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Claire and Jon said I do on the 30th August 2014 at St Michaels Church in the pretty village of Brent Knoll, Somerset followed by their reception in two magnificent yurts in the private gardens of Ivy Clad Hall, also in Brent Knoll. Because Jon grew up in the village, it was important to both him and Claire to support the village community and use local suppliers (most of which grew up in the village themselves) where possible. Their flowers, cake and catering were all sourced from Brent Knoll and they also enlisted the help of local wedding planner, Sami of Verdigris Venue Dressing, to help plan and dress the venue.

Drawing on Claire’s love for lace, pearls and pretty things, a theme of classic vintage was decided with English country garden charm. Their colour scheme was a mixture of pastel pinks and whites and they also used lace and pearl necklaces throughout their decor. What I personally love about their wedding is their unique idea for table names. Each table was named after the word ‘Love’ but displayed in a different language from each of the countries Jon and Claire had visited together. I love this idea! I think it is such a great way of representing their relationship and one that I would definitely steal.

Jon and Claire talk us through their Elegant outdoor wedding….

Sunset, A Deserted Beach and One Knee….

Jon proposed on the Greek island of Paros at sunset on his favourite beach. Though he claimed the island choice was so that I could not run away, it was a stunning setting and we had the place to ourselves which made it incredibly personal and exactly what I would consider romantic.

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A Little Help From a Planner….

We worked with Sami from Verdigris Venue Dressing on our design and decoration, who met with us to help fine tune our ideas and colour pallets, Sami helped us liaise with all of our suppliers and designed everything in detail not only the drapes, chandeliers and flowers but our architectural indoor and outdoor lighting, table coverings and choice of tableware. On the day execution included all the décor, table dressing, flowers put in vases and the putting out of details we had done ourselves.

A Few Personal Touches….

I wanted to be hands on with some of the fun creative things I could do at home. Jon and I made the table plan and the girls helped me fold all the napkins into flowers to hold chocolates on the tables as practical favours. We also designed the place names and table numbers, had fun collecting all the frames and our theme was love, so all the tables were named after love in a different language to show all the different countries we had visited in our lives together.

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A Country Garden Wedding with Tea and a Tent!

The church ceremony was about us, and the reception was about our guests. We spent a lot of time planning out the reception, thinking about whether it was the kind of event that our guests would enjoy. We were very lucky, because every element of it was our own… nothing was forced on us by a venue etc. so we could really make it how we wanted.

The dream was a country garden with tea and a tent, the rest evolved with the planning.

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Cut Glass Vases, Blooms of Pink and Jars of Lavender….

Dotty Daisy who works in the village did all of the flowers for our wedding. She met with us and talked about colours and style, we then sent her some images and she created the bouquets and button holes for the wedding and then provided similar blooms in buckets which Sami arranged for us into cut glass vases. We also had herbs and jam jars of lavender on the tables.

Cup Cakes for A High Tea….

Sami recommended local cake designer Alison who used my colour scheme and vintage theme to make us a small cake to cut and a huge selection of beautiful cup cakes for our high tea

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Tea on The Lawn….

The afternoon was started with all the guests from the church being invited for tea on the lawn. We provided Pimms and a selection of sandwiches and cream tea, as well as cutting the cake and sharing our cupcakes. This was followed by an evening meal of Anti Pasti Platters, Spanish chicken, cous cous and meringue filled with cream and fruit compote.

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Favourite Moment….

I loved every minute of it and can’t choose. Mostly, having all of our friends and family enjoying time with us.

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Any Advice?

In an opportune turn of fate, a relative of the property owner was previously a wedding planner and her generous expertise proved invaluable to us on the day. Taking one thing from the wedding, I would say a good wedding planner is invaluable. Throughout the day she ensured everything ran smoothly from the setting up and decamping of the suppliers including extracting a gazebo from thin air the day of the wedding, to keeping the bride and groom in the right places at the right time, well-medicated against the bride’s untimely cold and the event running in a timely manner. A lot of people overlook this, but if you’re doing it yourself, and you can afford it, get some help!

It is surprising how many details go in to planning a pop up event in a field, don’t underestimate the costs of putting something on yourself, it is not always the cheaper option! We had so much kind help from our Planner and our venue but we still underestimated the cost.

A second mention (and not one that people would usually consider at the outset) is the value of a good décor firm. One invaluable piece of advice is that anyone who thinks they can have a vision and pull it together on such a large scale without experience, should really think hard about how they are going to achieve it.

The execution took around 48 working hours for all the décor to be installed, tables dressed, flowers put in vases, lighting setup etc. we would never have been able to do it ourselves… if we had tried to do it we would never have finished and would have been completely exhausted for our special day!

The best advice is to be as rested and stress free as possible so you can really take time to appreciate why you are there and enjoy your once in a life time moment as much as you possibly can.

The Line Up

Photography: Kismet photography
Event Styling, Lighting and Decoration: Verdigris
Bride’s Dress: J’Adore Bridal Boutique
Groom: Suit – Hugo Boss
Bridesmaid Dresses: Coast
Catering: Amazing Taste
Catering Equipment & Furniture: South West Hire
Flowers: Dotty Daisy’s 
Cake: Let’s Celebrate Cakes by Alison
Yurt: The Cheltenham Yurt Company
Toilets: Griffin Toilet Hire
Generator: Viking Generators
Band: Duke Beatbox
DJ: DJ Skeletor

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