Today’s wedding is pure class with sprinkles of elegance from beautiful Pennard House in Somerset. Our gorgeous bride Kate wears a divine Charlie Brear dress; husband Paul’s tailored suit is individual, classy and so stylish. I love how Kate sings her mum’s praises for the little crafty touches which made their wedding so lovely for a blog feature.
Kate’s words of wisdom are a slightly different spin to the usual ‘don’t stress over details’. Her advice for you is to stick to a deadline: “If it’s not done by 2 days before, give up and pour yourself a Gin and Tonic. You can sweat the small stuff that no-one will even notice – don’t bother. Just relax, have fun, and if it goes wrong, it doesn’t matter.”
Wedding photographer’s website:
Our wedding venue work with a single caterer, Caroline Gent (who is fantastic). When we first met Caroline, she recommended Martin. She told us that she had worked with him previously and he had managed to capture the couple in an unusually authentic way. We hadn’t thought about photographers at this point, so looked him up. We instantly fell in love with his work after looking at a woodland wedding that he had worked on. Caroline was correct- his photos were beautiful and it was an easy decision for us. We contacted him, he was available and we hired him instantly.
We love Martin. He was unbelievable to work with – it felt like we had a friend working with us. Martin was really unassuming – he managed to get all of the family and friend shots without any hassle or inconvenience and our guests were able to continue to enjoy the drinks reception. In fact, lots of our guests remarked on how friendly he was. We even managed to persuade him to go on the bucking bronco that we had hired, and have the most marvellous photo of him on it. [Martin – I think we need to see this! Claire]
We went round to Martin’s house where he showed us our photos. They were wonderful- we were overjoyed with the result. At one point in the afternoon, Martin had suggested that we go outside quickly as the light was good. He managed to capture our most stunning photos at this point. Paul and I were also really relaxed at this point in the afternoon and ended up laughing and joking in the late afternoon sun. Martin had also managed to capture some magical moments between my 94 year old nan and myself- I will treasure these forever.
Contact & Bookings: Martin Dabek Photography
We got married at the Church of All Saints in East Pennard, Somerset. Our reception was next door at Pennard House. It was stunning. I stayed at the house the evening before the wedding with my parents and bridesmaids. The owners of the house and the wedding organisers made us feel at home and so very welcome. The house have a couple of wedding planners who work with you before the wedding and on the day itself. They made last minute decisions on the day and took away any potential stress from us. They were also very accommodating to some of our slightly unusual ideas. We were desperate to have our speeches outside with our evening guests, for example. Although this proved to be a logistical challenge, Pennard House facilitated this for us. It was a glorious location and a wonderful experience.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Your wedding style or theme:
We didn’t go into it with a theme in mind, but I suppose it turned out to have a vintage feel to it. This was probably in part, due to the style of dress that I had chosen.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Flowers and hairdressers- online
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Don’t spend too long organising your wedding. We had 5 months to plan and organise. I think that if we had had longer, we would have spent more as little spends would have added up. We made our own invitations and table decorations too- that helped.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The bridesmaids dresses- I hated shopping for bridesmaids dresses. I found it the most exhausting and stressful experience. We ended up choosing Ghost dresses. I think the girls looked beautiful and I think it was totally worth it.
I also don’t regret spending a little extra on the band. We had a band called Motown Gold, through Ear Candy. They were fabulous!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We didn’t really care too much for stationary and felt frustrated that it could be so expensive. I ended up making them (although, I would not necessarily call it a labour of love!) whilst I was staying in Wales for work one week. In hindsight, I would have sent email invitations.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes. I knew that I didn’t like lace and that I wanted something quite simple. I found it in the 2nd shop that I’d looked in. I originally liked a dress in the first shop- I’d left a holding deposit but was nervous that I had chosen so quickly. I decided to make an appointment at Perfect Day Bridal in Somerset, to have a look at a Jesus Piero dress. I ended up trying on Torum by Charlie Brear, on their recommendation. It couldn’t have been a simpler design but it was perfect. I felt like myself in it, not like a little girl playing dress up!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Perfect Day Bridal were great. When the dress arrived, I went to collect it on my own. When I tried it on, it didn’t fit properly. The lady in the shop was brilliant- she immediately told me that she would not let me take it away, and arranged for a replacement to be sent within 4 days. It could have been a stressful situation, but it wasn’t. They took control and were very professional- I can’t fault them at all.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I went to the Charlie Brear shop in London to try my dress on again (I was nervous about my decision). It was a great decision- It confirmed how I felt about the dress and I ended up trying on a veil. I fell in love with the veil immediately- it added some intricacy to the look. I also had a rose gold back chain made that hung down my back (the back was low cut). The ladies who made the chain were great and designed the jewellery to my taste. It was the perfect touch.
And what did the groom wear?
The groom wore a tailor made navy blue suit, with brown Churches, a purple/burgundy tie from Hawkes and Curtis, and a white pocket square. He looked great!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The bridesmaids wore oyster Ghost dresses. My chief bridesmaid was living in New Zealand and so was not able to try the dress on. The dresses are cut on the bias though, which made it the perfect choice. They looked stunning. My niece was a flower girl- she wore a simple white dress from BHS in their closing down sale. My mum then made a skirt with ribbon waist band, which she wore with white ballet shoes. She looked adorable.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I love getting ready and putting make up on, so wanted to do my own make up. Amelia, from the styling Lounge in Bristol, did our hair. Amelia was relaxed and lovely. She helped set the atmosphere of the morning. We had great fun.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Sharon, from Interiors and Flowers by Design provided our flowers. I had previously decided that I did not want flowers in jam jars- I didn’t like them. Luckily, my mum had ignored me and had been collecting and decorating jars. I was trying to save money and therefore avoid flowers for the centre pieces. 1 week before the event, I still had no idea what I was going to do- this was because, in reality, all I wanted was flowers! I spoke to Sharon our florist, and she was so calming! She gave me lots of suggestions and in the end, we decided on jam jars (thanks mum!). Sharon delivered the flowers, and my friends and family organised the flowers into jars the night before the wedding. It was like Santa’s workshop and was a lot of fun. The result was stunning. In hindsight, I should have had more trust in my mum… mum’s apparently know best!
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
No- Pennard House is stunning. My mum had persuaded me to get hops (vines). We used these to decorate the large staircase in the reception. They looked fabulous and it was a statement.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
My mum is very creative. She decorated all of our jam jars and table numbers (we used stones from our local beach). My parents also created our table plan which I loved. They decorated a rustic wooden ladder and placed a plant pot of lavender on top. The table plans then stuck into the pot of lavender. After dinner, we removed the plant box and attached a giant photo frame- it then became our do-it-yourself photo booth.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We nearly didn’t bother with a cake but had a change of heart last minute. The cake was made by a family friend. She made a fruit cake for one layer and a lemon cake for the 2nd layer. Sharon our florist, created a floral display on the cake. It looked lovely and was simple, which we wanted.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We used a company called Ear Candy and hired a band called Motown Gold. They were very professional and got everyone moving. They sounded great. We also love CHIC- CHIC wasn’t on their set list, but they performed it for us and made our night. Also, rather than using the play list arranged by Ear Candy when the band was not playing, our friend Charlie acted as a DJ. He has skills we weren’t aware of! Our first dance was played by Charlie- we chose a song only 3 of our guests knew, but was our favourite. It was Steal the Light by the Cat Empire- it had everyone jumping around within a minute.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Knowing that you’ve got your best friend by your side and an exciting future ahead.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
and obviously martindabek.com