Get ready to swoon, because this blush pink, romantic, country wedding inspiration at Tithe Barn, Dorset has fairytale vibes written all over it.
Hugely achievable with a beautiful rustic setting, some well-chosen florals, and incredible fashion. And all brought to life by the finest Dorset wedding suppliers. Including photography by Darima Frampton Photography and flowers by The English Florist
If you’re searching for suppliers in your area, you should definitely check out our supplier directory The List, where you can pop in your postcode and see who’s closest.
Now, are you sitting comfortably? Then we shall begin…
Yes – that’s right…this wedding has horses. I can virtually hear the ooohs and awwws from here. I think Steph and Tom’s venue may be one of the most idyllic I’ve ever seen and luckily the British weather held out for their ceremony. Everything just looks so beautiful bathed in the Spring sunshine.
Steph and Tom seemed to keep the music pumping, the food coming and the drink flowing all day long – they even had a late-night campfire with marshmallow toasting. I know. AMAZING.
I’ll pass you over to Steph who makes a very stylish Bride in her fitted lace gown – which by the way she rocks in the unusual champagne tone. It works so perfectly with her skin tone. AND it was the first dress she tried on!
Winding Country Roads
Steph the Bride: The perfect venue was at Clavelshay Barn, North Petherton near Taunton. Tom and I had spotted it online and thought it was worth a visit and were definitely not disappointed. We knew on the first visit that it would be perfect. Winding country roads, humming birds, sweeping hills, cows and quaint country houses , beautiful gardens … and a chance to make something truly our own. Sue who owns the venue was also a lovely and very genuine host who went above and beyond to help us create our special day.
Hair and makeup wise I was inspired by 1950’s classic glamour as for me it’s timeless and would really compliment my dress. My makeup was very simple, just a simple black eye flick, false lashes and a touch of Bobbi Brown’s Plum Rose lipstick which is a fabulous colour that I would definitely recommend.
Mine and my bridesmaids makeup was done by the very talented Lucy Davis. I had hair extensions for the day to add thickness to my hair which were perfectly coloured matched and put in by my wonderful mother Loraine Williams put in a few weeks before, she is an absolute pro and has her own business from home doing this. To compliment my hair Louise Alway (available through Lucy) beautifully styled and curled my hair to have luscious volume and bouncy waves. I also wore Chanel Chance on the wedding day which was a classic scent.
Classic, Fitted Lace
My dress was from the Carina Baverstock Couture Boutique in Bradford-on-Avon and is named ‘Mystere’ by Claire Pettibone. I’ve always been into fashion and classic lace fitted styles and fell in love with Claire Pettibone’s original designs the moment I spotted them online. I discussed my day and theme with the boutique owner and she just knew. It was the first dress I tried on and I never looked back! My dress was champagne coloured, fitted, had capped short sleeves, features intricate beaded detailing and a stunning vintage lilac flower on the lower back which was absolutely stunning. I loved every minute wearing it and felt extremely glamorous.
Tom looked very dapper on our special day and had his bespoke air force blue three piece suit and white shirt handmade by the very-talented P J Robinson and Sons tailor in Alcester. They are a proper old-school four generation tailors and he knew immediately after meeting Lawrence that this was the place for him. His shoes and socks were from Reiss and the groomsmen’s ties were from TM Lewin.
Cute Kitten Heels
I wore a gorgeous Jenny Packham headpiece that complemented the colours and design of my dress. Otherwise I am pretty tall so couldn’t really go for a high heel but found some cute jewelled kitten heels from Nine West online on sale for a bargain of £19. I was really pleased about that, what bride doesn’t like a bargain?
I actually brought the bridesmaid dresses before I had brought my own which was risky, but we were having a Spring wedding and I thought the colour and style would suit everyone’s body shapes and skin tones perfectly. All the bridesmaids wore a nude / pink dress from Fever Designs and accessorised as they liked with beautiful headbands and netted underskirts. The flower girl Elsie’s (my niece) dress was from Monsoon whilst the pageboy’s suit was from Marks and Spencer’s.
A Country Tea Party
Once our venue was sorted everything else sort of came together. We did most of our research on Pinterest and fell in love with the idea of a country tea party style wedding. The colour scheme naturally progressed after purchasing the bridesmaid dresses and my own.
Decor-wise we knew we were having a marquee so wanted to spruce it up a bit and make it a bit country glam. We had fantastic hand-made table-clothes by Tom’s mum Barbara with lace runners hand-stitched along them; old bottles and jam jars lined the table centres, whilst shattered glass and gold tea lights set the mode. We also had beautiful splashes of colour in our flower displays and home-made jam with luggage labels as our guest’s favours.
A Perfect Splash Of Colour
My flowers were absolutely stunning and beautifully arranged by one of my best friends and very talented florist Christiane Simmons. The flowers were the perfect splash of colour for our country themed day and were vintage lilac, purple, pastel pink, cream, blue and yellow. I had English garden roses, roses, peonies, muscari and ranunculus in my bouquet.
On the day we also had beautiful bright bouquets lining the chairs down the aisle, finishing with two olive trees tied with lilac ribbon. Tripods dotted around the garden, whilst other cute arrangements filled jam jars and bottles down the centres of all the tables.
A Very Moving Ceremony
Tom and I had a humanist ceremony outside as our venue wasn’t licensed for our big day. The ceremony was conducted by Jennifer Constant at Tailor Made Ceremonies and felt really special for the both of us as we had a lot of personal input. Jennifer had asked us to fill in a questionnaire about the two of us, how we met and why we loved each other and brought it all together in a very moving ceremony. I had two of my dearest friends Bryony and Nat do a reading which they very kindly wrote for us and was touching to the point of tears. Tom’s friend Darren also read a reading about Relativity from Albert Einstein which was beautiful.
Music For Everyone
We had two bands for the day. During guests arrival, my entrance and the afternoon tea reception we had a funky three-piece gypsy jazz band called Barnone play which really set the mood for the day. During dinner we just had motown songs from our iPod playing until our first dance which was my dad’s song Wonderful Wonderful by The Tymes (He was in this famous motown band in the 60s and passed away 9 years ago). It was beautiful and extremely sentimental.
This followed by live music from our evening band Snappa and some fun DJ sets. Their live music was incredible and would definitely be recommended for any wedding! They had everyone including my granddad up on the floor dancing the night away!
Locally Sourced Food
All the food barring the cake was lovingly cooked up and created in house at Clavelshay Barn. Tom and I are big into locally sourced foods and were delighted that Clavelshay take such pride in where they source their food and the high quality they provide. Reception was a bite size take on afternoon tea, cucumber sandwiches, cheese bites, scones and jam, éclairs and smoked salmon blinis served with Pimms. This was followed by a huge hog roast buffet with served with stuffing, braised red cabbage, seasonal vegetables, dauphinoise potatoes and scrumpy sauce. After there was fresh fruit and cream, coffee, a selection of loose leaf teas and heart shaped chocolates. In the evening the yummy five tiered Victoria sponge cake was served with a selection of cheeses, bread, grapes and chutneys. The cake was made by Kate at Living Pretty a local tea shop in Somerset.
A Helping Hand
What would I do without my best friend Gem? She designed everything from the cute forget-me-not Save the Date seed envelopes, to the invites and the seating plan. We told her about our day and she created this whole tea thing which completely stuck with us for the whole day. The colours were in keeping with the day, creams, lilacs, pinks, blues and pale greens.
We also had a lot of help from Tom’s sister Al and his mum Barbara. Allison hand wrote all the name places on the favours and lined the old suitcase (for cards) in old vintage map paper which looked fabulous. She also wrote the menu for the evening meal and painted the wooden Wedding sign we had at the venue entrance.
Barbara with the help of her husband Martin made all the tablecloths as well as all the jam favours which were delicious. We’d also like to thank David and Richard for making the easel for the seating plan and the wooden sign, it looked great!
Everything Will Fall Into Place
My advice to Brides is to relax, enjoy and make the most of every second. The last days before the wedding are so stressful organising all those last minute touches but your wedding day is just about you and your husband to be and how much you love each other, everything will fall into place.
Also make sure you book time off after the wedding even if you’re not going on honeymoon straight away as you’ll be shattered and will be grateful for the time together to reflect on your special day.
We would also like to thank the fabulous and ridiculously talented Rachel Hudson our photographer. She captured our day so beautifully and was an absolute pleasure to work with. Our photos our stunning and something we know we’ll cherish forever!
I still can’t believe that Mystere was the first dress Steph tried on.
Great advice from Steph too about post-wedding time off. Even if you’re not going on honeymoon straight away, I think time together to chill out and reflect would be exactly what the doctor ordered.
You know what? I have LOVED putting this wedding together. Not only is is totally my-kind-of-wedding, but the images are just beautiful. So fresh and modern yet there is a touch of vintage timelessness in them that I can’t imagine ever dating.
Being a Picture Editor and looking at hundreds of portfolios and photographers’s websites during my career meant that photography was really important to me and something that I wanted to get completely right. Both myself and Chris knew this was an aspect of our wedding that we wouldn’t scrimp on and we both wanted to spend a good deal of time on our wedding day getting beautiful pictures.
The pictures were exactly what we hoped for and we still get so many comments about them one year on. Escaping into the woodland of Richmond Park was exactly what we had planned before the wedding and jodie captured some beautiful moments of us both…and for the record the rainbow was real not Photoshopped!
(The wedding car in some of the shots was previously owned by Abba! We didn’t pick it for this reason though, we just liked the style – honest!)
What I don’t like…
I must admit flowers did come later in our wedding planning, we were more excited about things such as photography, the food, the music…
However I had a couple of ideas of what I didn’t like in terms of flowers and styles and I liked the idea of red poppies but that was all! Although I would say knowing what you don’t like is really useful and helped our florist to present some different options to us.
The florist we used was Dawn Jennings. Dawn was great at bringing our ideas to life and everything seems so smooth and easy.
We settled for red anemones for my bouquet and cream anemones for the bridesmaids with ranunculus for button holes.
The flowers on our tables were of the same variety with some additional Spring varieties. We knew we didn’t want to go for formal displays on the tables and wanted to go for a more homemade and mis-matched feel. So prior to the wedding we started collecting glass jars – large, small, interesting shapes and bottles…plus tins…I think we went through a lot of baked beans in the last few weeks before our wedding! But the result was fantastic. I particularly liked the arrangement on the top table which was a long row of flowers in different jars and glasses that ran along the front of the table – a perfect organised mis-match!
Taking to the Stage
We decided to ask one of Chris’s oldest friends if he would play at our wedding as a gift, Chris Macaree.
After he performed a couple of songs we took to the stage to sing our own song! A rendition of the Moldy Peaches ‘Anyone Else But You’ which we had written our own lyrics to.
Also as entertainment we continued the toy theme (from Chris’s job) and had retro games for everyone to play after we had finished dinner…Pop up Pirate, Buckaroo, Screwball Scramble – they were a big hit! : )
There is something particularly heart-warming about receiving a wedding submission from a couple who were childhood sweethearts, I’m not sure whether it’s the old romantic in me or just the fact that nothing makes me believe in fate or indeed ever lasting love more.
Rock My Wedding reader Sarah and her husband Ben were just sixteen when they met and some thirteen years later married in a small church in Heron’s Gyhll followed by a reception at Buxted Park Hotel on a sunny spring day this year.
I am completely in awe of their beautiful DIY stationery, the unique rusty gold and bright orange colour palette and Sarah’s fishtail frock…..
I do so love a fishtail 😉
I wanted my accessories to have a slightly vintage glam feel so trawled many a website looking for the perfect earrings and hair piece. I opted for a stunning vintage pair of earrings from Etsy which worked perfectly. I also had a small birdcage veil, also from Etsy, to fit in with the theme.
I had a beautiful orange feather fascinator custom made by Nancy Figuero at Etsy to give my outfit a touch of orange – I loved it and felt it finished off the look well. Nancy was really great and sent me photos of the piece at each stage so I could comment and tweak it to fit in with what I had envisaged.
Tie The Knot
I wanted to make my own stationery and found a great lace stamp on Ebay which fit well with the vintage feel. I used gold ink to stamp the lace pattern and then scanned it to the computer. With the help of my friend Sian I used Photoshop to cut round part of the lace to make an edging to use on all the stationery. I then choose an old typewriter font to continue with the vintage feel.
I liked the phrase ‘tie the knot’ and so incorporated this into the invite design too. I had the invites professionally printed to achieve a letterpress effect and used www.letterpress.co.uk as they were happy to print my own design and we then tied on orange ribbons. To create some continuity I then used the lace design, old type writer font and tie the knot phrase to make the table plan, order of service, place names, menus and table names and printed these at home. I was pretty pleased with the end result and it saved us a bit of money!
I Always Knew
I have always wanted a fishtail style wedding dress, so I was determined to find the perfect one. I envisaged something quite plain without lots of sparkle or lace as I didn’t want it to detract from the shape. As soon as I tried on the Caroline Castigliano Bardo dress I knew it was the one and whilst it was more expensive than I had planned, all other dresses afterwards paled in comparison.
I bought the bridesmaids dresses from Monsoon and thought the folds in the fabric worked well with the folds at the top of my dress. I wanted to customised the dresses and thought that a different strap on each dress would look great. I cut layers off the bottoms of the dresses to make the straps and my sister-in-law Jane, who is a fantastic fabric designer, sewed them for me. I then bought some fabric that matched the dresses to make flowers to attach to the straps.
After a few failed attempts at making the flowers myself (I’m not very good at sewing!) I actually found Hannah Preece on Etsy who made them for me and I loved them. I managed to get the perfect peeptoe shoes with folded fabric fronts in the exact same colour as the dresses from none other than New Look, so they were a real bargain to boot. To continue with the vintage glam theme I bought matching mini black chandelier style earrings from Accessorize for the bridesmaids.
I love flowers so wanted lots of flowers in the church and the reception venue. I decided on masses of in season orange ranunculus for the bridesmaids and a bridal bouquet of white orchids. For the tables I wanted something quite striking to complementing the grandeur of the room and opted for a mix of tiger lilies, calla lilies, ranunculus and shamrock blooms.
My florist Lisa Hepburn did an amazing job of interpreting my vision and creating fantastic arrangements. I also had masses of orange tulips on the fireplaces and as pew ends in the church as well as orange calla lilies as chair backs at the toptable and buttonholes.
Suited And Booted
I’m a big fan of a well cut suit and so decided to go for grey suits rather than traditional tails. My husband Ben wore a three piece suit, while the Bestmen wore matching grey two piece suits. We had silk orange Next ties for the Bestmen and a patterned orange tie from Pink for Ben. They all wore orange socks as well for an extra bit of colour. Ben my husband is a plumber so he normally wears dirty overalls, seeing him look so smart and gorgeous was extra special.
The Importance Of Music
I love music and was keen to have a variety of music throughout the day. We had a choir during the ceremony and a soloist sang Ave Maria during the signing of the register which was stunning. We then had a string quartet for the reception drinks, who were great.
After the meal we had a DJ Neil from Odyssey. Our friends and family are all keen dancers so I knew the dance floor would be packed all night, and I wasn’t wrong! Neil did a great job of mixing up the tunes to suit all the different generations and taste.
I really enjoy art and was excited about personalising the wedding. I spent many an evening before the wedding stamping and spraying things gold – and enjoyed it all!
I made little menus for each guest and put them inside the napkins, tied with an orange ribbon and a buff coloured luggage tag. I hand stamped each luggage tag with Ben & Sarah tie the knot. I also hand stamped each tag with a lace pattern stamps using a gold ink.
I had large letters ‘Mr & Mrs Rasmussen’ made (from Ebay) to fit the fireplace in time new roman font and spray painted them gold. I then put candles and flowers in between them to finish off the effect.
For the table plan I bought an old frame from a charity shop, spray painted it gold, filled it with fabric and used it to hold the table plan. We are big 80’s film fans so this was reflected in our table names.
Our photographer was Helen England, she did a great job of capturing the day, lots of beautiful natural shots.
Our very good friend Darius, spent the day before the wedding making 175 cupcakes in 5 amazing flavours (carrot and walnut, lemon, chocolate, red velvet and vanilla). He is a Management Consultant who just happens to be a dab hand in the kitchen and this was the first time he had baked on such a large scale, he did a fantastic job!
Stand By Me
Ben and I met when we were 16 and one of the first films we watched together on a date was Stand by Me, ever since then our song has been Stand by Me by Ben King. I’m not much of a dancer while Ben can cut some shapes on the dancefloor so he did most of the moves!
Soft And Natural
As I usually wear my hair down I didn’t want anything too severe and decided on a soft side bun as I felt that worked well with the dress. My hairdresser Christina Jessel did an amazing job and it stayed in place all night while looking soft and natural.