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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 (UK's no.1 wedding planning app and website, 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

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

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

Meet Nikki...our 'Real Bride' Blogger

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

I'd like to introduce you to Nikki Ward.....I have known Nikki for a couple of years through the wedding industry, as she produces some of the most beautiful wedding stationery you can imagine. I was so delighted when Nikki and fiancé Anthony decided that Coombe Trenchard would be their perfect wedding venue, and equally thrilled when Nikki agreed to be our first 'real bride' blogger. Nikki is getting married here in May 2017, and I am really looking forward to reading how she progresses with her wedding plans.... 

 

Hi I’m Nikki and I have been working in the wedding industry for the last 6 years … gosh that makes me sound like I’m standing up at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting! I am also a bride to be after getting engaged on Boxing Day to my lovely other half Anthony, who got down and proposed in front of a camel on the edge of the Sahara desert whilst we were on a tour of Morocco. It was perfect … even though we both had stinking colds and felt really ill!

When we got back from Morocco I immediately jumped into wedding planning mode … we wanted to get married in 2017 and I knew that dates at really lovely venues would fill up quickly, especially in the post engagement frenzy following Christmas & New Year.

Having run my own business as a wedding stationer, over the years I have visited some really lovely venues for photo shoots and wedding fairs etc. so I had a fair idea of some of the venues I really loved in Devon and Cornwall. Ant was happy for me to show him some of my favourites and some of the most popular venues in the area so we could narrow it down to a shortlist to visit quite quickly.

We instantly knew we didn’t want something run of the mill and, as neither of us are religious, wanted a venue where we could hold both the ceremony and reception in one place. In fact it became clear very quickly that we also really wanted somewhere which we could have exclusive use of for the whole weekend. We only moved to Devon 3 years ago so nearly all our close friends and family are based in either London, Surrey or near Birmingham. So we decided that we didn’t want our guests to feel they were having to travel all the way down to Devon for just one day. 

We both love places with history and character and so the shortlist of 4 venues we looked at over one of the first weekends in January all were very individual and full of character for different reasons. We actually made a bit of a rod for our own backs as each one was ‘so’ different it was difficult to compare them!

Coombe Trenchard won out though in an enormous part due, not only to its beauty and historic character, but because of the flexibility that it and Sarah offered us. It is also an Arts & Crafts House which has always been one of our favourite periods of architecture and although it has a definite ‘wow’ feeling it also felt loved and relaxed and like the family home that it is. We didn’t want our day to feel in anyway stuffy or formal so Coombe Trenchard was perfect!

Sarah has been so helpful and accommodating in our booking of the venue and I’m really looking forward to organising our wedding with her.

Our plans and ideas for the day are already starting to come together and we are currently finalising evening catering and music and entertainment, which are the couple of things other than the venue which we are anxious to book well in advance to secure the date of the suppliers we really love.

Plus as Sarah has already discovered I’m a stupidly organised person and as we are also moving house this year I wanted to get on top of the wedding planning straight away!

I’m looking forward to writing future blog posts for the Coombe Trenchard blog and keeping you updated to our progress.

Nikki

Nikki will be back again soon, keeping us up to date with here wedding plans.  To see some of Nikki's lovely stationery designs, on the Knots & Kisses logo above.

Nikki will be back again soon, keeping us up to date with here wedding plans.

To see some of Nikki's lovely stationery designs, on the Knots & Kisses logo above.