Emma & Liam ♥ Wiltshire, England
Photographer: Draw Down The Stars
Stunning. Elegant. Luxurious.
The dress….those buttons….wow! If there’s one feature I love on a wedding dress, it is beautiful buttons. The back of Emma’s 1930s inspired vintage dress, is as beautiful and as striking as the front. You will have all kinds of dress envy going on with today’s real wedding!
Emma and Liam married at Bradley House, an English Stately Home belonging to the Dukes of Somerset and their family. Set in the picturesque village of Maiden Bradley and surrounded by the rolling Wiltshire countryside, this imposing house (built more than 3 centuries ago) makes for an impressive, yet idyllic wedding venue.
A sweeping driveway guides guests through manicured gardens and up to the commanding frontage of this handsome home. The couple teamed their stunning venue with personal touches and ensured that unique entertainment created an unforgettable day, despite dodging the odd rain shower!
“Bradley House inspired us to have a relaxed country house wedding but with a vintage (due to my love of vintage fashion) and a Scottish (as Liam is Scottish) theme.”
“We both loved the Wiltshire, Bath and Somerset area and it was also neutral ground for both families. We researched venues together on the Internet, before spending a weekend visiting a selection of our favourite venues. We picked Bradley House as we could do what we wanted there – use our own caterers and musicians etc. Also, we could have the whole house from Friday to Sunday, which meant that we could have a full weekend of celebrations.”
“Lots of family came over from Australia, the US and Scotland, so it had to be a really special location that everyone could make a weekend of. The house felt homely, not stuffy, and no rooms were out of bounds. David and Kim at Bradley House were very welcoming and were always encouraging us to do what we wanted for the wedding and to have our day, our way. We also loved the fact that King Henry 8th and Jane Seymour’s marital bed was in the house – real history!!”
“I was a little hungover on the wedding morning from the amount of Limoncello that was consumed the night before and through lack of sleep from being so excited. Some late night wedding bundles from my sister and my close friend also kept me up. I was sad when I looked out of the window and saw that the weather wasn’t great too!”
“My dress was a copy of an original vintage 1930s dress, from Rachel at Heirloom Couture and I wore Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes. Inspiration for my hair and make-up came from my dress: vintage 1930s Hollywood glamour but with a modern feel. My friend did my make-up, using Laura Mercier products.”
“I wanted classic flowers – David Austin Roses – they were beautiful.”
“The ceremony was in the main Dining Hall in Bradley House. As we were staying in the house I just had to come down the sweeping staircase – so not too far! A real highlight was holding onto my dad’s hand with the adrenalin running.”
“We had a pianist playing at the ceremony.”
- Entrance of the bride: Craig Armstrong – Glasgow Love Theme
- During the ceremony: James Taylor – You’ve Got a Friend
- Exit of the bride and groom: Neil Young – Only Love Can Break Your Heart
“We had two readings during the ceremony: The Owl and the Pussy Cat and Red Red Rose.”
“The champagne and canapes reception was in the house and gardens, followed by a sit down meal in the marquee. All of the wine was sourced by us with Liam’s parents, in Bordeaux, France. A great excuse for a booze trip to France! The Champagne was Bille-Carte Salmon.”
“My dad organised a magician and also a silhouette artist (who was excellent) for during the champagne reception. We all got to take home silhouettes of ourselves!”
“Our guest book was made by my cousin – who went round taking photos with a Polaroid camera and got guests to write messages under each image – a great idea and memory of everyone who came to the wedding.”
“Brightly coloured Mexican papel picados decorated the marquee for the reception, teamed with bright David Austin Roses to give more of a party feel, separate to the rest of the house.”
“Our wedding cake was lovingly homemade by my sister. We had some cake tastings with her and settled on chocolate and raspberry. We also had a cheese station after the meal, which disappeared very quickly!”
- The Ronettes – Be My Baby
“We were taught a dance routine by our wonderful friend, Lizzie Prince.”
- “We had Ceilidh dancing (which is traditionally Scottish) as a surprise for the family and guests. It went down a treat and got everyone in the mood for a good old knees up!”
- “A friend, kindly spun some classic wedding DJ tunes after the Ceilidh, until the early hours.”
What were your highlights and your favourite memories from the day?
- “The wedding speeches, lighting the paper lanterns whilst Beatles songs blared out into the night sky, songs around the piano at the end of the evening, dancing and seeing everyone have so much fun.”
Do you have any advice for brides-to-be who are looking to get married at Bradley House?
- “Book up local B&B’s, hotels etc as early as possible if you know you have lots of family coming to stay. Check some of them out beforehand if you can, as they really vary. We loved The Somerset Arms and The Bath Arms.”
- “Make a weekend of it!! We had a hog roast for all the guests, back at the house on the Sunday.”
- “Look at other people’s weddings for inspiration. I really liked these websites: Caught the Light and Inspired Winter and Tori Hancock.”
- “Get hunting for wedding shoes early – they are so hard to find if you don’t want really traditional ones!”
- “Get bridesmaid dresses on the High Street. Alex Monroe do beautiful jewellery, which are great for bridesmaid gifts.”
Would you do anything differently?
- “I may have made more time for personal touches on the tables.”
- “I would have made sure we had some more family photos done – unfortunately it started raining so we didn’t do as many as we’d have liked.”
Do you have any wedding budget tips?
- “There are some great ways of keeping costs of flowers down – with simple single stems in old vintage bottles or milk bottles. Make your own pom poms or bunting too – it’s so easy and you could even do this as part of the hen-do.”
- “Booze! We went a little crazy with the bar. We could have kept it simpler with just a few choices (although it did make the night more memorable!).”
Venue and suppliers:
Photographer – Draw Down The Stars / Venue – Bradley House / Florist – Nicky Llewellyn / Catering – Victoria Blashford-Snell / Bride’s dress, brooch and hair accessory – Heirloom Couture / Bridesmaid dresses – Whistles, bags – Reiss, shoes – Kurt Geiger, jewellery – Alex Monroe
I love how Emma and Liam provided unique entertainment throughout their day with a silhouette artist, a magician and the Ceilidh dancing. The paper lanterns were a fantastic addition too, creating a special activity for all of their guests to get involved in.
And, how great do all the guys look in their kilts? Are you totally in love with Emma’s dress too? That sumptuous silk – dreamy!