Michelle and Charlie married at the spectacular Maunsel House. Michelle wore Claire Pettibone and looks stunning with the perfect bouquet. It was a real friends and family affair with Michelle’s hair and make-up done by a friend and Charlie’s suit made by that friends husband! Everyone looked like they had so much and wait until you see the epic cake. Also, every bride should do the ‘bride in the bath’ shot. Hot!
Michelle The Bride: Maunsel house is truly a perfect place to get married! We had the whole weekend and it felt like it was our home. The big old ivy covered house is filled with quirky antiques, suits of amour and even a stuffed bear. The owner Sir Ben Slade collects guns so the bar was racked high with machine guns and oozes. Everyone loved having their photo taken with the rocket launcher! Peacocks wonder the grounds and there are white doves everywhere. The bedrooms are all amazing, especially the King Rooms with the biggest fourposter bed I’ve ever slept in.
My dress was called Kristene by Claire Pettibone. I loved the lace, and the little tassels that swayed when I moved. The lining was a beautiful blush colour that I matched with Charlie’s tie. It was perfect for a garden wedding. The veil was borrowed from my friend Kate. This was it’s third wedding! My earrings were a gift from Charlie to me on the morning of the wedding.
My hair and makeup were done by my close friend Helen Lancaster, who also happens to be an amazing makeup artist. I felt so relaxed and in such safe hands with her. She even gave me a complete duplicate set of all the MAC make up she used so I could repeat my wedding look anytime I wanted.
Charlie’s three piece suit was designed by our friend John Lancaster (My makeup artist’s husband). It was stunning. I love the pocket detail with the inverted V. Charlie’s mum surprised him on the day with his dad’s rose gold watch chain, tie pin and cufflinks. It was really thoughtful. As a gift I bought Charlie a vintage Heuer watch.
I didn’t want a matchy matchy wedding. So I based the colours on a bunch of wildflowers – pale greens, peaches, blues, pinks etc. It could have looked messy but because we had the wedding outside in the gardens it instantly worked with all the flowers and greenery surrounding us. We held our wedding breakfast under a pergola. It was wrapped in climbing plants, so all we added were a few paper pom poms in peach, green and white and lots of tiny white fairy lights. Our bridesmaids wore dusky pink Dessy dresses, each slightly different, they looked stunning.
I had a very eclectic bouquet full of Juliette roses, thistles, wax flowers, sage, daisies…my florist nailed exactly what I wanted – not too girly and very natural. Her flowers held the whole look of the wedding together.
We decided to have our wedding outside, so the days leading up the wedding were nervous ones. It had rained continuously for weeks but the weekend of the wedding the cloud rolled back and the sky turned blue. The garden was beautiful, and out florist had created a stunning flower arch to frame the little bandstand where we signed the register. Our fiddler and guitarist played me down the aisle. It was such a relaxed ceremony. There was a rooster vying for attention and so there was a lot of laughter every time we were interrupted. Our friend Kate did a beautiful reading, rather than hiding behind a podium she stood in front of us so it felt very personal. It meant a lot.
We had a guitarist and fiddler who were fantastic and gave the event a relaxed country feel. They Irish music went down a storm in the bar!
We also had a photo booth. I really wanted one but had run out of money so I contacted a local company the day before the wedding to see if they would do us a deal. I got it half price! That was great fun for everyone. I think the best entertainment was Maunsel house itself- there was so much to explore – a library filled with books, the bar packed with guns, the ballroom filled with oil paintings, the dining room with roaring fire.
Our cake was very striking! It was from Choccywoccydoodah and had a beautiful white chocolate skull as a topper with glittering red roses cascading down. Written in a heart it said ‘Til death do us part’ we also has two smaller cakes either side. The large cake was chocolate, and the two smaller were lemon and ginger. I wrapped them in ivy and added real red roses. It looked really gothic – a nod to my goth teenage years!
Our caterers were amazing. The quality was outstanding and they bent over backwards to do what we wanted. For starters we had our favorite food – scallops! With mint and pea puree, crispy bacon and parmesan snaps. For main we had chicken with a cider jus – a nod to the Somerset location. For the dessert our caterers cut up our wedding cakes and served them up piled high on cakes stands, with bowls of berries and jugs of cream.
Our photographer was my good friend Al Veryard. He really captured the wedding, and I couldn’t be happier with the photos. He was literally the first one up in the morning and the last one to bed, and caught every moment. My mum swears she saw him at 5am climbing a wall to take a photo of a peacock. I think his background as a graphic designer means he has a very keen eye. All our guests were really impressed with him – in fact he’s already booked for our friends wedding next year! It was wonderful to have him be such an important part of our wedding.
DIY & Advice
We didn’t have budget for a videographer and fortunately we have very a talented friend who is a Director, so Tom Pra Lopez filmed the ceremony and speeches. I also bought a secondhand camcorder off ebay for £20 which got past around the guest for them to film as they like. It was so cheap to do and we have some very funny footage from it.
For place names I bought wooden hearts, painted them with chalkboard paint and wrote people’s names on with chalk pen. I also added magnets on the back so they can be put onto fridges. It really nice when I go round friends houses and see them.
For favors we carried on our ‘Tie the knot’ theme by giving the girls necklaces with a little silver bows and for the boys knotted cufflinks.
We kept the table decorations simple. The venue gave us candelabras which we wrapped in ivy. Then we had simple jam jars filled with a mix of flowers that mirrored my bouquet. I painted cardboard 3D numbers for the table numbers.
Instead of a guest book Charlie made a guest tree! we put up a sign to ask people to sign a luggage tag and tie it to the branches.
I worried about so much before the wedding, but when the weekend arrived as soon as I saw all the happy faces of friends and family and especially Charlie all my worries floated away. It was the happiest day of my life – that’s a cliché I’m proud of!
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.