When you open a real wedding report, read that the bride and her make up artist were chatting about your wedding blog on her wedding day, it’s certainly a pinch me moment. That’s exactly what just happened and I am just bursting with excitement to be sharing WWW readers Mel and Tom’s epic nuptials with you all. Happy days!
Their wedding was all about the fun factor, with no formalities or traditions that didn’t work for them. I love their planning vibe of planning a great party with their faves and it being the time they just happened to get married. It really is the best way to approach wedding planning in a stress free style. Our pair were hitched on the 23rd June 2018 at Barley Wood House in Somerset, the outdoor ceremony setting had spectacular views and the reception space was perfect for their natural rustic look. Keep an eye out for the coffee filter garlands, they looked so pretty.
Mel chose the most beautiful gown to wear, designed by Hermione de Paula, it features personalised embroidery and a gorgeous train. Wow! Tom and the boys wore tartan kilts for a nod to Scotland and the bridesmaids donned fringed dresses perfect for this modern rustic wedding day. Oh I love it all!
The Shannons captured their celebrations just beautifully and you’ll be transported right there with Mel and Tom when you view them. We are so thankful to be sharing them with you.
The proposal was amazing, but with a pretty hilarious back story. Tom had planned it all to a tee. He’d decided to do it in our house on the outside terrace. He had candles, and flowers and champagne. He’d got my brother in law to track me on my way home from work on “find my friends”. Unfortunately, I got stuck in traffic, then having no idea what was waiting at home, sauntered around the supermarket for a while, and then went for a little jaunt to find a postbox. I was very late home! The exchange of texts between the two of them was hilarious and Tom printed them out to include in his speech. Anyway, the actual proposal is a blur. I’m sure he said loads of lovely things, but I was blubbering mess. I said yes.. obviously.
We both wanted to find somewhere where we could do the whole ceremony, meal and reception in one place. And somewhere people could stay for the whole weekend as my family were all travelling from Scotland. And also somewhere that wasn’t restrictive on caterers and charged for corkage (as we had A LOT of booze). We wanted the whole day to very chilled and everyone to just enjoy themselves and have a great day. Barley Wood was the perfect venue for us. They could not have been more accommodating, and just let us get on with it, but were also super helpful when we needed them. Ideal.
The Planning Process
Planning initially seemed so straight forward, we got the venue, make up artist, hairdresser, dress and food all arranged pretty quickly. I hate to sound so millennial but I found almost all the suppliers on Instagram, by excessive trawling through hashtags. We found the band on Facebook. It was pretty smooth sailing until the last couple of months, when we realised how much stuff we hadn’t done yet! But it was all amazing on the day.
Barley Wood House
Your Outfits & Accessories
Because we were getting married down South, Tom really want to bring a bit of Scotland to the wedding, and for him and groomsmen to wear kilts. It was initially a surprise but Tom got tartan stress and had to fess up and get my input. He eventually found a place in that did our family tartan (Anderson) for hire. The boys all looked amazing in the kilts, and was nice to have a bit of Scottish flair with us on the day.
My dress was my absolute dream dress. I found Hermione de Paula on instragram and fell in love with her gorgeous gowns. It took me a while to decide on the exact details of the dress, as all her styles and embroidery are so gorgeous, but my dress was truly the dress of my dreams. I adore it.
The Readings & Music
At the ceremony we had three of our closest friends do a reading. The first was lyrics to a song called Toothpaste Kisses by the Maccabees. We both love the song. And the lyrics are so beautiful. We went for a slightly more traditional one for the second with Love by Ray Croft. The third reading was a little poem that we wrote together about the night we drunkenly met on a night out in Bristol. It got a few “aww”s and a few more laughs!
We found the The Shannon’s on Instagram, and I’m soooo glad we did. I loved the style of pictures so much, very informal and atmospheric. Vicki and Pete were such stars on the day. Even managing to make the slightly drunken evening couples shoot look amazing! The photos are incredible. We’re still looking through on an almost daily basis.
The girl’s dresses were Stevie Mae, on ASOS. Again, I just wanted the girls to feel comfortable on the day. These dresses were the second one they all tried, and they immediately loved it. I was very lucky to have such gorgeous, chilled out bridesmaids.
All us girls got our hair and make up done by Emily Williams and Eleanor Nancy. I told them both that all I wanted was to look like “an absolute babe”. I definitely didn’t want anything too fussy. I tried a few different dos on the hair trials but in the end I just went for waves. Make up wise I just showed Ellie some picture from Pinterest and she absolutely nailed it! I have honestly never felt that I’ve looked as good as I did that day. They were both amazing!
The boys kilts were hired from Georgian Dress Hire in Aberdeen. After a few morning drams, all their initial reservations about wearing “skirts” were gone, and they even went to the extra effort of wearing Scotland pants. Cheers boys!!
The Details & Décor
For the styling we wanted a bit of a natural rustic look. We have lots of greenery, and bright wild flowers. All the wedding stationery, sign, table plans, name tags etc were by one of our best friends, who owns stationery studio in Edinburgh (2flux). They designed and made everything from scratch for the wedding, they are super talented, and great at telling me when my ideas are ridiculous! We got the pink paper decorations made from coffee filters for the day by some very talent ladies in Edinburgh.
I was desperate to have a gin trolley with all my favourite gins. I found an old tool trolley second hand and glammed it up a bit with decorations. Tom got a couple of keg’s from his local favourite, Moor brewery. 2 Flux made us our personalised “Mel’s Gin bar” and “Tom’s beer bar” signs, and both bars which were very well utilised by the guests.
The flowers again were pretty informal. I got inspo from Pinterest on messy bright bouquets, and Roots did an amazing job. We got the bouquets, button holes and some loose stems from Roots Floral Design. The rest of flowers we got from Bristol flower market which involved a 5am wake-up call the morning before the wedding so no beauty sleep was had but was so worth it, as the selection was amazing! And the rest were from the grooms mum’s garden. We roped in our friends and family to do a serious amount of arranging the day before the wedding. We literally had 100’s of bottles, vases, and tins to fill. The flowers looked ace on the day, they did such a good job.
Our videographer was Jag from Story Cabin. We’ve only seen the teaser the video but OMG it’s so good. We were both in floods of tears watching it and it’s only a minute long. Cannot wait to see the whole feature, have a feeling it’ll be a total tear jerker too.
The whole day is a bit of an amazing blur. My dad’s speech was so lovely and super emotional. All the speeches were amazing. Especially the wee speech that our 3-year-old niece did. She was the star of the day!
The food was perfect. We didn’t want a long fussy sit down meal, so got our favourite local burger bar, Burger Joint, to do a burger BBQ and buffet. For dessert we had Booja Booja come with their gorgeous little tuk tuk everyone had unlimited ice cream for a few hours before the dancing.
The band were an 8 piece brass funk pop band from Bristol. They were immense! The last dance was Uptown Funk and the dancefloor went wild.
The cake was from Earthcake, a vegan bakery near our house, and the doughnut tower is from Molasses Bakes, a Bristol vegan baker.
Advice For Other Couples
Try not to sweat the small the stuff for the big day, everyone kept telling us that it would all come together in the end, and even if they’re small hiccups, it’ll all seem perfect in the end. Enjoy the day. It really was the best day of our lives and we wish we could do it again (without actually organising and paying for it again of course!).
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Barley Wood House
Hermione de Paula
Stationery & Signs
Georgian Dress Hire
Mel and Tom, thank you both so much for sharing your incredible wedding story with us xo Lou