The Perfect Venue
On the look out for a wedding venue in Warwickshire for their September wedding, Alice and Jose came across Blackwell Grange.
“We took a leap of faith as the venue was in the midst of renovation when we committed to it,” explains Alice. “We loved that it was deep within the Cotswolds countryside and the 16th century Thatch Barn alongside the contemporary reception barn were a real pull.”
Setting the Scene
The happy couple chose predominantly natural shades of pinks, creams and slate greys, alongside a selection of brightly coloured blooms, reflecting their cheerful characters and also being sympathetic to the surrounding countryside.
Creating a bohemian style, the Thatch Barn was adorned with low lights, candles and individual jars of brightly coloured flowers. The same colourful flowers were carried through to the Orchard Barn and accompanied by herbs in vintage milk jugs balanced on old leather bound books. Succulents were also featured in assorted teacups while Ecuadorian scarves were given as favours to the guests.
“Additional Ecuadorian touches were made to highlight Jose’s place of birth,” says Alice, “from watercolours of hummingbirds on the menus to gift boxes containing Ecuadorian chocolates. When it came to decorations, it was very important to us to be respectful of our family and to honour them on the day.”
All About Flowers
While brightly coloured blooms were chosen for the venue arrangements, soft and delicate flowers were used for the bridal party. Old English roses, eucalyptus, rosemary, ivy, gypsophila and fresh blackberries pulled from the hedgerow that morning featured in the wedding party flowers.
“We also had flowers in every alcove, above and around the huge copper fireplace in the Thatch Barn and surrounding the cake, reception room and on every table in the courtyard and herb garden, “ explains Alice. “Topiaries and olive trees were accented with soft, white lights.”
Alice was stunning in ‘Elise’ by Wtoo, a lace gown featuring a sweetheart neckline with delicate straps. She accessorised with a diamond necklace and Ecuadorian pearl earrings, completing the look with soft pink shoes by LK Bennett and a fine lace veil with silk trim.
Alice’s three bridesmaids wore beautiful pale pink floral dresses from Dorothy Perkins.
And the Groom Wore...
Jose and his groomsmen wore slate grey three-piece suits from Marks and Spencer, accessorising with a soft pink silk tie for the groom and floral ties for the groomsmen.
Following their romantic ceremony in the traditional Thatch Barn, an elegant drinks reception was held in the bar of the Orchard Barn. Moving in to dine, a salad of crispy duck was followed by pork tenderloin and dauphinoise potatoes. And for pudding... a delicious trio of desserts.
“We chose duck as it’s a firm favourite of the groom and pork as it is a popular meat in Ecuador,” explains Alice. “Eton Mess is our ‘go to’ dessert, the passion fruit cheesecake was designed by the chef to represent Ecuador and the triple chocolate brownie was at the bequest of the best man!”
A three-tier naked cake with a caramel drizzle and three different flavours also delighted the guests.
“The guests were almost overwhelmed by it,” smiles Alice. “Even the owner of the venue took a picture of it for her own collection!”
As the sun went down, wood-fired pizza was served from the outdoor kitchen, accompanied by an old-fashioned popcorn machine. The newlyweds danced their first dance to ‘Como Fue’ by Ibrahim Ferrer and the dance floor filled.
Living on opposite sides of the world, this was the first time many of Alice and Jose’s family members were introduced. Keen to breech the language barrier, the newlyweds introduced a ceilidh which created a wonderfully lively, relaxed atmosphere.
“Marrying my best friend! Nothing could be better than that, although bringing our family together in an intimate setting to eat and dance was amazing.” – Alice
“After being let down by our florist, the amazing owner of Blackwell Grange and my incredible mother-in-law re-did all the flowers. They created the most beautiful arrangements, far more than I could possibly have imagined.”
Advice from the Bride
“Relax and enjoy your day. It’s a once in a lifetime moment. Trust your instincts in terms of vendors. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t and it’s better to catch it early than realise on the day itself.”
Images © Forever Light Photography