Rachel and Alex chose a select few exceptional suppliers to make their Cotswolds wedding day an incredible success. Their focus on fabulous food and cocktails is brilliant, and the styling of the day has blown me away.
The flowers tie in beautifully with this statement theme ‘The Hunt is Over‘ – which I love. Every detail is considered – and this is the work of some of the very, very best wedding suppliers (with not a homemade detail in sight). I adore today’s real wedding.
Images are by the wonderfully talented Camilla Rosa Photography. Do visit her website and social media here:
Huge thanks to beautiful bride Rachel and gorgeous groom Alex for sharing their wedding with us today. It’s such a favourite for me already – a wedding which could define 2015 for style and class and superb design… you’ll LOVE this!
I asked Rachel how she and Alex felt when they saw their wedding photos for the first time, and I loved her response: “Alex and I were at home when we received our images. Mia sent them in a gorgeous little engraved wooden box. In the box she’d included all the images on a memory stick, some choccies to eat whilst perusing and a few prints of her favourite pictures from the day, as well as a lovely thank you note and a print out of one of our ceremony readings. It was such a gorgeous way to receive the images and it felt as though we had another wedding gift!”
Alex and Rachel on the English Wedding Blog
My husband, Alex and I got married on June 20th this year in rural Gloucestershire. We’d been engaged for 18 months after Alex popped the question while in New York for Christmas in 2013! We met at university in Nottingham 8 years earlier where we lived in halls together but didn’t actually end up dating until Alex plucked up the courage to ask me out at a friend’s house party!
A summer solstice wedding
We decided to get married in June, on the summer solstice, to help maximise the chance of sun for the big day (as much as possible in England anyway!).
Wedding photography by Camilla Rosa
We were both really keen to get our photography right – after all we’d only have our pictures (and memories) to remember our day in years to come! We chose Camilla Rosa Photography – who was actually a friend of a friend, and a fantastic photographer. As soon as I saw her images I fell in love with her classic but whimsical style and thought it fit the venue and theme perfectly. She was an absolute dream to work with on the day – made us feel so at ease and really had a great eye for some quirky and unique shots.
Alex and I were at home when we received our images. Mia sent them in a gorgeous little engraved wooden box. In the box she’d included all the images on a memory stick, some choccies to eat whilst perusing and a few prints of her favourite pictures from the day, as well as a lovely thank you note and a print out of one of our ceremony readings. It was such a gorgeous way to receive the images and it felt as though we had another wedding gift! We were both really excited to sit down and look at the images together, my parents were also staying with us on the day and so we sat and flicked through them together.
It was incredible to be able to relive the day and see aspects that neither Alex nor myself had seen before – for him, the getting ready shots of me and my maids and for me, the shots of guests arriving and Alex standing at the bottom of the aisle. It was perfect – we had such an amazing time looking through, the only problem was that it made us want to do the whole day again right then and there! We’re very lucky to have such a brilliant photographer!
A fabulous country house wedding venue
We chose Elmore Court, a 750-year-old Grade II* listed country house with state-of-the-art and sustainably built ‘Gillyflower’ events room, as we both completely fell in love at first sight. I’d been looking at various venues in and around London but once I had settled on the theme ‘The Hunt is Over’ (Alex is a big country-boy and loves all things country sports!) I decided to start looking at country venues.
I saw Elmore in a wedding magazine as a new venue that had recently opened and booked to go and meet the team (festival folk who have been involved in UK music festivals for years – and it showed. The Gillyflower was completely soundproofed with exceptional sound and lighting equipment). We signed the contract as soon as we got there (Feb 2014) we loved it so much and we were one of the first ten couples to book our wedding after the refurb!
Wedding theme and styling
Working in PR and events in the spirits industry, I had a blast planning the wedding. I had everything in mind from the off – the colour scheme (black, gold and blush), to the theme ‘The Hunt is Over’, which I designed our invitations and stationery around, to the food and flowers. Alex is a distiller and drinks guru so he was in charge of the booze and created a bespoke cocktail menu with his favourite tipples and creations over the years (from Chase vodka to Cotswolds Gin!), we even named our tables after our favourite cocktails!
We kept the ceremony short and sweet – we had two readings, one from my favourite book Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ and the other from my favourite author Victor Hugo read by two of our closest friends.
After the ceremony we had cocktails and canapes (venison fillet with mini yorkshire pudding, smoked mackerel and pickled cucumber on sourdough, cumberland sausage in honey mustard and goats cheese and smoked chilli jelly on crostini) on the lawn and my group of closest girlfriends from school took the opportunity to open prediction letters that we had written 5 years previously at a drinks evening! We then held a ‘cocktail hour’ in the evening where our bespoke cocktail menu was shaken up and dished out to some very merry guests! After the cocktail hour we had a wonderful band, the Ruby Miller Band, to get the party started and then a good friend of ours DJ-ed until the wee hours of the morning!
Flowers by Ruby and the Wolf
The florist, Kirsty of Ruby and the Wolf was just incredible. She took every idea that I had and crafted and moulded it to create exactly what I was looking for. I stuck to the blush and ivory colour scheme and knew I wanted something rustic and wild to complement the
‘Hunt is Over’ theme – she worked her magic perfectly! I had a candelabra made for the top table from stag antlers and asked Kirsty to decorate it. She created a stunning floral wrap that oozed glamour – it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before and so unique for our day.
We also had two giant flower letters an ‘A’ and ‘R’ that decorated the signing table and gift table in the reception which again just added an even more personal touch.
The wedding cake
The cake was made by Curtis and Co cakes in Gloucestershire and we opted for a traditional Victoria sponge with raspberry and champagne jam for the bottom tier, chocolate cake with salted caramel icing for the next tier and lemon cake with vanilla icing for the top two tiers. It was delicious! I loved the elegant and understated design and kept
it on-theme with the wild sugar flowers and gold painted mini tiers. The cake followed the meal, prepared by the on-site caterers who were absolutely incredible! We had a three course seated meal; to start we chose Salmon, cold poached Cotswolds hen’s egg and watercress sauce followed by fillet steak with redcurrant jus, summer squash, peas and
gratin potatoes and for pudding a delicious Cotteswold dairy spiced creme brulee, berry compote and sugar biscuits. In the evening we thought that our guests might need some sustenance after all the dancing so we brought out a selection of sandwiches including Dorset down mushroom ciabatta with confit tomato & fried egg, Cured Cotswold
smoked bacon rolls with Heirloom tomato ketchup, Old Spot sausage and caramelised onion on Hobbs House Bloomer.
Charlie Brear wedding dress
I struggled hugely on finding a dress for the day! I usually know exactly what I like and am a very efficient shopper but I think the gravity of the day really got to me! I must have tried on over 100 dresses and even flew to NYC to visit Kleinfelds (my parents-in-law lived in Manhattan at the time). I chose a stunningly simple Charlie Brear dress for the day and am beyond happy with it. I loved the simplicity, the fit and style. It was totally perfect for me and for the venue. I decided upon some rather bling Jimmy Choos and vintage jewellery, including a hairpiece that I had made from antique brooches, for the day to jazz it all up! My veil was antique lace that I had made in the States on a visit to see the in-laws. It was a full cathedral one tier veil and I totally loved it!
My maid of honour is a make up artist and hair stylist so she did everything for me on the big day, she also did my hair and make up for my engagement party so it really meant a lot to me to have her give up her time to get me ready in the morning and see the whole 18month cycle through!
I wanted my bridesmaids each to be in something different (and not too bridesmaidy!) I gave them each a colour and asked them to look for dresses that they liked and would feel comfortable in. We put our heads together and settled on their final dresses a couple of months before the wedding. I bought all of them from ASOS from different designers – AQ AQ, Jarlo and Adrianna Pappell.
Groom’s suit and accessories
Our families are quite traditional at heart, we toyed with the idea of a black tie wedding but both sets of parents said that they didn’t feel it was special enough! Alex opted for a traditional tailor-made morning suit from Savile Row tailors Cad and the Dandy. He also
insisted on wearing Shirt Stays (think manspenders) from Sharp and Dapper to keep his shirt tucked in on the day! His friend is the owner of the company and he’s been obsessed with Shirt Stays for a few years – they attach his shirt to his socks so that it doesn’t ride up – rather clever really!! Alex also got his groomsmen blush pink ties from Sharp and Dapper and he wore a gold tie from Richard James on Savile Row.
Favourite wedding supplier links
Dress – Charlie Brear – http://www.charliebrear.com/bridal
Bride’s Shoes – Jimmy Choo – http://www.jimmychoo.com/
Grooms Suit – Cad and the Dandy – http://www.cadandthedandy.co.uk/
Grooms Accessories (including shirt stays!) – Sharp and Dapper –
Photographer – Camilla Rosa Photography – http://www.camillarosa.co.uk/
Venue – Elmore Court – http://www.elmorecourt.com/
Florist – Ruby and the Wolf – http://rubyandthewolf.com/
Cake – Curtis and Co Cakes – http://www.curtisandcocakes.co.uk/
Ruby Miller Band – http://www.silverdogmusic.co.uk/rubymillerband.htm