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.
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.
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.
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.
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