What a floral feast for the eyes we have for you today! Think gorgeous containers filled to the brim with dahlias and berries and a simply beautiful vast tumbling bridal bouquet.
WWW readers Michelle and Matthew tied the knot on 1st September 2016 at Priston Mill Tythe Barn in Bath. They really wanted the day to be absolutely filled with flowers without being too girly, so they plumped for lots of gorgeous colours rather than keeping strictly to a theme and had the fabulous idea of including succulents in the arrangements. I absolutely love the bike signage with a fern bursting out of the basket.
Michelle found her gorgeous St Patrick gown at the Bridal Room near Bristol and Matt was a Next Groom, the beautiful bridesmaids wore pretty pink Lipsy dresses. Clever Michelle made the stunning headpiece she wore on the day after months of blood sweat and tears, I think it looks simply incredible.
Now time to sit back and take in all the floral beauty at this wedding. Brides and grooms to be who are feeling a little nervous about the big day will also be hugely comforted by Michelle’s words about her nerves on the day.
Thanks so much to Katrina Matthews Photography for capturing all the beauty and supplying these fantastic images.
THE PROPOSAL | What can I say, I accidentally said ‘no’ before ‘Yes’!! Oooops!
On Friday 13th 2015 was the happiest day of my life, but not without a few hiccups along the way. I finished work at lunchtime like I did every Friday, I worked in Bristol and drove home to Cardiff (which in Friday traffic took around an hour and a half). Matt worked from home so I was expecting to see him when I arrived, but the house was empty. I walked into the kitchen to a box of chocolates, flowers, a CD and a very long two page A4 letter. He had explained that I needed to type in a postcode into my phone and leave straight away. Well I thought it was something to do with Valentine’s day and at the time I was a bit annoyed because I was calling his phone to find out what was going on as the journey was another hour and a half in traffic. None the less I fed the cat, took my chocolates for the journey and put my CD in the car. I arrived in Bath nearly two hours later where the satnav had taken me to Alexandra Park (plus a few wrong turns thanks to the satnav having a few dodgy directions). Matt was sat on the bench, I was still none the wiser and began to have a bit of a pop about the traffic, when the next thing I knew he was on one knee. Well I began to cry and accidentally said ‘no’, no, I can’t believe this is happening!! I said yes immediately, burst into tears and then we both got rained on. Matt had organised it in Bath because he knew how much I loved it there, after living there briefly for university. He had arranged for us to be spoilt in the Thermae Bath Spa and we went for a meal after, it was truly magical. The ring…well, it is a stunning yellow diamond set within a base of clustered diamonds. I was later told that matt has designed it himself on a secret journey to Birmingham’s Diamond Quarter , where he was involved in a minor car accident (a small white lie which he had told me happened in Cardiff). The CD, he told me, should have let the cat out of the bag. The CD I listened to the whole journey was all about love, my favourite songs and rings etc, for example Beyoncé ‘Single Ladies (put a ring on it)’, but I didn’t guess at all!! It was a brilliant day and one we will both look back on with happiness for the rest of our lives.
THE VISION | Whimsical flower garden style, pastel tones and rustic, old tin can style watering cans on tables, flowers everywhere, with tea cups scattered around the venue.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The planning began straight after the engagement. I had always envisioned flowers everywhere, however I didn’t want to to be too ‘girly’, so I really appreciated Matt’s input. I wanted to him to be every part of the planning decisions as I were. We both agreed we wanted a barn style wedding, really relaxed and mostly somewhere with beautiful surroundings for the guests to enjoy as much as us. We had a wedding planner diary, which we filled with dates, budgets and most importantly a checklist of things left to do. It was so completely satisfying to watch the list of ‘to dos’ getting smaller and smaller. We had booked the venue over a year in advance, the flowers I had enquired about and booked shortly after and I was in touch with our wedding photographer almost straight after the engagement, I knew exactly who I wanted and didn’t want to chance that she would be booked. Overall, we had been very organised and everything went perfectly to plan on the day.
BUDGET | £12,000.00 to £15,000.00
THE VENUE | Priston Mill Tythe Barn in Bath, the most wonderful wedding location in the south west. The venue is set amongst wonderful landscapes, flower garden and even a wooden playground for the children and adults alike. Priston Mill is made up of two venues, the Tythe Barn for larger wedding parties and the Water Mill for slightly smaller weddings. Although both were beautiful throughout and the Water Mill had an outdoor license to get married in, we decided the barn was more our style and it was very spacious and easy to decorate. When we booked the venue, we were assigned a wedding planner who ensured we knew when we had to make decisions by etc. The food was so incredible. Priston mill only allow their in house catering team to prepare the food and therefore you cannot have any external companies to come and cater, but their menus are extensive and worked with our budget perfectly. We came to decorate the venue the day before and the staff let us do whatever we wanted which was great and gave us a chance to be creative. We even had an old-fashioned style ice cream trike with chocolate cones, they were amazing!!!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Saint Patrick ‘Haeddo’ design from the glamour collection. A contemporary design with a strong, sophisticated European flair. The dress is full of light and magic, featuring an elegant silhouette, romantic lace bodice which cascades down to the train and the most beautiful open swoon-worthy statement back.
The shoes, Jimmy Choo Tyne glitter high heel in Anthracite (a beautiful metallic grey) were perfect!! Not only were they the first designer shoe I have ever owned, but they were given to me the morning of the wedding by my husband…what a wonderful surprise!!
Throughout the day, we had photographs on the fields surrounding the venue, for this Matt and I wore wellington boots. It was so much fun and the guest weren’t expecting us to be waving at them from afar.
In the evening, when the dancing commenced I changed into a pair of diamond encrusted sandals from Accessorize. They looked pretty and matched my dress really well.
I wore jewellery from Links of London, in the same shimmering great and the shoes.
Throughout the year, I had been umm’ing and ahh’ing over headpieces which I either couldn’t afford or just didn’t like. I choose to learn the technique and make my own. After several months of cutting myself, purple fingers and losing many beads, I finally gained the knowledge of jewellery making and designed/created my headpiece. I made it from Swarovski beads and silver wire. The beads were opal for my birth stone and several different size and colour variations to make up the piece. I loved doing it and I am considering a career in making custom items for other magpie brides who love shiny things as much as I do.
Hair I had curled by the hairdresser and I asked for it to be half pinned up. The makeup I did myself, as I wanted a natural look.
FINDING THE DRESS | In 2015 I had seen an advert online for a shop in Westbury-On-Trym ‘The Bridal Room’, where they were having an open morning flash sale. This was going to be the first time I had tried on a wedding dress and I had the idea of a beautiful flowing, bohemian gown (many of which I had already posted on Pinterest in preparation). I arrived with one of my bridesmaids and I immediately saw a wonderful dress which I could only dream about. I tried it on with so much excitement, however when I put it on my dreams were ruined. The dress had so much fabric I was swamped, I looked like I had been dressed by a child! The assistant was very kind and helpful, she give me her truthful views and we all agreed that it wasn’t the dress for me. She had suggested I look through the rails and find two dresses completely different and something which I wouldn’t ever normally look for. I found one dress which was like Kim Kardashian would wear, very glamorous, however this looked awful on my 5ft 5 body. I finally tried on a dress I had mentioned ‘my mum would like’ (never a good start ha!), but it was so perfect I didn’t take it off for a full hour. Strutting around the shop in many pairs of high heels, I was in a dream. The train followed me around, the beads and sequins caught the light and I felt incredible, it was ‘the one’.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | The suits were purchased from Next and were tailored navy blue wool with a slight speckle, with a burgundy silk lining. They groomsman looked very handsome. Matt had made the decision to have everyone in matching suits and white shirts, but white different ties and pocket squares (all different patterns and shades of blue). This looked effective and he received many compliments for his design flair. The groomsmen also all wore brogue style shoes in brown, but matt didn’t want everyone to wear the exact same shoe.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Around 6 years prior to the wedding I had a friend who would perform in the Vocal Works Gospel Choir and I always said from that day on that I wanted them to preform if I ever got married. Well my dream came true! We had arranged to have the most incredible choir to surprise our guests upon entering the barn hall when they were sitting down. The Vocal Works Gospel Choir stood on the mezzanine and wowed the guest with several songs before the bridal party arrived. During months of preparation, we wanted songs to really uplift the guests and ensure they had the most memorable experience. The song which I was walking down the aisle to became the hardest to decide on. I think I listened to thousands of songs until I came across the Little Mix cover of Whitney Houston and Jason Derulo singing Dance with Somebody mash up, the choir were willing to learn this and I was so excited to receive an email leading up to the wedding with a preview of how it would sound…it sounded AMAZING!!! When they performed this on the day I was fighting back the tears, it was absolutely fantastic and so completely unexpected for the guests!
In the evening, we decided to have a live band, The Moon Loungers. They have won many award for being the best wedding band in the south west and they didn’t disappoint. The guests were up dancing and they provided a disco for the times they were on a break. Matt and I had chosen the Tom Petty ‘Free Fallin’ song for our first dance and the band performed it for us. It was a special moment as we had listened to that song on our first date a few years before.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The bridesmaids were great and so easy going, they were happy for me to pick whichever dress I liked. I choose a Lipsy pastel pink long dress dress with silver embellishment detail on the bust. The girls looked beautiful. I paid for a hairdresser to put the two bridesmaid’s hair up in a fancy bun and the flower girl to have loose waves and a bohemian style braid as she was wearing a flower crown. They all wore nude shoes.
THE FLOWERS | The idea of having flowers everywhere made my dream wedding perfect! I didn’t want anything fancy and stuck in place, I wanted it to look like they had been swept up from a wild flower garden. My original idea included peonies, however these were not in season in September and therefore I had to choose Dahlias to take their place, and I am so glad I did! The flowers were incredible, matt wanted to have succulents, so they went in the bouquets and the buttonholes, we had berries and cascading ivy, well to say it was whimsical was an understatement. My bouquets was enormous and almost touched the floor, I picked all the flowers to go in it and it was so much better than I could have imagined. My florist was in Bristol’s ST Nicolas Market ‘Lucy Anna Flowers’, she is well known for creating beautiful pieces. We supplied all the watering cans and containers two weeks before the wedding and Lucy created her arrangements and took them to the venue the morning of the wedding. I trusted her completely with the table arrangements, she knew exactly what I wanted. Lucy Also decorated the cake with fresh berries and flower.
Matt sat and made the hanging milk bottles for the chairs, so I would walk down a flower aisle and we had jam jars to fill up the venue. I bought gypsophila, roses, and many other flowers to fill up the jars for all the knocks and crannies in the barn. My mum had grown hydrangeas especially for the occasion and many of the guest took these home with them because they were so beautiful.
THE CAKE | We went for a cake tasting session with the wonder Anna Tyler Cakes in Clifton, Bristol and couldn’t decide on one flavour so we had three tiers in different flavours. The bottom layer was chocolate, the middle was sponge with strawberry jam and the top was my favourite – Lemon! We didn’t want anything over the top, so we asked for it to be a semi naked cake (this is when they coat the outside in butter cream and wipe it off in areas). Our florist decorated the cake in fresh flowers and berries, it looked and tasked incredible! Anna also made a boozy fruit cake for my dad as it was his birthday on the same day as the wedding.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | My friend Katrina Matthews from University was my one and only choice for the photography and thank goodness, she was free for the occasion. Katrina focuses on natural wedding photography and captures the special moments throughout the day. Matt and I wanted little time spent on the posed photos and more time on the guests having fun, and the photos are incredible to look back on. I didn’t see Katrina much throughout the day, she mingled with guest and snapped away, she really captured the sense of fun we had anticipated. I met with Katrina twice before the wedding and we were in contact throughout the whole process, she really wanted to get a sense of what both Matt and myself were looking for and what outcomes we would like to see. I felt like I couldn’t have had a better person doing it, she really was great. The morning of the wedding I was really sick with nerves and before I had even gotten out of bed I sent Katrina a text to find out if that was normal and if other brides felt like that. Katrina put my mind at rest and really encouraged me, it was normal and I just had to enjoy the day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Watering cans, flowers, un-matching cups and saucers containing beautiful fauna, pastel shades throughout the venue inside and out, rustic feel, slightly bohemian. We wanted the whole venue to look effortless and I feel like we achieved it.
THE HONEYMOON | A treehouse in an idyllic location, in Taunton. Never interested in the ordinary we booked this incredible venue after seeing it online. We were looking at log cabins and nothing was nice enough for a honeymoon, so I began to search for venues which were out of the ordinary and this, amongst other things, came up. It was so beautiful, we had wonderful sunshine as we sat in our jacuzzi on the balcony and looked out over horse occupied fields. There was a swimming pool which only Matt and I seemed to use and fabulous walks in the countryside. The treehouse itself was a little piece of luxury and we were presented with Prosecco in the fridge upon arrival. The tree house was so spacious and had the most enormous bed in the roof, such a quirky find. We had a peaceful and relaxing honeymoon and even visited Longleat for a day out. We will still look forward to saving for a luxury honeymoon abroad where we will visit Las Vegas, New York and everywhere in-between.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | All of it!!! Being too sick in the morning to move, nerves got the better of me, saying our vows, the father in law stripping on the dance from, my father getting too drunk to stand (that happens in every wedding right?!), the beautiful guests having fun and of course the wonderful food to be enjoyed by everyone.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Plan everything in advance and have fun with your ideas. We did almost everything ourselves and it looked so original, I would do it all again tomorrow if I could. Use Pinterest, there are great ideas to help you decide what theme you want, ask peoples opinions and remember to keep some surprises back to amaze your guests!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Katrina Matthews Photography
Flowers | Lucy Anna Flowers
Cake | Anna Cake Couture
Choir | Vocal Works Gospel Choir
Band | The Moon Loungers
Venue | Priston Mill
Shoes | Jimmy Choo
Wedding Dress | The Bridal Room
Suits | Next
Thank you so much for sharing your fabulously floral special day with us Michelle and Matt! Rachel x