Oh hello gorgeous Autumn wedding at Elmore Court…
Kate and Will’s big day is filled to the brim with flowers, delicious decor details and lovely dresses. Kate looks amazing in Pronovias and her best girls look beautfiul in sequinned gowns from ASOS. A self confessed RMW addict, Kate found her photographer Maryanne Weddings right here on these very pages, and fell in love with her dreamy style. We’re big fans too – everything she shoots seems to turn into gold and the results are simply stunning.
Enjoy this sumptuous wedding, it’s a beautiful one to pour over this Saturday morning.
Kate the Bride: We decided early on that we wanted to free ourselves of traditional wedding etiquette and expectation and focus purely on a day that was ‘us’. As the wedding was in November, we hoped for a crisp autumnal weather and were not disappointed! We wanted the wedding to feel like a sumptuous and cosy dinner party, flooded with candlelight, rich autumnal hues with gilded fruit and bronze animals, full tablescapes that brought the outdoors in without being rustic and lots of personal touches to (hopefully) make guests feel at home. The wedding style of ‘luxe, bohemian, glamour’ evolved over a period of time with the help of Rock My Wedding and Pinterest!
Going wedding dress shopping was exciting initially but this wore off! I knew I wanted something elegant and classic but with a unique edge. I was running out of time and booked three appointments in a week as a last ditch attempt to find the dress. I found two dresses that I loved and in the end made the choice by thinking ‘how would I feel if that dress was out of stock’. It was a no brainer. I went back to Allison Jayne Bridal in Bristol and bought the Orsola dress by Pronovias. It was just me and most importantly, I felt like me wearing it. The girls in Allison Jayne recommended that I get my dress altered by Abigail Westrup of Abigail Westrup Bridal as I wanted some customisation. Abigail was so calm and my dress was perfect.
My Mum gifted me with a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choo Romy 100’s and I added a silver sixpence (a gift from my aunt) with a glue gun (blasphemy!).
I wear a lot of faux fur and got a bespoke piece from Blanche in the Brambles. Elizabeth is awesome and in the end she lent me two pieces as I couldn’t decide. I chose the snuggly ivory fur waistcoat with tulle capped teardrop sleeves on the day.
As my dress was so simple I decided that I must wear the biggest crown I could find! I ended up with the Valkyrie from Ivory & Co, it was bold and a big statement piece but I just adored it and felt it brought the whole look together. Because the crown was so big I decided to keep the rest of my jewellery simple and opted for just a pair of pendant studs, also from Ivory & Co.
The Wedding Party
I had seven adult bridesmaids and wanted to make sure that the girls were comfortable and felt confident in what they were wearing. I bought a bunch of dresses, they tried them on in my living room and we opted for rose gold sequin dresses from ASOS. I didn’t want the girls to match so they styled themselves with their own jewellery, shoes and picked their own hair do’s; they looked to die for!
I had two flower girls, aged 6. I love the style of Nicki McFarlane dresses but the price was unrealistic. I ended up buying dresses from Monsoon and altering them by adding large organza bow. Their shoes were from Zara. Alterations in both cases were expertly done by my Mum and my equally as awesome Auntie Lin.
Will wears a bespoke suit for work every day and was keen to wear something a bit different. We decided early on that the wedding would be black tie so he got a bespoke tux with a black velvet jacket from A Suit That Fits which he paired with a white bow tie from Mrs Bow Tie and shoes from Kurt Geiger. He looked so handsome!
The groomsmen and Dads wore their own tux’s and we gifted each of them with matching champagne bow ties from Mrs Bow Tie. We also bought the Dads a satin scarf to ensure they stood out from the other guests.
In keeping with the glam theme we had a strict black tie dress code, black tux for men and evening or cocktail dresses for ladies. We had a couple of grumbles from guests which was disappointing but we stuck to our guns and, in general, everyone looked fab!
Our hair was styled by Louise Alway. I decided on my hair style on the day and the girls just picked what felt natural to them. Originally me and the girls were going to do our own make-up but after three awful make up trials with well-known brands we decided it was better left up to the real professionals! I found Alexandra Sinclair Make Up on Instagram and the fact that she’s stunning herself gave me some hope that she’d be good! Mum and I went for a trial and Alexandra nailed the looks first time. She has the unique ability to enhance natural beauty and not cover it up which is what I wanted; all the girls looked beyond stunning. As the bridal party was so large both girls started before 7am. Despite the early start, the hair and make up were still in place at bedtime!
I had spotted Elmore Court a while before we got engaged and though we looked at other venues, nothing compared. Elmore Court is a unique venue. It is a large historic house with a modern eco lodge called the Gillyflower set in incredible grounds. The house provided a stunning backdrop for the cocktail reception and the Gillyflower, with its rain shower lights, provided a cosy intimate venue for the reception. The staff are fantastic and answered to my every whim. Nothing was too much trouble!
Initially we hired Elmore Court for the day of the wedding only but with so many DIY elements to the wedding plus the logistics of getting a large wedding party ready at home before travelling to Elmore, it just wasn’t feasible. We were lucky enough to be in a financial position to hire Elmore Court for two days which meant that I could do the set up and all the wedding party could stay for a sleepover the night before. Having my last supper as a Miss with my bridesmaids before waking up surrounded by my best friends and family was so special and a highlight of the wedding.
If we were having flowers then I wanted them to make an impact however I didn’t want to waste money (flowers are super expensive!) Laura at The Pink Peony was fantastic. She worked hard to understand what I wanted to achieve whilst being mindful of what was in season and she ALWAYS worked to my budget, only ever advising me to extend it if she felt that’s what we needed. I trusted her implicitly.
Laura suggested using lots of different flowers including roses, lisianthus, vibernum berries, chocolate cosmos and dahlias in a variety of colours from ivory through to blackberry and oxblood to give a cohesive but natural, seasonal and organic feel. I wanted organic loose arrangements (nothing ‘matchy’, neat, tidy or bridal) for the bouquets, corsages and urns. For the reception I wanted full tablescapes so we also used trailing ivy, loads of sprayed gold plums, pears and pineapples and hundreds of candles all set upon hand-dyed silver table runners which complemented the large centrepieces perfectly. The overall effect was stunning and everything I wanted.
The Wedding Styling
I used the wedding as an opportunity to indulge my artistic side and all of the décor was a DIY affair. I learned calligraphy for the invitations and signage, I learned how to foil and made all the save the dates and ‘on the day’ stationery myself, I hand dyed and made all the table runners, DIY photo booth, confetti cones and poppy-seed packet favours in honour of poppy day…really the list goes on. Will’s contribution was the ‘BAR’ sign which he created with the help of my brother-in-law. They’re still to convince me that using gaffer tape was the most appropriate method of installation.
I wanted guests to feel welcome so added lots of personal touches such as the handmade poppy seed packets as favours, welcome gifts for overnight guests, personalised menus and escort cards and comfort stations in the bathrooms.
I did all the wedding styling myself and with the help of our family and friends we sourced absolutely everything you see in the pictures right from the cut glass and antler candlesticks, photo booth props, charger plates, tea light baubles to the chesterfield sofas, peacock chairs and antique bar trolley.
A traditional boring Bentley is so not us so after months of searching, I convinced Will to let me book the Kushi Car – an Indian Ambassador Classic with a sparkly Bollywood Bling interior (obviously!). We loved its uniqueness and Suzie who owns her is an incredible person, light-hearted and fun, she was worth the money on her own!
We got married at the beautiful St John the Baptist Church in Elmore Village where we had been attending for 6 months prior to the wedding. The church looked beautiful with the sun streaming in and we were married by Father George Parfitt – a great man who had made us so welcome at Church.
We had three readings. My favourite was ‘A Blessing of the Hands’ which was read by my Uncle, who we are particularly close to, just before we said our vows. Having such an important person say these words to us at such a poignant point in the ceremony was very special.
The Food and Drink
Elmore Court is renowned for their food and we were confident that they could deliver! We had meaty canapes, pumpkin velouté, confit duck with fondant potato and cavalo nero and then wedding cake made by The Fondant Fox for dessert. Guests are still raving about the perfectly cooked duck!
Keeping things personal to us we opted to bring in bread from Mark’s Bakery and Bristol Beer Factory Beer, both made literally behind our house. We also bought Hoxton’s cider from Taunton. With some help we also made the fruit liqueurs for the Pimp my Prosecco Trolley with allotment fruit.
In the evening we hired The Pickled Brisket to set up their street food stall by the fire pit. They served hot beef brisket sandwiches made-to-order and given the size of the queue, I’d say they went down a storm! We topped the evening off with a shed load of mixed doughnuts from Pippins Doughnuts in Swindon.
I found finding the photographer tough but fell in love with Maryanne the moment I found her on Rock My Wedding. Our engagement shoot confirmed how brilliant she was and we feel very proud that we had her document our day. The photos are just perfect!
So many people told us to hire a videographer even if I meant going into debt and I’m so glad that we did. Mrs Mashup was amazing on the day, slipping into the background catching every moment. The video is stunning.
We hired Tori Handsley to play the harp at the church and during the cocktail reception. She is incredibly talented and the music in the church was so evocative. Tori took personal requests during the drinks reception and everyone loved it.
We also bagged Darren Campbell Magic for some laughs and he is, without fail, the best money we spent. EVERYONE still talks about him and we’re already thinking about what party we can throw where he could come!
The Gillyflower is sound-proofed so we were able to have an epic party! Covers in Arms filled the dancefloor from the moment they took the stage. The Hydration Station of bottled water, Glo Bar of glow sticks and hundreds of flip flops went down a treat and kept the guests dancing all night!
Have the day that you want and not what you think you should have!
Photography by Maryanne Weddings
- Bride Pronovias
- Boutique Allison Jayne Bridalwear
- Shoes Jimmy Choo
- Faux Fur Jacket Blanche In The Brambles
- Tiara Ivory & Co
- Bridesmaids ASOS
- Flower Girls Monsoon
- Groom A Suit That Fits
- Hair Louise Alway
- Make Up Alexandra Sinclair
- Venue Elmore Court
- Florist The Pink Peony
- Transport Kushi Cars
- Cake The Fondant Fox
- Videography Mrs Mashup
- Harpist Tori Handsley
- Magician Darren Campbell
- Band Covers In Arms