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Light up letters and pink roses for Katy and Russell’s country house wedding, with Albert Palmer Photography

This is beautiful! Katy and Russell were married at Charlton House in Somerset in an elegant and sophisticated celebration with close friends and family.

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Katy looks stunning in her Caroline Castigliano wedding dress, Jimmy Choos and full length veil – but admits she wasn’t completely besotted with her dress! And you know what? That’s absolutely fine by me 🙂 She’s beautiful, and she and Russell look so much in love – the images of their day are heartwarming and magical.

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They decorated Charlton House with delicious little floral table displays, lots of gypsophila and exquisite stationery by Katy’s graphic designer sister, Emily. I love the ‘Nan Jams’ wedding favours and jars of snowdrops (I think it’s the first time I’ve seen snowdrops at a wedding, and they’re the loveliest flowers aren’t they?!) – but I’ll leave you to discover all of the pretty details for yourself. The fabulous images are by Albert Palmer Photography – don’t miss Katy’s wedding report at the end of the feature to see her brilliant reaction to seeing the wedding pictures for the first time! Enjoy.
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Our wedding report:Katy & Russell

Wedding photographer’s website:

www.albertpalmerphotography.com

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?

Yes! Beautiful, natural images that really told the story of our day and captured all the emotion.

Wedding venue:

Charlton House, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?

A very fun and decadent country house party with lots of laughter and tears

What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?

I cried (happy tears) – and jumped up and down for about 10 minutes!

Your wedding style and theme:

Relaxed country house party in the West Country

Any happy tears on the day?

Many! Particularly from the groom during the ceremony!

How did the two of you meet?

We met during Freshers Week at Cardiff University in 2001. We didn’t become a couple for another 9 years!

How long did you spend planning your wedding?

9 months – but we only really booked the venue and started properly planning 5 months before the day.

Best bit of budget advice?

Agree from the start what is most important to you as a couple – it might be music, photography, food, or drink etc. Agree that you’ll invest in those but save on other areas of the wedding. Keep returning to that agreement to stop you getting carried away on the small details that can suck a lot of the budget

Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:

All produced and printed at home by my very talented sister Emily Wright, who is a graphic designer.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

Actually… no. I loved certain things about it, and it came closest of all the dresses I tried to making me look how I always thought I would on my wedding day. But I had lots of dress wobbles along the way and continued to look at other dresses, which was probably a mistake! In hindsight though I am so pleased with my choice and Russ loved it.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

Caroline Castigliano – purchased from a designer wedding dress sample sale in Knightsbridge.

Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:

Shoes were Jimmy Choos! The Isabel style in a champagne glitter fabric. I kept them on almost the whole day – they were surprisingly comfortable. They were almost my favourite part of my outfit, after my veil which was a full-length single-tier veil in soft Italian Tulle, made by Kelly Spence (www.kellyspence.com). I didn’t want to take it off!

I wore a gold bangle given to me by my Abba (my grandma) as my something old, and a sapphire ring of my mum’s as my something borrowed. I kept everything else simple with no necklace, and just a couple of sparkly hair pins and small diamante drop earrings from Debenhams.

The groom wore:

A dark blue three-piece suit made for him by Cad and the Dandy and Loake shoes. A tailored white shirt from Henry Herbert and a pocket watch I gave him on the morning of the wedding from the Greenwich Pocket Watch Company.

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

Dresses from Biba at House of Fraser in a long, almost Grecian style with a deep V at the front and back, in a beautiful dark grey flowing fabric. We accessorized with some sparkly cuffs and shoes by Jenny Packham for Debenhams. The dress proved to be a perfect and very adaptable choice as it was tough to find dresses to suit one bridesmaid who is on the shorter side, and one who was 5 months pregnant on the day of the wedding!

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

Maya at www.mayamakeup.com did make-up for me, the bridesmaids and my mum. Lizzie from Karen Christensen Hair in Wells did our hair. Both were lovely to have around on the morning and were very patient with our endless trials beforehand!

Wedding flowers:

Bee Arnoux at www.boutiqueflorists.com in Wells. The bouquets were all roses in dusky shades of pink, and Bee did an amazing job on the tables for the afternoon tea, arranging glass bud vases with white and ivory springtime flowers, including hyacinths, paperwhites, and snowdrops.

What do you remember most about the wedding ceremony?

Standing with my mum and sisters listening to the opening bars of Pachelbel’s Canon in D and just waiting for everything to start. And then turning the corner and seeing everyone I loved in one room, and Russ at the end looking very emotional!

Wedding readings?

‘After the Lunch’ by Wendy Cope, read by my brother in law Brendan. ‘Love’ by Roy Croft read by Russ’s sisters which got his tears flowing again. And finally we asked my friend Louise to surprise us with a reading on the day – we weren’t expecting her to write her own beautiful poem about us, which got me (and everyone else!) crying!

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

Charlton House didn’t need much in the way of decoration as it is filled with very rich fabrics. As our wedding was in winter I really just wanted to go big on candlelight, so Russ’s dad and stepmum were in charge of buying around 60 different tealight and candle holders in shades of silver and glass. The piece de resistance though were the light up letters I hired from Doris Loves – they looked amazing in the ceremony room and as a backdrop for the band in the evening.

The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?

It was a labour of love made by Russ’s mum and sister and painstakingly driven across Somerset – three tiers of orange and lemon sponge with white chocolate ganache icing. Ours was the first wedding at which I have actually eaten the cake!

Entertainment:

Andrew Yeates was the pianist through our ceremony and drinks reception, and The Somebodys were our (amazing) band at the party. Both provided by www.earcandylive.co.uk

We hired Alfie the Black Cab (alfietheblackcabbooth.co.uk) who parked outside Charlton House from around 8pm. We can’t recommend it enough – our guests had an absolute ball cramming into the back of the cab with various hilarious props and we have the most amazing collection of polaroids for our guest book. Brilliant.

Oh – and Russ’s mum ‘surprised’ us with a Patsy from Ab Fab lookalike… one of her friends. Despite our initial horror she was pretty entertaining!

On the day tips and advice:

Be in the moment with each other – especially in the ceremony. It’s the most important thing after all.

And let go a little. Make sure you’re really clear with the best men/ushers as to what they need to do (preferably give them print outs!), so everything is in their hands on the day

What’s the best thing about being married?

Looking forward to all the experiences we have to come.

Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:

Photographer – www.albertpalmerphotography.com

Venue –  www.charltonhouse.com

Music (band and pianist) – www.earcandylive.co.uk

Flowers – www.boutiqueflorists.com

Light up letters – www.dorisloves.co.uk

Alfie the black cab photobooth – www.alfietheblackcabbooth.co.uk

Makeup – www.mayamakeup.com

Hair – www.karenchristensen.co.uk

Groom’s suit – www.cadandthedandy.co.uk

Bride’s dress – www.carolinecastigliano.co.uk

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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