I’ve been away from this blog far too long, and I’ve missed it. I’ve missed chatting to all the wonderful bloggers that I follow and who are sweet enough to follow me as well, and I’ve missed sharing all the things I get up to. They’re always the more fun for being able to share them with you!
Inevitably, I have to start with my wedding. I suppose this post will take the form of all the other wedding blogs you’ll come across, but I’ll try to keep it as short and sweet as I can.
The first thing I have to say is that organising it was the biggest bloody nightmare in the world, and Tom and I worked ourselves half to death in the few months before it. It was worth it, yes, but only just! My 130 hour working weeks genuinely nearly killed me, and the day before the wedding I was bordering on hysteria more times than I can count. Thankfully my Thomas is the kindest and most wonderful man in the world, and our friends and family are both incredibly giving of their time and an absolute blast to be around. Between them, they just about kept me sane.
Errands frantically completed the day before the wedding included buying 400 second-hand books, tearing along tiny country lanes to try and find the only shop in Cornwall that stocks speciality liqueurs (I’ll explain later), and driving for over an hour to Penzance to collect Tom’s wedding ring, then driving all the way back as fast as possible so we could actually attend our own wedding rehearsal. We arrived back at Scorrier House around midnight, and I got my laptop out to send about a hundred emails, and write a 2000 word assessment report I had to send to a client.
Anyway. Deep breaths. I woke early, and peered out at the mist rolling across Scorrier’s beautiful grounds. Scorrier is a privately owned manor house set within a 400 acre estate, and the lovely Richard and Caroline hire it out for weddings. It’s not the prettiest building from the outside, but the interior is beautiful, with a sweeping staircase at the centre of the ballroom. My bridesmaids soon arrived, and Tom disappeared to get ready with his brothers at a cottage next door.
We spent most of the morning sitting around drinking champagne that my maid of honour Katy had purloined from somewhere, but it was nice to stop rushing around for the first time in six months. I did my own makeup, but local stylist Megan Piekarz put my hair into a vintage-inspired up-do, and also added just a bit of polish to my bridesmaids. I was particularly keen that they all looked very natural, and she did a wonderful job.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Coast (no longer in stock I’m afraid), and I was incredibly lucky to find them. It was the first dress we looked at in person, and the perfect shade of green (there are many imperfect shades of green, but this one was perfect). I also wanted them all to wear strings of freshwater pearls, so ordered these online from Etsy. They hardly cost anything at all, but they were exactly the look I was after.
I wore my mum’s wedding dress, which she’d transported backwards and forwards across the world for me since she married my father in Papua New Guinea. It was handmade for her in Australia, and I remember admiring the delicate Brussels lace it’s made from when we lived on Nauru, more than twenty years ago now. “You can wear it when you get married” she had said, and it really means a lot to me that, finally, I actually did get to wear it!
I had a few alterations made, by the absolutely wonderful Lindsay Rodham. Trekking backwards and forwards to Walthamstow for fittings was definitely worth it, as she made everything I wanted possible, when countless other seamstresses had said it couldn’t be done. She added lace to the length so I could wear heels, removed the collar, and added a sash to the waist so I actually felt like I had one, and made it feel completely ‘right’ for me where it hadn’t before.
My shoes were from Hobbs, and literally the only style I could find in the world in the right colour, heel height and width (no stilettos allowed on Scorrier’s antique wooden floors). Here’s a picture of me grimacing at them as Katya helps me into them. They looked better on, to be fair, but as my dress was floor-length I wasn’t that worried anyway. I found that you absolutely have to prioritise with a wedding. Decide on what is most important to you, and focus on that; you cannot give your full attention to every tiny little detail.
Here’s Tom ‘getting ready’ (doing a Tai Chi Chuan workout)
More ‘getting ready’ with his brothers Jim and Luke, who were joint best man.
My beautiful bridesmaids, from left to right: Stella, Katy, Hannah and Katya. I’m very, very lucky to have all of them in my life.
The flowers were done by Georgia Westwood. I liked her style, but also that she is a set designer as well as florist; the theatrical side to her work really appealed. We were going for a slightly fantastical ‘Spring Woodland with Antique Books’ theme, to combine our love of books and the countryside, and I was confident that she’d be able to turn my rambling and often contradictory ideas into reality. She did an incredible job, both on the bouquets and the ballroom decorations, but you can see that from the photos!
I’m not particularly religious, but I’ve wanted to get married in St Mylor Parish Church as long as I can remember. As I grew up overseas, my parents brought me to Cornwall as often as they could so my grandparents would see me growing up. Walking along the creek or through the fields and woodlands nearby had a huge impact on me, and we’d always look in on the church and harbour behind it. It’s full of childhood memories for me as well as being mere metres from the sea, and is a very old and beautiful church. I was delighted that Tom was happy to get married in it as well, and even more delighted to find out we were allowed to as I’d been baptised there.
Putting on fern and bluebell buttonholes
It actually rained all morning, to my slight dismay. Mist turned to a gentle but persistent drizzle, and emergency umbrellas were found. Just as we arrived at the church, however, the sun burst through the storm clouds! We didn’t sort out transport to and from the church until the day before the wedding, but luckily Tom found a vintage Rolls Royce for us at the last minute.
I was surprisingly nervous on the way to the church, desperately hoping I hadn’t forgotten anything, but seeing our friends and family gathered together in the church was one of my favourite moments of the whole day.
Husband and wife, finally!
Some of my Australian relatives who travelled a very long way to share the day with us, for which I will always be grateful.
After the ceremony we drove back to Scorrier House, and made time for oysters and champagne before the formal family photos. We copied friends of ours who had chosen to have canapes in lieu of a starter course at their wedding, and this worked perfectly as well as balancing out the cost of all that champagne! Our caterers Beetham Food put on a range of canapes as well as the oysters we requested. Crab Cakes & Tempura Prawns with Sweet Chilli Dip, Smoked Salmon Bilinis with Dill Crème Fraiche, Yorkshire Puddings with Rare Beef & Horseradish Cream, and a variety of croutes kept everybody happy. Never skimp on food or alcohol at a wedding. You want your guests to enjoy themselves (plenty of alcohol) but not get drunk (plenty of food).
It was quite chilly outside, so our photographer Debs Ivelja did a great job of hurrying through these! I chose Debs as her portfolio was not just the usual reportage shots, but focused instead on capturing the drama in intimate moments. Exactly what I think a wedding should be. She and her assistant Sarah took nearly 1000 photos for us, and Debs has been wonderful to deal with throughout the whole process.
Tom and I with my grandparents and my parents
Tom and I with his slightly more extensive nuclear family!
I was desperate for the bluebells to flower in time, as they’re my favourite spring flower. Again we were lucky, and they were absolutely everywhere.
The grounds of Scorrier were perfect for capturing the feel of our wedding. We were surrounded by greenery and spring blossoms, and it was clear to all our guests why we’d chosen to get married in Cornwall. Even if they did all have to travel very far to join us!
It was such a wonderful day that I thought it best to split it into two separate posts. Photos and details of the wedding breakfast, cocktail hour and swing dancing in my next post.