WWW readers Adam and Tamara tied the knot on the 4th April 2015 at Walton Castle in Somerset, a venue they chose as they hoped for a meaningful outdoor ceremony. This lovely bride and groom were expecting a baby and so announced their news in the speeches later on, which must have been so special.
Cue two gorgeous dresses for Tamara, the first ‘In Your Eyes’ by Stewart Parvin hid her baby bump perfectly and after their announcement she changed into ‘Boadicea’ by Charlotte Balbier, which looked stunning. Meanwhile Adam went for a quirky vintage look with red trousers, amazing.
Thanks so much today to Life In Focus Photography for sharing these wonderful images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | In Croatia on a boat on holiday. Just us, 2am… took me by surprise!
THE VISION | Family comfort. Fun, homely, festival vibe. Nothing too pretentious. Just chilled out like us :)
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We knew we wanted 4 things. To get married outside, to have the reception and wedding all in the same place and to have room options for close family and friends so that they could bond (our families had barely met before) and creative freedom. Once deciding the castle was the perfect place for us the whole vision of the wedding started flowing and we suddenly knew exactly what we wanted for the whole day. We hired Steph Allison from sweet and pretty to put all this in place for us. Money most definitely well spent.
THE VENUE | Walton Castle in Clevedon. Where we live. We love Clevedon and we moved here together into the first house we’ve ever owned so we’re quite sentimental about it.
We were very tempted by two other places before we viewed the castle and very nearly paid a deposit on one of them before we spotted their bar prices! But the memory of them both seemed to instantly disappear the second we stepped into the castle. The privacy, the beauty of it, the fact that it ticked all 4 things on our check list – we loved it. It was mostly the creative freedom and flexibility of the castle though that we loved the most.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Adam and I were planning to start a family when I went looking for my dress. We wanted to be 3 months pregnant at the wedding so that I was passed that miserable 1st trimester, but not showing. As nobody shows in their first three months…. or so I’d been told. (Could not have been more naive! )
So I wanted a dress with a bit of give in case we managed to get pregnant. I also wanted a more casual white dress for the evening as I thought it might get muddy if it rains – April showers and outdoor venue – not a great combination.
I fell in love with two of the dresses at The White Collection (luckily the first one in the sale and nearly half the price.) I picked them out with my mother in law and maid of honour. It was lovely, Lea, who owns The White Collection, was fabulous! She makes it such an intimate experience and I never felt rushed.
The first dress was ‘In Your Eyes’ by Stewart Parvin. This is the dress I was married in. And the second dress was ‘Boadicea’ by Charlotte Balbier.
Each came into their own in the end because we did get pregnant – and I got big… quickly. We decided to announce the pregnancy at the wedding in Adam’s speech. I would get married in the first dress, which hid every bit of bump with it’s cut. We would announce the pregnancy, and I would go and changed into the second dress, which hugged the bump quite nicely!
I had my something old which was a cutting of Adam’s auntie’s headband from her own wedding pinned in my hair. My something new and blue was a garter that Adam’s mum had bought for me. And my something borrowed was a ring of my mums. In addition to this, I wore Adam’s late grandma’s pearls who he was very close to and had been passed down to me from his mum for the occasion.
FINDING THE DRESS | I wanted to get the dress in Clevedon as we were trying to do things as locally as possible. (That and I hate city shopping) A few people had commented that for your wedding dress, it’s worth the effort, and I really should make the trip into Bristol. So I went with my sister into Bristol and tried on 10-12 ‘that’s nice’ dresses. I then made an appointment with The White Collection in Clevedon and was spoilt for choice of ‘wow’ dresses. A massive selection and all different in style. Left that day having paid for two!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We went together to find Adam’s suit. He wanted something vintage, nothing to typical. We went first to the charity shops on Hill Road in Clevedon and found the suit jacket straight away. Loved it! The colourful stitching and big blue buttons were fab. We then popped into Sam Bryants a two doors up and got everything else in there. The man in there was fabulous! So helpful and really invested in getting the right look for Adam. He was really honest about his opinion as well even if it meant us picking the cheaper option. So we left there with bright red trousers, a pink woollen tie and a green shirt! Trust me, it worked.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We didn’t have any readings during the ceremony as Adam had two best men, and I had one as well! I also decided to do a speech myself so we thought we were pretty much covered on everyone having a chance to say something.
I walked down the aisle to John Martyn – Couldn’t Love You More. We always knew I would even before we were engaged as it’s a song that’s personal to us. Adam’s best man James performed it.
We walked up the aisle together to ‘Till There Was You’ by The Beatles. Performed by Adam’s other best man, Phil. This was less to do with the song and more to do with Phil’s beautiful voice when he sings it!
Later, we danced our first dance to ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Matt Woosey. An amazing musician and very close friend of ours.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Had a maid of honour, (My best friend of all time and platonic soul mate). My best man (my youngest brother) and two bridesmaids (my sisters). I also had my cousin’s daughter as flower girl. She is adorable and the only child that featured at our wedding. They all walked down the aisle before me.
And my dad. I had no ‘bridesmaids dresses’ as such because I didn’t want them all to be forced to wear something they didn’t like or feel comfortable in. So I asked them to all just stick with a pastel or floral spring sort of theme and let me know what they wanted.
THE FLOWERS | No bizarrely for me, this is something I had a set in stone notion on from day one. Blue! Blue flowers, I love them! So we had blues, purples and peaches. Adele from Tin Can Floral did our flowers and wow! That woman knows how to dress a place! She’s very passionate about what she does and she’s great at it.
THE CAKE | My friend made the cake for us (GG’s Cakes, Nailsea) she’s amazing. I’ve always used her for my cakes. Not being a fan of fruit cake and knowing how lovely her sponge is, we asked her to do a rainbow sponge cake for us. The outside of it was white with black silhouette icing. The icing was of Adam and I sat with our dogs with Clevedon Pier in the background. I loved it! And it tasted amazing! It was so beautiful.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Scott Wilson from ‘Life in Focus’ what can I say?! Picking a photographer turned out to be the hardest choice we made. We were both so fussy! You can never repeat the day so getting the perfect photographer is so important! I met with 7 before I met Scott. Looking at his work in a coffee shop, I could see he had the perfect balance of grabbing those fun loving, loose and natural moments whilst achieving those hang on the wall, perfect and flawless shots. He was so incredibly flexible on the day and got EVERYTHING, he didn’t miss a moment. The most bizarre thing was how little you were aware he was actually there! We love our photos.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Now again, with this idea – comfort was priority. Walton Castle being a mostly outdoor venue, we wanted everyone to feel relaxed, warm etc. We always said we wanted to imitate the vibe we feel every year when we go to the Cambridge folk festival. So we borrowed a load of hay bales from a local farmer in Failand and bought lots of blankets from charity shops to dress them with. We also purchased a large amount of furniture from changing lives charity (including a wardrobe to stock blankets and flip flops.) And re-donated it all at the end. Steph, (our wedding planner) ordered fire pits to keep everyone warm, and Adele, our amazing florists, dressed everything that could possibly be dressed. It was really beautiful, very country, very vintage, but with a hint of glamour! We hired Kirsten (Little Wedding Helper) as well and rented a few things off of her (a shabby chic step ladder for our table plan and a few signs). She put a little walk way to the marquee where we had our sit down meal with hearts on sticks in either side.
THE HONEYMOON | Which one? The wedding took a lot of work on the two days after (we had it from the Friday to the Monday) luckily, we have the best family and friends who helped us clear up, take things back to where they came from etc. Adam being a school teacher though, that only left us with 5 days to get away so we went to Marrakesh (Morocco) as it’s a short flight and close by. It was great, and well needed. Lots to see and buy rather then a ‘relax by the pool and do nothing’ sort of holiday. We refer to this though as our ‘mini moon’ as our real honeymoon was in Mexico in the following half term.
That was one of the best weeks off my life! It was complete and utter luxury! And the weather was amazing! (A minimum of 36 degrees on any day) We had a massive room with a hot tub in it and the resort was built around one of the most beautiful beaches. It was all inclusive and the food was incredible (being 7 months pregnant at this time you can imagine how happy that made me.) It was a real chance to relax, and experience doing nothing for the first time in a while. We also swam with dolphins out there which I can honestly say has always been a dream for me.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | For me (The Bride) One particular favourite was the Friday night before the wedding. Adam’s family and friends all live nearly 4 hours away, so they hadn’t ever met my nearest and dearest (My brother’s and their partners) Adam and I both love one another’s friends and family too so it seemed bizarre that they hadn’t really ever met. We invited 8 couples to stay with us at the castle for the weekend in the hope that they would ‘mush’ as I call it. It was perfect, and as I watched them all getting drunker and drunker together I couldn’t help but think that the wedding would be hard pushed to top that night. It was when the girls decided to go for a dip in the pool at 1am whilst the boys played darts in one of the turrets of the castle that I realised how much of an important part of our wedding that night was. (Maybe somewhat highlighted by the thought of the baby) I realised that Adam and I were joining families.
Another favourite was twenty undisturbed minutes with my maid of honour before the wedding. I love that woman. The hours running up to your vows are bizarre. You feel nervous/excited/emotional, you don’t want to get ready too late or to early. And you can’t even put all that nervous energy into good use because you’re hiding up in your tower. People had been in and out all morning but none that I feel as myself around as Hollie. She always knows what I need. She brought me up cheese, crackers, cereal bars, Gaviscon and crisps and we got into bed and ate far too much food. Much like we would have done on any other day when we used to live together. We didn’t discuss the wedding or anything wedding related. Those 20 minutes really calmed me.
The walk down the aisle … last one, and it’s cheesy. I am generally NOT a calm person. Especially not with public displays, organisation, and most definitely not in a dress. How calm I felt walking down the aisle to my husband baffles me still. And I no it’s cheesy to say, but I guess it’s a cliché for reason, I really couldn’t see, hear or feel anyone but him. I couldn’t stop smiling and just wanted to get to the end where my best friend was standing, grinning like an idiot.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | If you can afford it – get help!! There are so many things at our wedding that I thought -‘well, I could just make those’ or ‘Adam can do that after school’. In the end with the pregnancy and my business picking up – we left most things to Steph, besides sourcing a few tea pots and furniture. There is so much for you to do anyway, even with help – if it’s something that someone else can do – give it up. You cannot spend the most amazing day of your life behind a clip board, worrying about specifics, timings, what is left to be done – you would regret it. It goes so amazingly fast as it is – enjoy it and treasure it.
Use creative family and friends – your family and friends will offer help – take it. Adam’s mum did our table names and my sister spent an afternoon helping us cut out our invites.
Get rid of political invites! – We really wanted an intimate ceremony – we were really strict on who we invited. None of this ‘well, he’ll be offended if we don’t invite her’ or ‘well we ought to because they hang out with them’ rubbish. If it’s not important to you for those particular people to watch you make the most private and personal commitment of your life – stick them on the evening guest list, or just don’t bother. When it comes to your sit down meal, you’ll look around and go ‘wow, I love every single person in this room’ and that is a lovely feeling.
Go off of ‘vibe’ when choosing your venue, photographer, florist, whoever – meet them, have coffee. Don’t look to hard into who’s £50 cheaper here or seems like they’re ‘bigger business’ these people will all help make your wedding day, and they’ll go the extra mile because they want too and your day is important, or they wont.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Marquee (inc flooring, lighting, furniture) | Papakata
Flowers | (Adele) Tin Can Floral
Catering High Tea | Papadeli
Catering Evening Burgers | Burger Theory
Wedding Planner | (Steph) Sweet & Pretty Weddings
Venue Stylist | (Kirsten) Little Wedding Helper
DJ/Dance Floor & lighting | Deckstar Deluxe
Furniture & Bar Equipment Hire | Blast
Catering Evening Stone Baked Pizzas | Encasta
Band | Duke
VW Ice Cream Evening | Splitscreen Icecream Co
Vintage China & Linens | Aunties Vintage China
Fireworks | Skyburst Fireworks
Fire Pits | Stylish Entertainment
Toilet Hire | Chew Valley Hire
Face Painting | (Clare) Whoopie Face Painting [email protected]
Venue | Walton Castle
Skip Hire | Badger Skips
Photographer | (Scott) Life In Focus Photography
Oh such a lovely lovely celebration.
Adam and Tamara, thank you both so much for sharing your gorgeous story with us xo Lou