This afternoon we're off to the beautiful Cotswolds, for an elegant black tie wedding brimming with pink and gold decor. And not only is the colour palette stunning, but it's full of lovely details to copy too ;) such as a selfie station, complete with props, a 'Pimp My Prosecco' bar and a treat bar decked out with retro pick n' mix sweeties. Caswell House looks like a dreamy location for a wedding, just look at those gardens! Jade and Matt's couple shots are even more gorgeous because of those vibrant blooms. It's lovely to see the gents looking so smart too, we do love classic black tie dress. Images come from Frankee Victoria, who you'll find in our recommended supplier directory, The List.
The VenueJade The Bride: When we got engaged, we already knew what sort of wedding venue we would want to get married in. A barn of some sort was our vision so we took to looking at venues in our local area. They were all lovely but nothing massively grabbed our attention and there was something we wanted to change about all of them. Matt had mentioned that he loved the Cotswolds Stone and showed me a venue that he liked the look of. We booked an appointment to visit the venue (and nearly cancelled! Very glad we didn’t). As soon as we walked into the Wenmans Barn, at Caswell House, I was speechless. It was beautiful and exactly the sort of room I envisioned for our ceremony. It was neutral so would look stunning with any colour scheme. When we left, I cried and knew that that is where I wanted our wedding to take place. Even though we wanted the wedding in a barn, we wanted a more glamorous décor with lots of sparkle and sequins. We used a company called Pudding Bridge for sequin table linen. We had a circular table cloth for the cake table to give it the wow factor and it really complimented the edible sequin tier of our cake.
The BrideAfter getting engaged, I went to a couple of local bridal stores with my Mum. I didn’t have an exact idea of what I wanted in a dress; I had seen so many online that were beautiful but really didn’t know what would suit my shape. I fell in love with a few of them but didn’t quite get the feeling of wanting to commit so I knew they weren’t right. We then visited Love Bridal in Crystal Palace on a showcase weekend of Stella York and Essence of Australia as I loved their dresses. I tried on a few dresses but still didn’t get the ‘feeling’. Speaking with Max there, I mentioned a few traits I liked in a dress and she mentioned that there was one exactly like what I wanted but the other lady in the store had it on. I waited my turn and tried it on and instantly knew that that was my dress. I felt beautiful. It was a stunning low back design with thin spaghetti straps and a gorgeous ivory lace and champagne underskirt which really made the lace stand out! It was a Kenneth Winston gown (I had never heard of them before), and the model code was 1567. I tried on a couple of veils with the dress and really wanted a long elegant cathedral length veil that sat on the outside of my train. I ended up getting a Joyce Jackson cathedral length veil which was plain; the dress had enough of a wow factor for me. I wasn’t too fussed on what designer shoes I had, I just wanted to find something that I thought would look lovely with my dress. I came across some Kurt Geiger heels that I really liked so ended up getting those, plus they were in the sale which was a bonus! I wanted my jewellery to be a statement but also classy. I had seen the earrings I wore in John Lewis a little while before the wedding but thought I would look elsewhere. I couldn’t find anything similar to them so I had those with a matching bracelet and necklace. On the morning of the wedding, Matt’s wedding gift to me was a beautiful Tiffany & Co. Loving Heart Pendant with a diamond. This replaced my initial necklace as it was so stunning and thoughtful of him and was a perfect finish to my look. My makeup artist was Katy Pheiffer. I heard of Katy from a family wedding I attended the year before ours. She did the makeup for Matt’s cousin and I loved it! I literally cannot explain how beautiful I felt on the day of our wedding. Katy is a very talented woman and can actually work wonders! My Bridesmaids and Mum’s also had their makeup done on the day and absolutely loved it. I couldn’t recommend Katy enough. Our hair was done by Oxfordshire Wedding Hair. Abi and her family were literally some of the loveliest people I have met in my life. I went for a trial at their home salon before the wedding to see how to have my hair. There were a few slight changes to be made and on the day Abi did it exactly as I had envisioned. Gabby, Abi’s sister, who is also part of the company came along to do the Bridesmaids and Mum’s hair. They are such lovely girls and really make you feel at ease. They welcome you with open arms and are very talented!
The Groom & GroomsmenMatt had always wanted a classic, traditional look for him and his Groomsmen. He knew from day one that he wanted a black dinner suit with bow ties so he and the boys all wore the same dinner suit with a horseshoe waistcoat, and Matt had a slightly different bow tie to the rest of the Groomsmen. They all looked very handsome and exactly how we had envisioned. Matt wore cufflinks from his Dad’s uncle who was very close to them both and sadly was not here to celebrate the day with us. This was a lovely idea and touched the hearts of a few special members of the family. Matt also wore the chain of his Great Grandfathers pocket watch, as the watch was not attached; I brought him an engraved pocket watch to be able to attach to the chain to complete the look. This was also a very special thing for him to wear and he felt honoured to have been given both of these items to wear on our special day.
The CakeOur colour scheme was actually dictated by a stunning cake we had seen by the recommended supplier from our venue. We decided on pale pink, peachy pink, ivory and gold and the cake we saw was perfect for this. The Pretty Cake Company was our supplier for the cake and Sam has an absolutely amazing talent. We had liaised before the wedding and gone over the final details and I could not wait to see how amazing it would look. When I saw the cake on the morning of the wedding, it took my breath away! Sam got everything perfectly and had managed to envision exactly what I had tried to portray to her. It was an absolute masterpiece and we really did not want to cut it but it tasted as good as it looked! We opted for 5 tiers as we liked the look of 5 tiers, 1 was a fake tier and then the flavours we had were chocolate, carrot (which is divine!!! Matt doesn’t usually like carrot cake but he loved Sam’s), lemon and then vanilla and jam. It went down an absolute treat and there was none left at the end of the night!
The FoodOur catering was by Indulgence Boutique Catering who are the caterers for all weddings at Caswell House. The food we opted for was quite simple. We didn’t want anything too fancy and wanted a meat that everyone would like so we opted for chicken. We had a classic Caesar salad to start – we chose this as we were expecting a warm summer’s day and didn’t want anything hot, luckily the weather was on our side so this was perfect! We then had roasted breast of chicken with a white wine and chardonnay sauce with new potatoes and vegetables which was followed by a strawberry cheesecake with a strawberry jelly topping and coulis with chocolate popping candy. The kids had chicken goujons and chips and ice cream with chocolate popping candy for dessert which went down very well with them! In the evening, we had bacon and sausage baps along with our cake so people could just pick and help themselves and not have to sit down again to have a meal. For our favours, we decided to do individually boxed Krispy Kremes. Our friends and family know our love for Krispy Kremes so we thought what best than to have these as our favours. They went down perfectly, especially in the evening when you needed a little pick me up after drinking and dancing all night!
The FlowersOur florist was Joanna Carter Contemporary Flowers. She was local to the venue which was ideal for us. We went to Joanna’s house to go over everything that we wanted and she really was such a lovely lady. She was very thorough and the flowers we received on the wedding day were beautiful and amazing quality. We only needed flowers for the Bride Bouquet and Bridesmaid Bouquets along with the buttonholes for the Groom and Groomsmen and corsages for Mum’s as I was doing my own centre pieces. I decided quite early on in the process that I wanted to have quite a hands on approach with the DIY for the wedding. I am a perfectionist so done pretty much everything myself rather than asking people to help. The centre pieces were done by myself; we purchased artificial flowers and vases a while before the wedding and done a few trial runs to ensure they were perfect for when preparing them for the wedding day. We then purchased mirrors and other items to ensure the centre pieces looked perfect. A lot of the items were purchased from Country Baskets (perfect for weddings, the artificial flowers are amazing quality)! The morning before the wedding, I was up bright and early arranging the flowers for the vases and getting everything ready. I also made lots of signs to go around the barn and also for the table names. We decided to do our favourite romantic films and have a quote from each film on the table name. I wanted there to be a lot of personal touches on the day so we had a table for the people who couldn’t be there with us to celebrate which had their pictures on. We also had a picture from each of our parents wedding days to show what real love comes from.
The MusicWe attended one of the open days for our venue. This is the first time we had seen the venue with people in it as oppose to a blank canvas. As soon as we walked in, I heard music playing. When we went around the stalls and saw that it was a harpist playing the music, we instantly knew that we wanted a harpist there on the day. Tori played one song to us to showcase her music and I burst into tears as it really made the whole experience real. Tori played the harp before the ceremony for a little while, the walk down the aisle, signing of the register, the recessional, and then for the drinks reception. Her music is immaculate and you can recognise the songs straight away.
The LightsWe had gorgeous fairy lights from Oakwood Events Ltd which really made a difference to the barn in both the day and night. In the daytime they created a subtle twinkle along the ceiling of the barn and down the back wall and come the evening they made for a great light for the dance floor along with the uplighters from our DJ, Live Events Group. Simon was the recommended DJ from the venue, he really did a great job and we would highly recommend him. We also wanted some LOVE lights for the venue. There was a trough area which we weren’t sure what to do with so we decided this would be a perfect place for the LOVE lights, they fitted perfectly in the trough, and it was as if they were made for it. These were from Confetti & Cocktails. Sarah was such a lovely lady to deal with when booking these, was a very straightforward process.
The BridesmaidsThe hardest part of the process was finding Bridesmaids dresses that suited all 5 of my Bridesmaids. I wanted a peachy or pale pink dress for the girls but as they are all different shapes and heights, it was very hard to find one that suited all. We finally found a dress on ASOS which came in different lengths and was perfect for the look of the day. They had delicate beading at the top of the dress which really gave them an elegant, classy feel. They were a very soft pink chiffon and looked absolutely stunning on my 5 bridesmaids.
The CeremonyMatt’s Dad did a reading in the ceremony which was lovely! It was so meaningful and special to us that he did a reading as being the Father of the Groom, they don’t get to have much input. The ceremony also didn’t go very to plan; you could tell we were nervous! I cried the whole way down the aisle and then Matt was very keen to answer the ‘I do’ question in the middle of the registrars sentence which caused a lot of laughs from our family and friends. I was so nervous that I had a giggling fit and couldn’t compose myself for what felt like forever. Many comments from the registrar and guests said that the ceremony was very ‘us’ which was nice to hear.
The PhotographyFrankee Victoria Photography was our photographer. I spent months trying to find a photographer that I truly loved as I wanted a certain look for the pictures and couldn’t find this from a lot of the photographers. I then came across Frankee’s page and instantly knew that I wanted her to be our photographer. Reading up about her, she was very much like me and her work was stunning. After having met Frankee a couple of times, she made us feel so at ease and you barely felt like she was there on the day. I couldn’t recommend Frankee enough, her talent for getting a great picture is impeccable and she truly is a lovely girl!
Something Old...For my something old and borrowed I had a ring from my Mother in Law which was my Nan in Laws eternity ring gifted to her from her Husband (would have been my Grandad in Law). This was a truly special item of jewellery to wear as Matt’s Nan could not attend on the day due to ill health so I felt that I had her with me on the day by wearing a piece of her jewellery. My something new was everything I wore on the day and my something blue was my cousin who wore a lovely navy blue suit, light blue shirt and tie and hankie to compliment. It was very special to me to include him in the day as we are very close and I thought it would be nice to have him as my something blue.
AdviceEverything was perfect and exactly how we had envisioned the day to be. I really would recommend not getting stressed in the run up to the wedding. This is the most special day of your life and you don’t want to look back and remember the stress you felt beforehand. It really doesn’t matter if something small happens on the day that you didn’t want to happen. As long as you are married to the person you love at the end of it and celebrating with your nearest and dearest, that’s the main thing! One regret I do have is not having booked a videographer. I had looked at many before the wedding but the budget had already been stretched a lot and spending that extra bit of money was not appropriate. If I had have known how much of a daze you are in on the day, then I would have a million percent booked one. It’s lovely to look back on pictures but to also hear the speeches again and see the ceremony would have been lovely. All we have now is the memories in our minds but the amazing pictures to help us relive the day again.
Bride: Kenneth Winston | Boutique: Love Bridal | Veil: Joyce Jackson | Shoes: Kurt Geiger | Jewellery: John Lewis | Suit Hire: Winsor Formal Suit | Bridesmaids: ASOS | Venue: Caswell House | Catering: Indulgence | Fairy Light Hire: Oakwood | LOVE Lights: Confetti & Cocktails | Cake: The Pretty Cake Company | Florist: Joanna Carter | Hair: Oxfordshire Wedding Hair | Make Up: Katy Pheiffer | Harpist: Tori Handsley | DJ: Live Events Group | Favours: Krispy Kreme | Sequin Table Linen: Pudding Bridge