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Seriously stylish and yet impressively effortless, we are totally in love with the gorgeous summer wedding of Becca and Ted.
Taking place at an absolute gem of a National Trust property, Clarke Abbey in Derby, the setting is nothing short of dreamy – that exposed brick, those beams, that draping! And then there are the acres of stunning countryside in which the venues sits, providing idyllic backdrops for those key couple portrait shots.
Giving us all the I-want-that-dress feels is Becca’s choice of Rosa gown from the incredible Grace Loves Lace with its stunning rose pattern embroidery and slinky silhouette. Also making our hearts sing? The simple but effective touches that lift the venue without causing distraction; from the charming wooden cartwheels to the reams of festoons. Absolute perfection!
With images by Peter Hugo Photography
Becca says: We got engaged in Alghero, Sardinia. Ted had ordered a ring to be made and it was ready earlier that he expected, just before he went away on a work trip to Italy. I was due to head out to meet him there to spend my birthday weekend with him so he thought that would be a good time to ask. The only problem was, he hadn’t intended to propose on this trip and had no plan at all! Luckily for him, he has some amazing colleagues who helped him plan the proposal.
On the day, we went to the town square for an Aperitivo, before we were going to a ‘birthday surprise’ for me. We were picked up from the square by a classic car and driven to a secluded beach where there was a table and chairs waiting for us on the beach, surrounded by rose petals and our names written in the sand in rose petals. As the sun set, Ted proposed and I said “of course!” We then drank champagne on the beach before being driven to a nearby seafood restaurant for dinner. It was the most incredible and surreal experience and I feel very lucky to be married to such a romantic (with great work colleagues!)
Our wedding date was the 12th July, and we picked this day purely because we thought it would work best for our guests, being post school exam season, pre-summer holidays and hopefully good weather!
We had both our ceremony and reception at Calke Abbey, Derby, as we just fell in love with the venue. It was the only venue we visited, but we picked it as it was a good location for our friends and family to get to (with people coming from Yorkshire, London and Wales), and because we wanted a ‘rustic’ themed wedding that was relaxed and was a safe bet even if it rained.
We went with a ‘rustic’ theme as we are quite outdoorsy and not too fussy when it comes to decorations etc! Also, my parents have a smallholding and had lots of things lying around that we could use as props, such as cartwheels and milk churns, so we thought it would be an easy option!
We went with grey and mustard yellow in terms of colours as we felt it fit well with the venue and the suit Ted picked happened to be grey, so that pretty much led the decision!
I chose the Rosa gown with nude underlay from Grace Loves Lace in Shoreditch. I picked it as it was different to your ‘typical’ wedding dresses and it was just so comfortable to wear. As soon as I tried it on, I knew it was the one!
My bridesmaids wore a creamy coloured pleated dress from ASOS, which we picked as it was a dress that suited all sizes.
Claire Lowe Makeup did both our hair and makeup.
Ted wore a grey tweed suit from The Vintage Suit Hire Company, but instead of wearing the matching trousers he wore some grey chinos from Topman as he thought it would be more comfortable if the day was hot.
Our photographer was Peter Hugo, and we would absolutely recommend him! He captured the day so brilliantly! Even though our wedding day was the first time we met Pete in person (having previously spoken via Skype), he instantly made us feel at ease and having our photos taken felt so natural. Even our guests remarked how nice it was to have him around and how professional he was.
When we first saw the sneak preview that he shared with us a few days after the wedding, we were completely blown away by the quality of the photos and his incredible ability to capture people at the perfect moment! The photos really are wonderful, and we’ll treasure them for a lifetime! We cannot thank Pete enough for his excellent work and we would definitely hire him again!
Myself and my bridesmaids carried bouquets of yellow/white flowers, which were provided by Maria’s Flowers.
We used Fabric Theatre for festoon lighting and up lighting which really added to the venue and made it feel more cosy. We would definitely recommend them, especially for Calke Abbey.
We also used Perfect Day for our chair hire and post box hire, who again we would definitely recommend.
Yes, we made small cardboard packets of personalised M&M chocolates with our faces, names and the date of the wedding on. Each packet also doubled up as the place cards for the seating, which was very useful.
As I’m not a huge fan of cake (I know, I’m quite alone in this!) but I am a huge chocolate fan (much less alone in this!), so we had plates of different flavoured chocolate brownies. These were very kindly made by the groom’s father and his girlfriend (who luckily happens to be a chocolatier!).
For the main meal we had a sharing menu provided by Black Peppermint Food Company, who did an absolutely excellent job! As part of the sharing menu we had braised Derbyshire beef, roasted chicken and salmon, as well as salad, new potatoes and Mediterranean roasted veg, which was absolutely delicious! In the evening we then had burgers and chips to help soak up the alcohol!
For the wines, we went to a Majestic Wines warehouse and ordered a collection of reds, whites and rosés to be delivered to Black Peppermint’s warehouse, where they stored it before chilling it and serving it at the wedding. We also ordered a load of beers and soft drinks and had them in a wheelbarrow for guests to help themselves to throughout the day.
We chose a DJ as although we originally wanted a band, we just felt a DJ would be able to offer a wider repertoire of songs and was also considerably cheaper!
We also luckily have a very good friend who’s an incredible piano player, so he played the piano as the guests arrived and as I walked down the aisle, which was absolutely magical!
Some special touches included the cartwheels that we salvaged from my parents’ smallholding and painted white so that we could use them at the end of the aisle. The mother-of-the-groom also very kindly hand made our seating arrangement plan by hand to match the menus and colour scheme that we’d picked.
We also bought an Instax instant camera and some props that we asked our guests to use to take photos of themselves, one for us to keep and one for them to take away as a souvenir. As part of this we decorated a pallet with fairy lights and pegs for them to peg their photos to. In addition to this we made a small booklet which we left on the seats for the ceremony, detailing the order of the day and giving advice on how to take photos with the Instax camera, so that guests had something to read while waiting and could also get an idea of what to expect.
We would absolutely recommend Calke Abbey to other couples. It has everything you need, from great indoor space to great outdoor space for all to enjoy whatever the weather. It’s also a very flexible venue that you can decorate in a style and theme that suits you. The setting is also incredibly beautiful and gives you so many great photo opportunities! And what’s more, is that it’s part of the National Trust, so you can return to your wedding venue time and time again to enjoy the grounds and relive the moment.
Our favourite part of the day was listening to the speeches, as it was the only part of the day that we had no idea what to expect! Thankfully they were brilliant and didn’t embarrass us too much!
We went to Madeira, which Ted planned as a surprise. I didn’t even know where we were going until we were sitting on the plane!
Our top tip would be not to spend too long making decisions, we were decisive and didn’t stress too much over anything, which definitely made the planning stage more relaxing and much more time efficient.