A DIY wedding at Buckland House

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Hayley’s Temperley dress, an evening gown not from their wedding range looks amazing and was the perfect choice. As was Buckland House, a sprawling country manor set in 280 acres of grounds. What a stunning backdrop to this simple contemporary wedding with enough home made ideas to satisfy even the the most DIY driven bride to be. So all there is left to do is fetch tea, sit back, relax and devour these beautiful images from Especially Amy

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Hayley The Bride: We got married at Buckland House in Devon. Our ceremony was in the big sitting room of the house and our reception drinks and dinner were also in the house.

My dress was from Alice Temperley in London. It wasn’t from their wedding dress range, it was an off the peg evening dress with sequin detailing that I fell in love with. I always knew that I wouldn’t wear a big wedding dress, I just wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for. I tried on a fantastic 50s style dress which I almost went with but I knew when I tried this on with my friend that this was the dress. It was hard to imagine what it would look like as a wedding dress until I’d sorted out what I was going to wear it with.

I wanted to keep my look simple but I ended up wearing a fantastic tiara made of pearls. I chose it because I had quite a simple dress and I wanted to make it look special. I paired it with some pearl earrings and wore a gold dragonfly brooch that was my Mum’s 25th wedding anniversary present. The tiara was from a shop in Keynsham, near Bristol. I had a plain creamy veil with a scalloped edge with pearl detailing. It was from Richard Designs. I wore my veil the whole day as I didn’t want to take it off.

My shoes were from Rachel Simpson shoes and I loved them. You could see my shoes out the bottom of my dress so they had to match the slight vintagey feel of my dress. I didn’t go too high as I wanted to be able to wear them the whole day – I still had them on at 2am. They were like the shoes that I imagine my Grandma used to wear to go dancing in – white, with a classic T bar.

A friend persuaded me that I should get the professionals in for my hair and make up and I was very pleased that I did. It took away all of the stress and I really enjoyed the getting ready part as a consequence because I knew it was going to be ok! Anna-Kate did my make up and I think she achieved that ‘me on a very good day’ look. My hair was done by Lianne. I sent Lianne a picture of a hairstyle that I’d found in a bridal magazine whilst having my hair cut. The style was clearly for someone with a lot more hair than I have but she managed to get exactly what I was looking for – done but not too done and it fitted with the style of my dress.

My original plan was that we would drive to Covent Garden super early the day before the wedding, buy what was in season and then drive down from London to Devon on the same day. I was told firmly by those close to me that this was not a good plan and instead Claire at The Flower Field, just outside of Exeter, sorted us out with wonderful seasonal flowers. We didn’t have a specific colour scheme so we could go for any colour flowers which I really liked. I wanted it to look like we’d had time to rush out and pick some seasonal blooms the morning of the wedding. I asked Claire to provide stems of spring flowers that would fit into jam jars and small pots that we could arrange ourselves. We went to her nursery the day before the wedding and picked up 5 buckets of freshly cut flowers and the Mums and some friends arranged them into the jars. Secateurs were therefore on the packing list.

I had been collecting jam jars and any sort of interesting small bottle for a few months so we had an abundance of colour across the house. As we didn’t know exactly where everything was going in the house it meant we could be flexible with where the flowers went.

In the big sitting room where we got married we hung jam jars with string from the ends of the chairs and they were filled with gypsophila and a selection of purple flowers.

My bouquet was ranunculus with rosemary and white grape hyacinths. The men had button holes with rosemary, heather (because we love Dartmoor) and white grape hyacinths. Tom had a ranunculus in his.

The bridesmaids had a wrist corsage which was made from a ranunculus, rosemary and grape hyacinths. They looked really pretty and it meant they could hold a glass of champagne at the same time and wore them the whole day.

The bridesmaids dresses were from Phase Eight. We went shopping after work one evening and tried on a load of dresses, including a blue jump suit which they all liked but I said a firm no to! I didn’t have a specific colour in mind so I was pleased when they all found a dress that they liked on the first attempt – it was much more straightforward than I thought it would be. They paired it with gold jewellery and gold shoes.

We toyed with the idea of morning suits for the ushers but it didn’t feel quite right with the informality of the venue and the type of wedding we were having. They wore dark suits and we hired pale blue waistcoats from Neal and Palmer which were matched with purple ties.

Tom chose a blue three piece suit from Reiss, dark brown shoes from Dune and a purple linen tie from Thomas Pink. For a wedding present his brother had given him a waistcoat and tie in his family tartan so this came on for the speeches and dancing.

Our photographer was the brilliant Amy Murrell of Especially Amy. We both loved her reportage style and the way that she manages to capture people at their best.

I have followed her posts on Rock My Wedding, and always knew that we would book her to shoot our wedding. We LOVE the photos, and couldn’t be happier with the memories she has provided us with.

It was always going to be a fruit cake of some sort but we also love carrot cake so we had a layer of that on top. It was traditional icing with beautiful pink flowers to contrast with the green. I spent ages on Pinterest looking at fantastic butter icing cakes and we ended up with a modern take on a traditional cake I think. Its bright colour fitted with the abundance of colour from the flowers in the room. It was made by a family friend.

Entertainment was a good old iPod disco. We hired a sound system, plugged it in and boogied away. Nice and easy. We don’t really have ‘a song’ so it was a case of choosing one that we could shuffle along together and then everyone could dance to. We went for Tom Jones ‘It’s not unusual’ which whilst perhaps not the most original choice was perfect for getting everyone twirling around.

I chose to make mini badges for everyone as their name places. I bought a children’s badge making machine and got an ink stamp set and made them over a few evenings. We also decided that we’d make our own napkins as we saw some elephant fabric in a haberdashery shop that we both liked. Clearly there wasn’t an elephant theme to the wedding, but we thought why not?

Buckland House didn’t need a huge amount doing to it to decorate it which was part of the appeal when bringing everything down in a few cars the day before. We made a huge amount of bunting (about 100m) from bias binding and polycotton and strung this up outside and at the entrance gate. I bought some great coloured lanterns from Ikea which we suspended from the balcony and above the stairs. The day before some guests were given some fishing wire, scissors and a vague idea of our ‘vision’ from a picture I’d found online and had to work out how they were going to attach them all. We also put small candles in jam jars that we’d decorated and had some big church candles for the fire places. The vases of flowers took care of the rest as they were all over the house. We put sweeties in vintage tea cups around the house as well.

We brought along an old suitcase we’d bought from a car boot sale a while ago and made some paper bunting saying ‘cards’ so our guests had somewhere to put their presents when they arrived.

One of my favourite things was that we made confetti cones from an old A to Z of London, which was a nice nod to our London life.

I always thought I’d have a very clear plan of exactly what we were going to do, but in the end we decided things as we went along which meant we weren’t set on a particular style or theme from the start and it evolved from both of our ideas. It’s so tempting to want to do every brilliant idea that you see other people have done on blogs as they all look amazing. However I think you just need to choose what you really like and focus on a few special things that you will enjoy doing and will make it special for you. It was a very DIY wedding and we relied on lots of the guests mucking in over the weekend to make it work, but it was definitely part of the fun.


Photography by Especially Amy
Gown Temperley | Shoes Rachel Simpson | Groom Neal and Palmer | Make-up Anna-Kate | Florals The Flower Field

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

3 thoughts on “A DIY wedding at Buckland House

  1. Ohh I love the feather illustration on the menus – so pretty!!

    Those elephant napkins are particularly sweet too.

    What a gorgeous day.

    Fern x

    1. Hi Ellie,

      I actually made them out of fabric that I’d bought. I cut the squares out of the fabric, cut lengths of wonder web and folded and ironed over the edges so there was actually no sewing involved. There was a lot of sticky wonder web left on our iron though!

      Hayley

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