David Fielden Gown for Relaxed Forde Abbey Summer Wedding
I really am loving today’s wedding, it’s so beautiful! Bride Lizzie is stunning in her David Fielden dress, hair braided with wild flowers.
Lizzie and Will were married at the stunning surrounding of the monastery at Forde Abbey, with celebrations continuing at Will’s parents Farm. The day is filled with gorgeous rustic details,with the couple, their family and guests all making the most of the perfect Devonshire summer day. Sitting on hay bales under the trees for the speeches and toasts.
These beautiful images are courtesy of the talented Jennifer Jane Photography. I love her style, capturing all the moments and beautiful portraits of Lizzie and Will. Be inspired and enjoy as I hand you over to bride Lizzie to tell us about their day;
The Love Story
We first met at the age of 16, when Will’s parents moved to Devon, to the farm where we had our the evening reception. We went to the same Sixth Form and were always close. Will was always fixing my broken-down car so I could give him lifts home from school. We ended up going to University in the same city, but it wasn’t until a few years later that we became a couple. When Will’s younger sister broke her arm, I spent lots of time helping out on the farm and riding her horses; Will was always conveniently around! We grew closer after a rather chilly hockey match I departed for Will’s to be greeted by a hot bath and roast dinner. From there on, we never looked back.
We were fortunate enough to hold our reception at Will’s family farm. We strove to embrace an ‘English Countryside’ theme with hay bales providing informal seating, and old reclaimed barn doors for tables. We utilised what the farm could provide for our decoration, using old milk churns for flower arrangements and old storm lanterns for lighting. We added our own touches with handmade bunting and strings of origami cranes as a homage to our time spent living abroad in Asia as a couple.
We had our hearts set on holding our reception at Will’s parents farm, but were unsure where to hold our ceremony. We looked at some incredible venues but when we first approached Forde Abbey, we were blown away by the beautiful setting of the historic monastery. We knew our guests would be able to stroll around the stunning gardens and enjoy the magnificent grounds just as we had.
The Photography – Jennifer Jane Photography
Our photographer Jen was the perfect choice as our wedding photographer. At our first meeting. Jen’s warm and bubbly personality shone through, and after a couple of biscuits and slurp of tea at her beautiful home we were sold. Jen made us feel completely at ease and we both felt utterly relaxed in front of the camera. Her organisation throughout was fantastic; scouting out both venues and exploring camera angles to get those beautiful shots. She always went the extra mile; army crawling in wet sand, clambering up rickety looking structures, and paddling through chilly streams.
Jen is an absolute perfectionist and the passion for her work practically oozes from her. She is incredibly talented at her craft and takes such pride in the work that she does. The real proof is in the stunning photographs that Jen took, she managed to capture so many happy memories. Looking through them now, the photos tell such a beautiful story of our special day. We will treasure them forever.
David Fielden Dress
My wedding dress, ‘Esme’ by David Fielden, was chosen from Carina Baverstock Couture. They were fantastic at teasing out how I envisaged my dress and gave me a stunning collection of gowns to try on. I knew I’d found the perfect dress when I tried on the ‘Esme’, and then (much to my sister’s amusement) spent another hour strolling around the shop in it. I wanted a versatile dress that I could dance in but had a soft and romantic feel to it- with layers of beautiful, delicate lace over a low back slip- the Esme ticked all the right boxes!
My eldest sister kindly lent me her Jenny Packham veil, which my middle sister had also worn for her wedding, something of a tradition. My hair was in a relaxed plaited up do with wildflowers woven into the braids.
Is it bad that I can’t remember…I am so not a shoe person!
I wore a beautiful set of sapphire earrings that my sister and husband have given me as thank you from their wedding, to match the engagement ring Will had designed. My bridesmaid lent me her beautiful Cala Lily style bracelet with a stunning pearl to finish the look. I wore Boss Orange Sunset- it’s the scent that reminds Will of me and vice versa- he has the same Boss Orange for men
Zoe from Beauty with Zoe was incredibly professional, seamlessly transforming myself and 5 bridesmaids. Zoe created a perfect natural look for me, which was just what I had wanted. My make-up stayed perfect the whole day and evening, I didn’t have to do a single touch up!
I wanted the bridesmaids to feel perfectly comfortable in their dresses and thought long and hard about what style to choose. The multi-way dresses in pastel blues and greens were a perfect choice, complementing their body shapes beautifully. We had many a laughs learning how to tie and knot them!
The girls all looked absolutely stunning, with loose, natural hair and flower headbands.
The bridesmaids had a white silk pashmina which my Mum had brought as gifts from Turkey as an accessory and a cover up for the evening.
The groom and groomsmen all looked the part in their navy suits from Debenhams formal hire, with matching ties and pocket squares, complementing the bridesmaids’ dresses. The buttonholes were hand tied with raffia and included fragrant herbs. The groom’s included a beautiful blush pink rose, to match the bridal bouquet.
I knew that I wanted to source seasonal, British grown flowers and found a perfect choice with In Bloom Devon. We picked up three buckets of freshly cut flowers the day before the wedding, with bridesmaids on hand to artistically arrange the gorgeous blooms.
In Bloom created the bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets along with the buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen. The buttonholes were hand tied with raffia and included fragrant herbs. The groom’s included a beautiful blush pink rose, to match the bridal bouquet.
Will’s grandmother made our wedding cake, including the incredible sugar craft flowers used as the cake topper. A close friend and work colleague made the cupcakes, incorporating our wedding colours into the decoration. Both cakes were absolutely delicious and appreciated by all.
Will had my engagement ring designed and made at Gold and Platinum studios, based in Bath. The team were so incredible and passionate about their work that we knew we would go back to have our wedding rings crafted there.
Veysey’s Butchers Hog Roast, our local butchers created an incredible feast for us in the evening, appreciated by all. We catered for ourselves in the day, providing our guests with a traditional English afternoon tea!
Will’s family are avid car fans and so we were fortunate enough to use their old Sprite sports car as our wedding car. Will and I have spent many an hour in the garage toiling over the engine, and driving around the country lanes so it was great to use it on our wedding day.
Will and I love crafting so were somewhat foolish and decided to make our own wedding stationery. Will designed everything while I was the manual labour, cutting and glueing into the small hours. We enlisted family help which made things happen a lot faster! It was great fun to do but I would recommend leaving yourself more time than you would imagine to get those invites completed.
The Decor and Styling
We strove to embrace an ‘English Countryside’ theme and gathered from the farm environment. We used old reclaimed barn doors for tables, old milk churns for flower arrangements, old storm lanterns for lighting and large wagon wheels for decoration. We added our own personalised touches with handmade bunting and strings of origami cranes as a homage to our time spent living abroad in Asia as a couple.
One of our first (and favourite) holidays together was spent in France and so we decided to go back there for our mini-moon. We stayed in an idyllic cabin on it’s own private lake near the Dordogne. We used Canopy and Stars, an incredible site with fun and quirky places to stay both in the UK and abroad. Coincidentally we had stayed in one of their properties in Cornwall when we Will proposed.
For our honeymoon we were lucky enough to spend a month travelling in Indonesia. Spending time in the jungles of Borneo, and exploring the islands of Bali and Indonesia.
My brother-in-law was kind enough to give me away. It was a great honour to have him walk me down the aisle, although I think he was more nervous than I was. We elected for something neutral and chose Pachebel’s Canon in D.
First Dance and Entertainment
Our first dance was ‘Better Together’ by Jack Johnson. Although Will and I didn’t consider ourselves to have ‘a song’ we thought that this suited us perfectly, and have spent plenty a time dancing around the kitchen to it.
We had The Little Informers Our brief for the band was energetic and awesome! The Little Informers kept our guests dancing into the small hours of the morning with an incredible set. They had even learned our First Dance Song ‘Better Together’ by Jack Johnson which was a complete surprise to us.
With so many special moments to choose from it’s hard to say. My funniest moment is perhaps the glee on my bridesmaids’ faces when they decided it was an excellent idea to put a plastic bag over my head so that I could put my dress on without covering it in my make up! We wouldn’t have changed anything, apart from somehow made the day last longer.
Advice for Others
Delegate. If people offer to help and do tasks, then let them. Either give them a free rein on creativity or assign them something very specific. It’s a great way to keep you more relaxed and not feel that you’re having to do everything.
Photographer – Jennifer Jane Photography | Venue – Forde Abbey | Bridal Designer – David Fielden | Bridal Boutique – Carina Baverstock | Brides Shoes – Ms KG | Make Up – Beauty with Zoe | Groom’s Suit – Debenhams | Flowers – In Bloom Devon | Entertainment – The Little Informers | Catering – Veysey’s Butchers Hog Roast |