Mike and Katherine's English Country Garden Wedding

Mike and Katherine had a beautiful June wedding.  An 'English Country Garden' theme showered Pickwell Manor with beautiful, delicate decorations and even more beautiful and warm people.
After a challenging start to their wedding journey, they discovered Pickwell Manor, and these two London lovebirds became at home with our stunning coastal views, Devonshire lanes, beautiful gardens and chilled out style. 

The weekend started with a quick stop at the supermarket. Mike and Katherine, together with their close family, created Breakfast Hampers for each of the apartments, so all guests staying with us could have a hearty (and healthy) wedding breakfast!

 We kept a close eye on the weather all weekend and although at times it did tease, it stayed warm and dry.

As well as decorating, Fridays are a great time for a Wedding rehearsal.  Mike and Katherine have been together for 14 years and so felt that to reflect the time they have spent together, they would walk up the aisle together in celebration of their future together.

The Friday evening pre-wedding dinner! Our Chef prepared a wonderful feast that meant everyone could get together, mix and mingle and enjoy some fabulous food ahead of the Big Day!

 I have got to know Mike and Katherine really well over the course of planning their wedding, so from this picture, I know two things: 1) Mike chose this yummy chocolate torte pud and 2) He shared this sparingly! 

While the merriment's were taking place in the Snug, a Claire shaped visitor arrived with a HUGE van full of FLOWERS!!

There were tonnes more than the ones in this picture.  There were some stunning flowers - hundreds of roses in shades of pinks, apricots and cream, and my all-time faves: Peonies!

Claire (from Amarylis) arrived late in the evening and got to work in the Ballroom and then when everyone had gone to bed, she worked her floral magic in Entrance Hall, stairs and hallway.   

So when everyone awoke in the morning, they had an amazing surprise!

 The scent from the flowers was heavenly!

 They went all around the stairwell marking where our couple would walk together to make their vows.

I might have been particularly amazed with the flowers - I took a LOT of photos - but the stairs just looked so pretty......

Last one of the stairs I promise - Claire you did an amazing job!

On Saturday morning, The Ballroom was set for Mike and Katherine's wedding ceremony.  Katherine and Mike wanted to get married indoors, in a close and intimate ceremony.

While we made the final touches to the Ballroom, checking our fireplaces were Pickwell pretty....

The Wedding Cake arrived!!

Mike and Katherine are both keen divers! Mike was in charge of choosing the Wedding Cake and so the wedding cake couldn't be anything other than a chocolate cake! Diana (Lick the Spoon) did an amazing job!

Every piece of decoration was a different type of chocolate and totally edible.... Can anyone find Nemo???

That's one very happy Bride and Groom!  Again, the smell of chocolate filled the Ballroom - just amazing!

While we were all fussing over the wedding cake, the hallway was filled with beautiful clarinet music.... That would be Katherine's mum playing "Wedding March" upstairs in our Affinity apartment. 

The music was the much needed call for everyone to start getting ready, and this is the first glance of the dress.

While the girls readied themselves, the boys decided they would only need about half an hour, so they did what boys do best (especially when they haven't seen each other in a while) - chat!  Here's our Groom with his Best Men.

Claire Mathers made sure that Katherine's hair was every bit Bride. 

'Florist Claire' arrived back with the Bride and Bridesmaid's bouquet - stunning flowers in keeping with the flowers decorating the house.

 Cravats tied (After checking an internet tutorial on how to tie a cravat) and finally button-holes pinned in place, proved the boys were right - not a second over half an hour. Here we have Best Man Oli, Usher Percy and the very dashing Mike. 

 So excited was this bride to get married, Katherine wasn't too far behind her Groom in getting ready. Here she is, in her stunning and elegant wedding dress.  Absolutely beautiful!

Now, here's the moment I get to introduce you to Sally - Katherine's wonderful, funny and fabulous Mum.

Time for a quick family photo. From left to right; Angela (representing Mike's family), Verity (Katherine's sister), the beautiful Katherine, Ciaran (Katherine's Pa - more about his amazingness in a minute), Sally (Mum), and Sam (bridesmaid).

Ciaran was Master of Ceremonies. He was brilliant. Totally chilled and a pillar of support to Katherine, and her whole family, on this important wedding weekend. Always there with a cheerful smile, a reassuring word and a great story! 

This was a really special moment. Just before it was time to walk up the aisle, Sally offers Katherine some words of wisdom, to prepare Katherine for the journey ahead.

And then the ceremony began in The Ballroom. Sally and Ciaran entered first.

 Followed by Sam and her husband James,

and finally, Mike and Katherine.

The train on the dress was traditional and so elegant. 

Verity's fantastic reading of 'The Lovely Dinosaurs' was perfect for our couple.

 After the ceremony, the guests went outside onto the Terrace, 

for celebratory Prosecco and delicious canapés.

 The sun shone brightly on Mike and Katherine's wedding, as guests mingled on the Terrace and Italian Garden.

All the while, a serious game of Croquet ensued!

And Giant Jenga can be used for many purposes.... including building castles?!!

And other well known words/sayings this one - from young Nico - Mike's relative. 

As guests entered the Ballroom, Mike and Katheine shared a private moment on the stairs surrounded by the wonderful scents from the Peonies and Roses.

The table plan reflected their love for all things underwater.... with a twist!

Each guest had to find their name and find the table with the matching undersea icon.

Our caterers excelled themselves with a tremendous wedding feast; seared beef to start,

 perfect local chicken en croute, with seasonal vegetables,

and to finish, refreshing Lemon Brûlée - yummy!

 Following the Wedding Breakfast, it was time for speeches!

Oli's Best Man's speech was the perfect level of entertainment, humour, risk and all round fun!

 Toasts and the 'cake cutting' ceremony followed - how they ever cut into such a detailed cake, was truly a challenge for the Bride and Groom!

 Coffee was served on the Terrace.

Here are members of our wonderful catering team all ready to serve tea, coffee...

And homemade Devon fudge.

 Hang on a minute.... who might these people be?

It says Peony, to match the flowers in the house... we'll see more of this later!

 Meanwhile, Sally had sneaked away from the wedding party and into Mike and Katherine's apartment, to make some fun wedding decorations!

Balloons and gifts,

Champagne.. and some more mischievous gifts for our newly weds!

Then it was time for the first dance.

The dance floor was soon filled to the cool jazzy tunes from Hip Cats.

Instead of a guest book, Mike and Katherine had a mini Jenga set engraved with their wedding date and initials for guests to sign their messages on. After the wedding, Mike and Katherine will send it back for these messages to be engraved onto their mini Jenga set - what a fab idea!

As the band ended their set, everyone was invited outside to stand on the tennis courts for a surprise fireworks display! The Peony thing in the brown wrapper was a Peony firework!

This beautiful, low noise display lit up a perfect summer wedding night - I have to thank Mike's little cousin Nico for this fantastic photograph!  

After the fireworks display, everyone was treated to a soul warming mulled cider, some cheese and the amazing chocolate wedding cake.

And then it was the morning after an amazing wedding. If only I could capture the scent and bottle it up!

 We waved our newly weds off to a bright and happy future. Mike and Katherine, we have loved getting to know you both and sharing your wedding journey with you. Your excitement and enthusiasm for your wedding has been a joy! Your care in the planning made sure that each and every one of your guests had been thought about and it is a testament to the wonderful people you both are.  We have loved meeting your whole family and your friends and we wish you every happiness in your future together.  

Come and visit us soon!