Expect all the pretty here today lovely readers! We are delighted to be sharing WWW readers Cheryl and Dan’s beautifully romantic wedding day, which was held on the 3rd August 2017. One of the things I loved most about their celebrations, was just how involved their little daughter was on the day. As a parent myself and a parent and the time of getting hitched, I totally resonate with their family feel vision. Child friendly elements included a teepee decked out with fun props for the little ones, outdoor games and even a special ceremony spot for their daughter alongside them both. How lovely!
The chosen setting was The Tithe Barn at Priston Mill in Bath, and what a beautiful location it is. Enhanced further by this super stylish pair with florals for days and fairy lights galore! In fact the flowers really were the centrepiece to their décor and they chose one of my very favourite blooms, which I am growing myself this year, the stunning Cafe Au Lait Dahlia, alongside Roses, herbs and ample raw silk ribbons. The effect throughout their day really was special and scent was added with scented candles burning in the venue too. Then there was the beautiful attire, the cute signage and the stunning cake table, I really think you are going to adore this loved up day, captured perfectly by the wonderful Eleanor Jane. Many thanks Eleanor for sharing these images with us today.
Dan proposed at Land’s End, Cornwall with our daughter, Hattie, in the sling (she was 9 months at the time). The sun was glistening on the sea and as we were admiring the view, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Apparently, because he says I’m quite particular, he didn’t want to get the ring wrong so proposed with Haribo one instead, which was quite funny. I then got to pick a classic platinum solitaire soon afterwards :-)
We definitely wanted a timeless and elegant look for the wedding with flowers as the main decorative feature. We used blush pinks, fairy lights and elements of gold to help create that romantic and timeless look. Because we already had a daughter, we also knew we wanted to embrace having children as part of our day and it definitely made wedding more personal, relaxed and fun.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
From Dan proposing to getting married was nearly two years. We wanted money to save, time to really think about what we wanted and for our daughter to be be able to walk down the aisle. We started by writing a guest list, which helped us to determine the size of wedding and then possible venues. We knew we wanted a barn or a similar relaxed venue rather than a manor house as the informal, ‘English country garden’ look is definitely more us. As soon as we decided our venue at Priston Mill, we moved onto booking suppliers that we knew would get booked up pretty quickly so that ended up being the photographer (Eleanor Jane), the hair and makeup ladies (Charlotte Tillyer and Katy Pheiffer) and the nearby accommodation for the bridal party (Radford Villa).
Our budget was £20,000 but I think we ended up spending closer to £23,000!
The Tythe Barn at Priston Mill is such a lovely rustic barn with plenty of space. As well as having a large barn room for the wedding ceremony and wedding breakfast, it also has a parlour area with plenty of comfortable seats and a large mezzanine area with more additional seating: it was great to find somewhere which was large and comfortable enough to accommodate different people’s needs. The décor inside is neutral with creams, greys and sage greens and these background colours were perfect for our blush florals and gold toned accessories. Priston Mill really does have such beautiful gardens full of blooming and fragrant flowers and is surrounded by the rolling Bath countryside so we knew that we knew it ticked many of our boxes (without being ridiculously expensive!). Because the main barn is so tall, paying a company to do lighting wasn’t an option so we bought fairy lights from eBay and hung them at the end of the barn and across the mezzanine and bar areas. This certainly helped to create the relaxed and pretty atmosphere we wanted and finished off the room perfectly.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
My dress was a strapless, silk ball gown called Ivy, designed by Stephanie Allin. With this I wore a crystal belt from Ivory and Co and then I had a bespoke headpiece made for the back of my hair by Abigail Grace. I got to choose the crystals and shapes for the headpiece with Amanda, from Abigail Grace, and these complimented the belt. It really was a statement headpiece and stood out through my thick, blond hair. I’m so pleased I chose to do this as I had a one of a kind piece which was very different to anything sold online or in bridal shops. I chose not to wear a veil as I found it too much with my headpiece. I didn’t have a bracelet or necklace either as I am a true believer of less is more when it comes to jewellery so opted instead to just have a pair of simple crystal, stud earrings. My shoes were are bargain from Harriet Wilde. I managed to buy a classic pair of satin, ivory shoes for £60. I have since bought another pair from her website!
FINDING THE DRESS
I found it very difficult to find ‘the dress’ as most shops only stocked lace dresses. While I love lace, all the shops stocked heavy lace, which was very embellished (nothing like I had pinned on Pinterest, which was annoying!) I found when trying them on that they really aged me so something plain was my mission. Luckily, the owner of High Society in Cowbridge really listened to what I wanted and found the one. She understood that I wanted something which accentuated my hour-glass shape. In the end, I struggled choosing between three plain dresses. My only reservation with the dress I chose was that it was too big (it had three layers of tulle petticoat) but, hey, it was my wedding day! The silk material was so luxurious and Rhiannon J from Cardiff Alterations did a fab job of making it two sizes smaller.
THE READINGS & MUSIC
During the wedding ceremony, we had a harpist Christine Kinder. She played A Thousand Years by Christina Perri as the processional song, Halo by Beyonce and Songbird by Fleetwood Mac as we signed the register, and Fireflies by Owl City as the recessional. She really was incredible and every song she played just sounded so beautiful. She played through the drinks reception with a mix of modern and classical songs. I’m so so glad we had a harpist and it also brought in another welsh, romantic element to our day.
The readings for our ceremony were Union, read by my auntie, I Love You (for the kindness in your eyes), read by Dan’s sister, and Guess How Much I Love You, read, with voices, by my brother as its our daughter’s favourite book. That was cute and funny all rolled into one as my brother attempted all the voices!
For the evening reception we had a band called The Edge. They played our first dance song which was Stay with You by John Legend. The words meant so much because we’d been together for almost 9 years by the time we got married. The two lead female vocalists then sang Crazy in Love by Beyonce and that definitely got everyone up dancing. They were really good and even had the staff singing and dancing along during the night!
Eleanor Jane was our photographer for the day and for our photobooth in the evening. Her work is beautiful and individual and she definitely tailors her photos to each couple and their venue. We were instantly drawn to her images because of her crisp and creative style and loved how beautiful the images looked in the Queensberry albums we bought. From initially meeting her to taking photos on the day to communicating afterwards via email, she was always professional and friendly and everyone has been blown away by the quality of the images.
We also had a videographer for the day, Ben from Bristol Wedding Film Company. We couldn’t have asked for a more funny, chilled person to video: I think he might be the nicest person in the wedding industry. He had me laughing all morning as I was getting ready and we barely noticed he was there. The video is so great to look back on and captures the day brilliantly, without the cheese factor.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
Well, what can I say? The details really matter! We chose a lot of beautiful florals to decorate the whole venue by the very talented Amber Persia. Around the venue we used accents of gold for that stylish finish. I bought gold edged terrariums and filled with them with candles and flowers. We had photos of grandparents in gold edged frames hung up and guests did a fingerprint tree as well as signing a guest book.
During the day, we had lawn games for the adults and children, and inside the venue I set up a teepee full of all sorts of props. This was an absolute winner for the parents and meant everyone could watch the speeches.
I arrived to the venue in a beautiful ivory Rolls Royce and this was decorated with a swag from Amber Persia. Signage and other stationery was designed by graphic designer Matthew Otten. This was in a light blue calligraphy and complimented the tones of the wedding. I also added ribbons to the large tree outside, painted an old door up to welcome guests in and we bought more fairy lights for the outside area at night.
The bouquets were filled with cafe au lait dahlias, garden roses, David Austin roses and scabiosa and then loosely tied with foliage and fresh herbs and finished with trailing silk ribbon. For the ceremony, we had two oversized pedestals brimming with the same flowers and framing the end of the aisle. We also had chair swags, flowers decorating the ‘order of events’ and ‘welcome’ sign and blush silk ribbons at the end of each pew (again, ordered from Amber and her team). Amber worked with me to create a different table setting for the wedding breakfast where the ‘top table’ was centred in the middle, again with an oversized floral centrepiece. The other 8 remaining guest tables sat around with low centrepieces. This really created a focal point and made the wedding breakfast more intimate and as we sat with the guests, rather than feeling we were on show. Amber’s attention to detail is brilliant. Each table had single stem roses in hand blown vases surrounding the floral centrepieces and everybody’s napkin had rosemary tied and draped with blush silk ribbon.
Flowers were added to the macaroon towers and on coffee tables. There really wasn’t an empty space without them! I also hired large candles which were lit all day on the ledges in the barn so the whole room smelt incredible.
My friend, Tanya, who owns the Cuppa Cakery, said she would kindly make the cake as a wedding present. I’m so glad she made it because she completely exceeded my expectations. I showed her a similar cake on Pinterest but asked her if she could simplify the design while still incorporating the distinctive gold edged trim. She made two macaroon towers to frame the cake and these had an ombre of blush pink to white, beautifully decorated with Amber Persia’s florals. As well as that, Tanya created sugar cookie favours for each guest, embossed with our names. Our wedding cake is now her signature cake for this year’s brides.
The navy dresses the bridesmaids wore were Sorella Vita from A Class Brides. Their long length and colour helped create that elegance I was after and the colour was so flattering on: I think blue suits just about everybody! The neckline also matched my dress really well. The flower girls wore really pretty dresses from Amazon at only £15 each and the quality was so good, you wouldn’t have known.
After we’d chosen the bridesmaid dresses, we used a sample of the material to find the groomsmen’s suit colour to compliment. I felt grey was too harsh against the navy bridesmaids dresses so opted for a light blue, which was perfect for a summer wedding. To fit in with the more relaxed feel, we were adamant we didn’t want tails and instead went for nice three piece suits for the groomsmen. All the groomsmen then wore navy ties and brown belts and shoes to go with the suits. All the suits (including the shirts) and accessories were bought and altered at Tux and Tails, on Gloucester Road, Bristol.
We ended up having a minimoon to Verona, Venice and Lake Garda straight after the wedding which was just incredible: so authentic, romantic and fun. A month later we went to Cyprus with our daughter and enjoyed a week away all inclusive too.
There were many memorable moments throughout the day. The ones which stick out in our heads are; 1) Me being late by 40 minutes because there happened to be road maintenance with a massive diversion to the venue. You can never predict these things. 2) Our daughter, Hattie refusing to walk down the aisle. I ended up walking down awkwardly, holding her hand with one hand and linking arms with my dad while holding my bouquet with the other. 3) Our daughter, Hattie, (again!) pulling Dan’s buttonhole off mid ceremony when he picked her up. There are some photos with no flower on the button hole! She also decided to sit on my dress as the recessional music began.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
Join wedding blogs and use Instagram and Facebook to find local suppliers. When you Google, you find the same people come up and it was only after a lot of searching through wedding blogs and local wedding magazines that I came across alternative, amazing suppliers.
Also, don’t feel your wedding has to be a certain way. We had a Thursday wedding to cut costs and found by choosing a day which wasn’t a Friday or Saturday, we were always able to get the suppliers we wanted.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Eleanor Jane Photography
Dress & Belt
Tux and Tails
Oh so romantic! Cheryl and Dan, I cannot thank you both enough for sharing your wedding story with us xo Lou