Dartmoor Wedding Venue - Coombe Trenchard

Dartmoor Wedding Venue - Devon - Vintage Country House

A Chat with de Winton Paper Company

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

In the second instalment of our supplier chats, we caught up with Harriet de Winton from the de Winton Paper company to discuss her work and get some advice for couples looking for some invitation wow-factor. Harriet creates truly dreamy stationery and we absolutely adore her Instagram stories (the most beautiful step-by-step watercolour inspiration - watch them!). So sit back with a cup of tea and enter the magical world of de Winton. 

How would you describe your business?

de Winton Paper co. specialises in bespoke hand painted watercolour wedding stationery.

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

Apart from cake...I really love the couples I work with and getting to know them during their wedding planing process.

Can you describe Coombe Trenchard in three words?

welcoming, creative, (a little bit) mysterious

What aspect of your stationery do you feel best fits Coombe Trenchard?

I paint a lot of botanical studies; flowers and plants for my stationery, Coombe Trenchard's gardens are a wonderful wealth of inspiration. My stationery style, although modern in terms of design, has a real fondness for classic elegance, something that is in abundance at Coombe Trenchard.

What colours/styles do you see being a big hit in 2018?

I'm not really led by trends but I really enjoyed the greenery trend for this year and I hope to see it continue. Next year is certainly looking a little more tropical!

What advice would you give to bridal couples looking for their perfect wedding stationery?

There will always be a wedding supplier out there who is perfect for you and can achieve your stationery dreams. Look around, and don't settle on the first thing you find.

When do you advise sending out Save The Dates and Invitations? 

It all depends on the nature of your wedding. Do you have lots of overseas guests? If so I would bring everything forward by a few months but on the whole my general rule is just shy of a year for Save the Dates and then 3 to 4 months for Invitations.

What do you feel is imperative to making stand-out stationery for your clients?

The most important thing is to make the couple the focal point of inspiration. It needs to represent them as a couple and give guests an exciting first glimpse of what the wedding will be like.

Finally, what excites you most about your job?

Painting. It really is the best job in the world to get to paint all sorts of commissions and see my couples' reaction upon receiving their stationery.

 

Thank you for taking the time to chat to us Harriet! We implore you to discover more of Harriet's work on her website (the cocktail prints are perfect gifts for Christmas) and her instagram

 

 

 

A Chat With Oaktree Occasions

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

Hot on the heels of our newly updated suppliers list, we felt it was important to give an insight into our favourite wedding contributors. Over the cosy Winter period, we will be posting 'chats' with our favourite suppliers to better inform our bridal couples about the service offered by these fantastic companies. 

Firstly, our thoughts turned to food, and Coombe Trenchard's favoured caterer: Oaktree Occasions. We are huge fans of Oaktree Occasions here at Coombe Trenchard: they offer exacting, friendly professionalism and ensure each and every morsel of food served is a delight. Caroline and Jo are also incredibly efficient and wonderful to work with, and we do so enjoy welcoming them to Coombe Trenchard. 

How would you describe your business?

Catering Specialists for every and any event, delivering stunning, handmade locally sourced food, chosen by our clients to their exact specifications, served to you in an exceptionally professional way with a unique eye for detail in every area of our business.

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

Every week, every client, menu and location, being different!

The excitement of meeting a prospective client, especially those with a challenge or conundrum that needs solving, be that menu choices to please everyone, which style of service to have-sharing-informal-plated, resolve any timing issues and advise how to best plan your day. Generally being able to pass on all our invaluable knowledge and ability to problem solve to give our clients the best solutions and ensure a hassle free flawless day to remember, ending with an open and honest relationship between us ,which is as it should be when we are trusted to look after clients on one of the most important days of there lives!

Can you describe Coombe Trenchard in three words?

Endless    Delightful    Possibilities

What meal do you feel best fits Coombe Trenchard’s unique atmosphere?

We would always advise using the seasons to guide you and honestly we have such a wide range of menus and styles of service, with careful styling and Coombe Trenchard’s unique locations pretty much anything is a possibility!

What advice would you offer bridal couples when choosing their caterer?

Do your homework first! Professional wedding and event caterers will normally adhere to a set of standards which are clear to see.

Always try and meet face to face at their premises if you can: you should be able to gauge straight away their professionalism, and whether they are everything they proclaim to be. Have a rough idea of timings (any experienced wedding caterer should be able to assist you with this) and put some thought to your whole wedding party and the needs of the group as a whole, for example Grandma may not like your favourite spicy treat that you would love to have!

Tell your caterer everything about your special day and how you envisage it to be, your dreams, your worries and anything unique that may affect the caterers, (such as disappearing on horseback for two hours for photographs after the ceremony)

The quotation should be clear, concise and as transparent as possible based on the information given. This will ensure there are no hidden costs to you. Your caterer will be an important part of your day, we would expect to have a reasonable dialogue with any bride and groom before the day, so you also need to be comfortable with your caterer.

Tastings should always be available to help make those final decisions, remember it is also a business transaction so ask for terms and conditions, how to secure your booking (you don’t want your caterer to double book you), and payment terms...sorry.... but it is easy to get swept up in the occasion.

Finally any reputable wedding caterer of any standing should have a wealth of testimonials, Google reviews and social media reviews, these are a good way to get an insight into their business and give you peace of mind.

What is your favourite thing to cook/serve to bridal couples?

It’s not necessarily a particular dish (although the delight when guests are offered a delicious canapé with a glass of Pimms or bubbles is always a pleasure to behold) what will always be the most important is that we have executed all areas of our cuisine, drinks and food service to our exacting high standards, and that each and every one of our couples is happy with their own particular menu, executed by us to them and their guests.

How should bridal couples choose from the amazing options on your menus?

Pretty much anything goes these days; we have to offer lots of styles of food and service which can be daunting! A lot of couples may start with their favourite dishes and we can build a menu around these. If you are having lots of photos in the fabulous gardens your guests will gratefully receive drinks and canapés on the Terrace whilst you capture your special day.

Think of the style of service you would like- is sharing your thing, or would you feel awkward and rather be served individually?

Do you like traditional English food or something a little different? Think about the time of your ceremony; will your guests have had lunch or missed lunch?

How will the food slot in and not impinge on any evening celebrations...and unfortunately, as we have already said, you do have to consider all of your guests tastes but we can always find a way of keeping everyone happy with the wealth of knowledge and experience we have, and can guide you through this process with ease.

Do you get involved in serving drinks at all?

We can serve your arrival drinks of your choice, garnished accordingly, normally on the Terrace or in the house if the weather is inclement and can provide staff to run a bar for you along with placing your choice of wine on the tables during your meal and serving your toasting drink.

What size catering marquee/kitchen space to you require?

This totally depends on the size of your wedding party, if you are an intimate group we may have access to the kitchen in the main house, however this would depend on your menu choices, number of courses, cooking facilities required etc.

If you choose the marquee site we would require a minimum of 6x6metres for 100 guests, rising to 6x9metres for over 100 guests, this can easily be supplied by your marquee company.

Finally, what excites you most about your job?

The anticipation of service on the special day, after all the months of planning and the exceptional feeling of contentment and a job well done when we quietly depart and drive off in the distance...often with the sound of laughter and music drifting after us!

Thank you so much for chatting with us Oaktree Occasions, we look forward to seeing you in December for a cosy, intimate mid-week wedding. You can find out more about the exceptional service offered by Jo & Caroline on their website

A Beginning of Lauren & Matt's Coombe Trenchard Wedding Journey

WeddingsSarah Marsh8 Comments

Hello! My name is Lauren, my partner is Matthew and we are getting married at Coombe Trenchard in September 2018. We have been together over 6 ½ years and engaged since 1st May 2017. We met in our hometown of Teignmouth in Devon, where my parents owned a coffee house and we worked together (our love grew, as did my addiction to skinny lattes). We moved to Bristol 2 years ago and now live together in our first house with our two girls Lula and Eva ... our cats not children!

I’m a little quick of the mark, or as Matt would say impatient. As soon as we got home from St Ives (where Matt proposed) we started looking for venues. Our whole focus was around getting married in a Church, for us this was something we both felt was important. I downloaded the Bridebook app, searched for venues with churches within walking distances and contacted four of them. 

We called Anne at Lewtrenchard, the lady who oversees the local church for Vicar Tim, and after a quick and friendly response from Emily at Coombe Trenchard, booked to go and see our first church and venue (which actually turned out to be our one and only church and venue!)

Obviously it rained, as it always does for us, but we pulled up to the sweetest church and the sun came out from behind the clouds.  It was stunning: the fields close by were full of flowers and the trees loaded with leaves. We walked into the tiny church and were instantly in love: it's small and humble interior with beautiful wood carving and stain glass windows were just how we imagined our Church.

We then made our way to Coombe Trenchard and as we pulled into the grounds the most beautiful peacock was walking in front of our car. We were instantly welcomed by the lovely Sarah and had goosebumps as we were taken on a tour around this stunning venue. Sitting in snuggly chairs with a china cup of tea and homemade biscuits, it was safe to say at that point looking out at Dartmoor with the blossom blowing by and the sun shining we had both already decided that Coombe Trenchard was our choice!

Fiona Walsh Photography

We provisionally booked the date with Sarah there and then, but returned a few weekends later with our parents, who were all in awe of how beautiful Coombe Trenchard is. The six of us where guided round the venue and as our parents took it in for the first time, Matt and I could already start to see our day form ahead of us!

So nearly three months on to being engaged, we are delighted to have Coombe Trenchard for our special day and now have only just over a year until we will be one of the select few couples to get married with Sarah and Emily. The save the dates have already gone out and we are looking forward to our third visit in September to meet Thirst Choice our caterers!

Which I will share with you next time …

Lauren x

Timing Considerations for Your Big Day

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

Here at Coombe Trenchard, we are very fond of a spreadsheet. Wedding days have so much detail, components and contributors that we find it infinitely useful to see the day take shape in clear, concise lines; something we begin compiling from the very first meeting. Most brides want a relaxed day, and the very best way to ensure this is to plan your day in detail, meaning everything has been thought of, decided on and magically taken care of by Coombe Trenchard: total relaxation ensues.

When compiling these wondrous lists of wedding day glory, we often get asked about what time things ‘should’ be done, how long parts of the day generally take and what we would recommend. And, when planning a wedding for the first time, it’s likely you won’t have a clue how to pace and plan the precise timings of your special day. So, combining our experience and pure delight in making things easier for our bride and grooms, we thought we’d write a blog post about it.

Getting Ready

We asked the wonderful Elle Hitchens for her top make-up tips for brides to be, which you can read here, and she estimates that your make-up will take around an hour, with final touches taking place just before the ceremony. Consider when you will need to get up, plan a leisurely breakfast of your favourite foods (Sarah will be happy to discuss!) and ensure plenty of time to get ready without a rush. Your preparation time will depend on your bridal squad numbers and how intricate your bridal look is, but we recommend ensuring at least 3 hours of preening and excitement before even thinking of putting your dress on.

 

Eclection Photography

Eclection Photography

Ceremony

When deciding on the time of your ceremony, it is worth giving consideration to feeding your guests. If the ceremony is before 2pm, guests may not have had lunch before coming to your wedding, and so you would need to think about food being available after the ceremony (we would highly recommend one of Coombe Trenchard’s famous high teas!). Any time after 2pm, and guests will likely have eaten before arriving, and you can simply think about your wedding breakfast later in the afternoon (possibly with canapé during your drinks reception).

You can find out more about the legalities of getting married here, but if you are having a civil ceremony  at Coombe Trenchard, it will last around 20-25 minutes (depending on readings). A confetti shot under the clock tower takes another ten minutes, and so approximately 35 minutes after the start of your ceremony, you can be planning your drinks reception.

 

 

Drinks Reception

The standard time for a drinks reception is 2 hours. This gives time for you to mingle with your guests, sneak away for some photographs within Coombe Trenchard’s incredible grounds and soak up the elation that comes from being pronounced husband and wife. It’s also a great time to make use of Coombe Trenchard’s lawn games, including croquet & Jenga!

 

Speeches

Speeches can be short, or last for a very long time! It can be worth giving speakers a guide, perhaps allocating approximately 10 minutes per speech so that you know how much time to plan for this part of your day. Speeches no longer need to happen in a strict order during/after dinner. We have bridal couples using the Main Hall’s Minstrels’ Gallery to enjoy afternoon speeches (groom’s do like to get this part out of the way!) or couples deciding to spread the speeches out over the course of the day. The choice is yours and we are happy to discuss ways in which to make your speeches less nerve-wracking as well as utilising our beautiful spaces.

 

Wedding Breakfast

Your wedding breakfast will take longer than you think. Of course, a three-course meal will take longer than say a picnic, or hogroast to be served, but it’s worth allowing extra time to savour, chatter and, of course, enjoy coffee afterwards! Depending on whether you have provided food after the ceremony, and the timing of your Mr & Mrs moment, your wedding breakfast can be served anywhere between 4pm-7pm. Discuss timings with your caterer in more detail, and we will liaise with them to ensure guests are where they need to be, and food is served promptly.

 

 

 

 

Evening Food

Most couples like to serve evening food at around 9pm, depending on when your wedding breakfast finished. This can be anything from a Coombe Trenchard Treat Table to pizzas or cheeseboards. Ensure food is available for a decent length of time, guests will be enjoying themselves so much it may take some time for everyone to snack sufficiently.

Lucy Wallace Photography

Lucy Wallace Photography

Whilst this general guide is intended as a starting point when approaching your wedding day timeline, we work closely with all of our bridal couples to create a bespoke and enjoyable timeline for their day: all part of the renowned Coombe Trenchard service.  

Happy Planning!

Post-Wedding Thoughts from Real Bride Nikki

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

So we got married! I can’t believe that we are now Mr & Mrs Sherriff, but a month ago Coombe Trenchard hosted us for what I can honestly say was the best day of my life! I know people say that all the time and I’ve always thought they were exaggerating and it couldn’t possibly top all other days you ever had ever, but honestly it was amazing! The sun came out, we exchanged our vows in front of the people who really mattered to us and then we had the most relaxed perfect party in just the best surroundings!

I always knew Coombe Trenchard would be the perfect venue for us as it just had the most relaxed homely feeling and Sarah gave us so much flexibility from the start to make the venue and the day really feel ‘us’.

I hadn’t realised quite how emotional walking down the beautiful staircase at Coombe Trenchard would be to meet Ant and get married but I’m so glad that we had that first look and walked in together. I think I must have been squeezing Ant’s hand so hard he should have had bruises!

The ceremony room looked so elegant with the most epic floral display over the fireplace by our amazing florist Emma from Brompton Buds. Her floral displays throughout the day just blew us away … the flowers really made the perfect finishing touch for me.

Clare Kinchin Photography

Clare Kinchin Photography

Amazingly the sun came out at the last minute and our guests were treated to the full glorious impact of Coombe Trenchard’s gardens with lots of garden games, a popcorn bar and an icecream cart for them to enjoy, plus some amazing live singing from the Swing Kings.

Sarah and the team served a beautiful afternoon tea which everyone loved, our gluten free guests were especially impressed to be so well catered for!

Everyone was so surprised as well to find that there was a ‘second terrace’ for the evening reception! It was only the best moment to reveal the Coach House and Italian Terrace to them and for them to explore and find our photo booth area, chill out zone and the dessert cart and pizza van!

We rounded the evening up with an amazing band who blew everyone away … we pretty much didn’t stop dancing from the moment they started

I can’t thank Sarah & Emily & the team at Coombe Trenchard enough for everything they did for us in the planning of our wedding and on the day.  My advice to any couples planning on getting married at Coombe Trenchard is to really utilise the time and experience which they are happy to offer … and if they ask you for a spreadsheet of timings for your day please do it! Having a really detailed plan for the day and going over everything in minute detail might seem such a ‘faff’ and unnecessary when you’re in the stress of planning but honestly you won’t regret it. Because we were so organised before the day we were able to totally relax on the day itself knowing that everything was being taking care of for us.

I can’t believe I won’t be back to discuss my wedding plans with Sarah & Emily any more, I’ll definitely miss our chats and cups of tea. Thank you for following our wedding journey on the blog.

Nikki x