Tell me about the proposal?
We always like to do something for out anniversary each year and so we decided to make the long trip to our absolute heaven, St Ives. It was how you would expect it to be in the depths of November, stormy and freezing! But Matt had found the cosiest little apartment with the most beautiful bay window looking out over the harbour. I must admit I did have a suspicion that he might pop the question during the trip, but our swanky anniversary meal came and went with no sparkle in sight. So being woken up at the crack of dawn on our last morning and taken into a candle filled room was a complete surprise. With sleep still in my eyes, fluffy bed socks on, and hair like cousin IT he got down on one knee in that beautiful bay window and asked me to marry him. It was perfection.
Tell us about your wedding where was it set and what was the feel of the day.
My favourite book growing up was The Secret Garden and I knew the magical, whimsical feeling I got from that story was something that I really wanted to incorporate into our wedding day somehow. Whist on the hunt for a venue, we visited Dewsall Court and, well, it stole our hearts. It had once been just like the garden in the book, forgotten and unloved for years until the wonderful Robinson family discovered it and painstakingly restored the house and grounds, living there for many happy years as a family before turning it into a wedding venue. We booked it straight away.
Matt and I weren’t sticklers for tradition and so we woke up together on the morning of the wedding in the glorious Dewsall Suite. We got up and headed downstairs, made ourselves a cuppa and just enjoyed a quiet moment in the gardens while everyone slept. It was one of my favourite parts of the whole day, I just felt so incredibly content and lucky. We married later that afternoon on the west lawn overlooking the black mountains, surrounded by hedgerows and wildflower borders.
The wedding breakfast and reception was held in the Wainhouse barn, which was in the grounds and few steps away from the main house. Our florist (Verity & Thyme) Charlotte and her wonderful mum dressed the barn to perfection. Natural hanging gardens from each chandelier, scattered bud vases running down the tables and the most spectacular floral arch. We had a lot of help from our family and friends to style the day, which gave every detail an extra special and personal touch. We spent the evening eating, laughing, and dancing in our very own secret garden.
What did you love/hate about dress shopping?
Before I started dress shopping, I was concerned that I’d look like I was playing dress up. Being 5’2” I was picturing every dress overwhelming me. Enter Madi and her fabulous team at the boutique, who knew exactly what to say to put my worries to rest and made me feel super special. Everyone’s different and I know a lot of brides know exactly what they want, but I really appreciated their guidance and direction. They picked dresses for me that I would never have chosen, and well, one of those dresses turned out to be the one.
What made you pick your dress?
When I tried on my dress for the first time, even before I’d looked at myself properly in the mirror it just felt right. It felt like me. There wasn’t one thing that I didn’t like about it, it was timeless, elegant, and flattering. It was one of the first dresses that I’d tired on and it was during my first ever wedding dress appointment, so I didn’t feel as though I could commit then and there. The sensible Sally in me took over and I decided to shop around and try a few more places before taking the plunge. But deep down I knew that was the dress for me. Nothing compared, and so, a month later the bank of mum and dad made a very exciting purchase.
How did you style your day, and yourself?
The feel of the day was wild and romantic with a gentle nod to The Secret Garden. The flowers were untamed and natural with each place setting styled with unique mismatched plates, vintage teacups and silver bone handled cutlery. That was one of the wonderful things about Dewsall, everything they offered was one off and special. We chose long trestle tables and dressed them with dusty pink runners, peppered in bud vases and crystal candlesticks. Shout out to Matt’s mum for the candlesticks and her meticulous search in every charity shop she could find to get them. We had canvas fabric signage dotted around the barn with quotes printed onto them and my dad painted a rustic backdrop for our photo station, which we set up on Dewsall’s tree house nest decking. We were lucky enough that Dewsall offered a very extensive hire list and so we chose outdoor vintage sofas and lawn furniture, which were placed outside for a bit of respite from the dancing.
My makeup was all about that summer glow and Nicki (Nicola Harrison Makeup) with help from Ruth (Ruth Rowberry makeup) made me and my girls look flawless. I had a long cathedral blusher veil, so I wanted to keep my hair simple and flowing to match. I went with bouncy waves tucked behind my ears courtesy of my incredible hairdresser/bridesmaid/best friend Rach. She was the queen of multitasking that day and helped to get all my 10 bridesmaids ready and down the aisle. Yes 10 bridesmaids, absolute squad goals! They each wore a unique dress in either pale green or pink and carried a hand painted tambourines instead of flowers, created by the most talented lady Natasha aka Mama Inc. Also If you’re looking for a photographer and a videographer that are experienced at wrangling together a big and very excitable wedding party, while capturing some epic shots go to Esme Whiteside and Michael Shepherd…legends.
What advice would you give to brides now?
Allow yourself to go with the process, don’t try and control too much. The day will be incredible, it really is the best day of your life. Enjoy every second, soak up every dance and take a quiet moment out of the day to be just you two.
If your wedding was affected by Covid, how did you make adjustments for this?
The dreaded C words, Covid and Cancer both effected our wedding. My mum was going through chemo whilst we planned and had her final treatment the week after the big day, so we decided for her safety and that of our other vulnerable guests to keep the numbers smaller. We reduced our original plan of 140 down to 60. Anyone worrying about whether the atmosphere won’t be as good or that the dance floor won’t be filled if you have smaller numbers, honestly don’t. The day was alive and so full of love. We’ve had some many comments about how amazing it was and how refreshing it was to not get lost in the crowd. We also came up against Covid and the winter lockdown and so had to move our original date from November 2020 to August 2021. Dewsall were absolute hero’s accommodating the change for us and were so flexible as were all our suppliers.
Thank you so much gorgeous Tracy on sharing your day with us. We enjoyed the whole process with you and you looked incredible xx
Dress – Bridal Boutique Warwickshire (Jesus Peiro)
Alterations – Make It Sew (Abi Harness)
Veil/Garter – Megan Therese Couture
Shoes – Charlotte Mills
Jewellery – Olivia & Pearl
Venue – Dewsall Court
Flowers – Verity & Thyme (Charlotte Green)
Cake – The Cake Fairies
Rings – Elizabeth Terzza
Photographer – Esme Whiteside
Videographer – Michael Shepherd
Tambourines – Mama Inc Studios (Natasha Lewis)
Stationary – Wonderland Invites (Jenna Collier)
Makeup – Nicola Harrison & Ruth Rowberry
Hair – Rachel Sheasby Hair
Suits – Moss Bros
Band – The Distractions