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Truly Our Own.

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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!

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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.

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Timeless Glamour

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

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,
Fern x

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All The Things We Are.

A few weeks ago I posted the W-day of Rose and Brendan, an example of my very own although-I-wouldn’t-change-a-thing-if-I-were-to-re-design-my-own-big-day-now-it-might-look-something-like-this scenario. I mentioned there was more than one example – and there is. And this folks is most definitely it…the ridiculously delicious and captivating affair of Genevieve and Joel that took place in Lethbridge Alberta Canada.

Now then, we rarely feature weddings from that far across the pond, our readership is mainly UK based and there are plenty of beautiful U.S blogs where you can feast your peepers on a plethora of pretty umpteen times a day should you feel the need.

However, this one is special. And one of the reasons it is so special is because it is a genuine do-it-yourself abundance of unique and understated perfection. I couldn’t not share it with you gorgeous lot…it would have been a travesty.

There was no florist, no make-up and hair artist…..not even an experienced venue that could do the majority of the organising, just Genevieve’s Grandparent’s back yard.

And you know my current penchant for “roadside chic” on the floral front? well, Genevieve’s bouquet was made up of a variety of blooms from the supermarket and hand-picked greenery from various back allies where (and I quote) “they could technically be classed as weeds”.

There are bridesmaids dresses in all shades of nude. There is what possibly might be my favourite table plan of all time. There is a GREY. SHOE. BOOT.

I die.

Big Love to Shari and Mike for sharing their awesome photography skills with us Brit kids.

All The Things We Are

The inspiration for our wedding came from the simple saying “ all things we are, all things we love” . It was very important for us both to have our wedding reflect us and our easy going approach to life. I am a wedding photographer and Joel works in online marketing so we consider ourselves to be the creative types.

We wanted to think outside the box as much as we could, so that come July 9, 2011, our day would not be a cookie cutter of every other wedding in the world but rather a intimate event designed around who we are as a couple..

Queen Of Hearts

We choose to design out invites with a bit of a poker feel while still keeping it classy… we then pulled the deck of cards theme into our reception with the seating chart, the kissing game, Vintage pinball machine and also our thank-you’s.

Sunshine Lemonade

Our Ceremony took place under a large Elm tree in Henderson Park.. as guests arrived they were greeted with iced teas and lemonades to sip on in the hot sun as they waited for us to arrive.

Because of Joel’s Jewish heritage we chose to have a messianic Jewish ceremony complete with chuppah hand made by Joel and his grooms men.

Full Of Joy

I’ll never forget the feeling I had while walking down the isle.. I was full of joy and so thankful that I was going to be marring my very best friend.. Someone who I love and loves me more then words can tell.

There was one moment where I looked up at my dad as he walked me down the isle and saw in his eyes how proud he was of this moment and that’s when I officially lost it.. Tears tears tears all the way down the isle.. but they were the happiest tears I’ve ever had.

When the ceremony had finished and we sealed it with a kiss everyone gathered over by the lemonade and we celebrated with some lovely little cake pops!

Small And Intimate

We chose to have our reception in my grandparents backyard because of it’s pure quaintness.. My dream had always been to have a small and intimate outdoor reception that went on into the night.. Luckily for me it was the perfect place.. I’m sure I made my family roll their eyes more then a few times with my “great ideas” but when all is said and done… It was perfect..

A Splash Of Magic

We temporarily sodded over the vegetable garden to accommodate a lounge area , and built a small checkered dance flood at the side of the house to act as a stage. Three 30′ tables were brought in to host our 70 guests, and strands of white lights were hung from the trees to the upper porch of the house.

The tables were set with white china, vintage books, family heirlooms and simple floral arrangements made by my bridesmaids maids and I.. We rented chandeliers for the trees and let the sweet summer night work it’s magic.

Roadside Chic

I decided to make my own bouquet and flower arrangements to help keep cost down.. we ordered the babies breath from Safeway, did a massive Costco run and went down a few back allies.. yes.. back allies.. My sister in law and I took on this mission the day before the wedding and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder in my life…

We drove down as many allies as we could, picking bushes of bachelor-buttons and strange flowers I’m sure are technically classified as weeds.. but we didn’t care.. we kept picking, laughed like crazy and the result was perfect..

The Best Alternative

Once the cake pops were eaten and the family photos had been taken we headed over to the reception..Each guest was welcomed in by us with a glass of champaign and a toast to the night…. as everyone arrived our amazing dinner was served and we began the program for the evening.

When the last toast was given and the sun had fully set, we opened our cookies and ice cream bar. This was a fun alternative to the wedding cake and a very much “us” desert and began to dance the night away..

Making It Special

I can’t be thankful enough to our amazing photographers Shari and Mike, the images they captured will forever be cherished by us.

Being a wedding photographer and having to choose your photographer is so hard.. but I couldn’t have been happier with our photos and the love they put into making it special for us.

Wedding Dress – Casablanca Dress 1914

Earrings – Anthropologie

Brides Morning Cover – Urban Outfitters

Hair – By the Bride

Makeup – Leanne Wood (Bridesmaid!)

Grooms Suit – Hugo Boss

Grooms Shirt – Harry Rosen

Bridesmaids Dresses – from a selection at Zara, Mod Cloth, H & M, Foever 21 and Gap

Flower Girl Dresses – Hand made by the bride

Seating Chart and Thank you’s – Brides DIY project

Invites and Programs – Designed and printed by bride and groom

All Flowers – Assembled by bride and bridesmaids

Photography – Shari and Mike Photographers

I would like a large jar filled with cookies and Ferrero Rocher please….

And the lighting…I want a garden with chandeliers hanging from trees and and old vintage drinks cabinet – if anyone could sort this out for me I would be super grateful.

Oh and Genevieve’s luscious locks – how stunning are they?!

Big All The Things I Am Love

Charlotte xxx

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