I do love it so when a couple share their love story, I love hearing the details of the proposal and the wedding day as much as the photographs.
I adore Ben and Charlotte’s Kingston Estate wedding – I love that the engagement ring has such meaning and sentiment, that the cake was such a family affair, and the wood details with Charlotte’s Dad being a carpenter.
Thanks to awesome wedding photographers Memories & Milestones for sending this over, and to Charlotte for taking the time to tell us your wedding story…
We wanted to get away for a break together, so I arranged a weekend to Center Parcs Longleat. Ben wanted to go to for a nice dinner on the way, so I booked a table at Bath Priory in Bath for the Friday and planned to go on to Center Parcs after.
Little did I know he had rung in advance to order champagne and strawberries for after the big question. After our three course meal, we went for a walk in the gardens and settled in a pagoda where the big question was asked and accepted.
He chose a ring from his Grandma’s jewellery box so it has the family history of being given by the great grandad to his great grandma for the birth of Ben’s grandma (90yrs ago).
Where it all happened
We picked a beautiful venue – Kingston Estate at Staverton near Totnes, Devon. We both got ready at the venue separately, and myself, bridesmaids and both Mums went to my hairdressers Gershwins, Newton Abbot for hair and make-up.
The venue provided space for an outdoor ceremony, indoor reception room and Linhay Barn and Courtyard and The Undercroft (cellar) evening reception room.
What they wore
My dress was Madison James, bought at Angel Face Bridal in Newton Abbot. The men’s tweed suits and chinos came from Moss Bross. The bridesmaids dresses were Chi Chi London, also bought at Angel Face Bridal.
We chose navy along with a range of blues, creams and grey, with wooden accents – my Dad is a carpenter so the wooden touches all fell into place naturally.
We had handmade wooden table names, chalkboards, wooden signs, easels, wooden sash window table plans, and log slices as well as quirky signs. I spent a lot of time trawling local shops for tea light holders and signs, and other decorations I bought online.
the flowers were done by Blue Geranium, Totnes. We chose simple gypsophilia and cream roses for all the flowers. This included a bridal posey and bridesmaids bouquets, and simple roses and gyp for buttonholes and corsages. We had chair end arrangements which were then transferred to the tables inside, and chose a table centrepiece that could sit on the registry table and then the reception table. We also had three floral arrangements that decorated the pagoda we were married under.
We had a three tier wedding cake. Two tiers fruit cake (made by us, my sister, both our mums, my grandma and Nan). My mum made the Genoise tier on the week of the wedding.
My mum decorated the cake traditionally and recreated a picture I found on Pinterest. My mum is skilled in sugarwork so the cake was adorned with handmade sugar roses and flowers in creams and blues.
What they ate and drank
We used an affiliated caterer at the venue, Cru Events. We had a choice of 5 canapés (salmon, goats cheese, Malaysian chicken, beef and lobster) with Pimms on the lawn post-ceremony.
We had a sit down reception – smoked salmon salad starter, slow roasted lamb main and trio of puddings (chocolate orange brownie, summer pudding and lemon tart). Veggie options were sweet pea and baby leek tart starter, and butternut squash risotto main.
In the evening we had hog roast, roast potatoes and salads. The veggie option was halloumi burgers.
The only part of our menu which was non negotiable for us was the hog roast, as we both love pulled pork. We wanted something light and summery for the sit down meal, as we didn’t want guests to be hot and uncomfortable if it was hot weather.
Memories & Milestones photography captured the day perfectly. We chose 6 hrs of photography to start as the guests arrived and finish after the first dance.
We had an informal drinks reception after the ceremony on the lawn at the side of the main house with Pimms, canapés, hay bales and garden games.
In the evening we had our first dance under the lights in the courtyard and most of our guests mingled outside all evening as it was so hot.
We had a band that initially played inside and then were able to play outside for the final set. For the rest of the evening we used a playlist on a phone via speakers.
We went on an extended mini moon to Cyprus the day after the wedding for a week. We asked for gifts to be contributions to our actual honeymoon next year and we have now planned to go Jamaica in April 2018.
Favourite part of the day?
My favourite parts were the small special moments with the four little girls that attended our day (cousins and friends children). Seeing them make friends with other children they had never met and have an amazing time.
Another special moment was escaping to Staverton Bridge for photos on our own.
Any words of advice for brides to be?
Keep to a budget; look at venues within your means and shop wisely for decorations.