Gracie & Charlie
Fall in love with this fairytale Wiltshire wedding, which teams rustic choices with timeless navy blue
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jessica Raphael,
Charlie chose his bride’s beloved family home in Bath to ask her to be his wife. “After a relaxing soak in the bath to start the day, I received a text from Charlie asking me to go down to the living room, where there is a Romeo and Juliet style balcony with views over Bath. We stepped outside together and, after telling me how much he loved me, Charlie got down on one knee. It was surreal! My mum lit lots of candles inside, so after a moment alone together we went indoors to celebrate together!”
The bride found her Suzanne Neville wedding dress at Carina Baverstock Couture in Bradford-upon-Avon.
“I changed my dress quite a bit from the original sleeveless design.”
Gracie added a lace top half with ¾-length sleeves. “I loved the corseted, fitted bodice and elegant, voluminous skirt.”
Gracie accessorised with pearl earrings, which were a gift from her sister on the wedding morning, also adding white roses to her hair. “I didn’t wear a veil because the dress was already so beautiful and had a lot of fabric, so I didn’t feel that it needed anything else.”
The groom looked as crisp and smart as he had done on the day of the proposal, wearing a navy suit sourced from Suit Supply. “He looked so handsome and I loved his waistcoat and blue tie.
“I felt overwhelmingly happy seeing him at the end of the aisle – I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling, a far cry from the emotional wreck I worried I might be.”
The bride’s childhood friends and sister joined her as bridesmaids and maid of honour respectively. “I couldn’t have done it without these girls, they were amazing! My sister especially was a dream throughout the whole process, helping me with planning and just being there for me.”
They wore floor-length navy dresses from Coast. “The lace top and silk belts were really flattering. I also gifted them each rose gold bracelets, personalised with their initials, which were designed by my friend, a jewellery designer, especially for us.”
Jessie from Artisan, Bath, created the bride’s half-up, half-down style, waving and plaiting the side sections. “My friend and talented makeup artist Louisa Fleming not only did my makeup but all six of my bridesmaids and my mum’s as well! She makes it look so natural and your skin look flawless, which is one of the most important things for a bride when it comes to makeup on the day.”
Gracie and Charlie married in a religious ceremony at St Andrew’s Church in the charming Wiltshire village of Castle Combe.
“My sister’s husband read ‘Vow’ by Roger McCough and Charlie’s sister read ‘The Gift Of Love’ from Corinthians.”
“We also had an amazing harpist play as well as an organist to enhance the atmosphere.”
Tying the knot in October, guests enjoyed a seasonal starter of roast pumpkin velouté with red onion marmalade and Parmesan. A braised shoulder of lamb, garlic potato and honey roasted carrots followed, with a pear tart, candied walnuts and cardamom ice cream served to guests for dessert.
“We wanted a timelessly elegant wedding with a navy theme. Luckily, our Wiltshire wedding venue was already beautiful so I didn’t need to do much to it. Cahoots Events decorated with fairy lights and created a disco zone with lights, a stage and a glitter ball.
“Working with my florist, Jill Jeffries, I created a board on Pinterest to show her the colours and styles I liked for flowers.”
“She knew exactly what I wanted from this and her arrangements created the most beautiful setting.”
One of the bride’s oldest friends who also happens to be a product developer for Marks & Spencer made the cake. One tier was chocolate and pomegranate, one coffee and walnut with espresso buttercream and one Victoria sponge with vanilla buttercream. The cake was finished with Italian meringue frosting and fresh flowers to decorate.
“Spend money where it matters most to you. For us, it was the live band.”
“We chose ‘At Last’ by Etta James for our first dance. The lyrics are lovely and we’d both grown up hearing our parents play it at parties, so the song had a lot of sentimental value for us. The tempo was also perfect, neither too slow nor too fast for us to dance to.”
Gracie and Charlie honeymooned with a Californian road trip, adding a stint in Hawaii, too. “We visited San Francisco, Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Carmel before heading to Hawaii – it was quite a trip!”
“Our couple’s portraits were a highlight of the day. We love Jessica, our photographer, and felt so comfortable with her.”
“It was the first time we shared away from our guests so we could really enjoy the moment. Jessica made the experience so relaxed, we really did feel like it was just the two of us!
Do what you want to do and not what other people tell you when planning your wedding – it’s your day, so make it about what you as a couple love. And even if the planning feels stressful, try your best to enjoy every minute of it. It’s a magical time that will be over before you know it.”
CEREMONY St Andrew’s Church, Castle Combe
RECEPTION VENUE The Manor House, Castle Combe
DRESS Suzanne Neville at Carina Baverstock Couture, Bradford-upon-Avon
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Coast
GROOM Suit Supply
HAIR Artisan, Bath
MAKEUP Louisa Fleming
INVITATIONS Too Wordy
DÉCOR Cahoots Events
FLOWERS Jill Jeffries
VIDEOGRAPHER Andrew Moore Photography