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Wedding planning

A Chat with Jaded Palates

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

We enjoyed a wonderful meeting with Ian from Jaded Palates not too long ago, and feel so happy to be able to recommend his company to our bridal couples. Ian's passion and knowledge are truly impressive and we felt a further chat would be the best way to spread the word about the wonderful things Jaded Palates are doing:

How would you describe your business?

Jaded Palates is all about having fun with fun. Whilst we do have two shops and an online store, we like to think we are more a service business than retail. We hold a lot of events, tastings, food and wine pairings, educational talks to encourage people to see wine as fun and enjoyable, and not intimidating. We get so excited when a customer says to us "oh wow, I never would have thought that. You've really opened our eyes to this whole subject!". That gives us goosebumps!

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

Being a part of a couples' special day is very exciting. Let's face it, wine is one of the fun parts of any wedding. Whether that's just an easy-drinking sipper bottle of something simple with your meal, or a carefully matched series of wines for each course your caterer/chef have prepared for you, we think wine should be one of the enjoyable things you should be planning, not worrying about it.

What advise would you give to bridal couples when thinking about their wedding wine/drinks?

Make sure you try it before you buy it! And don't be afraid to consider more unusual things - I've provided off-dry white wines for a couple who wanted mostly reds with their spicy Mexican buffet they were planning. They were amazed at how much better they went once we put it to the test!

How do you feel Jaded Palates can assist bridal couples in a unique way?

Quite often wine is one of the last things people think about when planning a wedding - it's often simply left down to a relative to dash down to the supermarket or Majestic to pick something up. We can actually make that part of the process fun - we'll sit down with you and your caterer to come up with something that everyone is happy with, or even send you samples to try if you're not able to be nearby. Our pricing is very reasonable of course (our house wines start at just £5.50), and we offer full sale-or-return for anything that isn't opened on the day, but that should be standard these days. We're all about helping you and providing that personal touch which you can't get anywhere else.

What do you feel is imperative for a wedding wine?

There should be something for everyone, firstly. Quite often people will stick to offering one white and one red because that's simplest. But not everyone likes NZ Sauvignon Blanc or Argentinian Malbec. Getting a couple of options needn't be more confusing or expensive. But more importantly, it should just be good! It sounds simple, and everyone's palate is different, but a well-made wine is not always that common.

How do you advise couples keep guests happy with their drinks selection?

As above really - offer a little variety (as well as perhaps a little information on each wine if they aren't sure - we can help with this, of course!), and enough of it! You're better off getting too much than too little: you can always return it and you'll only pay for what was opened.

How much wine to you allow per guest when totalling up how much is needed?

Every wedding is different of course, and it depends on the size: larger weddings are perhaps counter-intuitively a bit easier to cater for, because things average out more evenly. But on the whole, you plan for roughly 1/2 to 3/4 a bottle of wine per person in total. Some won't drink much if anything, others much more. But it usually averages out at around that.

 

Tell us about your shops and what you offer for visitors to them. 

We're based in small-ish towns in Dartmoor, and very much part of the local communities we serve. We keep our selection purposefully quite small - choice is often far too intimidating when it comes to wine in my view. Why have 25 wines from the same region and leave the choice to the customer? I see our job as partly being to pick the best and put them on display, so that no matter which bottle is picked up and taken home, it will be really good. We do a lot of tasting events in store, and in Ashburton, we have a tasting room with 16 wines in dispensers permanently for people to try. It's often a great starting point for a hen or stag night too...!

 

 

Finally, what excites you most about your job?

Seriously?! I get to talk about wine all day every day. What is not to like..?!

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.

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

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