We knew the weather was going to be amazing.
My family (the Baker's) and I had just flown in from being on holiday in Durban, South Africa.
We saw the forecast before we left and could see the whole week in Devon would be a scorcher!
I was absolutely thrilled for my couple Samantha and Charlie.
Samantha has dreamt of this weekend, every minute of every day I think, for a very long time.
She put so much thought into each and every detail, including making up these bed plans to go on easels, each side of the house (in our brand and colours too).
Samantha bought some brown envelopes, purchased a stamp from 'Not on the High Street' and filled the envelope with wild-flower seeds. What a lovely idea!
These menu cards were printed by the bride and groom to go on each table. A great design I thought.
The table settings were starting to look really good.
I found a redundant piece of bunting so knew a great place it could go... Amity (where Samantha and Charlie were staying).
Samantha had even bought this little fella to add some character to the garden!
White candle lanterns marked the entrance to the terrace.
Our gardens are in bloom and some of the scents, that waft past your nose as you walk, are gorgeous!
The umbrella's were so needed as the sun beat down.
Not that you can really see it, but that is a giant Jenga set, right there on the lawn,
and of course, the guests always enjoy a spot of croquet before a wedding!
It's a good idea to let people know what to expect and when. This board looked great on our terrace.
Samantha had personally wrapped different styles of lace round each jam jar,
and put tea-lights in each one.
Samantha made use of the island unit in the Snug by covering it with a table-cloth and putting lovely things on top.
One of those lovely things was a gorgeous thumb-tree print whereby guests put their thumbprints (like leaves) all over the tree and sign their name next to it.
Another was a framed picture of the newspaper announcement of their engagement.
This lovely hand-painted card box with their initials on, kept all the cards safe.
A photo-booth came in the evening and so Charlie decided to demonstrate to me a couple of the props!
A fabulous wedding plan with a map of our area complete with luggage tag table names and numbers.
This white floral bunting was so simple but effective on both our fireplaces.
Again a simple idea, but the lace really lifted the staircase and tied in with the candle - lantern jam jars.
Our lovely driftwood stand (hand-made by a talented friend) looked fabulous in the entrance hall.
This was one of the choices of reception drink which i loaded into the fridge. I was just trying to find the right spot to take this picture (without my foot getting in the way) when I fell backwards over a pile of boxes and holding the bottle and my phone aloft, careered to the floor. Luckily, the bottle remained intact (which is more than i can say for my poor elbow!) SO relieved no-one saw!
The men were out early to polish up the cars and decorate them with ribbon.
While Samantha was up early to glide around the apartment and begin to look like a bride. To help her to do this, Samantha was in the very capable hands of Eve Ashby for make-up and Golds hair salon for hair.
The flowers arrive and Steph (matron-of-honour), Becca, Rebecca, and Rachel (bridesmaids) try out their bouquets.
The men have beautiful white roses as their buttonholes,
and the women have tiny versions of the bride's bouquet as their corsages.
The table centres are three huge hydrangea heads in a low round vase.
single stems were placed in Samantha's lace-covered jars,
and the effect was stunning.
Upstairs, the boys receive a lesson from Ali (the best man) in how to do up a good tie.
Justin was clearly having difficulties!
Aha! The photographer has spotted a good shot...
Samantha's hair is done, the veil is in...
I honestly thought this was the dress, she looked so chic in it.
but, no, turns out its a nightie.
the cake arrives and looks fantastic. All the flowers and petals are made from icing.
Samantha sourced the wooden bride and groom from Etsy. You can have them designed to your exact wedding-day look. Originally Samantha was going to wear a tiara, but changed her mind.
So, the boys are suited and booted and ready to make the walk to the village church.
When I asked Justin about why he was taking a packet of wet-wipes, the answer came back - "sweat".
Ah, the brothers.
Don't they all scrub up well?
Clever hey? I took a pic of the photographer taking a pic of the bride's mum, taking a pic of the bridesmaids. Little trick of the trade ;)
The bridesmaid's shoes all in a row, waiting to be worn. The bridesmaid dresses are from Jasmine Belsoie
The white London Taxi arrives,
and the nervousness goes up a notch. This is our first glimpse of the dress..
Absolutely stunning, yet very simple. The dress is from Beverly Lister, based in Guildford, Surrey.
Samantha's shoes are Christian Louboutin, sadly no picture of Sam wearing those beauties.
This was the significant moment when Samantha came down the stairs to be greeted by her mum, her three bridesmaids, her matron of honour and her VIP Granddad (just out of shot). Hang on a moment, bridesmaid Becky -are you on the phone?!?
Samantha's Granddad Michael is a very important person in her life. Much of Samantha's childhood was spent with him, and this was a very emotional moment.
He lovingly held her veil as they walked to the car,
posed for a photograph..
then squeezed her hand and had a giggle; to stop them both from getting too emotional.
The bridesmaids were all smiles and ready for the service.
We just had time to do all the finishing touches to the tables,
Prepare the wine,
and light the scented candles (in advance so the room would smell delicious for later)
and stand ready with our trays of Prosecco, Prosecco mixed with sloe gin, half pints of 'Proper Job' Devon ale and some apple and orange juice.
By all accounts the service was lovely. A slight dress malfunction (when the hem had accidently ripped) was quickly resolved with a couple of safety pins. Bobs your uncle.
Delicious canapés, including this Devon cream and jam one, were served and they went down a treat.
A caricaturist went round drawing people in the sun, he was very popular!
I placed Samantha's bouquet next to the cake, which I think finished the scene off perfectly.
Charlie's mum and dad bought these fantastic personalised umbrella's. Here's Rebecca demonstrating how they are still needed even in glorious sunshine!
Charlie and Samantha wanted to do a line-up (pre-wedding breakfast) to ensure they had greeted everybody.
Dinner is served! As described on the special menu card pictured earlier, guests dined on asparagus spears wrapped in parma ham to start, followed by roasted rack of Exmoor lamb.
For dessert, the ever-popular Eton Mess. Everyone loves our chefs' Eton Mess.
The speeches were both incredibly moving (Granddad), very sweet (Charlie) and very funny (best man Ali), then on with the evening!
While the guests enjoyed the sun, had lots of photos and generally chilled-out, the brilliant band, the dance floor and the photo-booth man set up their bits.
Azey, who has recently joined our small team, set about lighting all the candles.
At this point of the day, this is where the true personalities start to emerge!!
The room was set, and ready for the evening.
The guests really enjoyed adding their stamp to the fingerprint tree, having v silly pictures taken in the photo-booth and making good use of the bar.
The cake cutting and the first dance, always kick start the evening in style.
It started off in a demure fashion..
when Samantha fed Charlie a slice of cake quite romantically. However, when it was Charlie's turn, hmmm..needless to say, thank goodness for Eve's great super-fix make-up!
The first dance was performed by the band. The new Mr and Mrs Knight had chosen the Goo Goo Dolls - "Iris". They danced beautifully for about 2 minutes and then...
the dance floor filled with friends and family.
The Hog roast for the evening went down an absolute storm!
I wasn't sure if people would have room for more food, but I think all the dancing had worked up an appetite.
It was still warm enough and light enough to enjoy the food outside on the terrace.
By now the tree was looking full of prints and names. What a great thing to frame and keep as a memento of the day.
Samantha had also provided colourful bags of popcorn in case anyone felt peckish later.
As the light faded, the candle-lit courtyard looked magical.
Uh oh, another dress malfunction. With friends like these girls though, there is no need to worry!
Had to capture these boys posing for the camera in the photo-booth.
As the bar became busier...
so the tie's made their way to people's heads.
I love this pic with Charlie's dad in the middle.
He is really enjoying himself,
as demonstrated by this wonderful film.
Charlie, is this REALLY a good idea?
Well I guess Steph gets to see your mushy side as a result. She is your sister-in-law now, after all.
The throwing of the bouquet brought about much excitement..
especially as Steph was the one to catch it. Steph, you did say you wanted to get married here at Pickwell Manor, when it's your turn, so let me know when you want the chat ;)
All the family and friends formed a 'tunnel of love' to see out the happy couple. This picture was taken right near the end of the tunnel, thus the slightly rosy-cheeked groom!
Samantha and Charlie, you were a joy to work with over the last year or so. I have loved your enthusiasm and excitement over your wedding and I wish you the happiest of lives together.