage labels as our guest’s favours.
A Perfect Splash Of Colour
My flowers were absolutely stunning and beautifully arranged by one of my best friends and very talented florist Christiane Simmons. The flowers were the perfect splash of colour for our country themed day and were vintage lilac, purple, pastel pink, cream, blue and yellow. I had English garden roses, roses, peonies, muscari and ranunculus in my bouquet.
On the day we also had beautiful bright bouquets lining the chairs down the aisle, finishing with two olive trees tied with lilac ribbon. Tripods dotted around the garden, whilst other cute arrangements filled jam jars and bottles down the centres of all the tables.
A Very Moving Ceremony
Tom and I had a humanist ceremony outside as our venue wasn’t licensed for our big day. The ceremony was conducted by Jennifer Constant at Tailor Made Ceremonies and felt really special for the both of us as we had a lot of personal input. Jennifer had asked us to fill in a questionnaire about the two of us, how we met and why we loved each other and brought it all together in a very moving ceremony. I had two of my dearest friends Bryony and Nat do a reading which they very kindly wrote for us and was touching to the point of tears. Tom’s friend Darren also read a reading about Relativity from Albert Einstein which was beautiful.
Music For Everyone
We had two bands for the day. During guests arrival, my entrance and the afternoon tea reception we had a funky three-piece gypsy jazz band called Barnone play which really set the mood for the day. During dinner we just had motown songs from our iPod playing until our first dance which was my dad’s song Wonderful Wonderful by The Tymes (He was in this famous motown band in the 60s and passed away 9 years ago). It was beautiful and extremely sentimental.
This followed by live music from our evening band Snappa and some fun DJ sets. Their live music was incredible and would definitely be recommended for any wedding! They had everyone including my granddad up on the floor dancing the night away!
Locally Sourced Food
All the food barring the cake was lovingly cooked up and created in house at Clavelshay Barn. Tom and I are big into locally sourced foods and were delighted that Clavelshay take such pride in where they source their food and the high quality they provide. Reception was a bite size take on afternoon tea, cucumber sandwiches, cheese bites, scones and jam, éclairs and smoked salmon blinis served with Pimms. This was followed by a huge hog roast buffet with served with stuffing, braised red cabbage, seasonal vegetables, dauphinoise potatoes and scrumpy sauce. After there was fresh fruit and cream, coffee, a selection of loose leaf teas and heart shaped chocolates. In the evening the yummy five tiered Victoria sponge cake was served with a selection of cheeses, bread, grapes and chutneys. The cake was made by Kate at Living Pretty a local tea shop in Somerset.
A Helping Hand
What would I do without my best friend Gem? She designed everything from the cute forget-me-not Save the Date seed envelopes, to the invites and the seating plan. We told her about our day and she created this whole tea thing which completely stuck with us for the whole day. The colours were in keeping with the day, creams, lilacs, pinks, blues and pale greens.
We also had a lot of help from Tom’s sister Al and his mum Barbara. Allison hand wrote all the name places on the favours and lined the old suitcase (for cards) in old vintage map paper which looked fabulous. She also wrote the menu for the evening meal and painted the wooden Wedding sign we had at the venue entrance.
Barbara with the help of her husband Martin made all the tablecloths as well as all the jam favours which were delicious. We’d also like to thank David and Richard for making the easel for the seating plan and the wooden sign, it looked great!
Everything Will Fall Into Place
My advice to Brides is to relax, enjoy and make the most of every second. The last days before the wedding are so stressful organising all those last minute touches but your wedding day is just about you and your husband to be and how much you love each other, everything will fall into place.
Also make sure you book time off after the wedding even if you’re not going on honeymoon straight away as you’ll be shattered and will be grateful for the time together to reflect on your special day.
We would also like to thank the fabulous and ridiculously talented Rachel Hudson our photographer. She captured our day so beautifully and was an absolute pleasure to work with. Our photos our stunning and something we know we’ll cherish forever!
Venue – Clavelshay Barn
Bride – Claire Pettibone Carina B Couture
Bridesmaids – Fever Designs
Make-up and Hair – Lucy Davis
Hair extensions – Ad-Hair
Groom – PJ Robinson and Sons
Cake – Living Pretty
Celebrant – Jennifer Constant
Bands – Barnone Snappa
Photography – Rachel Hudson
I still can’t believe that Mystere was the first dress Steph tried on.
Great advice from Steph too about post-wedding time off. Even if you’re not going on honeymoon straight away, I think time together to chill out and reflect would be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Lots of love,