James & Fern’s beautiful Sherborne Abbey and Brympton House wedding, with Martin Dabek Photography
Today’s wedding is pure luxury, sheer joy and absolute beauty. Stunning bride Fern married her gorgeous groom James at Sherborne Abbey and celebrated with a beautiful reception at Brympton House in Somerset. Their day is captured by our friend and sponsor, Brympton House Wedding Photographer Martin Dabek, who is based in Somerset.
I tried on over 100 dresses and found it particularly hard to narrow the selection of styles down as I liked too many. My mum and I visited the Caroline Castigliano store in Knightsbridge and the sales assistant picked a gown I wouldn’t have chosen and the second I walked out in it, my mother had a tear to her eye. We then managed to accessorize it with the different trains, veils and belts to create the look for day and evening I was envisaging. The dress was also made to measure which was brilliant as it ensured it fitted like a glove on the day.
My gown was an ivory satin fit and flare style with a extremely long silk zibeline train. For the evening, this was switched to the lighter tulle evening train. There was also a cathedral length simple one layer tulle veil and ivory, crystal embellished belt, all created by Caroline Castigliano, Knightsbridge
Wedding photographer’s website:
When James and I first sat down to discuss our ideas and the wedding budget, we both agreed that for us investing in a good professional photographer was absolutely key. We then started to search for the leading photographers in the South West, we came across Martin Dabek’s fantastic portfolio. From the second we looked at his portfolio, we knew it was the style of photography that we wanted to capture for our day. Further to this, when we spoke with Martin he was really excited about our ideas and could not wait to capture pictures of our service in Sherborne Abbey.
Martin Dabek was absolutely fantastic! Not only is he an amazing photographer, he is also really lovely and professional to work with throughout the entire process and look forward to booking him again for future photography sessions. In our opinion, Martin had the perfect balance between capturing stunning formal photos and capturing the spirit of our day and individuals expressions. Our photographs were amazing and were better than we could have ever imagined! Martin also put a lovely package together where he had filmed our the videos of our speeches and a montage of some of our favourite photos. We would thoroughly recommend Martin to other future couples.
As we returned from honeymoon, we were fortunate to see a sneak preview of a couple of pictures from the day. Martin had kindly put together a montage of some of the pictures together with music which we watched together which was the perfect pick-me-up as we returned from honeymoon. Martin sent the complete set of pictures in a lovely presentation box with prints and the USB stick.
Contact & Bookings: Martin Dabek Photography
My aunt (Caroline House) kindly provided all of the bridal bouquets, button holes and the evening floral displays. The bridesmaids had bouquets and flowers tucked in the back of their hair. The flowers girls had gypsophila garland headbands and gypsophila pom-pom wands. The bridal bouquets and button holes were all ivory flowers with foliage.
Pedestals were provided by the Sherborne Abbey florists. The Sherborne Abbey flowers were also all ivory and included folliage, including ferns (which Fern was delighted about). The venue had to provide the internal styling. The rest of the flowers were ivory, pink, mauve, lavender and included the memory lane rose, gypsothelia, wax flower and eucalyptus. For the evening stables, the pre-decorated hoops and birdcages were used and my aunt decorated a wrought iron dress mannequin.
Sherborne Abbey followed by Brympton House
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A traditional, classic wedding with a fun twist
Your wedding style or theme:
‘- A classic and traditional wedding
– Ivory and lavender colour scheme
– Contemporary elegance in dress designs and wedding cake styles
– Traditional church wedding at Sherborne Abbey
– String quartet and garden games at the drinks reception at Brympton House followed by 3 course sit down meal in the Ballroom.
– Fun elements with a funfair with carousel, stalls, fire dancers, crepe and ice cream stand, fire pit, photobooth.
– Wrought iron decorations (hanging hoops, bird cages and gates) with pink/purple/mauve/ivory flowers and glass hummingbirds
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Online and recommendations
What’s your top tip for saving money?
– Negotiate and save money on the largest costs.
– Prioritise and spend money on the things that are important to you and make compromises elsewhere.
– Work out the cost benefit to time effort into creating items versus buying them.
– When setting a budget, create a contingency load as some additional cost may creep in however tightly you control it. Also, remember to check if quotes include VAT from suppliers.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
– Wedding dress & bridal hair & makeup
– Magnums of Bollinger and individual Chambord/Sloe Gin favours for the toast
– Having a large bridal party – Although costly, it was really fun with everyone involved
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
The wedding invites were created by Cartalia and included our own monogram. The rest of the stationery (menus, table plans, name places, signs, etc.) was made by James and I as we had already had our own lavender coloured monogram. We would definitely recommend buying the wedding stationery as it took ages to make perfect looking stationary and we ended up spending a lot on quality paper, ink cartridges, special small hole punches and bespoke coloured ribbon. We also purchased funfair tickets as drinks vouchers so that every guest could have free drinks in the evening reception.
Wedding dress designer and boutique:
Caroline Castigliano in Knightsbridge
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Bespoke hair piece created by Donna Crain
Bridal jewellery from Brown’s, London
Belt from Caroline Castigliano
Shoes by Paradox
Garter by Temperley, with blue bow borrowed from my mother’s garter
And what did the groom wear?
Traditional morning suit with black tails and grey pinstripe trouser and an ivory double breasted waistcoat.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Adult bridesmaids wore lavender BIBA full length dresses. I bought 10 dresses for 8 bridesmaids since I bought these early as they were the perfect style/colour and some of the girls were pregnant/planning to have a baby within the 2 year engagement. I added VV Rouleaux lace to provide modesty in between the deep v neckline of the dresses. This lace was also used to bind the bridal bouquets. Jan Ridout carried out all of the amazing seamstress work for the bridesmaids and flower girls.
Flower girls wore silk ivory dresses from Monsoon. Some VV Rouleaux ribbon was added to the dresses to tie the colour into the adult gowns.
I also bought little ivory cardigans for the flower girls, ivory shrugs for the adults in case they were cold.
For gifts, I bought jewellery for each of them and wrapped the adults jewellery in matching ivory clutch bags.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Bride, Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Groom : Gemma Sutton
8 adult bridesmaids hair up do – Rachel Louise
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The venue was stunning so didn’t require lots of styling however we wanted to make our wedding day unique to us.
The styling included:
– Flower decorated wrought iron bird cages
– Flower decorated wrought iron dress mannequin
– Large flower decorated wrought iron gate as the table plan
– Wrought iron tall floral stands for high floral displays
– Glass bon-bon jars for pink champagne truffles
– Lots of cut glass tea lights
– Pillar candles along venue staircase with sprigs of flowers
– Decorated black hoops with flowers, fairylights and glass hummingbirds
– Hanging tea light baubles from trees outside
– Low lights around venue
Our friend, Lucy Manville (Malt & Marble events) was an events coordinator and wedding planner and she was fantastic at ensuring everything was where it should be on the wedding day and organized all of the coordination side of our day.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
– Decorated all of the large black hoops with flowers, fairy lights and hung glass hummingbirds in the centre. These were hanging above the disco dance floor.
– Decorated a wrought iron gate for the table plan.
– Created an outdoor sign for the evening reception to sign-post the funfair, bar, photobooth and disco.
– Created a menu per person (there were a surprising large amount of different food allergy requirements) and all signs/table numbers/table games/place names/favour and selfie stick labels
– Created kids party packs with fun activities, food, toys and bibs so that they were occupied during the meal.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
5 tiered clean line ivory iced cake with a petal ruffle bottom layer and a white open flower offset on the top tier. The monogram used throughout the stationary, was also iced in white on the second tier. The flavours included: Lemon & blueberry, Lime & coconut, Salted caramel chocolate and carrot cake.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
– Disco: Pulse Roadshow – Lee Pulse
– George Irvin’s Irvin Leisure: Fairground (carousel and stalls)
– Showstoppers: Fire dancers
– String Quartet: Arioso
– Garden outdoor games
– Evening buffet: ice cream cart and crepe stall
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Three top tips:
1. The most common wedding advice “Get everything in writing before you book your venue”. Although we thought we had stuck to this advice, every minute level of detail needs to be written formally, especially where you have a long engagement.
2. Listen to your ‘gut feeling’/hunches. Where we had raised concerns, for example the ability of a venue to “review corkage fees”, this did come true 9 weeks before the wedding day.
3. Talk to other people – often brides want to keep everything a complete surprise however when chatting to other people you will get recommendations of suppliers/ideas.
4. Consider getting an independent wedding planner. We brought Lucy Manville (Malt & Marble) on board fairly late into our planning process however she helped resolve any of our issues and was a fantastic person to have coordinating and organizing everything on the day. I’m certain the day would not have run half as well if she hadn’t been there.
What’s the best thing about being married?
When planning your wedding day, you tend to spend all of your time together focusing on planning the tiniest of details whereas once you are married, you have all of this free time together and you have lovely moments together, reminiscing about the big day.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms: