If you were to have a wedding in the Spring and there was to be a carpet of fallen blossom on the ground you would absolutely have to make the most of it wouldn’t you? Ruth and James certainly did, the most beautiful nature-made backdrop for show-stopping portraits.
Grey and pink is one of my all time favourite colour combinations and this pair have used the hues so well, Ruth’s best girls look particularly luscious in their mis-match pale blush frockage. Did I mention the flowers? Just lovely. And Ruth’s lace gown? Equally perfect.
Ruth The Bride:We were extremely lucky with the weather (one of the only sunny days in May!) and held our drinks reception on the terrace overlooking the lake and extensive grounds. The ballroom on the first floor is a lovely setting for the wedding breakfast, with stunning views of the rolling Somerset countryside. There’s also a separate Orangery that’s used for the evening entertainment. Having all these separate spaces really added to the feel and flow of the day.
We chose to get married offsite at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Charlton Adam. This meant a lot to us as my late Aunt lived next door to the church for many years. It was lovely to have such a personal connection to the place and it made the ceremony feel even more special.
I found my dress in Teokath in Wimbledon. I’d tried on a few different styles prior to going there and decided I preferred the slim fitting dresses in lace. I went with my bridesmaid, Emily, and when we saw the Lusan Mandongus dress on the hanger, we both had a feeling that it might be ‘the one’. We both loved the low back, the lace detailing at the front and the tuile overlay which made the dress really stand out from the others I’d tried on. When I put the dress on, I absolutely loved the shape and it was really light and comfortable.
As we were having a church ceremony, I wanted to wear a veil but the traditional chapel and cathedral styles would have taken away from the back of the dress. In the end, I opted for a birdcage style in tuile which was studded with little pearls. I ordered it from Twigs and Honey, a US company that I found online. I matched this with pearl droplet earrings and a coordinating hair comb from Liberty in Love.
My main concern when it came to shoes was having something comfortable enough to wear all day and on the dance floor in the evening. I found the perfect ones in the Nine West sale- pale pink patent peep toes with a low heel. The colour tied in with the bridesmaid dresses and my bouquet, and I jazzed them up with some cute shoe clips that I found on eBay.
An army of ladies from the Luci Foreman salon in Taunton came to do our hair and make-up on the morning of the wedding. I had my hair put up in a simple ballerina bun and wanted my make-up to be as natural looking as possible. I don’t generally wear a lot of make-up so wanted to make sure I looked like me… but a really good version!
Our venue came with an in-house florist which was extremely convenient and meant one less decision to make. It was great as she knew the venue and what would work. Flowers were a really important part of the day for us and we wanted there to be lots of them everywhere.
For the tables, I really liked the idea of having lots of small arrangements in mix-matched jars and vases. The florist did a really great job of this and I was really pleased with the look on the day. The colours were pale pinks, peaches and creams and the main flowers she used were roses, peonies, lisianthus and stocks.
My bouquet was a mixture of pale pink, peach and cream roses, and my bridesmaids had cream roses which looked lovely against the pink dresses. The guys had pink buttonholes to tie in with the bridesmaid dresses.
We asked the best man and ushers to wear their own grey suits and white shirts, which meant they weren’t matching. To bring it together, they had the same tie, grey with a pale pink fleck that we found in Reiss, white pocket squares and silver tie clips.
I really liked the idea of my bridesmaids also wearing different, but coordinating, dresses. Each of them was pale pink with an element of lace. We went through quite a few trying to find four that worked together and eventually ended up with ones from Ted Baker, Monsoon and Oasis. Luckily there were tons of dresses in that style around on the high street at the time. They all wore simple pearl jewellery and patent stilettos from M&S.
As presents for the girls, I bought each of them a matching dressing gown which we wore in the morning. I found them on Etsy from a seller in India. They were really fun to wear for the ‘getting ready’ photos.
James wore a grey three piece suit that he had tailor-made at King & Allen in Surbiton. They offered a really good range of fabrics and cuts and he was really pleased with the end result, especially the horseshoe waistcoat. He wore a pair of black brogues from Russell & Bromley and Mulberry cufflinks in the shape of a box which is his, and now my, surname.
Our photographers were Jordan and Ines from Source Images. I found them on Rock My Wedding and they were the first and only people we met with. We really loved the style of their work and the books they put together are absolutely stunning. Above all though, they were amazing to be around on the day. They were really relaxed and fun, and lots of our guests commented on how great they were and how hard they worked. I’d recommend them to anyone.
Neither of us have a very sweet-tooth, and we both love cheese, so we went for a tiered cheese cake instead of something sponge-based. We got the cheese from a local supplier, Longmans, and as far as possible chose ones that were local(ish) to the venue – Somerset Cheddar, Cornish Brie etc. Having a cheese cake also turned out to be a really good way of saving money as, not only was it cheaper than having a wedding cake, we had the cheese with ham, chutneys, bread and crackers for our evening food. Lots of our guests commented on how much of it they ate and there was still absolutely loads left over that we took home.
For the evening entertainment, we wanted to have both a band and a DJ, and found Munch through Alive Network. They were really accommodating, playing 2 hour-long live sets and DJing in between and afterwards. They had a great energy and sound, and played a varied repertoire from 60’s classics right up to current indie anthems, and were happy to take requests. We specified some particular songs for the DJ set which they were more than happy to play.
In the run up, we hadn’t actually decided on whether or not we were going to do a first dance- we agreed that we’d just see how we felt on the day, but we did have a couple of songs in mind. Our band convinced us to go for it so we danced to ‘Higher and Higher’ by Jackie Wilson. It was fun and upbeat, and got the party started.
I was in two minds about favours when planning the wedding- from experience, I think people can spend ages making them just for them to get left behind. We eventually decided to do drinks favours. We got our venue to supply a local apple brandy in little bottles with cork stoppers- they look really sweet on the tables and meant everyone had an extra drink, which always goes down well!
I decided on the colour scheme of pale pink and grey quite early on in the process. I wanted the overall look of the day to be relaxed and elegant with a vintage feel, but nothing too kitsch. The styling team at the venue had loads of great props which fitted the brief- the silver candelabras, candlesticks and mercury votives, the lace doilies and table runners and place name holders- but I also made and provided quite a few of the finishing touches myself.
For the table plan, I found a vintage ladder on eBay and had the idea of using more of the baker’s twine to string across and hang the names from. I printed the names onto (more!) brown card and cut them out to look like luggage labels. I then pinned these to the twine with mini pegs that I also found on eBay. I bought mini test tube vases to hang down the sides of the ladder, these had pink roses in them to add some colour.
I really enjoyed pulling together all the DIY touches, and whilst it was really time-consuming, I think they really added to our guests’ enjoyment of the day. My tip to other brides who want to go down the DIY-route would be to be really strict with yourself, start planning and making everything really early and aim to finish most things at least a month before the wedding. I think I read this somewhere and it was invaluable advice. By that stage, you really want to enjoy the build-up, your hen do etc. and there are still hundreds of other little jobs that need doing.
The key thing on the day is just to relax and enjoy it. I am a huge worrier so I really surprised myself with how calm I felt. There’s nothing you can do by that point and it would take something massive to actually spoil your, or anyone else’s, enjoyment of the day. The amount of love you feel from your friends and family is what really makes it special. I felt it from the moment I walked into the church to a sea of beaming faces