Wedding inspiration can be sought in many places, namely Pinterest, wedding magazines and beautiful blogs, but also within your venue and how it has been styled and enjoyed previously. Having built wonderful relationships with so many of our bridal couples, it is truly moving to re-live their special days at Coombe Trenchard, as we ask them for some invaluable advice and an insight into some spectacular snaps!
On 30th August 2015, Holly wed Phill in a pastel-toned, tea-filled flurry of floral elegance and vintage prettiness. We asked her to talk us through her inspiration, planning process and top tips for wedding success, as well as share her favourite images from the day with us (courtesy of Fizz Photography).
"From the moment we visited Coombe Trenchard we knew that was the venue for us, so much so that it was our one thing that that could compromise on, selecting the only remaining Summer date for 2015. The house was beautiful and full of charm and character, everywhere we looked there was a different and unique photo opportunity. The best thing about Coombe Trenchard was the amount of options it gave us as a couple, there were numerous licensed areas to the venue which allowed us to have a dry weather and wet weather game plan.
The venue, in the end allowed us to have the most beautiful wedding day journey; starting in the great hall where the mistral gallery leant itself to a natural aisle and showcase of the wedding party, through to afternoon tea on the Italian terrace overlooking our home scenery of Dartmoor, followed by the marquee for the wedding dinner and finally into the courtyard for dancing and partying under the stars, which was a complete surprise for all of our guests! With the band only being revealed upon announcement and the opening of the double barn doors. I cannot tell you how many people have told us that this was the best wedding venue they had ever seen, including many of the suppliers, what a hidden gem! Both Phillip and Sarah opened their home to us and our guests and were accommodating from start to finish. Nothing was too much trouble and their flexibility is a unique trait amongst wedding venues, allowed us to create a bespoke and tailor-made experience. Sarah even did a fabulous job keeping the guests happy during the 45 minute delay on the ceremony start time!"
"The first consideration of the wedding was the colour scheme - once we had chosen the grey and pink theme we knew that everything else would be delicate pastel and pretty. Flowers are determined by the time of year, my preference would have been peonies, however in August these were not available. We chose to recreate the delicate and pretty feel by selecting peony-like roses, with soft fluted edges, and picking out the grey in the bouquet with sprigs of eucalyptus. We then tied together the colour scheme with our overall wedding theme; being a huge tea drinker and with both Phill and I loving the classic afternoon tea we soon had our theme. Our vision was of a celebratory afternoon tea on the Italian terrace with fizz, music from a string quartet and garden games, the weather was kind and this is exactly what we got! The tea theme then snowballed with the rest of the venue décor. Our canvas marquee was decorated with home made teacup candles for favours, with an abundance of pale pink, grey and lace bunting which was lovingly handmade by my mother. The whole look was pulled together by the birdcage centrepieces and hanging floral arrangements, with laser cut bird and tea party stationary, which carried our theme from the save the dates, through to the thank you cards. Other nice touches included a photo display area, with pictures of us as a couple and original wedding photographs of both Phill's parents and my parents on their wedding days, with a combined total of nearly 90 years of successful marriage behind them!"
"As always, it is hard to pick just one favourite moment of the day, but both Phill and I agree that the best moments were those which allowed the two of us to quietly reflect on each part of the day. For example after the ceremony we both exited through to another beautiful room, whilst our guests relaxed on the Italian terrace. We had a glass of fizz and we shared a quiet moment of excitement and reflection in our first minutes as husband and wife. Later before the dinner we walked the grounds and we were able to look back at the terrace and observe the day in action. Finally, when all was over we sat in the beautiful bridal suite and chatted about the day, opening cards filled with loving sentiment from all our family and friends into the small hours of the morning. I must say though aside from those reflective moments, the band were spectacular, catering to all audiences and our impromptu dance routine to Queens 'Bohemian Rhapsody' encouraged by Phil Rostance & the Marshall band sure made people smile!"
Top Tips from Holly
"Don't let time trick you! We had plenty of time to get ready before the ceremony, however after a leisurely and very pleasant first few hours of the morning, the ceremony soon crept up on us and before I knew it guests had arrived and were seated, and I was still in a dressing gown with no lip colour on!"
"Regardless of creating a list of must have photographs for our photographers, we came away with so many missed photo opportunities. Your photographers are creative people and sometimes this creativity can take over on the day, with the organisational element being overlooked. We wanted a mix of relaxed observatory photography and some more formal shots. I would definitely recommended that a groomsman or bridesmaid assists the photographers with organising the guests required for the formal photographs. For example we missed out on key photographs such as my husband and I with all of the bridesmaids and best man. These are KEY shots and a must have for the album, given our time again we would have insisted that we took 5 minutes to capture these."
"Always use local where possible - especially for parts of the wedding that get pulled together last minute. The day runs a lot smoother if the cake maker can coordinate with the florist, and the photographers etc."
"Also food related - we got married at 1.30pm, and we chose a celebratory afternoon tea and fizz for after the ceremony, this completely defined us as a couple and gave us fabulous photo opportunities, but most importantly is saw our guests through until the wedding dinner, as most guests would have had an early start, so they were all very complimentary about the afternoon pick me up. Note to all brides to be: if you are having sweet treats or canapés, ask one of the bridesmaids or even the caterers to put aside a small plate for the bride and groom!"
"Try not to stress too much about the weather! In truth, you really cannot influence this and therefore try to focus your energy into the rest of the day. In the end, despite rain right until the last minute, the clouds parted, the sun shone and the day was perfect!"
* Sassi Holford Taunton - Bridal Gown
* Pirouette Exeter - Bridesmaid Dresses & Bridal Hair accessories
* Flower Scene - Florists
* Centrepiece Cake Company - Cake
* Beautiful Tent Company - Canvas Marquee
* Outsideinn Cuisine - Caterers
* Phil Rostance & The Marshall band
* Four Seasons String quartet
* Hummingbird Card Company - Stationery