I’ve been known to have dreams about Chaffeymoor Grange. It’s one of those places that really sticks in your mind. Dawn and Justin’s wedding marked our fifth visit there. They’ve all been so different but what’s stood out is how comfortable and at home everyone feels there – like they’ve been staying for a week rather than a matter of hours.
We arrived this time to be greeted by a row of flying arrows. Lots of guests were staying at the house for the whole weekend and an archery class and tournament had been arranged. This kept Justin and the rest of the guests busy whilst the house was set up for the ceremony and reception, all taking place in the downstairs of the house, whilst Dawn got ready in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
The day was relaxed with close family and friends, and Basil the Basset Hound watching over the proceedings.
Dawn looked fabulous in one of my favourite Candy Anthony dresses, complete with green sash and feathered netted veil. Meanwhile the house was filled with amazing florals from G Lily (Sabine’s flowers never fail to wow me, they are always immaculately presented with punchy, classy colours). There were lots of other thoughtful details such as a handmade mosaic created by Justin and a family heirloom pocket watch set to the exact time Dawn and Justin got married.
Things were kept nice and informal for the wedding breakfast with Dawn’s Dad and Justin’s Mum saying a few words.
From all accounts everyone had a lovely stay and day at Chaffeymoor.
Posted with thanks and congratulations to Dawn and Justin x
At the start of the year we made a promise to ourselves we’d get out and do fun things on our day off. That was fine, and was working, until wedding season got underway and I started drowning in editing. At the end of last week I realised the only time I’d physically been outside in days was to go and vote, and to put the bin out. Not good…
So, we needed to nip that bad habit in the bud, get out and go somewhere to get some fresh air. And where better to do that than… errr… a dark and damp cave?
When I was little we didn’t go on holidays abroad (unless you count the Isle of Wight). Instead, we’d have a week where we’d do day trips and we’d each have a say where we’d like to go. It was the best type of holiday, because you knew you’d be doing something completely different every day. Top of the hot list for me was always Cheddar. I’m not sure why… I liked looking around gift shops and coveting semi-precious metals, so it ticked two boxes before even paying for a ticket to go inside. It’s a pretty amazing place I think.
So, after our stormy weekend we filled up the Thermos, packed a lunchbag full of Nutella sandwiches, armed our memory stick up with the day before’s Adam and Joe podcast and we made our way to Somerset.
They have a Costa at Cheddar now. Crazy days! This guy had given up waiting for his panini a LONG time ago. Ian says it’s not a real skeleton. I’m not so sure…
We took the audio tour handset phones around the caves with us, which gave us an insight to the process of “Cheddaring”, and also how the Victorians mastered the art of illuminating the caves for maximum visual effect. So all the lighting in these shots is lit by the show lamps only. We did see someone else taking photos with their Nintendo DS. I wonder how those came out?…
We chickened out at the prospect of doing the “Crystal Quest”. Last time we did that someone in costume jumped out at us, so we weren’t going to fall for that again. Not without a small child to push down the path in front of us at least. So, we headed straight for Jacob’s Ladder and limbered up before climbing the 274 steps.
It was windy up there but the view was amazing. We also chased goats.
But I was such an enthusiastic amateur Rambler the sole of my boot fell off
Ian – dangerously close to the edge.
Now both dangerously close the edge and risking having our camera nicked by the onlooking goats with a self-timed shot.
We were excited to make our way over to Somerset for our first wedding of 2011 at a new venue for us, Ston Easton Park Hotel. Bex and Andy’s wedding day had perfect balance; it was elegant, entertaining, loving and playful. Helped along by the fact the hotel were happy to let the couple’s beloved three dogs attend the day. As they’re practically family this seemed so right.
It was delightful to kick things off being welcomed by the hotel’s resident Spaniel, Oscar who always seems to be kicking around the lobby enthusiastically greeting guests. He is SO adorable and took this whole wedding malarkey in his stride. He’s obviously used to it.
Bex’s Charlotte Balbier “Marilyn” dress.
By all accounts the girls had a fun-filled night’s sleepover at the hotel but they were revved full of energy and excitement for the day ahead.
Here’s Bex being pampered by the talented make-up artist, Sarah Brock.
Bex’s Kylie-like disco shoes gave a brilliant, cheeky twist on her otherwise vintage look.
Whilst her netted veil featured a very important brooch.
The room was packed to the brim with lots of Bex’s friends and bridesmaids. You were all lots of fun to be around, ladies.
Meanwhile, downstairs, after a bit of dog walking Ian met up with Andy and his groomsmen before the ceremony.
Who would’ve thought this little one had enough horse power to drag a metal boot scraper across the car park?
Argh! Emergency dress alterations. Luck has it though, Bex’s sister had just been telling us all about her dressmaking skills. She’s an excellent person to have around.
An accidental reveal. Oops!
I think the dogs had some of the best spots in the room to watch the wedding proceedings. Apart from maybe me. They were very well behaved apart from the occasional, well-timed woof.
I am so chuffed our first reading of the year was a Pam Ayres:
“Yes I’ll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It’s you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour
Should our Spaniels attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It’s you that has to whack him.”
The vows were flawless. Apart from Bex forgetting her own name. Bless you.
The best reaction to being handed a wedding certificate. Ever.
There weren’t any speeches during the meal. Instead, straight after the ceremony a few words were spoken during the drinks reception.
Although maybe that was still too much talking…
The wedding was held on 18th March 2011 – Comic Relief Day. All the guests had been bought their own Red Noses. This led to some interesting group shots.
You can jump straight to Part Two here.
Following on from Part One, we left the guests with their red noses and had a quick walk around the hotel’s grounds whilst the ceremony room was turned over for the wedding breakfast. The sun had broken out just in time. Hooray for Spring!
This cottage sits within the grounds of Ston Easton Park Hotel and is where Bex and Andy stayed on their wedding night. So quaint and completely unique!
As if by magic…
The cake featured toppers of Bex, Andy, Charlie, Buster and Benson.
Now that’s how to get everyone’s attention…
At this point I should take some time to thank Bex and Andy so much for their thoughtfulness on the day. They were always checking whether we needed anything and arranged for us to have a spot of grub during our break. Thank you also to the amazingly organised and friendly staff at Ston Easton Park Hotel. There aren’t many hotels who will go out of their way to track you down to bring you surprise chicken with a smile, whilst obviously being swept off their feet. It made us happy.
In our notes for the day we had a small warning next to the evening schedule – “Warning: First Dance will be QUICK”. Bex and Andy didn’t envisage they’d want to dance for very long on their own with the support of other dancing guests. Considering that warning we seem to have a lot of First Dance shots. That wedding breakfast Rosé always helps.
Special mention should be made to Bristol – based band, The Moon Loungers. As well as providing an acoustic soundtrack for the ceremony and the drinks reception they stormed the evening with a brilliant, witty set. They’ve put together their own write-up of the day on their blog, here.
I would make a rubbish Paparazzo.
We left the guests during the interval as they were treated to a hog roast out in the grounds and made our drive back to Bournemouth. Just time to carefully make our way across the pitch black grounds for this closing shot… Must remember to pack a torch for occasions like this.
With thanks and congratulations to Bex and Andy x