Since Rachael + Dave were marrying later in life and had two kids of their own, they knew they wanted their wedding day to be relaxed, kid-friendly + full of fun! They chose the South Allington House in Chivelstone, Devon, England for its beautiful gardens + picturesque backdrop, but also for its massive grounds that allowed the kids to run, roam + climb trees. :) Food was also important to Rachel + Dave, so guests dined on fish ’n chips + pizza from food trucks, enjoyed delicious ale from two local breweries + were served freshly made Devon cream tea + scones, made on-site by the property owner. And the fun-loving couple was sure to keep everyone entertained with tons of fun games + activities – for both the kids and the adults!
Sounds like a blast, right?! And be sure not to miss the very unique aisle they created for their ceremony! Big thanks to Knot and Pop for the lovely event design and to Ed Peers for the absolutely gorgeous images – and of course, congrats to Rachael + Dave!
Our invite was a tea towel that my friend helped me transfer as art deco style tree motif, which acted as both invite and a permanent “save the date.” Design by RegDesign and printing by Countryside Art.
Rachel + Dave created a spiral aisle out of hay bales, which gave the ceremony a magically intimate + unique feel. I just love it…
Processional: Here Comes the Sun (Nina Simone version), sung by a friend
Recessional: Islands in the Stream – Dolly Parton + Kenny Rogers
First Dance: I’m in the Mood for Ska – Lord Tanamo
From Rachael, It was very important to us to create a fun family festival with food vans serving at no set time + LOADS of activities. Food vans are a relatively new concept in the UK so it was a bit of a struggle sourcing local vans. Both vans were proper vintage vehicles that had to drive VERY slowly + VERY far to make it!
How cool are the trees inside the reception tent?!
I have a few!
1. As I reached the brow of the hill I saw everyone stand up. I nearly looked behind me to see what they were standing up for before realizing it was me!
2. Looking into the eyes of every single person from my entire life as I walked around the spiral aisle – I loved that spiral!
3. Watching my 7 year old son stand up in front of 170 people and deliver a word perfect best man’s speech that had every single person crying + laughing.
Start early! Use Pinterest. Don’t expect the groom to be as involved as you! Don’t worry about spending a fortune on food / flowers / drink – people just want food that is tasty + fills them up – our fish’n’chip van and pizza cost less than £15 head and were both award winning caterers. Don’t obsess about the dress – there are so many out there that you will be able to find at least 10 that would all look great. Do not skimp on a really good photographer. The photos will capture all those moments you missed as well as act as a living memory. Go to at least one wedding fair – whether huge or small and niche – it really gets you into the planning mode and is a great day out with your friend or mum!
photography: Ed Peers // venue: South Allington House Chivelstone, Devon United Kingdom // event design: Bride, with grateful help streamlining all my ideas & running the day from Knot and Pop // event planner: Knot and Pop // floral design: Blue Geranium // wholesale flowers: Flowers 4 Florists // wedding dress: RKBridal NYC – Wtoo “Emerson” // hairpieces: an off the peg veil from RKBridal NYC // shoes: barefoot & SALT-WATER sandals // bridesmaid dresses: maxi skirts made in sari material from an Indian tailor on Turnpike Lane in London. Plain white tops from Zara and I bought them a necklace each from a market stall in Greenwich NYC // flowergirls + best man: Embroidered bird feather brooches and a fox medallion from Coral and Tusk, Off the peg white Edwardian style lawn dresses from La Redoute // celebrants: Ru & Claire Callender // hair: Sara Antoniades at HAC Hair And Beauty // make up + beauty treatment: Rachael Gaunt // groom suit: Darcy Clothing // catering: Fish and Chip Catering, Jalopy Pizza, Quercus Devon Ales, South Hams Brewery // cake: The Cheese Shed, fruit cakes made by Bride’s mother // cake topper: Animal head wedding cake topper by MelaboWed // music: a Lindy-Hop Lesson by Martin at The Swing Land