Lights
Lights
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
Ushers
Ushers
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
Father & Daughter
Father & Daughter
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
Tom's Gift
Tom's Gift
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
Cheese
Cheese
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
Portrait
Portrait
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
Centrepiece
Centrepiece
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
Kiss
Kiss
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
Confetti
Confetti
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
Decor Details
Decor Details
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
Married
Married
A Claire Pettibone ‘Yolanda' dress for a contemporary rustic wedding with a bright colour scheme by Richard Skins Photography.
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Candy & Tom

Candy and Tom’s contemporary rustic wedding is right up my street. For a start these two are heart-meltingly, head over heels in love with one another. You only need to look at the wonderful photos by Richard Skins to see and feel this (think lots of spontaneous swooshing embraces).

Groom Tom is a bit of a romantic too; not only did he create every single piece of stationery for the couple’s big day but he also spent a great deal of time and effort before the wedding creating something super special for his bride too. Candy reveals what it is in the text below (it made me cry!)

There are also happy tears aplenty, colourful bright florals, homemade vodka and a chocolate brownie tower for their wedding cake. Awesome!

Dress

Candy The Bride: I get very excited about pretty much everything in life so I imagined going into my first bridal shop and falling in love with all the dresses, this was not the case at all! I searched for several weeks, tried on close to 80 dresses but none of them felt like ‘me’. I didn’t want a big train or too much glitz but at the same time I wanted to look ‘bridal’. Then I found Carina Baverstock Couture and I’m so glad I did! They were fantastic and really listened to what I was looking for. After a cup of tea and a chat, one of the assistants brought out a Claire Pettibone dress ‘Yolanda’ I tried it on and that was it, I was in love! They really know their stuff there and make the whole experience so special and unique.

Venue

Tom grew up in South Wales and I’m from the New Forest so we could of chosen either for a picturesque setting, but as we now live in the West Country we decided upon Somerset. After a bit of searching, we found Quantock Lakes and as soon as we arrived we knew it was a winner! Nadine, our wedding coordinator was incredible, and worked so hard to help our dream day come true; she became more like a friend by the end of it all. 

Ceremony

WOW! I have to say standing up in front of our family and friends declaring our love for one another was the most beautiful thing and a feeling I will never forget. We decided to write our own ring vows, it made the ceremony even more special for us knowing the promises we were making to each other were personal to us. I just remember spending the whole time looking at Tom, not letting each others hands go and feeling an overwhelming amount of love and happiness. We had two readings; one from Tom’s Dad and one from my bridesmaid. They were Bob Marley’s ‘He’s not perfect’ and John Cooper Clarke’s ‘I wanna be yours’ they were both such great additions to the ceremony with just the right amount of sentimentality and humour.

The Little Big Details

Tom is an illustrator so he designed and created all the artwork for the wedding from the invites to the menus. Little did I know that he had also been on a secret mission and emailed all the guests asking for tips on a successful marriage. Then as a wedding present, put all of the tips into a book that he designed and gave me on the morning of the wedding. He’s a good egg!

We really wanted some light up letters for the dancefloor, but soon realised we couldn’t really justify the expense of hiring them. We mentioned the idea to my Dad, who is DIY genius and 9 months later, he had created a ‘Tom and Candy’ sign for the wedding made completely out of cardboard boxes that family and friends had collected.

Then there was the bunting…I decided I wanted to make this instead of buying it, so I enlisted the help of my mother-in-law. Maths is neither of our strong points (especially after a few too many proseccos) so I would often have to call Tom in to help with working out how many metres of material we would need to buy to decorate the venue.

Tom and I have been together for 10 years, so to celebrate this on the wedding day; we printed some of our favourite memories on Polaroids and pegged them on a heart garland. I decided to make this quite last minute, so roped in the whole family and had a little production line on the go; even my 3-year-old niece helped!

Flowers

With the flowers we opted for a DIY rustic look. We had the most amazing florist The Great British Florist. Our brief was lots of colourful fresh seasonal flowers; it was so exciting when the florist arrived with them the day before. They just lit up the whole room and smelt so incredible! During the planning, we put the word out to friends, families, work colleagues and even our local pub asking for jars and bottles that we could use as little flower vases and after spending many evenings scrubbing the gluey labels off jars, it’s safe to say I will never be able to look at one in the same way again!

Music

Tom loves his music so he collated all our favourite songs and sorted them into playlists for the big day. I walked down the aisle to Bon Iver ‘Holocene’ Tom chose it; it has such a beautiful and powerful tone to it. Our first dance was ‘Be My Baby’ by The Ronettes and one of our favourite memories from the wedding was when Tom and I were dancing to this and everyone crowded round us singing at the top of their voices.

For the evening reception, we found Graeme from Wedding Jam. We wanted a DJ that wasn’t too cheesy and could play a variety of music genres. He was amazing and played a perfect mix of funk, soul, disco and little bit of pop for good measure! The dance floor was always full and so many of our guests kept saying they couldn’t stop dancing. In fact nearer the end of the night my Auntie had said her goodbyes, put her coat on to leave, but then promptly took it back off and ran to the dancefloor!

Photographer

Choosing our photographer Richard Skins was one of the first and best decisions we made throughout the whole planning process. We chose Richard for his documentary/reportage style, it’s so relaxed and fun. He really captures the essence of the day without too much formality. He encompassed the whole atmosphere perfectly and captured the moments that nobody else may have even noticed.

Advice

I used to work in events and Tom is a creative so we were in our element planning the wedding. However, there were certainly times, especially in the last few weeks, when we got very overwhelmed with the shear scale of the whole thing. It’s at these points when you’ve got to let go a little bit, and ask for help from your friends and family. Even handing over the smallest tasks will help create a bit more time for you and your hubby-to-be to hang out, and enjoy the lead up. When it all finally comes together, you will feel such a sense of achievement. I remember walking around the room looking at all work we had put in and feeling so proud that we had both actually managed to do it all! 

And very importantly, take time out to reflect on what is actually happening. So before leaving for the ceremony, maybe just take a few moments on your own to look in the mirror and think to yourself ‘I’m getting married!!’ The whole day is one big sensory overload, there is so much to take in and it’s all utterly beautiful and amazing, so try and savour it as much as you can.  

Now finally! If any of you fellow brides are worrying about the weather, please don’t!! I was completely obsessed with the forecast in the lead up to the wedding and it rained most of the day BUT, I can honestly tell you I didn’t care when it came down to it, because happiness really does take over everything, so just embrace the British weather for what it is (and buy a decent umbrella!)

Photography by Richard Skins Photography
Author: Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.

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