Home is where the heart is

Jackie and Dan met at their local tennis club, but there was more than one love on the cards. "We embarked on a mixeddoubles losing streak, which we eventually broke," Jackie says. "Dan asked me out at the gates of the club after we played together a few times." They both had similar interests and a mutual attraction, so she agreed.

Fast forward into their relationship, and Dan was dreaming up the perfect way to pop the question. “We were on a trip to Barcelona and he proposed at night on the beach – I had no idea it was coming,” Jackie tells us. “He bought the ring a few months earlier, just before Valentine’s Day, and was surprised when the jeweller asked if he was planning a Valentine’s proposal!” The pair soon set the date for 7th September, 2019, and they decided to host celebrations at the bride’s family home in Woollard, Somerset. We caught up with Jackie to find out how they did it…

Top table decor The venue was where Jackie grew up, and it held a lot of specialmemories. "It has lots of space and idyllic views," Jackie says."As it wasn't a traditional venue, we had the freedom to do whatwe pleased and add touches to make the day exactly whatwe wanted." In keeping with the setting, they chose a rural,outdoorsy theme, and used as many local companies as possibleto bring it to life.

Floral place settings

The pair opted for a relaxed feel, with woodland and meadow florals from Wild About Flowers. "We filled milk churns, wooden crates and an assortment of vases for the tables," Jackie says."The centrepieces sat on wooden slices made from trees that had fallen in the garden, alongside candles and flowers." Instead of a traditional cake, the couple chose a cheese stack, with the cheese selection and design left in the capable hands of their caterer, The Full Spoon. "We didn't see the design in advance, which meant we got a surprise on the day," Jackie says.

Sloe gin favours

There was a personal touch to the table plan, with Polaroid pictures of all the guests with the couple's favourite tennis players as table names – reflecting how they met. Place settings and favours were doubled up, and the couple's nearest and dearest were treated to homemade sloe gin, using sloes picked from the fields by the house.

Bridal party sit on hay bales To fit the rustic vibe, hay bales provided by Stowey Farm were used for seating, while the confetti was made from rose petals that were handpicked and dried from the garden. As well as providing the marquee, Archers Marquees also organised the lighting, which lit up the river beautifully in the evening.

Bride walks barefoot Jackie wore Kelsey by Maggie Sottero, which she first saw in the window of Krystle Brides in Bath when she went for an appointment. "The staff in the boutique were so helpful and never made you feel rushed," Jackie says. "I loved the train and the detail on the back of the dress. It was comfortable and sparkly, but not too formal given the rustic setting of our wedding." She teamed the gown with a veil and a pair of earrings, which were a gift from one of her bridesmaids.

Confetti Dan's tailor-made Moss Bros suit was in a royal blue with his choice of East Asian-inspired lining and gold stitching on the cuffs. The groomsmen wore a similar blue suit, while the bride's brother, who lives in Scotland, wore a kilt made from his university tartan. The bridesmaids looked elegant in the Salma dress by Ghost, in a luxurious emerald green.

First dance To set the scene and provide a wonderful atmosphere, a string quartet performed while the guests arrived, during the ceremony and for the reception; the lead violinist was Jackie's old music teacher. After a delicious meal from The Full Spoon, the guests all gathered by the river for a duck race, which saw some of the guests wading in the water to help! "In the evening, the party got started with a live ceilidh band," Jackie says. "This was followed by our own playlist of dancefloor-fillers."

Wicker baskets full of confetti

Cheesestack While Jackie was excited on the morning of the big day, Dan was feeling nervous about his speech. "He was so relieved when it was over," Jackie smiles. "He could then relax and enjoy the rest of the wedding." The day was full of glorious sunshine. "We had a contingency plan to relocate everything inside the marquee in the event of rain," Jackie says. "Luckily, the weather was perfect!" The pair loved having their photos taken in the late afternoon in a local tannery. Jackie remembers, "It meant walking across a field, through the woods and crossing a river to reach the location! I had to take my shoes off while Dan held up my train."

Golden hour shot Jackie's words of wedded wisdom: "Make sure you're comfortable with the suppliers you choose. This allows you to trust them, leaving you to relax and enjoy the day."

Jackie and Dan's contact book

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