Venues & Locations

AYNHOE PARK: A GRAND TOUR

Some time ago I hosted a styling workshop at the wonderful private home and luxury wedding venue Aynhoe Park. You can see the editorial shoot here (as featured in You and Your Wedding magazine).

While I was busy teaching and listening to amazing experts share their know-how with the group, as well as doing a step-by-step styled tablescape session, the wonderful Xander & Thea was capturing it all behind the scenes. I’ll share those images soon, but the result was also the most wonderful tour of the house interiors, and I simply had to share it with you.

“The details are not the details, they make the design”

Charles Eames

AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK AYNHOE PARK TOUR: STYLING WORKSHOP UK

“MUCH OF THE HOUSE’S CHARACTER COMES FROM ITS ONE-OF-A-KIND COLLECTION OF ART AND TAXIDERMY, INSPIRED BY A COMBINATION OF APPRECIATION FOR CLASSICAL ARTWORK AND SCULPTURE, A LOVE OF INNOVATIVE DESIGN AND A VERY BRITISH SORT OF ECCENTRICITY.”

Visit the Aynhoe Park Shop

SWEET BLUSH AND BLACKBERRY COTSWOLDS GARDEN WEDDING

This has to be one of my stand out weddings from 2015, as featured on Style Me Pretty recently – a small and intimate garden wedding at Barnsley House & Spa, which I designed and planned for the sweetest couple from Hong Kong.

The inspiration for this design plan actually started with the bride’s favourite scent – Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay – from wild berries in the florals, to fresh rosemary, lavender and rose petal confetti – even the bridesmaids crowns featured fresh herbs, all created by the super talented Georgia from Westwood Design. We almost didn’t have the outdoor ceremony thanks to good old British weather and spells of rain all morning, but at the last minute it cleared in time and we put the brollies aside for a candle lit affair in the gorgeous grounds. This followed with a reception where guests were treated to sweet treats, refreshing drinks and canapés, before inviting them to watch a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony in the late afternoon setting sun.

 

After the most delicious dinner served by the team at Barnsley House on long tables set with hundreds of rosemary & bay scented candles and flowers, the happy couple led their family and friends back into the gardens for signature cocktails, and cutting of the cake surrounded by sparklers. Faye at The Natural Cake Co creates insanely beautiful cakes whilst using all organic natural ingredients – I styled this rose flavoured cake with Westwood Design using fresh figs, flowers and herbs.

The Bride wore the most gorgeous sparkling evening dress for the first dance a little later on, before The Wedding Smashers kicked off a great night of dancing and entertainment for the newlyweds until the early hours of the morning.

A huge thank you to the cast of amazing artists and creatives involved in this wedding – all credited below.

Jessie

x

Photography: Depict Photography | Event Planning, Design + Styling: Jessie Thomson Wedding Planning | Floral Design + Styling: Westwood Design | Cinematography: Mark Brown Films | Wedding Dress: Temperley London | Cake: The Natural Cake Co. | Stationery: Gemma Milly | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan| Hair: Kasia Fortuna | DJ: Wedding Smashers | Celebrant: Grace The Day | String Quartet: Arioso | Transportation: Alex Cars | Venue: Barnsley House | Desserts: Contemporary Cake Designs

VISIT JESSIE’S NEW ONLINE SHOP!

SOFT GREY & FRESH WHITE WEDDING STYLE: THYME AT SOUTHROP

“Minimalism is not a style, it is an attitude, a way of being. It’s a fundamental reaction to noise, visual noise, disorder, vulgarity. Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things, not the appearance. Minimalism is beyond time. It is timelessness. It is the stillness of perfection” ~ Massimo Vignelli

I honestly have no idea why it’s taken me quite so long to blog this editorial shoot in full – I published little previews from it here and here but seeing it all together again has made me realise just how talented this group of vendors was (see end of this post for full credits), and it was an absolute joy to curate the shoot for Katie Julia who produces such ethereal and gorgeous images from film.

It was featured by Magnolia Rouge magazine too, and the whole thing just looks even more luxurious in print.

This is a pretty long blog post, but I wanted to put it all in one place without you having to jump all over the place with links, and take you through my design and styling process a little more than I usually would. Hopefully brides-to-be will get little more insight into how I work together with them to create and curate weddings that are personal to them, but also fitting to the setting and the mood of the day.

TABLESCAPE 1

The first tablescape I created was inside the barn at Thyme in Southrop (such a gorgeous wedding venue for intimate celebrations). I commissioned the softest silk linen in a silvery grey which perfectly blended with the grey dining chairs, and I paired it with a slightly more textured greige linen napkin for contrast at each place setting. The fresh white flowers kept the table simple and elegant, with mini grey urns that I reused throughout the shoot. All cutlery and glassware was kept simple too – anything too ornate or pattered would have distracted from the minimalist look I wanted to achieve – yet still keeping it feminine and fresh. The calligraphy grey ink on an off white textured care stock – again, nothing cutesy or themed to the stationery elements. I used my own candles along the table (they actually smelt amazing – “joy” by St Eval if you’re interested!), and brought my own grey, clear and white crystals for the place settings to add a personal touch with individual flower blooms sitting pretty alongside them.

2016-01-27_0918 2016-01-27_0922 2016-01-27_0915 2016-01-27_0914 2016-01-27_0913 2016-01-27_0909 2016-01-27_0906 2016-01-27_0905 2016-01-27_0903 2016-01-27_0898 2016-01-27_0895 2016-01-27_0897 2016-01-27_0893 2016-01-27_0894

TABLESCAPE 2

We then moved things outside as I wanted to show my clients how they could achieve a more relaxed al fresco dining style without compromising on the luxe detail that sets their event apart from the rest. You’ll see we installed huge garlands above the tables – which in real life may have wilted in that strong Summer sun, but since we used faux flowers and foliage, no problem there! I used a slightly more relaxed style linen napkin, and switched out the mini votive candles for tall straight edged glass hurricane vases with ivory pillar candles (my pet hate is bright white candles!).

I tore off the back of the folded place name cards so that they’d lie flat on each napkin, and I used a spring of foliage at each setting to pull through the greenery in the setting.

2016-01-27_08862016-01-27_0887

2016-01-27_08772016-01-27_0880 2016-01-27_0876 2016-01-27_0875 2016-01-27_0874 2016-01-27_0873 2016-01-27_08712016-01-27_0872 2016-01-27_0869 2016-01-27_0868 2016-01-27_0867 2016-01-27_0878

2016-01-27_0866

FASHION 1: GREY BRIDAL/BRIDESMAID DRESS

I adore it when my brides wear colour on their wedding day – whether a bold statement, or more refined in blush or champagne – I also wanted to show how beautiful soft grey can be for a bride, but also for her bridesmaids. This dress was designed by British duo Belle & Bunty and it just draped so amazingly in all the right places. We used a large hand tied bouquet of white flowers with foliage and trailing ribbons and lace. Oh and we couldn’t resist including Katie’s GORGEOUS chihuahua pups!

If you look closely you’ll see I selected natural diamond and gemstone jewellery that matched the simplicity and texture of the dress – the low back would have looked lovely with an up do, but I actually adored how different the softly curled low side pony tail looked with it

2016-01-27_0850 2016-01-27_0848 2016-01-27_0841 2016-01-27_0838 2016-01-27_0834 2016-01-27_0819 2016-01-27_0729 2016-01-27_0724 2016-01-27_0722 2016-01-27_0718 2016-01-27_0714 2016-01-27_0713 2016-01-27_0712 2016-01-27_0703 2016-01-27_0701 2016-01-27_0700 2016-01-27_0694 2016-01-27_0688 2016-01-27_0686 2016-01-27_0683 2016-01-27_0675 2016-01-27_0654 2016-01-27_0637 2016-01-27_0630 2016-01-27_0625 2016-01-27_0631

FASHION 2: IVORY/WHITE LONG LACE SLEEVED WEDDING DRESS

Oh how I adored this wedding dress. Again, it has a beautifully low back (I have a thing about them, evidently!), a soft streamlined silhouette in silk with long face sleeve and gorgeous detail on the cuff. Perfect for a church wedding as it’s not too revealing, yet will please those brides not wanting to look too modest. I asked Heidi to create a soft and undone up do, with fresh flowers – though looking at this again it would have absolutely worked with a veil too.

Don’t you love how the lace ribbons mirror the lace in the dress, with the grey ribbons allowing a subtle contrast with all the white? Note too that we purposeful posed this dress against a solid white wall for maximum impact. Nothing detracts from the dress other than natural beauty of those amazing flowers in the bouquet.

2016-01-27_0732 2016-01-27_0734 2016-01-27_0735 2016-01-27_0736 2016-01-27_0739 2016-01-27_0743 2016-01-27_0744 2016-01-27_0746 2016-01-27_0747 2016-01-27_0751 2016-01-27_0752 2016-01-27_0753 2016-01-27_0754 2016-01-27_0755 2016-01-27_0756 2016-01-27_0758 2016-01-27_0759 2016-01-27_0765 2016-01-27_0764

THE WEDDING CAKE

I commissioned this from Jennie as she’s one of my favourite cake designers locally to me in the Cotswolds – she manages to combine delicate detail with a modern touch, and she totally nailed this brief! I styled it against the softest grey painted wall with pillar candles in straight edged glass hurricane vases again. The flower on the cake is in fact made of icing…. stunning.

2016-01-27_0775 2016-01-27_0776 2016-01-27_0777 2016-01-27_0785 2016-01-27_0787 2016-01-27_0788

THE DETAILS

From soft grey calligraphy on textured card stock, to ethereal jewellery, pretty ribbons in contrasting or tonal colours, candlelight and crystals… the success of any design plan for a wedding is to not forget the details. It’s what makes it personal, it ties it all together so the day feels coherent and the atmosphere flows from room to room. The bridal party looks perfect, and not one element looks out of place in the setting. When styling shoots I often use my own props and other vendors loan me their amazing products of course, but I also always try to work in the decor and furniture that already exists in the venue – it really helps give my clients an idea of how this will work in practice, and is the perfect example of helping couples to translate styled shoots into real weddings.

2016-01-27_0795 2016-01-27_07892016-01-27_0792 2016-01-27_0784 2016-01-27_07822016-01-27_0783 2016-01-27_0780 2016-01-27_0779 2016-01-27_0778 2016-01-27_0772
2016-01-27_0771
2016-01-27_0767

2016-01-27_0768
2016-01-27_0670

I hope you enjoyed that little journey? I know it’s long but trust me, there were SO many more pictures I could have shared here. I think Katie just couldn’t take enough of it in on her cameras! Please do look through the list of vendors below – each and every one of them are amazing.

To see more of my real weddings and editorial shoots featured in blogs and magazines, visit jessiethomson.co.uk.

Jessie x

Photography KATIE JULIA / Styling, planning & coordination JESSIE THOMSON / Florals THE ROSE SHED / Gowns BELLE & BUNTY / Stationery GEMMA MILLY / Jewellery RUTH TOMLINSON / Linens TABLE TO DINE FOR / Hair & make-up HEIDI VINCE / Floral garlands FRIEND OF FAUX / Assistant stylist WESTWOOD DESIGN / Model AMY NEVILLE / Venue THYME AT SOUTHROP

To browse Jessie’s favourite products, visit the shop at Jessie Loves!

A CANDLELIT LAVENDER FILLED WEDDING AT DAYLESFORD ORGANIC FARM

I’ve got so many beautiful weddings to share with you from 2013, and I hope to be able to give you a few behind the scenes snapshots from this years projects and events as we get into full season soon too!

My first real wedding to share with you in 2014 is actually the final wedding I worked on last year before a very welcome break and some much needed family time. It was also the very first ever wedding held at Daylesford Organic Farm. I was asked by the bride and her mother (an experienced event planner herself) to help co-ordinate everything on the day itself, as well as putting together a full schedule and itinerary, liaising and confirming details with all suppliers and working closely with the venue to make sure the day was perfect.

I can’t thank photographer extraordinaire Debs Ivelja enough for letting me have these beautiful images to share with you. Not only is she extremely talented but she was also an absolute joy to work with – it’s always important to have the best team working together on your big day.

Daylesford Organic Farm Wedding

Bridal Accessories

Daylesford Organic Farm - Cotswolds Wedding Venue

This lovely couple planned their wedding from the US, so it was essential for them to have someone local in the UK to co-ordinate with the venue and suppliers in the final weeks leading up to and on the big day. Having chatted with the bride and mother of the bride via skype I knew we’d get on well with planning preparations…. they were very organised and had such wonderful attention to detail.

One of the main concerns was that the venue, whilst having held numerous functions before had never actually held a wedding there. There was also an extremely tight turnaround for us to turn the luxury organic food shop and super busy cafe into a beautiful reception space – so I hired in one of my regular “Team Jessie” helpers, the wonderful Georgia Westwood from Westwood Design, to help Daylesford’s superb in house florist and staff members with the transformation – meanwhile I was at the church co-ordinating photographs, confetti and guests transport via a lovely London bus!

There were three official florists in total for this event (!) with bouquets, lavender baskets and buttonholes needing to be collected from London, and separate arrangements for the church flowers too.

cascasing pink bouquet

linen ring pillow

red london bus wedding transportgroom with rose buttonhole

I had already collected the little bags of lavender confetti, orders of service, and the aisle runner in advance – and when I arrived to set up at the church my car smelt heavenly!

One word of warning if you are thinking about having an aisle runner but haven’t budgeted for a planner/stylist to help out – it does need to be very carefully laid out and given time to settle, and preferable roped or tied off so no one can walk down it. Even though on this occasion I had tied ribbon across the central aisle to stop anyone walking down before the bride, I did spot little footprints when I returned. Luckily I had time to smooth it out again before the guests arrived!

Lavender order of services in a basket

aisle runner in church with ribbon

kraft paper confetti bags with stickers

lavender pew ends

The ceremony was beautiful, and the bride looked incredible in her antique lace dress, as worn by her own mother over 30 years beforehand! The veil was also vintage and worn by her mother, so it was a lovely nod to family tradition.

After guests threw confetti, the bride and groom were whisked off for some portrait shots in the sunset (I always work with photographers to try and make sure there is a perfect time for this to be added into the schedule in advance, so that it doesn’t get missed). Meanwhile I’d been updating my assistant on timings back at Daylesford and they were fully prepared for the first guests to arrive with bubbly and elderflower fizz.

sunset bride and groom portrait

daylesford farm wedding

bride and groom in vegetable garden

I was so impressed with the team when I returned to the reception venue, having rolled up the aisle runner for safe keeping & return, collected any other props and thanked the vicar. There were candles everywhere. Lavender scented ones placed carefully near entrances, pillar candles and tea lights in every room.

I’d popped back to check on progress during the ceremony itself, but just 45 mins later and the rooms had been further transformed!

The potted rosemary planter table plan was sitting pretty near the entrance to the cafe, which had long rows of tables laid with classic Daylesford glassware (I want it all), rosemary place settings and gorgeous florals by in house florist Julie. Gone were hanging wall pictures, replaced by lavender and wheat hearts, and the “wedding cake” – a three tiered apple pie – was set up and looking delish.

Rosemary planted pot table plan with calligraphy

Mary & William Smaller 0556 Mary & William Smaller 0464 Mary & William Smaller 0450

After tossing the bouquet and mingling with guests in the newly built function room (stunning!), dinner was called. I’d been asked to act as toastmaster/MC for the evening, and as a nod to the family’s Swiss heritage I had a lovely cow bell with ribbons to ring for every announcement!

A gorgeous three course dinner was served, and meanwhile I collected all of the guests cards & presents to be stored away safely in the Daylesford Cottages where the bridal party was staying. I then set up the take away favours (personalised loose tea), sparkler send off info, and a chalk board with the evening bus shuttle timings back to hotel listed to make sure guests could get home safely.

alternative wedding reception music

daylesford organic farm function room

Luxury UK Wedding Planner Jessie Thomson

loose tea wedding favours

UK sparkler send off

After the main course, the “wedding cake” made of apple tarts was cut and served for desert, absolutely fantastic speeches were announced, and then the first dance… practiced perfectly by the bride and groom in advance!

Usually the first dance is my cue to leave for the day, but in this instance I’d been booked to stay on until the end to oversee the sparkler send off and make sure all guests got back to their hotels safely. So I happily watched guests dance the night away, leaving sweet messages in the postcard guestbook and being well looked after by the fantastic staff.

apple pie wedding cake

post card guest book

first dance lace wedding dress

A huge congratulations to this sweet couple, with the loveliest of families I had the pleasure to spend the day with too. I shall always remember their day from the scent of lavender that was used in every space, with the prettiest of florals and simple styling with hundred of candles.

If you’d like to see more images from this wonderful day then do take a look at my website and facebook page – and also do have a read of Debs Ivelja’s own take on the day too! 🙂

Looking forward to sharing more real weddings with you very soon!

Jessie

x

ROMANTIC & RUSTIC LUXE WEDDING INSPIRATION {Alex Miller Photography}

So I recently shared Taylor Barnes Photography and Belle & Beau Photography‘s images from our styled shoot earlier this year as featured on the Style Me Pretty wedding blog, and I also promised one more amazing photographer feature from the day too (as well as a series of DIY tutorials which I can’t wait to show you!).

So I’m delighted to introduce Alex Miller Photography and his beautiful work. This gent really will go to the next level to get the right shot, I spied him climbing up trees, hanging off branches and creeping up on deer in just one day of styling!

As usual, jump to the end for all supplier credits. You want amazing florals and pretty stationery at your wedding too right?

Coombe Lodge, Somerset Wedding Venue

fig-shoot-miller-800px-285

fig-shoot-miller-800px-280

fig-shoot-miller-800px-263

fig-shoot-miller-800px-257

unusual tree at coombe lodge

fig-shoot-miller-800px-236purple cocktail ring with wedding dress

grey and white floral stationery

simple grey and white letter press stationery

twine wrapped church candle

fig-shoot-miller-800px-170

twine and purple wool wrapped cutlery

pretty french rustic and floral wedding table

fig-shoot-miller-800px-149

fig-shoot-miller-800px-148

fig-shoot-miller-800px-142

fig-shoot-miller-800px-137

fig-shoot-miller-800px-114

fig-shoot-miller-800px-105

fig-shoot-miller-800px-096

deer at wedding venue Coombe Lodge

fig-shoot-miller-800px-088

fig-shoot-miller-800px-048

fig-shoot-miller-800px-041

fig-shoot-miller-800px-038

fig-shoot-miller-800px-037

fig-shoot-miller-800px-315

diamante low back wedding dress

fig-shoot-miller-800px-337

fig-shoot-miller-800px-300

romantic wedding veil in sunlight

{Photography: Alex Miller Photography | Flowers: The Rose Shed | Make-Up: Nina Norman MUA | Hair: Melanie Giles Hairdressing | Venue: Coombe Lodge | Gowns: The Mews, Clifton | Jewellery : Bees and Graves | Mensware: Clifton Suits | Stylist: Jessie | Tableware: Stylists Own | Vintage Furniture Hire: Virginia’s Vintage Hire}

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the three different styles, which photographer most appeals to your personal design aesthetic? Do you see a difference between male/female photographer’s work?

I love the evening light in the final shots, and always tell my brides to make sure they get some portraits at sunset if possible (even if it means sneaking out during pudding!).

Jessie

x

WEDDING VENUES IN MARRAKECH {Jnane Tamsna and Hotel by Beldi}

It was about a month ago now that I spent 10 days enjoying the very beautiful Marrakech. Of course destination weddings are increasingly popular, especially for those couples only wanting to invite their nearest and dearest, so whilst on my holiday I managed to make sure I stayed at two stunning hotels that also happen to be amazing wedding venues if you wish to have a ceremony and celebrations in Morocco.

The first of these is Jnane Tamsna. And, by a massive stroke of luck, my little family arrived the day after a big wedding celebration had taken place there. Let me tell you, there were roses everywhere. We arrived in time for lunch by the main pool where a group of young wedding guests were sat chatting near us – they told me that they’d dined along one big table in the gardens, surrounded by thousands of candles and roses, and that each guest had been given a tagine as a wedding favour/keepsake. So sweet!

 

IMG_3411 IMG_3209 jnane tamsna swimming pool jnane tamsna wedding venue IMG_3119 IMG_3120 red roses berber rug marrakech IMG_3143 IMG_3127 giant hanging tealight lanterns

 

Erm, how beautiful? All their food is organic too, and delicious. When I stayed there I could request any meal I fancied and it would magically appear if I wasn’t keen on the set menu. The staff are just the loveliest people too.

However we had decided when we booked our little trip, that we’d try another venue for a few days, so after a peaceful stay at Jnane Tamsna we hopped into a taxi, braved the roads of Marrakech again to find Hotel by Beldi (or the Beldi Country Club as it’s otherwise known).

Well first up the grounds of Beldi are just incredible. The first thing I stumbled across was the spa as we were dropped off at the wrong entrance, complete with a little herb garden it was so peaceful. I then found one of many fields of roses. WOW. I mean woooowwwww.

There was no wedding on when I visited the Beldi Country Club, but I could totally imagine one. There were so many stunning locations for a ceremony and wedding breakfast afterwards. The place is palatial.

 

rose garden beldi country club

wedding venue marrakech wedding at hotel by beldi spa by beldi hotel by beldi moroccan wedding venue hotel by beldi wedding marrakech wedding venue hotel by beldi swimming pool

 

This place is a lot more manicured than Jnane – both have their own qualities, and would make beautiful venues to hold your Moroccan wedding reception. If you’re from the UK then remember you’ll need to do the legal bit over here first, and be sure to pick up a traditional sequin wedding blanket whilst you are there from the souks (although if you don’t have time to visit the Medina and the souks then Hotel by Beldi does have it’s own little area selling the most beautiful interiors and rugs).

 

Moroccan wedding blanket

 

Are you considering or have you ever considered having a destination wedding? Would you choose Morocco? I’d love to know!

Jessie

x

 

BRIDAL FASHION SHOOT AT BARNSLEY HOUSE – PART TWO

Did you see Part 1 of the gorgeous gowns featured in Cotswold Life and shot by White Room Images at Barnsley House and Spa? No? Well hop on over there now, because that first Sassi Holford dress is a stunner!

The lovely team from Dragonfly Contemporary Designs came together with top local Gloucestershire suppliers to showcase some of their beautiful wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses in a typical English country garden setting, with ethereal veils and pretty accessories to match.

barnsley house cotswold wedding venue

This gorgeous dress is “Lantana” from Alan Hannah’s MiaMia range, and the veil is by The Couture Veil, both available at Dragonfly Contemporary Designs.

romantic veil in sunset alan hannah mia mia

Again, I love how the look can be totally transformed by adding or taking away a simple veil. The bouquet is by Bloomers of Cheltenham and perfectly complimented the setting at beautiful Cotswold wedding venue Barnsley House.

alan hannah dress with veil lantana alan hannah mia mia

Dragonfly Contemporary Designs have also recently launched their own bridesmaid dresses in a variety of colour-ways and lengths – seen here in a blush pink shorter style and a navy maxi style.

navy bridesmaid dress blush pink bridesmaid dress

I love this next Sassi Holford dress called “Olivia” so much because of it’s versatility. The lace detail at the top with a more simple skirt is just the right amount of pretty. The glittery headpiece is by Polly Edwards, again all available at Dragonfly Contemporary Designs. The freshwater pearls are from Cheltenham based RJ Spicer.

lace wedding dresssassi holford miaside swept loose curls bride

Thanks to the beautiful girls Nikki and Olivia for wearing these dresses so beautifully. I think they were in dressing up heaven!

Jessie

x

Photography: White Room Images | http://www.whiteroomimages.co.uk

Bridal Gowns: Dragonfly Contemporary Designs | http://www.dragonflycontemporarydesigns.co.uk

Flowers: Bloomers of Cheltenham | http://www.bloomersofcheltenham.com

Hair: Gorgeous Hair | http://www.gorgeous-hairdressing.co.uk

Make-up: Alice Tenton | http://www.alicetinton.co.uk

Wedding Planner: Jessie Thomson | http://www.jessiethomson.co.uk

Models: Nikki Cooke and Olivia Pym

Wedding Venue: Barnsley House and Spa | http://www.barnsleyhouse.com

BRIDAL FASHOON SHOOT AT BARNSLEY HOUSE – PART ONE

A few months ago the lovely David from White Room Images in Cheltenham contacted me about helping him to plan and come up with a design concept for a bridal fashion shoot for the wedding edition Cotswold Life magazine. When he told me that the team at Dragonfly Contemporary Designs were already on board, I couldn’t resist really could I?!

We decided pretty early on that we wanted to go for something very Kate Moss inspired, a classical country bride but with a rock n’ roll edge. The perfect wedding venue was of course one of my favourites in The Cotswolds, Barnsley House and Spa.

I’m excited to share the first set of photo’s with you from this beautiful bridal fashion showcase as seen in the latest edition of Cotswold Life Pure Weddings magazine. There will be more to come… so many gorgeous shots that I needed to split it into more than one feature for you.

letterpress wedding stationery cotswolds

The stunning stationery was supplied by super duper talented David from Cherry Press. He is so passionate about his art, and it shows beautifully in his creative work. We used neutral and classic colours in this shoot, so David used gorgeous grey’s on the “Namosa” range from his collection.

The bridal gown featured in the next images below are of “Bluebell” by Sassi Holford from Dragonfly Contemporary Designs. I love how it’s a big dress that’s quite formal and statement making, yet paired with a floral crown normally reserved for boho girls it’s kept fresh and contemporary with those long wavy tresses.

barnsley house wedding

white floral crown blonde hair

A touch of grunge with those charcoal black nails (totally works doesn’t it?!). I adore the floral crown by local florist Bloomers of Cheltenham using baby’s breath and daisies. So sweet and simple. Those stunning pearls can be purchased at Cheltenham jewellers RJ Spicer.

tulle wedding dress white flowers long blonde hair bride

The long and loose wavy bridal hair was created by the team from Gorgeous Hair. If you want a big statement or more formal dress but also lust for a more low key affair, a compromise with this loose “down do” might work for you.

classic english country wedding kate moss style bridal shoot at cotswold wedding venue barnsley house

The bouquets were also by Bloomers of Cheltenham, that “just picked from a meadow” look will always appeal to me.

white unstructured bouquet country wedding floral crown with big wedding dress

This next dress is called “Mia” by Sassi Holford and is also from Dragonfly Contemporary Designs. I love how the simple addition of the pink belt and veil totally changes the whole look. An easy way to change the dress from ceremony to reception.

vintage lace wedding dress barnsley house gardens wedding

The headpiece is by Polly Edwards and also available at Dragonfly Contemporary Designs. Makeup for both models was by Alice Tinton – a soft natural look for brides that won’t age.

bride barnsley house classic bride cotswolds

I still love lace dresses going into 2014 – the style of this dress is so flattering, and though not as big as the first one, it still makes an impact whilst remaining nice and covered on the shoulder… so perfect for a church wedding.

veil with loose curls simple lace wedding dress

Aren’t the grounds of Barnsley House stunning? Wait until you see the next part of this series, which will also feature pretty bridesmaid dresses and some incredible sunset shots. Meeeep!

Jessie

x

Photography: White Room Images | http://www.whiteroomimages.co.uk

Bridal Gowns: Dragonfly Contemporary Designs | http://www.dragonflycontemporarydesigns.co.uk

Flowers: Bloomers of Cheltenham | http://www.bloomersofcheltenham.com

Hair: Gorgeous Hair | http://www.gorgeous-hairdressing.co.uk

Make-up: Alice Tenton | http://www.alicetinton.co.uk

Wedding Planner: Jessie Thomson | http://www.jessiethomson.co.uk

Models: Nikki Cooke and Olivia Pym

Wedding Venue: Barnsley House and Spa | http://www.barnsleyhouse.com

 

Barn Weddings in The Cotswolds

Morning wedding folk!

Ok yesterday I stumbled upon a clip of the wedding video created by Bloomsbury Films for one of my clients who got married at Cripps Stone Barn in Aldsworth last year. It’s a stunning venue and one of many beautiful barns in the Cotswolds that has been transformed into a gorgeous rustic wedding venue, you can see another wedding held at Stone Barn in one of my earlier posts too.

But before you do, take a little look at this beauty first…. get the tissues ready it’s a tear jerker….

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmOU_f0PlY4%5D

For this wedding I helped the couple source some of their suppliers, as well as styled and co-ordinated everything in the run up and on the day of the wedding itself. To see more photo’s take a look at the full album in my portfolio.

I got married in a barn myself, so they will always ooze romance to me. They work so well in Winter (log fires, twinkly lights and candles) as well as Summer (gorgeous countryside, colourful flowers, bunting). What’s not to love?

Jessie

x

http://www.jessiethomson.co.uk

YELLOW AND BLUE WEDDING AT STONE BARN

Hi everyone,

I am so excited about today’s blog post, as it’s featuring a REAL LIFE super duper mega awesome wedding at the gorgeous Stone Barn in Aldsworth, a Cotswold wedding venue gem.

I first spoke to the bride, the lovely Adeline, via twitter when she was planning her big day in the Cotswolds and needed a few pointers in terms of suppliers. I followed her wedding journey online and when she tweeted me a link to the images online post nuptials, my jaw dropped. It is a massive inspiration for all you Cotswold brides, especially those using this venue, so I asked her if I could possibly share the photo’s alongside her round up of the planning process.

This is it.

Really hope you enjoy the read, and soak up every detail. The colour scheme is SO fresh. And despite the rainy weather Adeline and Andy look radiant.

Jessie has very kindly asked me if I can share my Cotswolds wedding on her blog.  Of course it was always going to be a big fat yes for her as her own wedding was one of the first wedding’s I found online and fell in love with!  I contacted Jessie just as she was setting up her wedding planning company and although I never got a chance to meet her personally, we had a great time tweeting back and forth discussing suppliers and styles.

 

The Wedding Vision:  Andy and I got married on 28th April 2012.  Neither of us are traditional and we wanted to reflect our personalities and the things we love into our wedding.  We both have a soft spot for the Cotswolds and thought a barn would really suit us.  We settled on a vintage country-fete theme with lots of homemade goodies and lots of fun!  This included a cake bake-off where we asked guests ‘if you can bake, please bring cake!’ (I LOVE cake!)

 

The Venue:  Once we decided to get married in a barn and had chosen to search in Gloucestershire (also possibly Somerset too), we came across quite a number of venues!  We narrowed it down more by wanting somewhere we could get married AND hold our reception, somewhere with wheelchair access and with a rustic, relaxed feel. 

When we started viewing venues, we found the approach of some to be too corporate for us.  When setting foot in The Stone Barn in Aldsworth (Now known as Cripps Stone Barn – http://www.crippsstonebarn.com)  though we were instantly wowed by the beauty of the barn, the vast space in the cow shed and how friendly the staff were.  We were instantly drawn to their god-grilla too! (largest indoor BBQ in Europe I think!)  Their whole approach fitted our personalities and we knew we could decorate the barn with plenty of bunting, apple crates, cakes and flowers to become completely ‘us’!

Everything the barn did was amazing!  I cannot recommend them highly enough!  The food was out of this world and the fact that at each table one of our guests carved the lamb for everyone else will be a memory that will stick with everyone. 

 

When it came to suppliers, I was so grateful to Twitter and The Stone Barn for pointing me in the right direction!  Planning a Cotswold wedding from Edinburgh was always going to be a little difficult, but having people in the industry and other brides-to-be on Twitter there for support was a huge help!

 

Photographer:  I thought this might be a difficult decision as I was marrying a photographer, but it was a pretty easy task in the end!  We chose to go with Ann Kathrin-Koch (http://www.annkathrinkoch.com).  She was fairly new to the wedding circuit at the time, but after we had met her at a mutual friends wedding the previous year and Andy had spent most of the time eyeing up her – uh-hum – ‘equipment’! We knew she would be perfect!  She has such a wonderful eye for a shot and her style completely fitted for the feel that we wanted.  We became very close to Ann and her partner (and second shooter for the day) Marco over the next year and even got to explore the Cotswolds with them on a crisp, hazy day in November dressed as bears (yes you read that right!) (http://www.annkathrinkoch.com/blog/2011/11/23/andeline-andy-two-bears-in-the-cotswolds/) and we couldn’t have been happier with everything they did!

 

Florist:  We met with two different florists at The Stone Barn for consultations.  We wanted to use a local florist to put together the bouquets, button holes and individual stems of wild and spring flowers for our centre pieces (placed in vintage pharmacy and beer bottles we had been collecting from flea markets in Edinburgh and Glasgow!)

The first we saw seemed lovely.  They had sent us an estimate quote over email, but as soon as we met them the price doubled!  I’m not even entirely sure why!  We wanted daffodils, tulips and wild blooms.  All flowers that were in season and easy to source.

Thank goodness we met Beth Cox straight afterwards (recommended by the barn – 07971808463/digitgardendesign@btinternet.com).  Beth reminded me of Alice from The Vicar of Dibley with a true passion for what she does!  She delivered on the flowers, BIG TIME!  The bouquets smelled AMAZING with little sprigs of rosemary hidden in amongst them! And she had managed to incorporate the blue Scottish Thistle we had asked in the guys button holes!

She collected the bottles from us the day before the wedding and set up all the table displays for us!  She was amazing and the cost was almost a third of the other quote we had been given by the other florist!

 

Stationery:  We are so lucky to personally know the extremely talented Katie Leamon (http://www.katieleamon.com) who did all our wedding stationery for us.  She has work stocked in places like Paperchase and Liberty’s of London and were so grateful to her for taking time out of her busy schedule to put together our Save the Dates/Invites and details we needed for the wedding day.  We told her our theme and let her put her own style and mark on it. 

 

Cake:  I asked Jessie who had made her beautiful cupcake tower for her wedding and she pointed me in the direction of Louise at Cirencester Cupcakes (http://www.cirencestercupcakes.co.uk).  Louise was so patient with us!  First I wanted a cupcake tower then I wanted a giant cupcake.  Neither of those seemed to fit too well with the country-fete theme though.  We also had to take into consideration that some of the guests would be bringing cakes along for our cake bake contest too!  We weren’t even sure of the number of cakes that we would end up with!

After searching endless wedding blogs, I found a picture of a gorgeous tiered victoria sponge with strawberries and raspberries.  It looked delicious and would completely fit the theme!  You can’t have a country-fete without a victoria sponge!

Louise was fab and made the most delicious cake!  She gave it a more rustic, ‘cobbled together’ look and even made a lactose free top tier for me (I still love cake despite this!).

In the end between our 80 guests they had made 40 cakes!  Yes you read that right!  Some of the guests even tried to bribe Andy and I once our ‘Judges’ rosettes went on!  We were totally over-whelmed by the effort everyone went to!

 

Wedding attire:  The first outfits were bought for my bridesmaids.  Over a year before our wedding.  They were 50’s style navy floral dresses that were exactly what I had visioned the bridesmaids to wear.  I called all the girls, got them to head to a Zara to try them on and snapped them up for £35 each!

These dresses then set the bar for the other outfits.  The guys all had to be in navy.  Andy and his best man, Dan in a full suit and the three ushers with white shirts and vintage braces!  We got them all bright yellow socks too which was a great touch!

I thought I would be in a short 50’s dress like the bridesmaids, but after a trip to a sample sale held by Clifton Brides in Bristol (http://www.cliftonbrides.co.uk), I tried on a few dresses and happened upon a spring 2011 Jenny Packham dress.  It really wasn’t anything I had visioned my self wearing, but I couldn’t help but feel glamourous and effortlessly gorgeous in it.  It was so comfortable and I knew Andy’s jaw would drop when he saw me in it!  I panicked that it was three dress sizes too big for me, but the seamstress did an amazing job on it!  I even had room for all that cake too!

 

Make-up:  I used Sophie Chamings to do my make-up (http://www.sophiechamings.co.uk).  She was a supplier recommend to me via twitter.  I booked her quite last minute and didn’t get to have a trial as I was too far away in Edinburgh!  She did a fabulous job though and was just lovely!

 

Music:  Again someone we knew!  We are quite lucky to know so many creative people!  I’ve known Alex Taylor (http://www.alextaylormusic.co.uk) for over 10 years and he did a wonderful job moving from playing the guitar and singing to Djing.  He kept everyone on the dance floor until late!  He even did an acoustic version of our first dance for us (23 by Jimmy Eat World). 

 

Homemade/Personal details:  Andy and I are fans of going to flea markets, so it was fitting to try and incorporate some finds into our wedding style.  We settled on the vintage theme because of this and wanted to use items we loved and we would use again.

We collected vintage beer and pharmacy bottles from Edinburgh (where we lived), apple crates from Wisbech (where Andy grew up) and letter press blocks from London (where we have spent most of our couple life).  We liked making these items about our lives together.

I spent hours making 200ft of bunting to drape around the pillars in the barn.  I bought loads of material from Ebay and Mandors in Edinburgh.  I thought about buying the bunting but I am so glad I made it all.  All our guests knew the effort we had gone too!

My mother-in-law also worked very hard for us!  She made all the favours for the guests.  We had hot apple chutney for the boys and Limonchello marmalade (made from homemade Limonchello) for the girls!  The day before the wedding a bunch of us gathered in the snug of The Wheatsheaf Inn (http://www.cotswoldswheatsheaf.com) where we were staying (I highly recommend this place!) and put the gingham tops I had made and the name tags our stationer had made onto the jars (over a couple of glasses of wine of course!)

Our photo wall went down really well with everyone too!  We made sure we had at least one photo of every guest up!  We pegged them up with miniature pegs and some vintage string we had found at a flea market!

We also had a friend of Andy’s draw a thumb print tree for us (http://joderuiter.blogspot.co.uk).  I had seen this on a few separate blogs and thought it would be a great idea for a guest book.  Having some draw it for us made it personal with little details like the bunting and cakes incorporated into the sketch!

 

I have rambled on quite a bit here… sorry! We really wanted to make the most of using local suppliers, people who knew us to make everything just that little more personal and a touch of our own homemade style to make all our guests relax and enjoy the day.  It will always be remembered as the best day of my life.  Not only did I get to marry my best friend but we got to share it with our most important people.  Everything we chose to do and the people we chose to help us bring it all together were amazing and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

 I asked Adeline for her number one tip for other brides getting married in the Cotswolds, and she said:

Relax and enjoy your surroundings! Make the most of the beauty around you and don’t worry about the weather!  We visited the barn and surrounding areas exactly a year before the wedding and although the sun was shining then and it POURED with rain on our actual day, we knew where would be good for pictures and how the fields around the barn would look!
So there you have it. Amazing right? Like, you could just reach in and hug all those little details. Love, love, love it.
A huge thank you to Adeline and Andy for letting me share these images and to Ann Kathrin-Koch (http://www.annkathrinkoch.com) for taking such awesome photos.
Be inspired ladies and gents.
Jessie
x

1 2

Google+