This day is so ethereal and dreamy you’ll be transported back to childhood fairytales and summers playing in gardens in an instant. Yes it’s time for WWW readers Wendy and Nick’s wedding held on the 1st October 2016. The vision was to create a Midsummer Night’s Dream, fairy garden style wedding celebration and Pennard House in Somerset happened to be just the location for this lovely affair. There was no set colour scheme but an array of lovely tones were used, as displayed perfectly in the whimsical bridesmaid dresses and their accompanying ribbon adorned bouquets. Which, by the way, I have totally fallen for hook, line and sinker. Aren’t they stunning!
On the subject of stunning, the newly-weds looked so gorgeous in their chosen attire. Wendy chose Presea by Pronovias complete with a lace edged cathedral length veil for a really beautiful bridal look. Nick meanwhile opted for a slim fit navy blue suit and grey waistcoat teamed with tan shoes, modern yet timeless. There are so many lovely details in their day too, but I will save them for you to discover for yourself, they are a real feast for the eyes. Guests then partied the night away to a live band sourced by WWW faves Warble Entertainment, awesome!
Thanks so much to Luna Weddings for sharing these utterly divine images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Nick took me away for a surprise weekend away in early January 2015 (it was a Christmas present from him). This was quite unusual as I’m normally the one that organises everything! We collected a hire car, and got on the motorway, I still had no idea where we were going. We headed South West, and I was very worried we were headed back to Bristol where my family live. We ended up in a small village outside Bath, Stratton-on-Fosse, and a yurt like place called the Roundhouse. Very romantic, big 4 poster bed, log burner. We went for a lovely walk the next day when the proposal (I later found out)was meant to happen, but as it was pouring with rain and we got caught up in a pheasant shoot it was postponed! I was then whisked off for an afternoon at Bath spa, and then to a lovely meal at a local pub. When we got back to our yurt we took a moment to admire the beautiful stars in the very clear night sky, and amazingly we saw a shooting start. We headed towards the yurt and I could see lights on… I opened the door and it was full of candles, with a a bucket of champagne and glasses on the table. Nick dropped to his knee and proposed, with my late granny’s ring. I said yes :) He knew the ring was going to be too big and needed some work so had bought another temporary ring for me to wear and chain to wear my granny’s ring round my neck. Very, very thoughtful, it was all absolutely incredible.
THE VISION | I wanted a small wedding, maybe even to elope but Nick wanted a big one… so we landed on a medium size. Neither of us wanted anything overly formal, we wanted something quite relaxed, as outdoor as we could manage with weather permitting, and to provide as much of the alcohol as we could – that was Nick’s main criteria! I’ve always loved fairy gardens, and wanted something quite ‘woodland’, a bit Midsummer Night’s Dream. And we didn’t want to wait too long, so we decided to do it in 2016. We wanted it to be as easy for people as possible, so limiting travelling around on the day, and of course good food and music!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We got going with the details very quickly – partly because I am quite an organised person and love to organise events, but also because we knew if wanted to do it that year we would have to get on with things very quickly. We set a budget (Which went out the window), and lived on google and pinterest. I created many pinterest boards immediately, which were so helpful in finding creative ideas and figuring out what we wanted. I began a comprehensive spreadsheet to help keep track of budget and all the many tasks we had to complete, and prioritised the most time critical jobs. We couldn’t have done it without the spreadsheet, there is just so much to think about!
THE VENUE | We lived in London but wanted the wedding to be in the Bristol area where I’m from, and we planned to move to in late Summer, so arranged to go venue hunting one Saturday in mid January very soon after we got engaged, and had one very full on day of venue visiting.
Pennard House was high on my list of favourites, and as soon as we got there we knew it was right for us. We loved that the Church was at the bottom of the garden, so we could have Church wedding but not have to travel to the reception. The big garden was full of beautiful trees and it reminded me of South Africa where I grew up, more wild garden than English Country Garden. I had lots of ideas for how we could utilise the beautiful trees, some didn’t end up happening due to weather, but some did! Harry and Georgina were incredibly lovely and welcoming from the start, and were part of the reason we didn’t want a hotel/corporate venue, but more of a personal venue, and this is what Pennard House offered. It’s a family home with the Coach house, which are converted stables, and it feels very relaxed and quite informal. We were able to decorate however we liked, and for a very small fee could provide all the alcohol we liked until the evening, which was what we wanted. It felt ‘different’, and fit the woodland feel perfectly.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress: Presea by Pronovias, from Allison Jayne, Clifton.
Veil: Lace trimmed cathedral veil, Allison Jayne, Clifton.
Shoes: Jenny Packham, Debenhams.
Hair accessory: Jenny Packham, Debenhams.
Jewellery: Pearl and diamond earrings, Pravins (wedding gift from the groom).
FINDING THE DRESS | I began looking for my dress pretty quickly after discovering it can take up to 6 months for a dress to be made! I didn’t really know what I wanted, and spent a lot of time on pinterest looking for inspiration. I visited a few dress shops in London and found some lovely dresses, but not ‘the one’. It did help me to work out what I wanted, or didn’t want, and as much as I loved the big princess dresses they drowned me and I quickly ruled them out. I love satin and lace, and wanted sleeves of some kind. I arranged a day in Bristol with my mum and sister, and we visited 4 shops – very intense and bit overwhelming! I found my dream dress in one, but it was totally over budget so I sadly put it back, and went on the final shop, Allison Jayne. Here a lovely assistant listened to what I was looking for, and my budget, and picked out a number of dresses for me to try. A few dresses I tried the Pronovias Presea, and found my dress! It was satin and lace, with a beautiful illusion neckline with delicate lace sleeves. My mum wasn’t too keen, I think she wanted something ‘bigger’, but with 3 of my 4 bridesmaids with me who all loved it I decided to go for it, and bought it there and then! I had many sleepless nights after that day, worried I’d rushed into it and concerned because it looked so different online, but I’m glad now I that I trusted my instinct, and love the dress I chose.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Nick isn’t into clothes at all, but wanted his outfit to be a surprise. So he went suit shopping with a close friend who’s very fashion conscious! They picked a lovely fitted slim fit navy blue suit from Charles Trywhitt with a dark grey waistcoat. He went for a burgundy paisley tie, and matching cream ties for the ushers. His shoes were from Loakes, and they were all picked and bought within a day!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | As we got married in a Church we needed to have one religious reading and one other. We quite quickly picked the traditional Corinthians reading, but the Old testament version, as the words are so fitting, and asked my uncle who came over for the wedding from South Africa to read it for us. For our second reading, we asked one of Nick’s best friends to pick something she liked – we knew she’d find something brilliant and she asked if we were happy for her to write something, which of course we were! She wrote an amazing poem called “We are gathered here today”, which was touching and funny and made us both cry.
We had a lovely guitarist who played music as the guests entered and during the signing of the register, and also during the drinks reception which worked really well. We chose music for the service based partly on recommendations from the priest, (no point rocking the boat and annoying him), and chose hymns we both enjoyed and knew people would know the words to! Everyone really got into Jerusalem. We picked a great band for the evening called The Jacks, who we found through the website Warble. They were absolutely brilliant, they learned our first dance for us and were very easy going, and absolutely brilliant.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four bridesmaids – three close friends and my sister. Unfortunately one friend moved to Australia a few months before the wedding, and although always planned to come back, in the end wasn’t able to. Fortunately another close friend of mine very graciously stepped into her dress, and as I wanted them all in different colours meant I could have the full compliment of colours, and 4 lovely girls with me on the day. They wore multi way dresses from Debenhams, I wanted them all to be comfortable and a bit individual, so was happy for them to tie their dresses in any way they liked. I wanted a colourful day, and really loved the 4 pastel colours I chose which went so beautifully with the flowers.
THE CAKE | The cake was the inspiration for the whole wedding, and I found it on pinterest before we were even engaged! It was quite simple, but very beautiful, and had a fairytale look, gold buttercream and covered in a fresh flower garland. It was a delicious chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and was made by one of my bridesmaids who is an expert cake baker, and with the help of our wonderful wedding stylist Lauradana, it sat on a large wooden slice with moss and foliage, a beautiful and delicious woodland fairytale cake!
THE FLOWERS | We originally chose a wonderful florist who I already knew, who had a beautiful relaxed and unique style. Unfortunately due to health reasons she had to pull out, but was able to recommend to us a friend of hers with a very similar style, and luckily was available! We had a long chat with her about what we wanted, a colourful, fairly informal look, and she worked to the plans our first florist had designed. We managed to find some lovely candelabra on eBay, which we used as the centrepiece for half our tables, adorned in flowers, and for the other half we had low table centres with a hurricane lamp and candle in the centre. We also had a beautiful flower garland going up the stairs into the reception, and also lovely foliage around the arch in the Church.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We chose Luna Weddings for our photography after several recommendations. They’re a couple who recently got married themselves. Their style is very much relaxed documentary, and they capture the magic and emotion of the day. We met them for an engagement shoot in the a forest near Exeter and had a lovely time with them, I’m not very comfortable in front of the camera and they put us at complete ease. They are a really lovely couple who are so easy to be around, and once we’d met them really looked forward to having them with us on our day. Anna spent the morning with me whilst I got ready with the girls and Nick had Mike with him and the boys and. we both felt like we had another friend in the room with us. We couldn’t be happier with the photos, we absolutely love them.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted to do a lot of the decoration ourselves, which was one of the reasons we chose Pennard House, which gave us free reign to decorate as we liked. However we did realise we’d given ourselves a lot to do with not a lot of time, as we only had the Friday afternoon before the wedding to decorate everything. We came across Lauradana Day at a Wedding Fayre in Bristol, owner of Wedding Creations. She is a wedding stylist, and as soon as we say her work, knew we’d found the answers to our worries about gettting everything looking the way we wanted! For a very good price she comes to the venue, creates a look-book, and uses all of her own props as well as creating anything else you’d like for no extra fee (As long as it’s not personalised and can be re-used). We wanted a woodland feel with decorations in the trees, ivy, candles and fairy lights. She put up festoon lights for us outside, created a beautiful table plan from branches with fairy lights and glass baubles, she strung photos around the booths, and hung ribbons and origami in the big tree where we had our photos. We wanted to have outdoor games and croquet which sadly the weather scuppered, but it didn’t matter. I really feel the cold, so we had a lovely box, which I filled with blankets and a sign from Lauradana, “to have and to hold in case you get cold”. We had candles and moss on the ledges in the room for the meal, and on the tables as well as the flowers we had lollipops made by the same bridesmaid who made the cake, who has a lollipop business, and tied them with little cards we made ourselves with our names and the date!
THE HONEYMOON | We went on honeymoon the day after the wedding, and we were very pleased to have a break and 2 weeks away after the mania. We had only moved to Bristol in August, and into our flat 2 weeks before the wedding, and had both started new jobs. So it was a very busy and quite a stressful time!. We both get quite restless so wanted to move about on our honeymoon. We started in Singapore for 2 days, which was lots of fun and involved lots of cocktails, and we continued the theme in Kuala Lumpur at the Shangri-la Hotel, exploring the city and drinking a lot of cocktails. We then went to Lombok in Indonesia for some beach relaxation, spas and more cocktails. From there we got a speedboat to Gili Meno, which was about 20 minutes away and enjoyed a few days on a desert island, which was amazing and more cocktails. From there we got another boat to Bali and spent our final few days in Ubud at the very beautiful Kayon resort. The Balinese people in particular were some of the friendliest we have ever met, and we had the most incredible time.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | My favourite part of the wedding was the actual ceremony. Most of the planning goes into the party and the details and the dress but the whole point of the day is to marry the person that you love and it easily our favourite and most special part of the day. The service got off to an interesting start, once my dad had walked me up the aisle he turned to sit down and got his foot caught in my veil and ripped it from my head! The congregation let out a massive gasp and Nick was clearly worried I was going to burst into tears, but I was so happy to be there and to have the day under way I didn’t care at all, and it meant I got to show off the lovely back to my dress before my lovely bridesmaid popped it back in.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Plan… but don’t spend forever on details, trust your instinct. You can deliberate over details for days and weeks, don’t waste your time. Secondly, accept help from friends and family, it’s a lot to do yourself! But accept it with caution, some of our most stressful moments came from waiting for things people said they would do or the end result not being what we expected. Sometimes it’s worth spending just a little bit more to pay someone to do something than to ask a friend or family member who you then then don’t feel comfortable chasing or asking for changes. Finally, enjoy it. It will hopefully be the only time you do this, and it goes in a flash. Try and enjoy every moment, don’t get too stressed, and the happier you are on the day, the happier your guests will be, and you will all have a wonderful day.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographers | Luna Weddings
Venue | Pennard House
Florist | Alexandra Sylvester
Cake | The Little Lollipop Shop
Caterers | Caroline Gent
Hair and make up | Grace Kingsley
Stylist | Wedding Creations UK
Ahh so lovely!
Thanks so much to Wendy and Nick for sharing their marvellous wedding story here today xo Lou