By Rachel Harrison
WWW readers Cara and Ash wed at Lypiatt Park in Gloucestershire on 22nd July 2017 and as well as being an incredible beautiful day, it also looked like an absolute riot! Cara looks just divine in her Pronovias gown and Ash, an ever so smart groom in his Suit S upply three piece.
There was no specific colour theme, rather the tone of the day was set by a different kind of theme – gin! Our couple used a variety of bottles to display beautiful blooms as well as, of course, the gin bar to end all bars! Resplendent with light up letters and of course all the trimmings any gin connoisseur could wish for, this was somewhat of a centrepiece for their stretch tent reception. Cara even invested in balloon glasses for an authentic gin drinking experience!
The festoon and pea lights really add to the magic and paper lanterns and pom poms helped to create the party atmosphere. Inspired by Pinterest, Cara’s Dad also painstakingly cut down logs to make a simply beautiful log and candle display, so effective.
We have the wonderful Victoria Somerset-How to thank for capturing all the fun and love today – enjoy every gorgeous image!
THE PROPOSAL | Being proposed to in Central Park, New York City, was pretty special. Unbeknown to me, Ash had found a beautiful, undisturbed, sun- drenched spot overlooking the lake which was soon ruined by an old lady who trudged down to the waters edge only to start washing her underwear in the lake! At the time I couldn’t understand why Ash had got so mad at the old lady disturbing our peace but it all made sense a few hours later when he got down on one knee, popped out a gorgeous diamond and asked me to be his wife. New York holds such a special place in our hearts and I cannot wait to go back and visit again!
THE VISION | We didn’t really have a vision as such. Oh, other than gin, and lots of it!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The less said about this the better! We found planning very stressful.
THE VENUE | Private, grade II listed medieval and Tudor manor house, Lypiatt Park in Bisley, Gloucestershire (the area where I grew up). I’d visited the property and grounds a number of times over the years and had always dreamed of getting married there. It is just stunning.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My ‘something new’ was my dress, by Pronovias. I love their dresses so much and had had my eye on their collection since we got engaged. My ‘something old’ (and blue and borrowed!) was one of my Dad’s mum’s sapphire rings that she left to my sister, Molly. Other than my gold signet ring and a pair of crystal drop earrings from Liberty in Love I didn’t wear any other jewellery. I’d planned on borrowing Molly’s gold Astley Clarke necklace when my ‘jacket’ came off in the evening but annoyingly I completely forgot to put it on (having too much fun, clearly!) I wore a flower comb in my hair which comprised of the flowers in my bouquet. I’d always been very tempted to treat myself to a pair of designer shoes for my wedding day. I knew I didn’t want to wear traditional white bridal shoes and if I was going to be spending several hundred pounds that I wanted them to be something I would definitely wear again. I found the red suede Christian Louboutin beauties in Selfridges on Oxford Street and fell in love. As well as being divine to look at they are the most comfortable pair of heels I own- despite being 4 inches high I kept them on until 1am! I found an amazing dotty garter from Florence and Dot which matched the delicate dotty tulle of my dress.
FINDING THE DRESS | My dress was everything I originally thought I didn’t want- strapless, princess, not lace!!! I went for a few different fittings, some with my mum and sisters and another fitting with my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law (to be!) We found the dress in the fifth shop I went into and when my mum and sisters saw me in the dress we just all knew it was ‘the one.’
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ash wore a three piece navy suit which he had made for him from Suitsupply in London. Cufflinks were his favourite ones from Mont Blanc. Shoes were from Russell and Bromley.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Award- winning concert harpist Keziah Gayle kindly played in the church for us. She played Elvis- ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ as I walked down the aisle with my Dad. We didn’t hire an organist, instead we had planned on playing our hymns on CD. So it was the most wonderful surprise when the vicar announced on the day that Keziah would be playing them too. Whilst we were signing the register she played Debussy- Clair de lune and we had The Beatles- ‘All You Need Is Love’ as our Recessional. We had two readings- the first was the biblical one and we chose Corinthians Chapter 13. For the second, we thought we’d have a little fun. One of Ash’s close friends read the lyrics of Madness- ‘It Must be Love’ song. He got everyone standing and singing the chorus with him. I don’t think the vicar knew what to do with himself!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | It was a given that my two younger sisters would be my bridesmaids. I was pretty relaxed about their dresses and wanted them to be happy with what they wore, instead of being forced into something they didn’t feel comfortable in, so I let them choose them. (Mind you, I might have had something to say if they’d picked something horrendous!) We all loved the idea of them being in white. They wore the Azaelea dress by Self-portrait accessorized with pink/nude shoes (Harrie’s from L. K. Bennett and Molly’s from Esprit). I bought them each gold initial necklaces by Missoma as a gift which I gave to them on the morning when we were all getting ready together at our family home. They looked so beautiful. I’d also bought the three of us girls matching white broderie anglaise cotton camisole and shorts sets from Florence and Fred at Tesco, and printed purple robes from Anthropologie. They loved them. We all went to the hairdresser’s in town to have our hair done on the morning where they decided how to have their hair done. I visited Bobbi Brown in Covent Garden a few weeks before the big day and bought a some select pieces of makeup and Molly did my makeup for me.
THE FLOWERS | Looking back, I wish we’d allocated more of the budget on flowers. However at the time it simply wasn’t there! I knew I wanted peonies as they are my favourite flower, so I had some of those in my bouquet and hair comb. We had gin bottles filled with flower stems as our table centrepieces. The flowers were very different from the brief I gave my florist but I loved them all the same!
THE CAKE | We didn’t have a cake! Instead my mum made a tower of her infamous chocolate brownies which she arranged on a log ring decorated with raspberries and icing sugar. I also sourced two organic cakes from a local café, one was a carrot cake and the other was apple, ginger, sultana and walnut. Ash is a bit of a sweet fiend so we had a ‘candy bar’ with lots of different pic and mix!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Victoria Somerset, who is one of the loveliest people I have ever met, let alone ‘worked with’ (if you can even call it that, she is more like a friend to me!). She is relaxed, unobtrusive and fitted in like a guest on the day. Her documentary style was just what we were after, none of this posed stuff. We couldn’t be happier with the final pics, they are so, so special.
YOUR VIDEOGRAPHER | I had toyed with the idea of a videographer right from the start (Ash initially wasn’t that keen on getting one). In the end I went with my gut feeling and I just knew we had to have one. Luckily Ash had been persuaded after seeing our friends’ wedding video. I think I would have regretted it massively if we hadn’t gone for one.
With this being said, the decision to hire a videographer was made about 5 weeks before our wedding?! Luckily the amazing Siobhan from McGill Sister Films had our wedding date as her last free summer date left. Our budget would only stretch to the highlight film (which we LOVE!) but the lovely thing about McGill Sister Films is that they keep all the footage for a year so that you can upgrade to a longer version later down the line (which we have already decided to do!) Here is the link to our film.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Pinterest was a huge source of inspiration. I had so many different boards dedicated to separate components of our wedding day, and a lot of the décor was home made. The idea for our ‘loggery’ (log and candle arrangement) came from there (thanks, Dad, for taking a chainsaw to several trees to help achieve my vision!). I used my old wooden childhood desk to recreate a ‘Pimp your prosecco’ station and Ash’s clever uncle set up a photobooth. Being an enormous gin fan (and self- confessed gin snob!) I wanted the gin bar to be a big feature inside the stretch tent, using quality gins, tonics and garnishes, and it didn’t disappoint. We hired a couple of wooden bars from Bath Vintage Hire (the other one for beer) and decorated it with fairy lights, big ‘GIN’ letter lights from Ebay and frames with gin phrases and images that we printed off and put in some old unused frames my parents had. We also bought a hundred balloon copa gin glasses online. I did all the calligraphy and signage for our wedding after going to a beginner’s calligraphy course by Quill London. I can’t recommend it enough for any creative brides-to-be!
Our vintage style crockery was hired from a local lady and worked well with the rustic wooden tables. My dad also sliced (more!) wood logs and stencilled numbers onto them which we had as table numbers. We hired strings of festoon and fairy lights and hung coloured pom poms and lanterns from the tent ceiling.
THE HONEYMOON | We went on a minimoon to Barcelona straight after the wedding and are in the throes of planning our ‘full moon’ at the moment- I can’t wait!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Gosh, where to start! Getting ready with my mum and sisters was so special, it was such a relaxed morning in the end (despite getting up at 5.30am for a last- minute check of the venue and realising the orders of services hadn’t been finalised!). Walking down the stairs to my Dad in tears was an emotional moment, which has been captured beautifully by both Victoria and Siobhan. The feeling of relief and excitement as we drove away to the reception after the ceremony in our little Jaguar just the two of us. The speeches were amazing- I loved them. Also when Victoria and Siobhan took Ash and I off after our first dance for half an hour or so to capture some pictures in the beautiful grounds- I loved that part of the evening. Sitting on the floor with my huge dress puffing out around me and a whole pizza in my hand (we had Baz and Fred make 100 pizzas for our evening food).
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t fret about the weather. I was SO upset that rain was forecast on our wedding day, our country, outdoorsy wedding day that I couldn’t imagine being anything other than sunny, and it took lots of talks with my mum to calm me down and put things into perspective. The weather is the one thing you simply have no control over.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Victoria Somerset-How
Videography | McGill Sister Films
Marquee | Freestretch
Rings | Christopher James
Florist | Suzanne Flowers
DJ | Brad Francis
Saxophonist | Chris Whiter
Catering | Mrs Massey’s Delicious Dinner
Evening food | Baz & Fred
Chairs, tables, refrigerated trailer, posh loos, wooden barrels | Bisley Leisure Hire
Catering equipment | Gloucester Event Hire
Vintage crockery | Shabby Chic Vintage Hire
Bars and props | Bath Vintage Hire
Harpist | Keziah Thomas
Wow! Cara and Ash, didn’t the stressful planning pay off in a big way! Thank you for sharing your brilliant wedding with us. Rachel x
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