Guests were then greeted with welcome drinks and the most delicious canapés – sticky pork buns included! In the background, Blue Lion Jazz band played and the garden was filled with games, including giant Jenga and a handmade UK vs US version of an American classic game called cornhole! Dinner came along quickly, and guests were ushered in to our beautifully decorated events barn. To be sure we continued the ‘family feel’– we decided to set up long banqueting tables instead of circle tables. Also, our caterers, Beautiful and the Feast
, prepared delicious sharing platters of food - so it was like one big family tucking in to dinner together! The tables were lined with tall gold candlesticks that I had collected from charity shops over the previous 6 months.
– pork buns (chosen because they are a FAVOURITE food of both the bride and groom), courgette fritters, and sundried tomato and mozzarella crostini’s
– braised short rib and shredded burnt spring onions, roasted cod with tomato confit, grilled aubergine with saffron yogurt, parsley, and pickled chillis served with sides of garden steamed veg and smashed, herbed, and buttered new potatoes. Dark chocolate mousse and roasted raspberries for pudding.
- salted caramel and jam and cream donuts
- semi-naked cake with layers of vanilla sponge with raspberry jam and buttercream and layers of lemon sponge with blueberry mascarpone and buttercream.
– of Bacon Sandwiches which came out around 11pm in a DIY bag that said ‘Midnight Snack’ on it.
Festoon and fairy lights hung from the ceiling, matched with the most luxurious and lush hanging floral designs. These were a dream come true – designed perfectly by the one and only Erica Tippett at Bleujen Florist
. They were the perfect touch of drama and romance to create the dreamy atmosphere I wanted. One of my favourite memories from the day was our grand entrance to the reception as Mr and Mrs Paget. Doors opened and for the first time we saw the beauty of the venue, looking exactly (if not better) than we had ever imagined – all of our hard work had paid off in the decorating! But even better was that the building was full, absolutely packed with our most loved friends and family who had travelled to share this day with us. There were surprise horns being played and cheers so loud all of Bude must have heard. James and I could barely make it down the aisle to the top table – and when we made it, seeing all of the faces cheer us on was an unforgettable moment!
To be sure everyone was enjoying their table – we added one special touch that all of our guests raved about. This was personalised conversation questions on the back of everyone’s place card. I have my husband to credit for this idea – unique questions that links to every single guest, the people near them could ask them this question to kick start the dinner conversations. There is nothing worse than being sat a 3-hour dinner with nothing to say! Guests loved the personalisation, and for us it was a chance to think about each person we invited to our day ahead of time. We spent four hours on a road trip to Cornwall chatting through the guest list, remembering funny stories of friends, and coming up with what we’d love to hear each of our guests talk about.
Another special moment in the night came during the speeches, of course. In typical American weddings, the Maid of Honour gives a speech as well as he Best Man. To keep both British and American traditions, we had three speeches, kicking off with my sister as the maid of honour, James the groom, and his best man as the grand finale. Every speech was special, well delivered, and brilliantly funny. Our guests were laughing and crying throughout the whole hour! One guest commented that it was ‘an emotional journey’ as both the maid of honour and best man shared such unique and meaningful comments.
Another funny element to the dinner was the unplanned addition of an American tradition, led by my family and friends from the states. In US weddings whenever a guest clinks their glass, the Bride and Groom must kiss. This happened a few times and created much confusion as the British guests all thought it was speech time already! Eventually though, everyone caught on and James and I had to stop most conversations and bites of food to kiss at the clink of a glass, followed by cheers all around! Not a bad tradition at all ☺
Finally, it was time to kick off the dancing – James and I had done an emergency dance lesson by Start The Dance Company
to learn a few choreographed moves for our 1st dance, so we felt fairly prepared and excited to show off our twirls. The best part though was a surprise ending, designed to get everyone on the dance floor with us. Executed brilliantly by the Blue Lion Band, our 1st dance song faded and immediately went in to ‘I would walk 500 miles’ by the Proclaimers. This is the song James and I belt out in the car together and knew it had to be part of our day. As the band kicked off the song, we invited all the guests to rush on the dance floor with us which is exactly what they did! It was brilliant!! And from there, the dancing didn’t stop for another two hours.
Our guests were surprised by a donut wall (a specialty of Beautiful and the Feats) and a gorgeous cake made especially for us by a friend and very talented owner of From Nicky’s Kitchen
. Both were delicious and had been finished off all too quickly. Some guests swear they never even saw a donut!
I always knew I wanted an all lace, fitted dress. This Aire Barcelona
dress was exactly what I had dreamed of and finished off perfectly with the long, simple cathedral veil and the detailed back line. James was a big fan too! My accessories were special as they were purchased by my childhood best friend and her mother as a gift to me. Neither could make it to England for the wedding, so wearing these special pieces of jewellery reminded me of them throughout the day.
My bridesmaids all travelled over from the US, and included my sister as Maid of Honour and my three college best friends. Their dresses were a beautiful wine colour with lace accents and a v-design back to compliment my dress. Our flower girls were our cousins and niece, each one so excited to be part of our day. Our niece was so excited she even fell asleep on the dance floor! They were perhaps the cutest girls there – and may or may not have stolen the show!
James’ suit was especially made for him by the talented guys at Edit Suits
. He looked so handsome and wasn’t too hot in this perfectly light and fitted suit. The navy blue and wine colour complimented all of the groomsmen and was just right with the flowers and colours of the bridesmaids dresses.
excelled at everything we asked for – Erica took my vision and made it come to life in a way that was better than I thought possible. She used mostly eucalyptus, deep red roses, and berries. The archway on the outside of the church was exquisite. This matched with the boho, flowy bouquets gave the church a perfect autumn feel. The centrepieces added just the right touch to our long tables, connected by eucalyptus. The showstoppers were definitely the hanging centrepieces and greenery around the top table. It was the perfect complement to the gold touches and lighting, mixed with the beautiful surroundings.
The Photography & Videography
and Debs (second shooter) were incredible! They captured so many special moments we would have never seen without them. Going back through our photos allowed us to relive the pure joy of our day. They also allowed us to relax and just be normal as a couple – therefore snapping some amazing and intimate shots of the two of us.
Our close friend and also the leader of the ceremony band, Quin Delport flew in from Spain to be with us! He brought a drone and got some incredible shots of the day, capturing our exchange of vows and some of the speeches in this beautiful video.