Sophistication in Somerset.

Goodness, the W-day of Ben and Michelle is very pretty. All chiffon and sunlight and sophistication…you know?

And although I’ll be the first to admit we seem to favour a backyard outdoorsy type affair here at RMW we actually don’t – we love a beautiful manor house just as much, especially those that are as breathtaking as St Audries Park in Somerset.

There is a delicious fishtail lace gown. There are the cutest flower girls. There is some kind of awesome animal silhouette bespoke stationery with pink bits…..

And many of the images will be Big. HUGE I tell you….. Because I like Kate and Kevin from Depict’s photography very much indeed.


My dress was bought in a small but personal wedding shop in Sherbourne Dorset, Abbey Brides. The dress was designed by Benjamin Roberts. When I first tried on my dress I instantly knew it was ‘the one’ although it shocked me as it was completely different to what I thought I would buy, it was a simple but beautiful, lace overlay fishtail with a long train that made the dress look very soft and romantic. The shape and fit was also perfect allowing me to customise it with the Jenny Packham accessories I had bought and also fallen in love with.

Custom Design

I accessorised my dress with a silk chapel veil which lay soft over the dress, this I purchased from Abbey Brides the same time as buying my dress. I also bought a Jenny Packham bracelet which I hand stitched onto the waist of my dress, this complemented my head piece which was also from the same range by Jenny Packham, both of these were bought from Harrods.

My maid of honour lent me her pearl bracelet to wear on the day which was part of my something borrowed, she also hand made a small blue pin for my hair for ‘something blue’ (taking inspiration from one of my favourite movies – Bride Wars!!) and my mum let me wear one of her rings for something old.

Shoe Love and Perfect Hair

I loved my shoes, they were from Rachel Simpson, who specialises in vintage bridal shoes. The shoes I wore were perfect design and colour for my dress as they had lace tipped toes and a lovely satin bow over the top for a little bit of character.

My hairdresser is a family friend who has been doing my hair for years, Carlene Futcher. I was really comfortable with her doing my hair as I was able to speak my mind about what I really wanted instead of feeling like I was being a bridezilla! I don’t do that much with my hair on a daily basis so I wanted it to feel naturally put up on the day, I looked through various celeb picks and showed Carlene what I would of liked, She really listened to what I wanted and did a perfect job on the day.

Dapper Design

We hired the Groomsmen suits from Austin Reed, bit of a bumpy ride with the order but we were extremely pleased with the outcome and would definitely recommend them. For the bridesmaids dresses, myself and the maid of honour designed the dresses ourselves, due to the limited choice on the high street and not finding the colour I really wanted! We picked the colour we wanted to tie in with our wedding theme and got the fabric dyed in the UK and made the dresses; it added to the stress of the wedding preparations but was worth it all in the end and our bridesmaids looked fantastic!

I love a man in a penguin suit, especially my husband to be, he certainly looked dapper on the day! He wore the same suit as the groomsmen however wore only ivory to stand out from the rest. He looked very handsome and I couldn’t wait to get down the aisle to marry him!

The Flower Factory

The Florist we chose also did my sisters wedding 5 years before ours so we were confident that they would do a fantastic job for us aswell. They are called The Flower Factory and are based in Bridgwater Somerset. They had done quite a few weddings at our venue already so they really advised us on what would be the best options. We were so impressed with them on the day, they came to the venue and arranged the flowers just as we planned. The flowers we chose were sweet avalanche roses, freesia’s, and antique pink roses.

We decided that we would like to capture the look of our flowers forever and after the wedding day took them to be frozen, a small company in Somerset called The Flower Preservation workshop put them into glass paperweights for us to admire for years to come.

Working Together

With everything we have done in prep for the wedding is cross reference all of our suppliers – we visited nearly every venue in Somerset till we found St Audries, we looked into other florists – just incase! However with our photographers, Depict Photography we didn’t look into anyone else and were thrilled that they were available to do our wedding.

I was first introduced to Kate and Kev at the NEC wedding show, their work stood out to me and my sisters above all the rest by the way they captured individuals/couples in a very natural way. I also loved the fact that they are husband and wife duo and work together on shoots – We’ve seen all the photos from the day and are extremely happy with the outcome.

Personal Paper

A very close friend of mine is a graphic designer; Hayley Dowdell, generously designed all of our wedding stationery – from our initial invites – to all the table settings and personal favours. The design was in keeping with our venue, with images of the resident deer! In addition, Hayley produced an amazing wall/guest book – with a script enlightening our guests to our personal relationship journey! We loved this idea so much that Hayley created personalised versions for our Ushers and Bridesmaids, which captured why they were so important to us; we loved giving them out at the wedding breakfast.

All That Jazz

The cake was designed and made by a friend who lives in Bridgwater, Somerset. Danielle. She did an amazing job and produced a three tier cake with fruit base and sponge top tier – it was inspired by my dress – simple with a lace overlay.

St Audries Park provided a late night disco but we also wanted to surprise our guests with a jazz band and live music so we shuttled 16 students on a 3-hour journey from Loughborough University! The band, Tuxedo Swing were brilliant, quirky and their play list appealed to all genres and was the perfect way to enter the evening.

An Added Twist

We had been to many weddings previously and ‘stole’ the favours concept from friends with a little added twist of our own! The key for us was to be personal and keep costs low. Each favour was a handwritten message which we had designed in the same theme as our stationery. We have some great photos catching the reactions of our friends when catching their first glimpse!!

It’s All About The People

Having all our friends and family in one place was just brilliant and we’ve always maintained that although it’s a cliché ‘it’s the people that make the day’. The biggest shame is that the day just goes too fast and it’s impossible to share quality time with everyone. We would highly recommend to anyone who is having a large wedding would be to take the traditional route and have a line up before the wedding breakfast, this gave us the opportunity to personally thank everyone who came and felt we at least had a chance to say hello to everyone.

It Feels Like Home

Our first dance song was called ‘It feels like home to me’ by Chantel Kreviasuk. It was from another one of my favourite films ‘How to lose a guy in 10 days’ It has a link between us both from when we first met. It was fantastic that the band we had in the evening compiled their own version of the song and played this to us on our first dance.

Venue – St Audries Park

Brides Gown – Benjamin Roberts at Abbey Brides

Brides Shoes – Rachel Simpson

Accessories – Jenny Packham at Harrods

Florist – The Flower Factory

Entertainment – Tuxedo Swing

Photography – Depict

Told you – lovely yes?

I want Michelle’s shoes. And her dress please.

Big Somerset Love

Charlotte xxx

40 thoughts on “Sophistication in Somerset.

  1. This is the ethereal dream I was hoping to see on these pages today. It has brightened up my spirits immensely.

    Can I please have those flowers all over my house?

    The last photo topped the whole lot off. Superb.

  2. Know what I ruddy well love about this…that on every single photo, Michelle is beaming! I love the very last one and the one with the water bottle poking out the ladies handbag where she has got her head tipped back, mouth open, and you just know she is laughing with total joy and excitement!

    Also, lady in the furry gilet (one of my favourite words ever) – Denise van Outen much, no?!


  3. @Naomi – I was thinking that, the pink tinged roses especially, I wonder where one purchases such a bunch?

    @Pamela – ha ha! I also love “gillet” – in fact on the shoot on Friday I was very keen to get out a very 70’s purple fur gillet and generally just walk around with it draped over one arm (I had a skateboard in the other…)

    Charlotte xxx

  4. oh my goodness! i just realised that’s my dress too! she looks so stunning in it and i now have butterflies all the way to work. im so excited that i will get to wear it too! what a lovely wedding!x

  5. @Charlotte – well jealous. I love a bit of dyed fake furage…I have this ostrich feather jacket that is pale blue…the Big C HATES it with a passion but every woman I know LOVES it. I wore it to my best friend’s wedding (it was a Scouse one so totally acceptable to wear a bright blue orville on my back) and instead of calling it a shrug, it has been nicknamed, ‘The Shrub’ because it has a life of it’s own!

    I am tres excuited about this 70s style shoot…please tell me it involves some Donna Summer-esque draping and a Studio 54 soundtrack? Please?


  6. I am dying to know what Benjamin Roberts gown this is? She looks so stunning in it! Perfect choice for her! Love the extra bling too, wish I could be brave enough to alter my dress! x

  7. everything it so beautiful I’m not sure where to start! The bride looks stunning and has a figure to actually die for….the rest of the day is like a lovely soft pink cloud (if you see what I mean!) xx

  8. Ahhhh this is totally my kind of wedding and EXACTLY what I needed this morning (the start of a very very long day at work….).

    The guest book / wall is amazing, I love it!!!! I wonder if I could make one myself…. hmmmmmmm…

    And how clever of Michelle to hand sew the Jenny Packham bracelet on to the dress?!?! Genius!

    Thank you RMW xxxx

  9. Those bridesmaid dresses are beautiful! Michelle – what pattern did you use to make them? I think my mum is going to make mine and yours looked wonderful!

  10. Beautiful wedding!! Love love love, will probably be back later for another look!!

    @Charlotte – they look to me like cezanne roses, I’m having something similar in mine but mine are called duo unique. Somtimes if you are lucky they appear in Sainsburys but otehrwise it’s off to the flower market! Chelsea anyone 🙂 x

  11. This is my dress too!! So flipping excited! for all those that want to know it is Benjamin Roberts 2228.
    I am having min altered quite a bit but the fit, material and train are amazing!! Michelle looks absolutely beautiful in it!!

    @Claire I know I have got massive butterflies now!!!! 🙂


  12. What a gorgeous day! That dress is just beautiful (Benjamin Roberts 2228 you say??? Mental note made!)

    I do love me a sparkly headpiece and that one is just ruddy beautiful!!


  13. OMG I love the wedding so much and seriously how beautiful is the bride with that smile – last photo is just wonderful…what a memory!

    Loving the head piece – any chance you could let me know where you got it from x

  14. Michelle looks incredible. Absolutely glowing in all of the photos.
    I love the guest book idea, inspired.
    Beautiful wedding to read about on my lunch break… *le sigh*

  15. She looks so slender and elegant – she definitely found the right dress! Lovely picture of the flowergirl with her posy too.

  16. @Samantha Amazing!! Its just gorgeous isn’t it… up close the lace is amazing! I’m putting capped sleeves on mine too. Have you had much luck in finding shoes? I’m so tall and have big oaf feet you see!

    @Emma This dress has a built in corset, so may not need one.. well that’s what I’m hoping as I cant find one either!

    x x

  17. @Emma & @Claire W
    I don’t know if it will be of any use but have you looked at alterback bra straps? You attach one to each side of your bra clasp and then cross them over further down your back so you can’t see your bra clasp across your back as it’s been pulled down. Sounds really weird when I describe it but they’re great – I use them all the time with a low backed dress that I’ve got. I got mine in Debenhams but I’m pretty sure you can get them on Amazon.

  18. @Celine – they do not look homemade at all – amazing! If Michelle were to share the pattern – that would be amazing!xx

  19. Ahhh thats my dress too and its from the same bridal shop! She looks lovely, I hope I look that good in the dress. Only 3 months to go! So excited to see a Somerset Bride on here!

  20. Gorgeous wedding! She looks so happy in all the pics (although why wouldn’t she in that dress?!)
    Does anyone know where I can get a wall/guest book like that one? Or even just the wording? I love it and would so love to include the wording (personal to us obviously) at my wedding somehow

  21. This all looks so beautiful. So sunny, happy and absolutely lovely. I love the headpiece, in fact, I love the whole thing 🙂

  22. Was the most beautiful wedding I have ever been too, and and bit of fake fur gilet action was particuarly good to swing around on the dancefloor!

    Michelle would look stunning in a bin bag but the minute she put that dress on it was the one.
    The accesories including the head piece were Jenny Packham. So beautiful 🙂

    Love you Michelle!! The pictures are stunning. xxxx

    p.s I deffinatly dont remeble denis van outen.

  23. How flippin’ gorgeous?!? That penultimate picture is STUNNING, and the last one… WOW!

    This wedding looks so sunny and joyous – exactly how I hope ours is 🙂

  24. Oh wow, thank you for letting me know where the headdress is from. If there is anyone that wants to sell one I am 100% interested as I love it! I have done some research and its called Acacia II x

  25. Wow! What a beautiful bride! Such a pretty wedding! Such gorgeous stationary x The dress is perfect! This too is my dress! What fab taste we all have! Anyone know whether this is in ivory or white, it looks white but I know often ivory can look really light in pics…really hope it’s in ivory as I have ordered it in that and the colour on Michelle is perfect. Fingers crossed! x

  26. Wow! What a beautiful bride! Such a pretty wedding! Such gorgeous stationary x The dress is perfect for her! This too is my dress! What fab taste we all have! Anyone know whether this is in ivory or white, it looks white but I know often ivory can look really light in pics…really hope it’s in ivory as I have ordered it in that and the colour on Michelle is perfect. Fingers crossed! x

    Denise Van Outen for sure! x

  27. Yep – this is my dress too! I love it! I will be wearing ivory with the grey belt. I love how you have accessorised it! I can’t wait! I do wonder though – was it difficult to dance in as I do love to bust some moves at the end of the night!!! x

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