Today’s elegantly styled wedding comes from Caswell House in the Cotswolds. Beautiful bride Kelley has written the loveliest interview for us and shared her recommendations for Cotswolds wedding suppliers, which will be unmissable reading for any of you lovely brides and grooms-to-be in the region. I adore the unusual florals with such a unique colour palette, Kelley’s gorgeous dress and the romantic atmosphere of the day. Images are by Jessica Davies, who told me “I loved the way that Kelley embraced the wintry theme, with a sprinkling of darker, seasonal florals and warming candles, yet managed to also keep everything feeling light and romantic, with the beautiful Cotswold’s stone, pale grey bridesmaids dresses and inclusion of baby’s breath flowers. Family was a huge part of the wedding, and Kelley’s father spent weeks designing and making the personalised wooden ring box which you’ll see in the photographs. Overall, I think it was one of the most smiley, joyful weddings I’ve ever captured.” ~ Jessica Davies Photography
We chose a local florist to the venue as they had experience in dressing the venue before. Alison at Classic Flowers Witney did an amazing job filling the space with white hydrangeas, gypsophilia, dahlias. My bouquet was hand tied with a hessian band and contained white dahlias, white lisianthus, white astilble, blue Eryngium and autumn foliage in deep reds and greens. The bridesmaids had simple bouquets of gypsophilia and the men had button holes containing astilbe, echinops and for Sam, an Eryngium.
The venue itself is stunning, all Cotswold stone, high beams and iron work. We didn’t really put too much up but we had printed out song lyrics which meant something to us, these were positioned around the venue. Most of the main decoration was on the long table before you went into the main room, which displayed the guestbook, the order of the day, table plan, confetti, card box etc…
We made most of the decorations for the wedding, from the hessian wrapped jars on the tables for the flowers, to the scrapbook time lining our lives together so far. It just made it all a little more personal. Sam is very arty so the stationery was always going to be designed by us. Once the invites were ready, they were sent to a local printer using card supplied by ourselves. There was then a “family factory line” putting the invite pack together. Some did the tying of twine, some collated the inserts, others stuffed into envelopes. Was a great way to also get everyone feeling involved. The other stationery around the venue was then based on the invites so the menu, order of the day, place names and table plan all followed the same theme.
Wedding photographer’s website:
We had seen Jess’s work through a friend of ours and thought the images were absolutely stunning. We loved her style and thought it would be perfect for what we wanted our photos to be like. We did look at a couple of others but they just didn’t compare in quality, service or price!
From the very first contact, we couldn’t have been happier. She was great and we had such fun on our engagement shoot with her. It was perfect for getting ready for our big day and helped us relax. On the actual day itself Jess and Gyan spent the day capturing all those special moments but really didn’t even realise they were there sometimes! The final pictures are so beautiful, we are so happy with them.
Sam and I were really excited to see the photos so when we collected our beautiful presentation box with the memory stick of nearly 600 pictures, we loaded it up as soon as we got in. We were blown away by them. The photos timelined the day perfectly and it was amazing to be reminded of moments we had forgotten and to see moments we had missed. From the tears of happiness during the ceremony to the interesting guest dance moves of the evening, Jess and Gyan had captured them all.
Caswell House, Brize Norton, Oxfordshire
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A perfect day full of love, fun and laughter.
Your wedding style or theme:
Fairly rustic with lots of seasonal flowers, hessian decorations and tweed suits.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We found some of the suppliers through the Caswell House Open Day. We also scanned magazines and websites for others.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Don’t spend money on bits that really don’t matter. It is easy to get carried away at having everything possible at your wedding but prioritise what truly is required.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The food definitely. Unfortunately it is one of the things people tend to remember at a wedding! If the meal is rubbish people will remember it. Our meal was beautifully supplied by Indulgence Hospitality who are sole suppliers to Caswell.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Absolutely! How could I not? It was beautiful. I was always of an opinion that a wedding dress should be the best most impressive dress you will ever wear. Many thought my dress would be a slinky number, I knew it would not be. I originally went to the dress shop as I had seen a different dress in a magazine and they stocked it. Although it look beautiful it was not the one for me. That day I tried on about 12 dresses and my dress was probably about number 6. I knew then that it would be the one though. Despite trying on others, they just weren’t right so I went back to “The One”.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Dress was by Sincerity bought at Elderberry Brides, Basingstoke.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I love shoes but decided this would not be a new purchase. I had a pair of satin cream heels which I had worn as a bridesmaid at my cousins wedding and a guest at another wedding so I knew they would be fine for all day wear. I bought a cute pair of heel protectors so I didn’t ruin my heels in the grass. My something borrowed was a beautiful silver and pearl necklace and earring set from my Matron of Honour. We also designed and had made by the jewellers our rings came from, a stunning diamond and silver bangle. I lost a very dear friend a couple of years ago to cancer and wanted something to remind me of him on the day. The song Reach for the Stars was played at his funeral so that is engraved on the inside of the bangle. I also lost my Nanny a couple of years ago and the money used for the bangle was from her. It was my way of having 2 important people close to me who wouldn’t be there in person.
And what did the groom wear?
Sam had a fantastic blue 3 piece tweed suit. He accessorised it with brown shoes, braces and a burgundy tie with little hares on. A nod to the theme running through our wedding stationery. The rest of the men in his party all wore the same but without the braces. They all looked amazing.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The bridesmaid dresses were harder to find than my own dress! I wanted something that suited all the shapes and sizes of my girls. Originally I was looking high street but struggled to find the right thing. While collecting my wedding dress, Elderberry Brides showed me some bridesmaid dresses and we ended up choosing a beautiful grey long dress by Alexia.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
One of my close friends is a hair and make up stylist so it was always going to be her doing it. She did an amazing job on me and my 4 girls. My hair is very fine and needed a lot of clip in extensions to make it look as stunning as it did. She worked miracles!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We both love cheese so we had already decided a long time back it would be a cake made from cheese. Our caterers Indulgence supplied us with the cake and decorated it with figs, fruits and flowers. Our cheeses were stilton, wensleydale and cranberry, smoked cheddar, cheddar, goats cheese and a brie on the side.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Our friend Ashley works for Prelude Entertainment so he was the DJ for the day. We had already worked on a playlist for the different aspects of the day. The music being played during the drinks reception were all songs which meant something to us. The music for the wedding breakfast were all instrumental and classical versions of popular songs which also meant something to us. Our first dance was to Biffy Clyro’s Many of Horror. This is “our song” and although some people weren’t too sure of the lyrics, the chorus of “I still believe, its you and me til the end of time” sums us up completely.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Get a videographer! We decided not to but had a few bits of footage from people throughout the day. They helped us remember bits we forgot. The day literally flies by and before you know it it’s all over and done with. Being able to watch it back in the comfort of your own home helps you remember and relive it at your own pace. I wish we had more to watch.
What’s the best thing about being married?
I love being able to call Sam my husband, he’s now officially stuck with me 😀 We are official partners in crime now.