Amy has to be the prettiest bride since ever. She’s gorgeous, full of joy and happiness and has a beaming smile… which comes from being on Dan’s arm, I think! I haven’t seen a prettier wedding in ages: the combination of spring blossoms, pretty florals and such a fab couple make today’s spring outdoor wedding really, really special.
Of course what makes a wedding blog special is the photography, and I was thrilled to read Amy and Dan’s glowing praise of my lovely photographer friend Mark at Evolve Photography in Devon. Choosing a wedding photographer is such a huge decision, and Amy and Dan told me Mark “was always friendly, calm, professional, and having now seen the photos we couldn’t have asked for more.”
There are so many highlights to show you from today’s outdoor wedding – the floral touches make it colourful and playful in style; the portraits around Dartington Hall are fabulous. I adore the cherry blossoms and the pretty ceremony space… oh and the reception styling is wonderful too!
Images are of course by Mark at Evolve Photography in Devon. Find out more here:
The English Wedding Blog interview: Dan and Amy
Your wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Very pleased. He was always friendly, calm, professional, and having now seen the photos we couldn’t have asked for more.
Dartington Hall, Devon
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
It was a beautiful day in every way possible
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
How lucky we were to have found the venue, to have had great weather, and to have chosen Mark as the photographer
Your wedding style and theme:
Outdoors, casual, spring flowers, fun. With a few movie and travel references that meant something to both of us.
Any happy tears on the day?
How did the two of you meet?
At university, we were on the same floor in our halls of residence
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
About a year but quite sporadically over that time, picking a venue and getting it booked was the first thing we did.
Best bit of budget advice?
Don’t just plump for a wedding package, instead just pick and choose the elements that you want. Also don’t feel like you have to invite the whole world – our wedding was quite small in comparison to most which made it intimate and personal as a result. And book Mark at Evolve Photography.
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
A friend of the bride does calligraphy and he kindly wrote out the place names. The table plan and signs for the table we did ourselves on a travel theme and the invitations were from Feel Good Wedding Invitations.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes, and it was all the more special because it was a one-off! I knew right from the start that I wanted a tea length dress so that I could be free to dance and so that I could have some exciting shoes on display! The Wedding Company in Plympton had the best selection of dresses and it came down to two made by Charlotte Balbier. On my second visit I was lucky enough to meet her and when I mentioned I was struggling to choose she offered to combine my favourite elements of the two into one dress! It was so much fun to wear and so comfortable.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Charlotte Balbier and The Wedding Company
Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:
As my dress had so much detail I opted for quite minimal accessories. The owner of Truly Delightful bridal boutique in Totnes made a delicate wire headband with pearl/bead flowers and I had additional fresh flower buds placed in my hair on the day. My necklace was a simple blue crystal with matching earring studs that my mum gave to me for my prom many years before! My shoes were one of my favourite parts of my outfit, bought online from a fabulous shoe maker called Harriet Wilde. The wedding ring matched by engagement ring and the groom’s ring and is a 9 ct white gold band with small diamonds dotted through it, made by designer Kate Smith.
The groom wore:
A blue suit, no tails, tan shoes, all from Debenhams
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Gorgeous raspberry red asymmetric dresses with beaded detail on the shoulder from Debenhams Debut collection. They were just as well made and pretty as a lot of the made to measure dresses and meant I could spend more on their shoes!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Make-up was a combined effort of myself and my bridesmaids, but we left our hair to the professionals. Morgan from Blue Hair Studio at China Blue in Totnes came to the house and it was lovely to have it done for us.
We used a combination of fresh and silk flowers. Fresh flowers for our bouquets and buttonholes were provided by Amanda Randell, a master florist based in Tavistock. She did an amazing job of sticking to my tough brief of seasonal, pastel, textured flowers that looked like they had been gathered and were as local as possible. A lovely personal touch was tying all the flowers with wool from our very own alpaca, Rufus. The silk flowers for the tables (in picnic baskets) were supplied by Flourish, who provided a fantastic service all round as they also set up and provided chair covers and sashes, table runners, a trough and a spectacular 7 foot arch that we stood under for the ceremony, decorated with flowers in our spring pastel theme.
What do you remember most about the wedding ceremony?
Trying hard not to cry as I said my vows, and failing!
Selected lyrics from “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News from one of our favourite films, Back to the Future
“Us two” from the poem book Now we are Six by AA Milne read by both bridesmaids
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Decoration was mainly in the form of bunting, lanterns and fairy lights. Dartington Hall is so spectacular with all of its medieval features that it didn’t need a huge amount done to it and as the first part of the day was outside, the fabulous gardens and the blossom provided more than enough colour and beauty. The only other thing that we did which seemed to work really well was to provide garden games such as giant Jenga, Twister and giant Connect 4. It kept the kids well occupied and some of the adults too!
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Quirkily mainstream I guess – it was a single tier customised deluxe chocolate cake from Patisserie Valerie with a personalised cake topper from an Etsy company called the Lollipop Workshop. There was none left by the end of the evening!
A brilliant English ceilidh band called “Fox Amongst the Chickens” who got everyone up and dancing and laughing!
On the day tips and advice:
Accept that some things will probably go slightly wrong, but it doesn’t matter.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Knowing that I’ve got a partner in crime to share all the best and worst things that life might throw at me.
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Mark at Evolve Photography in Devon
Debenhams suit hire – good price and quality
Flourish – silk flowers – www.withaflourish.co.uk
Patisserie Valerie – delicious cake – www.patisserie–valerie.co.uk
Amanda Randell – flowers – www.amandarandell.co.uk
Fox Amongst the Chickens – band – http://www.foxatc.co.uk/
Cake topper – Lollipop Workshop – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/lollipopworkshop