I am so in awe of all the love & dedication that has gone into this DIY rustic wedding at home. The fact that Vic loving grew her wedding flowers in her garden and then hand picked and arranged them the night before literally just blows my mind and they are utterly gorgeous too.
In fact all of the DIY decor is utterly gorgeous… the potted plants, the wooden crate table plan, the hay bale seating area, the pom poms, the bunting and how can I forget the creative guest book alternative. Plus I’m sure you’ll notice so much more, it’s one of those weddings I think you’ll need to view multiple of times to take it all in; and Pin!
I literally wish I had been there to marvel in all the beauty and soak up the relaxed homely atmosphere, plus their fireworks display and party into the early hours sounds epic!
Good morning lovely readers. The wedding we have for you this morning is absolutely gorgeous. Not only are the details divine, the dress to-die-for and the flowers fabulous but Lottie’s write up of her and Alex’s day really comes from the heart; as did Lottie’s efforts for the entire wedding. I read Lottie’s report before looking at the images and she describes everything in such perfect detail and with such emotion, that when I finally looked at the images I was a total mess. I’ll let Lottie and the fabulous Taylor Barnes photography do the talking…
The Perfect Setting
Lottie The Bride: We fell in love with the beautiful Coombe Lodge after visiting it as our first possible wedding venue. From the sweeping driveway up to the house, to the beautiful 1920’s interior we both knew it would be a perfect setting for our day. Charlie’s (our 2 ½ year old son) eyes literally lit up with the vast array of grounds he could explore.
The house is so beautiful and I could just imagine all the parties that must have happened there throughout the years and couldn’t wait to make our own little bit of history. From our first visit to the house the staff filled us with confidence that our special day would be perfect. Eric Floch was our events co-ordinator throughout the process and he was just amazing, he left no stone unturned and was always there to help and supply us with ideas or solutions.
A Jenny Packham Girl
Ah the dress! It only took one dress shopping day for me to find ‘the one’. After swooning over every Jenny Packham advert I saw I always had in the back of my mind that I was a Jenny Packham girl. From the moment I walked into The Mews I knew this was where I would buy my wedding dress. Gail and the girls were so lovely and made the experience every bit as special as I could have imagined. From the moment I got engaged I knew that wanted a more vintage feel to my dress and was so inspired by the glitz and glamour of the 1920s , this was definitely something I wanted to find in a dress.
Parma Opal was the most beautiful gown I had ever seen, the detail was so incredible and when I put it on it felt amazing, the shoulder detail and split bottom sections made it so different from anything else and again it reminded me of that timeless elegance of the 1920’s. The response from my Mum and Maid of Honour secured it for me. The style really suited my figure as I felt rather drowned in a fuller dress and it felt like it had been made just for me.
The rather wonderful girls too came up with the idea for the seamstress to remove the beautiful shoulder detail and pop it onto poppers so I could remove it for the evening. It made such a difference and felt like a new dress again!
Soft And Romantic
Both Kelly and Rebecca were amazing at helping me create my overall look, I wanted something quite soft and romantic but still keeping an elegant feel. I started getting ideas from red carpet looks, and looking back at the old Hollywood glamour shots. Both were such a pleasure to work with and were always there to help with any ideas I had.
Kelly used mainly Mac make up and I have to say it didn’t budge all day; I even woke up feeling like a star!
Alex found his dream suit from Hugo Boss, it was so beautifully made and was a suit that would last a lifetime. The service at Hugo Boss in Cabot Circus Bristol was impeccable and they worked so hard to help Alex find a suit that would fit in perfectly with the style of the day. He teamed this with shoes and pocket square from Reiss and a simple tie from Zara.
Elegant Vintage Accessories
I choose a simple one tier veil which was the perfect accessory for the dress; I wanted to create an elegant vintage feel and loved the way the veil almost caped my shoulders. The shoes were a little bargain find in the John Lewis sale, they were exactly what I was looking for, the T-bar style and the small diamante detail carried on the 1920’s vintage feel which I so loved.
The only jewellery I wore were a pair of vintage earrings which had belonged to my late Grandmother. There were simply beautiful and the perfect match for my outfit and held such sentimental meaning I felt privileged to be wearing them.
Surrounded By Loved Ones
I fell in love with the bridesmaid dresses and brought them on a whim hoping that they would like them (dangerous territory!!) The peachy colour was just beautiful and the gold lace layer made them really unique and unlike a typical bridesmaid dress. I teamed them with a dainty but sparkly shoe and they looked amazing, so elegant and in keeping. It felt so special having Ginny my sister, and Sharon and Becky whom I’ve been best friends with since we were 4 with me; I couldn’t have imagined doing it without my girls.
The ushers and best man, Alex’s closest friends and brother, were dressed in matching grey suits from Marks and Spencers and teamed again with accessories from Reiss and Zara to tie in with Alex. It was so important to have by his side closest friends and his best man Ben who went above and beyond his best man duties to help on our special day. Having all our closest friends and siblings really meant a lot to us and will be memories we will treasure forever.
A Warm And Homely Feel
The overall look for the wedding was really important to us, as was having things with personal meaning. My ideas started after our initial tour of Coombe Lodge, the building was so beautiful and I really wanted to create a warm almost homely feel as though this was our family home and we were just starting our life together using the era of the house.
A major part was remembering family members who were no longer with us, I lost my father two years ago and it was going to be such a hard day without him there, so I used lots of old family photos and ornaments to feel that they were among us; which I know they were. My Grandmothers tea set was used with tea lights in. Using this and my love of antiques we created a thoughtful personal feel.
The tables were very important to me as I wanted to make every guest feel special; the ladies were all given handmade favours made by my mother of sugared almonds wrapped in a vintage lace parcel with a handwritten label. The gents were all given a cigar which created great photos. And each child was given a personalised goody bag filled with games, books and yummy treats.
One of my biggest money saving ideas was to use (sadly empty) Dom Perignon champagne bottles with the table number painted on. They looked fantastic and the design of the bottle was so fitting for the art deco era we loved. I found lovely worn wooden luggage label tags and beautiful ‘to have and to hold’ ribbon for the name places and tied them around a simple white napkin for a timeless elegant look from Cox and Cox. This was also a great find for our save the date invites which were designed in a vintage ticket design.
There wasn’t a set colour scheme but everything seemed just right, the flowers complemented the accessories and to us it was perfect.
A Sweeping Staircase of Memories
Another area I was keen to create was somewhere guests could leave cards and sign our guest book. I had a vision in my head of the sweeping stair case and thought this would be a great space to create a bit of a display. On one of my rummaging expeditions at my mother’s house I found her old luggage given to her on her 21st birthday, I teamed this with an old trunk we had at home and some other accessories and a collage of loved ones wedding pictures.
It created what I thought looked like the wedding couple of the house were off on their honeymoon together taking all their most loved treasures and luggage (being the crazy fantasist I am!) When the flowers and candles were lit it created something quite special and memorable.
I found Claire at the vintage wedding fair in Bristol and didn’t look back. Her displays were just beautiful and from our first meeting we had such similar ideas I knew there was no one else for the job – I cannot thank her enough. I was keen to carry on the theme through each table setting, and create a relaxed personal display. One of my main wishes was to use a set of original vintage books which belonged to my mother on each table, which Claire then worked around adding her own beautiful props of tea cups, jugs, jam jars and tarnished silverware. We choose the most beautiful flowers in soft colours – soft pink and white ranunculus, sweet scented tuberose, white with dark centred anemones, blossom, pussy willow, pale pink and white veronica, white lilac, lime green viburnum opulus and jasmine trails.
For the top table we had two ivory birdcages overflowing with a mass of floral ingredients which then trailed and entwined in the table centre with old ‘lovebird’ bookends nesting amongst the trails. The wedding cake (from Marks and Spencers) was decorated with a mix of the same flowers as above.
We also decorated the two mantelpieces in each room with a mass of white gypsophilia wrapped around old photo frames, ‘love’ sign, tea cups and candles. The ceremony room was decorated with the above and the inside line of chairs had an old bottle tied to its side with vintage lace and filled with a mass of gypsophilia. And two stone pots full of the same flowers used on the table centres.
Lily Of The Valley
My bridal bouquet was something that was so special to me; two years ago I lost my father so I choose his favourite flower – lily of the valley. It was a simple posy of lily of the valley tied with ivory organza and old lace with my Fathers watch attached around it. It was so special to me and I knew he was there with me.
The bridesmaids carried a simple posy of gypsophilia and the ushers and page boys had a corsage of the same, the groom had lily of the valley. The flower girls looked so sweet with a circlet of gypsophilia.
A Truly Beautiful Moment
As we waited outside the string quartet was playing and I thought – this is actually happening. It was perfect, Alex and I held hands throughout and laughed and smiled as we always do. It felt so right, as though it was just me, Alex and Charlie and that was all that mattered. The registrar’s words were so beautiful and it was made extra special having our little boy Charlie stood by our side. A memory I will treasure forever is Charlie holding both our hands as we put the rings on each other’s finger. It was so special.
We completed the register and walked back while the string quartet played ‘All you need is love’ by the Beatles…a truly beautiful moment.
Get On Your Dancing Shoes
We found a fantastic band called the ZuZu men which were amazing!! They are a 4 piece band who can cover anything from Michael Jackson to Outhere bothers, in their own unique way. Everyone was up on the dance floor having a great time. I would highly recommend having a band as they created such a fun atmosphere and appealed to all age groups.
We had already chosen the Eva Cassidy version of ‘At last’ for our first dance and thought it would be great to have the band play their own version of this, they did and it was amazing. Their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody was a winner and made everybody move to the dance floor.
A Valencienne Banquet
From the start the food was something that was really important to us, we didn’t want the standard wedding breakfast as it’s so hard to choose just on dish per course that would please everyone. We discussed it with Coombe Lodge and they showed us a new menu that that had just brought in – the Valencienne banquet menu – it was perfect. Each course of the wedding breakfast was served as a banquet to the table on platters, allowing the guests to help themselves to the dishes we chose.
Starters were a choice of antipasti: Milano Salami, Mortadella, Prosciutto, Chorizo, Chew Valley smoked Chicken, Lye Cross Cheddar, Basil Pesto Bocconcini, Asparagus, Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Mixed Olives and Ciabatta.
For the main course we offered Somerset rib of beef with roasted potatoes, carrots and horseradish, whole lemon roasted chicken with sage stuffing and sautéed potatoes or artichoke and red wine risotto with balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes, basil and parmesan. For dessert we had an English afternoon tea cake stand: scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam, carrot cake, lemon drizzle cake and tiny raspberry pavlova.
We drank Prosecco and served cold Perronis at the drinks reception…and had a free bar which definitely went down well. The cake was a simple design from Marks and Spencers but was made to look so incredible with all the flowers. At only £219 it looked better that most wedding cakes I had ever seen. I decorated the cake table with a vintage crochet table mat which I picked up from a charity shop, old jam jars decorated with lace and a frame print from ‘Not on the high street’.
Timeless Elegant Details
As with everything else we wanted something a little different for our invites. After searching and searching the web I came across Andrew on Folksy. With all his fantastic designs we finally settled for the antique ticket style, it was absolutely perfect. The text was so elegant and the design was so suited to all our other ideas. We also used Andrew to create some luggage tags for our table plan which I teamed with a bargain frame I found in TK Maxx and random skelton keys.
I found lovely worn wooden luggage label tags and beautiful ‘to have and to hold’ ribbon for the name places and tied them around a simple white napkin for a timeless elegant look from Cox and Cox. For the guest book I found a lovely little book with two love birds on and made a little luggage label with a message for some lovely words from our guests.
Celebrate The Love
Stay calm and enjoy every minute because it really does fly by. Make it personal, a wedding is about celebrating the love and commitment of two people and sharing it with family and friends. We found it so special having Charlie there sharing this amazing day with his Mummy and Daddy, holding our hands while we said our vows was so amazing and something we will never forget.
We really did put blood sweat and tears into all the details, but it was so much fun, and have so many lovely memories of looking through all the old family pictures with family members and finding family ornament’s, everything had a story and hopefully ones we can pass down to Charlie. Once everything came together we had a real sense of pride and achievement, I would say try and do as much as you can. It’s your day not anyone else’s….and you will treasure it forever.
A Little Extra Thank You
We cannot go without mentioning our wonderful photographer, Ashlee of Taylor Barnes Photography. Officially now our family photographer and friend forever! Without Ashlee we would never have had all of these treasured memories to look at forever. She has been such a pleasure to work with and was so lovely to have around on our special day.
What an absolutely perfect wedding day. The flowers are gorgeous aren’t they? I love how they’ve used them on the cake too. The image of Lottie just letting her emotions go as she walks down the aisle with her Mum is so moving – and her bouquet is a beautiful way to include her Dad in the ceremony.
I think more Brides should feel a sense of achievement after planning their weddings – it is a huge undertaking – logistically, financially, emotionally and sometimes even politically (family-wise of course). But when you get a set of images like these and create memories for you and your family forever, it’s definitely all worth it! I’m sure Charlie is very proud of his Mum and Dad.
Congratulations Lottie and Alex.
Lots of love,