Our gorgeous bride today wears not one, but two beautiful gowns from Phase Eight, but being a wedding dress designer for the brand I could imagine she wanted to wear them all. I know I would have! The low back & beaded bodice of her ceremony gown is exquisite and the multi straps on her evening gown is the perfect detail to get the party started.
The location for all this style is the beautiful Chateau Riguard in Bordeaux, France which has the perfect mix of elegance and rustic charm with it’s greenery and candle light decor. I love that groom Phil stays true to his origins too, opting for a tartan kilt in his clans cloth.
Bringing all this sentiment and fashion alive is Real Simple Photography, so sit back relax and enjoy all this destination wedding has to offer
How insanely gorgeous is the decor in this evening’s real wedding? Whenever we feature jam jar flowers and log slice centrepieces they always prove popular, but these ones are particularly lovely! I have a new florist crush on Wildflower, Liz’s bouquet is something special too.
Anyone thinking about purchasing their dress from the high street should observe how lovely Liz looks in her Phase Eight number. She describes it as simple and non-fussy, which makes it perfect for her and Patrick’s relaxed but oh-so pretty wedding day.
There’s also an Edison Bulb installation that will knock your socks off – you’ll want one for your own wedding day. Every detail and special moment has been captured by the lovely Sarah Jane Ethan, whose light and bright style always puts a smile on my face.
Firstly a ‘sharing basket’ starter full of crisps & dips during the speeches – er yes please – genius idea! I bet it was like watching a film at the cinema only way better!
And secondly I’m loving all high street savvy wedding attire and budget friendly, DIY decor. Everybody looks totally gorgeous and the fabulous rustic barn reception is literally an explosion of colour & creativity. The top table backdrop of bright streamers & giant initials is a great focal point and those festoon lights *sigh* so magical. I bet Ruth was a very busy lady in the run up to the wedding sourcing & creating all that fabulous decor!
Our Bride & Groom are part of a string quartet and are huge music lovers so of course the entertainment put on for guests was top notch. There was a fiddle & harpist, their own string quartet and a ceilidh band to really get the party pumping. All the antics were kindly helped along by the spectacular Gin cocktail bar!
Charlie and Tom married on a glorious day in a little Devon village called Lympstone last year. They held their ceremony in Lympstone Church and then walked to their reception which was hosted in the village hall behind the church.
How about that for keeping things simple.
Charlie officially became Charlotte Church on getting hitched which inspired the title of this wedding post…never one to miss an opportunity me.
This wedding is a real cracker; there’s reams of bunting, possibly one of my favourite bouquets that’s graced these pages and a whole heap of real, heartfelt gutsy love.
Take it away Charlie…
Channelling Elizabeth Bennett
Charlie The Bride: My dress was from Phase Eight on the high street – I saw it online, and ordered it straight away as I thought it was perfect! It was a little bit Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice and it didn’t actually fit until a month before the wedding, despite buying it a year before!
I was determined not to wear any jewellery, but my beautiful sisters gave me a Tiffany necklace on the morning of the wedding with a little blue heart on it, and it went perfectly! I also bought a vintage veil from eBay from the 1940s I think. I loved the idea that a few different women might have worn it on their wedding days, and the lovely girl that sent it to me said she had loved wearing it. I’ll probably put it back on eBay soon for some other bride to wear on her special day!
I’m in danger of starting to sound a bit bargain-basement, but I bought my blue shoes from Monsoon at 70% off, a week or so before the wedding! My engagement ring is a pale blue aquamarine stone, and they matched that a little bit, and so were perfect!
A Sixties Flick
Eve Ashby did our make-up and was just such a lovely, calming presence on the day! She made everyone look and feel amazing. We decided on a slightly 60s look for me, with flicky eyeliner, and I felt like me, just a million times better! She also did the make-up for my mum, two sisters and my sister-in-law, and they all looked absolutely beautiful, and were all thrilled with their look.
Becky Simpson did our hair on the day, and she was so bright and bubbly, making everyone smile. It was fab to have both of them with us while we were getting ready, as they were just so utterly brilliant. Becky did quite a relaxed updo for me, but it stayed in place all night – amazing! I loved it. She also did my mum and the bridesmaids, and they all looked (and felt) stunning.
Sarah at Bella and Fifi sorted out the amazing flowers at the village hall, and also the bouquets, hair flowers and buttonholes. My mother-in-law is a bit of a dab hand with flowers, and she arranged everything in the church, including a rather high archway outside! It all looked incredible.
When I was chatting to Sarah, she got straight away that we didn’t want anything too structured and fussy, and wanted a ‘just picked’, country feel to the flowers. They were beautiful, and such a treat to have on the day.
Dreamboats And Petticoats
The boys were all in navy suits (that they chose), and white shirts, and we bought them all a pale blue polka dot tie, and navy Converse to wear. I’m massively biased, but they looked so brilliant!
Tom wore the same as the rest of the boys, and wore a lovely navy suit from M&S, with navy converse. I thought he looked so lovely, and I couldn’t wipe the huge grin off my face when I saw him standing there.
My sisters wore navy polkadot 50s dresses from Vivien of Hollloway, with pale blue petticoats, and nude shoes from New Look. I have never seen them look more beautiful – I loved their dresses, and they were perfect for twirling at the end of the night! (I was a bit jealous of the limited twirling potential of mine…!)
Our lovely little flower girls wore pink and white dresses from Debenhams (and eBay!) with pale green cardigans, and they just looked like little colourful, adorable posies running around, and bouncing on the bouncy castle.
We didn’t really have a colour scheme at all – just lots of the colours we liked!
Photographers, Tea And Cake
Our photographers were the utterly lovely Pen and Cam at McKinley Rodgers. We looked at loads of photographers online, and as soon as we saw Pen and Cam’s website, we knew it had to be them. Their photos are just so dreamy and romantic, with a very special feel to them. It was actually very lucky that they are so good at their jobs, as I think we’d have wanted them as our photographers whatever they’d been like… we fell a little bit in love with them when we went to meet them, helped by the addition of tea, cake, and two rather gorgeous dogs! Their photos just captured the feel of our day so completely, and are beautiful, perfect memories of a brilliant day. I still haven’t got bored of looking at them!
Pen and Cam also organised a brilliant photo booth after the meal, which was brilliant, and we’ve got so many fantastic photos from that… a personal favourite is Tom’s 90 year old grandad rocking a Batman mask. Superb.
My oldest friend made us a tower of brownies which were (and always are) so, so delicious! Tom loves them, and was in his element at pudding time! Our sister-in-law also decorated the most beautiful cake for us, and lots of other friends and family members also made something yummy for our pudding table. It all looked and tasted amazing!
Baby I Love You
We also had a bouncy castle as there were so many children at the wedding, and made sure that it would accommodate adult bouncers too!
We walked out of the church to Morcambe and Wise singing ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, which felt so lovely, with everyone around us beaming and grinning.
Tom and I spent hours planning the iPod playlist for the wedding, which we both loved doing. We just wanted to dance at our wedding thinking “oh, my god – I LOVE this song” for nearly every track… which we did! Finding another person who knew all the words to the rap section of the 90s classic, ‘Oh What a Night’, was an added bonus. The playlist included some 60s classic, reggae, Britpop and a cheeky bit of Flight of the Conchords; we loved it!
Our first dance was to ‘Baby I Love You’ by The Ramones. It’s just been our song really since we first got together so was always going to be that one.
It’s All About The Detail
The details were quite important to us when we were planning the day, and lots of people helped to make the hall look so wonderful. Tom’s mum made metres and metres of beautiful bunting, and my Grannie spent hours making cushion covers to go outside which looked lovely.
Tom and I made photo placenames for everyone, which we strung up like bunting, so everyone could see our gorgeous guests! My brother made us a thumbprint guestbook with space for everyone to add a balloon thumbprint. It looked beautiful and is now proudly framed in our house.
We collected little vintage glass bottles, and vintage tea cups and saucers for the tables, and they looked lovely. We also had table centres in paint cans, wrapped with stripey personalised labels from Dottie Creations. Zoe at Dottie was so very lovely and clearly very talented! They also did a more traditional guestbook, and all our stripey confetti cones too.
We didn’t have any favours, but did do party bags for all the children to keep them happy during the meal and speeches! We also made little fortune teller flippers with trivia questions on them, as Tom is a bit of a quiz aficionado!
We used a marquee lining in the hall from the lovely William and Julia with little fairy lights, and it just made the hall feel really magical.
Our wedding was so special because it was such a family affair, and we just felt so honoured and lucky to have so many wonderful people making such an effort to celebrate our day with us. Our wedding just felt relaxed, fun and such a happy day…I wish we could do it every year! We knew we’d have a lovely day whatever happened, so we planned the day, trying to think about the people that were coming all the way down to Devon, and the little things that would help them to enjoy it.
The one piece of advice that a lovely friend gave me, was not to rush down the aisle to Tom, but to take it all in, stop at the bottom, and turn to give my brilliant Dad a kiss. It’s only a little thing, but was a very special moment during the day, and I liked that piece of advice! We planned lots of the wedding together, so it never really felt stressful, just really exciting! (I was training to be a teacher whilst planning the wedding, so it did feel like a treat, and a break from studying/lesson planning!)
Do you remember those fortune teller flippers that Tom and Charlie made for their tables? I saw them and was instantly transported back to my Junior School days! What a great way to keep guests entertained.
I also utterly adore those table centrepieces – a perfect example of something personal that can totally be used in the home after the big day has passed.
And lastly I absolutely agree with Charlie’s advice about not rushing down the aisle. These are literally the last few moments before you become a married woman and that’s something pretty special indeed.
Relax and take it all in, I promise it will be worth it.