Rachael and Jamie took 12 months to plan their wedding. They were both very heavily involved at all stages and in all decisions. It was a real team effort which, let’s face it, is what marriage is all about!
Amy Murrell from Especially Amy is responsible for today’s eye candy. Oh, and look out for the Mother of the Bride badge. It’s genius.
Frome Somerset With Love.
Our wedding took place on Sunday the 4th September 2011 at St Mary’s Church and Orchardleigh House both of which are part of the Orchaleigh Estate, in Frome, Somerset.
My dress was from Maggie Sottero and the model is called Karena Royale. The design really is quite classic with a few modern twists; After looking at dresses in magazines and trying on a few I knew that I wanted a lace dress but had no idea about the style and cut, I wasn’t in a rush to buy a dress as we had a long engagement so tried on a fair few in order to differentiate between styles and cuts and just because I could :).
From trying on numerous dresses and striking off many because of the weight, poofyness and never ending layers I decided I wanted something elegant and that I would be comfortable wearing throughout the day as well as a dress that wasn’t too heavy and restricting. The reason I knew it was “the one” was because of how it looked and felt on. The lace gave it the classic bridal look but the additions of the sash and the small diamante flecks throughout the dress tied the whole look together and it was exactly what I was looking for.
As the dress did have the sparkly detail throughout and the broach detail on the sash I didn’t want to wear anything that took away from the dress and make everything look a bit too bling! So discreet and understated small diamante and pearl studs were my earring choice, with a very small diamante floral tiara both of which were sourced from a local boutique.
Look Him In The Eyes.
Knowing that brilliant blue skies are not always guaranteed for every wedding day I didn’t want to splurge on shoes that potentially would get wrecked before arriving at the church. Luckily I found some Ivory, peep toed high heels in Nine West that didn’t break the bank and went really well with my dress. Not only were they comfortable they gave me the much needed extra height to help elevate me so that I could look my 6”4 husband in the eyes rather than his chest!!
A Considered Decision.
I am not a big make up wearer so didn’t want to turn up at the church and have Jamie not recognize me! I went with a very natural look but with a bit more definition in the eyes and cheeks. A very light heather eye liner and eye shadow was used, with the addition of a few false eye lashes to help give me fuller lashes and more definition. My hair choice was difficult and I found this really hard to decide, I knew I wanted something quite classic and not too fussy but beside that had no idea. I had one trial with Alexis 7 months before the wedding with no concluding decision so decided to have another trial closer to the wedding along with the veil and tiara which really helped to make the decision and be able to gage the final look.
A Pamper Party.
All the hair and make up for both me and the girls was provided by Alexis Daly from Big Day Beauty. It was a pleasure to see the girls looking so great as well as being a little bit pampered along with myself. I was so pleased with all the hair and make up for the entire bridal party, Alexis delivered exactly the look we were all after and took a lot of time and effort to ensure that everyone was comfortable and happy with their finished looks. The good news was that Jamie did recognize me and I received many compliments regarding both my hair and makeup choices for the day!
As we were having a country wedding we didn’t want anything looking too manicured and precise. After seeing the house and the church we wanted the beauty of these to stand out and our ideas and themes to blend in. We opted for white flowers with lots of green foliage, and went with simple and slightly rustic as the brief. Our florist Jackie from Neston flowers in Bradford upon Avon was brilliant and grasped exactly what we wanted and delivered beyond our expectations and helped make our day. When we first visited Jackie and started to discuss the wedding we took along the wicker hearts that were used for the pews and the bridge and the theme of the flowers started from here. The bouquets were a mix of white roses, freshias, gyp, stephanotis, ivy, eucalyptus with lots of green foliage. This was mirrored throughout in all of the flowers from button holes to the amazing candelabras that were used in both the church and as our table centre pieces.
A Sage Suggestion.
The colour theme was a slightly dark sage green and this was mirrored in the groomsmen’s party ties also. Actually the green theme was discreetly carried on throughout the wedding and featured on the wedding cake too. The bridesmaid dresses I had made after finding a design I liked from Priscilla of Boston and the groomsmen’s suits were provided by Marc Wallace.
Jamie wore a suit by Marc Wallace, he wanted to have the experience of having a suit tailored for him not only just because of his height and finding the right trouser length but he had the very valid point of wanting to feel special for the day in his suit also. Seeing Jamie for the first time when I walked down the aisle is something that I will never forget.
In Amongst The Action.
Amy Murrell from Especially Amy was our photographer and we couldn’t have wished for a better photographer. Laid back, patient and extremely professional and unobtrusive throughout the day, she helped us feel relaxed and comfortable when we knew we were being photographed. We were very lucky as Amy is actually a family friend and came very highly recommend, we took a look at her work had a meeting and the decision was made. Her pictures are fantastic and she captured the day perfectly and really went above and beyond her photographic duties on the day as she actually helped get me into my dress and secure all the corset lacing.
Jamie’s mum Pennie made our cake for us which really made the whole experience special. We had many a discussion on the design, taste and final finish of the cake before production and this really added to the personal touch which was fantastic. Originally I liked the idea of cupcakes but this idea evolved after having looked at many magazines, books and websites. we finally decided on a white chocolate and vanilla mix for all the small drum cakes, but upheld tradition with the top tier being a fruit cake (which is actually Jamies favourite). The cakes were decorated with small flowers and butterflies and a very discreet light scattering of edible glitter along with the sage ribbon. The week before the wedding both Jamie and I were very hands on helping to stick on all the flowers and butterflies so on the wedding day it was a great feeling for us all seeing how beautiful the cake looked on show.
A Song And Dance.
We went for a live band and DJ. The band is called Wired4sound and were absolutely brilliant. They played a very good range of music which catered for all ages and music tastes which ensured the band had everybody on the floor dancing all night. The band also provided a DJ that filled in whilst the band took a break and played some last minute gems at the end of the night also! We also hired a Groovy Booth for the evening which was one of the best choices we made, the guests loved it and it kept all entertained and very amused until early hours! We actually opted for the Groovy Booth to print two picture copies so that guests could put one in our guest book and leave a message and could have a copy for themselves to keep. This enabled us to have an excellent and very comical account of the wedding and covered the favours too. The booth went down a treat with all the guests and would highly recommend this for any future weddings.
Our general décor for the wedding breakfast room was crisp white linens and matching chair covers. The main features were the candelabras and the wicker hearts that were also used in the church.
For the evening we bought lanterns for the balcony areas outside the house which helped to create a lovely ambience outside and tie in the outside areas to the inside.
12 Months In The Making.
Having been bridesmaid a few times and having the bonus of advice from married friends there are snippets that you take away and implement from each of your experiences to help plan your day. Lots of chats and advice are given on the run up to the wedding but the most valuable advice I found was to relax and enjoy the day and not worry about the minor details. You do not realize how quickly the day passes so enjoy every minute and hour of the day and just go with the flow! To us our day was special because we had the opportunity to have all our friends, family and loved ones under the same roof for one whole day to celebrate along with us. It brought great pleasure to both Jamie and I seeing everyone having fun and letting their hair down which was exactly what we aimed to achieve.
Having spent a good 12 months planning the wedding and then seeing it all come to life was a great experience and something that we will never forget. The colour themes, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flowers, cake and the fantastic efforts of both mums with their outfits and input gave us a great feeling of pride on the day. I was very fortunate in having a groom whom was very interested and involved in the whole planning and organizing process. It was a fabulous feeling knowing that every step towards the wedding had been a joint decision and the day was very much about both of us and learning to cope with compromise!
Venue Orchaleigh Estate
Dress Maggie Sottero
Shoes Nine West
Hair and Make-up Big Day Beauty
Tailor Marc Wallace
Photographer Especially Amy
Entertainment Groovy Booth
Planning an event of such scale is obviously no picnic, but as Rachael describes, the feeling of accomplishment and the sense of achievemnet is something that you’ll keep forever.
And a great team effort has to be the best start in preparing you both for married life.