Despite taking the same physics course at Bath university, Charlotte and Tom actually met through mutual friends. "We hadn't crossed paths before because I was much better at attending lectures than Tom," Charlotte laughs. The pair soon became inseparable, and ten years later, Tom planned a surprise trip to Bath – the city where they met.
“He booked for us to stay in a stunning suite at the Royal Crescent Hotel to celebrate our tenth anniversary,” Charlotte says. “When we arrived, there was a bottle of champagne waiting in the room and he popped the question. After ten years it came as a huge – but very happy – surprise!” After spending the rest of the weekend celebrating, the newly engaged couple came home and started planning their perfect wedding for 24th August, 2019, at Court Farm, Standerwick. We caught up with Charlotte to find out how they did it…
Keen to make the most of it, the pair set out to find a venue that could host them for the whole weekend. "Court Farm allowed us to book accommodation for the entire weekend," Charlotte explains. "This meant that we could have a barbecue for close friends and family on the Sunday, which was really special."
The blank-canvas venue allowed the pair to make it their own and their guests could enjoy all the different spaces it had to offer. It was a beautiful summer wedding, with a relaxed and rustic vibe accented with a pastel colour palette. "My good friend, Imogen, runs The Botanical Alchemist," Charlotte says. "I love her style, which incorporates wild flowers and free-form arrangements, so I gave her my brief and let her take the lead.
The florals were the main focal point of the centrepieces and I trusted Imogen completely." The arch that the couple got married under was a real labour of love, as it involved the bride and her maid-of-honour getting up at the crack of dawn to head to New Covent Garden Market to buy dried flowers!
The rustic feel ran throughout the day, with hired vintage props from the venue owner's second business, Palmer & Pea. "There were lots of items to choose from in a big shed," Charlotte remembers. "My bridesmaids were given free rein to get creative and the end result was amazing." The marquee, from Bath Marquees, was decked out by the team in rustic furnishings.
Charlotte and her maid-of-honour, Jennie, were brave enough to create the wedding cake themselves. "I did splash out on a cheese stack from West Country Cheese Co though, as I love cheese!" Charlotte says.
Loved ones were also treated to homemade elderflower gin as favours, which was produced by the maid-of-honour and painstakingly bottled by the best man and his girlfriend.
Charlotte looked stunning in an empire-line dress with a layered skirt of tulle and sequins. "I absolutely loved it," she says. "It was so much fun to dance in and see it sparkle." Tom bought her a gorgeous diamond necklace as her something new, and she wore her late-grandmother's wedding ring as her something old and something borrowed.
Tom wanted to be cool and comfortable, which was a good plan as it was a hot August day. "He's not really a three-piece suit kind of man," Charlotte tells us. "He had a brown jacket and navy trousers tailored for him." The groomsmen wore navy, and were asked to choose suits that they were comfortable in. Same goes for the bridesmaids, who all wore the same sage-green colour in lots of different designs to fit their style.
The food got rave reviews, with Maddie at The Dorset Chef creating a calm feel on the day. "Her team fit in so well to our relaxed day," the bride says. "My food highlight was the mac and cheese with a selection of toppings!"
The Bristol String Quartet created a lovely atmosphere for the ceremony and drinks, before the party kicked off in the evening with a festival-style band called The Wilderness. "They even learned our first dance song, Toothpaste Kisses by The Maccabees," Charlotte says. "Both bands were amazing and we couldn't have been happier." To keep everyone entertained in the afternoon, the couple begged and borrowed a whole array of garden games from family and friends. "We were very lucky with the weather, which meant everyone could play outside," Charlotte remembers.
Despite feeling a little self-conscious during the ceremony, the newlyweds soon relaxed into what they called the best day ever. "It was so wonderful to be surrounded by our loved ones and see our months of planning come together," Charlotte says. "A memorable moment for me was the speeches. We asked a number of our party to make short speeches, and we didn't put any pressure on them. Every single one was personal, funny and individual. I didn't realise how important that part of the day would be."
The pair knew they couldn't have done it all without the help of their nearest and dearest. "Everyone clubbed in and added a personal touch to the wedding," the bride explains. "From the ushers directing cars and moving chairs in 30-degree heat to my bridesmaids decorating the venue – everyone went above and beyond to make it special for us."
Hair and make-up
Marquee, furniture and toilets
Venue and prop hire