Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Es and Paul's wedding- Silver Ribbons, Deep Red Roses and a Campervan or Two

Es and Paul arrived on Friday in their lovely campervan called 'Custard' (she was yellow before her recent face lift, hence the name). It was exploring this area in 'Custard' that made them fall in love with the North Devon coast. You would not believe what gorgeous things came out of the van......

Here is Paul bringing in the elegant table centre pieces.

Paul and Es had sourced these amazing silver candelabras, they placed one either side of the top table, beautifully decorated with flowers by Kelly from Offshore blooms.

They then had a smaller candelabra on each windowsill, creating a stunning effect. The arrangements and bouquets contained these amazing deep red roses called 'Black Bacara', that looked just like they were made of velvet.

Es and Paul came up to the Designer Wedding Show in London with us back in March where they met the wonderful cake maker and designer Anna Tyler from Bristol. This is her Mum who helped her deliver and put together the cake on the Friday. You can see some more photos of her cakes on our wedding show blog.

You can see how impressive it looked when it was finished and topped with flowers. The guests raved about how completely delicious the lemon cake itself tasted too.

They chose to name each table after their favourite beaches and seaside locations.

Clever table plan hey!!

All hands on deck. Es's cousin Pete gave me a lesson in Welsh name pronunciation whilst we put out the favours. I'm not sure I did very well!

Not that this particular name was very Welsh! These were the lovely favours put together by Es's Mum, well done Chris.

I thought these little boxes of table entertainment were a great idea.

Altogether it created a stunning and elegant effect.

There was attention to detail at every turn. This gorgeous wreath on the front door provided a beautiful welcome and a taste of things to come.

Saturday morning, the boys all suited and booted, headed off  to the Kings Arms pub in the village for a cheeky pint to steady Paul's nerves.

Casey, Paul and Es's gorgeous staffy joined the boys on their wedding morning outing.

The beautiful bride with her Dad. The sun shone and Es got her wish to get married outside with the view of the sea.

Es walked down the aisle to Pachelbel's Canon.

This is actually a copy of a photo that one of the guest's took (so sorry for the quality) but I thought it was such a wonderful shot and I never get to be this close to the action!

Confetti at the ready, Es's little nieces handed out cones of dried red rose petals to the guests ready for a photo opportunity.

Now onto the serious business of a celebratory Mojito. Richard and I thought we ought to double check the recipe at 9am on Saturday morning and boy was it good! However we were a bit squiffy putting the chairs out!

A nice cold beer was on offer for those not up for a cocktail, both went down a treat.

And so did the canapés which ended with yummy miniature scones. Es's bridesmaid Alisa certainly thought so.

With the guests seated, the speeches began. Es's mum and dad did a brilliant double act with hilarious comedy timing.

Es and Paul are self-confessed foodies and so chose the most exquisite menu. I only managed to photograph the starter before getting side tracked but this is what they had:

Smoked salmon and prawns topped with a leaf salad. 
Saddle of venison served with dauphinoise potatoes, hand tied fresh vegetables and a redcurrant jus.
Chocolate truffle torte served with a vanilla and raspberry sauce.


After dinner, whilst guests enjoyed coffee and home made fudge on the terrace, Es and Paul nipped down to the beach in 'Custard' for a few sunset photos. I can't wait to see them.

I think 'Dougal', 'Custards' friend went too.

They cut the cake and the evening began.

Much dancing followed (although Paul insisted he couldn't dance.... I beg to differ)

Alisa made a great dancing partner instead.

During the evening the guests wrote lovely messages around this amazing photograph from the pre wedding shoot. Andy Green the photographer is a talented man and what a great memento.

The videographer also set up this twinkly area in the candle lit courtyard, where he filmed well wishers messages (even if a few were quite cheeky!).

Congratulations Paul and Es, I have so enjoyed helping you plan your wonderful weekend and what a wedding weekend it was! You really are a very special and lovely couple. Dyminiadau gore i'r dyfodol (Best wishes for the future, or at least that's what I hope it says, no laughing Tegid and Pete!!)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Jackie and Matt. Autumn, Cricket and Horses!

First thing to arrive on the Friday before Jackie and Matt's wedding, 

was Jackie's Mum, Jill, with a horse box FILLED with flowers 

of all manner of shapes and sizes.

The Ballroom smelled amazing!

It was like Mary Poppins handbag, this horse-box..

you never knew what was going to come out next!

Jill immediately got to work and started to assemble the flowers into

beautiful autumnal displays.

I'm not sure Jill could have managed it all without the help of Jackie's lovely sister Steph. 

While I was beavering around working, I suddenly noticed a little fellow watching me.

I took this friendly Robin as a sign of good things to come.

The garden started to take on a more romantic feel,

as did the windowsill in the Snug.

 Jackie and Matt had put together these boxes for each apartment. They were filled with breakfast items but also lots of little treats. With a stencil, Jackie had personally written on the side of every one.

Matt has always been a keen cricket fan, thus the mini cricket bats. Jackie sourced these, and again made the words herself.

Jackie is a qualified vet and has a big love for horses, hence the horse-shoes.

There was also a clear autumnal palette coming through in all the colour and style choices for this weekend;

 from these fab table favours which came over from the states in a bridesmaid's suitcase,

to this wonderful idea of all guests placing their fingerprints like leaves onto this tree. Check out the ink pallets..everything had been given careful thought and attention.

Ah, thats what the swans were for! These were a surprise for the bride and groom and Jill had the frames made specially.

The wedding rehearsal was the funniest I have ever been a part of. Matt (as you can see from his cheeky expression) was cracking the jokes at every opportunity. It was hilarious!

Early Saturday morning, while I was setting up, I came across some guests enjoying a cooked breakfast on the Terrace. I love seeing our guests really making the most of being here.  

The room was ready to go.

The flowers were incredible,

every possible space was filled with them,

and Jackie had hired this baby grand piano which topped the room off beautifully.

She even managed to find Richard Gere to play it!

Our Entrance Hall boasted a garland of ivy all round the staircase 

as well as a stunning flower arch to lead you into the Ballroom.

Upstairs, the girls were busy! Steph (who is not a hairdresser by trade) did an amazing job at doing everyone's hair! 

Jackie and Matt's son, Sam, looked ready to eat in his little, well, not-so-little, trousers! 

Kerri, one of the bridesmaids who flew in from the States just for the wedding, helped him into his jacket and tie. 

I noticed all the girls looking sparkly and smelling wonderful. They gave the credit for both to this Victoria Secret spray. *Top tip* for all you future bridesmaids!

Steph helped Jackie into her stunning dress. At 11 weeks pregnant, Jackie had to breathe in that little bit more than she was used to!

Don't they look gorgeous! Notice how the bridesmaids are still rocking the autumnal theme in their sash colour.

The bridesmaids bouquet's made by Jill,

and the elegant bride's bouquet.

Here is the woman herself, Jill. Pictured here on the right. You would never know from this picture that she had stayed up all night to get the flowers finished off! Lorna (Jill's sister, pictured here on the left) made the cake, but more on that later.

Going to fetch the Dad to bring him to see his daughter in her dress, is one of my favourite moments of the wedding day. Bert did not let me down. He was blown away and clearly adores his girls.

And so it begins...

The photographer was Martin Hill. It was his first time to Pickwell and he really loved it! I'll post up his pics to our Facebook page when they are published.

Deep breath....

The piano music brought a beautiful romantic feel to the house and really set the tone 

for the intimate and moving ceremony that followed.

The sun shone on the guests as they enjoyed canapés (home-smoked country chicken bound in a mustard mayonnaise on toasted bread; croque monsieur; croque madame; pea, leek and parmesan tartlets) and sparkling wine on the Terrace. 

While the guests were happy on the Terrace, we turned the Ballroom around
ready for the wedding breakfast.

I know i am biased, but i do think it looks stunning!

On the back of everyone's chair the horse-shoe theme continued, 

and here again are the fab cricket bats. This time with each guest name on. What a brilliant idea!

The overall effect felt deliciously autumnal and welcoming and best of all reflected Jackie and Matt throughout.

We moved the flower stands out into the hallway 

and brought the wedding cake into the Ballroom. Jackie's aunt Lorna made this cake. Lorna's claim to fame is that she was part of the team who made Prince Andrew's wedding cake!

The guests ate roast Exmoor beef and yorkshire pudding with hand-tied vegetables and a red wine jus, followed by Eton Mess (my favourite).

As the evening drew in, Jill suddenly jumped up and switched on some tiny lights inside her flower arrangements! Is there no end to her floral surprises!

Jackie came down the stairs wearing another stunning, floaty evening bridal gown. She looked beautiful (but you'll have to wait for the professional photos to see how beautiful. Sorry Jackie for duff iPhone pic!)

The cutting of the cake preceded the first dance,

performed by the band 'Penfold' (who drove all the way from London). They played Take That's 'Rule the World' while Matt, Jackie (and then Sam too) swayed along. 

Tom (the MC for the day) had recently flown back from Afghanistan so was wearing the full military garb for the day. At this point in the evening, Tom was being highly entertaining singing along with the band. Nothing to do with alcohol. Absolutely nothing.

The second dance included Jackie's Dad Bert and proved to be very moving for everyone watching.

The wedding cake was served as evening food (bottom tier fruit, then chocolate and raspberry, then lemon and last of all rum and raisin at the top) alongside a selection of west country cheeses 

and hot dogs, cooked to order on the bbq outside. They went down a treat.

Sparklers were a lovely touch and really enjoyed by guests of all ages.

Jill, Jackie and Sam chill out together at the end of a long and magical day.

The wedding tree is now complete. 70+ fingerprints of love and support as a memory of those you love on this special weekend. 

Congratulations Jackie and Matt, and we'll be thinking of you with baby no.2 on its way!