Ellie and John Jo's beautiful 'garden party' wedding

As spring met summer, Ellie and John Jo had a gorgeous wedding with spring flowers and heart warming, balmy Devon sunshine.  They wanted a relaxed "garden party" feel to their day: garden flowers, bunting, cool colours, and twinkling tea lights.

Meet Ellie and John Jo - our completely gorgeous couple:

Over the course of a year, they had meticulously planned a perfect weekend. Beginning on the Friday, Ellie, her lovely Mum and Dad (Lesley and Stuart), John Jo, and his cool surfer mum (Carol), decorated the house.

Look at the beautiful favours. Wild flower sachets in these cute bags,  all sewn by Lesley.

Lesley also made all the bunting, with some help from Ellie and Carol too.  It was a mammoth task, but well worth it, as everywhere looked so pretty. There was bunting outside, inside and even on the bar!

Here's a photo of Charlie from The Real Cut Flower Garden who grows all the flowers she works with in her own garden.  Ellie and John Jo wanted in-season flowers, so Charlie's flowers were perfect!

The wild flowers really lifted the entrance hallway.

These beautiful lanterns, which Ellie made from old jam jars, made the Bride's aisle look magical!

The vintage china completed the garden party look in the Ballroom.

And Voila! The Ballroom was ready for the next day.

There was a really chilled vibe at Pickwell on the Saturday morning,  John Jo and his best boys enjoyed a full english breakfast.

Meanwhile, Ellie, Lesley and Stuart had tea and soaked up some morning sunshine at the back of the house - she had to make sure the groom wouldn't see her before the moment!

Although the Saturday was Ellie and John Jo's wedding day, it was also a very important day for their niece. Grace is 2 years today! Ellie popped to Grace's apartment to give her a big birthday present!  It looks like Henry wanted to wear the birthday badge though!

And then it was time to get ready, here are Ellie and her sister (and Bridesmaid) Janine having hair and make up by Gemma and Gemma from Changing faces.

Getting ready is one of my favourite parts of the wedding day - just the girls, a few glasses of fizz, hair spray, make up and lots of laughter as they help each other into their wedding clothes!  Here is Ellie helping Abi, her other Bridesmaid and best friend, into her fabulous bridesmaid dress.  

And then Janine too (massive thanks to Rebecca Roundill, Ellie and John Jo's lovely photographer for letting me use some of her wonderful photo's for this blog - you'll see some more in a moment!)

Then, it was time for Henry and Grace to get in their page boy and flower girls clothes. Completely adorable!

Meanwhile, the boys were having their own fun getting ready.

Best Man Guy explores other purposes for a tie!

Finally, we get to see Ellie in her Wedding dress. As you can see, she looks stunning.  The lace and the little bit of sparkle is glamorous and effortlessly cool - the dress was perfect for Ellie!

While Ellie was chatting through formalities with the registrar, the Bride and Groom's mothers, Lesley and Carol took a moment!

And then it was time for the Bride to walk down the aisle, a few tears and a quick kiss... 

...proud Stuart led his daughter towards the Rose Arbour.

Here's a photo of the ceremony, the guests stand to welcome the bride to really beautiful music by Sorelli Strings. It was a really meaningful ceremony, a few tears and lots of cheers!

Here are the newly married MR and MRS as their guests throw confetti over them (Again, I wish I could take credit for this, but this is the talented Rebecca Roundhill)!

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed Pimms and fizz on the Terrace in the sunshine.

And tucked into some delicious canapés, thanks to our wonderful and super talented caterers Guess Who is Coming to Dinner? 

While some guests enjoyed getting involved in our garden games! I think Henry fancies his chances at Wimbledon later this year - watch out Murray!

This gave Ellie and John Jo a quick moment to sneak away to our woods for some atmospheric wedding photos - they really are a gorgeous couple!

It was time for the Wedding meal! All guests took their seats to welcome in Ellie and John Jo.

*Confession alert* I put my camera down somewhere and lost it for a while during the wedding, (which is why I am grateful to Rebecca Roundhill for her photo's) but it means I only managed to take a photo of the delicious starter - Black Sea Bream! They had a beautiful Rack of Lamb main course with dauphanoise potatoes and local Devon vegetables, and a summery Eton Mess for desert.

Stuart began the speeches, he said such sweet things about Ellie - such a great Dad!

John Jo's speech included an all important singing of 'Happy Birthday' for Dear Grace!

And then came Guy's speech.....  Can you tell how the groom was feeling about this last speech??!

In actual fact, Guy's speech was hilarious and heart felt in equal measure. No-one could have laughed any more.... or been more teary at the end, least of all him! Well done Guy! You certainly deserved that Whisky!

I must share this photo with you, while the speeches were going on, Henry decided he'd had enough of all the grown up chatter, and found this awesome wig in the photo booth props box! 

Ellie and John Jo love their cheese and so decided that for their wedding cake they would have a cheese cake!  All locally sourced from West Country Cheese, here in Barnstaple.

While everyone went outside for a group photo, the Pickwell team transformed the Ballroom ready for a fun evening of dancing!

The Bride and Groom cut their cake

And the first dance began.

It wasn't long before they were joined by all of their family and friends!

Ellie and John Jo had a great idea for their photo booth, a personalised banner with their own props!

The homemade lanterns twinkled outside as the evening came to a close, it had been such a beautiful day!

In the morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, Ellie and John Jo and their guests enjoyed a delicious cooked breakfast courtesy of our chef Lee and his team.

They were able to relive the wedding day and share stories of who's dance floor moves were the best, or who had the funniest photo in the Photo Booth, as well as say a meaningful thank-you and good bye to all their guests.

And then it was time to leave Pickwell, although not without one last trick from John Jo's best boys! What's that rattling noise.........?!  

Ellie and John Jo, it has been a delight to meet your families and all of your friends, the care and consideration for those you love showed in volumes - it has been a joy to see your wedding grow from your ideas to a wonderful reality!

See you soon when you are in North Devon again


Rob and Kat's Natural, Local and Coastal Wedding

This was a proper local wedding and a celebration of the things that Rob and Kat love the most: 
their family, each other, Poppy the puppy and the great outdoors – especially the beach!

Rob and Kat brought a real sense of the laid back Devon vibe throughout the weekend. It all began on Friday with a cup of tea!

While Kat and her team decorated the ballroom with beautiful pieces of driftwood, candles and these beautiful pots of homemade Jam (made by Rob’s mum Mary and labels made by Kat).

Everyone then regrouped for the “Big Bunting Hang”. Amazingly, this was one piece of Bunting which Kat’s talented Mum made – it was the biggest piece of bunting I have ever seen – it zig-zagged across the whole length of the Ballroom! Everyone had fun hanging it… “to me, to you…!”

Rob and Kat together wrote an itinerary of their wedding weekend on our big chalkboard, so that everyone knew what was going on at different times of the day, and signed it off together!

Their beautiful wedding cake had this gorgeous cake topper made by Kat herself. While we were planning their wedding, at the meeting on her 'to do' list was always “make Rob” so it was great to see miniature Rob finally made and joining Kat and Poppy the puppy!

So on a blustery Autumn Saturday morning, Kat and her closest family and friends, started the day with a cup of tea in jammies! Meanwhile the boys were up early and headed off for an 11k run!

Bridesmaid Kate carefully laid out everyone’s beautiful dresses.

We got to see the beautiful Wedding Dress – a real classic gown with a contemporary twist -

and the Bride started to get ready.

Whilst everyone was getting ready, the very talented Kelly from Offshore Blooms arrived with Rob and Kat’s flowers – beautiful sunflowers – perfect for this outdoorsy, fun-loving couple. Kat decided on sunflowers after cycling past lots of these happy blooms earlier in the summer!

I took up the buttonholes to give to Rob – his Dad bore witness to Rob taking the box of beautiful blooms, in case Rob put them down and lost them!

Meanwhile, Kat showed a very beautiful response to her bouquet. She was so moved as it was an “I’m getting married today” moment.

Such a cheerful choice of flowers!

Here are three of the bridesmaids Claire, Charlotte and Emma with their bouquet’s. Having everyone get ready together is lots of fun, there was much laughter and cheer from Kat and Rob’s family!

After such an autumnal start, the day took a beautiful turn for Rob and Kat. The view across to Baggy Point was crystal clear – perfect for our beach loving couple.

Meet Kat’s gorgeous and very proud Dad, Tom, all dressed and ready to give Kat away.

Back in our apartment Affinity, the wonderful Hannah from Brighteye Beauty finishes Bridesmaid Claire’s Make-up.

While Amy from Tangles finishes beautiful Kat’s hair

While the girls finish getting ready and put their dresses on, the boys were busy in the apartment next door. In the background here is Mike Wells, Rob and Kat’s wonderful photographer.

Rob and his best boys are keen cyclists, so while I was chatting to Rob and his Dad, I was surprised when Best Man Ian walked in, in nothing but his “Crown Joules boxers” (all the boys wore these pants as it is a play on the surname of the Groom - you can buy your own here!) and these fabulous red spot socks! Red Spots for the Tour De France’s King of the Mountain! 

And of course the Groom wore yellow socks for the 'Yellow Jersey' or Tour de France Winner. One day Rob, you may win the actual Yellow Jersey… Just remember us at Pickwell when you do!

Kat and Rob were married at St Brannock’s Church in Braunton. Here we have the very handsome Groom and his best boys leaving for Church. We love the top hats - they are perfect for a Wedding.

Just before they left, just time for a groom photo with Rob’s mum, wearing blue for her boy!

As the boys were leaving, we got our first glimpse of Kat in her dress - stunning!

A moving picture of Mum with her daughter on her wedding day. Wedding days are such special moments for mum’s and Linda glowed all weekend with pride!

A stunning photo Mike Wells set up – I sneaked in to take this photo of Kat in front of our window in Affinity!

This is William; Kat’s brother and sister-in-law's son, who had a VERY important role as Page Boy!

Here is our Bride ready to be married at Church…

Followed by her wonderful bridesmaids.

Last minute check before everyone headed off – all looked beautiful; classic but still capturing Kat and Rob’s fun and laid-back Devon personality!

After the ceremony Kat and Rob stayed at the church for private photos. Guests headed back to Sunny Pickwell for Pimms, Ale and Cider – properly Devonshire! They also enjoyed some delicious canapés: Butterfly Prawns, Somerset Bree with tomato and pepper compote, Honey and Mustard Sausages and Yorkshire Puds with Devon Beef.

And here are the brand new Mr and Mrs Joules! 

They arrived back to cheers from all their family and friends.. Check out how beautiful the back of Kat's dress is!

Guests were seated to enjoy glasses of wine and sharing pies: scrummy Steak and Ale and local Chicken and Leek with a host of local seasonal veggies.

In-between courses, the MC read out telegrams from those guests who were unable to make it, but still wanted to send their blessings. Kat’s dad followed, who shared some lovely stories!

For their dessert, Rob and Kat were very decisive: Profiteroles! Our wonderful caterers made these blooming homemade profiteroles and served them with jugs of butterscotch and chocolate sauces. My favourite pud ever!

It was time for Rob’s speech. After gifting his parents a huge pear tree and other lovely plants, he shared stories of how he and Kat met. Kat was visiting her friend who was a housemate of Rob's. Rob claims, he walked into his lounge to find Kat watching 'Jeremy Kyle'… Kat's version is slightly different, she says she was watching 'This Morning'… either way, the rest is history!

Whichever the programme, I’m sure you both now have a fond place for daytime TV?!

Best Man Ian delivered a hilarious speech. He and Rob have been best friends forever.. and Ian had plenty of stories to share!

I love to see how different couples choose to create their guest books – Rob managed to capture the exact moment he proposed to Kat in the Caribbean and they used this defining image for guests to sign around. Amazing!

After the speeches, it was time to cut the wedding cake with a sword! The sword represents Rob’s time in the Armed Forces and is a special family heirloom.

In the evening, Rob and Kat had more friends join them, and they were welcomed with wedding cake, proper Devon Fish n' Chips and the first dance to 'Hey Ho' by The Lumineers!

They chose to have a second dance with everyone to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

The band then kicked in, beginning with “White Wedding.” 'The Garden Club' a local North Devon band were brilliant and played some rocking tunes which everyone danced to all night!

To end their amazing day, Kat and Rob’s family and friends gathered around them while they danced in the middle – so cute, a perfect end to a perfect wedding day!

Sunday morning, everyone was sprightly and enjoyed a hearty breakfast in Bliss and Affinity apartment lounges before guests set off for home.

Rob and Kat, you are an amazing couple and really looked after all of your family and friends over your wedding weekend. We loved seeing your wedding plans develop, meeting your friends and family and we so enjoyed your wedding. We’ll see you around North Devon! 

Lots of love and good wishes for your journey together as Mr and Mrs Joules! 


Ali and David - A simply beautiful wedding

This was one of those beautiful autumnal weekends where the air is warm and the light has a gorgeous  glow. A wonderful backdrop for Ali and Dave's wedding. 

Dave and Ali, brought something of a cool London vibe to Pickwell, which I loved. From their choices of drinks (Aperol spritzers), the music, Shoreditch market finds, to the number of men with beards. It gave me my London 'fix' for September!

After spending Thursday night at Pickwell with close family, they were fresh and ready to go for the grand set up on Friday morning. Here Ali and her mum, Pat, are putting out their gold candle sticks. Ali had trawled many a London market bargaining and bartering for old delightful candlesticks for months. 

The bridesmaids,  help put the cake together.

Nice work girls!!

Ali went to a flower market in London and brought lots of fab plants that looked wonderful around the house and in the garden.

I loved the lanterns that they put in the central tree of the Italian garden. They had little lights in them, that looked amazing when switched on at night (as you will see later).

The main floral theme of the wedding was an abundance of 'Babies Breath'. Simple, yet very elegant and romantic.

This is one of Ali's lovely plants, a little orange tree that looked very at home in the hallway.

The wedding morning arrived. The girls were preened and beautified with the help of the brilliant  Claire Mathers of 'Creative Wedding Hair' . She always makes such a lovely atmosphere on the wedding morning, as well as doing wonderful things with hair!

Whilst the girls were getting ready, the boys met in the Italian garden with trunks in hand, ready to head to the beach for a dip and a spot of beach football.

Once they came back, the rest of the morning was spent playing a cross between football and tennis!

Then the lovely Matt Bee arrived, who serenaded the guests all day.

The scene was set for the wedding to begin, the jars of 'Babies Breath' looked so lovely, thank you Kelly from 'Offshore Blooms'...

...And so did those lanterns.

As Ali and the bridesmaids had got ready in our apartment 'Constance', they were able to go out and have photo's on our new roof decking area. Didn't they look gorgeous!

Ahhh, gorgeous Mum and Dad too!!

Claire made her final touches and here she is....Ta da!

Getting ready in Constance meant that Ali did a long lovely walk from the west wing entrance, whilst Matt played her in.

It all made such a lovely scene.

Celebratory confetti as they came down the aisle, woohoo!!

Drinks on the terrace in the sunshine, a view of the sea and wonderful tunes...what could be better!

I snuck upstairs during the speeches to open the window ready for the photographer to do a group photo and got this rather lovely picture of David giving his speech.

The ballroom was ready for dinner and looked amazing. There was something about the design that was simply beautiful.

These were my favourites of Ali's candlestick finds! 

Before the meal began, One of Dave's best men Joe treated everyone to something special!! He has been learning to play the banjo for the last 8 months and had written Dave and Ali a song. Too embarrassed to play it live, he made them a video of his song. It was absolutely brilliant!! Dave what great friends you have, I laughed till my stomach hurt!!

And now to their delicious menu....

Fresh local crab and avocado tower or....

Filo of goats cheese with a leaf salad and a tomato and pesto dressing, gosh, don't they look good! Sadly I missed photographing the west country chicken in a bacon, spring onion and cream cheese sauce. Needless to say, there were empty plates and smiling faces.

I did take a snap of the 'Eton Mess' on its way out though, yum!

Evening was upon us. Fridays hard work of putting up a number of fairy light strings paid off, with this wonderful sight. Not to mention those gorgeous lanterns glowing in the evening light, a glorious sight during coffee on the terrace.

Everywhere was a glow with twinkling lights or candles.

The first dance showed off the back of Ali's amazing dress.

Then they danced the night away with a really fantastic band 'The Somebodys'.

Congratulations Mr and Mrs French, we loved having your wedding at Pickwell Manor and getting to know you both. It was such a celebration of friendship, lovely food, music, fun, laughter, Aperol Spritzers and of course love. You sure know how to put on a good party! We wish you every happiness in your wonderful journey through life together! Come back and see us soon!

Rosie and Tom's Wedding : Wonderful Homemade

Rosie and Tom's wedding was a feast for the eyes. Everywhere you looked there was a homemade delight. They have such talented friends and family. They clearly all had a wonderful time dreaming, planning and creating their magical wedding weekend together!

Let's start by showing you their fabulous invitations, created by one of Rosie's friends.

Tom's mum, Maggie, spent hours sourcing all of the gorgeous vintage teapots that made the table centres. I think all of their family houses were searched for lace and pretty table cloths to adorn the ballroom for their vintage afternoon tea. 

Maggie also made these amazing boats. The lace was from dresses she used to wear in her hippy days in the 70's. 

Maggie made these boats as the table names. Such a lot of work went into each one!

The house was adorned with flowers and jam jar candles. Each one individually decorated.

Rosie's Mum, Julianne, is an interior designer. She has such an eye for putting together wonderful creations. I think she was the creative director, with Rosie, for the overall wedding design. It all looked magnificent! This Garland behind the top table was a work of art!!

Here it is in its finished glory. The 'Mr and Mrs' bunting was a lovely touch too!

Julianne also made all the rest of the bunting, which she cut from vintage embroidered or lace table cloths. It really was exquisite!

Now to Tom's wonderful cousin Lucy, who happened to be an extremely accomplished florist.

Look at these amazing bouquets!

And if that wasn't enough talent in one family, Auntie Kate made the wedding cake. Here she is adding the final touches. Every detail had been thought of, even down to the beautiful homemade cake stand.

The final creation was magnificent, accompanied by Grandad's ceremonial sword!

It was all hand's to the pump with the flower arranging on Friday. After a quick master class from Lucy the florist, Lucy (Rosie's sister) and Sophie (bridesmaid) set to it.

Tom's height came in handy for putting Julianne's wonderful bunting all around the house and garden (it must have taken her months to have made it all!) 

I really liked their use of decoupage for the table plan and.......

this rather wonderful card box.

Tom's sister, Izzy, made this beautiful 'wishing tree'. She even managed to rope Ben, her partner into helping with the final touches.

It looked wonderful when finished.

There were so many fabulous ideas at this wedding, they were literally everywhere you turned. This is a drawing of Tom and Rosie's new house as a thumb print wedding keepsake.

Now for the tables themselves. Rosie made these biscuit favours herself, after being inspired on a recent biscuit making course.

These little menu cards helped the guests know what culinary delights they had in store for their afternoon tea.

The tables looked wonderful. My 8 year old daughter Millie described the scene well, after she peeked into the ballroom, she said "mummy it is very beautiful and very pink!"

The scene was set for the wedding weekend to begin. By all accounts they had a wonderful Friday night at the King's Arms, followed by the boys having a campfire around our fire pit. On Saturday morning the boys had fun on Putsborough beach sea swimming, whilst the girls sipped champagne.

The best man, Mark, gave the boys a little pep talk before the ceremony. They all looked rather wonderful in their raspberry coloured ties.

The girls looked amazing too, in their pink satin dresses. The lace of Rosie's dress complimented the vintage theme of the day wonderfully.

 Rosie looked absolutely stunning as she stepped out with her dad.

Last minute decisions as to which way they were going to walk down the drive....

There was not a cloud in the sky and the rose arbour was in full bloom...perfect conditions for making an entrance. 

Around the pond...

to a waiting Tom and all their nearest and dearest.

The guests then relaxed and chatted whilst enjoying a Pimms on the terrace in the sunshine.

Then for some canapes followed by a delicious afternoon tea.

A sweep stake on the speeches definitely added to the drama.

The best man's father won and accusations of foul play were launched!

After tea it was such a beautiful evening (the longest day of the year), the guests relaxed in the garden. 

Croquet was popular too.

Then the first dance kicked off the evening celebration.

Candles twinkled in the hall...

and the cherub settle became a rather good photo booth.

I loved their gallery of photos throughout the years. Many a giggle was heard as guests looked through them! 

Mark was looking very pleased with his bit of 'piggy' at the evening hog roast.

The croquet carried on into the evening and the twinkling candle jars looked lovely as the sun went down.

We served Tom's favorite local (well Somerset) cider on the bar. It went down a treat!

Everyone danced into the night to a fantastic band called 'The Breaks'.

A weekend to remember was had by all. All that is left to say is....

Tom and Rosie, we absolutely loved having your wedding at Pickwell Manor and so enjoyed seeing all that planning unfold into the most beautiful backdrop to a perfect weekend!

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!

Alex and Claire's Spring Wedding

I am afraid that due to a technical hitch, I am only just now posting the blog for our first wonderful wedding this year. Sorry Alex and Claire! 

So it all took place on the weekend of the 9th May. Spring was in the air, the Wisteria was in bloom across the front of the house and the woods were teeming with wild flowers and Bluebells.

Wonderful wild flowers were a distinct theme. Alex and Claire's families arrived with car boots full of flowers from hedgerows and their gardens. Below is Alex's mum and Auntie (who had just arrived from Australia) flower arranging in the sunshine. There is something rather special and wonderful that comes through doing lots of the wedding preparations together as a family. It sets the tone of the weekend as everyone works together laughing and chatting.

The house was filled with their gorgeous creations.

I do love that time of year where the garden springs into life. An abundance of colour and glory was brought into the house.

Alex and Claire really wanted to create a warm and wonderful welcome for their guests. It started with the notes on the door...

then continued with these super breakfast baskets.

Not to mention Alex's mum's homemade marmalade, what a treat!!

Whilst Alex's mum had been busily making the marmalade, Alex's dad had been foraging for driftwood and making these fabulous candle holders and wood slices. What a talented bunch!!

The talent continued with Claire's family. Claire's sister, Laura, is a very accomplished cake maker. Enlisting the help of her partner John, the cake took shape (Poor John's back, it was a wonder he could walk after this!).

They painstakingly put on each of these handmade flowers...

with wonderful effect!

With all the preparations done it was time to relax and let the wedding weekend truly begin. Friday night kicked off with a seaside treat, fish and chips from a local company 'The Whiddon Fryer'. Delicious I hear!

Saturday morning, the wedding began. Claire looked stunning as her lovely dad escorted her down the stairs.

 Although they would have loved an outside wedding the weather was not quite up to it. So they opted for the intimacy and gorgeousness of the ballroom. There was not a dry eye in the house as Alex and Claire made their promises to one another.

After a welcome 'Pimms' to celebrate, canapes were followed by the speeches. There is a brilliant atmosphere whenever speeches take place on the stairs. Guests are both on the gallery above and below the speaker, which gives a really good dynamic - just right for plenty of guest participation! Both of the dad's did a speech, here Alex's dad is toasting the happy couple.

Next it was the turn for Claire's dad.

Find your seat, dinner is served!

Claire lived in Italy as part of her studies, which has inspired an affection for its culture and cuisine. Alex and Claire were therefore keen to treat their guests to the food they love. They also wanted a relaxed sharing feel to their meal, with guests chatting and helping themselves. Their delicious menu was antipasti, followed by lasagna, melanzane parmigiana and green salad with gelato to finish. More of Alex and Claire's food photos can be seen on Lee and Kristina's Facebook page 'Guess who's coming to dinner'.

Lee and Kristina make all of our wedding day food by hand, including their wonderful ice creams. They set up this gorgeous vintage seaside stand and service began.

The flavours were to die for.....I love salted caramel!

Lee even makes his own waffle cones, it really does make a difference to the taste (and the crunch)!

Claire very much enjoyed her gelato with a stick of Devon fudge!

With candles lit around the hall, the evening celebrations began.

Twinkling fairy lights were all around. Even the bar had some sparkle.

A romantic first dance kicked off the evening. John DJ'd from a play list put together from requests the guests made in their invitation replies. Such a brilliant idea as everyone enjoyed something they loved. 

It even gave the opportunity for the uncles to prepare a special something beforehand.....

Alex and Claire, we loved hosting your wedding here! We hope you have a wonderful time travelling for your honeymoon (all 3 months of it!) and wish you every happiness in your journey through life together! 

You can see more wonderful photos of Alex and Claire's wedding day from Georgina, their photographer, on her Facebook site 'Panache photography'. They really are lovely!