a grey and gold winter woodland wedding in Somerset | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Morning all, I hope you loved yesterdays wedding. We have another beauty today. The bride Robyn submitted this wedding herself (that is one of my favourite parts about blogging). Robyn is a SYGM devotee and when the submission came in describing her wedding as “containing a hot chocolate station, a pie bar, and shit tonnes of ugly crying” I knew it was going to be a yes. I have the best readers. You guys get me, and I get you. We make an excellent team.

My favourite part of this submission, is the sequence of photos of Robyn’s sister tying the back of her dress up, then bursting in to tears. Gets me every time I look at it.

photography | Fiona Walsh 

012 thevenue

We were really keen to have as homemade a day as possible, not only to cut down costs but because we had 2 years of waiting ahead of us (I was in my final year of uni) and wanted to fill them with as much weddingy goodness as possible ! Due to this, we chose William’s Hall, a renovated barn in Stoke St Gregory, Somerset. We rented this venue for three days, allowing us the day before to decorate and the day after to deconstruct !

We turned up on the Friday with 3 van loads of stuff and set to work ! We hung a fairy light canopy, hired our tables and chairs, laid all the tables and my mum even made curtains ! It really was a huge job and I was so happy with how it all turned out 6 hours later !

As this venue wasn’t licensed to hold wedding cermonies, we chose to have the ceremony at the nearby Mount Somerset Hotel and Spa, which was a lot more expensive than the hall (which cost us £350 for 3 days !) but well worth every penny. It was very comforting to know that every minor detail was in hand and all the worrying could be done by someone else, leaving Matt and I to really enjoy the moment.

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Make-up: Our make-up was done by the incredibly talented and all-round legend Helen Johnston, who single-handedly had every member of my bridal party crying with laughter by about 9am! Helen has the patience, intuitiveness and kind nature to do her job expertly. I told the bridal party they could all have their hair and makeup any way they liked, which was great for them, but meant Helen and her assistant had to create 6 completely different looks on the day. They did this beautifully and we all felt fantastic! Mine even survived all the ugly crying. I adore Helen, she made me so much more relaxed and she’s just a generally wonderful person. Very genuine, very honest and an absolute joy to be around.

Hair:  Our hair was all done by the hair sorceress that is Stacey Jade. I was adamant I didn’t want a typically bridal updo, opting for a more relaxed and boho look. I searched for months to find a hairdresser who would have my hair fixed like cement through the (terrible) dancing, but without the traditional bridal style. My hair was pretty easy however, in comparison to my bridal party. Stacey created the most unbelievable hurricane ponytail for my Maid of Honour, who I’m pretty sure enjoyed it more than the rest of the day combined, and 6 other completely different looks for the bridesmaids and my mum. She is a literal magician and I hope no one ever books her again so I can employ her to follow me wherever I go and do my hair multiple times a day. Forever.

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My maid of honour, sister and soul mate painted our stationery then spent weeks perfecting it on photoshop. All the wedding stationey was 100% homemade and something we are very very proud of. The fact that our photographer said it was the best she had ever seen is a true testament to my talented sis. We also made; menus, drinks menus, programmes, a “Wedding free press”, pie bar rules, kids activity books, amusing coffee cup labels and napkin rings! (and breathhheee…). It was some serious work but well worth the effort. Plus, having all the stationary as a keepsake is something I really treasure. If you love the design, check out Ellie’s online RedBubble store “Inklings by Ellie”, she’s a very clever cookie.

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My perfume was a wedding gift from my Groom. I wore a combination of Jo Malone’s Blackberry and Bay, with English Pear and Freesia. Every time I smell it I’m transported back to nervously awaiting the walk down the aisle, so I would highly recommend Bride’s get a new fragrance, if budget allows. I also bought the sea salt and woodsage bottle for my Maid of Honour, who loves it!

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Having 6 very different, very young and stylish bridesmaids should have made for some very difficult dress shopping! It was, however, an absolute breeze. I found their dresses on Asos, ordered one to see in person and they all loved it! I ended up buying them all the next day, although my new sister in law was living in America so didn’t try it on until a few days before! Their shoes were their own; one of my favorite photos is of all the different shoes lined up, as they all reflect their personalities so well!

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My dress was Greta 17718 by Victoria Jane for Ronald Joyce, although you wouldn’t know by looking at it! I knew I loved floaty tulle, I’m not really a diamante girl and I didn’t think lace would suit the winter theme. It was so tricky to find the dress that  didn’t have complicated appliques, tonnes of bling or lace and I almost went to a bespoke dress maker. I tried this dress on at Proposals Bridal Studio in Coventry and was halfway through taking it off when the seamstress said she would hand-remove what I would guess was about 1000 gems for me, and also remove the sleeves!

I never had the a-ha moment with my dress, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t fall head over heels in love with the final product. It was so much fun to wear, I wish every outfit I had swished when I moved! Proposals also made me a custom satin belt the same length as the train of the dress and an art-deco beaded applique, which I absolutely loved!

My shoes were bespoke from an Etsy shop “Christy NG” and they are my favourite pair of shoes in the whole world! I loved the bows, the silver fitted perfectly with our colour scheme of grey, gold and dusty pink, and they were the perfect height for a long day on your feet.

Bride’s hair accessories/veil: Originally I wasn’t intending to have a veil, or at least a long one, until Fiona our photographer insisted I buy one for photos! Best. Decision. Ever. Nothing makes you feel like a bride quite like 3m of soft tulle cascading down your entire body! I bought mine from Preloved but I believe the designer was Richard Designs. I wore the earrings my mum married my dad in, which felt very special, and had no other jewellery.

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The boy’s suits were bought from Moss Bros, and their waistcoats and ties hired from Debenhams. We went for an all-grey look, with a pink pocket square to match the bridesmaids. We were slightly worried they’d match the tablecloths too much, luckily they all looked absolutely fantastic, and no one mistook them for table linen that I’m aware of…

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As beautiful as fresh flowers are, I wasn’t massively keen on having a hugely floral wedding as I found it sad that they would all be dead within a few days. Due to this, we opted for the traditional bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids, buttonholes for the gents and a few stems for the cake. Our centerpieces were metallic painted sticks, and our gifts were potted succulents, one of which lives quite happily on my desk at work! My bouquet was a combination of eucalyptus, gypsophilia and memory lane roses, and my bridesmaids had a smaller version with white spray roses. Our florist was a local lady called Edwina, who created beautiful arrangements from my very limited brief of: “very wild, no hessian, lots of foliage” which is a minor miracle! I really loved my bouquet and I’m really glad I had one, it’s now dried and hanging in my bedroom at home.

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Making sure we chose the right photographer was a decision Matt & I really took our time over. After contacting a couple dozen local photographers, all with different styles and price ranges, I was starting to get a little overwhelmed by the process. Then I found Fiona. I spend approximately 2 minutes browsing her website before I came across a beautiful candid photo of a father of the bride seeing his daughter for the first time and I fired an email off immediately and booked her the following day. A magical combination of landscape photography and a candid documentary style, Fiona really was the perfect fit, and I can’t recommend her highly enough. I trusted her completely to capture all the little moments Matt and I were sure to miss, and she absolutely delivered. We are both completely in love with our photos, and still look at them most days!

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Our theme was winter woodland, and our colours were Gold, Grey and Dusty Pink. We filled the room with candle adorned trees and hung as many fairylights and tealights as possible. The giant light up letters were the last thing I bought for the wedding and I’m so glad I did! Loads of people commented on them and they made a wonderful backdrop for photos.

345 348 349 352 364 378 386 389 390 391 393 398 400 401 407 thefood&drink

Our Caterers were Sticky Date Catering, based in Somerset. We kept all the suppliers as local as possible and are very lucky that such a fantastic company were located right on our doorstep. Nikie, the owner, was very friendly, took all our ideas on board and the meal was absolutely delicious. Taking inspiration from festival food, we had Mac ‘n’ cheese for our starter, with a variety of toppings scattered around the table for people to add as they pleased (think pizza hut ice cream factory style). We then had pulled pork/ halloumi burgers with potatoes for our main and finished with a mini millionaire’s shortbread (Matt’s favourite) warm chocolate brownie (Robyn’s favourite) and a gooey chocolate chip cookie. Safe to say it all went down very, very well.

We also put on a Spanish hot chocolate bar, complete with various toppings, sauces, syrups and booze! This was basically my favourite part of the whole wedding, because now I have a permanent hot chocolate station in our home, with the leftovers! In the evening we had a gourmet cheese buffet and a Great Wedding Bake off Pie Bar!!!

For the bake off, we invited our guests to bring along a dessert pie if they would like to enter, and had a democratic “vote with your forks” system. The winning pie was an exquisite mint choc chip cheesecake created by one of our bridesmaids! The recipe is now a family heirloom.

The bar itself was managed by the Rose and Crown in Stoke St Gregory, who let us pick the Ales and borrow their fridges for the daytime.

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Our wedding favours were probably the most sentimental part of our day. Sadly, Matt lost his Dad a few years ago and I lost my Grandma around the same time. Both wanting to include such influential people in the day, but not wanting to dwell too much on their absence, our favours were miniature Jack Daniels bottles and a mini Victoria sandwich cake. Matt toasted his Dad with the JD during his speech and we felt it was a beautiful way to honour such wonderful and sorely missed loved ones. They also make a wonderful keepsake for us to look back on.

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Our ombre Victoria sponge masterpiece was the handiwork of my very talented Auntie, who spent the entire day before creating it on site! I cried when I saw it. Who cries over cake? This isn’t bake off! Anyway, it was utterly beautiful and the peas in the pod cake topper (also made by said amazing Auntie) was the literal icing on the cake. Perfection.

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During the ceremony my good friend Alisa sang “Make you feel my love” by Bob Dylan which was so hauntingly beautiful the entire room was visably sobbing. In the evening we hired “Levi and the Bean” who were absolutely fantastic. If you live in the South West and are looking for a band we would highly recommend. Ranging from the Lumineers to Mumford & Sons, they completely blew us away, and were easily worth double what they charged. They also threw in a 2 hour DJ set with full lights show after their 3 sets which was drunkenly enjoyed by all!

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Robyn- My favourite moment of the wedding was in the evening, with the band in full throw, watching everyone dancing like maniacs, ties around heads and shoes long abandoned. It was the one moment I can remember being truly overwhelmed by all the love and happiness in the room. No one tells you how completely amazing it is to see all your loved ones in the same place at the same time, completely letting go of all their inhibitions and enjoying the moment. If I could relive one minute of the wedding over and over again, that’s what I’d choose.

Matt- Mine was standing at the end of the isle waiting for Robyn – I remember feeling the anxiety build as the music started and one by one her bridesmaids walked down towards their seats. The moment that Robyn walked in clutching her Dads arm, smiles filled the room and her reaction will forever be inbedded in my memory. She looked outstanding in her dress and a mixture of emotions made her smile from cheek to cheek and her eyes glisten with tears. She took my hand and I could feel her shaking but her smile never stopped. That was the moment it all felt so real and I’ll never forget how happy it made me.

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We mini-mooned the week after the wedding in both Cornwall and Hamburg, and hope to visit Robyn’s sister and her girlfriend in Australia this year.

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I spend a ridiculous number of hours on Pinterest, but we mostly took our inspiration from the things we love. Playstation games, TV shows and films were our table names, most of our literature was festival themed because we’re Glasto veterans, and woodland is abundant where we grew up in Somerset. We’ve been together since we were 15 and in school, so we’ve really grown up together, so we mostly took cues from all the little weird couple things we do that make us, us.


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