Wedding Yurts Open Day in Gloucestershire

Ahhh Summer is almost here… I can feel it!

I actually have a strange rule about seasonal fashion, I only ever wear tights in those months with an “R” in it. So as of 1st May I am banishing my opaques until September at the earliest. No matter what the weather does! Don’t ask me why, it just makes my wardrobe feel fresher and lifts my mood.

And what better way to spend an (almost) perfect Summer’s day than sipping free champagne and enjoying a picnic in the Cotswolds at a gorgeous open day run by Lizzie from Wedding Yurts?

 

WY Picnic High Res

 

 

If you’re thinking of having an outdoor/garden/festival wedding then this is a really great opportunity to check out these beautiful structures… I’ve seen them all set up and they are stunning. Really beautiful.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend ahead, and if you want a bit of inspiration for your more traditional marquee wedding then hop on over to Love My Dress, where one of my gorgeous 2012 weddings was featured in all its glory!!

Jessie

x

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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….

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

A Cake Filled Cotswold 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 – 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 (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!) (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (www.annkathrinkoch.com) for taking such awesome photos.
Be inspired ladies and gents.
Jessie
x

Two in One Wedding in the Cotswolds ~ Fiona & Kesh Part 2

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a fabulous weekend and are looking forward to (hopefully!) a brighter week with a little less rain. We can but dream.

I’ve been waiting ages so share this post with you, if you remember the previous post on Fiona & Kesh’s engagement shoot then you’ll be as excited as I am, because we get to look at more fabulous images from the talented Marcus Ward from Bigeye Photography.

In April 2012, just a few weeks after I’d had my baby girl Flora, and after months of careful planning and co-ordination, I had the pleasure of working at Fiona & Kesh’s wedding at The Matara Centre in Kingscote, where I was asked to style the venue in the morning, returning to transform it for evening celebrations later on. The table themes were inspired by a styling event I’d done previously at Matara where I first met this lovely couple.

Fiona and Kesh first met in 2006 and after falling head over heels in love, Kesh proposed romantically with a treasure hunt on Christmas day where the final clue was attached to their gorgeous doggy’s collar where Kesh was waiting with a ring!

One of the most exciting things about this wedding in Gloucestershire, is that the couple got married twice in one day! Yup….two outfits, two make up looks, two ceremonies and MUCH celebration!The day began early at 10am with an intimate garland exchange followed by the Hindu ceremony in the main room. Guests sipped champagne and chatted over canapes while the couple changed into their second outfits for the next ceremony, which took place outside in the courtyard. The rain cleared just in time!

I hope you enjoy looking few the photo’s…. this AWESOME wedding was featured in Unique Bride Magazine this month so it’s gotta be pretty special right?! 😉

Look forward to hearing your comments on this one… would YOU ever attempt two ceremonies in one day?!

Jessie

x

www.jessiethomson.co.uk

Credits

Photography: Marcus Ward from Bigeye Photography

Venue: The Matara Centre Kingscote, Gloucestershire

Brides Lengha : Kirans’ in Soho Rd, Birmingham

Brides white wedding dress: bought from ‘Just For You Brides’ in Bristol

Grooms Sherwani: bought from Ahsan’s in Soho Rd, Birmingham

Props: Oasis Events

Flowers: Flowercube

Styling: Jessie Thomson Weddings & Events

Wedding Season in Full Swing!

Hi folks,

Sorry for the radio silence, wedding season is in full swing here in the Cotswolds and I’ve been super busy with styling & co-ordination as well as full planning for brides in 2013!

On Thursday I’m going to be doing a wedding at Stone Barn in Aldsworth, a relatively new venue in Gloucestershire that’s absolutely gorgeous.

A little while back I helped another bride getting hitched here with a few supplier recommendations, and you can see her FABULOUS wedding here if you want some super stylish inspiration. The wonderful Louise from Cirencester Cupcakes did the yummy victoria sponge wedding cake which I totally adore.

I’m meeting up with my next Bride & Groom tomorrow for a final run through and to collect all the wedding decorations and props in advance. They’re having a very clean and simple theme with lots of white and green. Looking forward to working alongside some great Cotswold suppliers as well as a few new vendors from further afield.

I still have a few dates left in 2012 if you are getting hitched and looking for a planner or stylist to help out on your big day. Don’t leave it too late and avoid the stress of finding someone last minute!

In other news, I’ve been updating my website recently. It’s a job that takes me ages, but nice to finally have some of my recent weddings featured in the portfolio.

Now if everyone could make a wish for sunshine on Thursday I’d be really grateful. 🙂

Speak soon.

Jessie

x

www.jessiethomson.co.uk

jessie@jessiethomson.co.uk

 

A Cotswold Birthday Treat at Barnsley House and The Village Pub

Morning all,

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to catch up with my blog posts yesterday… a baby girl announcement and rainy day engagement shoot to die for! But today I wanted to share a few images from a gorgeous 50th birthday party I co-ordinated and styled at Barnsley House and The Village Pub in the Cotswolds back in February this year.

Weddings are a real passion of mine, but I also love any good party… especially milestone events in our lives like naming days, birthdays and anniversaries. This particular 50th birthday weekend of celebrations was nothing short of spectacular. Guests came from London and Scotland to see what the Cotswolds had to offer, and I kick started my new obsession with bay & rosemary scented candles. So darn good!!

There were spa treatments with champagne, chocolates and strawberries for the ladies on Saturday… whilst the gents watched rugby in the cinema at Barnsley House, complete with beer on tap of course! There was a fabulous cocktail party and a candle lit dinner for 80 guests that evening… and as I watched the snow keep falling I wondered if I was ever going to get half the guests back to Bibury Court that night. Luckily a few 4×4 volunteers appeared and as the roads started to clear the taxi’s came out again… I had visions of leading guests back on foot by torch light, and given that I was 37 weeks pregnant at the time, it wasn’t something to look forward to!

Hat’s off to the FANTASTIC staff  who stayed over night in make shift beds in the spa and conference room, not all of them were able to get back home and the commitment of everyone who stayed and the superb management reminded me that Barnsley House really is an elite venue in the Cotswolds.

The next day I headed back over to the picturesque village, now covered in white, to set up for a pub quiz at The Village Pub over the road for those guests who weren’t too hungover/cold to venture out of their cosy beds! Yummy food and water (!) flowed, with the winning team taking home gorgeous coffee table books about the Cotswolds home with them.

Here are a few images from the evening with thanks to Kenneth James Photography – I think you’ll agree that the birthday girl has three gorgeous daughters, all of whom I’d love to help plan weddings with in the future! The beautiful flowers were supplied by the ever lovely Rachel Jones and later that night the music was provided by Cheltenham DJ Neil Ollerton who somehow managed to get all his kit in despite the snow stopping his van getting far past the entrance to the main drive! You gotta love a good supplier!

The hard work paid off, here are a few of the lovely words that were sent to me after the excitement and celebrations were over:

“Now that things have calmed down a bit I wanted to drop you a note to say thank you for all your help during the weekend. It was great to know that someone else with an eye for detail was looking out for my guests. I particularly appreciated that you hand wrote the two missing place cards and that you got the wet coat rack moved (I had noticed it and was going to say something but couldn’t think of anywhere it could go and told myself to chill out as no-one else was noticing it – but I was very happy when it ‘disappeared’ !). I’m sure we’ll be back in touch but just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate everything and I’m sure Barnsley House would be delighted to work with you again (as I would if I could just think of another fab event to plan!).”

Is anyone working at or planning their own wedding or event at Barnsley House & Spa this year? I’d love to hear all about it.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Jessie

x

http://www.jessiethomson.co.uk

jessie@jessiethomson.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/cotswoldweddings

Wedding styling and food tasting event at The Matara Centre

Afternoon lovely readers, I’ve been so excited about writing this post… ever since the event itself last week! About a month ago I was approached by The Matara Centre to help them come up with design concepts and style the main function room for a yummy food tasting event being held for all their 2012 brides & grooms.

The Matara Centre by Bigeye Photography

If you don’t know the venue, it’s a stunning retreat in Kingscote, in the heart of the Cotswolds, and has a very spiritual feel to it. With lots of Asian influences, it has excellent eco-credentials and a real bohemian feel that so many couples are drawn towards. Couples can hold an outdoor ceremony at the venue in the cloistered courtyard, and for every couple who get a hitched there – a tree is planted in the grounds as a forever memory.

 

Trees planted for couples who get married at The Matara Centre, by Bigeye Photography

 

So naturally when I was first approached by the owner, I was delighted to offer my services and come up with some initial design concepts. They loved my ideas and so the wheels were set in motion! I was asked to come up with five different design concepts for separate tables, they needed to be completely different styles for individual tastes, but still representing the uniqueness of the venue – and also showing prospective couples that the sky really is the limit when it comes to realising their own design dreams. Many couples visit the venue and fall in love, but struggle somewhat to create the main function room into their dream day. It’s quite a large and empty room, so there is lot’s of scope for creativity, but that is not always something that comes naturally to us all.

 

Jessie Thomson Weddings & Events

So… five themes were created to get the creative juices flowing: a warm pink and red moroccan theme, a glitzy starry night theme, a clean and modern orange and navy theme, a vintage peacock theme, and a fun and colourful “wedstival” theme inspired by Woodstock & Glastonbury.

Each table was to be dressed as per the themes, all inspired by elements of the venue itself, to be used as a starting point to carry the theme throughout a wedding day.

I’m going to stop talking and just show you the wonderful photo’s next,which were all taken by the AMAZING Marcus Ward from Bigeye Photography. I also want to say a massive thank you to all of the suppliers involved, all of whom I will mention again, pointing out their contributions: flowers by Flowercube, stationery by Invitable, props and decorations from Oasis Events, and favours and table decorations by Chocolate Apple Creations, Essentially Me, Something Borrowed Something Blue.

 

First up, the starry night theme, inspired by the gorgeous midnight blue starry ceiling of the main function room:

 

Starry Ceiling at The Matara Centre

 

Starry Night Themed Table

 

White chocolate, coconut, and caramel truffle favours provided by Chocolate Apple Creations

Stationery by Invitable

Flowers by Flowercube

 

The next table is a warm pink and red Moroccan theme, which glowed beautifully later in the evening with the lanterns and tealights in Moroccan glasses. Rose petals were scattered and gorgeous favours provided by Essentially Me who made bespoke perfumes and mini bags of goodies:

 

Moroccan Themed Table

 

Props by Oasis Events; Favours by Essentially Me

Stationery by Invitable

 

 

Then there was the fabulous Music Festival themed table, with DIY cd favours which you can make yourself here, vintage green glass bottles, paper straws, DIY tin can holders, delicious swirly lollipops and pretty vintage table cloth material:

Swirl Lollipop's by Chocolate Apple Creations

 

DIY cd favours and stationery by Invitable

Stationery by Invitable

 

The next table is a bright and modern table with orange, green and navy accents, DIY plantable bulb favours were created by myself and you can make them too by following the instructions here.

Modern Orange Theme

 

DIY and Eco-friendly Plantable Bulb Favours

Flowers by Flowercube

Stationery by Invitable, Lovebirds by Something Borrowed Something Blue

 

And finally…. a gorgeous vintage peacock theme, with lots of sweet goodies for favours, vintage teacups and birdcages.

 

Vintage Peacock Theme

Stationery by Invitable, mini birdacage holders by Something Borrowed Something Blue

Flowers by Flowercube, peacock feathers provided by Jessie Thomson

Vintage tea cup favours by Chocolate Apple Creations

 

Of course since the day was a food tasting event for couples getting hitched at The Matara Centre, I thought I’d also share a few shots of some of their scrummy food!!

 

…and I can confirm that it was all absolutely DELISH! 🙂

In addition to the main tables I hung paper lanterns from the fabulous ceiling with ribbons and colourful bunting…

So are you planning a wedding at The Matara Centre? I’d love to hear about your own theme and design inspiration. Or send me your photo’s of one that’s already taken place, it may well be fabulously blogworthy.

Best wishes

Jessie

x

http://www.jessiethomson.co.uk

Twitter: @Jessie_Thomson

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cotswoldweddings

jessie@jessiethomson.co.uk

 

Credits: photography, Bigeye Photography; flowers, Flowercube; stationery, invitable; venue, The Matara centre; favours, Chocolate Apple Creations, Essentially Me and Something Borrowed Something Blue; props, Oasis Events.