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by Emma Hla

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I’m thrilled to be sharing our first Real Wedding on the Coco pages today…

Our Bride is none other than Mrs White (aka. Clare) from Whiter Than White Weddings Blog fame, and she married her beau Richard on 23rd June 2012 at the quintessentially English Sheldon Manor

This wedding is a beautiful mix of Rustic Romance and Classic Elegance… Clare and Richard are both designers so expect a DIY extravaganza with a hefty dollop of style. This creative pair had a hand in all of the beautiful details you are about to feast your eyes on… From the beautifully crafted stationary, to the twinkling chandelier marquee through to Clare’s mum and her infamous Lemon Drizzle Cake.

Oh and the escorts cards-come-wedding favours made my heart melt.

Just wait and see folks…

Notes from the Bride

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

Venue love

We both love the English countryside and there was no question of getting married anywhere else really. We wanted a relaxed country wedding in an English country garden, complete with lots of rustic charm and personal touches. We found our venue quite early in the planning, but not before visiting around twelve venues in different parts of the country! We have friends and family all over so it was important that we found somewhere that was easy enough for everyone to get to.

We knew instantly that we had found what we were looking for when we visited Sheldon Manor

A long, tree lined driveway finally gives way to reveal the stunningly beautiful Wiltshire stone Manor House set at the top of tiered gardens and lawns. With it’s 13th Century stone porch and tiny, 15th Century chapel it was incredibly unique.

Beautiful, old fashioned rose gardens, mulberry trees and countless antiques make Sheldon Manor very special.

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

It had all of the rustic charm we were looking for and we were able to hire the entire venue for the weekend and our wedding party could all stay together in the cottages within the grounds. Plus I was allowed free rein on the decorating!

We got married in a beautiful little Victorian church on top of a hill overlooking the picturesque Wiltshire countryside.

We both love vintage cars and hired a white Citroen DS to take my Dad and I to the church. Rich then drove us to the reception in a beautiful Austin Healey 3000 Mk iii.

Love Notes

We designed and screen-printed all of the stationary ourselves. It had a 1930’s feel and combined lots of different hand-drawn fonts and illustrations filling all the space in a poster-like style. I drew an engraved heart locket for the save the date and lockets became a bit of a theme throughout the wedding.

camera shy

Choosing the right photographer was incredibly important to us.

We wanted someone who would appreciate and look to capture all the little details we were planning and since we are both quite camera shy, wanted someone that we felt comfortable around.

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

When we met Chloe Browne at Caught the Light, we knew instantly she was the one.

We booked Chloe very early on in our planning and it was one of the best decisions we made. She was amazing – incredibly professional yet so warm and friendly, the way she interacted with all our guests was really touching and the photography was superb.

ethereal vintage

I tried a lot of dresses on!

I initially thought it would be really easy finding ‘the one’ but it turned out to be quite stressful as I found a couple I liked.

In the end the Honeysuckle Dress by Temperley was all I had searched for. It was made from beautiful cream embroidered Chantilly lace with scalloped edges and a gorgeous small puddle train. I loved the ethereal, vintage look and the little diamonds that twinkled in the candlelight.

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

I wore patent nude heels by Miu Miu with chunky diamond studs on the heels. I absolutely loved them, they were so comfortable and the chunky heels were perfect for our outdoor wedding.

I decided to keep my accessories quite simple and chose some fresh flowers that were pinned in my hair.

Fair Maids

My two bridesmaids wore simple cream silk and lace dresses from Tara Jarmon with antique wax flowers in their hair.

I chosen two different dresses for our four little flower girls from i love gorgeous. They each carried fresh petals for scattering down the aisle in antique cotton and lace bags made by Rich’s mum (a seamstress) from fabric I collected.

They looked incredibly cute!

bespoke boy

The boy wore a petrol blue suit from Paul Smith, in fact his entire outfit (yes, even his pants!) were from there as I work as a designer for the company.

I designed a floral print lining for his suit and we had all of the boys Paul Smith suits customised with the same lining. The ties were all different shades of blue and purple with a miniature spot design.

I bought a silver heart shaped Victorian pill box that I got engraved with our names and date of the wedding to put our rings inside for the church.

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

the personal touch

As Rich and I are both designers we decided to plan and style everything ourselves.

We chose not to have a theme as such but simply wanted to create a happy, relaxed atmosphere with lots of pretty, personal touches.

I love antiques and collecting beautiful objects so these played a big part in the decorations.

We strung zinc, wooden and rusty hearts and stars in the trees outside the beautiful old porch where our reception drinks were held, hired from Zita Elze.

I collected old vintage silver and gold heart shaped lockets for all of our guests. We personalised each one by putting old black and white photos of our guests on their wedding day, of their children or happy memories with our friends inside each locket.

The table number was then printed and placed inside, opposite each photograph. Each locket was then threaded with antique silk ribbon with their names hand stamped on a tag and attached to each. We then hung all of the lockets on an old tree branch held in a rusted iron base.

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

During the drinks reception our guests were invited to find their locket and their own happy memory inside!

Hand written messages from our guests on vintage wedding cards and postcards collected from antique markets were later pegged onto the same tree.

Wild and Whimsical

I absolutely love flowers so it was really important that they played a big part in the day. I found Charlie from The Real Cut Flower Garden and loved her wild, whimsical, unstructured approach to flowers. She grows the flowers herself so they are all natural, organic and very unique. We simply left it to her to pick what was blooming on the day. We were over the moon with the overall effect and Charlie was so wonderful to work with.

I wanted the flowers in my bouquet to be really unstructured and natural. They included a mixture of three types of orange blossom, astrantia, astilbe, aquilegia heads old-fashioned roses, euonymus and stocks all hand tied with antique lace.

For our table decorations our florist arranged lots of old glass vases, pots and jars with different country blooms.

Our table numbers were hand painted onto little zinc boards and placed amongst little recycled glass votive holders with candles inside.

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

The Secret Garden

Our pavilion tent was printed with a beautiful rose print lining so we decided to keep decorations inside fairly simple. We hung six antique glass chandeliers across the ceiling, which twinkled beautifully in the evening. My Dad and I chose and arranged lots of plants inside the ancient stone birdbath behind our table. We also dotted rose and apple trees around the pavilion.

Along with the lockets our guests got to keep, we bought a selection of Rococo chocolate bars that we popped into pretty printed paper bags bought from America. We tied old silk, antique lace and printed ribbons around each bar so each one looked different.

For our place names we hand stamped each persons name onto tiny tags that were threaded through old wax flowers, the small people had sugar mice instead of flowers!

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

I made paper party bags for the smalls with wedding colouring books, finger puppets, stickers and jewellery making kits inside to keep them busy!

We chose a large antique oak table that we draped my Mum’s old lace tablecloths over to display our wedding cake. It was important for us to have personal decorations that meant something to us. I arranged my parents antique candelabras and our own candles and frames together with brass C&R letters that I found.

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

We also had glass candle holders with the numbers 2 and 3 on them, making 23, the date of our wedding. We set an old wire cage on the table for guests to put cards inside. Above the table, we strung beautiful paper fan decorations (borrowed from a friend) together with cut-out heart paper garlands that my sister made.

Feast

We chose Calcot Kitchens – a local catering company based at Calcot Manor and Spa. They have a great reputation and already had a strong relationship with Sheldon Manor and knew the grounds very well. The food was incredible and they come highly recommended!

My Mum’s lemon drizzle cake is legendary so she kindly made a huge three-tiered version with royal icing and lavender and olive branches as decoration.

cocktails & jazz

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

For the bar we decanted spirits into our parents old crystal decanters and strung little zinc heart labels around each one.

Wine and beers were displayed in zinc buckets found at antique markets.

Following dinner, acoustic gypsy/folk/jazz band The Mighty Peas played covers of tunes from our chidhood such as the grange hill music and the littlest hobo to our guests as we served gin gin mules and lychee martinis beside the log burning fire.

Johnny & Pete from Wedding Smashers then ensured all our guests including us didn’t leave the dance floor for the next four hours.

They were absolutely amazing!

Coco Wedding Venues - Real Wedding - Sheldon Manor - Clare and Richard - Image by Caught the Light.

Images by Caught the Light.

Click here to view all of the images from this Sheldon Manor wedding…

Credits

Venue Sheldon Manor | Photography Caught the Light | Bride’s Dress Temperley | Brides Shoes Mui Mui | Groom Paul Smith | Bridesmaids Tara Jarmon | Flower Girls i love gorgeous | Venue Styling & Decor Whiter than White Weddings | Florist The Real Cut Flower Garden | Caterer Calcot Kitchens | Stationary Whiter than White Weddings | Hair Gemma Sutton | Make-up Sarah Brock | Transport Great Escape Cars &  Citroen DS Hire | Entertainment Wedding Smashers & The Mighty Peas

How dreamy is this wedding…?

The detail is delicious and I also think every Bride & Groom needs a portrait with a donkey!

Why not take a peek at the beautiful Sheldon Manor over on the Coco Wedding Venues directory for your own White Wedding…

Thanks to Clare and Richard for sharing their day…

Lots of love…

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