Owners Sarah and Philip Marsh confirm their exciting new plans for country house weddings and events at exclusive hire Coombe Trenchard estate, in the West of Devon.
Oh my goodness its 2017! I can now officially say we get married this year! To be honest this fills me with a lot of mixed feelings. I’m obviously massively excited … I can’t wait to get married and also get together with all our family and friends and have bloody good knees up! I’m also incredibly nervous though … I’m an over-planner and over-thinker at the best of times so I’m trying very hard to not let the nerves get the better of me but also make sure everything is as planned as possible so on the day I can just hand everything over to Sarah and Emily and relax.
Since my last post we have sent our invitations out. Designing my own invitations, as a wedding stationer, was daunting but also incredibly exciting and I think we managed to strike the right balance between them being pretty but also fun and a little bit geeky. Elements of the invitations were inspired by Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Star Wars … but hopefully in a really subtle way! Our colour scheme is Navy, blush, dark pink, ivory and lots of green ferns and foliage and a bit of brown tweed. I love layering colours when I create colour schemes for stationery so this is definitely what I’ve done for our wedding. I think many people make the mistake of picking just one or two colours for their wedding and it ends up looking a little bit ‘flat’ as there is no layering or substance. My advice for any other couples who are getting married would be always to pick some neutrals as a base and then 2 or 3 ‘accent colours’ on top of that. It looks a lot more natural.
Our rsvp date is looming and we’ve had most of our guests reply but there is always an inevitable bit of chasing up. I’m looking forward to having final numbers though as then we can get all the last few bits finalised and start paying off all those deposits we put down last year!
We had a lovely visit with Sarah & Emily in November which included a very exciting discussion about food and what sandwiches and cakes we were going to have for our afternoon tea.
We also had a lovely visit to see Jennifer at Edible Essence for a taster for our wedding cake. Honestly possibly the best experience so far … me and Ant love our cake so meeting up with Jen was just heaven and we picked 3 flavours for our naked cake, plus a fourth flavour that Ant just couldn’t resist.. so we’ve ended up having a bit of a ‘groom’s cake’ on the side!
I’m beginning to get a little bit worried that with all the food we have planned our guests are going to be on a serious sugar rush for the entire day!
We have another visit to Coombe Trenchard planned for the end of January and I’ll be showing my family round for the first time which will be super exciting. It’s actually quite a bit of a wedding weekend as I’m also having my hair and make-up trial with the lovely Giselle from the Event Studios team which I’m really looking forward to!
The New Year heralds a fresh wave of excitement for our 2017 brides, this is *the* year and with it the to-do list grows longer and thoughts turn increasingly to time frames and making sure all wedmin tasks are completed in time for the Big Day.
Ensuring optimum enjoyment throughout this process should be the goal, it is a completely unique time in your life and story as a couple and something you will look back on fondly in years to come. It is also a time that can feel pressurised and stressful, so we thought we’d give you all a New Year reminder on how to manage that wedding task list, and more importantly have fun doing it!
1. Involve those you love
This is such a huge one. Plan ‘wedding dates’ with your fiancé and sit down to make decisions at your favourite restaurant, or construct wedding signage whilst listening to your favourite album together. Look upon the whole process as memory-making gold, not just the wedding day itself. Take your parents to meetings and involve them, ask siblings to help you shop for last minute decorations or get the whole family round to become a production line for your favours. Those close to you will be incredibly excited for your nuptials and letting them be involved benefits everyone. Delegation is key; make the most of the people in your life and enjoy having an excuse to spend more time together.
2. Write it down
Sometimes all of those light bulb moments, forgotten emails and vague ideas of bouquets can make your head a frantic place to be. Invest in some lovely new stationery and ensure you keep a track of your thoughts and tasks to complete in an organised and clear way. Set aside an evening to go through your emails and to-do lists and streamline them into something legible and straightforward, you’ll feel happier seeing everything written down and ready to get ticked off. Pop a notepad in your bag and jot down thoughts or ideas as you have them, its best to get pen to paper for ultimate calmness.
3. Approach Things Logically and Realistically
From these lists you can work methodically and logically through the wedmin. Be realistic about what you can achieve and when, if you won’t have time then put it to one side or re-arrange other tasks. Over-stretching yourself will not lead to bridal bliss or a relaxed wedding day. There are an infinite amount of components to a wedding, so it’s best to prioritise which key elements are important to you and your partner. Set yourself goals and break down the large amount of things to sort out into manageable chunks, tackling one at a time until it is ticked off.
4. Enjoy The Freedom and Have Fun With It
Instead of feeling pressure to conform to certain aspects of a wedding, energise and inspire yourself with the knowledge that your day can be whatever you want it to be. Think back over your relationship and tie in special memories and places, project your personalities and have fun with the details that will make your wedding unique to you and your fiancé.
5.Ask for Help if You Need It
Realise when you need some advice or help and don’t be shy to ask for it! Here at Coombe Trenchard, we love to be involved every step of your planning journey and can advise on suppliers, use of our space and most things to do with wedding preparation (we have been involved in quite a few after all!). Reach out and be rewarded with peace of mind, whether from ourselves, suppliers, friends and family or your fiancé, you don’t have to do this alone.
As exciting as planning a wedding is, you also need to ensure you switch of from it once in a while! Holding onto your sanity, your life balance and making sure that your wedding doesn’t become a chore relies on taking time to think about other plans and switching your bridal brain off. If you’re finding it hard to take a break, pamper yourself, book a massage or simply have a long bath and read a book, headspace and perspective is so important.
7.Remember Why You Getting Married
Don’t let your wedding day consume you: remember that you are making a commitment to someone to build a happy marriage together and professing your love in front of the people that adore you. Your guests won’t care about the details, or your exact heel height, they will only feel your happiness, so stay calm and enjoy such a joyous time in your life.
Wishing you all happy planning and relaxing switched-off moments for 2017 (and don’t forget that we are here to help!).
The Legal Bit – A Helpful Guide for Booking Your Ceremony
The concept of getting married means different things to different people. It could conjure images of a traditional white wedding, a hand fasting, or a quiet elopement. The beauty of the wedding industry at the moment is that being individual and personal within your celebration is encouraged; your day can fit the nature of your relationship in all of its unique glory. At the heart of these exciting choices and decisions lies the important part: the legal bit. We feel it’s of utmost importance to advise happy couples exactly what they need to do to ensure smooth sailing into wedded bliss, and thought an update on the blog (to be enjoyed with a cup of tea) could be just the ticket.
In the UK, you need to adhere to the following criteria to get hitched:
- Be over 16 years of age (permission from parents or guardians needed if under 18)
- Free to marry or form a civil partnership (single, divorced, widowed)
- Not closely related
Those boxes ticked, you then need to decide where it is you wish to do the deed. Choose a civil service in a licensed location or if wanting a religious aspect, a church wedding. Both involve giving notice, and require thought as to how you would like your union to be celebrated. Coombe Trenchard offers the best of both worlds; we have 12 separate licenced areas in which you can choose a registrar to legally marry you, but we are also within walking distance of the beautiful Church of St Peter on the neighbouring Lewtrenchard estate. For further information on marrying within a church, see this page on religious ceremonies.
Most of our couples choose to marry within our home and grounds and we have to stress that the venue cannot be involved with organising the registrar’s attendance or its associated legalities. We strongly advise that once you have booked your date with ourselves, that you contact Devon Registrars to make a provisional booking and pay a £50.00 deposit. This can save disappointment and timeline concerns as the ceremony slots are allocated on a first come, first serve basis and we have known disappointed couples who have had to hold their ceremony much earlier or later that they had planned. You can find out more about the cost involved here.
Once this has been booked with Devon Registrars, you will need to book an appointment to give notice at your local registry office at least 28 days before you intend to tie the knot. Once the year countdown mark has passed, you can attend an appointment and its best to do this as soon as you can. You will need to take proof of your name, age and nationality (your best bet is a passport or birth certificate) and proof of address (driving licence, council tax or recent utility bill). You will each need to pay a £35.00 registry fee to give notice. If you have been divorced or widowed you will also need to take a decree absolute or a death certificate to prove your freedom to marry once more. The appointment is fairly straightforward and your notice to marry will be publicly displayed for 28 days, after which time the marriage may take place.
You will need to pay the final balance of your registrar fees at least 12 weeks before your ceremony and then get to excitedly fill out a preference form, giving information about your readings, music choices, witnesses (you will need to select two) and personalised vows if applicable. (Top Tip: Order a few marriage certificates; you’ll need them for name changes etc.). There can be no religious connotations to a service conducted by a registrar, either within the readings or song choices.
Then, when the Big Day arrives two registrars will attend Coombe Trenchard. In the half hour before your ceremony they will conduct separate interviews with each of you to confirm you are who you say you are and go over what is about to happen. These lovely people will then have the pleasure of conducting your ceremony, pronouncing you legally wed and handing over your marriage certificates. What a feeling!
If the restrictions of a ceremony conducted by a registrar don’t feel suited to the celebration you are planning, we highly recommend the use of Cornish Celebrants to create a bespoke and unique service for you. The legal service can take place at a Registry office on the same or a different day, and you are then free to celebrate within any area of Coombe Trenchard, using your own meaningful words and traditions.
Gosh I can’t believe its May already! People are always telling me that even though we’re not getting married till next year the time will fly by … and they’re not wrong!.
I’m happy to say though that we have got so much done since my last blog post and since we booked Coombe Trenchard back in January.
As I mentioned before I was conscious that because we were getting married on a bank holiday that in order to secure the suppliers we really wanted that we should get things organised quickly … especially as we were moving house as well this year.
So since we last spoke we have booked our photographer, our catering, entertainment, florist and cake designer.
One of the most fun parts so far has been picking out entertainment! Me and Ant met at a festival so music was always going to be an important part of the day. We got a recommendation from a fellow wedding stationer for a band down in Plymouth so headed down there in February to see them at a gig. We were planning on seeing a few other bands before making a decision but they totally blew us away! They were absolutely perfect for our wedding with lots of Indie / Rock classics which I know are going to have at least me and Ant up dancing … if perhaps not some of the older guests! But our feeling is this is our wedding and we just can’t stand the thought of music we hate being played just so we cater to everyone.
The other exciting thing was sending out our Save the Dates! As a wedding stationer designing something for myself turned out to be pretty nerve wracking … although also massive fun! I sort of treated it as though it was a brief from a bespoke client and tried to encapsulate our characters and liked in the style of the stationery.
We decided fairly early on of a colour scheme of Navy, Blush, Dark Pink and Ivory – with hints of dark green foliage. I also find it best to not just pick one or two colours for a colour scheme as it can start to look a bit too ‘matchy’ and quite dated – so a range of colours which blend well together was always the aim. We’re both love Navy ( our new lounge is being painted this colour! ) but I also love florals and ferns so wanted to include a botanical element.
We also want the wedding to be fun and light hearted and really wanted to incorporate some of our geekier side so the wording of the Save the Date cards relates to how we met and our love of Star Wars and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – and I couldn’t help myself but include some very small Stormtrooper helmets in with the floral motifs on the pink envelope liner!
Sending out the Save the Dates I was really nervous but everyone seemed to like them – even though not everyone got the geeky references! I’ve already started to think about the design of the invitations so that will keep me occupied for a while!
In the meantime we’ve just moved house in to a bit of a renovation project so I’m really glad that we have all the big things booked for the wedding and we can relax and concentrate on the house for a few months and look forward to our Engagement Shoot with our photographer Clare Kinchin later in May.