My heart lifts when I see the love and warmth in a beautiful celebration like this one. Our gorgeous couple Nicola & Michael were married at Sherborne Abbey in Dorset in 2019. Their Stockbridge Farm reception is perfect: the florals and styling are exquisite, but the focus of their day is on love, joy and celebration with family and friends. Huge thanks to Sherborne Abbey wedding photographer Robin Goodlad for sharing his images of such a beautiful wedding, and to our stunning couple for allowing us this very special peek into their wedding day! You’ll find their fave suppliers and plenty of top tips below so grab a cuppa and read through as you enjoy the fabulous shots of a very, very special day.
Wedding photographer’s website
How did you choose your photographer?
We chose Robin as I saw a photo from a friend’s wedding that really captured a moment and stayed with us – it was a real wow moment in very wet weather! So, when we came to think about our own wedding, I knew immediately that I would love to work with the same photographer. We did a consultation call and a pre-wedding shoot with Robin which helped us get to know each other and feel comfortable with a camera around. Robin understood the importance for us that the photos felt natural rather than staged and that we wanted our guests to be as relaxed as possible – it was all about having fun. We were very happy with the photos from the pre-wedding shoot and felt that Robin would be perfect for the big day.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Really pleased, Robin and his team are so talented. Robin made the planning and the day really easy and relaxed and we have brilliant photos that bring back wonderful memories of our day.
Videographer details if applicable – and any thoughts for other couples about having a wedding video?
We didn’t have a videographer but a friend did film our speeches.
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
Our ceremony was held at Sherborne Abbey in Dorset (sherborneabbey.com). Michael has a close connection to the town and Nicola also grew up in Dorset so it was a special place . The abbey dates back to the 13th Century and is a beautiful grand building in the heart of the town.
Our reception was held at Stockbridge Farm Barn (stockbridgefarmbarn.co.uk), just outside Sherborne. It is a beautiful old barn and we loved it being an isolated country farm that we could make our own. There was plenty of space for our guests both inside and out just in case the weather wasn’t in our favour. Cherry, the owner, was extremely friendly and experienced at hosting weddings and was able to recommend trusted suppliers for the day. The weather on our wedding day was perfect and both locations were even more beautiful as a result.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
Michael chose a tailored three-piece suit of a dark blue jacket and trousers with a grey waistcoat. Nicola’s dress was from Morilee (morilee.co.uk) with detail and fitting by a local seamstress including embellished shoulder detailing and belt. I really enjoyed trying on many dresses, I went with my mum and sisters to four or five appointments over two days and genuinely could have chosen 10 different dresses, it was so hard to pick just one!
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
Yes, Caroline at Fleur Provocateur (fleurprovocateur.co.uk) as well as my good friend Kendall (adventureswithflowers.com) who are both phenomenally talented made some magic happen. I shared one pinterest image with Caroline and she immediately understood the look, colours and flowers that I loved – despite me not having any idea! Caroline designed and created my bridal bouquet as well as my two bridesmaids’ bouquets, all the buttonholes as well as two arrangements for mother of the bride and mother of the groom. Caroline then supplied the flowers for our tables which Kendall so brilliantly, and tirelessly, designed – I couldn’t have been happier. The colours and style really made our venue.
Did you hire a wedding planner?
No, we did everything ourselves with the help of a substantial excel spreadsheet!
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
Nicola’s mum made our cake – a tier each of chocolate guinness, red velvet and carrot cake. It was divine, my mum did a fantastic job – thanks mum!
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
My mum did even more baking and we offered flapjacks and brownies to keep people going as they left Sherborne Abbey (it’s often a long time between breakfast and the wedding breakfast on wedding days!). My mum also dried rose petals for our confetti which was beautiful.
My sister’s friend drove us in his open top Land Rover Defender (thanks Kenny!) which added to our country feel.
A friend of ours (thanks Sam!) also painstakingly created all our table names and order of the day sign in her beautiful calligraphy.
Our band were just amazing (renegadesofrock.co.uk)! Really lovely guys and a great party, we were on the dancefloor all night, as were all our guests which was exactly what we wanted.
We also organised a brunch the day after our wedding so we could see family and friends again, over 50 guests came and The Plume of Feathers in Sherborne did a fantastic job feeding us all. It was so nice to spend more time with people that had travelled a long way (Australia!).
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
We didn’t personalise our vows. Our readings were Song of Solomon, 2:10-13, 8:6&7 and a reading from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
Lionel Richie – My Destiny. We wanted an upbeat song and the lyrics connected to us, especially the first line “You came in, That’s what my little heart was looking for.”
Favourite wedding suppliers
Catering and bar: https://dorsetfinedining.co.uk/
Make up: https://www.barnetandboatrace.com/
Sunday brunch: https://www.theplumesherborne.co.uk/