If you are currently in the midst of wedding planning and feeling a bit overwhelmed...
At first glance you could be fooled into thinking that todays wedding is another destination wedding, full of sunshine with a gorgeous outdoor ceremony and reception. Actually it’s a Devon wedding, full of English country charm, vintage touches and the most amazing food. Thomas the groom is a chef so as you can expect the food is amazing.He drafted in friends and colleges to help put the whole menu together, from cooking it to serving it. With the wedding set across the whole weekend the guests were really spoilt and really got involved with the whole set up and decoration. A gorgeous wedding where everyone got involved for a fun-filled day. Thanks to John Barwood Photography for the lovely images.
Hayley and Thomas were married on 26th July at Colehayes Park, Bovey Tracey, Devon. ‘Tom is a chef and therefore wanted a venue that was self-catering and I wanted a weekend event. Colehayes park was the only venue we visited and we loved it from the moment we saw it. We had 105 guests to the day and a further 20 as evening guests and planning took 18 months.’
How they met
We met through friends on a night out in Bristol. We have been together since 2006 so 8 years when we got married
We had been trekking for three weeks across the atlas mountains in morocco and tom proposed on the last night with a ring handmade from bits of wire he had found on the three different mountains we had submitted.
How did you allocate your budget
We didn’t set a budget but kept the costs low by making everything ourselves. We were very lucky to have so many friends that helped out doing tasks such as napkin folding, flower arranging and decorating the venue. Much of the food was purchased at cost price or gifted to us from suppliers tom had been using for years. Many of Toms past and present colleague’s/friends travelled to help out at the wedding cooking/ serving food and drinks or running event. The main bulk of the budget was spent on food and staff costs.
Where did you splurge and where did you save
The quality of ingredients and wine was a big deal for Tom so we splurged on that. We saved money by making a lot of things ourselves. The bridesmaid dresses were in the sale and only cost £35 each
How did you choose your photographer
I found John Barwood Photography through another bride that had got married at colehayes and instantly fell in love with the pictures. No other photographers I looked at matched up
Dress was by Essence of Australia, shoes Touch up’s from elegant steps online as I have large feet and accessories (bracelet and Headband) from glitzy secrets. Tom bought me pearl earrings as a wedding present
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Suit from high and mighty. Bridesmaid dresses from monsoon
Theme or Colour Scheme
I just went with things I liked and it ended up being a vintage theme. Colours were pastel we went shopping for bridesmaid dresses with no particular colour in mind.
Mine and the bridesmaid’s bouquets were pastel coloured roses with baby’s breath. Tom and the groom’s party’s buttonholes was a single rose with herbs to reflect his chef background
We decorated the outside and inside of the house with bunting which were borrowed from a family friend. The tables were decorated with wooden logs and an assortment of flowers in decorated jars. The aisle was decorated with shepherd crooks with hanging jars filled with fresh flowers. I sprayed vegetable wooden crates to make them look old and put our names on them. We even took potted flowers, a rustic watering can, an old stepladder and a metal churn with us from Bristol to decorate the venue.
Tom planned every aspect of the weekend’s food, from the breakfasts on Saturday, Sunday and Monday to the BBQ and cheeseboard on Sunday and wedding breakfast. The wedding breakfast included:
First course: Loch Durant Salmon Poached “Mi Cuit” with Brixham Crab, Pickled Cucumber from our garden; Heritage Tomato salsa and Caviar.
Main Course: Locally Sourced Creddy Carver Duck Breast with Dulphinoise Potatoes, fine beans, Pancetta and red currant Jus.
Dessert: Macerated English Strawberries with strawberry Gel, Chilled Zagbaglione, Poached Peaches Crushed Amaretti Biscuits and Meringue.
The food served on the wedding evening was Cornish pasties and potato wedges in cardboard containers.
Four tier; 2x fruit cake, chocolate orange and Lemon made by the best man’s mum. White iced with lace, buttons and a silver bow to reflect that of my dress
We had a band, Your new favourite band from Portsmouth. Colehayes is such an amazing place and the weather was great so much of the weekend was spent swimming in the lake and playing rounder’s
Everything was handmade from the save the dates, the invitations and the table plan. The place names were the wedding favours – wooden hearts on strings for the ladies and wooden discs for the men. I used a wood burning iron to put people’s names on them and the wedding date
Personal or Handmade Touches
The guests staying at the venue had goodie bags filled with snacks, water and a weekend itinerary with their name and room number on. We had pictures of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day by our wedding cake.
Being able to get married outside and having the wedding breakfast on the front lawn facing the house was fantastic.
Advice to other couples
It’s all about sharing the day with your friends and family. The enjoyment of seeing people enjoying themselves at your wedding, which you have taken time to plan, is what made the day for us. Don’t stress about the little details.
It started to rain very lightly during our ceremony although the sun was still shining and apparently I shot a look at the sky and it stopped
Husband & wife team John & Soph are based in Bristol and love travelling all over the globe capturing couples in love. Using an approach that combines documentary and fine art photography they love to capture beautiful, honest and timeless images that perfectly reflect their couples.