First thing to arrive on the Friday before Jackie and Matt's wedding,
was Jackie's Mum, Jill, with a horse box FILLED with flowers
of all manner of shapes and sizes.
The Ballroom smelled amazing!
It was like Mary Poppins handbag, this horse-box..
you never knew what was going to come out next!
Jill immediately got to work and started to assemble the flowers into
beautiful autumnal displays.
I'm not sure Jill could have managed it all without the help of Jackie's lovely sister Steph.
While I was beavering around working, I suddenly noticed a little fellow watching me.
I took this friendly Robin as a sign of good things to come.
The garden started to take on a more romantic feel,
as did the windowsill in the Snug.
Jackie and Matt had put together these boxes for each apartment. They were filled with breakfast items but also lots of little treats. With a stencil, Jackie had personally written on the side of every one.
Matt has always been a keen cricket fan, thus the mini cricket bats. Jackie sourced these, and again made the words herself.
Jackie is a qualified vet and has a big love for horses, hence the horse-shoes.
There was also a clear autumnal palette coming through in all the colour and style choices for this weekend;
from these fab table favours which came over from the states in a bridesmaid's suitcase,
to this wonderful idea of all guests placing their fingerprints like leaves onto this tree. Check out the ink pallets..everything had been given careful thought and attention.
Ah, thats what the swans were for! These were a surprise for the bride and groom and Jill had the frames made specially.
The wedding rehearsal was the funniest I have ever been a part of. Matt (as you can see from his cheeky expression) was cracking the jokes at every opportunity. It was hilarious!
Early Saturday morning, while I was setting up, I came across some guests enjoying a cooked breakfast on the Terrace. I love seeing our guests really making the most of being here.
The room was ready to go.
The flowers were incredible,
every possible space was filled with them,
and Jackie had hired this baby grand piano which topped the room off beautifully.
She even managed to find Richard Gere to play it!
Our Entrance Hall boasted a garland of ivy all round the staircase
as well as a stunning flower arch to lead you into the Ballroom.
Upstairs, the girls were busy! Steph (who is not a hairdresser by trade) did an amazing job at doing everyone's hair!
Jackie and Matt's son, Sam, looked ready to eat in his little, well, not-so-little, trousers!
Kerri, one of the bridesmaids who flew in from the States just for the wedding, helped him into his jacket and tie.
I noticed all the girls looking sparkly and smelling wonderful. They gave the credit for both to this Victoria Secret spray. *Top tip* for all you future bridesmaids!
Steph helped Jackie into her stunning dress. At 11 weeks pregnant, Jackie had to breathe in that little bit more than she was used to!
Don't they look gorgeous! Notice how the bridesmaids are still rocking the autumnal theme in their sash colour.
The bridesmaids bouquet's made by Jill,
and the elegant bride's bouquet.
Here is the woman herself, Jill. Pictured here on the right. You would never know from this picture that she had stayed up all night to get the flowers finished off! Lorna (Jill's sister, pictured here on the left) made the cake, but more on that later.
Going to fetch the Dad to bring him to see his daughter in her dress, is one of my favourite moments of the wedding day. Bert did not let me down. He was blown away and clearly adores his girls.
And so it begins...
The photographer was Martin Hill. It was his first time to Pickwell and he really loved it! I'll post up his pics to our Facebook page when they are published.
The piano music brought a beautiful romantic feel to the house and really set the tone
for the intimate and moving ceremony that followed.
The sun shone on the guests as they enjoyed canapés (home-smoked country chicken bound in a mustard mayonnaise on toasted bread; croque monsieur; croque madame; pea, leek and parmesan tartlets) and sparkling wine on the Terrace.
While the guests were happy on the Terrace, we turned the Ballroom around
ready for the wedding breakfast.
I know i am biased, but i do think it looks stunning!
On the back of everyone's chair the horse-shoe theme continued,
and here again are the fab cricket bats. This time with each guest name on. What a brilliant idea!
The overall effect felt deliciously autumnal and welcoming and best of all reflected Jackie and Matt throughout.
We moved the flower stands out into the hallway
and brought the wedding cake into the Ballroom. Jackie's aunt Lorna made this cake. Lorna's claim to fame is that she was part of the team who made Prince Andrew's wedding cake!
The guests ate roast Exmoor beef and yorkshire pudding with hand-tied vegetables and a red wine jus, followed by Eton Mess (my favourite).
As the evening drew in, Jill suddenly jumped up and switched on some tiny lights inside her flower arrangements! Is there no end to her floral surprises!
Jackie came down the stairs wearing another stunning, floaty evening bridal gown. She looked beautiful (but you'll have to wait for the professional photos to see how beautiful. Sorry Jackie for duff iPhone pic!)
The cutting of the cake preceded the first dance,
performed by the band 'Penfold' (who drove all the way from London). They played Take That's 'Rule the World' while Matt, Jackie (and then Sam too) swayed along.
Tom (the MC for the day) had recently flown back from Afghanistan so was wearing the full military garb for the day. At this point in the evening, Tom was being highly entertaining singing along with the band. Nothing to do with alcohol. Absolutely nothing.
The second dance included Jackie's Dad Bert and proved to be very moving for everyone watching.
The wedding cake was served as evening food (bottom tier fruit, then chocolate and raspberry, then lemon and last of all rum and raisin at the top) alongside a selection of west country cheeses
and hot dogs, cooked to order on the bbq outside. They went down a treat.
Sparklers were a lovely touch and really enjoyed by guests of all ages.
Jill, Jackie and Sam chill out together at the end of a long and magical day.
The wedding tree is now complete. 70+ fingerprints of love and support as a memory of those you love on this special weekend.
Congratulations Jackie and Matt, and we'll be thinking of you with baby no.2 on its way!