Today’s wedding is everything. I love it – I love the atmosphere in the pics, the excitement (and the nerves) and the celebration and love. The styling is fabulous; it’s elegant with quirky touches. Emma and Paul are gorgeous and their day just totally ROCKS. The weather didn’t quite play ball: check out the “dramatic” October skies over Dumbleton Hall (and – spoiler alert – the rainbow, which obviously brought a few raindrops along with it!)
The images by my fabulously creative and talented friend Sheryl at Oobaloos Photography are literally stunning. You’ll be wanting to grab a cuppa and snuggle down somewhere comfy to scroll all the way through this one! Enjoy.
Dumbleton Hall near Evesham is a 19th-century Cotswold stone manor house set in many acres of gardens. The picturesque lake and black swans were the icing on the cake for Emma and Paul. “It was dreamy and had so much character. Staff were so thoughtful, supportive and friendly. Our guests praised how well staffed the venue was for getting drinks and serving our wedding breakfast. Everything throughout the day went so smoothly with them.”
Wedding photographer’s website:
We completed a lot of research on the internet before picking Sheryl. We chose our top six wedding photographers in the Gloucestershire area and then spent time scrolling through all of the galleries on their websites. Sheryl stood out by miles against the rest! Her website was very eye catching, creative graphics and memorable. Her photos looked unique, natural and had the wow factor for us.
We were amazed when we got our sneak peeks through. Our wedding day had sunshine, rain showers, stormy black clouds and a rainbow and Sheryl successfully captured every season that day! She captured moments from the day which we didn’t even see so when we looked through our wedding gallery, we relived our special day again and more!! Every single guest thought the photos were wow and captured so many magical moments from the day (we loved our guests being so impressed).
I had arrived back home and was reading through our wedding guest book with my family and Paul in the lounge when my phone was going mad with likes and comments……my guests had a lot of love for Sheryl’s photos!! Every photo I saw of hers, i just smiled and felt this overwhelming feeling of happiness. #cloud9
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Rustic, Personalised, Happiness, Fun, Romance and for me……utterly dreamy!
Your wedding style or theme:
Our style was always going to be classy and rustic with lots of natural foliage. We went for a beautiful colour scheme of white, greens and splashes of dusky pink as we didn’t want anything too overpowering. Simple yet elegant.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
I read a lot of bridal magazines but did not see a lot of local suppliers. Instead, we invested a lot of our time in internet research. We knew we wanted to support local businesses and have them close by just in case. We always would meet suppliers in person before going with them as you can really get a sense of their passion and commitment to their clients.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Do it yourself! We saved so much money by doing a lot of items ourselves and as we made most of them together, it was lovely working as a team to create our ideas and see our plans come together. It also made our wedding more unique and showed the guests the care and thought we put into our big meaningful day.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Photographer is worth every penny. The photos will last a lifetime.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
With a degree in design, I designed and made our invites, name cards, wedding favour tags etc. Paul also got involved and designed and made the order of service.
We bought a printer and card is so cheap from shops like The Range, it was very economical.
Again, we had a sense of achievement that we had designed and made them all ourselves and guests loved all of the personal touches. It did take time but it was worth it, especially when sticking to a tight budget.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes. I cried my eyes out in the shop and as I wanted to sleep on it, I went back the next day, put the dress on, cried my eyes out again and said YES TO THE DRESS! This was the only dress that made me cry and gave me that wow feeling when i wore it. Don’t settle for ‘It’s nice’, you need to feel a million dollars!
I visited bridal shops in Cheltenham, Worcester, Swindon, Cirencester, Isle of Wight, Gloucester and finally Cardiff! Dresses were either over my budget or very underwhelming.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
My wedding dress was Rebecca Ingram by Maggie Sottero.
The bolero top with lace appliqués was by Pronovias.
Allison Jayne Bridalwear in Cardiff, such caring and friendly staff who dedicated so much time to me.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My shoes were by the Rainbow Club, Fleur – Heart Detail Ivory Shimer Shoes. They were perfect for my wedding day. They had a padded lining with cushion comfort on the underfoot and had a small ankle strap to make sure they stayed on my feet (very important when you are walking around in a large heavy wedding dress).
And what did the groom wear?
My husband is in the Royal Air Force so I knew straight away that I wanted him to wear his uniform. Being in the military for him is definitely something he is very proud of and as my dad was also in the RAF, it held sentimental value for the family. For the ceremony he wore his Number 1’s and then wore his Number 5’s after the wedding breakfast. Yes…..the groom had 2 outfits and I only had 1!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I had my maid of honour, my best friend Helen from the Isle of Wight and my close friend Chloe who I met at university was my bridesmaid.
They both wore a floor length, off the shoulder dusky pink evening gown by Jessica Wright. They wore their own nude heels and had a gypsophila bouquet.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I decided to do my own make up on the day. I visited the new John Lewis store in Cheltenham and had my make up done by a lady at the Laura Mercier counter. I decided it would be better to invest the money it would have cost me for a professional make up artist and buy my own selection of high quality make up. Then, i had the make up for after the wedding when we had our mini moon. It also meant i could recreate my make up when i visited my 96 year old gran on the Isle of Wight in her care home. She was unable to make the wedding so i surprised her by wearing my dressing dress with all my accessories and had some photos with her. She loved it!
My hair was done by my school friend Fiona who is a trained hairdresser. We did one trial run and she did it perfectly on the day. She also did the bridesmaid’s hair.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
We first met Jackie at a wedding fayre held at Cheltenham Racecourse. Her display was exactly what we wanted, it was very natural and had elegant rustic foliage.
Our colour scheme was white, greens and splashes of dusky pink. We had memory lane roses, white roses, gypsophilia, eucalyptus etc.
BlueBell Wood Florist, Tewkesbury. Highly recommend. She set it all up for us in the morning.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Dumbleton hall is a classic country manor house with ornate wood paneling and impressive lit fire places so it already had a lot of character but we knew we wanted to personalise it and make it our own. We made our own welcome sign out of pallet wood with laser cut white lettering, a pallet with the order of the day and a signpost with directions for all of the different areas within the venue such as the dance floor, evening buffet and the bar.
I also made large wreaths out of hula hoops I bought from a charity shop, wrapped them in brown string and added fake flowers/foliage. These were hung on the walls in the Oak room along with displays of crates, photoframes, candles etc in the large open fire places.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
I loved every second making all of the crafts for the wedding, i was in my element and loved the sense of achievement once each one was completed.
1. First anniversary jar. We bought a Kilner large drinks dispenser jar from a charity shop. I laser cut hearts out of brown card and added brown string where guests could write a message for myself and Paul to read on our first anniversary. I cant wait to read them all. I ordered rose gold vinyl lettering to cover the vintage jar on the front.
2. We bought 3 vinyls from a charity shop and designed our own middle labels to be stuck on the middle. We then got our guests to sign one of the vinyls with a gold marker pen. Each signed vinyl is now in a black frame with red velvet backing.
3. Table sign. We bought small vinyls, bent them on a strip heater and designed middle labels with the table name and a grahic and stuck them on.
4. Name cards. I designed and laser cut the name cards on brown card. I applied a thin layer of PVA glue to harden the card and give it a shiny finish. I then had a calligraphy set at home so practiced one evening and hand wrote each name.
5. Favours. The men had ‘The soundtrack to our day’. Each CD had 12 songs from our special day, designed labels that were stuck onto the CD with our own personalised graphics and printed the case out of brown card then had a strong bow with laser cut name tages out of MDF. The ladies had laser cut initial with a log slice graphic on MDF with shimmering pink ribbon, MDF laser cut personalised padlocks on a keyring and a vintage copper key bottle opener with a brown label with personalised white sticker for our Bartlett wedding.
The list could go on…… 🙂
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
My professional wedding cake had four tiers, the three flavours of sponge were salted caramel, chocolate orange and carrot cake with a thick butter icing rustic finish. We had pale pink and cream silk flowers to add a splash of colour on the various tiers and then I designed and laser cut a personalised Mr and Mrs Bartlett plywood cake topper. This was also linked to our rustic theme.
I then had two more cakes which were a surprise for my husband. My previous next door neighbour on the isle of Wight, insisted on baking us a cake as a wedding gift so she baked a traditional three tier cake with ornate decorative white icing and pink iced flowers and then a RAF themed ‘Best day ever’ chocolate sponge cake. The guests couldn’t believe their luck at the choice.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
One of my friends boyfriend played his guitar and sang a selection of our chosen songs. He was amazing and created a chilled atmosphere perfectly. This was our entertainment for the drinks reception.
For the evening we had a DJ. We thought as we had such a range of ages for our guests, the DJ would be able to cater for song requests quickly and we could have lots of different genres throughout the evening. I loved seeing my my family throwing shapes on the dance floor, they were in their element.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
When people say ‘Don’t stress the small things’, I found that I was so high on cloud 9, nothing phased me at all so don’t feel any type of anxiety leading up to the big day such excitement. You should feel confident about your detailed planning and know that you have thought of everything so relax and enjoy the magical day. It goes so quickly so have a blast with friends and family.
What’s the best thing about being married?
I could list so many but to narrow it down i would say the incredible memories of the actual wedding day with friends and family that will stay with us forever and I love the name change where i am officially linked to Paul. As a teacher, the students took a while to get use to my new name but hearing my new name on a daily basis, reminded me of being a wife and the exciting memories to come as a married couple.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Etsy!! This website is amazing for reasonably priced wedding items such as bridal garters and classy hair clips. I also found it great for inspiration as most of the items they sell are unique and creative.
www.notonthehighstreet.com – again fab for inspiration.