Gorgeous bride Polly married her handsome groom Ben at the end of last summer. It was a perfect, sunny day – Polly actually had a beautiful, delicate parasol so she could keep the sun off it was so hot! The ceremony took place at the stunning Bishop’s Court near Exeter – a grade 1 listed country house with amazing gothic décor and beautiful grounds with roaming wild peacocks! The reception was held at Polly’s childhood home where a marquee had been decorated in origami cranes, all of which had been made by the bride and her friends! The present / card table also had a frame which showed a map of where they got engaged which was such a nice touch.
We didn’t have a theme as such. It was a country wedding and we were keen that it should be relaxed and fun. My husband tells me that he’s glad that he got involved in the wedding planning and that we made most decisions together. It meant that he knew what was happening when rather than feeling like a stranger at your own wedding.
Allow plenty of time to set up, especially if you’re doing a DIY / marquee wedding. It takes longer than you’d think! When choosing suppliers think “can I work with this person and can I trust them, and do I want them at my wedding?” That’s such an important starting point. Most of all, relax and enjoy it. If anything goes not quite to plan, don’t let it spoil your day – you’ll look back and laugh about it.
Wedding photographer’s website:
We did a google search for photographers in our area and found the Heather Photography website. We liked the portfolio photos and the general feel and description of her approach. When we met Megan it reinforced our feeling that she would be a good choice. We were looking for natural, informal photos and minimal formal ‘line-ups’ and Megan seemed really pleased by this! She also seemed to have the right personality to be able to build a rapport with guests as well as not being afraid to herd cats i.e. get people together for the group photos we did want.
We were so pleased with Heather Photography. On the day Megan was there as I (the bride) arrived at the ceremony venue – something set me off crying and she had tissues on hand! She was visible when she needed to be and otherwise blended in and moved around seamlessly – I didn’t even notice her during the ceremony! Guests commented on how nice she was and she seemed to genuinely enjoy the day herself and take pleasure in her job.
When we received our wedding photographs from Megan we sat down together and plugged the laptop into the TV to watch a slideshow. They were all in order so it was like reliving the day. There’s lots the bride doesn’t see, being the last to arrive, so it was great to see some lovely natural photos of guests arriving and milling around before the ceremony. Megan had really captured the feel of the day and found some excellent features inside and outside to make beautiful backdrops for our couple shots. We were thrilled with the photos.
Bishops Court, near Exeter
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
No, but I’ll try!
A beautiful memory of love and laughter.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Mainly through word of mouth/ recommendations but also some web searches.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
You don’t need everything! Make it a wedding that says something about you – does that really mean fairy princess meets handsome prince or is it more about your love for each other, your true personalities and what your friends and family will enjoy.
If you have the time and you’re a bit creative, do bits and pieces yourself (e.g. decorations, table names, favours). See Pinterest for some great ideas.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Quality of food and service is important. That doesn’t have to mean a three course gourmet meal, but it is important that guests are kept well fed and watered – it’s a long day!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
I made my own using craft paper etc. I kept the design quite simple, which I think worked well and suited the style we were going for.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Having tried quite a few on, the one I chose just made sense and I did have that ‘this is the one’ feeling even though I didn’t expect to. It worked really well for me on the day.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Rachel Simpson shoes for a slight vintage feel. Jewellery with sentimental value and for something borrowed. A parasol given to us by friends for good weather luck – it worked and we passed it on to the next to get married, in the hope that it will continue to work its magic.
And what did the groom wear?
A blue suit (no tails) and silver waistcoat.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Variations on blue. They found what worked for them and their figures.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My sister did my make-up and a family friend did my hair. Again, we kept it simple with no complicated up-dos.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Rosie the Florist did a beautiful bouquet of neutral colours with roses, eucalyptus and more. My eldest flowergirl had a posie and the little one a wand with a few flowers and lots of ribbon. The bridesmaids and mums had corsages – they could choose between wrist, chest and hair. Rosie also made a beautiful runner for the top table which dressed it well and hid all the dinner plates etc in the photos!
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The ceremony venue didn’t need anything – it was a lovely place and they decorated it with flowers. We decorated the reception marquee ourselves, mainly with around 200 handmade origami cranes!
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
The paper cranes for the marquee were a labour of love, but looked great hanging from the ceiling. The groom’s mum wrote the placenames and invitations using calligraphy. For the hen do we did fascinator making and the bride’s mum wore hers on the day.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
A clever friend made cupcakes for us and they went down well in the evening, especially with the kids.
We also had a cheese wedding cake, which was decimated by guests made hungry by all the dancing.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a ceilidh which was great for getting everyone up dancing – safety in numbers!
What’s the best thing about being married?
It doesn’t feel any different except for a sense of security and feeling settled. To start with it’s strange but lovely referring to ‘my husband’ / ‘my wife’.