It's Friday and it's the first of December, so it only feels right to kick the weekend off with a little bit of glamour. And today it comes curtesy of Eleanor and Chris, whose black tie wedding is truly sophisticated and full of gorgeous blooms, glitz and sartorial eye candy. The pair married at the striking Rockbeare Manor in Devon, which almost glows in the golden sunshine and is the most wonderful backdrop, both inside and out, to images. That ceremony room is giving me the shivers, for all the right reasons. Images come from the wonderful Kate Gray whose soft and natural style has allowed all of the warmth, joy and laughter from this wedding to be captured perfectly. Enjoy lovelies and happy December! The countdown to Christmas is officially on...

The Venue

Eleanor the Bride: Both sets of parents have retired to Devon over the last 5 years from London. Chris and I have made some wonderful memories in this time including getting engaged in the middle of Dartmoor so it felt like the perfect location to get married. It also gave us an excuse to get all our friends from London to visit this beautiful part of England. We first viewed Rockbeare Manor when it was still under renovation but as soon as we pulled up the sweeping drive and saw the Georgian style house set within the beautiful Devon landscape I knew this is where I wanted to get married. We were met by the wonderful Aimee who showed us around the house. The house has been thoughtfully restored keeping the charm of the old but adding a modern and contemporary feel - think Jayne Eyre meets Mr & Mrs Smith. The venue also fitted with our black tie theme. We opted to hold the whole day at Rockbeare Manor making use of the whole space. We had the ceremony in the dining room followed by drinks on the lawn. The newly added ballroom was used for the reception and coffee and tea was served in the atrium before we returned to the ballroom for dancing. Rockbeare Manor also offers 14 rooms which are 5 star luxury with amazing views of Devon. Our guests were definitely impressed and it made everyone staying their feel extra special. The team at Rockbeare Manor were magnificent throughout the whole process and we cannot fault their professionalism. The chef and his team are superb with the food being absolutely delicious! The homemade pizza at the end of the night was well received to hungry dancers. A shout out to Aimee and Andy who were superb in the build up and on the day always there to answer our questions with honesty and thinking of our best interests.

The Styling

We chose to have a black tie theme. This also worked amazingly in the venue and was probably the best decision we made. We chose a navy & rose gold colour palette as we felt this oozed sophistication and luxury. The space at Rockbeare Manor is vast and I wanted to add my personal touch to the venue. This included asking the florist to dress extra parts of the venue including the stair case and fireplaces (more details below). We also had a giant E&C which was originally in the entrance hall when guests arrived and then was moved to the dance floor later in the evening. On the card table we had photographs in gold frames of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day which added a personal touch and got everyone talking as soon as they walked in. In the main reception room, I wanted to add height so we had giant clear balloons filled with gold confetti. The tables had white table cloths with rose gold sequinned table runners to add impact. Each table had unique table confetti which were hand made glass squares with gold hearts – guests could take these away as a memento of the day. The centrepieces were low vases of flowers matching my bouquet with wooden table numbers sprayed in rose gold. I hand made each place name by spray painting plastic sea creatures and sticking them on navy card. Each name was written in calligraphy in rose gold. Our handmade cookie jars acted as favours and finished the table décor off.

The Dress

I had no idea what I wanted as I had never really planned my wedding in my head as I know many girls do. I went and tried lots of dresses on and it became apparent that I looked terrible in lace and anything meringue shaped swamped my petite 5ft frame. With this information along with our black tie theme I decided to keep in simple and elegant. I searched endlessly in London and decided that I liked the American Designer Enzoani. I really wanted my mum to come wedding dress shopping with me so I booked us an appointment at Sixpence Wedding Boutique in Budleigh Salterton. I tried on a simple, elegant, tight fitted silk dress with a sweet heart neck, tiny thin spaghetti straps and open back. I instantly felt amazing in the dress and knew it was the one. I choose to add a heavily embellished Maggie Sottero jacket creating a completely unique dress.

The Bridesmaids

I had four bridesmaids and wanted them to stand out from the guests and feel special throughout the whole day. I had a couple of requirements; they needed to be full length, the girls needed to be able to wear a bra and they had to have sleeves. I headed to Debenhams and sought out the Jenny Packham collection. I found the most amazing gold heavily embellished with silver and rose gold full length gowns that complimented my own dress and kept with the rose gold colour palette. The girls looked incredible and sparkled throughout the day!

The Groom

Chris always looks smart and enjoys dressing for the occasion so loved working with the London tailor Christoper Potter at Ede & Ravenscroft to create his bespoke tuxedo suit - velvet Shawl Collar Tuxedo Jacket with a Horse Shoe waist coat. This was teamed with handmade black velvet tuxedo slippers with his family crest embroidered in gold by Shipton & Heneage (he got a lot of stick for them throughout the day!)

The Photography & Videography

Kate has shot a few of our friends wedding and came highly recommended. We love her candid style and both knew we would be relaxed and conformable in both her & Jon’s company - she was the best and we are both so happy we choose her; the pictures are ace.

The Flowers

Emma was recommended to us by Rockbeare Manor and she did an amazing job of dressing the venue with the most beautiful flowers. We went for a neutral colour palette (white / pale pink) and gave Emma free reign to use flowers and textures that she thought would work best. As well as creating my bouquet, the bridesmaid’s bouquets and the button holes she also dressed the fire places with foliage and candles in the entrance and ceremony room. Plus she dressed the staircase with a flower garland as this is where we were having our photo booth and wanted to make the grand staircase stand out.

The Cake

We chose Daisy Molly & Me to create our cake. The cake was made up of three layers of heaven - Victoria sponge with Champagne jam, carrot cake and chocolate cake decorated in simple white icing with, a giant sugar rose and a gold leaf brush design.

The Stationery

I’m a brand manager and constantly work with designers and really wanted to create some special stationary for our day. This started with our invites and was carried through to all signage for the day. We chose navy blue and rose gold as it gave a luxury feel and allowed us to be creative with the design, even bringing in a slight nod to the fact we were near the sea with sailors knot symbols. Our good friend Dylan McNeilage runs Love That Project a bespoke wedding stationery company and he worked his magic to produce everything.

The Entertainment

Ollie was fantastic throughout the day. Ollie sang an acoustic set during the drinks reception and then got the party kicked off with his band in the evening. We were running slightly late so the band played one set and they had everyone up on the dance floor from the start – it was great fun and lots of shapes were thrown!
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Venue: Rockbeare Manor | Bride: Enzoani | Jacket: Maggie Sottero | Boutique: Sixpence Wedding Boutique | Bridesmaids : No.1 Jenny Packham | Groom: Ede & Ravenscroft | Flowers: Emma Hewlett | Cake: Daisy, Molly & Me | Stationery: Dylan McNeilage | Entertainment: The Devon Wedding Singer

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