Pronovias Oringo Lace Bridal Gown & Cape
Hollie the Bride:
Lots of people tell you, you don’t end up with the dress you envisage in your head – that was partially true for me.
I had a rough idea of the type of wedding dress I saw myself in, but I fully embraced bridal gown shopping and took the opportunity to try different styles. I went to some amazing dress shops, and tried on some incredible dresses and two piece sets, but I struggled to find “The One” and quickly felt as though I might never find it.
I decided to really narrow in my search. I love art deco style and pinned dresses from designers like Berta Bridal, Inbal Dror and Palas Couture. The closest designer I could find within my price range was Pronovias
. I found a bridal boutique
that carried some of their dresses and booked myself in.
On the morning of our final dress trying on experience (although we didn’t know it at the time), my mum and I both said we had a good feeling about it. We were right, although it took a few more dress fails to get there. I showed some examples of Pronovias dresses I liked the look of and from there we picked a few to try on. NONE of them were the one.
When I asked if there was anything else similar to what I was after, she mentioned the dress on the mannequin as we walked into the shop. One I’d not given a second look, but one that my mum had pointed out initially.
I thought – what harm can it do.
As soon as I stepped out and looked at myself in the mirror with it on, I knew it felt right. Which was a complete surprise as I didn’t want to wear lace, I wasn’t keen on strapless dresses and wanted art deco-esque beading.
It was lacey, but it delicate lace. And it had an almost metallic/shimmery thread throughout. It was a sweetheart neckline, if felt as though it hugged me in the right places, and fell beautifully on the floor.
As a young girl, I’d dreamt of a long veil. One that I’d walk down the aisle with in front of my face, to be lifted by the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. But I also wanted something a little different – something people wouldn’t expect. The 'Oringo' dress was unique, in that it was accompanied by a cape. Such a beautiful cape. When I put it over my head with the dress on, it was striking – something I’d never seen or even considered an option before. It was gorgeous. I walked around and felt incredible. The feeling you want when making such an important decision.
And that was it. Deposit paid. Decision made.
Goodness me, it happened so quickly, it felt like such a whirlwind.
I got my shoes from ASOS
. Peep toe, mid-high heel, with the bit of sparkle I crave.
Blue Marks & Spencer Grooms Suit
I was keen for Rich to push the boat out a bit and suggested him get a suit made to measure or even buying one a designer name to make it a bit more special for him – a bit like a dress is for us girls - but he wasn’t too fussed by all that. Instead he chose a gorgeous blue suit from Marks and Spencer
, which he paired with a crisp white shirt, matching tweed waistcoat, bow tie and pocket square, and a pair of black Dune
shoes. All worn with his incredible smile!
Buckland Tout Saints Devon Wedding Venue
When choosing the venue, Rich and I both wanted to find somewhere a bit different for our wedding day. And when we spoke about weddings we’d particularly enjoyed, we both recounted ones where we had spent a couple of days away. We got engaged in Salcombe, Devon – it’s such a beautiful part of the world – and both thought it would be the perfect place to take everyone for a weekend wedding. How often do you get to have the people you love the most in the world all in one place for more than 24 hours? We wanted to make the most of it.
Growing up, I always thought I’d get married at the same church as my mum and dad, and it was such a difficult decision deciding not to. It was the right thing to do though, and we wouldn’t change a thing. Plus, arranged a lovely blessing at the church on the day of our wedding party, for people we couldn’t have with us on the day.
Buckland Tout Saints
was the first venue we looked at. I remember having butterflies as we were driving down the winding country lanes, full of excitement. Around every corner I thought we’d see it. More winding roads ensued. But when we eventually pulled into the gates and headed towards the venue down the driveway, I was struck by how beautiful it was. The interior was just as stunning as it’s exterior and gardens. Traditional, welcoming, just perfect.
The staff were polite, attentive, helpful. The food looked fantastic and the venue had enough rooms to house our exceptionally large family.
Living over 4 hours away in Hertfordshire was no issue for them. Organisation was key and Sarah our wedding planner was always on top of every little detail.
Green, White & Gold Colour Scheme & Décor
When it came to the colour scheme, I must say it’s not something I had given much thought to prior to getting engaged. But it quickly became a frequently asked question from friends, family and even strangers.
I knew I wanted a simple, clean and elegant look and I loved the idea of lots of greenery, so we decided upon green and white. I am however, a bit of a magpie, drawn to anything remotely sparkly, sequin or metallic, and therefore had to add a touch of gold into the mix.
Rich and I came up with different ideas for the table numbers/naming – champagnes, favourite songs, locations we’d visited, etc. but saw one in particular on Pinterest
where table numbers were made from corks. We’re wine people, so thought it would be a perfect fit for our day.
A family friend owns a pub so getting hold of the corks was no issue. It was good fun making them too. And whilst we had lots of corks, we tied in the name placecard holders too. Of course, spraying them gold and covering them in glitter – which our nieces helped us do one sunny Sunday afternoon in the garden.
We made ribbon backdrops for behind the top table to cover the fire exit signs, buying extendable poles and reams of ribbon which we cut to length and attached.
Other bits and bobs were gorgeous gold and off-white MR & MRS blocks from a cute little shop in Kingsbridge town that we placed on the top table. Gold photo frames with pics of Rich and I when we were younger which hung from the fireplace in the reception area. I bought picture frames and filled them with photos of our grandparents and parents on their wedding days, all of which are still married and have been for between 180+ years between them – incredible!
It felt as though it all came together nicely and didn’t feel too much or too little.
Devonshire Fudge Wedding Favours
For favours, we wanted to use something from the local area, and what could be better than some Devonshire fudge. We ordered a bulk batch of sea salt fudge from Roly’s Fudge and picked it up the day before the wedding.
Hollyhocks Floral Design
I found Hollyhocks
on Instagram and fell in love with her work. I don’t know too much about flowers, so put the ball firmly in Holly’s court to create something she felt went with the moodboard I had created using pinterest. I LOVE eucalyptus, all varieties, but love the pale green/grey colouring.
All of the flowers were absolutely stunning – and aside from my stunning long stemmed hand tied bouquet which included Roses, Peonies, Gypsophila, Astilbe, Stocks, Eucalyptus, Olive, Ferns, Ivy and Sage. And we added in a single Blue Thistle Head as my something blue in memory of my dad’s mum – my favourite was the asymmetrical garland she created for us, from a drawing I sent her – as I could see it in my head, but not anywhere on Pinterest – that we used during the ceremony and then again for the top table. It was such a focal point.
I can't thank or recommend Holly highly enough!
I didn’t want my bridesmaids to look traditional. I wanted them to look a bit different, so skirts and tops was a great modern option.
I found a style of skirt that I loved, a material I loved and a colour I loved, but could not for love nor money find what I had in my pictured in my head anywhere online.
My mum suggested we get the skirts made by a friend of hers… All I had to do was send her a photo of the style I was after and she drew up a pattern and created a version in some remnant fabric. It was perfect.
I enlisted the help of my maids to source the top to the skirt and they found the perfect one on ASOS. Not only did it sit perfectly with the skirts, but also completed my dress flawlessly too.
For our Junior bridesmaids, we made dresses out of the same material with the same high-low hem as the older bridesmaids’ skirts.
I threw in some gold sparkly shoes and when I saw them all in their outfits at my mums house one night, I was in tears. It got very real very quickly.
The groomsmen wore 3 piece blue Next
suits with tweed bow ties and pocket squares to match Rich.
I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of “I cant help falling in love”.
My dad walking me down the aisle was extremely special. Although I think I was walking a bit too fast as a quarter of the way in he told me to slow down.
My brother Sam, who lives in the states, did a reading. I asked him to choose something, and so it was a complete surprise on the day. He read “A Soulmate Is” – it was beautiful. And Rich’s sister Karen, read my dad’s favourite poem – Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda. She read it so perfectly.
Our nephew Elliot was our ring bearer – a very shy one at that.
We walked out to “You Give Me Something” by Jamiroquai.
Rich was in charge of the entertainment as he was a DJ himself back in the day. We both LOVE the sax and looked at a lot of different bands which had a saxophonist, but decided it wasn’t quite unique enough. Rich stumbled upon a friend of a friends Facebook video that featured SisterSax
playing house music. Immediately we got in touch and luckily, she was free on our wedding date and was willing to travel the 5 hours from Essex to play for us and our family.
She played chilled out house and jazz on the lawn in the sunshine after the ceremony, during drinks and canapes, and then in the evening took things up a notch and played the sax, sang and DJ’d. We had such a great time dancing.
Rich surprised me. Blew me away.
As a little girl I always dreamt of fireworks at my wedding, but Rich said, and I quote “It’s like burning money”. He was right, so I didn’t mention it again. There were far too many other things to keep me busy that it didn’t even enter my head again.
During the evening we planned to do the sparkler thing – which went terribly haha Top tip to bride and grooms – test the sparklers before the big day!
When we got to the end of the human made aisle, there was a burst of bright red light – a heart with R + H in it, burning away! I thought it was really cute of Rich to do that and when it had gone out I turned to him and thanked him and went to get everyone back inside for more dancing and drinks.
What I didn’t realise, was that a full-on display would ensue - some of the best fireworks I’d ever seen! I cried. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. What an amazing surprise.
Our wedding cake was made by Rich’s good friend Henry
– with the help of his wife Nat. He is such a talented chef. He made us a 3-tier cake – carrot and walnut, banana and chocolate and finally pistachio – all covered in a maple cream cheese frosting with candied walnuts and a gold pistachio crumb.
The food at Buckland is fantastic. My mum and dad love good food, so getting their seal of approval on a trip down to show them around the venue and area was crucial. They couldn’t fault a thing – result.
The chef at Buckland was so accommodating of our requests; we had the best Pea and Ham soup of our lives in Devon on one of our trips down during our wedding planning, and so had to have that on the menu.
Seabass was the first meal I cooked for Rich when we were dating, so it felt special to incorporate that into our wedding menu – plus being by the coast, who wouldn’t want to eat fresh fish.
And the Mini Cinnamon Doughnuts was another special request. A dessert rich and I enjoyed for an anniversary meal and both said that one day it would be on our wedding menu.
Darina Stoda Photography
– well what can I say. The loveliest girl ever. I found her searching on Instagram for Devon Wedding Photographer. Despite her living no-where near that part of the world. Lucky us! Her style was exactly what we were looking for. Relaxed, informal, capturing the moment without it being awkward and posed.
I first met her in London on a sunny Friday afternoon and had the best time getting to know each other over a glass of wine.
We did an engagement shoot a couple of days before the wedding. She took us to a nearby private beach and we had so much fun. She sent a few pics the following morning and they were incredible. It really put both of our minds at ease about the day itself.
Darina was accompanied by her second shooter Paige Grace, who was equally lovely! Our wedding photos are completely stunning – we couldn’t have asked for anything more.
She felt more of a friend than a photographer. And I hope to have her photograph other life events for us in the future. Darina really is very special.
We chose not to have a videographer, but Darina did a gorgeous little video when we went to have our couple portraits. Like a black and white movie. I had no idea she was doing it, but an so grateful she did and that she shared it with us.
Test your sparklers ahead of the big day.
Enjoy every moment.
The most important part of the day is the words you exchange when you get married. Everything else is a nice to have – don’t stress about the small things that really don’t matter.