As far as weddings, go, it couldn’t get much more perfect than Claire + Alex’s wedding which was held at the beautiful Kingscote Barn in Tetbury.
Claire + Alex wanted their wedding to be elegant and unfussy. They explained to me that “it was important to us that our guests had a really good time, and obviously that we did too, so we wanted it to be fun and not too formal. The people that were there would really make the day, so we tried to add elements that would bring people together, like Darren Campbell and marshmallows around the fire-pit.”
In Claire + Alex’s own words..
“I must have tried on over 60 dresses and had nearly given up on them, in fact over lunch in Cheltenham before going to Simply Bridal I told Mum that I’d have enough of dress shopping, that I’d never find what I was looking for and would just find one on the internet! Straight after lunch we had our appointment at Simply Bridal, Kate asked me about my style, looked at me, then picked my dress off the rails. It was perfect and I didn’t want to take it off, or even look at any others!!
“In contrast to Claire’s dress shopping, this was done and dusted at the first attempt after about half an hour in Anne Harding Menswear.”
“The process of finding the bridesmaids dresses was similar to my dress; we searched bridal designers, specialist boutiques and the high street, yet still couldn’t quite find what I had pictured in my mind. I envisaged the girls in long flowing dresses, with lace detail at the top, to complement both my dress and the style of the venue. I finally found what seemed to be the perfect dress online but they were no stockists in the UK, so we went about getting them tailor made. I managed to find Ali from Unique Dress, who specialised in bespoke bridal dresses and had made a few in this style before. Once I’d explained the design, she immediately sketched the dresses I had pictured in my head, which put me straight at ease. We had so much fun choosing the fabrics (corded lace for the tops, silk georgette for the skirts) and the girls loved their fittings so much it almost seemed a pity when the dresses were finally ready to take home. I couldn’t have been any happier with the dresses, the girls looked utterly fabulous and did a fine job of upstaging me in them!”
A DEARLY LOVED ONE WHO PASSED AWAY
“We lost my Dad suddenly in 2011 and I wanted to find a few subtle ways to include him on our wedding day. We chose the date because we love springtime and it would have been my Dad’s birthday that week. The seamstress used a piece of my Dad’s old shirt and made a little heart which she sewed into my dress with the word “Dad” stitched onto it – this was my something blue! But most importantly I wanted a way to ensure Dad was able to walk me up the aisle; I had heard of wedding charms before, but found this one on Etsy which was perfect as it was so small and subtle. I then put my favourite photo of Dad and I inside which Maria from Sorori attached to my bouquet.”
“We looked at several venues in the area, but Kingscote really stood out as having everything we wanted. A good mix of indoor and outdoor space to give us flexibility with the weather; large, open areas as opposed to smaller spaces that would have broken the party up; easy access to all parts of the venue for our less mobile guests; beautiful on-site accommodation for the whole wedding party; and finally somewhere that really took our breath away. We didn’t take long to decide once we’d seen it in person!”
“Kingscote had four approved caterers for us to choose from, we shortlisted two for tasting based on gut feeling, and Strawberry Field Catering came up trumps with the quality of their food (especially the antipasti boards), and the confidence we had in their level of service.”
“Our colour scheme was Navy, Raspberry Pink & Ivory with paler pink tones. Alex was happy for me to run with the flowers; I wanted quite an informal hand-tied style which was blousy yet delicate, to complement the season and soften the richness of the navy dresses and waistcoats. Maria from Sorori Design Florist guided us to what was in season and we agreed on double tulips, hydrangea, lisianthus, spray roses and gypsophila.”
“Most of the little details were all our own work. Claire designed the ceremony decorations, the tables, and the favours amongst other things. We worked with Lucy Loves Weddings who helped us design our invitations, then we had some fun nights in assembling them with Richard and Sophie. We then designed and created the rest of the stationery ourselves which really personalised the day, we had lots of fun designing the table plan, order of services, reserved signs and all the other little details. We put toiletries boxes in the bathrooms, and a basket of blankets by the fire, both of which were a big hit with our guests.”
“We had three sessions with Liz Mitchell from Movementor, four hours in total (plus a bit of practice at home, though with not enough space to practice the lifts!). We weren’t planning to have the whole thing choreographed, but we ended up really enjoying the process so just kept adding new moves until we’d done the whole song.”
“It feels almost impossible to choose just one favourite part of the day, as we couldn’t have imagined a better wedding day; but looking around the buzzing dance floor at the end of the evening, surrounded by our favourite people we knew without any doubt that we had just had the happiest day of our lives.”
ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES AND GROOMS
“On the morning of the wedding, each surprised the other with a gift and a letter that focused each of us on what the day was truly about and put us in exactly the right frames of mind to have what turned out to be the happiest and most romantic day of our lives. If you can get this bit right, then everything else is just icing on the cake.”
A big thank you to Claire + Alex for their input into this blog post and now it’s time for their wedding highlights film…enjoy!