Happy Monday lovelies :-) I have the perfect way to start the week; a beautiful English country garden wedding set in Devon.
Tim and Michelle married in the 21st June 2014 at Cadhay House; opting for a rustic tipi reception in the picturesque grounds. They wanted their wedding to have a relaxed party feel with a touch of Downton Abbey. Michelle chose the exquisite 1920s feel Esme by Jenny Packham gown which she teamed with a Polly Edwards hairpiece.
There were yellow and grey details and décor, from natural feel flowers to bunting and lanterns. Be sure to look out for the super scrumptious menu, a cheese tower and outdoor games too. Perfect.
Thanks so very much to the amazing S6 Photography for sharing his photographs with us today.
THE PROPOSAL | Umm Qais in Northern Jordan, among wildflowers at a Roman ruin overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
THE VISION | Ultimate English country garden party meets Downton Abbey/Great Gatsby. It was also very important for us for the day to be very relaxed and informal.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Surprisingly calm and stress-free! Chelle is an events organiser so that was a definite bonus as it made sure the day ran seamlessly without a hitch and with military efficiency! One of the biggest compliments one of our guests made on the day was that they could see a lot of work had gone into it, but it was the most relaxed wedding they had ever been to, which was one of our main aims for the day.
In the planning/ organisation phase, spreadsheets are your best friend (we had one for the venue, the caterers, the tent company, the décor requirements, the gifts, the running order etc, you name any component part of the wedding and we had a separate spreadsheet to cover it!! Plus Pinterest will definitely become your new obsession!! The latter is so useful though as it lets you build up a visual picture of what you want and allows you to tweak ideas over time as well which is extremely useful as the idea of your day evolves. Finally we set up a wedding website which was a one-stop shop for all of our guests which had all the info they needed, plus it allowed them to RSVP, notify us of their food requirements etc and it saved us considerable time at the end when we could just download a spreadsheet (yes another one!) which had all the relevant guest information in one easy format. As we had guests coming from overseas this was fantastic and convenient for them.
THE VENUE | Cadhay House in Ottery St Mary. Listed by Country Life as “one of the top ten manor houses in the country”, Cadhay is an Elizabethan manor house situated one mile north west of Ottery St Mary in East Devon. The ceremony was held in the old Apple Store which is now a Tearoom, dressed with bunting, wicker hearts and fairy lights – all very shabby chic and relaxed, with most guests standing for the short ceremony. The reception drinks with canapes were held in the garden, a short but very pleasant stroll through the grounds, which were in fabulous shape thanks to the efforts of the Cadhay head gardener, Dave, and his team. The wedding breakfast followed in our TiPi tent, provided by World Inspired Tents from North Devon, for whom James and his team were an absolute credit when constructing on the Thursday on one of the hottest days of the year!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES |Esme by Jenny Packham, from Miss Bush Bridal in Ripley, Surrey, with headpiece by Polly Edwards.
FINDING THE DRESS | I always knew that I wanted something unconventional that had a simple silhouette and I was drawn to the 1920’s style. Most importantly I wanted the freedom to move unrestricted around the gardens at Cadhay. Comfort was very important hence I also wore flat shoes!
I came across Jenny Packham very early on in the dress-finding process flicking through one of the many bridal magazines I’d picked up. The minute I saw her 2012 bridal collection, I was sold!! The whole collection was AMAZING but I was drawn to Esme as it fitted my brief for what I was looking for in a dress perfectly.
I went dress shopping with my Mum and grandparents and whilst we have differing ideas on clothes and style (!), the minute I put Esme on my Mum and Nan said in unison “that’s the one!”.
GROOM’S ATTIRE |Good old Moss Bros hire. Excellent service though, so I won’t hear a word against them! Newbury tailcoat with grey-striped trousers, silver cravats for the groom’s party and yellow for the groom.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Readings were “What does marriage mean in the modern world?”, and “Be My Homer” by CJ Munn. The latter definitely raised a few giggles among the guests and the first reading summed up succinctly why we were getting married.
Music wise, the bride’s entry was to ‘ Today I met the boy I’m going to marry’ by Darlene Love, signing the register was ‘Something changed’ by Pulp and ‘For your precious love’ by Otis Redding and then we walked out to ‘Feeling good’ by the legendary Nina Simone.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Chelle’s best mate and partner in crime from their backpacking days in their early 20s, Samantha Nash.
THE FLOWERS | By Gill Clavey at The Mossy Twig in Clyst St Mary, Exeter, Devon. A friend of Tim’s sister who happens to be a passionate florist. As with Jon, our photographer, she’s probably tired of hearing us gush over her work but she 100% nailed our brief.
The concept was for the flowers to be very English summer garden but again very informal in design. We didn’t want anything to look to stiff and ‘done’ so we went for bouquets that looked like they’d been loosely swept together that morning from the garden and for the TiPi’s we went for jam jars filled with Chelle’s favourite flowers including freesias and sweet peas.
THE CAKE | A cake of cheese from The Cheese Shed in Bovey Tracey in Devon, comprising a variety of cheese from Devon and Nottinghamshire (our home counties). Layers included Quicke’s Extra Mature Cheddar, Colston Bassett Stilton, Rachel (a goats cheese), White Helford (soft), and Smoked Woolsery. Decorated/accompanied with herbs, fig balls and physalis, and served with crackers and Tim’s Aunt Jennie’s home-made chutney.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The inestimable Jon Dennis at S6 Photography in Sheffield. He must be bored of us telling him how pleased we are with his coverage of the day but he was AWESOME.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The colour palette was yellow, grey and white, allowing us to have bold ‘pops’ of colour and contrast while complementing the yellows and whites predominant in the garden. Crespedia flowers in the bouquet, buttonholes and on the serviettes were the perfect shape and colour around which to theme the flowers, with freesias and sweet peas for soft colours and delicious scents. Buttonholes had a sprig of rosemary, which will forever be the smell of our wedding! The table layout was a giant E-shape, partly out of necessity with the layout of the tent and partly because it gives the top table much more contact with the rest of the party. The garden party theme demanded informal rectangular table and benches, with reindeer and sheepskins for comfort. The World Inspired tents have the option of a ‘chill-out kung’, complete with plenty of soft furnishings for kicking back and relaxing with a beer or glass of fizz, and an open fire for toasting marshmallows and we absolutely knew we wanted to include that as well! We also decorated one of the main tents with a ceiling installation of variously-sized paper lanterns in yellow, grey and white, for a very visual ‘planetary’ feel and also hung some of these paper lanterns out on the tree behind the reception drinks station to carry the colour theme through.
The food was a Devon Feast by Dartmoor Kitchen. Canapes included beef carpaccio, potted shrimp on toast, smashed broad bean and pea bruschetta and for a nod to Tim’s Devon heritage – a scone mountain! For the wedding breakfast we opted for a buffet-style meal based around pork belly and torn pork shoulder, chargrilled seafood and sweet potato gallettes, with potato dauphinoise, heritage carrots and blue cheese and walnut salad. The facility to have seconds went down very well with certain guests! Dessert was a trio of small desserts, which were lemon tart, chocolate torte and macerated strawberries with vanilla shortbread – yum!
Our late night food was the cake of cheese with crackers and bread washed down with port, all of which went down very well with all of our guests who kept dashing off the dancefloor for a cheese break!
THE HONEYMOON | We’re moving to Wales and are thus both between jobs, so have the luxury of not being bound by holiday allowances. So we’re off for six weeks, to the US first to drive Route 66, then up to Canada to explore the Rockies and finishing on Vancouver Island for a week of five-star luxury at Sonora Wilderness Retreat.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Far too many to mention!! At a push, standing looking at each other during the wedding vows trying to take in the moment and be in the moment at the same time, the impromptu rendition of ‘On the Street where you live’ during the wedding breakfast, dancing to Killing in the Name of by Rage Against the Machine towards the end of the evening (not a typical wedding song I know!!) and other grunge classics from our student days… The leaning tower of cheese as it wilted in the heat, Michelle throwing shapes with her granddad who’s 83 on the dancefloor and sitting down with our closest friends at the end of the evening, digestifs in hand and reliving the days events till 2am.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | We opted to make our wedding a long weekend and it was the best decision we made as it gave us extended time to enjoy the day and the build-up/ aftermath with our nearest and dearest as the day itself just flies by. (the night before we had drinks at the house with everyone and the day after we hosted a BBQ/ picnic with the biggest water fight you have ever seen in the grounds which was great fun).
Finally Pinterest is great to get ideas but also to see your vision for the day and convey that to your suppliers to show what you want to achieve. Much easier to show rather than try to explain over the phone/ email in my experience.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Venue | Cadhay house
Photography | S6 Photography
Catering | Dartmoor Kitchen
Tipis | World Inspired Tents
Dress Shop | Miss Bush Bridalwear
Wine | Majestic Wine
Thanks so much to Tim and Michelle for sharing their wonderful wedding story with us here at WWW XOXO Lou