I just loved working on this wedding and was sad when it was all over! Cordelia and Dudley were married over a fairytale weekend at the fabulous Chateau La Durantie in the Dordogne area of France on Saturday 25 September 2010.
Every room inside the Chateau was just fabulous – beautifully and elegantly furnished and decorated from top to bottom. I was expecting it to be special, but did not imagine how perfect every detail would be – from the enormous antique rugs to the beautiful crystal chandeliers.
I arrived at the Chateau on the Friday for the wedding rehearsal and dinner which was arranged for family and friends staying at the Chateau. There was champagne, cricket for the boys, manicures for the girls and the wedding rehearsal all followed by drinks and dinner. Cordelia looked fab in her rehearsal dinner outfit – a very long, soft gold, Jenny Packham number!
On the morning of the wedding I was slightly worried by the heavy grey sky as we were having an outdoor ceremony! The ceremony area can be seen below before the chairs were put in place – we decided to leave this until the last minute in case it did rain, which it did not thankfully!
The beautiful wedding dress and veil were from Pronovias and suited Cordelia perfectly, shown below hanging in the fabulous bridal suite. The photographer Olivia McGilchrist is French and was found through a close family friend. Olivia lives and works in England and can be contacted at – email@example.com
The girls showing off their slippers and pretty pedicures!
Cordelia had her lovely sister Abigail and three of her oldest friends as bridesmaids. Younger sisters Olivia and Ella Rose also made lovely flower girls.
It took a while (and 3 – 4 family members) for all of the buttons on Cordelias dress to be done up, but her sister Abigail soon made light work of it!
The bouquets are pictured below and Cordelias simple bouquet of beautiful white roses was stunning. The bridesmaid bouquets had a bit more colour and went perfectly with their dresses.
As you can see, Cordelia looked lovely in her dress and made a very glamorous bride.
Cordelias very proud father leading her down the Chateaus magnificent staircase, with the pretty purple bridesmaids following closely behind.
We had order of the day booklets and confetti arranged at the entrance of the Chateau for guests to help themselves to. There is not much extra styling or decoration required when you have such fabulous surroundings to work with.
It was a bit of a trek down to the ceremony area, in order to approach unseen, hence the poor girls faces and shoe issues!
After the threat of rain all morning it was a bit of a worry, however 30 minutes before the ceremony I worked my magic and the grey sky mostly cleared with sunshine for the rest of the day. A good wedding planner can even arrange the weather 🙂
During the ceremony a harp and flute duo played and Cordelias good friend Sophie Welling also sang – there was not a dry eye!
Cordelias Mum, Amanda, made a very glamorous mother of the bride – you can see where Cordelia gets it from!
After the ceremony guests mingled in front of the Chateau, whilst staff circulated with champagne and canapes.
There were 120 guests at the Chateau for the wedding, so after the reception drinks in front of the Chateau the wedding breakfast and evening reception took place in a beautiful marquee in the grounds.
The marquee had fab vintage style chandeliers and a black & white dance floor. The flowers were done by the Chateaus local florist.
The favours were macaroons from the local patisserie, delivered fresh on the morning of the wedding. Two rose and two pale green macaroons were put in to individual cellophane bags and tied with a thin purple ribbon, adorned with a french luggage style tag.
The stationery was simple and elegant with matching table names, menus and table plan. The tables were named after places in France.
This was a bit of a miracle wedding cake, as it came all the way from England in the back of a car without getting damaged at all! The French do not really do wedding cakes as we know them so we brought our own! Cordelia found the french vintage figurines and the cutting knife was a family antique.
As the day light disappeared the candlelit marquee transformed and looked even more special. The candelabras created a fantastically romantic and magical atmosphere.
Adam Ficek (Babyshambles) who was a guest at the wedding, did an acoustic set before the speeches which was just fantastic. He also did a DJ set later on in the evening which went down very well on the packed out dance floor.
Cordelia and Dudley began their first dance in the usual romantic way, with guests oohing and aahing…
This quickly turned in to clapping and laughing when they broke out of their romantic slow dance into an upbeat dance routine!
Guests danced for the rest of the night, only pausing for a signature cocktail from the bar or a snack from the vintage sweet bar.
Believe it or not this 4 tier wedding cake was made in 1898, when Queen Victoria was on the throne and it even survived a World War II bomb blast!
It was on display at a bakery until 1964, after which it was kept in an attic before being given to the Willis Museum in Hampshire. This once white fruit cake has browned with age, but it is apparently still moist inside!
Curator of the Museum said – “The baker’s unmarried daughter donated it towards the end of her life, fearing someone would find it and think she had been jilted at the altar.”
After recently attending the Wedding Ideas Magazine Awards, happily adorned with a fabulous sparkly Chez Bec hairband, I thought I should share their work with you.
Chez Bec offer a stunning range of wedding jewellery, vintage-inspired bridal jewellery, tiaras, headbands and wedding hair accessories. The collections feature an abundance of the most beautiful freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals and everything is hand-made to order. You can probably understand then, why they won ‘Best Bridal Accessories’ at the Wedding Ideas Mag Awards!
The lovely Rebecca Doyle, mastermind behind Chez Bec, creates these sparkly gems and very kindly let me wear ‘Grace’ – the lovely hairband shown below, for the Awards –
I loved wearing this and struggled to take it off at the end of the evening! Anything from Chez Bec is fab and perfect for brides or any other ladies.
Fancy getting crafty (& I don’t mean telling the other half your new Laboutins were half price in the sale type crafty!!)?
Cute DIY Valentines Heart shown below can be found on What Katie Did Next Blog, with free pattern and tutorial for you to make your own. Great gifts or wedding favours – colours and words can be changed to whatever you like.
Or make a ’52 Things I Love About U’ deck of cards, just by punching a few holes and coming up with the messages.
Nigella’s Heart Shaped Custard Creams (from her Feast book) shown below, were made by my own fair hands as a Valentines gift for my husband last year, when I first posted this pic. I sparkled them up a bit with red edible glitter 🙂
These would also make fab wedding favours. You could individually wrap and tie with ribbon, or add a luggage tag name card to each one, so the favour doubles as a placecard. If you would prefer to leave the baking to the pro’s, try the fab cake pops below from POP Bakery.
As it is my own 2nd (cotton) wedding anniversary today, I thought I would share a few of my wedding photos with you. I married my lovely husband on Sunday 7 December 2008 at Cain Manor in Surrey. It was exactly what we wanted weather wise – cold and frosty but sunny with a totally clear and blue sky, as you can see below.
This is me in my bridal suite just before the ceremony – doing a bit of posing for the camera! The beautiful wooden beams are everywhere at Cain Manor and really fill it with character. I knew I wanted Cain Manor for my own wedding and the homemade shortbread, served with coffee at the first meeting, sealed the deal for my husband!
My dress is Maggie Sottero, Victoriana in ivory. I am a bit of a magpie and love anything that sparkles or glitters, so I just knew this was the dress with its very sparkly corset top half. I wore a handmade crystal tiara, but no veil.
Below we are married and just about to walk back down the aisle. Aahh, would love to do it all again…! It would however take more than homemade shortbread to get my husband to agree to renewing our vows any time soon! Bore!
According to tradition, anniversaries in the UK are as follows- 1st is paper, 2nd is cotton, 3rd is leather, 4th is books and 5th is wood. You need to be together a while before getting to the good ones – 15th is crystal, 25th is silver, 40th is ruby, 45th is sapphire, 50th is gold and the big 60 is diamonds!
A few gift ideas for your ‘cotton’ anniversary – an item of clothing, lingerie for her, special linen or bedding. You could even make something if you are that way inclined – preferably using cotton!
Winter weddings are a favourite here at Temple Gregory and I always get very excited at this time of year, especially with all of this snow upon us! As fabulous as summer weddings also are, there are so many beautiful and stylish options available for winter weddings, which may not be possible in the summer, and will all go a long way to making your wedding an exquisite and unique day to remember.
A winter wedding will be more unique as they are less common than summer weddings and in this Country there is no guarantee that you will get good weather in the Summer! With a winter wedding, you know it will be winter and you can incorporate that, and the cold, in to your day – not caring whether it rains or snows (although perhaps hoping for snow!). A cosy, candle lit, atmosphere is easily created at a winter wedding, adding something magical to your day. Also, it will be considered “off peak” by some venues and suppliers and you may therefore be able to save some money.
Colour is really important for winter weddings, as it is likely to be grey outside and it will be dark early. So, avoid pastel shades and instead consider rich jewel like colours – gold, burgundy, ruby red, dark green, rich purple, frosty white or black. How about a sparkly, winter wonderland, type theme – with lots of candles, fairy lights and snowflakes? Decorate with ice sculptures, fairy lit foliage and sprinkle tables with white rose petals and table crystals to create the effects of a snowy winter.
If you wanted a bit more colour you could go for the castle or country house venue with deep burgundy and gold, roaring open fires, velvets, dark wintery flowers and lots of fairy lights – all of which will create a beautiful regal and opulent atmosphere.
Other wintery ideas to help make your day fabulous are to have mulled wine and mini mince pie canapés for your reception, cinnamon scented candles on every surface – you can never have enough candles and the smell of cinnamon is very wintery and festive, and will forever remind you and your guests of your special day.
If you truly want a winter wedding experience, consider getting married in the Ice hotel in Swedish Lapland, or if you think that is a bit much, you could stop there during your honeymoon?
Flowers are a great way to show off your beautiful winter theme. You could go for ivory or white flowers with wintery foliage, or the deeper colours such as dark reds and burgundy’s perhaps. Popular choices include red or white amaryllis, anemone, calla lilies, roses, pussy willow, berries, ivy and red and yellow dogwood. Gerberas, orchids and tulips are also widely available and versatile for winter weddings. Marilyn Monroe chose white cymbidium orchids for her winter wedding in 1954, and these would look just as stunning today!
There are many fabulous winter options that can be incorporated into your outfit in order to add to the wintery theme. If your heart is set on a strapless number, then the weather should not put you off as there are plenty of other ways to keep warm on your wintery wedding day, with mulled wine, roaring fires and of course your new husband to keep close to! Fur stoles or shrugs are also a gorgeous way to keep cosy in winter, or why not try a Kate Hudson-inspired full-length satin, fur lined coat as part of your gown? White gloves or Victorian style wedding boots can also look beautiful with the right dress.
Some brides having December weddings will be very adamant that it is not a “Christmas Wedding” and will want to stay away from red colour schemes and holly & ivy! There will however be those who would like to incorporate a few festive touches. Some ways of doing this would be to have baubles as place card holders, Christmas songs playing during the reception, a Christmas tree with your colours on, festive flowers, favours wrapped like little Christmas presents or even have Santa during the reception drinks to keep the kids entertained and out of the way! Just remember – it is your day, so anything goes!