By Rachel Harrison
I do love a G&T and if you do too, you’re going to LOVE this wedding! WWW readers Ceri and Gavin wed at Bradbourne House in Kent on the 28th July 2017 and themed their whole day around their favourite spirit. From centrepieces to the beverages on offer, there’s some serious gin-spiration here!
Ceri opted for a gorgeous Charlie Brear dress and what a great idea to have a matching overdress to have a completely different look for the evening. Gavin opted for Jack Bunneys suits for him and his groomsmen and very sweetly gave them all matching animal tie pins as gifts.
Ceri and Gavin wanted a traditional venue but I love how they have included lots of modern touches with the stationery, signage and light box, that are still really in keeping with the feel of the day. What a beautiful setting for an outdoor ceremony too, the walled garden provided the perfect backdrop for their I dos. I can only imagine how good the day smelled with lots of herbs included in the florals, going along with the gin theme.
These beautiful images today come courtesy of Emma at Epic Love Story, thank you so much for sharing them with us.
THE PROPOSAL | After nearly ten years together we took a trip of a lifetime to Thailand. After a nice meal at our hotel we took a walk along the beach and Gav got down on one knee. After celebrating with a hug and quick kiss we were joined on the previously deserted beach by the resident three legged dog!
THE VISION | While on holiday in Thailand we were excitedly planning our wedding and decided the theme would have to be one thing we really had in common, our love of gin! This was the basis for our favours, table centrepieces, as well as the fantastic Gin Bar provided by our venue.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I am an event manager by profession, and this definitely put the pressure on from friends and family as their expectations were high! We had a two year engagement which really allowed us to enjoy the planning process. It was only in the final two weeks that the wedding pressure took over, however overall we really loved it.
THE VENUE | Bradbourne House, East Malling.
We both wanted a traditional wedding and when we visited Bradbourne House we knew it was the venue for us. The pictures and panelled walls had an air of Pride and Prejudice to it. We both love great food and drink and the team were so accommodating of all our wishes…even Gavin’s request for a Kebab in the evening with their Gourmet Falafel stand
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was a sample by Charlie Brear, a Voulaire Strapless Gown with a matching overdress. For my shoes I chose an ivory Victoria pair by Rachel Simpson, with a hair vine and earrings from Etsy.
FINDING THE DRESS | My mum had seen a shop in her local town (Abergavenny in Wales) and she had to take me there when I was visiting. It was the first bridal shop I had been to and we only went in ‘for a look’. After initially turning my nose up at the dress as it was strapless, I was persuaded by my mum to try it on and instantly fell in love. The overdress was my favourite part as I could take it off in the evening and it was like I had another dress on.
For alterations I went to Miss Kay’s Seamstress in Tunbridge Wells on recommendation from a work colleague. Martine was fantastic and made my sample dress feel like it was made for me. Nothing was too much trouble and she could not have been more helpful.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Gavin was a groomsman at a wedding last year and loved the quality and service provided by Jack Bunneys. We visited together and chose a lovely Navy suit with grey waistcoat. The Groomsmen and fathers wore the same, with a navy waistcoat to make Gav stand out. A last minute addition were the animal tiepins also from Jack Bunneys. Gav chose a different one for each groomsman for them to keep as a gift.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had our two good friends do readings during the ceremony. We had ‘On your Wedding Day’ and ‘He’s not Perfect’ by Bob Marley.
My brother is in a band and him and two of his bandmates offered to play during the ceremony and reception. I walked down the aisle to Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles and they played a selection of songs during our drinks reception. As it was raining outside we all crammed into the panelled room in the venue and a dancefloor (led mostly by Ceri’s Mum and Aunt) was soon in full swing!
In the evening we had a local band called Masterclass, along with their DJ. They learnt our first dance (For Lovers by Pete Doherty) and played a great selection of modern and classic songs. The DJ/band soundclash at the end of the night was great!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | After two failed attempts buying dresses online, myself and the bridesmaids headed to Westfield in White City. We went to House of Fraser first on the hunt for a grey dress that suited everyone including newly pregnant Janine! The first dress they tried on was a Silver Chiffon dress with a removable lace top from Ariella and it actually suited everyone. Easiest dress shopping ever.
THE FLOWERS | Our bouquets and button holes were made by Blooming Green. They incorporated our gin theme by using rosemary and other herbs in the buttonholes which was a fantastic touch.
In order to try and keep costs down, I bought buckets of flowers from Blooming Green for the centrepieces and decorative flowers. Myself, my mum and Bridesmaids spent a good few hours making these up the day before, which was trying at times but we were very pleased with the result!
THE CAKE | Neither of us are great fans of cake however I love cheese, so much so that Gav’s family call me mouse! It was only natural that we went for a tier of cheese in place of a cake. Our good friend put the cheese together for us, and decorated it with figs and grapes. A surprise pork pie for Gav was added to top the cake.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We met Emma from Epic Love Story at her local pub nearly two years before the wedding. We fell in love with her natural, unposed style as neither of formal photos at weddings. She was so friendly and really put us at ease. The photos we received were fantastic and really captured the magic of the day!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | As gin was our main theme, we decided to name each table after a bottle of gin. Throughout our engagement our friends and family (along with our local pub) saved their Gin bottles for us to help create our centrepieces, which were four bottles of the ‘named gin’ with flowers in.
I tried to make as many details as possible and designed and printed all of our invitations and stationary for the wedding. We also made the sloe gin favours, with my colleagues helping at lunchtime to pick the sloes. I did get some funny looks buying 6 litres of gin in tescos one day!
The Gin Bar was a first for Bradbourne House and it certainly was a hit with the guests. We created a signature cocktail which was served post-ceremony along with a choice of gins with different garnishes.
THE HONEYMOON | Straight after the wedding we spent a week on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. We hired an AirBnB and I had dreams of exploring the coast for a week however in reality we spent most of the time relaxing in the garden of our apartment!
In December we will be returning to Thailand for a second honeymoon, visiting Phuket, Ko Samui and Bangkok.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | During the ceremony, we had two bay trees in big pots either side of the canopy we were getting married under. Unfortunately it was a bit windy that day and both kept falling over in the wind. My Dad tried to keep standing them up, however by the end both had smashed while falling! I am known for being very clumsy, so all my friends agreed something had to break during our wedding, I’m just glad i didn’t fall over!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Take time to plan each and every detail and enjoy the planning as much as the day. It’s a fantastic feeling and it was a most enjoyable day.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Epic Love Story
Venue | Bradbourne House
Suits | Jack Bunneys
Make up | Clare Lake Make up Artist
Hair | Kent Bridal Hair
C&G Letters | Doris Loves
Florist | Blooming Green
Dress Alterations | Miss Kay Seamstress
Shoes | Rachel Simpson
Bridesmaid Dresses | House of Fraser
Magician | Martin Collins
Band | Masterclass
Ceremony Music | We Are Bandicoot
Toast Master | Michael Bowdry
Thanks ever so much Ceri and Gavin for sharing your marvellous day with us. Rachel x
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