Friday, 26 June 2015

Ellie and John Jo's beautiful 'garden party' wedding

As spring met summer, Ellie and John Jo had a gorgeous wedding with spring flowers and heart warming, balmy Devon sunshine.  They wanted a relaxed "garden party" feel to their day: garden flowers, bunting, cool colours, and twinkling tea lights.

Meet Ellie and John Jo - our completely gorgeous couple:

Over the course of a year, they had meticulously planned a perfect weekend. Beginning on the Friday, Ellie, her lovely Mum and Dad (Lesley and Stuart), John Jo, and his cool surfer mum (Carol), decorated the house.

Look at the beautiful favours. Wild flower sachets in these cute bags,  all sewn by Lesley.

Lesley also made all the bunting, with some help from Ellie and Carol too.  It was a mammoth task, but well worth it, as everywhere looked so pretty. There was bunting outside, inside and even on the bar!

Here's a photo of Charlie from The Real Cut Flower Garden who grows all the flowers she works with in her own garden.  Ellie and John Jo wanted in-season flowers, so Charlie's flowers were perfect!

The wild flowers really lifted the entrance hallway.

These beautiful lanterns, which Ellie made from old jam jars, made the Bride's aisle look magical!

The vintage china completed the garden party look in the Ballroom.

And Voila! The Ballroom was ready for the next day.

There was a really chilled vibe at Pickwell on the Saturday morning,  John Jo and his best boys enjoyed a full english breakfast.

Meanwhile, Ellie, Lesley and Stuart had tea and soaked up some morning sunshine at the back of the house - she had to make sure the groom wouldn't see her before the moment!

Although the Saturday was Ellie and John Jo's wedding day, it was also a very important day for their niece. Grace is 2 years today! Ellie popped to Grace's apartment to give her a big birthday present!  It looks like Henry wanted to wear the birthday badge though!

And then it was time to get ready, here are Ellie and her sister (and Bridesmaid) Janine having hair and make up by Gemma and Gemma from Changing faces.

Getting ready is one of my favourite parts of the wedding day - just the girls, a few glasses of fizz, hair spray, make up and lots of laughter as they help each other into their wedding clothes!  Here is Ellie helping Abi, her other Bridesmaid and best friend, into her fabulous bridesmaid dress.  

And then Janine too (massive thanks to Rebecca Roundill, Ellie and John Jo's lovely photographer for letting me use some of her wonderful photo's for this blog - you'll see some more in a moment!)

Then, it was time for Henry and Grace to get in their page boy and flower girls clothes. Completely adorable!

Meanwhile, the boys were having their own fun getting ready.

Best Man Guy explores other purposes for a tie!

Finally, we get to see Ellie in her Wedding dress. As you can see, she looks stunning.  The lace and the little bit of sparkle is glamorous and effortlessly cool - the dress was perfect for Ellie!

While Ellie was chatting through formalities with the registrar, the Bride and Groom's mothers, Lesley and Carol took a moment!

And then it was time for the Bride to walk down the aisle, a few tears and a quick kiss... 

...proud Stuart led his daughter towards the Rose Arbour.

Here's a photo of the ceremony, the guests stand to welcome the bride to really beautiful music by Sorelli Strings. It was a really meaningful ceremony, a few tears and lots of cheers!

Here are the newly married MR and MRS as their guests throw confetti over them (Again, I wish I could take credit for this, but this is the talented Rebecca Roundhill)!

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed Pimms and fizz on the Terrace in the sunshine.

And tucked into some delicious canap├ęs, thanks to our wonderful and super talented caterers Guess Who is Coming to Dinner? 

While some guests enjoyed getting involved in our garden games! I think Henry fancies his chances at Wimbledon later this year - watch out Murray!

This gave Ellie and John Jo a quick moment to sneak away to our woods for some atmospheric wedding photos - they really are a gorgeous couple!

It was time for the Wedding meal! All guests took their seats to welcome in Ellie and John Jo.

*Confession alert* I put my camera down somewhere and lost it for a while during the wedding, (which is why I am grateful to Rebecca Roundhill for her photo's) but it means I only managed to take a photo of the delicious starter - Black Sea Bream! They had a beautiful Rack of Lamb main course with dauphanoise potatoes and local Devon vegetables, and a summery Eton Mess for desert.

Stuart began the speeches, he said such sweet things about Ellie - such a great Dad!

John Jo's speech included an all important singing of 'Happy Birthday' for Dear Grace!

And then came Guy's speech.....  Can you tell how the groom was feeling about this last speech??!

In actual fact, Guy's speech was hilarious and heart felt in equal measure. No-one could have laughed any more.... or been more teary at the end, least of all him! Well done Guy! You certainly deserved that Whisky!

I must share this photo with you, while the speeches were going on, Henry decided he'd had enough of all the grown up chatter, and found this awesome wig in the photo booth props box! 

Ellie and John Jo love their cheese and so decided that for their wedding cake they would have a cheese cake!  All locally sourced from West Country Cheese, here in Barnstaple.

While everyone went outside for a group photo, the Pickwell team transformed the Ballroom ready for a fun evening of dancing!

The Bride and Groom cut their cake

And the first dance began.

It wasn't long before they were joined by all of their family and friends!

Ellie and John Jo had a great idea for their photo booth, a personalised banner with their own props!

The homemade lanterns twinkled outside as the evening came to a close, it had been such a beautiful day!

In the morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, Ellie and John Jo and their guests enjoyed a delicious cooked breakfast courtesy of our chef Lee and his team.

They were able to relive the wedding day and share stories of who's dance floor moves were the best, or who had the funniest photo in the Photo Booth, as well as say a meaningful thank-you and good bye to all their guests.

And then it was time to leave Pickwell, although not without one last trick from John Jo's best boys! What's that rattling noise.........?!  

Ellie and John Jo, it has been a delight to meet your families and all of your friends, the care and consideration for those you love showed in volumes - it has been a joy to see your wedding grow from your ideas to a wonderful reality!

See you soon when you are in North Devon again


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ruth and Jonathan's wedding with a Scottish twist!

Here is Ruth and her gorgeous sisters, I wish you could hear their lovely Scottish accents through the photograph! When this photo was taken they had just taken all of the food baskets around the apartments. Unfortunately a small rain shower happened and they got a bit soggy! 

Sarah and Louise were wonderfully helpful with set up. Jonathan was on childcare for the day, looking after their daughter Arabella, leaving the girls free to get cracking.

Silver vintage tea lights and little vases of roses set off the fireplaces superbly.

Hydrangeas are in full bloom at this time of year and looked great in white pots on the window sills. It was lovely that these could easily be given away as presents or taken home to plant after the wedding.

The ballroom was laid up in two long banquet style tables, with more Roses, Hydrangeas and silver tea lights down the centre. 

Deryn from 'Twigs' was the florist for the weekend. The Hydrangeas again in this display looked amazing and picked up the pink and white theme.

So after a meal at the Rock Pub on Friday night, Saturday morning preparations began. The boys met for a beer and put on their button holes. I got rather a shock on Friday when I realised I went to sixth form college with 'the master of ceremonies', Simon (third from the right). I haven't seen him for 23 years, it brought lots of memories flooding haven't changed a bit!

This was Simon back in the day (the one on the left), he always was the cool one with his bow tie undone, even before the Ball started!

 Ruth's dress was absolutely gorgeous, it had a pink hue that added a delicate softness to the overall effect. Thank you Pete Cox, Ruth and Jonathan's talented photographer, for the photos.


Beautiful bouquet...

Now time for the kilts! Ruth's dad, Liam, was sporting his as they walk down to the rose Arbour. His sporran came in very handy for storing everyone's lipstick. Good old dad!

Here is the adorable Arabella walking in with Donna (Ruth's bridesmaid and oldest friend).

How cute and so well behaved!!

The ceremony was both wonderful and emotional, especially when Jonathan welled up....tissues anyone? It also had a delightfully relaxed feel, with the children sitting at the front on a rug.

Then drinks to celebrate, Prosecco or beer in the sunshine....

Served by the lovely Ollie and Will

Delicious canapes, two of of which were fresh crab tarts or....

Black Bream with lemon and ginger, scrummy!

Just caught Pete, the photographer, having a quick slurp of elderflower presse between snaps.

The happy couple.

The youngest kilted member of the clan....sooooo gorgeous!!

Speeches were in the Italian Garden before dinner. The three best men were brilliant and even had handouts!!

And so to dinner.

The place settings were pegged to glasses with tiny pink pegs.

The ballroom really did look splendid. This was the first outing of our new Pickwell chairs.

The children had their own table in the Snug, with lots of fun entertainment.

They had the same main course as the adults, just a mini portion. 

To start was English Asparagus, wrapped in Parma ham, with fresh Parmesan, served with a homemade wholegrain roll and butter.

For main course, there was local fresh fish Pie served at the table or.....

Devon beef and ale pie all served with Lyonnaise potatoes and a hand tie of fresh vegetables.

Pudding was Ruth's Cranachan, a traditional Scottish desert served with homemade shortbread on the side.  I can almost smell the wee dram of Whiskey in that cream!

Ruth is a real cheese lover, so a cheese cake it was! Supplied by our lovely local cheese shop in Barnstaple 'The West Country Cheese Company', where you can go and have a tasting and choose your cheese layers.

Cutting of the cake heralded the start of the evening celebrations.

Then the first dance. Jonathan loves his music, so had a significant part in choosing the playlist for the night. Alex from 'Off Beat Entertainment' did a great job, I think most guests barely left the dance floor....

...apart from the twilight tennis players.

Cheese and biscuits kept the dancers going.

This was our first night stocking real ale from our new local micro brewery the 'Braunton Brewery'. I made sure I got feedback from the guests and there was unanimous approval. 

The guest book provided great entertainment. Guests were asked to photograph themselves with the Polaroid camera and then stick the photo into the book with a message.

The fun of a selfie!

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Green! We felt so privileged to have hosted your wedding here and have loved every part of the journey with you. We are so glad that you have a holiday house down here, so we know it will not be the last we see of you and the gorgeous Arabella!