I love this burgundy and green colour scheme. It's not colours you see together often, but oh my it looks SO beautiful. Especially teamed with Bride Sally's golden Mon Cheri gown, which I think I could talk about endlessly. All I will say is exquisite! Dan and Sally are childhood sweethearts so I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house as they said their “I Dos” in the old ceremony room at Brympton House. From there they emerged as husband and wife to the most beautiful sunny day with lots of smiles and hugs. They had an afternoon tea style wedding breakfast with touching speeches before moving over to The Stables Bar for their fabulous choreographed waltz, first dance. Both rooms were adorned with the sweetest decor including golden candle sticks in the window, foliage, antique books and gypsophila blooms. I don’t think I've stopped smiling whist poring over the images captured by Helen Cawte Photography and I know you will love them and this classic country wedding too. Enjoy.
The DressSally the Bride: I didn’t really have much of an idea of what I wanted for my dress…all I knew was that I didn’t want a big heavy ‘meringue’ dress, I wanted it to be classic, and I needed to be able to move and dance a waltz in it. I actually found it whilst shopping in a local wedding dress shop whilst I was with my mum and sister. My mum picked it out, and on the hanger I couldn’t quite decide what I thought of it…but I LOVED the colour (it was a light gold satin). When I tried it on I loved it, and then realised it was ‘the one’ when I compared every dress I tried on afterwards to it. I wasn’t wearing any other jewellery apart from earrings, so wanted them to be special and bigger than what I’d normally wear. I went for a lovely pair from Jenny Packham in antique gold.
The Grooms FashionDan wanted to wear a suit that wasn’t in a standard colour, and would be a little bit different. He toyed with brighter blues, but eventually decided on a maroon colour, which (unknowingly to him) went very well with my gold dress! He picked the fabric from a selection of swatches and then had a three-piece-suit tailor-made to fit.
The VenueWe knew that we wanted a venue that was traditional, classic and didn’t need a lot of decoration, and Brympton House ticked all the boxes – it really is a very special place. We hired the whole house and grounds for the day, and had different parts of the wedding day in different locations around the house and estate. We got married in the gorgeous 16th Century castle house, which is an external building for civil ceremonies, but had the feeling of a small church. We then had reception drinks on the outside terrace in the sunshine, and the afternoon tea wedding breakfast was upstairs in the huge ballroom. The evening party was then over in the Party Barn….our guests loved moving round and discovering new parts of the grounds!
Colour Scheme/DecorOne of the things we loved about the venue was that it was already a lovely place that we didn't feel needed a huge amount of styling. The styling team at Brympton House are called Tie The Knot, and as they only work at this venue they know it inside out. Ellie (who heads up the team) is wonderful and was able to talk us through each of the rooms and what would be possible to do in terms of the styling, and we were really able to visualise it. We didn't have a colour scheme at all for the day, and each decision we made was based on what would look best for that particular room. The house itself is beautiful and classic, and so that was essentially our 'theme'.
FlowersPart of the in-house ‘Tie the Knot’ team at Brympton House is Emily who runs the floristry side of things. I am not very knowledgeable on flowers, but I put together a moodboard of pictures of the sort of thing I liked for a bouquet, and for the flowers around the venue. Emily took this loose brief and got it absolutely spot-on. My bouquet was stunning, and I was so, so pleased with it. She created a beautiful mix that included dahlias, roses, astrantia, astilbe and senecio. With lovely accents of deep maroon within it, which went very well next to Dan’s suit. It really was the most beautiful bouquet I have ever seen! In the Castle house where we had our ceremony, we opted for gypsophila pew ends, and simple white flowers and greenery in the windowsills, and in one large vase on the registrars table. The tables for our wedding breakfast were decorated with mixed size vases and tea tins filled with gypsophila and mixed simple white flowers
The Wedding Party FashionFrom previously shopping for bridesmaid dresses, I realised there were a lot that I didn’t like. So before actually going to shops with my bridesmaids I had a look online and found a designer (Jim Hjelm) who’s bridesmaid dresses I liked. I found a lovely shop called Hannah Elizabeth Bridal in Botley that stocked them and took my ‘maids there. I showed them the colour I liked, which was a lovely shade of green, and said that I’d be happy for them to pick whichever style dress they wanted, as I wanted them to feel comfortable and happy in what they would be wearing. It turned out they all liked the same one best anyway, and so that is the one we got. They really did look lovely, and stylistically it was a similar dress to mine with the detail at the top and then a simple bottom of the dress. One of my bridesmaids actually fell pregnant in between getting her dress and my wedding day, and so we had to adjust hers slightly to fit the bump!…but it still looked perfect on her. The groomsmen and my dad all wore light grey suits from John Lewis, with ties in the same colour as Dan’s suit.
CeremonyI was overwhelmed from the moment I started walking down the aisle, as there just seemed to be so much love and happiness in the room. Dan and I were childhood sweethearts and had been together for 15 years before we actually got married …so everyone was just so happy for us to finally be doing it! My cousin Etta read our first reading, which was an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres. As Dan and I had been together for so long, this felt appropriate for us as it is about how love evolves through the years and “those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.” Dan’s sister Stephanie then read the lyrics to one of our favourite songs (and the song that Dan played when he proposed) – If I Should Fall Behind by Bruce Springsteen. Music-wise, I walked down the aisle to a beautiful song by Ludovico Einaudi called I Giorni. We signed the register to ‘To Build a Home’ by the Cinematic Orchestra, and ‘America’ by Simon & Garfunkel. And we exited the room to ‘At Last’ by Etta James, which seemed very appropriate!
EntertainmentWe hired an excellent band for the evening reception called ‘Freddie & The Freeloaders’. We had seen them previously at a friends wedding and knew then that we loved them. We then went to see them play a few times at Barrio East, in London, which is a regular venue they play at. They were literally the second thing we booked after the venue, as we were so determined to have them play! Our first dance was a Waltz, so they even played and sung Moon River for us so we could waltz to it.
FoodBrympton House is a very traditional English house, set in gorgeous English countryside, and so we wanted to continue with the 'English' theme for the food. So an Afternoon Tea wedding breakfast, and Fish and Chips for the evening food seemed just perfect! I also find that when I go to weddings with a formal 3 course meal, I end up getting really full up...and so thought something a bit lighter would be nice for a change. The caterers at Brympton House did a lovely job with the food, and there were refills of the sandwiches and quiches being brought round all the time, so there was definitely more than enough food for everyone to fill up. The venue has a full set of vintage china and cake stands, and so this looked really lovely all set out on the tables. I also made some little jars of jam as favours for each of the guests, and so this went very well with the scones and cream that were part of the Afternoon Tea.
PhotographerI looked at a LOT of photographers for the day, but we ended up loving the work of Helen Cawte, and managing to book her. Her work is very natural and mixes fine art and documentary style, with really lovely lighting. She is great at capturing gorgeous portrait and couple shots, but equally as good at capturing the candid shots of the guests. But I actually feel that most important thing was that she was just so lovely when we met her, and actually already felt like a friend. This made it wonderful to have her around on the day, and to be a part of it all.
VideographerI wasn’t even sure I wanted a videographer to start with, and wasn’t something we budgeted for. But then another friend of mine got married and had a videographer and I saw her video and loved it. It was also one of the only bits of advice I was getting from other married friends…that they would definitely recommend getting a videographer. I was absolutely delighted when I found Alex Haynes from Wedding Memories. He was a recommendation from a recommendation…and when I saw his previous wedding edits I just knew he was the person I wanted for ours. He is so good at capturing the emotion of the day and his editing and music choices are just amazing.
Final bit of advice…Enjoy the planning. The wedding day will be brilliant, but it is essentially just one day. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the planning and did one thing at a time, which meant we could concentrate on that one thing, tick it off, and then move onto the next. I would also recommend not allowing too many people to have opinions on what you are doing/planning. It is your day, and so should be exactly what you want it to be...not someone else's vision.
Dress Designer: Mon Cheri | Bridal Boutique: Brides Visited | Earrings: Jenny Packham - Tesoro II | Bridal Shoes : BHLDN | Venue: Brympton House | Decor/Styling: Tie the Knot | Bridesmaid Dresses: JLM Couture | Bridesmaid Boutique: Hannah Elizabeth Bridal | Grooms Suit: King and Allen | Groomsmen: Kin at John Lewis | Band: Freddie & the Freeloaders | Videographer: Wedding Memories