I’ll confess that I always have a little bit of a happy cry whenever I’m blogging a wedding. I can’t help it; I think it’s all the beautiful pictures and the beaming smiles and reading the excited words from the bride and groom in the text that accompanies a wedding submission. Everything is just so joyful and hopeful and special. Ashley and Jack’s big day held at Tythe Barn at Priston Mill is no exception.
This autumnal infused wedding is gorgeous! I’m adoring the abundance of blooms curated by florist extraordinaire Sabine Darrall and Ashley’s oh so fluffy bespoke Suzanne Neville frock crafted by fusing together two of Suzanne’s existing designs; how wonderful is that!
It’s clear that Ashley was a big RMW fan whilst planning her wedding too (which we always love to hear!) with her calling on several of our List recommended suppliers such as Little Bear Cakery and Mister Phill who took all the fantastic photos on the day.
The Bride’s Fashion
I tried on about 15 dresses all in all across a couple of different boutiques but I knew I couldn’t make a decision until I’d been to Carina Baverstock Couture in Bradford on Avon, near Bath. My sister bought her dress (Tilly by Jenny Packham) there and had an amazing experience, plus we felt we knew the team. Fortunately they held a Suzanne Neville designer day the weekend I went down so I went along and met Suzanne, who helped me try on her gorgeous range!
I fell in love with the skirt from the Savoy dress but the top didn’t suit my figure, so Suzanne designed me a bespoke dress based on the Savoy skirt and the Kensington top. We squeezed me into both dresses at the same time to get a rough idea of what it would look like and even with the odd bulging seam I knew that I’d found my dress! It was such a cliche but I burst into tears, followed by my sister, my mum, the staff at the boutique, and Suzanne herself!
Suzanne and her team made the dress and Louise – the seamstress – made it absolutely perfect for me. She was so warm and lovely – by the end of the whole process, I was quite gutted I wouldn’t see her any more!
We found the headpiece at Carina Baverstock Couture. It was made by a local jewellery maker who creates beautiful pieces out of old antique brooches and costume jewellery. It really picked out the colours in the Suzanne Neville belt. My earrings were beautiful antique diamond and aquamarine studs – a gift on the morning of the wedding from Jack. The necklace was a gift from my parents – it’s an Emma-Kate Francis ‘eternal heart’ pendant, hand-stamped with the date of the wedding.
My hair and make-up were done by the incredible team at Victoria’s Hair Design in Somerton. They also did my sister’s wedding the year before and Victoria is my mum’s hairdresser, so having them there on the morning of the wedding was great fun. They feel like family now!
The Groom’s Fashion
The boys rented classic wedding tailcoats and trousers from Moss Bros, though the real highlight was their bespoke tartan-backed waistcoats, made by the groom’s mum. We both spent a number of years growing up in Scotland but as neither of us is Scottish, Jack wasn’t keen to wear a kilt. However, we didn’t want to have a ceilidh without any sort of Scottish element, so Jack’s mum made waistcoats with his family tartan on the back. The tartan backs were a big reveal at the start of the ceilidh – they were such a hit!
We live in London but we knew that we wanted to get married in the countryside. My side of the family is in Somerset, so we chose Bath, hoping our guests might be able to make a weekend of it. We looked at several venues but none of them were as beautiful as the Tythe Barn at Priston Mill. It had all of the gravitas and beauty of a church but without the religious element, which is exactly what we were after. The staff were absolutely brilliant – so helpful in the run up to the big day and absolute superstars during the wedding itself. We couldn’t have asked for a better team and the venue was stunning. Even the garden was still in bloom for our mid-October wedding!
We wanted the wedding to feel really autumnal so we used lots of rich, leafy colours. Everything was originally supposed to be based on marsala wine colours but we went a bit off piste with the bridesmaid dresses. We originally chose plummy, maroon coloured versions of the dress but on the day we went to buy them, we spotted the cobalt blue version and switched to that! The contrast worked beautifully and they really worked with each of the bridesmaids’ colouring, not to mention the groomsmen’s waistcoats.
We wanted the decor of the wedding to feel really ‘us’, so we decorated the venue with lots of photos of us, our friends, and families. There were golden syrup tins full of flowers – a nod to my love of baking, and wicker hearts to give it a rustic, homely feel. We also dotted board games around the parlour room, which proved to be a big hit during the drinks reception.
My mum spent several months drying flowers and rolling up pages from Pride and Prejudice to make our beautiful confetti cones – and she gave them to us in the most beautiful crate that had a sketch of our venue and our wedding date on it.
Our florist was Sabine Darrall – a true floral visionary! Sabine did the most incredible job on my sister’s wedding and I knew immediately upon meeting her that no one else could possibly do ours. Sabine, who also runs a very successful floristry school, had a really creative vision for our wedding and we had several meetings at Priston Mill in the run up to the big day to work out our plan.
We were keen to have lots of deep autumnal colours in the flowers with pops of colour to keep things bright. We wanted all the flowers to have really soft, natural shapes, so Sabine used lots of beautiful grasses and leaves in all the floral arrangements. I knew I wanted an asymmetric bouquet with pheasant feathers (thank you Pinterest!) and the bridesmaids all had smaller, more dainty versions of mine. It was important to me that we used seasonal British flowers, so we had dahlias, hydrangea, roses, cosmos, astrantia, rudbeckia, and poppy heads to give it a lovely rural, natural feel.
As well as the stunning bouquets, table decorations, and delicate jars of flowers, Sabine made the most gorgeous floral arch for the end of the aisle, which really set off my vision for our day. The arch lent a real sort of understated drama to the look and feel of the main room and it was the perfect feature for the band and DJs to play under later on!
In addition to Sabine’s flowers, my mum Hilarie and sister Jemma spent the day before the wedding making arrangements with flowers and berries from my parents’ garden. They used the golden syrup tins and enamel jugs to make it really homely and rustic. They were every bit as beautiful as Sabine’s flowers and it was so special to have flowers from home!
The Wedding Party Fashion
The bridesmaids wore cobalt blue dresses from Biba at House of Fraser. They were really comfortable and flattering – which was essential as my sister gave birth to her first baby just two weeks before our big day! Our flower girl and my very tiny baby niece wore beautiful dresses from Monsoon, to which we added cobalt sashes so they matched the adult bridemaids. The flower girl even had a flower crown though she wasn’t very keen on wearing it!
We had three readings – i carry your heart by ee cummings read by my friend Betsy, an extract from Oh, The Places You’ll Go, by Dr Seuss and read by Jack’s godfather, and a poem called Characters that was written for us by our writer friend Lauren Bravo. Characters was a particularly special reading as it was a very subtle nod to the fact that we met on Twitter!
I absolutely loved our ceremony – it was really fun and so very ‘us’, which for both of us was essential. Despite the seriousness of the words we were saying, there were several funny moments such as when Jack tried to put my wedding ring on upside down! I was worried I would cry during the ceremony (which I did all through my sister’s wedding a year before!) but all I felt was joy. I was absolutely euphoric. I arrived at the venue and all my nerves disappeared – I was just so excited to be marrying my best friend.
We knew early on in our planning that we both wanted to have a ceilidh in the evening – there’s nothing better to bring people of all ages together! And as we both lived in Scotland when we were kids, it felt like a really nice nod to our histories to have a big Scottish knees-up. We found The Jeffersons online and absolutely loved their style. The caller on the night was a real character and we had so much fun dancing – though my dress made the hardcore dances a bit impossible! We ceilidh’d for about two hours then switched to our DJs for the last couple of hours.
Our DJs were two good friends – Dan Alani and Tom Bradley – who run Popshemp club night in London. They did such a brilliant job – it was a real mix of classics and dance-y songs. A particular highlight for me was dancing to Sia’s Chandelier with my dad – not to mention dancing to Thrift Shop (a favourite of mine) with my bridesmaids!
We used Priston Mill’s own in-house catering team and the food was incredible. The tasting was one of our favourite parts of wedding planning! We went for a gorgeously light buffalo mozzarella starter with chilli jam and olive crostini. Because it was autumn, we wanted a lovely rich main, so we opted for a slow cooked beef with a redcurrent and port sauce, while the veggies had a twice-baked cheese souffle. Dessert was sticky toffee pudding!
I love baking so I knew we had to have something really special for the cake. I made my sister’s wedding cake but Jack wasn’t keen for me to make ours due to the stress involved! We designed something together with Clare from Little Bear Cakery – and the result was a true work of art. Clare is incredibly talented – no one could believe the flowers on the cake were all made of sugar! And best of all, the cake itself was absolutely delicious. We went for a layer of chocolate, a layer of carrot, a layer of lemon, and a banana chocolate chip layer on the top.
Because Jack and I met on Twitter, I commissioned a Twitter bird cake topper from Wood Metamorphosis on Etsy. It now lives on our mantelpiece as a reminder of our big day and our epic cake!
My friend Matt (of Matt and Cheryl, whose wedding was featured on RMW last year) got married a couple of years ago and I wrote down Mister Phill’s name when I saw his photos! This was a good few months before we were even engaged but I fell in love with Phill’s style so I knew I had to tuck his name away for the future! Thankfully Jack loved his work too and luckily Phill was free for our big day.
We felt so comfortable with Phill from the very beginning and we got to know him better during a brief engagement-style shoot in central London.
So many people commented on how brilliant he was – he was ninja-like in seamlessly capturing the day while blending in beautifully with our guests. Most importantly, the photos really do tell the story of our wedding beautifully. We can’t stop looking through them and seeing new things each time.
Ever keen to thwart the patriarchy, I kicked off the speeches, and I’m so glad that I did! Doing so gave me the chance to say some really important thank yous and it was lovely to be able to say a few brief words about Jack.
Planning the wedding was a real family affair – we couldn’t have done it without all the help, support, and creativity of our mums, dads, sisters, and friends. And we definitely chose very well with our suppliers – every single one of them contributed to our beautiful and incredibly memorable day.
You might plan every single detail of your wedding day, but seeing everything come together at once is something nobody can really be prepared for. You simply can’t predict just how wonderful it is to have all the people who love you there in one room! It truly was a magical day.
Photography by Mister Phill
- Bride’s Gown Bespoke by Suzanne Neville
- Bridal Boutique Carina Baverstock Couture
- Earrings Antique purchased from Andrew R Ullmann
- Hair & Makeup Victoria’s Hair Design
- Shoes Charlotte Mills
- Florist Sabine Darrall
- Venue Tythe Barn, Priston Mill, near Bath
- Cake Little Bear Cakery
- Cake Topper WoodMetamorphosisUK
- Bridesmaids Biba at House of Fraser
- Groom and Groomsmen Hired from Moss Bros
- Bespoke Tartan-Backed Waistcoats Mary Ann Chatterton
- Stationery Connie and Joan
- Entertainment The Jeffersons Ceilidh Band