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


Ruth and Jonathan's wedding with a Scottish twist!

Here is Ruth and her gorgeous sisters, I wish you could hear their lovely Scottish accents through the photograph! When this photo was taken they had just taken all of the food baskets around the apartments. Unfortunately a small rain shower happened and they got a bit soggy! 

Sarah and Louise were wonderfully helpful with set up. Jonathan was on childcare for the day, looking after their daughter Arabella, leaving the girls free to get cracking.

Silver vintage tea lights and little vases of roses set off the fireplaces superbly.

Hydrangeas are in full bloom at this time of year and looked great in white pots on the window sills. It was lovely that these could easily be given away as presents or taken home to plant after the wedding.

The ballroom was laid up in two long banquet style tables, with more Roses, Hydrangeas and silver tea lights down the centre. 

Deryn from 'Twigs' was the florist for the weekend. The Hydrangeas again in this display looked amazing and picked up the pink and white theme.

So after a meal at the Rock Pub on Friday night, Saturday morning preparations began. The boys met for a beer and put on their button holes. I got rather a shock on Friday when I realised I went to sixth form college with 'the master of ceremonies', Simon (third from the right). I haven't seen him for 23 years, it brought lots of memories flooding back....you haven't changed a bit!

This was Simon back in the day (the one on the left), he always was the cool one with his bow tie undone, even before the Ball started!

 Ruth's dress was absolutely gorgeous, it had a pink hue that added a delicate softness to the overall effect. Thank you Pete Cox, Ruth and Jonathan's talented photographer, for the photos.


Beautiful bouquet...

Now time for the kilts! Ruth's dad, Liam, was sporting his as they walk down to the rose Arbour. His sporran came in very handy for storing everyone's lipstick. Good old dad!

Here is the adorable Arabella walking in with Donna (Ruth's bridesmaid and oldest friend).

How cute and so well behaved!!

The ceremony was both wonderful and emotional, especially when Jonathan welled up....tissues anyone? It also had a delightfully relaxed feel, with the children sitting at the front on a rug.

Then drinks to celebrate, Prosecco or beer in the sunshine....

Served by the lovely Ollie and Will

Delicious canapes, two of of which were fresh crab tarts or....

Black Bream with lemon and ginger, scrummy!

Just caught Pete, the photographer, having a quick slurp of elderflower presse between snaps.

The happy couple.

The youngest kilted member of the clan....sooooo gorgeous!!

Speeches were in the Italian Garden before dinner. The three best men were brilliant and even had handouts!!

And so to dinner.

The place settings were pegged to glasses with tiny pink pegs.

The ballroom really did look splendid. This was the first outing of our new Pickwell chairs.

The children had their own table in the Snug, with lots of fun entertainment.

They had the same main course as the adults, just a mini portion. 

To start was English Asparagus, wrapped in Parma ham, with fresh Parmesan, served with a homemade wholegrain roll and butter.

For main course, there was local fresh fish Pie served at the table or.....

Devon beef and ale pie all served with Lyonnaise potatoes and a hand tie of fresh vegetables.

Pudding was Ruth's Cranachan, a traditional Scottish desert served with homemade shortbread on the side.  I can almost smell the wee dram of Whiskey in that cream!

Ruth is a real cheese lover, so a cheese cake it was! Supplied by our lovely local cheese shop in Barnstaple 'The West Country Cheese Company', where you can go and have a tasting and choose your cheese layers.

Cutting of the cake heralded the start of the evening celebrations.

Then the first dance. Jonathan loves his music, so had a significant part in choosing the playlist for the night. Alex from 'Off Beat Entertainment' did a great job, I think most guests barely left the dance floor....

...apart from the twilight tennis players.

Cheese and biscuits kept the dancers going.

This was our first night stocking real ale from our new local micro brewery the 'Braunton Brewery'. I made sure I got feedback from the guests and there was unanimous approval. 

The guest book provided great entertainment. Guests were asked to photograph themselves with the Polaroid camera and then stick the photo into the book with a message.

The fun of a selfie!

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Green! We felt so privileged to have hosted your wedding here and have loved every part of the journey with you. We are so glad that you have a holiday house down here, so we know it will not be the last we see of you and the gorgeous Arabella!

Our First 2015 Wedding- Sam and Andy's Spring Wedding

Sam and Andy had always wanted a small intimate wedding. Their idea was to spend wonderful quality time with their nearest and dearest whilst they celebrated their marriage. Well they certainly achieved that, their wedding had such an amazingly special atmosphere to it!

May I introduce you to Sam with her brilliant parents, Leslie and Duncan, who as you can see were ready for wedding preparation action.

Leslie and Duncan have a really lovely group of friends, who have clearly been a very important part of Sam's life. Here is Ann helping with afternoon tea set up. 

It turns out that Sam is a women of many talents!! Here she is making her own bouquets....

which looked fantastic!

This is the amazing cake that she also made herself!!

Here we have the groom, Andy, doing his bit. Andy and his mum, Liz, put up the photo strings.

How cute were they as little things!

It turns out that Leslie is also a dab hand with flowers, she put together all of the table centres.

Didn't she do well! The Freesias smelt so wonderful.

That was just the start of the flowers!
Here is Claire from Amaryllis adding the finishing touches to the fabulous staircase arrangement.

She also did these gorgeous mantle piece garlands and... 

the display behind the ceremony table. Claire is so hard working, her flowers take hours and you can really see why, beautiful!

With the house all ready, it was time to welcome guests up to Bliss lounge for afternoon tea. Leslie, Sam's mum, had baked the most amazing selection of cakes, each of which had its very own label.

The label photo shoot looked fun!

The cakes were delicious (I was 'forced' to try some, which didn't take much persuasion as they were scrummy!)

The afternoon tea was such a fantastic start to the wedding weekend, adding to the relaxed atmosphere. Then off to the King's Arm's private upstairs dining room for dinner, perfect!

The morning of the wedding, the girls got ready in Bliss apartment, with the help of the hair and makeup team from Colorseum, Bideford.

After a relaxing walk to the beach, Andy met with the best man (Alex) and his father in law to be (Duncan), to put on buttonholes. What a handsome bunch!

Duncan nervously waited outside Sam's door before he saw her for the first time in her beautiful dress....an emotional moment!

She looked so gorgeous!

They made their entrance across the terrace into the ballroom.....

where their nearest and dearest were waiting.

After a very intimate and special ceremony, it was onto the terrace for drinks and canapes, where the sun was now shining, whoop, whoop!

Scones and bubbles, yum! The Wisteria in bloom is really magnificent in Spring...

and so are the Bluebells. This is one of my favourite times of year, the woods are completely magical!

Here are Sam and Andy emerging from having photos amongst the Bluebells with their lovely photographer, Rebecca Roundhill. We can't wait to see the official photos, if the amazing engagement photo shoot at Putsborough beach is anything to go by!

Speeches were in the Italian garden with the sun shining, MC'd by Kate, the both beautiful and funny bridesmaid (Sam and Kate have been best friends since they were little).

So then in for dinner, with 29 guests the ballroom was set up with one large oblong table. This gave a great atmosphere where people could chat across to each other.

In between courses, guests filled out their 'notes to the bride and groom'.

Another lovely idea!

There was a surprise treat during coffee, Victoria, the best man's partner sang. She is a professional singer, so it was a nice surprise. In fact it was more than nice, it was both amazing and moving, with not a dry eye left in the house afterwards!!  Well done Victoria!!

The cake really was fab!

Then the first dance kicked off the evening celebrations.

Sam and Andy had made a photo booth out of the cherub settle.

How cool was this cherub!

Somehow the dressing up things made it onto the dance floor....


Congratulations Mr and Mrs Bassingthwaighte, I have loved being part of your wedding journey, you are a very special and wonderful couple and we wish you every happiness in your adventures through life together!

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!

Zoë and Hugh’s Wonderful Wedding Fiesta!

Zoë and Hugh told us that they wanted something a little less conventional when they chose Pickwell Manor for their wedding day, and as I love new ideas, I was so excited to work with them to see their wedding become a reality.

Hugh proposed to Zoë on the vibrant coast of San Sebastian.  They were keen that their wedding should reflect their journey as a couple.  This meant bringing the Spanish Fiesta to Pickwell Manor but with a twist of Holland (Zoë is half Dutch), a bit of London (where they met), and a good measure of southwest tradition (where they live now)!  

The Friday was all about decorating.  Zoë and Hugh are very creative and they come from creative families.  Here are their parents, Frank, Helen and Maya organising the favours - homemade damson jam - made by Rob, Zoë's Dad! 

    Meanwhile, Abi (Zoë's sister) made the AMAZING wedding cake, here she is prepping.

Creative Groom Hugh was in our apartment 'Bliss',  which temporarily become the arts and craft nerve centre!

Zoë, Maya and Rob were in charge of making sure the Ballroom looked colourful and happy for the wedding Zoë and Hugh had planned.

Here is the awesome Rob (Zoë's Dad) on bunting duty!

And then Kelly from Offshore Blooms arrived to put the finishing touches to the tables - planted herbs and the biggest hydrangea blooms I've ever seen!  The Ballroom looked beautiful.  Zoë and Hugh hired in orange napkins to fit their theme and these long tables to create the Spanish banqueting feast atmosphere.  But more on the feast in a bit....

On Saturday Morning....
Super Abi put the wedding cake together.  Zoë and Hugh had requested a "Naked Cake" - something honest and beautiful.  Zoë had sent Abi a picture of a cake which she quite liked as a guide...  No one knew Abi would literally recreate the cake...That's why I say Super Abi!

And voila! Here it is:

Kelly arrived in the morning to deliver the bouquet's all beautiful and fresh, as you can see - Zoë and Maya were thrilled!

And here is why, the bouquet's were stunning - such bold and bright colours, perfect for a late Summer/early Autumn wedding.

Hugh LOVES to surf. As a joke, he left his wetsuit hanging next to the Brides dress, for a split second I thought he might actually be getting married in a wetsuit!

Wetsuit removed, Hugh and his best boys went for a morning surf and at Pickwell, we got a first look at the dress.

                                      Zoë is friends with a hairdresser and make-up artist. 
                              They came all the way to Pickwell to help our bride get ready.

And then she was ready! Here is beautiful Zoë with her lovely and proud father Rob.

Zoë and Hugh really made every moment of their wedding meaningful and special to them and their families.  Zoë always said that her best friends would be with her, and walk up the aisle with her and Rob.  So lets meet Abi, Rishi and Baber, the bridesmaid and bridesmen.

And just before the walk to the ceremony!

All guests were upstanding for the Bride as she walked up the aisle to 'Chan Chan' by 'Buena Vista Social Club', played by the brilliant Jon Boyes a Spanish guitarist.

Zoë and Hugh had a beautiful and moving outdoor ceremony, married under our Rose Arbour decorated with their wedding theme.

Their guests showered these newlyweds with natural petals as they walked down the aisle together as husband and wife. 

I'll take a little break now and share with you Zoë and Hugh's Wedding invitation. We saw Hugh at work earlier in this blog, but here is their wedding invitation he drew!  A mini Pickwell!

It opens up to describe their wedding day:

As the invitation details, after the ceremony, guests were treated to an afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches and these scrummy scones.

Zoë and Hugh cut the wedding cake and soon after guests had a glass of refreshing Pimms or Corona in hand.

Guests enjoyed chatting away, sharing stories about Zoë and Hugh and catching up, with beautiful Spanish guitar strumming in the background.

There was a village fête atmosphere in the Italian Garden -  
Some guests took to Chess...

Others played Croquet... meanwhile others played....

We can see Zoë and Hugh's lovely photographer here in the background, Mark Gawthorne of Evolve photography 

So good was he at getting everyone together, a group photo was taken just before guests were called into dinner.

Before guests entered the Ballroom, they were able to see Hugh's hand-made table plan. I was very excited to see that Pickwell had become it's own tube line! Each table was named after a significant place to Zoë and Hugh. And as Hugh aptly put it, the underground only has fond memories to people who no longer have to use it - I would have to agree!

Zoë and Hugh decorated the sideboard in our entrance hallway for guests to leave cards of congratulations.

The Bride and Groom entered the Ballroom last to much applause from their guests 

The Ballroom was filled with cheer and chatter, as wine was poured.

And a beautiful sharing tapas menu was served.

Due to the sharing nature of the meal, I was unable to take pictures of each of the different dishes, so you will have to take my word that they were each beautifully presented and tasted like a piece of heaven.  Zoë and Hugh combined some crowd pleasers with some adventurous tapas.  It was wonderful to see everyone tucking in, trying and enjoying every element of the menu. Our wonderful caterers Guess Who is Coming to Dinner really excelled themselves.

With full tummy's it was time for my favourite bit of a wedding - the speeches.
First was Rob, who shared funny stories about Zoë when she was little!

Hugh's heart melting speech included a reciting of a poem he had written especially for his new wife. Literally, not a single dry eye in the Ballroom.

Best Man Steve continued the theme of making guests teary....  only this time, tears of laughter as he showcased some, ahem, hilarious photo's and a video clip of Hugh!

Hugh's brother Paul arranged a sweepstake on the best man's speech - all the proceeds from the sweepstake went to St Francis Hospice, a charity very close to Hugh and Paul's hearts.  Here the "high five" moment when table "Streatham" won!

After dinner, it was time for a fiesta - in the form of a Ceilidh.
Here are Zoë and Hugh performing their first dance!

Doe-sey doe-ing...

And then everyone joined in!

While guests worked off their dinner to the ceilidh, other guests discovered the Photo Booth props!

Just as everyone danced up an appetite, an evening selection of delicious local west-country cheeses were served for everyone to graze on.

The evening drew to an end, as our newlyweds danced their last dance,  and their guests clapped and cheered!

Zoë and Hugh, you have been a joy to spend time with and are a dynamic and extraordinary couple.  Your wedding has been a vibrant and fun weekend - one that reflects the kind, thoughtful and loving people you are. We wish you every happiness in your adventures together as husband and wife.
 Come back and see us again soon!