Inspiration

This afternoon's couple, Katy and Simon went to great lengths to reduce the environmental impact of their wedding whilst still ensuring that it looked and felt opulent. Katy chose to have her bridal gown made in the UK so that she could absolutely guarantee the source of the labour involved, the groom and groomsmen wore reused Harris Tweed waistcoats from one of the best men's weddings. The gorgeous flowers by JW Blooms came from a local, organic flower field and all of the food was organic and local (where possible), with vegan options too. Katy even walked to their venue, The Holburne Museum, which is fairly new to hosting weddings, but not being religious, or wanting a formal country estate wedding, the Holburne was perfect for the couple. It's a stunning building, with lots of different styles of architecture and their photographer, Michelle Wood, has captured the venue just as beautifully as she has the couple and their wedding. That image under the lanterns is just so romantic!

The Bride

Katy the Bride: I loved trying on dresses – one of my bridesmaids who lives in London took me around all the big names. They were all so beautiful, but I worried about the ethics of the dresses as they were generally made in the global south. Closer to home I had walked past Jessica’s shop in Bath many times but never thought I could afford a couture gown. However curiosity got the better of me and it turned out her dresses were of a similar price, and I could design my own! I had already seen her collections online and had fallen in love with a couple of ideas. I also knew that I couldn’t have anything strapless as it had been a pet hate of my late Mum’s. So together my sister, Jess and I came up with a design that would have pleased my Mum, and made me feel like I was in a dream wearing it. It was so comfortable and best of all it was handmade in the UK with French lace and Italian silk, so harmed no one.

The Groom

Simon walked into the first independent suit shop that he came to in Bath, wearing shoes he’d had for a while and a waistcoat he’d worn as a Groomsman at our close friend’s wedding 2 years previously and loved. He found a navy suit to match and bought it an hour later.

The Venue

When Simon proposed I panicked. I wanted to marry him but couldn’t envisage it as we are not religious and I didn’t really fancy a registry office or a country house hotel, or any of the wedding factories. He had proposed while we were on sabbatical, so from a hot spring in Rotorura NZ, we googled wedding venues and found that one of our favourite places in Bath, The Holburne Museum, was licensed and you could have the whole bash there. I stopped panicking. The museum is know for it’s outdoor light installations and we wanted to try and bring a little of that to our wedding, so used a local company, Cahoots, to decorate some of the trees in the gardens to make magical spaces. We were so lucky that on the day the weather was kind and it was a mild evening and so we hung out under the lights and Michelle, our amazing photographer, captured the moment.

The Flowers

We wanted to have an elegant, indulgent wedding, but also one that was local, personal and had a low impact on the environment. We were sure that it could be done, but we had to keep our eye on the air miles. When it came to flowers the South West is really lucky – there were loads of local firms to choose from. I settled with JW Blooms as she grows lots of roses as well as other blooms. One of my last outings with Mum before she died had been to the rose gardens in Regents Park; it was one of her favourite places and she loved to watch them grow, so I knew I wanted some English roses in my bouquet. We visited the flower field 3 months before the wedding and then once again 2 weeks before the date of the wedding. I was so chuffed: the weather had been on our side and we were able to pick out a selection in soft peach and cream tones, to match the bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen’s ties. I fancied giving some floristry a go; we put decanters on the wedding dining tables and filled them with flowers, mimicking the still life paintings on the walls of the gallery around us. My maids were really game, getting stuck in to it and, along with a dear friend of the family, made their own posies and the table decorations. I got the expert to do mine and Amanda made me an exquisite bouquet of David Austin roses, with rosemary and other blooms.

The Food

Our caterers, Dine With Style, were kind enough to source as many things as they could locally and organically; we had several vegans in the party and they did a great job of putting as much effort into the meat free dishes as they did the others. They allowed our guests to have a choice of three starters, mains and desserts, which the guests let us know on their RSVPs. In doing this we like to think we managed to avoid some waste. I was really impressed by the quality of the catering and several guests commented that it was amongst the best they had ever had at a wedding.

The Photography

It took us a couple of weeks to choose a wedding photographer. There are so many around where we live but we weren’t sure about any of them. Simon found Michelle’s website online and something in the sensitive, original, reportage style that she has caught his eye, even though she had further to come than the lamb served for dinner! We arranged to chat over Skype and the rest is what you see here. She was everywhere and nowhere, a pleasure to have a round but in no way obtrusive. Given that the day flies by in a whirl, and it’s hard for me to remember everything that happened, having a photographer that gets it all is vital. Michelle made me cry with how funny, personal and incredibly beautiful her photos were. We will treasure her efforts and talent forever.

Written by Fern Godfrey

Bride: Jessica Charleston | Earrings: Miles Mann | Headpiece: Klaire Van Elton at Liberty In Love | Florist: JW Blooms | Venue: The Holburne Musuem | Cake: Waitrose | Catering: Dine With Style | Bridesmaids: ASOS | Groom: Gabucci | Groomsmen: Austin Reed | Stationery Printing: Colour Works Bath | Entertainment: Colston String Quartet | Love Lights: The Word Is Love | Outside Lighting: Cahoots

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