Earlier this year, Emma, our lovely PR manager, married the equally lovely Paul in sunny Devon. After sharing in (read: insisting on hearing about) her wedding planning, we’re delighted that she’s shared the photos and story of their beautiful day with us.
“Paul and I got married on the 25th May 2013. The church service was held in Drewsteignton, a tiny village in north Devon, followed by a reception at Fingle Bridge Inn, a gorgeous traditional pub set in stunning woodland surroundings next to the river Teign. This particular area of Devon holds many special memories for me; my grandparents lived there so I spent a lot of time there as a child. With thatched cottages, its own pub and views of the rolling hills of Devon, Drewsteignton was the perfect place for the wedding. We invited 120 guests, but both venues still felt intimate and personal which was important to us.
A year and a half after getting engaged, it was suddenly the wedding day. I woke up and was surprised to find I didn’t feel nervous. Paul was getting ready in the hotel nearby, where the majority of our guests were staying, whilst I had stayed the night in my family’s cottage which is right next to the church. My two best friends were my bridesmaids and we took a nice stroll in the sun around the churchyard before we started to get ready. I have quite a big family, so one of the highlights was spending the morning in the cottage surrounded by loved ones before we left for the church. My little nephew and niece were there along with my sisters, bridesmaids, parents and one of my godmothers. It was quite hectic, but in a nice way.
Picking the dress was so much fun. I don’t usually enjoy clothes shopping as I’m really tall and nothing fits me, but this experience was totally different. I visited four or five shops, but my favourite experience by far was with Louise Selby. Her gorgeous studio in Kew was filled with beautiful lace and silk dresses. I put on my favourite and my friend who was accompanying me burst into tears, which I took as a good sign. Each dress is made to measure and it was so fun going back at each stage to see how the dress was developing.
I didn’t think I’d want a veil but once I put it on the outfit felt complete. I think one of the most important elements of buying a wedding dress is truly feeling comfortable in it. It’s one of the most photographed days of your life and hopefully it will be the only time you wear one, so you need to feel really special in it. Visiting Louise at each stage really helped me to achieve that. My personalised dress hanger was a gift from Sally, a family friend who’s known me since I was little.
As we heard the bells ringing we began to make our way over to the church. Walking down the aisle was the one thing I was petrified of, but when the time came it was so much fun. I remember seeing the church filled with all the people we love, and their smiling faces. When I saw Paul I got the giggles as I was so excited by what we were about to do. Having gone through such a journey together, that started with us both living in separate countries, to finally being able to say our vows was a moment that I’ll never forget.
Following the ceremony, we went down to Fingle Bridge Inn for the reception. Working at notonthehighstreet.com means I have reason to spend parts of my day looking at beautiful products, so this, along with reading wedding magazines and building boards on Pinterest, really helped me gather inspiration for styling and the overall look and feel of the day. Although we didn’t pick a specific theme, we knew we wanted it to fit in with the country surroundings and summer season.
For the decorations, I used a lot of products from our brilliant sellers. We decorated the inn with paper pom poms and adorned the tables with hessian fabric by The Wedding of my Dreams. We tied bunting from The Cotton Bunting Company around the room to give it the quaint, country feel we were going for. We used little tin blackboard buckets as table numbers, which doubled up as our centrepieces. We bought this vintage-style suitcase from Lindsay Interiors to hold our cards, and I plan on using it to store our wedding photos and mementos from the day.
It was important to us that we worked with local businesses, so quite early on in the planning I went to see the amazing florist Amy’s flowers, who are based in the area. After some consultation, they created a beautiful wild bouquet of peonies and roses. For the cake, Paul and I each had to compromise a little – I had my eye on a vanilla sponge with fruit, and Paul wanted chocolate. Emma, who is the village Post Woman and part-time baker extraordinaire helped us to reach a compromise with a 3-tiered cake, with a different flavour for each layer: chocolate, vanilla and plain, which she then adorned with local fruits and flowers.
Paul is a graphic designer so he designed our save the date cards, the invitations, and table plan himself which we had a lot of fun with. Another big task we took on was making our own favours. I used to live in Italy and it’s my favourite country, so we decided to make homemade Limoncello. It’s quite a long process as you need to let it ferment, but the outcome was amazing with a real authentic taste. We transported the barrels of Limoncello down to Devon a couple of days before the wedding and transferred it into tiny glass bottles that would be the favours. It was very sticky work!
Having our photos taken (by the incredibly talented Angela Leonidou) gave us a bit of time on our own. We got to watch our guests enjoying themselves from afar and spend some quality time together. It’s one of the rare times you’ll be alone on your wedding day. I read before the wedding that it’s important to make sure you step back and take it all in. This is so true. The day flies by and you can easily get caught up in it all without taking a moment with your other half to savour it. The memories will be with you forever, so make them count.
After a little time out, we rejoined our guests for the wedding breakfast, speeches and finally lots (and lots) of dancing. For us, one of the most important parts of the whole wedding was being able to have a real celebration with our friends and family. The whole day was so completely perfect, we couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
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