This gorgeous affair makes me want to go to a Summer wedding right now!
The delicious use of blush pink and white mixed with crisp green is heavenly, especially the hanging floral installation in the marquee. And how utterly fabulous is the aisle and alter with fairy lights, giant light up letters and floral arch. Honestly folks your pinning fingers won’t know what’s hit them.
This adorable couple have made my heart swell, dressed in fierce fashion and smiling from ear to ear. The talented Dan Ward Photography made sure ALL the happiness and love poured into this rustic luxe wedding was captured to perfection, so get comfortable and enjoy.
Sarah the Bride: Josh and I wanted a modest sized wedding with a relaxed, intimate feel to it and within minutes of arriving at Ever After with our families, we knew that it was the venue for us. We felt like we were wandering through a secret garden and absolutely LOVED the river walk set-up with the gorgeous willow tree, fire-pits and seating area. As well as the outdoor space, what really sold the venue to us was the terrace area, with the fabulous indoor garden, log fire and lots of comfortable seating. Being able to hold both the ceremony and the reception on-site was also a huge positive for us – we knew that we didn’t want to get married in a church or a registry office and the barn was the perfect alternative, with its rustic, romantic feel – Ever After seemed to be the closest we would ever get to having our wedding in our own garden. In the evening, Ever After transforms as all of the fairy lights, fire pits and lanterns set a relaxed, romantic atmosphere, which we absolutely loved.
Nicola, Steve and the team were absolutely wonderful during the lead-up to, and on the Wedding Day itself. Nicola was incredibly responsive to all of our queries and offered lots of help and advice along the way. We chose a dream team of local suppliers that were recommended by Nicola – which really gave us the confidence that our day was in (many pairs of!) safe hands.
Our wonderful florist, Deborah from Dartmoor Flowers, took the time to review my ‘wedding flowers’ Pinterest board and watched it evolve (into something completely different to what I had originally shown her!) in the year leading up to the wedding. She really understood the ‘look’ that we wanted for the day and, when we mentioned that we wanted to create a ‘wow factor’ when our guests entered the marquee for the wedding breakfast, she was full of ideas and came-up with the idea of two large hanging floral arrangements – something that had never been done at Ever After before. With the help of our lovely carpenter friend, Tom, who created the wooden structures for us, Deborah managed to create two spectacular hanging floral arrangements that really wowed our guests. We really appreciated Deborah’s enthusiasm for all of our ideas, her attention to detail (having spent a lot of time reviewing various different types of flower with us, to ensure that she did not include any flowers in our arrangements that we did not like) and her patience with a bride who was prone to changing her mind!
In terms of other décor, we kept things to a minimum, mostly using all of the beautiful metallic candle holders and jars to compliment the greenery and wonderful floral arrangements by Deborah. We sourced some fabulous 4ft ‘LOVE’ letters that really complimented the Ever After style – having originally planned to use them on the dancefloor later on in the day, they actually became a key piece of our ceremony backdrop when the wet weather forecast scuppered our best laid plans to get married outside the barn (actually one of our favourite photos is of us ‘just married’ in front the letters, so it all worked out perfectly in the end!). With the help of my Grandad, we also made our own table plan using a wooden frame and twine to hang the beautiful handwritten name cards by Poppy & Pipkin with little wooden pegs. With some gorgeous floral detail added by Deborah and its perfect placing near the indoor waterfall, it really fitted in well.
Our wonderful bridesmaids hand tied twine around all of the menu cards (from Russet & Gray) which had each individual’s menu choices on them, personalising them by tying on little name cards made by LaPommeEtLaPipe. We wanted to pick-up the twine theme as we had used it on our save the dates and on our invitations (also from Russet & Gray) – whilst the invitations were already beautiful, Sarah wanted to really finish them off by adding the twine around the belly band and Josh spent many hours tying perfect knots before they were sent to guests! We also sourced a very different style of guestbook from the Little Dusty Shed – a board made from wooden pallets, personalised with our names and wedding date on, which all of guests could sign.
It was very important to us that our guests were well fed and watered throughout the day and Outside Inn did not disappoint with the food. Our guests were served four different types of canape (honey & mustard sausages, mini cottage pie fritters, chicken satay, and parmesan and red onion croutes) before sitting down to a delicious three course meal. We gave our guests a choice of three starters and three main courses, with the slow-cooked beef rib tip being by far the most popular choice. Not only did the dish look incredibly impressive being served up on the bone, but it also tasted amazing.
We couldn’t choose just one dessert and so opted for a selection of mini desserts (summer trifle with honeycomb, chocolate brownie with clotted cream, crème brulee with lavender biscuits, edible flower petal jellies and lemon tart). In addition to wine and fizz, we provided ‘His & Hers’ cocktails – an English Garden for the ladies and Dark & Stormy for the men and hired in some gorgeous vintage glassware to serve them in. We had so many compliments from our guests on how great the catering were at ensuring the canapes made it through the crowd so that everyone was able to get some and also ensuring that cocktails were free-flowing and that everyone’s glasses were always topped up. Very happy guests indeed!
Joanne, also handmade pretty pink wands for every single guest to wave us down the aisle following the ceremony. All of the guests (including all of the men!) loved them so much, they feature in almost every photo!
We knew that we wanted to incorporate fresh flowers into the design of our wedding cake and when Jenny at Edible Essence produced a sketch of the design, it was as-if she had read my mind. Using gorgeous fresh flowers provided by Deborah, Jenny created an absolute showstopper – some of our guests were shocked when we finally cut the cake, as they thought it was a fake it was so perfectly made. It did not disappoint on taste either – each tier was a different flavour (lemon, strawberry and champagne, carrot cake and fruit cake) and Jenny’s white chocolate ganache tasted amazing!
My wedding dress was by Mikaella and the lovely ladies at London Bride Couture were absolutely fantastic in helping me pick it out, with just 10 weeks to go before the day! Having originally purchased a dress 7 months earlier elsewhere, I changed my mind (bride’s prerogative!) and decided that it was not the dress for me. The lovely ladies listened to my criteria and picked out a selection of dresses for me to try – having initially said ‘no’ to anything lace, this dress fitted me like a glove and I knew it was the right one for me. Jimmy Choos were an essential bridal item, I had always wanted a pair of designer shoes and my wedding was the perfect time to pick up a pair that I know I will wear again and again.
I was really pleased with the bridesmaid dresses. Having chosen four wonderful bridesmaids, all with very different personalities and body shapes, I knew that they would not look right to me if they all wore the same dress. After many months of searching, Maids to Measure in Chelsea saved the day. We were able to choose four different dress styles which were then all made from the same batch of fabric, ensuring that they were a perfect colour match. They all looked gorgeous and the blush pink really complimented the venue.
Our photographer, Dan Ward, did such an incredible job of capturing so many special moments throughout the day and in most cases, we were not even aware that he was taking a photo. Exactly as we had wanted, Dan blended in with our guests and we felt happy and comfortable all day, without spending a long time doing ‘posed’ shots.
We have a couple of pieces of advice for other couples planning their wedding:
Don’t think you have to do everything that you see on Pinterest! Wedding venues, like Ever After, are beautiful already, but if you want to add to that, choose a couple of DIY projects that you can easily execute within the time you have – your time is precious and we found that too many DIY project can be a little stressful!
Remember to take some time out together during the day, just for a couple of minutes to take it all in because, as everyone says, it really is over in the blink of an eye!