The Autumn Bride Collection – Mockford Photography

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  And here we go again – the last seasonal collection of the 2013 done!  The team  this time  ventured to a lovely Coombe Abbey near Coventry for the shoot – and for the first time the weather didn’t really  want to play with us – though we did managed to snap a few shots outside between the showers! still – the interiors were absolutely amazing – one of the reason I had Coombe Abbe bookmarked as a potential location for the shoot – the place is utterly mesmerizing. I think I will have a separate post just to talk about them! anyway, it worked brilliantly with the theme of the shoot – Autumn of course, but also Victorian, Steampunk, and Pre-Raphaelite inspired gowns for alternative brides.

This time Paul did a very speedy job on the photos – and so we decided to get his images to go first and pave the way for the subsequent post  describing the designs, costing, materials, etc, alongside with the day o the shoot.

 For now though – let the images speak their tale of our Autumnal brides…. enjoy!

1. Mina

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2. Veronica – the Steampunk Bride

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cheeky bride! 🙂

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3. Ceridwen

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4.Constance

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 and here shown with the  little helpers… 🙂

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5. Guinevere

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6. Elwira – the Goth bride:-)

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 and , just to show them off in their full glory, some very special autumnal bridal shoes from Crystal Calla Tiara!

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  The team, as always were just a delight to work with – and so credits, where credit is due –  all the provides below!

the venue: Coombe Abbey http://www.coombeabbey.com/

 Photography: Paul Mockford: http://www.shearsmockford.com/

Bespoke Bridal gowns: Prior Engagement www.priorengagement.co.ukwww.priorattire.co.uk

Styling, hair, makeup: – Sarah Dunn from http://sarahsdoowopdos.wordpress.com/

Bridal bouquets ( real flowers): Anita Smith from The Vintage Rose – http://www.vintageroseflorist.co.uk/

Bridal bouquets (crystal and silk flowers) The Haberdashery Bride http://www.thehaberdasherybride.co.uk/

Bridal shoes and accessories Tracy from http://www.crystal-calla-tiara.com/

Models: Miss Lilian Love, Adriana Renarde, Anett Novak, Izabela PItcher

 Many, many thanks to all involved –  what a team we make! 🙂

Summer Bride 2013 Collection

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 Well, I must say it took Paul record time to sort out the official images – 2 weeks and all done – brilliant:-) all editing done, we can now have a proper blog  entry! 

 I have to admit this shoot was slightly problematic  to organize as just a few weeks before the date the venue changed their mind and decided to charge us for using the premises. Well, that wasn’t going to happen, so we needed t find another venue available on that day ( many of us had already booked a day of work). Fortunately lovely Allyson from St.Audries Park, our own venue, stepped in, and put us in touch with Laura from Gosfield Hall- a truly spectacular place in Essex. Laura was only too happy to help us us and the shoot was sorted out in no time at all, it was a bit of a drive, but not too much – and the location was more than worth spending two hours in the car:-)

 

We picked Sarah, out usual MUA and Emily, one of our models, on the way through Bedford andwe off we went, in a rather convivial atmosphere:-)

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travelling in style…

On arrival, Laura greeted us and showed us around the venue – needless to say, we were hugely impressed and started planning the shoot straight away. The boys had their own room to store their toys, and Sarah was more than happy with our changing and prep room

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 Paul and Jason arrived shortly after, and Anette, another model joined us before 11. everything was ready for the shoot. we started with the Edwardian Bride – getting ready photos., shot amidst the elegant splendour of the  Queen’s Suite..

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Sarah worked her magic on my face and hair, and i was ready to be laced in the long line Edwardian corset… the result below…

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antique camisole, and a corset and drawers by me:-)

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Paul wasn’t too happy about my period stockings but in the end the ‘wool socks’ worked out just fine..

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absolutely loving the antique effect on this one:-)

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being a wistful bride…

 Paul didn’t take any other full gown pictures of this one – Lucas did it instead – ,:-)

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 As Emily was preparing for her  session,  Paul was taking a  few product shots:-)

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  Then it was Emily in Arabella – very much a Disney princess!

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Cindrella running from the palace at midnight:-)

and the real Emily….

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Next in line was Anette transformed into a Grecian goddess…

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I  manged to snatch a quick photo on my mobile too – Anett’s reaction when she saw the room – absolutely breathtaking splendour of the Bride suite…

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and some more of Paul’s magic

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All that excitement meant we were quite hungry at that point – but luckily enough Laura was  ready with our lunch – freshly prepared by the chef – and it was simply delicious!

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girls hard at work… 🙂

Refreshed, we had two more frocks to do – first Emily in a rather stunning corsetted outfit…

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and a close up…

and the beautiful flowers….

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The last frock of the day was Jeanette – and Anett definitely had some fun  pulling Marie Antoinette persona and acting it all up 🙂

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last shot of the flowers, and that was it!

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 but just for fun, here a few behind the scenes pics:-)

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boys hard at work , in the Bridal suite… 🙂

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the bling!

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Anett rocking the Athena look!

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a trophy wife?

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Paul teaching some modelling tricks…

 And that’s it , folks! more info on the frocks themselves, designs and pricing in the part 1 here

 Many, many thanks to all the team –  you were all superb!

Credits:

venue: Gosfield Hall
http://www.countryhouseweddings.co.uk/gosfield-hall/

 Photography: Paul Mockford: http://www.shearsmockford.com/

Bespoke Bridal gowns: Prior Engagement www.priorengagement.co.uk

www.priorattire.co.uk

Styling, hair, makeup: – Sarah Dunn from http://sarahsdoowopdos.wordpress.com/

 

Bridal bouquets: Flowers by Eleanor, http://www.flowersbyeleanor.co.uk/

Bridal shoes and accessories http://www.crystal-calla-tiara.com/

 

Jewellery – the Unfound Door: www.unfounddoor.co.uk/

 

  well,hope you enjoyed it, am already thinking of the autumnal collection… 🙂

 

Woo Woo Wedding memories

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 It has been exactly a year ( plus a few hours) since we walking down the forest path to take our places  amidst other folks in a beautiful glade, and eagerly awaiting  the arrival of the Bride.

 The Bride was a friend of ours, Becki Thurston, and her husband to be, also a friend, Wayne Lawrence. The fabled WooWoo Wedding was a long expected and a beautifully prepared affair, mostly relying on a DIY skills of all the people involved. and, oh my, didn’t it work!

 The invites were handmade and explained clearly the ceremony and all festivities – including dress inspiration -midsummer night dream, in a very eclectic form, was the key, in short, it was encouraged to wear’ the one thing you always wanted to wear and didn’t have a suitable occasion to do so..’

 The venue – a field and a glade near Tournament Stud in Brackley  again,  run by friends). the decoration etc were mostly a joint effort – everybody helped. we contributed with about 60 m of silk bunting…

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making the bunting

 The party has been going on since Thursday, with a registry ceremony Saturday morning, if I remember well – but the great reception, with the hand fasting ceremony was taking place in the glade, on Saturday afternoon.

 We arrived just in time to see  Sarah and Lizzie finishing the bridal and guests hair styling, and the guests were slowly starting to make their way towards the Glade. we quickly pitched our tent, changed into our glad rags and joined the guests

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the groom, slightly nervous, but looking dashing!

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guests getting ready for the ceremony

 When the time came, we all entered the woods, walking along a lovely path, taking in all the sights…

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the first glimpse of the bridesmaids and the bride…

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 the ceremony…. we were a bit at the back, so please excuse the poor quality pictures!

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 and all done,  the happy couple leaving to all of us singing ‘ Over the fields and far away’. the si.nging must have been pretty poor as the couple climbed onto their carriage and legged it… closely followed by the rest of the  crowd

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 and on the main filed  – mostly colourful tents with lovely surprised in them

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we loved the quest book and managed to sketch  our entry too:-)

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 and in the main tent – food! and the CAKE!

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The speeches were moving and funny, food good, company divine –  in short a fantastic time was had by all!

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Spring bride collection part 1 – the dresses…….

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And so it is done! The collection is finished and photographed and as we are awaiting the professional pictures,  I thought I would post some technical information about the frocks themselves – fabrics used, pricing, etc. this post is illustratedwith the pictures taken on the day by my hunband, Lucas, the proper images and a blog about the day of the photoshoot with all credits etc, will be posted in a few weeks time!

 

 The theme: Spring, flowers, pinks, greens and whites, all freshness.

1. Briar rose ( already photographed extensively at St. Audries – link here)

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Briar Rose

17th century inspired bodice, fully boned, coutil base covered with silk satin, linen lining,decorated with antique metallic and silk ribbon lace, plus the skirt fabric at the neck; lacing at the back. here size 12 ( so a bit too big for me);

 Skirts, worn on net petticoats and muslin petticoat, are in 3D rose fabric, mounted on cotton organdy base. fabric used – 9m or the top and lining,

Price bracket – this design  can be rendered in any colour and almost any fabric with labour prices starting from £800 for a bespoke item. 

2. Alice

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back view

A 50ties inspired gown consisting of a corset in silk taffeta and an assymetrically draped circle skirt in silk taffeta (James Hare, 5m), worn on  a net petticoat and a funky flounced petticoat, the corset and the  skirt are decorated with a pink trim.

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the petticoat under the skirt

 This design can be rendered in any colour, with taffetas and satins working best for the skirt. Labour prices starting from £600

3.Lily of the Valley

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A truly fairytale gown, ideal for summer and spring weddings, especialy for handfastening ceremonies in the fields ( but that just my imagination running wild towards the vision of celtic priestesses, elf beauties and woodland nymphs…)

 The outfit consists of a silk brocade corset, decorated with simple lace trim. The skirts  of silk georgette ( 10m) are worn on a light petticoat  for decency’s sake:-) silk armbands with the flowing sleeves add the elven, 12 century look to the ensemble

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Again, can be made in any colour, labour prices starting from £800

4. Gwendoline

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 A Victorian inspired ensemble: corset  and skirts in silk duponi (2 shades, altogether 15m used) lined with organdy and silk, with braid ( 10m),  lace( 15m), fringe (4m) and flower decoration. the skirts can be worn with or without the apron fronted overdress.

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 The design can be reproduced to match any colour scheme,  with the labour prices starting from £1000

5. Helena

 

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A simple and graceful dress in white embroidered cotton (4m), with a silk sash. Inspired by the 20ties and Downton Abbey series, this dress is perfect for  brides favouring  freedom of movement and natural lines – ideal for boho and destination weddings!

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 Can be customised to fit with any colour scheme and the dress can me made more elaborate by adding  a short train. Labour prices from £400

6. Rosamund

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 A 18th century inspired gown consisting of a silk petticoat with a flounce, silk skirt with a train (7m) and  a cotton stays ( corset) with decorative lacing. All worn on a muslin chemise and hip pads:-)

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 A Rustic Tuscany vineyard look, can be rendered in many colours and many different trims. labour prices starting from £900.

 some of the dresses may be offered on sale as samples, please do enquire!

 And that’s it in part 1 – in part two we will no doubt drool over Paul Mockford professional photos: I will also provide a full list of all the suppliers involved in the shoot – so stand by!

Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza 2013

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Well, it was a rather exciting day!  the very unusual wedding fair, The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza, taking place in Fazeley Studios, in Birmingham was abuzz with people. Despite frosty weather, unusual for late March, we managed to get there on time – and so did our lovely models and the stylist, Sarah..  and here’s a short pictorial report from the day!

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driving in – snowy!

 Our stand was not a stand really, but a nice boudoir – very cosy and conveniently placed just off the cafe!

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 once the place was ready, and the dresses on the mannequins, it was time to get dressed!

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stall ready, time to get respectable!

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Getting our lovely models ready

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lacing Anette into the swan gown…

 and then at last we were ready…

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just missing the Swan…

as she was heaving her hair done…

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 and Lucas performing the last corrections…

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 The highlight of the day was the fashion show – there were a few companies taking part, all sporting lovely attire!

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there were some lovely vintage gowns around!

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and the Prior Engagement team in action

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Sophie in Frost

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Jessica in Grace

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Beth in Arwen – behind her Anette in Swan and me in Mango

after the show we had an imprompty photoshoot with Jay Mountford – soo looking forward to the photos!

 Then back to the stall – fortunatelly our little boudoir was perfect for lounging….

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 Sarah, work done, went on to a mini shopping spree…

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 and considering the goodies on offer, we think she showed  considerable restrain!

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great button bouquets

 

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drinkies!

 

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amazing shoes!

 

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and cakes….

 then it was time to pack up, and head back home- tinly little bit fatigued…..

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dozing on and off, but always alert to the sound of camera snapping away…

 

 Now back home, enjoying a good cuppa of brown joy!

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 Many thanks to all the guys in the team,  some of them travelling across the country to be there – greatly appreciated! xxx

 

 

 Also, check out the results of the impromptu photoshoot with Jay – some amazing pictures!

The Winter Bride Collection

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 A brief glimpse at the newest collection of the sample bridal dresses from Prior Engagement  – all handmade examples of what can be done with a few basic tools and a pile of silks…. Prior Engagement is a sister branch of my main company, Prior Attire, and specialises in unique historical, Steampunk, unusual and definately unorthodox wedding dresses – all bespoke made, one-of-a-kind designs. 

 The winter bride desings have been bubbling inside me for the last few months, so it was a joy to actually start working on them. Although  I love creating historically correct garments, the research that goes into them and the period accurate techniques,  the bridal and the steampunk side of the business let me use my own imagination more and indulge in the design process as well. The results – below:-)

 We have booked the venue, Woodland Manor Hotel about 4 weeks in advance, hoping for some snow on a day, but knowing that even if there is no wintery magic outside, the interiors will provide us with lots of interesting background.

 Fortunatelly, a week before the shoot it snowed and on the day of the event we had snow – and quite a lot of ice….

 Our team:

 Paul Mockford  from  Shears Mockford Photography , with whom we worked before on a 18th century bridal shoot at Harrowden Hall. Jason was on hand to help him out with the lights, as was my husband, Lucas ( who was also snapping away…).

 Our stylist, Sarah Dunn from Sarah’s Doo-Wop-Dos

 Tina Haden from The Haberdashery Bride was providing lovely bImageouquerts, tiaras and combs.

 Kat Allen from  Rose Tinted VIntage in bedford provided some lovely  jewellery  and Lizzie pauling from  Lil MIschief furnished us with some furry accessories – hats, fascinators, stoles and capes.

 Our models were: Gem Bow Tyke, Sophie Mathews and me!

  and the gowns:

1.  The Swan

 

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Swan from the back…

corset in silk satin duchesse, hand-applied rhinestones, skirt in silk and feathers… lots of feathers…. we shot a mellow bridal version and then a more dramatic look:-)

 

 

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 the Ice Queen look:

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Narnia is mine!!!

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2. Grace

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 Corset and skirts in shimmering blue silk duponi, handapplied silver lace decoration and beading.

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the skirts could be pinned up with tiny snowflakes for a more contemporary look!

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3. The Frost

 

 

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A fun gown in silk taffeta, decorated with lace, beaing, rhinestones, brooches – lots of sparkle!

 

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4. The Aurora Borealis

 

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 A more traditional gown in silk satin and taffeta, with lots of sparkly decoration…

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5. The Russian coat

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A coat to keep the bride warm on her way  – in cotton velvet, lined with silk, trimmed with faux fur – and decorated with thousands of blingy bits!

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  And  that’s that’s winter sample collection – something to help our future brides decide on the style, fabrics and decoration:_)

 Many thanks to all involved – and looking forward to shooting our Spring Bride Collection in April!

My Big Fat Victorian Wedding – St. Audries Park, West Quantoxhead, Somerset. 17th October 2011

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 Our wedding day – well, where shall I start? So much was happening in the lead up to this day, and so much happened on the day!  We got engaged on the 1st January, in the midst of Scottish highlands, a few hours after midnight, and a day later most of the details were in place – apart from the venue. We knew precisely what we wanted – a venue with a character, able to accommodate the wedding party on the day, an also one that would allow us to do a post-ceremony hack on its premises – and the last bit proved to be a bit of a problem for many venues.

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Hunting on Quantocks – view from the hills towards the venue

One thing was obvious from the beginning – although we both currently reside in Bedford, it was Devon and Somerset, especially the Quantocks Hills that we both love and spend a lot of our time on holidays, running, riding and hunting, and it went without saying that this would be the place where we want to say our vows.

We had a look at a few venues in the area, but the moment we clasped our eyes on St. Audries, we knew this was it – a spectacular location, just off the Quantocks Hills, my favourite hunting grounds; a place full of character and charm with lovely interiors, luxurious rooms, all set within beautiful grounds. But could we ride there? One call and we were elated – no problems with horse riding on the grounds! In a few days’ time the date was set, the deposit paid and we had 9 months to get ready.

The day itself was – well, incredible.  Busy too, but since we like busy, it suited us very well.  I arrived a day earlier, and stayed at St. Audries for the night before the wedding – we actually booked the little cottage for my bridal party, but since the venue had a cancellation on that night, they very gracefully suggested that we stay in the main house, in our bedrooms, to avoid all the hassle of moving the next day.

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the venue the day before – simply sumptous in its autumnal array!

I arrived before my bridesmaids (having left my husband to be with friends near Tiverton) and enjoyed a leisurely walk around the house – and a last minute sewing session in the bridal changing room. As a professional costumier, I made my own wedding dress (based on 1883 Victorian fashions) and made my mother’s, and bridesmaid’s  outfits too – altogether 5 Victorian toilettes.

Once the bridesmaids arrived (a bit intimidated by the large, quiet house), we got changed and went out for a dinner in a nearby pub. As a hen night theme we chose ‘brides in different cultures’, so, as a result,  we caused a bit of a stir at the pub – not every day do they have girls dressed as Indian, Pakistani, Russian and Chinese brides coming over for a meal and a laugh!

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The Indian bride

After the meal, we retired back to the house, carried out the last preparations (pressing the skirts, last minute stitching, etc) and then slept the night away in our lavish bedrooms.  I must admit that I did sneak in outside, and went for a walk around – and practiced my walking down the aisle in the magical, lantern-lit orangery.

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The Orangery

The wedding day dawned fine – and even if it was overcast, the moods were dramatically improved by a St. Audries breakfast – their croissants are amazing!  The first guests started arriving, so breakfast was a jolly affair in the company of friends, and I even managed to work in a quick game of table football against a good friend and ex-boyfriend as it happens – and I won ( I suspect he let me win, the gentleman he is…)

Breakfast out of the way, moods soaring – time to kit up and get to the meet; we had arranged with the Quantocks Stag Hunt to host a wedding hunt-meet at the nearby Staple Farm. All geared up, I met my future husband at the meet, all beaming and looking very smart in his new hunting gear. The turnout was excellent, and for my part of the family, who travelled all the way from Poland, it was an amazing experience – there is no more hunting there, so being at a proper meet was a real treat.

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me at the meet, on Punchy

Once the port was drunk and snacks consumed, I left my matron of honour to get things organized and to make sure all the quests are established in their respective bedrooms. As it turned out, she didn’t have much to do and the house manager on the day had all things firmly in hand and dealt with everything admirably well – when it turned out that we had one guest extra, a spare bedroom for him was found in minutes. And so, when Lucas and I, together with our hunting guests were riding on the Quantocks, the other guests were relaxed in the house, enjoying walks, drinks and canapés.

In the meantime, the hunt was going well. I have hunted more or less regularly over the last few years, but for Lucas it was the first time – but as you’ll see from the pictures, he was enjoying it immensely.

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Lucas on Ryan, looking, as always, very smug.

Everything was going fine, until about 1.30. This was the time when we planned to leave the hunting to go on without us – we would call for the lorry to pick us up, so that both we and the horses could have a wash and change for the ceremony.

Alas, when we reached for our phones it turned out there was no reception. Not a bar, nothing, zero, nada.  And we were miles and miles away, in the middle of nowhere. There was only one thing left to do: ride in the direction of St. Audries in hope that we could stumble either on a patch of reception where one of us could use the phone, or upon some hunt-followers who would be able to give us a lift.

After about half an hour, we struck lucky – we came across the hunt staff in a 4×4. They got on the horses, we got into the 4×4 – and we were on our way.

As a consequence, we were about an hour behind schedule.  I had about half an hour to make sure the bridesmaids, my mother, etc, were all kitted up, then to have a short bath (made even shorter through the discovery that Jacuzzi and bath foam work surprisingly well together…) and then to get changed myself.

By the time I got to the changing room (leaving Lucas on the floor of our bridal suite, stitching a button back onto his breeches…), the photographer and the videographer were waiting, eager to start shooting the preparation of the bride.

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getting ready

 

 

 

 

I dare say they were disappointed, as the whole preparation lasted about 10 minutes. Petticoats and corset on, two hot rollers on. Wipe any mud from hunting, realize that the makeup I did in the morning was still OK, just needed a touch of powder. Rollers out, hair in the bun, clip on the extensions and style them – 2 minutes work.

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getting ready

Then on went the bustles, skirts, overskirts, train, corset covers and bodice. The tiara and the veil were the last.

 Ready in about 5 minutes, with all the bridal party waiting. Success! Image

 The house organization was impeccable – all the quests were already in the orangery, seated. My father was waiting, as was the registrar, for a short chat beforehand, and off we went. My most profound memory from these moments was that I simply couldn’t stop grinning. Try as I might, the grin was there, glued onto my face and no attempts of serene grace and charm would remove the thing.  Oh well, could have been tears I suppose, so happy to contend myself with the grin.

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walking down the aisle

Off we walked, myself screened from the inquisitive glances of the guests by a huge bridal umbrella. At the orangery, the bridesmaids went in first, to the funky tune of: ‘Here Come the Girls’ getting lots of laughs from everybody. My turn.

Still trying for serene, (and failing miserably), in I walked on my stepfather’s arm, to the tune of ‘Annie’s Song’ – a surprise for Lucas, as I knew it has a special sentimental value for him – I knew he would be touched, and as I later learnt he was – his words, blinking the tears away, were simple, short and to the point. (‘Cow’, he said to his father…)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbZfK1dJIjM

The ceremony was simple, straightforward and joyous, with two humorous readings by me and my matron of honour, with Lucas’ reading providing a deeper and more serious note to sustain some gravity of the occasion.

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the grin firmly in place

 Again, please note – the grin was still there. But by that time Lucas was grinning nonstop too, so it was fine.

  The ceremony over, we walked out to the shower of real rose petal confetti , hunter’s horn blazing and a rather unorthodox choice of music (‘Everybody was Kung Fu fighting’ – since we met at our Kung Fu club in Bedford, and still train there, it was only appropriate to incorporate the theme into the day somewhere). We were greeted and congratulated by a friend of ours who is also a professional chimney sweep – in her full regalia, it is considered to be very lucky to pass good wishes to the newlyweds.

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walking out – into the sunshine!

Outside, the weather improved – we actually had some warm rays of sunshine peeping thorough the orangery windows during the ceremony, and when we were outside we had both sun and clouds,; good conditions for some excellent photos – so Phil from Lensmonkey Photography was hard at work trying to get a few nice poses out of us.

video from the ceremony – here

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MInutes into the wedlock, both looking smug…

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circulating in style, Ryan and Punchy on their best behaviour too!

We walked over to the main entrance, where our horses were waiting for us. Punchy, a lovely thoroughbred I rode earlier on was all cleaned up and ready for Lucas, and Ryan, was all kitted up with a side saddle and a decorative cloth (to protect the skirts) for me.

I removed my train, got on, helped by my side-saddle instructor and a friend Becca who also got me a lovely antique side-saddle hunting whip as my first bridal present! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K08FLBD8eAU

We walked the horses around, chatting with the guests and family, and trying to calm down the owner of the horses – (since the horse I was supposed to ride aside had suffered an injury two weeks earlier, we opted for one of the local horses and that was only his second time aside).

After a few minutes of circulating, we cantered away for a few minutes alone. After the first mad gallop we slowed down to trot, then walked and rode side by side  amidst the beautiful grounds of St. Audries, with the deer from the fenced off park looking at us curiously – our first hack out as a husband and wife,  very romantic! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42_BYRSGNi4

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and off we go, leaving quietly, before breaking into a nice canter outside!

 

Once we got back, it was time for chucking my lovely bouquet at some hopeful lasses. The main hall and the staircase of the venue provided a perfect location for that, and it was my cousin from Warsaw who was fortunate enough to secure the bouquet – though only ‘by the skin of her teeth’ as the saying goes, since the thing almost landed on my Matron of honour’s hat…

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bouquet on its way, just slipping through Eleanor’s fingers…

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Happy Kasia with her catch

 

A quick change before dinner – I swapped the afternoon bodice of my outfit for the evening one, and bustled-up the train so that it was easier to walk and to dance in, and Lucas changed his buckskin breeches and riding boots into proper Victorian trousers and more sensible shoes.  A few more photos in the lovely library, chatting to family and friends and shortly it was time to get to the dining room.

A quick note – this is usually a traditional time of accepting presents etc – but we opted for the convenience of a ‘Buy Our Honeymoon’ service, so our guests gad already given us the best gift of all – the chance to spend our honeymoon in a lovely location, doing the things we enjoy.

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more wedded bliss!

By that time, I must admit that I was rather hungry – my last meal had been a snack at the meet so I, and no doubt many others, were very much looking forward to the anticipated feast.

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Faye and Julie

And a feast it was! We chose autumnal dishes from St Audries menu – choices of venison terrine, goat’s cheese, roast turkey, venison roast and then an apple crumble and cheesecake for dessert – and everything was absolutely phenomenal – to such an extent that a few meals destined for the couple who didn’t arrive disappeared even before the staff had a chance to enquire about those missing guests…

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 Speeches – with lots of humour and a bit of embarrassment (especially for my stepfather, bless him, when he started talking about my first boyfriend and I promptly  corrected him, that he was by no means the first, probably utterly destroying the poor man’s faith in my innocent youthful conduct…) Lucas’s best man was his father –  and that arrangement resulted in an unusual and a touching speech, very different from the standard ones. Lucas said a word, and I said a few too, (no way I was being excluded from the fun on my own wedding day!

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cutting the cake

Appetites sated, we cut the cake (a mouth-watering Autumn berry Pavlova, provided by the venue) and proceeded to the hall for the dancing part of the evening.

Our first dance was a Viennese waltz, danced to the ‘Voices of Spring’. Half way through the guests joined us (it was a very, very long tune…) and we all swayed away, as many of them had attended the dancing practice we organized for our guests a month earlier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=ZGPOpa-e_MQ&feature=endscreen

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waltzing away

The Waltz was followed by the traditional Polish dance, the Polonaise – it is traditionally danced to open balls and proms and is a perfect way to get everybody onto the dance floor – it is a walking dance and no experience is needed as all you need to do is to follow the couple ahead.

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my parents joining in the waltz

The Polonaise had its desired effect and once on the dance floor people joined in the next few traditional tunes – we had a few slow waltzes, quickstep, another Viennese, and even a spirited polka.

The in-house DJ was great – I had prepared lists of songs and tunes that were to be played, and he didn’t mind it at all and was happy to get the list started in all the right moments.

The Victorian part of the evening ended at about 9, when a hot buffet and the wedding cake was served – the interlude was utilised by the costumed guests for removing corsets, bloomers and bustles and getting into more modern attire.

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the evening attire in s steamy cha cha!

  We started the second part of the evening with a steamy cha cha (danced to ‘Sway’) and after that some very eclectic music followed – Latin rhythms mixed with pop and rock tunes kept us on the dance floor till midnight – though not a lot of guests kept our pace – mostly due to the fact that the allure of the buffet and bar in the neighbouring rooms was too strong. Not surprisingly I must admit – the buffet was great and the Pavlova was a truly inspired choice – light and fruity but not too sweet, it worked perfectly!

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guests relaxing with some booze…

Just after midnight even we were getting tired. The whole party was wrapped up smoothly and we got to our lovely bridal suite amidst cheers and leery smiles.

Next morning breakfast was a lavish affair, with a growing demand for those already famous croissants J.  We said our goodbyes, packed up (many people were leaving with a generous dollop of the Pavlova cake – we took some too, and with the addition of more berries it made a lovely Eaton mess in the afternoon.

It was a sad moment, leaving the venue  after such a spectacular and unforgettable day – but we knew we would be back at some point, in the worst case I would be waving at it from the Quantocks during one of our hunting days there.

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my new husband with his new in-laws, the day after!

We did manage a nice walk on the hills that day, together with my parents, and then a quick visit to Dave and Ellen who were providing the horses and who also helped by arranging the wedding meet in the morning. We thanked them and the horses and were on our way, getting my parents to the airport.

 

We were due to leave on our honeymoon a few days later – but that’s a different post…. here  

And now, for the list of all those who made our day so special:

The venue – http://www.countryhouseweddings.co.uk/st-audries-park/

St Audries Park is a
wedding venue in Somerset run by
Country House Weddings

 

The photography http://www.lensmonkey.co.uk/

the outfits: www.priorengagement.co.uk.

flowers: http://www.eden-florist-taunton.co.uk/

wedding dance choreography and lessons: http://www.danceandfitness.co.uk/

More photos can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2812960732574.147527.1515469250&type=3

And if you want to know how the wedding dress was made, the link are here – Part1  and Part 2