A beautiful touch of history makes a good wedding a great wedding. The orangery at St Audries Park, a fairy tale manor house, situated within 100 acres of tranquil deer park and overlooking the rolling Quantock Hills and the Bristol Channel beyond, is a little gem of Victorian charm. Its beautiful design is typical of the era – one can almost imagine the lady of the house enjoying afternoon tea with her friends, or the master enjoying a cigar before a lavish dinner. It is a truly wonderful place to hold your wedding ceremony. From the outside, the orangery has an interesting Victorian Gothic feel, with its aged stonework and carefully designed style; inside, it transforms into a bright and cheerful room, where the sun illuminates everything. Such a gorgeous juxtaposition.
In keeping with its history, a vintage theme comes to mind. There are many themes to choose from, but a refined Edwardian theme would work perfectly – the era of the Belle Epoque, basking in the glow of the Victorian age. Think Downton Abbey, and you get the idea. A timeless and elegant style, befitting this magnificent building, won’t be hard to emulate. Norah Sleep of Wedding Style, gives a few handy words of advice on fashioning a fabulous slice of Edwardiana “Often taking something old to celebrate something new gives a certain uniqueness and personalisation to a wedding” she says “It is just a matter of cherry picking a few vintage elements and mixing some modern twists to create a fabulous vintage look. For example, use dainty lace and sumptuous silk to enhance gorgeous vintage accessories.”
Lace is an absolute must for anything Edwardian. Choose some beautiful antique lace to drape across the altar and even around the chairs, while sweet smelling wild flowers add a touch of magic and romance to it all. When it comes to the flowers, to get that vintage flavour, choosing a local florist who knows the best of seasonal flowers will add a bit more intimacy to it. As inspiration, take Krista’s wedding, featured in Love My Dress. Krista’s method was to think locally and seasonally, giving both a story and that element of personality to the flowers. “We wanted to work with a local florist who knew the local flowers, what was in season and could understand where I was coming from with the brief”, said Krista.
The great thing about the Edwardians was, much like their Victorian elders, their love of extravagance. Make sure those garlands and the lace you use are luxurious. However, a touch of rustic simplicity never goes wrong, so hanging individual flowers, tied together with simple ribbon above the door will add a distinct boho flavour without going over the top. Many of the ideas sourced in Fab Mood, will prove a superb addition to the Orangery decor.
Now that you have the ideas, get thinking about the dress. An ethereal and ultra feminine wedding dress is easily found, either in the many antique and vintage clothes shops out there, or custom-made for the occasion. You and your hubby to be can give something away for your guests to remember – this exceptional venue and intriguing theme will not be forgotten easily!