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Tales from the other side -

WeddingsSarah Marsh2 Comments

 A Coombe Trenchard Bride’s Top Ten Tips:

Am I basking in the glow, or still completely exhausted? This is the question I am still asking myself one month into married life. It feels the same but different; marriage is comforting presence in an otherwise familiar sea of work, Sunday food shopping and Netflix decisions. Relief is palpable; the18 months of my life spent considering, communicating, dreaming and pinterest-ing were utterly and totally worth it. Possessed of a certain surreal, dreamlike quality, our wedding day went exceptionally well; sunshine, happy smiles and our favourite people investing and involving themselves in a day that meant so much to so many.  With such a momentous build up, it is a strange sensation when the day is actually happening, but also when it has happened.  That constant stream of wedding thoughts in your head cease and allow contemplation and fresh ideas to burst in, the future suddenly opens up like the first green buds in Spring. 

In my new capacity as Wedding Co-ordinator at Coombe Trenchard, I have the honour of assisting and supporting our 2017 Brides and Grooms as they take this same journey. Wonderfully, our venue is incapable of holding the same celebration twice; it is possessed with too many unique spaces, has too much room for interpretation and allows its beauty to be channelled in so many glorious ways.  My excitement at being involved as others create their ‘Best Day Ever’ is huge, my passion and true love of everything that weddings represent ensures that this responsibility feels safe and well placed amongst my positivity and enthusiasm.  

Images by the phenomenally lovely ray of sunshine Emma @ Freckle Photography. 

It seems fitting as I transition from Bride to Wedding Co-ordinator to reflect on my own experience and attempt to support those within the whirlwind and joy of planning their Big Day. So, here are the top ten tips from the new Mrs Colwill:

  • Invest emotionally in Coombe Trenchard. This may seem obvious, but I almost see Coombe Trenchard as a being. Arranging meetings with Sarah, visits with Parents and seeing Facebook and Twitter posts gave me such warm feelings. I do believe this magnificent home is imbedded with its own character and arriving the night before the wedding felt like greeting an old friend. I highly recommended booking tastings, trials and cups of tea in the lead up to your big day; it feels like you are sharing your loved ones and memories with a place that holds a very special place in your heart. 
  • Use your time wisely. I remember the see-saw effect of wedding planning well. You go through hugely productive flurries, before focusing on normal life for a short time. Do try to book in a weekend a month or an evening a week to keep up to date though. I felt very organised but still found the fortnight beforehand hugely stressful. You do not want to be handcrafting signage or frantically buying bridesmaid’s presents in grand build up. Make lists, involve friends and family and enjoy the time spent on your day in a measured and thought out way. Discuss the day in detail with Sarah and myself and give due thought to exactly how you want the day to flow and feel from the outset. 
  • Know when to stop. This goes for the immediate lead up and the overall planning. We all know that there is no limit to how much money, time and obsessive pinteresting can be spent on your wedding, but you do have to attempt to keep a level of perspective. Make it your dream day, go for what feels right and works for the two of you, but not at a cost to your happiness, stress levels or future financial prospects. I can hold my hands up and say there are a few projects that I didn’t have the strength to complete as the wedding loomed closer and they did not have any bearing on just how incredible the day was. As I ate chocolate with my Bridesmaids the night before, feeling a mixture of excitement and pinch-me nervous bubbles, I let go of the mental to-do list and concerns over stopwatches (!). Keep the balance between creating a magical day and holding onto your sanity!
  • Feel present with no pressure. There are no rules as to how you should feel on your wedding day. It is hugely overwhelming, all kinds of wonderful and every person processes and deals with that differently. In the morning I attempted a few calm moments of breathing, then put on some music and danced around the Bridal Suite in a haze of pure, unfiltered excitement. During the speeches though, I became completely overwhelmed and unable to cry, think or form words. Dreams coming true can do that to a person. Ten minutes of walking the grounds with my new husband remedied that and I could continue enjoying every second of a day that whizzes past in smiling faces and squeezy hugs. Vow to stay present, feel the moments and the love coming your way and let the day take you with it. 
  • Go on honeymoon straight away. I’m a planner, someone who copes with stress and pressure well and was lucky enough to have a wedding day that exceeded my own expectations, but I was not prepared for the wave of exhaustion that the aftermath brings. It’s happy, elated tiredness that requires you to fall asleep whilst looking at your friends pictures from the day for the thousandth time, but its best done on a beach in a bubble of joy with your new husband. 
  • Use Coombe Trenchard’s Spaces to their full potential. So much wow-factor is contained within this magnificent venue. Sarah is incredible at seeing ways to use a space she knows and cares for. We used the minstrel’s gallery for speeches, it was fantastic. These spaces are yours to optimise, celebrate and fill with love: talk to us about how best to use them.
  • Stick to your guns and be brave. Others input and expectations can cause issues as you plan a day that carries a lot of weight to it. The road was not without bumps, differences of opinion and lacklustre comments but I’m extraordinarily glad we stuck to our guns and did it our way. Choosing to celebrate your love on your own terms and deciding how much tradition to include is personal and decisions that should be made me you and your partner alone.  
  • Understand how much the day means to your family and friends.  I found that our family and friends respected and revelled in our unique take on wedding celebrations. On that day your union and happiness takes precedent in your wonderful loved ones lives. It’s an incredibly special and moving feeling to feel that positivity and unbridled joy being aimed at you and your day. Remember it, treasure it and make time to talk to everyone after the wedding, you’ll be surprised at how much your family will want to discuss such a momentous occasion. 
  • Bask in the Bridal Suite of dreams! That bed, that bathroom. A cocoon of grandeur and peace, I still feel emotional just thinking about the time spent within that beautiful part of Coombe Trenchard. 
  • Use this new found brain space to plan wonderful things to look forward to once you are wife; after all, this is just the beginning of happy ever after. 

            Emily xx

August blog from Nikki, our 'Real Bride' Wedding Blogger

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

So it’s now August … how did that happen!! After a fun few months entertaining lots of friends and family who wanted to see our new house and of course doing lots of decorating, it has recently just occurred to me that we really need to get back to thinking about things for the wedding!

Of course all the big stuff is booked so now it’s a case of fine tuning how we want the day to run and look. Making sure we hire anything in to help make the wedding look as we want it to for starters … we’ve had lots of ideas as to how we wanted the various areas of the wedding to look, how we wanted drinks and food to be served and some fun bits and pieces for our guests … so I’ve hired in a few more bits and pieces of furniture from the lovely Ginny at Virginias Vintage Hire.

Vintage vespa scooters from Virginias Vintage hire

Vintage vespa scooters from Virginias Vintage hire

Although many brides and grooms don’t look at doing their timeline for the day until much nearer the time we felt it was also right to pencil in a chat with Sarah at Coombe Trenchard to discuss all our plans and check we were on the right track. So late last month we went for another quick visit. So glad we did as the gardens were looking beautiful … and Ant had only ever seen it in the depths of winter so it was lovely for him to see it again too. Sarah, as usual, was incredibly helpful … flagging up things that hadn’t occurred to us and really discussing what our plans would be if there was bad weather. We’d already been working on a timeline for the ideal day but decided we definitely needed a further ‘wet weather’ timeline for all our suppliers so everyone was 100% what was happening.

The last time I wrote a blog post we were just contemplating having our engagement photo shoot with our wedding photographer Clare Kinchin.  We decided, because we love Dartmoor so much, to head off up to Haytor in the end. I was disappointed first thing in the morning as we woke to very stormy skies and miserable weather … but in the end, despite getting a bit windswept and almost losing my hat on several occasions, the weather was perfect as the skies made for the most dramatic pictures. Clare bought along some sheep skulls, to carry on our animal skull motif from our Save the Date Cards, and we just absolutely love the photos!  I would highly recommend an engagement shoot to anyone else getting married – even if it’s just a few weeks before the wedding – as it really helps you relax with your photographer, get used to being posed and allow your photographer to get a feel for how you photograph best as well.

Hopefully in my next update our invitations (currently designing those!) will have gone out and we’ll have started receiving our RSVPs … exciting!

Nikki x

A Bespoke and Highly Personal Ceremony Option

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

Cornish Celebrants – A Bespoke and Highly Personal Ceremony Option. 

‘Your Wedding, Your Way’ is something we firmly believe in here at Coombe Trenchard. You will see this phrase in our digital brochure and on our social media feeds; we like to be as flexible and accommodating as possible to ensure a unique and personal experience for each of our couples. We have licensed 12 different locations within our house and grounds for legal ceremonies and shy away from formal packages or standard set ups. The luxury of opening our home for a select amount of weddings each year means we can get to know each couple and ensure we help them create their perfect celebration.


Cornish Celebrants share our ethos of flexibility and allow couples to tailor make their celebration in a whole new way. We were excited to find out more and so arranged for Nicola and Denise, the lovely ladies behind this wonderful new venture, to visit Coombe Trenchard and enlighten us. 

Currently in England you need to be in a licensed area underneath a permanent structure to legally wed. This may be a Register Office, a Church or one of the beautiful locations dotted around Coombe Trenchard. The ceremony needs to contain specific phrases and if you are not getting hitched in a church you cannot have any religious content in your ceremony. The wording is very hard to personalise and music/readings will be checked for suitability. As we meet and get to know the lovely couples who choose our home for their Big Day, we realise just how varied and diverse their expectations and preferences are. 

Nicola and Denise, in their combined 29 years working for the Registration Service in Cornwall, saw the same need for bespoke options to provide a more personal and befitting ceremony and set about making that happen. Whilst the legal ceremony must still take place in a licensed area and could take place on a different day, Cornish Celebrants are on hand to conduct a separate celebratory ceremony purely of your making, with no guidelines or rules. This follows the continental model of a small ceremony at a registry office followed by a huge celebration in the setting of your choice.  

Therefore, if you want your ceremony on our bridge, within our stunning woodland, or even in the stream you can now have a tailored service conducted by friendly professionals to make your day as individual as you are.  Mix religious, spiritual and non-religious readings, rituals and hymns with words chosen only by you and your partner for that special moment. Perfect for larger celebrations after intimate elopements/destination weddings and lovebirds who do not wish to conform to the rules imposed on traditional services, we are happy to be working alongside Cornish Celebrants to offer their bespoke services to our happy couples. 

 “We loved Coombe Trenchard – such a stylish venue with such welcoming hosts. It encompasses the best of the Devon countryside with the far reaching views of Dartmoor, fabulous gardens and woodland and a beautiful Arts and Crafts house nestling in its setting.  Simply stunning and we are so looking forward to conducting ceremonies here.” – Cornish Celebrants.

For further information about the Cornish Celebrants, contact Denise or Nicola on info@cornishcelebrants.co.uk cornishcelebrants.co.uk