Antler & Feather Stunning Countryside Wedding
Let’s revel in this blooming beautiful day set in the beautiful Cotswold countryside. You’re going to love the quaint antler and feather theme, the florals and of course the loved up pair of newly-weds.
WWW readers Katharine and Andrew were hitched on Saturday 10th September 2016 at Elmore Court in Gloucestershire. They fell for the venue as soon as they visited and loved the family home vibes. You’ll also see from the images that the spaces indoor and out were just magnificent and really set the tone for the celebrations. In fact the theme was inspired by the setting as well as wanting to throw the best party ever for their guests.
The flower arrangements really took my breath away. They featured rich red dahlias, fresh foliage and of course those pheasant feathers. The flower arch for the ceremony and Katharine’s bridal flowers really stole the show. Katharine’s Yolan Cris gown was also very special, she looked so very pretty in it. Andrew opted for a bespoke blue tweed suit for a country gent look, which worked really well. How very lovely.
Many thanks to Cotton Candy Photography for providing these spectacular shots.
THE PROPOSAL | Andrew surprised me one Friday morning by whisking me off on the Eurostar for a surprise holiday to Ghent and Bruges – he’d secretly arranged a day off with my boss! He proposed later than evening with a beautiful tourmaline and diamond ring that he’d designed himself. He topped the weekend off by surprising me with tickets to a sold out Nick Cave gig at the Royal Albert Hall when we arrived back in London. All of Andrew’s amazing planning and thoughtfulness made it very magical. I felt very lucky!
THE VISION | We originally looked into getting married in London, where we met and live together. But we quickly realised you get more for your money in the countryside. Once we’d decided on that, we wanted to “country-it-up” a bit and we choose a save the date with a stag and fox design. And after we saw the pheasants running around Elmore Court’s beautiful grounds, this soon snowballed into a whole alters and feathers theme. Our main priority was to throw the best party possible – as everyone attending had to travel, we wanted to make sure the journey was worth their while!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I really enjoyed planning the wedding. I loved having such a happy, creative project to think about. We did lots of things ourselves, which mostly consisted of me having lots of ideas and Andrew putting in lots of hard work to make them happen!
THE VENUE | We only looked at a couple of venues and fell in love with Elmore Court straight away. We loved that it was a family home and didn’t feel corporate at all. It had so many different spaces – all equally beautiful and equally perfect for the kind of wedding we wanted. We loved the grandeur of the main hall for the ceremony and the beautiful sitting room and grounds for the drinks reception. We didn’t want a barn wedding, so their “eco-ballroom” – the Gillyflower – was perfect and we knew it would be a brilliant place for a party! Everyone we dealt with at Elmore Court was so lovely too. They made planning our wedding an absolute pleasure – they really are the dream team.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was from Yolan Cris. I wore a pair of white sandals I already had and that I knew wouldn’t hurt my feet! Our florist Maria from Sorori Design made me an amazing flower crown, which I absolutely loved. When else do you get to wear so many flowers?!
On the morning of the wedding Andrew sent to my room a card and a beautiful tourmaline and diamond necklace made by Simon Wright, the same jeweller who’d designed and made my engagement ring. It’s beautiful and was the only jewellery I wore on the day.
FINDING THE DRESS | It was surprisingly enjoyable but surprisingly hard to find the right wedding dress. I loved trying dresses on but choosing felt like such a huge decision. I had a very definite idea of what I wanted, probably from too much time looking at pinetrest and wedding blogs but I also wanted to enjoy myself and not worry about how I looked, so it needed to be comfy! I tracked down a shop in London that stocked Yolan Cris dresses and knew when I tried on their Alcala dress that I’d really enjoy wearing it all my wedding day. It was really romantic and bridal but also really comfy and I didn’t need to stand up straight or suck anything in to feel it looked good!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Andrew: After we settled on Elmore Court I had an initial idea of a tweed suit to compliment the country surroundings of the venue. I wasn’t too sure on a colour or style so did some research online where I found some great ideas but after I visited a few shops in London I found my preferred suits were either unavailable or didn’t look right. I eventually found a tailor in Tottenham who had a range of colours and styles at an excellent price. I chose a blue check three piece suits in herringbone tweed that, because it was made to measure, fit me perfectly.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Our wedding favours were CDs we made of the music played during our day, with personalised covers featuring each guest photo-shopped into their favourite album covers, so the music was a key part of our day.
Before the ceremony we played ‘Modern Love’ by David Bowie, ‘She’s my Best Friend’ by the Velvet Underground, ‘Shelter from the Storm’ by Bob Dylan and ‘‘It won’t Be Long’ by The Beatles. I walked down the aisle to ‘Into My Arms’ by Nick Cave and while we signed the register we had ‘Jackson’ by Jonny Cash and June Carter, ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ by Father John Misty and ‘The Golden Age’ by Beck and then we walked out to ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie.
During the ceremony my mum read ‘Having a Coke with You’ by Frank O’Hara and one of Andrew’s friends read a passage from Anna Karenina about Kitty and Levin’s marriage.
Music is really important to both of us and was a big theme of our day. For our seating plan, Andrew painstaking made a version of the ‘St Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band’ cover with all our guests photo-shopped in and for our table markers my fabulous mother made knitted versions of our musical heroes!
We had a Beatles tribute band in the evening, which everyone loved and it was so much fun seeing our friends and family of all ages dancing and singing along together.
Later we had a full on indie disco, with a playlist that Andrew mixed himself and played through his ipod, meaning we saved money on a DJ and got to hear all our favourite tunes.
At the end of the night, Andrew’s ipod went onto shuffle and “Toothpaste Kisses” by the Maccabees came on, it was a perfect love song to end the night on and (after all our planning) was a wonderfully unplanned and spontaneous moment of loveliness, which ended up being one of our favourite moments of the wedding.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four fabulous bridesmaids, my sister Lizzie and 3 of my oldest and best friends Julie, Helen and Ella. I wanted them all to look and feel great and really enjoy the day, so just chose four different dresses that went with the colours in the flowers and looked great on each of them. They were all so lovely and enthusiastic about the dresses I suggested, they made it very easy and fun. I nicked the idea from a friend’s wedding of them all having beehives, to help make them look like a bridesmaids gang.
THE FLOWERS | I got a little bit addicted to looking at wedding flowers on pinterest in the run up to the wedding and this turned out to be one of my favourite parts of planning the day. Maria from Sorori Design had done lots of weddings at Elmore Court and I loved her work. I knew I wanted a “feathers and antlers” theme and this seemed to be her speciality. She also suggested getting some props and styling from Lauren Grey, which was a great idea. I was completely blown away by the flowers on the wedding day and I felt that Maria and Lauren created something really magical for us. When I arrived at Elmore Court on the morning of the wedding and walked into the beautiful hall all decked out with flowers and saw that amazing flower arch for the first time, I properly welled up! I really felt that Maria and Lauren had brought all my wedding dreams to life!
THE CAKE | Our lovely friend Edd Kimber (the fabulous @theboywhobakes) made the cake for us as a wedding present. He won the first series of “The Great British Bake-Off”, so he had pretty good credentials! The cake he designed looked fabulous and was seriously delicious.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Choosing Gem from Cotton Candy was definitely one of the best decisions we made for our wedding! She was always so lovely to deal with, so enthusiastic about our day and I still can’t believe how beautiful the photos are!! As the photos are the only thing you get to keep permanently, I would have hated to have been disappointed with them but talking to and meeting with Gem made me feel totally confident she’d do a brilliant job. Getting the photos back was really special and we were amazed by how beautiful every single photo was and just how perfectly Gem had captured the day! I smile every time I look at them (which is a lot!) and having photos we love so much is a wonderful memento of our day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Filling the wedding with personal touches was very creative, lots of fun and very rewarding when it all came together and everyone had a great time on the day.
We did all the stationery (invites, order of services, menus) ourselves with Andrew becoming a bit of a pro on photoshop to create the designs using PDF images we bought on Esty. And this saved us a lot of money. He also created our St Peppers seating plan and spent a lot of time perfecting playlists for various parts of the day.
We wanted our favours to be something unique and fun, so we designed a personal cover for our wedding playlist CD for each guest, featuring each guest photoshopped into their favourite album cover. This did take ages but it was so worth it to see everyone’s faces when they opened them up on the day!
Andrew’s mum, my dad and my sister and brother-in-law were all brilliant in helping us with lots of details and my mum did so much too, she was amazing. She made confetti with petals from her garden as well as hand sewing little organza bags to put them in and give out to guests. She made a piñata for the children attending, masks of woodland animals for them to colour in during dinner and bought and wrapped each child a present that we gave out just before the speeches to keep them quiet! And of course she created mini knitted doll versions of 20 of our musical heroes for our tables! What a legend!
We have a bar in our basement at home The Flamingo, so we dressed the Gillyflower bar up as a Flamingo pop up for the night and served bespoke cocktails to our guests after dinner.
THE HONEYMOON | For our honeymoon we went on a month long trip around South America, flying off to Rio right after the wedding and ending with a trip to Machu Picchu. We had all the basics of our trip covered but, as we already have a house together, we had a honeymoon gift list so people could buy us special treats and experiences on our travels. It really was an amazing way to start married life together and definitely a once in a lifetime trip.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Katharine: I know everyone says it, but I loved every minute of the day! Particular moments were walking down the aisle with my Dad and seeing Andrew for the first time that day. Looking round the Gillyflower during dinner and seeing all our friends and family together having a great time. The speeches. Dancing the night away to our favourite music with our family and friends – I had a great time on that dance floor!
Andrew: Katharine coming down the aisle, she looked beautiful. Walking into the Gillyflower to Stoned Love by the Supremes (the same song the Stone Roses walk on stage to). Speeches – I was nervous but the speech was really well received. First dance to “You Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry – standing behind the curtain in the Gillyflower waiting for the music to start was a nice break for the two of us. When our playlist ran out and the music put on random “Toothpaste Kisses” by The Maccabees came on.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Just enjoy planning and the run up to the wedding, you and everyone else will have a great time on the day, so there’s no need to worry about anything! You’ll be so happy generally on the day that everything will just look and feel amazing!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Cotton Candy Photography
Venue | Elmore Court
Flowers | Sorori Design
Venue styling | Lauren Grey
Dress | Yolan Cris
Bridal Make-Up | Stevie-Rose Blake (Stevie-Rose also organised the lovely Magda to do hair for me and my bridesmaids).
Bridesmaids | Needle and Thread, Coast and ASOS
Band | Almost Beatles booked through UK Live Entertainment
Oh so gorgeous!
Huge thanks to Katharine and Andrew for sharing their amazing wedding story here at WWW xo Lou