Abi & Cory’s Real Life Wedding

A proposal in the kitchen ending with a superb Spring Wedding at St Audries Park!

Tell us about the proposal – how and where did it happen?

‘Not particularly romantic from Cory, he actually decided to drop down on one knee in the kitchen at around 8:30pm whilst I was making ‘Super noodles’ at the cooker. It had been quite a stressful build up for him “apparently” he had had the ring on him for about a week and was so paranoid about me finding it, that he kept moving his hiding place. He had planned to take me away to Whitsands Bay and do it however the ring was quite literally burning a hole in his pocket and making him act very strangely. He said he just couldn’t take it anymore and did it then and there in the kitchen!’

What was your first step in planning your wedding?

‘With the help of my bridesmaid, Natalie we started a Pinterest Board and she showed me how to set up ‘Pins’ and how to share them with her. We booked the venue first and then I put together a spreadsheet to work out costs to create my budget and then started dress shopping! The dress was the first item I bought as we only gave ourselves just under 6 months to plan the wedding. Our son was only 2 months old at the time so I knew the dress would be the hardest challenge and I had to find one off the rail because of the lead time of ordering a new dress.’

Inspiration: Did you use blogs or magazines for ideas?

‘I started following a lot of wedding venue Instagram pages for inspiration and ideas for themes and styles, I also researched previous weddings at the venue to see what worked well and stood out, also to get ideas of how to dress the venue to make it unique to our day. Once I picked my colours I googled lots of ideas and used my Pinterest.’

What were your wedding “must have’s”?

‘The most important factor for our day was for us not to stress and worry about any of the running order. We had previously looked at DIY weddings and were strongly considered it however when baby Rex came along it put a pause on our wedding planning and we actually did a 360 and totally changed our idea for our day and that’s what bought us to look at St Audries Park. We wanted to do a lot ourselves in the build to dress the venue to try to keep costs down but also make it very personal to us so bought a lot of our own items, which in hindsight gave us and others an awful lot to do and prepare for, but made it so personal and beautiful – and very worth it! The idea of having a professional wedding venue then take control of the day so we didn’t have to worry was so appealing to us. We really liked the straightforwardness of the all in package. I would describe our theme as Vintage Glam, we had lots of subtle sparkly and traditional props, and the colours were Mustard and Grey which looked stunning!’

Wedding budget: how did you organise your wedding budget?

‘I did refer to online blogs and wedding magazines such as the ‘bride magazine’ for a wedding checklist. I put together a spreadsheet for literally everything and kept track the entire time, when I made a saving, I updated it so we could use the money elsewhere for another item of service. Friends and family were helpful with what they spent and how to do things at a more reasonable price.’

Wedding venue: how did you search for a wedding venue?

‘The power of Facebook! Literally as soon as we started wedding planning again and had decided against the DIY idea, the advert for St Audries Park popped up and I just knew it was the one before we even went to visit. Once we visited the venue and spoke to people, we realised how well known and popular it was. We then started to notice the venue in literally every magazine going!’

What made you choose your wedding venue?

‘From the sweeping drive in, to the majestic deer around the grounds and beautiful orangery, we just knew this was it. It was so beautiful, and we got such a feeling of calm walking around. We loved the orangery and the bedrooms most of all. The mini night club was a big hit with us too!’

Styling your wedding: how did you personalise your big day?

‘Every element of our day was personalised we bought along so many props and items. We wanted to include my equestrian background and Cory’s Rugby career. My mum made such an effort making out table centre pieces which include beautiful hand painted horseshoes with individual grey and mustard flowers and gems to match our theme. We had a rustic ladder display with pictures, rugby items and a few horses’ props. We bought along hand crafted flowers to go around the cake table. A personalised candy display with individually decorated jars matching the flowers on the horseshoes. We used an old cart to put our 7-month-old baby in to be pulled down the aisle, with his very own personalised number plate. Lots of pictures dotted around the venue.’

‘The flowers were very individual with the theme and consisted of mustard/yellow flowers and lots of green/grey foliage, tied with long strands of mustard ribbon.’
‘The cake was 3 tiered and had the mustard and lace detail to match the theme, finished with porcelain flowers.’

Wedding photographer: how did you choose your photographer?

‘We used Lauren Spinks from Lauren Spinks Photography, she was recommended to us on Facebook and then when we went to meet her for our engagement shoot, Cory realized they had a mutual friend. Lauren did us an individual bespoke package and we knew as soon as she got behind the camera for our engagement shoot that we had made the right decision! She was so easy to work with; we didn’t feel awkward or nervous. On the day she was great! She just whizzed around the venue effortlessly getting all the shots we needed, she was just such a natural with it making everyone laugh whilst getting the group shots, it didn’t feel staged or put on.’

Wedding suppliers: how did you choose your suppliers?

‘Due to the time of year we started planning there were not many wedding fairs on, so supplier wise, most were through recommendations, Facebook and google searches.’

Describe your wedding attire…

‘I would describe the wedding attire as vintage glam. My dress was fit and flare, very detailed and unique with ivory and nude tones – lots of lace and sparkly with illusion lace sleeves. This really set the theme for me. I tried so many on and went to around 6 shops in search of the one! It had just the right amount of bling on without being too out there, it was perfect.’

What accessories did you wear on the day?

‘Our wedding colours were Mustard and Grey, with additional items such as candle vases and decorations were gold bronze colour. I borrowed a beautiful gold and diamante vintage hair piece which matched the colour perfectly. I wore jewellery and shoes which matched the exact colour! I looked everywhere for shoes and ordered so many styles to try online, in the end I found the most perfect and comfortable pair from new look, they had a court style front with detailed strap around the ankle.’

What did your partner wear?

Cory wore a green/blue check suit jacket and waistcoat with a subtle mustard stripe through it, mustard tie and navy chinos. We wanted to go for chinos to give a smart casual theme rather than formal. He looked very handsome and smart, it’s rare I see him with his top button done up!’

Tell us about your Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and their outfits

‘We had 7 groomsmen, consisting of Cory’s Dad, Brother in-law and 3 best friends one of which was the best man plus my stepdad and future brother-in law. They all wore the same items as Cory bar the jacket, so by the end of the day all the men were in waistcoats, which worked well for us and they all looked very dapper.’
‘I had 2 adult bridesmaids – my sister and best friend. We linked the bridesmaid dresses with one of the colours in grey and added in a mustard waist tie.’

‘3 flower girls, my daughter (Dulcie-Rose), niece and Cory’s niece. Their dresses matched the ivory of my dress and had a beautiful lace overlay on the top part of the dress.’

‘4 pageboys – Our 7-month-old baby (Rex), my 2 nephews and Cory’s Nephew. All the boys wore matching navy-blue chinos and we were able to find mini ties and bow ties to match the mustard colour.’

What was your biggest wedding splurge?

‘Normally I suppose it would have been the dress, but I was lucky enough that this was very kindly bought for me by my grandma. So, our next biggest cost was the Men’s outfits.’

What was your biggest wedding saving?

‘We had a few massive savings; one was the cake! My lovely best friend and bridesmaid Natalie gifted the cake as our wedding present, her mum is an extremely talented cake maker. Not many people know this but due to the location of where Natalie’s mum Julie is based and when we needed the cake by, so we decided to have a dummy cake and then serve cutting cake to our guests. The dummy cake was beautiful you would literally have no idea it wasn’t real, and we even got to cut it. We then had 4 different flavoured cakes served to our guests, best of all we get to keep our dummy cake forever!’
‘We saved a huge amount of money on our flowers, a family member of Cory’s used to be a florist and now just does it for a hobby, she crafted 6 stunning bouquets, top table decoration and around 20 buttonholes, only charging us cost! Which was an amazingly kind gesture and meant we spent a ¼ of what flowers would normally cost.’

What was your ceremony like?

‘We had music and readings, read by Cory’s sister and then one by my daughter and niece which was really lovely, we went for the Sonnet and Cinderella. My Mum walked me down the aisle, and I was only 45 mins late for our ceremony due to waking up ill on the day and spent the morning being sick!’

Tell us about your drinks reception and wedding breakfast?

‘Cory’s tells me the drinks and canapes were delightful however I was unable to eat or drink due to feeling unwell, however I tried them all on our previously visits when we choose them so I know they would have been delicious. For our wedding breakfast we went for Cheese Soufflé or Smoked Chicken for starters, then Roast Lamb for the main and then Stem Ginger Pudding or Chocolate Brownie for desert. The wedding breakfast itself got quite loud and rowdy as time went on, the speeches up until Cory’s were emotional and Cory’s was hilarious, I was genuinely shocked how entertaining his speech was’

Did you have a band or DJ for your evening reception?

‘We had Geoff the resident DJ, he was great. I didn’t create a play list as such beforehand, I just asked for certain genre of music and requested certain songs to be played through the night (and certain songs we defiantly didn’t want played)’
Tell us about your first dance – what song did you chose and why?
‘We were stuck between a few songs and really couldn’t decide, it got to 12am the night before and with all the stress that had gone on in the buildup pre covid-19 lockdown, we had completely forgotten to pick and send the song to the DJ. So I picked the song and didn’t tell Cory, it was a surprise for him on the day. Most of our day featured Paulo Nutini and I chose Candy! There are a few reasons I picked this song and it’s personal to us.’

Based on your own experience, give us some top tips?

‘If we could do it all again, we’d not have got married around Covid-19. No not at all! The final countdown week of the wedding was incredibly stressful and actually quite traumatic because of Corona Virus, we were literally waiting on the daily briefings from the prime minister about what you could and couldn’t do and genuinely thought our wedding would be cancelled, with any wedding a lot of time, effort and expense had gone into it, because everything emerged very quickly over that week if we had cancelled we would have lost so much money on items and services we had booked. Not to mention the huge number of people who were unable to make it, which was so upsetting and at one point we thought about postponing, however we are great believers in what’s meant to be will be, so although a difficult decision we decided to go ahead. I woke up on the day of the wedding being sick, I’m not sure whether this was due to a bug of the stress from the week. I genuinely didn’t think I was going to be walking down the aisle, so whilst my bridesmaids were having their hair and makeup done and friends and family were rushing around dressing the venue, I was resting trying to get myself together. I only started getting ready at 11 and the ceremony was at 1pm, my MUA Adele who was also doing my hair was amazing, she literally was coaching me through it. 45 mins later I was ready (having convinced the registrar to stay due to me being so ill) and shakily got down the aisle. Although we faced a lot of challenges and felt like everything was against us, we had the best day and we are so glad we went ahead. Maybe I would say, don’t stress about the small stuff, because if major things do go wrong you need to have the energy and head space to deal with it, ‘if it’s meant to be, it will be!’

Did you go on a honeymoon or mini-moon?

‘We had pre booked a weekend away in north Devon and luckily were still able to go before the lock down started on the Monday. We hope to go away on a luxury family holiday later this year’

Purchase & Hire – Tell us who your suppliers were:

Photographer: Lauren Spinks Photography
Wedding attire:  Suits Direct
The accessories: New Look
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Ever-pretty
Wedding Dress : North Devon Bridal Outlet
Wedding rings: Ernest Jones
Videographer – Whiteline Media

If you have any questions relating to having your wedding at St Audries Park, please don't hesitate to call Sally via the contact details below:

Sally

T: 01984 633 633
E: info@audries-park.co.uk

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