The Lost Orangery is such a magical wedding venue. Every single time I see the incredible crumbling castle walls, lake complete with row boat, and beautiful reception room, it makes me swoon. Bride Ellie clearly felt the same, having fallen for the house before she even realised it was a wedding venue!
The wonderful Oli from McGivern Photography was on hand to capture all the fun, including Ellie and Danny’s turn on the water to light their fire pit (which was in the middle of the lake)! We have a lovely video too from Mills Films, who Ellie and Danny found in our recommended supplier directory, The List.
Aston Dress By Rime Arodaky
Ellie the Bride: It took me a long time to find my dress and I found it quite stressful! I had a clear idea in my head that I wanted something simple and classic but with a modern twist. I’d had my eye on Rime Arodaky, a Parisian designer, for a long time and knew I loved her designs, but I couldn’t get an evening or Saturday appointment at Mews (the only London boutique that stocks her dresses) for absolutely months, so I attended many other appointments around London, but none of them felt quite right. I had my heart set on a dress with an element of embroidery rather than classic lace, with a really low back, so when I finally got the appointment and tried the Aston dress I immediately fell in love, as it ticked all the boxes.
Groom In Reiss
Danny wore a blue checked suit from Reiss and a grey tweed waistcoat from Heart and Dagger (via ASOS). He and his Best Man Ollie wore blue textured ties from Hackett and tan brogues from ASOS.
The Lost Orangery Wedding Venue
My mum lives on the other side of the valley from The Lost Orangery in the village of Colerne, so we’d been past the venue on many family walks and we’d always said to each other, “wow, this would place be our dream home”. As luck would have it a friend’s brother got married here a few years prior and when I saw the pictures I recognised the front gate…it was our dream house! I couldn’t believe they’d started hosting weddings, and so when we got engaged I knew we had to look around and boy were we taken aback…it’s like no place I’ve ever seen before and so much more spectacular that just the property you see across the driveway. The boathouse and lake, monastery wall and sculptured garden are just breathtaking and we just knew on that site visit it was our dream venue!
The Styling & Details
I didn’t want everything to be too matchy matchy with the bridesmaids as the teal was quite a bold and dark colour, but I knew I wanted a few pieces of special crockery to lift the yellow of the dining room, so we opted for some beautiful pale grey ‘Gringo’ dinner plates and pale blush water glasses, both from Classic Crockery. They don’t deliver within the South West so we had fun collecting and returning these bits from Twickenham! All other crockery and glassware we hired via our caterer from Mines Leisure Hire. We used two mirrors from our house, and purchased calligraphy decals (transfers) from Etsy for our Table Plan and Order of the Day. My brother is a graphic designer so very kindly designed all the wedding invites and Order of Service for us and my friend Alex Chartres drew the church on the front cover. We also hired some D&E lights from Lighthaus Events fairly last minute which framed our dance floor perfectly!
The lovely Jo from Flowers by Passion in Bath brought my floral dreams to life. My bouquet was made up of silvery foliage and a variety of blush pink roses, together with eucalyptus, ornamental thistle, lambs ear, and jasmine and a touch of blue nigella. Danny and the Ushers had white spray roses with a sprig of olive for the buttonholes. We re-used all the flowers from the church back at the venue placing the large urn on the kids table in the garden and the Shepherd’s hooks around the lawn and adding some vintage lanterns.
As we knew we’d have a lot of food on the tables we kept the tables fairly simple with loose foliage down the centre and made the two chandeliers the focal point, filling them with lots of foliage, vintage blue hydrangeas and blush pink roses.
The Wedding Party
My bridesmaids wore Twobirds dresses in Bombay Teal. As I had 7 bridesmaids I really wanted them to wear the dresses their own way. They all wore simple white roses with a sprig of olive in their hand. My godsons were my pageboys and they wore teal chino shorts and teal and blue floral ties both from John Lewis.
We got married in my Mum’s village Church in Colerne, Wiltshire. I walked down the aisle to ‘Fly on’ by Coldplay. My Brothers are both super musical so they sang during the signing of the register and did a medley of ‘Make you feel my love’ by Adele (originally by Bob Dylan) and ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon, who Danny and I used to listen to all the time when we first started dating at university. Danny’s sister did or non-bible reading which was ‘Love’ by Roy Croft.
We spent ages trying to find a band that was reasonably priced with a Mumford and Sons style vibe. Danny came across a band called Riptide on the Alive Network and we loved their style. They performed an acoustic set in the garden for an hour and then did 2 x 60 minute sets later on. They had everyone on the dance floor all night and they even did a DJ set for the final hour so we were dancing non stop until 1am!
Right from the get-go we were really keen to have a big family sharing style feast, to create a really informal and fun atmosphere. I’d worked with Sam (of Sam’s Kitchen) previously on other events so knew he’d deliver super tasty food and be creative and great fun to work with too! Working in events it was hard to hand the reigns over but Sam and his team were exceptional. We had so many compliments not only about the food but the drinks and service too! We had aperol spritz together with bubbles for the reception drinks and Moscow Mules and Elderflower Gin cocktails on the bar for after dinner. The feasting menu consisted of Persian shoulder of lamb, side of salmon, burnt aubergine with sides of summer slaw, tabbouleh and butternut squash.
My very talented Bridesmaid Ellie Mackenzie made our ‘something blue’, red velvet wedding cake! She kept it a total surprise and I couldn’t believe what a professional job she did. It was also absolutely stunning and delicious!! Instead of evening food we opted for cheese and ordered a wedding cheese cake from The Bath Fine Cheese Company (Grace). Their warehouse was just down the road so it was great to source the cheese so locally and Jo dressed it beautifully with flowers.
I’ve known Oli (McGivern Photography) for years as we both grew up in Bath. However we’d only reconnected the previous year when he was the photographer at my best friend’s wedding. I not only loved the photos from that day but also at how at easy Oli had made us feel, it was like having a friend with us rather than a camera in our faces. Our wedding was no different and Oli was so fun and yet so professional – he caught so many special moments and helped us enjoy the day through other people’s eyes too. We couldn’t be happier with our pictures and I have to credit Oli for trying his best to get me to the church on time, too!
We found Tom (Mills Films) on the RMW directory, The List. We loved his cinematic shots and that he used a drone, as we really wanted to make the most of the venue and surrounding countryside in our film. Tom is a professional, and was great to work with. He merged perfectly into the whole day making a real effort to capture some special shots and we were really touched by the additional personal touches.
Danny and I had to come up with an excuse to get our guests outside after dinner so the caterers could clear some of the tables to make way for the dance floor, so the day before the wedding one of my bridesmaids was sent on a mission to purchase sparklers and we decided we’d entertain our guests by lighting the fire pit (in the middle of the lake) with everyone watching with their sparklers. So we ran down to the boathouse, I threw off my wedding shoes, climbed in the boat and rowed us both to the centre of the lake where Danny lit the fire! Luckily we didn’t fall in!
Avoid sample sales when first looking for your dress – it adds stress that makes the experience really unenjoyable!