Dartmoor Wedding Venue - Coombe Trenchard

Dartmoor Wedding Venue - Devon - Vintage Country House

Nikki & Ant - May 27th 2017

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

Back in May 2017 we were lucky enough to host the wedding of Nikki & Ant, a couple who wowed us with their creativity and style. As a stationery designer that we adore (you must take some time to browse Nikki's Knots & Kisses website), we knew the day would be a masterclass in colours and design, but it was also packed with personality, love and so much laughter. It gives us great pleasure to relive the day with Nikki, and Clare Kinchin's beautiful images. 

What were your reasons for choosing Coombe Trenchard?

Clare Kinchin Photography

I first discovered Coombe Trenchard when we first moved to Devon and I was looking to connect with fellow wedding suppliers in the local area. I popped along for a chat with Sarah and she fed me the most amazing shortbread and showed me round her beautiful house and I was pretty much hooked from then!

When Ant proposed Coombe Trenchard went straight on to the shortlist of 5 venues I thought we should see.

I was happy for Ant to make the final decision though as all 5 I had shortlisted were venues I knew, had worked with and loved so it was really difficult for me to look at them objectively.

Ant fell in love with Coombe Trenchard immediately and we both loved the relaxed atmosphere and stunning surroundings. It combined both of our love of historic buildings and architecture without being too big or ‘grand’ and it made for the most amazing relaxed and fun day!

Clare Kinchin Photography

Where did you find your inspiration?

When I’m designing for a client I always start with asking them about the things they love in general. I like to see how they live and how they decorate their house. I think this shows a lot about a couple’s personality and it should always be this that show’s through in their wedding.

Fortunately Ant and myself had just bought a renovation house in Torquay and were already discussing colour schemes so we ended up picking a colour scheme which was based on our lounge and dining room!

Clare Kinchin Photography

Navy and dark wood are our favourites and I adore blush pink and dark pink reds and burgundy’s, so this is what we went for.

We also picked a subtle animal skull and floral motif to run through the day and introduced lots of references to films and books which we absolutely love. We wanted to incorporate all the things we love but in a really pretty and hopefully stylish way so it didn’t look like there was too much of an overall ‘theme’

Clare Kinchin Photography

What are your top supplier tips?

Be organised and understanding! Most of the suppliers in the wedding industry are small businesses who are working all the hours to try and make your day amazing so being friendly via email or phone goes a long way.

I’m a natural stress head but I tried to be as nice and friendly as possible to all my suppliers even if I was stressing out!

Having all the information they need to hand and making decisions quickly I think not only helps suppliers but yourself. Stressing for hours over tiny decisions which in the end won’t be noticed on your wedding day is not good for anyone’s mental health! I tried to make decision as quickly as I could.

Clare Kinchin Photography

What was your favourite part of the day?

We have two which we have discussed at length since the day!

Clare Kinchin Photography

Firstly our ‘first look’ before walking into the ceremony room together. We had the music start up and I walked down the stairs from the bridal suite and Ant met me at the bottom of the stairs before then walking to the front of the hall. This was the best decision ever … it was incredibly emotional and it actually made us both much less nervous about walking in in front of everyone as we were hand in hand.

Secondly was half way through the day when we asked all the guests to join us on the second terrace for the evening reception part of the day. None of the guests had any idea there was going to be whole other area for the evening and seeing their faces when they walked through under the clock tower and realised there was another area with photobooth, band and pizza van was amazing!

Clare Kinchin Photography

What advise would you give to future Coombe Trenchard bridal couples?

Take all the advice Sarah and Emily offer … they know what they are doing and are used to planning a wedding that is perfect for both you and makes the most of Coombe Trenchard! Be as organised as you can and create a timeline which you can add to gradually once you have found out timings from various suppliers. Having this timeline though means that you can hand everything over to the venue easily the day before and know that everything will go as closely to plan as possible. ( But be prepared that something might go wrong and realise that if it does that’s absolutely fine.)

Also have a separate wet weather plan just in case – you’ll be far less disappointed on the day if you do.

We ended up not needed ours but it was raining the morning of the wedding so I’d convinced myself it was wet weather plan anyway!.

Clare Kinchin Photography

What is your tale from the other side?

We absolutely love being married but it was never the be all and end all of our relationship. Make sure you love and enjoy your day but realise that the ceremony is the most important thing and everything else is just a beautiful bonus!

Clare Kinchin Photography

Photographer: Clare Kinchin

Florist: Brompton Buds

Caterer: Coombe Trenchard and Two Birds

Cake: Edible Essence

Dress: Needle & Thread, with embellishments from Abidemaids and hair piece from Kye Tew Jewellery. Shoes Rachel Simpson Shoes.

Groom’s Suit : Vintage Suit Hire Company / Accessories : Mrs Bow Tie

Entertainment: Swing Kings and Your New Favourite Band

Marquee Company: World Inspired Tents

Bar Company: Thirst Choice

Hair: Giselle at The Event Studios

Make Up: Giselle at The Event Studios

Other items and props : Virginias Vintage Hire, The Prop Factory & West Country Wedding Planner

Stationery & Styling : Knots & Kisses

Lauren & Matt's Wedding Planning Blog - Part 3

Sarah Marsh2 Comments

With the Christmas build up well and truly upon us, we are so excited to share with you part 3 of Lauren & Matts wedding planning blog. For this special Christmas edition, Lauren has handed the pen over to Matt, so we can gain a little insight into planning a wedding from the grooms perspective. Over to you Matt....

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So the time has come for the Christmas special, and at the time of writing there are only 13 sleeps until Father Christmas arrives! The time has also come for a non-bride, Bride blog! I should start by saying 'hello' - my name is Matt West and I'm very lucky to say on 1st September 2018, I will be getting married to Lauren in St Peter's Church, before celebrating with our closest family and friends at Coombe Trenchard.  Lauren and I really wanted to do something different for this bride blog and give you a different perspective - so here I am coming at things from the Grooms angle.

 

Lauren and I had been together for just over 6 years when I found the perfect moment to ask Lauren the big question.  I always knew that I wanted to ask Lauren in St Ives, as we have so many memories down there - its almost like our second home, away from where we currently are and where we grew up.  I kept the buying of the ring to the very last minute to ensure that there was as little time to slip up as possible, however trying to keep it all a secret for the 3 days we were away was exceptionally tough.  I think I did a pretty good job, until Lauren asked me to borrow my jacket...with the ring on the inside pocket...on the evening I popped the question, so I'd like to think it was a pretty good, non-surprising surprise!

 

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From the moment we got engaged, I'm confident that Lauren (like most brides out there) had our dream day all lined up in her head.  However, I was also pretty confident that I wanted to have as much involvement in planning the day as possible and make it a team effort.  As soon as we returned from our trip to Cornwall, Lauren started to get her wedding planning hat on!  I knew that Lauren was a super planner but she had everything lined up thanks to the handy BrideBook app, and I think she set herself the task of outperforming the app and beating the recommended timeline!

 

For me, a wedding is about the two people who are 'tying the knot' and I'd like to think that our day represents what Lauren and I are about really well.  We have kept our guest list to the people who mean the most to us from really close friends and family only, and we were certain that we only wanted people along who we would remember in 5 years time (and beyond!).  This perfectly represents Lauren and I to a tee, as we are not big showy people either - its all about having a good time, celebrating our relationship so far and getting excited the rest of our lives together.

 

I can't believe that by the end of 2017 we have all of the 'big' elements of our wedding lined up:

  • Coombe Trenchard - as soon as we walked around the beautiful venue, we knew that there was no other place that could potentially compare to the atmosphere and surroundings you experience here.

  • St Peter's Church - a quaint little church just a 5 minute walk down the way from Coombe Trenchard, a perfect size to fit our relatively small wedding party.

  • Dress and shoes - the only thing I know nothing about (and don't planning on finding out until 2pm on 1st September 2018!)

  • Bridemaid's dresses - this was definitely the biggest challenge is finding something that suited 3 of Lauren's closest friends.

  • Suits - something I took the lead on! We have definitely gone traditional with tails and a top hat for me!

  • Save the dates - a labour of love and an afternoon of painting and stencilling with 2 very excited cats!

  • Music - an incredible string quartet (Lauren always dreamed of this) and a DJ to play during the evening.

  • Flowers 

  • Cake - we still have cake tasting still to come...yippee!

  • Food - what a great way to spend a birthday, we sat out in the gardens of Coombe Trenchard just under a year from the biggest day of our lives testing and sampling our potential wedding breakfast.

 

1st September 2018 is not that long away, and I have to say that the ride to get to where we are has been enjoyable, and far less stressful than I would have imagined.  As a groom, you always hear people talk about the impending threat of a Bridezilla - but I haven't seen anything of the sort and the planning (and food-testing!) has been nothing but enjoyable. Long may it continue for the next 9 months and beyond!

 

Happy Christmas 2017 -

'So often we become focussed on the finish line we fail to enjoy the journey' (Dieter F Uchtdorf)

Coombe Trenchard's Guide to Wedding Drinks

Sarah MarshComment

Alongside delicious food, the drink you serve at your wedding also needs serious thought. Deciding on how much to provide for your guests, what to serve when and how to ensure your decisions compliment your day and food can be a minefield, so Coombe Trenchard wanted to try to make this easier for our bridal couples with a handy blog post.

Our alcohol policy aims to provide both flexibility and budget friendliness for our bridal couples, alongside compliance with our insurance and thoughts of safety for guests and the house alike. Our preferred bar company, Thirst Choice, can provide a very purse-friendly whole day drinks package that can be a hugely beneficial option, especially due to their creativity and flexibility.

Alternatively, bridal couples are permitted to provide their own alcohol for the drinks reception, toasts and wedding breakfast. Whilst able to source and supply this themselves, we highly recommend using Jaded Palates for this due to our wonderful relationship with them and appreciation of their passion and delicious drinks! Jaded Palates will enhance your wedding planning excitement with their contagious joy and enjoyably educational tasting experiences. Providing alcohol at wholesale price on a sale or return basis ensures value for money and stress-free buying. Alongside wines chosen to compliment your menu, you will make treasured memories, receive personal service and benefit from chilled wines being delivered with ease for your Big Day.  

Drinks receptions tend to comprise of seasonal treats like Pimms or spiced cider in addition to or instead of some fizz. Depending on your guests, you may also wish to provide some ales or lager alongside this and, of course, think of a soft drink addition (we find Elderflower cordial and sparkling water go down well!). Jugs of water are also important, especially in fair weather. This element of your day will need to be manned – either by a bar company, your caterers or Coombe Trenchard to ensure a safe, clean and well-executed drinks reception. Glassware may be provided by the bar company, caterers or this can be hired in (some supermarkets offer this as a free service).

For your wedding breakfast, you will want to choose wines (or alternatives!) to compliment your menu’s flavours and style. Jaded Palates can help you do this or you are welcome to decide and provide this yourselves or in partnership with your caterers. Your caterers may be able to help you chill and store your wine and provide glassware for you, but this will need to be discussed with them. Most wine is simply added to the tables, but do discuss serving with your chosen caterer also.

During your speeches you may wish to provide something special to toast your wedding! This would normally be prosecco or champagne and will need to be chilled. Flutes would be needed to serve, although you could also use Coombe Trenchard’s vintage collection of champagne saucers (if within the house). Serving will need to be discussed and would normally be undertaken by your caterer if happening after/during your wedding breakfast. If you are wanting to look at alternative options for speeches, we are happy to discuss your own unique plans with you.

In the evening, your bar will need to be manned by a personal license holder in line with our insurance. This would normally be Thirst Choice and could be a free bar or cash bar, depending on your budget. Thirst Choice will work with you to stock the alcohol that you would like them to serve and love to come along to Coombe Trenchard for tasting sessions with you! They will be responsible for your evening party and ensure the safe serving of alcohol. Once Thirst Choice’s bar opens all other alcohol will need to be put away, something your caterers will be aware of. Jaded Palates sale or return policy would be hugely beneficial here and ensures you are only paying for the alcohol you use, and not worrying about running out!

Drinks can be done as simply or as lavishly as you would like (much like weddings!) and we are happy to discuss your requirements and thoughts in much more detail over a cup of tea. Do call or email us to pop you in the diary and ensure a relaxed wedding planning experience at Coombe Trenchard.

You can find out more from our General Information sheet sent at booking (or available upon email request) and by visiting Thirst Choice and Jaded Palates websites. 

A Chat with Clare Kinchin Photography

Sarah MarshComment

How would you describe your business?

I am a creative photographic storyteller, capturing weddings, events and people in a unique and individual way.  

What is your favourite thing about being involved in the wedding industry?

CREATIVITY…I feel so inspired by my friends in the wedding industry, either by other awesome photographers or stationers, dress designers and stylists. Its wonderful being surrounded by creative people it adds to my own work and passion to explore new ideas.

Can you describe Coombe Trenchard in three words?

Quirky

Artsy

Relaxed Elegance    Erk thats 4 sorry!   

What spaces do you find particularly enjoyable to photograph at Coombe Trenchard

I'm an outdoors girl so the wooded area of Coombe Trenchard is a natural draw for me.  The dining area with the buffalo skin covered walls is an incredibly sumptuous and interesting backdrop for bridal portraits.

What advise would you offer to couples when choosing their photographer?

Think about your own personal style and choose a photographer that you think could best reflect that, I find a lot of my clients are similar to me, so we click! 

My couples often laugh and say they have been stalking my work for the last year. GREAT….do your research.

Try not to make a decision based on budget alone….I know thats tricky as everyone has a budget, but your photographs are with you for a lifetime and longer not just for the day its definitely worth investing. 

Arrange a meeting or SKYPE meeting to say hello to your photographer.

Look at complete weddings not just the edited good stuff from a selection of weddings.

Go with your gut feeling its usually right.

Do you recommend having an engagement shoot, and if so, why?

YES,YES, YES, an engagement shoot is such a valuable exercise. Most couples are nervous about being in front of the camera, this is a great way to meet your photographer and find out how it all works, most of my couples actually enjoy the experience and love the photos. I treat engagement shoots a little mini adventures, we head out to a pre planned location and get to know each other and take some pictures at the same time.  It leaves you with one less thing to worry about on the day.

What do you feel is important when capturing a wedding day?

Weddings are filled with all sorts of emotions and thats what I look for first and for most. Relationships between couples, family members and friends are amazing to capture and are so important in the storytelling. I love photographing the couple the most but I also work really hard to get an amazing record of your guests enjoying themselves, the details, the venue the environment and your family.

Finally, what excites you most about your job?

Meeting and connecting with people…clients often feel like friends and its actually quite sad when the wedding is over and the albums have been delivered. Im a big believer in PEOPLE and while my industry and its technology is insanely brilliant, I am a people person and being able to deliver images that make my clients cry (in a good way) is the most rewarding part of my job.

We implore you to take a look at some more of Clare's beautiful work on her website here.

Lauren & Matt's Wedding Planning Blog - Part 2

WeddingsSarah Marsh2 Comments
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It’s officially under a year until we get married! Everything is now ‘this will be the last *blank* until we are married!’ I’ve even had my last birthday now as Lauren Meakin – which was actually spent at Coombe Trenchard.

We have been so busy planning; being a Coombe Trenchard Bride means a fantastic list of suppliers to choose from! Sarah & Emily have had on hand every supplier I could have wished for and more. The most incredible experience so far in our wedding planning has to be visiting Sarah, Emily & Thirst Choice on my Birthday (September 11th).

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We spent a good few weeks looking over the list of food and drink suppliers, however when we first spoke with Sally and Dave we really felt they got what we wanted, they completely tailored a menu to what we loved and invited us down to see them for a taster at Coombe Trenchard. After we stopped for a birthday coffee and popped into see Tim the vicar (who will be doing our ceremony) we pulled up to be warmly welcomed by Sarah & Emily. It really feels like a second home as it’s already such a huge part of our lives. We were only expecting maybe a doggy bag of food to take away with us for our food tester – but what Sally, Dave & Sarah set up for us was so lovely I couldn’t believe it was for us!

We walked out onto the Italian terrace and we could smell the BBQ cooking, we were completely blown away, we tried literally a cocktail of drinks! They were exactly what we wanted but would have never thought of, including Cider Sangria – and the most incredible pink lemonade! After tasting the drinks Dave brought over the BBQ spread and they kindly left us to it, it was the most beautiful experience. We were sat covered from the rain, overlooking Dartmoor with blankets over our laps eating the most incredible food and drink. The whole time we were buzzing with excitement about how it will feel when we are eating this food on our actual wedding day!

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The experience was one to treasure, and we now have our catering in the amazing hands of Thirst Choice and have managed to tick another box off of Emily’s spreadsheet! Along with: string quartet, makeup artist, hairdresser, groom and ushers suits as well as my dress, oh yes, did I forget to mention?

….MY DRESS, I can’t say too much apart from I LOVE IT.  I’ll have to leave it at that until after the wedding when I can share some pictures of it– but I have included a sneak peak of me at the Bridal shop ‘Bridal Boutique’ in Street, with the owner Hannah, who again made my experience so memorable. I really have to say as a tip for any bride and groom, people buy people. It’s so true all of the people involved on our wedding journey are people I will stay in touch with after, because they have all helped to create the memories along the way, which I think is just as important as the day itself.

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Both Matt & I are on the countdown, the wedding corner is now officially the wedding room and we still have so many more exciting things to plan, our next big milestone will be Christmas and then the start of 2018 – our wedding year! So we will love to keep you updated with a Christmas blog – which might have a little bit of a different feel to it ….

Lauren x