Greek English Fusion Wedding
How was your weekend? I hope it was full of smiles, just as today’s real wedding was. WWW readers Claire and George were hitched on the 31st August 2019 at Muddifords Court in Devon. Their day was a fusion of their Greek and English heritage, with traditions perfectly combined to ensure their celebrations really represented them.
In terms of styling they opted for a forest green and copper scheme, which was utterly gorgeous. Think greenery in abundance, copper details on the tables and forest green suits for the gents. Talking of outfits, Claire looked amazing in her strapless gown with a headpiece she designed herself. Claire is an award winning bridal headpiece designer (Claire Austin England) so there was no doubt her accessory would shine on her day. Then there were the bridesmaids in pale pink dresses, didn’t everyone look just amazing?!
Let me leave you with these beautiful images, which are courtesy of
Whimsical Wonderland Weddings was a massive part of our wedding planning journey. My fiancé George and I both follow you and were always sending each other inspiration photos for the venue décor, wedding party outfits and fun ideas for the big day. Thank you for being a part of it! We are so excited to be able to now share our amazing wedding day with you.
After 8 years together I was giving up on George ever proposing to me, however on my birthday weekend to Edinburgh in 2017, he completely shocked me by getting down on one knee during a photo opportunity at the top of Arthurs Seat. It was a horrible rainy day and I moaned the entire way up to the top, George was literally pushing me up and I wondered at the time why he was so keen to get up there! Unusually he asked a lady to take a photo of us and whilst I thought he was tying his shoelace he was actually on one knee waiting for me to turn around. The lady taking the photo was very dramatic and shrieked, ‘he’s proposing! He’s proposing!’ and took a second by second account of the whole thing! We had over 30 photos of it and I’ve put it into a lovely photo album. The hilarious thing was that George just looked up and me and said…. ‘hello?’ and I said ‘hello?! Do you have something to ask me?!’ He completely blanked and just blurted out, ‘will you marry me?’. I said yes of course.
During his groom speech at our wedding, George recited what he meant to say that day, it was a lot longer than just ‘hello’! We got the keys to our first home one week after we got engaged and moved out of my parents dining room where we had been living for the past two years so I’ll admit his timing was very thoughtful in the end!
We wanted to combine George’s Greek Cypriot heritage with our English roots so we went for a ‘Grenglish’ wedding! Our vision was for all of our friends and family to come together over a big Greek BBQ, lots of dancing in the courtyard and lots of fun!
Our venue was so beautiful that we didn’t want to overcrowd it with too much decoration. We knew we wanted a lot of greenery and foliage and being keen home planters we ordered eucalyptus to cover the tables, the welcome sign and the table plan and displayed over 70 succulents in glass candle holders. Our wedding was very much an extension of our home décor so as well as lots of greenery we wanted to use accents of copper which we achieved by copper candle holders, candelabras and lanterns which were dotted all around the tables and the barns. My dad passed away a few months previously after a short battle with pancreatic cancer and I had asked him to make me lots of copper candle holders which he used to sell on a craft stand. He wasn’t able to make them specifically for our wedding but I did find dozens of them in his garage after he passed which we were able to use. I then worked with our venue décor stylist, Rustic Love, to complete the look. Nicola and her husband made over 27 table holders to match my dad’s copper candle holders which was really touching.
The Planning Process
We had just over 18 months to plan our big day and getting married at a DIY wedding venue, boy we needed that time! We were having 139 people to the day and up to 200 all together for the evening so that took a lot of planning as to how we were even going to seat everyone for the wedding breakfast! Greek families tend to be very big and George’s family is no exception! I come from a very small family so his definitely made up the numbers. We also wanted to invite quite a few friends from our childhood, university and time spent living in London and Devon. Our wedding venue only supplied the tables and the chairs so we had to source everything from chair covers, down to salt and pepper shakers, plates, cutlery and glasses etc. They had a cute pub which was open during the day and we supplied bubbles and an assortment of wine. We wanted a mixture of music so we hired a Greek band for dancing and a DJ for the evening. We even did the traditional first dance and then the Greek money dance afterwards.
We booked the beautiful Muddifords Court Country House in Cullompton, Devon. We only viewed two other venues beforehand and as soon as we drove down the sweeping driveway we knew it was the one. Surrounded by 14 acres of land, Muddifords has a stunning 18th century Georgian house with 7 bedrooms, a 2 bedroom thatched cottage, The Roundhouse apartment, The Shippen Barn (where we had the wedding reception), The Cider Barn (where the ceremony was held), a large Victoria cobbled courtyard and quirky Shepherd and Fishermen’s huts. It even has its own pub – The Nip Inn! Our dream was the have all of our guests dancing in the courtyard to the Greek band. Thank goodness the weather held and after the speeches were finished, the band ‘crashed’ the party and led us outside for a good old knees up!
The Details & Décor
We had over 100 glass baubles suspended from the beams of the barn with LED tea lights with a mix of copper lanterns and candlestick holders on the tables and around the room. The tables were covered with eucalyptus and succulents, as was the table plan and welcome sign when everyone came in to sit down.
For my bouquet I wanted it to be very green with lots of foliage and sprinkles of white flowers. I worked with my amazing florist, Flower La Vita, to create a glorious arrangement of white wax flower, cream roses, lisianthus and white veronica mixed in with succulents and eucalyptus. I had a small photograph of my dad and I hanging from my bouquet so that he could walk each step with me. Each table was decorated with eucalyptus and glass jars of succulents, with fresh rosemary on the plates and edible flowers in the post ceremony drinks.
I met Claire’s Sweet Temptations at a wedding fair a couple of years ago and after falling in love with her handmade sugar succulents which completely fooled me as being real plants, I knew I had to have her design our wedding cake! We had a white three tiered extravaganza with sugar white flowers, eucalyptus and succulents. The flavours we chose were coconut with pineapple cream, vanilla sponge with raspberry and prosecco filling and lemon and elderflower – it was absolutely delicious!
Your Outfits & Accessories
I chose my dress from Brides at Waterfields in Torquay. Gemma and Heather have a stunning collection of dresses so I knew I was going to find something beautiful but I had no idea where to start! I went into my appointment thinking I was going to go for a Kate Middleton style with my arms completely covered in lace but I ended up going for a gown which had my whole neckline exposed. I only tried on about 3-4 dresses but I knew the very first one I tried on was the one. I didn’t even go to any other bridal shops! I had only been engaged for two weeks so I was a bit keen! I tried really hard not to look at the photos too much in the lead up to the big day so I didn’t get too familiar with it. My dress was a floor length dress with a sweetheart neckline and lace appliqués with a long train. I chose a very long cathedral length veil to match. I am very small boned and standing at only 5ft tall my poor seamstress, Sari had a task on her hands! She was absolutely amazing though, practically taking the dress apart to make it hug my figure, even creating a corset to give me the illusion of hips!
I make my living as a bridal headpiece designer so it was easy where I was going to turn for my accessories – myself! However the pressure of making something spectacular was always there. I created a headpiece out of hand formed ceramic flowers with diamanté centres and sprigs with pearls and Swarovski crystals. It was to be the first of my new ceramic collection and what better launch than at our own wedding! For my bridesmaids and maid of honour I made them a hair vine out of mulberry paper flowers with pearl and diamanté sprigs and a posy from larger paper flowers and lace embellishments. I presented them with their accessories on the morning of the wedding so it was a lovely surprise and also a gift they could treasure forever. For my mum I made her a hatinator to match the blush pink and ivory accents in her dress. And for our dog Pickle, a Chihuahua/miniature pinscher cross, I made her a dog jacket out of the large paper roses. She looked so cute that a photo of the two of us made it on the cover of a local wedding magazine!
I wanted to go for a classic look with my hair and makeup. With my dark brunette hair I chose a more refined version of a beehive which I wore all throughout my twenties! And for my makeup I chose Sophie White MUA because I had stalked her fresh, bright, flawless makeup for a while and thought it was beautiful! I had one coat of a spray tan a couple of days before the wedding (they had never done just one coat before so there was a big risk of it not covering properly!) so I looked a little more sun kissed than usual and Sophie matched my skin tone with her velvety foundation, partnered with Hollywood lashes and soft peach lipstick. My glam team made me feel like an absolute princess!
For my bridesmaids, we decided to have their hair in a half up, half down style and I made them a flower headpiece to slot in the back.
George went to the barbers a couple of days before to have his fading on the sides touched up and he kept a bit of stubble which I love!
The Readings & Music
We chose a humorous reading for the ceremony called I’ll be There by Louise Cuddon which Alex, George’s brother recited.
We had the immensely talented Yazzy, playing guitar and singing Sunshine on my Shoulders by John Denver as I walked down the aisle with my best friend Tom. It was an emotional moment and I was very happy to see George shedding a couple of tears when I got to him, so much so that I shouted ‘Yes he’s crying!’ and the whole congregation chortled! Yazzy sang whilst we were signing the register and then lead us out to Signed, Sealed Delivered I’m Yours by Stevie Wonder. Our guests were lead to the front of the house where Yazzy continued to entertain them whilst drinking bubbles and we snuck off for family photos.
We had an amazing photographer called Holly Collings who captured our big day perfectly. We literally went through a list of about 70 photographers and we just loved the bright and colourful style she has. It was lovely getting to know her and she was a big hit with our guests. She kept me calm and made us comfortable whilst taking all the couple shots and captured some lovely natural photos of our guests too.
One thing we knew we definitely wanted was a great video of the day! I had seen one of our videographer’s films posted on our venue’s social media so I knew he was familiar with Muddifords Court and could imagine what he could do with ours. He brought a colleague with him and together with an army of camera and drones they captured the most incredible three hour long video of our big day including a two minute teaser video to send to friends and family. I’m going to make poor George sit through the three hour film every anniversary now!
George really suits dark forest green and he wanted something a bit different so he chose a beautiful three piece suit from ASOS. He also bought about 3-4 different shirts to show me, one of them was an 80s ruffled shirt which I detested when I saw it and he sure surprised me on the day when I realised he was wearing it! Luckily when I saw it all together with the suit I loved it!! His ushers wore the same suit but with a plain white shirt and he bought different patterned pocket squares for each of them with a pair of sunglasses – they all looked very handsome!
The bridesmaids were very much a part of the dress buying process. With them all living in different parts of the country I knew I had to buy them on the internet (ASOS) so they could all order them and send photos to each other. With the suits being such a stand out colour we knew we had to compliment them so we went for a neutral light blush pink colour in a high neck and floor length style – they all looked absolutely beautiful.
With having a partly Greek wedding and with George’s family hailing from Cyprus – this destination was an obvious choice for our honeymoon! We didn’t actually set off until about 6 weeks after the wedding so it was nice not to get the wedding blues and have the honeymoon to look forward to! We went for a week and were treated like royalty at the hotel – it was upgrades and free drinks galore from the staff and other holidaymakers! It was certainly one to remember.
We both really enjoyed spending the morning with our bridal party and ushers and then when the close family came to see us separately for the Greek blessing. Each family member had to wrap a red scarf around us, mist incense over our heads and kiss us on each cheek. It was really special.
One of my favourite parts was the ceremony. It was so overwhelming to walk into the Cider Barn to see it full to the absolute brim with all of our family and friends. I also enjoyed seeing George get emotional and reading our vows to each other! Our dog baby Pickle joined us to sign the register which was very cute.
The dancing was absolutely epic. Nearly 200 people dancing in a huge circle to a live Greek band as the sun went down… such fun! The Greek money dance was also quite an experience! Each guest came up to us to pin a note onto our outfit, you nearly couldn’t see my dress and George’s suit by the end of it! A very surreal moment!
Advice For Other Couples
I got up early to take a little walk around the venue on my own. I really wanted to have a moment to myself to take in what was about to happen on the day and soak it all up.
Make sure you delegate tasks to your bridesmaids and ushers! The ushers very kindly lit all the candles and turned on the LED lights suspended from the ceiling and my bridesmaids helped with fetching my dress from another room in the main house and taking my overnight bag to the bridal suit where I would be swapping to that evening. Also give them the contact details of your suppliers and the times they are meant to be arriving so they can chase them if need be, you don’t want to be worrying about anything like that.
We printed out and laminated a running order and gave them to every single supplier involved on the day (photographer, videographer, catering, band, DJ etc), also had them on our table to reference. That way everyone knew what was going to be happening at that particular time and you didn’t have to worry about time keeping.
Take a few minutes out of the day to run away with your new husband/wife! We escaped to the bridal apartment for ten minutes or so to catch up on the day and have a little kiss! You’re chatting so much to all the guests that sometimes you don’t even talk to each other for a while! Also make sure you have plenty of dancing together on the dance floor. The day will be over before you know it.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Holly Collings Photography
Wedding Dress & Veil
Brides at Waterfields
Hair Accessories Bride Bridesmaids Mother of The Bride & Furry Friends
Claire Austin England
The Greek Outdoors
Fig and Smoke
DJ & Illuminated Letters
Flower La Vita
Anon Design Studio
Sophie White Make-up Artist
Sari the Seamstress
The Sanctuary Tanning & Beauty Salon
Bridesmaids’ Dresses & Suit
Venue Décor Hire – Signs
Daisy Daisy Films
Dotty’s Chair Covers
Claire and George what an honour it’s been to share your stunning Greek English fusion wedding. Thank you so much for sharing your magical wedding story with us xo Lou