We’re getting all classic in the country this morning.
WWW readers Alexander and Rachel were married on the 20th June 2015 at Elmore Court in Gloucestershire, a venue nestled in the gorgeous Cotswolds. They hoped to create a ‘The Hunt is Over’ feel to their day with black, gold and blush tones. It was sublime.
There were striking florals which incorporated feathers, an intricate metallic four tier cake in the most delicious flavours and an antler candelabra which was custom made.
Rachel looked beautiful in a simple and chic Charlie Brear gown which she teamed with some very bling Jimmy Choo heels. Oh my.
Many thanks to the wonderful Camilla Rosa Photography for sharing these sun shining shots.
THE PROPOSAL | NYC! Alex and I got engaged in December 2013 in One if By Land, Two if by Sea in New York. Alex’s parents lived in Manhattan for three years so we planned to visit them for Christmas. I had absolutely no idea that the proposal was coming! Alex had a bespoke diamond engagement ring made over there which almost didn’t make it! We flew over the week after thanksgiving – a public holiday – and the ring was supposed to be delivered to Alex’s father’s office on the Monday morning but because of the holiday it didn’t turn up! Alex’s father had to send someone from the office to pick up the ring and sneakily give it to Alex in time for dinner that evening! Alex chose the restaurant, which had a beautiful live pianist, and just before dessert the waiters brought over a silver platter, lifted the dome and the ring was sitting in the box covered in rose petals! Alex got down on one knee and a plate appeared that said ‘Will You Marry Me?’ in chocolate. I was so stunned that I couldn’t speak and Alex had to ask ‘Is that a yes then?!’
THE VISION | ‘The Hunt is Over’ in black, gold and blush!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We were engaged for about 18 months before the wedding. Working in PR and events in the spirits industry, I had a blast planning the wedding. I had everything in mind from the off – the colour scheme (black, gold and blush), to the theme ‘The Hunt is Over’, which I designed our invitations and stationery around, to the food and flowers. Alex is a distiller and drinks guru so he was in charge of the booze and created a bespoke cocktail menu with his favourite tipples and creations over the years (from Chase vodka to Cotswolds Gin!), we even named our tables after our favourite cocktails!
BUDGET | £40k
THE VENUE | Elmore Court, Gloucestershire. We decided to get married in June, on the summer solstice, to help maximise the chance of sun for the big day (as much as possible in England anyway!).
We chose Elmore, a 750-year-old Grade II* listed country house with state-of-the-art and sustainably built ‘Gillyflower’ events room, as we both completely fell in love at first sight. I’d been looking at various venues in and around London but once I had settled on the theme ‘The Hunt is Over’ (Alex is a big country-boy and loves all things country sports!) I decided to start looking at country venues. I saw Elmore in a wedding magazine as a new venue that had recently opened and booked to go and meet the team (festival folk who have been involved in UK music festivals for years – and it showed. The Gillyflower was completely soundproofed with exceptional sound and lighting equipment). We signed the contract as soon as we got there (Feb 2014) we loved it so much and we were one of the first ten couples to book our wedding after the refurb!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I struggled hugely on finding a dress for the day! I usually know exactly what I like and am a very efficient shopper but I think the gravity of the day really got to me! I must have tried on over 100 dresses and even flew to NYC to visit Kleinfelds (my parents-in-law lived in Manhattan at the time). I chose a stunningly simple Charlie Brear dress for the day and am beyond happy with it. I loved the simplicity, the fit and style. It was totally perfect for me and for the venue. I decided upon some rather bling Jimmy Choos and vintage jewellery, including a hairpiece that I had made from antique brooches, for the day to jazz it all up! My veil was antique lace that I had made in the States on a visit to see the in-laws. It was a full cathedral one tier veil and I totally loved it!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Our families are quite traditional at heart, we toyed with the idea of a black tie wedding but both sets of parents said that they didn’t feel it was special enough! Alex opted for a traditional tailor-made morning suit from Savile Row tailors Cad and the Dandy. He also insisted on wearing Shirt Stays (think manspenders) from Sharp and Dapper to keep his shirt tucked in on the day! His friend is the owner of the company and he’s been obsessed with Shirt Stays for a few years – they attach his shirt to his socks so that it doesn’t ride up – rather clever really!! Alex also got his groomsmen blush pink ties from Sharp and Dapper and he wore a gold tie from Richard James on Savile Row.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Louis de Berniere from my favourite book – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Love Letter by Victor Hugo – my favourite author.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I wanted my bridesmaids each to be in something different (and not too bridesmaidy!) I gave them each a colour and asked them to look for dresses that they liked and would feel comfortable in. We put our heads together and settled on their final dresses a couple of months before the wedding. I bought all of them from ASOS from different designers – AQ AQ, Jarlo and Adrianna Pappell.
THE FLOWERS | The florist, Kirtsy of Ruby and the Wolf, was just incredible. She took every idea that I had and crafted and moulded it to create exactly what I was looking for. I stuck to the blush and ivory colour scheme and knew I wanted something rustic and wild to complement the ‘Hunt is Over’ theme – she worked her magic perfectly! I had a candelabra made for the top table from stag antlers and asked Kirsty to decorate it. She created a stunning floral wrap that oozed glamour – it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before and so unique for our day. We also had two giant flower letters an ‘A’ and ‘R’ that decorated the signing table and gift table in the reception which again just added an even more personal touch.
THE CAKE | The cake was made by Curtis and Co cakes in Gloucestershire and we opted for a traditional Victoria sponge with raspberry and champagne jam for the bottom tier, chocolate cake with salted caramel icing for the next tier and lemon cake with vanilla icing for the top two tiers. It was delicious! I loved the elegant and understated design and kept it on-theme with the wild sugar flowers and gold painted mini tiers. The cake followed the meal, prepared by the on-site caterers who were absolutely incredible! We had a three course seated meal; to start we chose Salmon, cold poached Cotswolds hen’s egg and watercress sauce followed by fillet steak with redcurrant jus, summer squash, peas and gratin potatoes and for pudding a delicious Cotteswold dairy spiced creme brulee, berry compote and sugar biscuits. In the evening we thought that our guests might need some sustenance after all the dancing so we brought out a selection of sandwiches including Dorset down mushroom ciabatta with confit tomato and fried egg, Cured Cotswold smoked bacon rolls with Heirloom tomato ketchup, Old Spot sausage and caramelised onion on Hobbs House Bloomer.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We were both really keen to get our photography right – after all we’d only have our pictures (and memories) to remember our day in years to come! We chose Camilla Rosa Photography – who was actually a friend of a friend, and a fantastic photographer. As soon as I saw her images I fell in love with her classic but whimsical style and thought it fit the venue and theme perfectly. She was an absolute dream to work with on the day – made us feel so at ease and really had a great eye for some quirky and unique shots.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I had a candelabra made from stag antlers which my florist decorated with a spray of flowers – it was so beautiful and unique! We also had a little wooden sign made that read ‘Newlyweds’ in Welsh – Alex’s father and grandfather, who unfortunately couldn’t make it to the wedding, are Welsh and so we had it made to remind us of him on the day! We had a hanging floral display behind the top table too that was a lovely backdrop for the speeches.
THE HONEYMOON | Amalfi Coast. Sorrento and Amalfi – it was truly breath-taking! So romantic and beautiful – the perfect honeymoon destination.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | After the ceremony we went up to the bridal suite for 5 minutes for it to sink in that we were married! It was such a lovely moment after all the nerves of the day we were so relaxed and excited to be married! The guests then made their way onto the lawn for cocktails and canapés and we were waving from the window – we felt like the royals! It was amazing looking down on all of our friends and family celebrating!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy the day! Soak in all the atmosphere and remember to take 5 minutes to spend just with each other at various points throughout the day!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Camilla Rosa Photography
Flowers | Ruby and the Wolf
Cake | Curtis and Co Cakes
Band | Ruby Miller Band
Venue | Elmore Court
Suit | Cad and the Dandy
Dress | Charlie Brear
Shirt Stays | Sharp and Dapper
Wedding Ring | Astley Clarke
Alexander and Rachel, thanks so much to the both of you for sharing your story with us today xo Lou