What a treat we have in store today with WWW readers Charlotte and Lee’s Tortworth Court wedding held in the orangery in beautiful Gloucestershire on 30th May 2019. The glass house provided the perfect backdrop to their fantasy novel inspired day, which had nods to books such as Harry Potter and Dr Who; think love potions, a tardis and even custom converse. The results were so personal and just really very awesome.
What I’ve yet to tell you though is that bride Charlotte AKA Charlotte Munro Weddings is a wedding planner and stylist so you can be assured that their day was ever so stylish. One of the stand out elements to their celebrations was the flowers which were certainly in abundance. I so love the opulent flower arch, the incredible top table flowers and the pretty bouquets, they were all triumphant. I am also loving all of the outfits, Charlotte’s seriously dreamy hair style and the decadent stationery.
All of these marvellous captures are from Sanshine Photography, (just wait until you see the wisteria photos) and we really are so very grateful to be sharing them with you. Hooray!
Lee proposed to me on our 10th anniversary of dating! We decided to have a short break in Central London to celebrate and on the evening of he took me to the Shard for dinner. Just as we were admiring the view he proposed! Turns out everyone knew he’d planned it except for me, it was such a surprise!
Having worked as a wedding stylist, I had a lot of ideas and initially it was quite difficult to narrow it down into one consistent theme. But I love flowers, and I knew I really wanted to create an enchanted garden feel to the wedding, to bring the outside in. San, our amazing photographer and a great friend, was the first person to be involved in the wedding and I knew I wanted to find somewhere with lots of natural light for her so I started looking at orangeries, this also really tied in well with a garden feel, it didn’t matter what the weather was, hopefully we could still have the feel of being outdoors but in an Orangery.
Being an Author of fantasy novels published, Lee obviously has a lot of books and stories close to his heart, and we both had novel’s and shows we felt influenced us growing up. So we decided to try and incorporate a book/fantasy element to the wedding, with the table names being locations in our favourite books, and included book charms on the place names. We’re both big Whovian’s too, and Lee’s one request (quite an unconventional one!) was to have a Tardis at the wedding! My Dad, also an avid Whovian, completely loved this idea and set about building one, which we decided to use to as a backdrop for our photo booth.
The Planning Process
The planning process was overall quite simple, but I worked on weddings for a living so it was bound to be! The hardest element for me was actually deciding on suppliers, I’ve worked with so many great people it was difficult choosing between them. In the end we decided to go with people we felt confident with who were in easy reach of the venue. Having decided to go with a venue in Bristol, we live in London so it’s not local to us, I wanted suppliers who knew the venue and area well.
Our budget wasn’t as big as my wedding styling clients, but it was hard to not want the kind of weddings we provide for our clients. Ultimately to save money we created a lot of things ourselves, I designed the wedding stationery, and we created the menus and place names ourselves. We made the napkins, hair accessories and welcome signs. My mum designs jewellery as a hobby so she made our earrings and my necklace with Swarovski crystals.
I had a fairly extensive list of boxes our venue had to tick, including accommodation for ourselves and our guests, and of course natural light. We looked at lots of venues, I think I drove everyone mad, I’ve worked at lots of places but nothing quite fit. But when we saw Tortworth Court we just fell in love. From the Harry Potter-esque style of the main hotel, to the gorgeous Orangery, it had all the accommodation we could wish for, and even has a spa.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My bridal dress I designed myself, I bought a Caroline Castigliano sample and embellished it, adding silk and velvet flowers in ivory and blush pinks, Swarovski crystals and silk tulle sleeves.
For my hair I knew immediately I wanted flowers, but not a flower crown. We initially looked at fresh flowers, but ultimately I decided to create hair pins that matched my dress, using the same silk and velvet flower and Swarovski crystals.
Roxie, our wonderful hair and makeup artist does the most amazing hairstyles for brides, and she created a tumble of curls for me using hair extensions as my hair is really only shoulder length. The bridesmaids had matching softly curled updos, and they also had flowers pins in their hair.
Our lovely bridesmaids had burgundy coloured off the shoulder dresses from Coast. I wanted to go down a different route from the ever so popular pastel dresses that are everywhere at the moment. The bridesmaids dresses were actually one of the first things we purchased as we saw them in the Christmas party dress collection and I loved the colour so much we planned the rest of the wedding colours around them!
Lee and his groomsmen wore matching blue suits from Moss Bros. Lee hates formal shoes, he spends his life in trainers and converse, and so on the day he wanted to stay true to himself. My Dad actually wore cowboy boots to his wedding, so who was I to say no! For the wedding both he and my Dad had specially custom made Converse for the day with hand painted details from Dr Who.
The Details & Décor
Some of my favourite details from the day include our gold-edged Menus and hanging place names, which we printed on Khadi paper at home using our 15 year old A3 printer, and then gold leafed the edges of each one by hand.
Our favour potion bottles, which we filled with 3 different potion/tipples – Love Potion (marshmallow vodka) Truth Potion (Parma Violet Gin) and Liquid Luck (Crème Brulee Liqueur).
Our miniature Tardis seating chart, which my Dad had made as a surprise for Lee, to complement our full size one!
One of my favourite design elements of a wedding is the flowers! Flowers can make such an impact, and I wanted to have as many as we could. We worked with the absolutely amazing Claire at The Wilde Bunch who got our vision immediately. I wanted it to look like an enchanted garden, and Claire provided a huge variety of flowers. Hydrangeas, roses, sweetpea, astilbe and lily of the valley to name just a few. By having long tables we able to re-use the aisle flowers for the tables which made the most of our budget. Claire also used a lot of foliage, adding chair details to the top table, and dressing the back wall and plant pots with fern.
San & Michael, our amazing photographers, captured the magic of our day perfectly. I think the images speak for themselves, but they are by far some of the best photographers I’ve ever worked with. We have beautiful, happy, pictures of all of our guests on the day, and even Lee, who hates having his picture taken, felt relaxed in their presence.
I really wanted to have a dessert table at the wedding, so we decided to go with a smaller wedding cake to enable us to have more variety. Our cake designer, Lynsey, created a beautiful two tier cake with buttercream and sugar flowers, one tier chocolate and the other traditional sponge.
I really love red velvet cake, so she also created individual miniature red velvet cakes which were delicious! A wonderful friend provided our heart cookies, she made and shipped them for us all the way from Hungary! We also had butterbeer fudge, bubblegum flavoured jellybeans and chocolate frogs to tie in with our fantasy books theme.
Reading our vows of course, we both wrote our own and after being together for 12 years it was a beautiful and emotional moment.
Entering the reception as husband and wife – instead of walking through the doors per tradition, we hid inside the Tardis and came out after everyone was seated!
Walking through the grounds after the reception, just the two of us with our photographers, we had such a laugh with San & Michael, and it was lovely to have a moment to breathe and process the day.
Advice For Other Couples
Firstly, prioritise your photography/videography. The day goes so fast, and as hard as you try to you won’t have time to see everyone. We only had 70 guests at our wedding but there were still people we didn’t get to say hello to until the evening or even the next day! Your images are the one thing you will have to look back on for years to come; I absolutely love our photos and will treasure them forever.
Secondly, focus on what’s important to you. It’s really easy to get caught up in the traditions you’re supposed to follow/what your parents want/what great aunt Mabel thinks makes a wedding. We threw so many traditions out the window – we wrote our own vows, Lee wore Converse. We had long tables, jelly beans, chocolate frogs and a Tardis! Our wedding was completely 100% us and completely unique, and we absolutely loved it.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Wedding Planning, Stationery & Police Telephone Box
Charlotte Munro Weddings
On The Day Coordination
Sweet & Pretty
The Wilde Bunch
Hair & Makeup
Brides Own Design
So creative and oh so stylish.
Charlotte and Lee, I cannot thank you both enough for sharing your very beautiful wedding day with us xo Lou