Whether you’ve just booked the venue or are yet to discover the wonder that is Coombe Trenchard, this is a beautifully written piece by a bride who recently married at this eclectic Devonshire country house. But the thing is, Emily loved the venue so much she’s decided to stay as their new Wedding Coordinator!
Emily has some truly wonderful tips below, not just for those of you marrying at Coombe Trenchard but also for those embarking on the magical (and sometimes challenging!) adventure that is planning a wedding.
Here’s Emily’s tales from the other side…
Notes from a Coombe Trenchard Bride
Am I basking in the glow, or still completely exhausted..? This is the question I am still asking myself 4 months into married life. It feels the same but different; marriage is comforting presence in an otherwise familiar sea of work, Sunday food shopping and Netflix decisions.
Relief is palpable; the 18 months of my life spent considering, communicating, dreaming and pinterest-ing were utterly and totally worth it. Possessed of a certain surreal, dreamlike quality, our wedding day went exceptionally well; sunshine, happy smiles and our favourite people investing and involving themselves in a day that meant so much to so many.
With such a momentous build up, it is a strange sensation when the day is actually happening, but also when it has happened. That constant stream of wedding thoughts in your head cease and allow contemplation and fresh ideas to burst in, the future suddenly opens up like the first green buds in Spring.
In my new capacity as Wedding Co-ordinator at Coombe Trenchard, I have the honour of assisting and supporting our 2017 Brides & Grooms as they take this same journey. Wonderfully, Coombe Trenchard is incapable of holding the same celebration twice; it is possessed with too many unique spaces, has too much room for interpretation and allows its beauty to be channelled in so many glorious ways. My excitement at being involved as others create their ‘Best Day Ever’ is huge, my passion and true love of everything that weddings represent ensures that this responsibility feels safe and well placed amongst my positivity and enthusiasm.
Top Ten Tips
It seems fitting as I transition from Bride to Wedding Co-ordinator to reflect on my own experience and attempt to support those within the whirlwind and joy of planning their Big Day. So, here are the top ten tips from the new Mrs Colwill:
Invest emotionally in Coombe Trenchard. This may seem obvious, but I almost see Coombe Trenchard as a being. Arranging meetings with Sarah, visits with Parents and seeing Facebook and Twitter posts gave me such warm feelings. I do believe this magnificent home is imbedded with its own character and arriving the night before the wedding felt like greeting an old friend. I highly recommended booking tastings, trials and cups of tea in the lead up to your big day; it feels like you are sharing your loved ones and memories with a place that holds a very special place in your heart.
Use your time wisely. I remember the see-saw effect of wedding planning well. You go through hugely productive flurries, before focusing on normal life for a short time. Do try to book in a weekend a month or an evening a week to keep up to date though. I felt very organised but still found the fortnight beforehand hugely stressful. You do not want to be handcrafting signage or frantically buying bridesmaid’s presents in the grand build up. Make lists, involve friends and family and enjoy the time spent on your day in a measured and thought out way. Discuss the day in detail with Sarah and myself at Coombe Trenchard and give due thought to exactly how you want the day to flow and feel from the outset.
Know when to stop. This goes for the immediate lead up and the overall planning. We all know that there is no limit to how much money, time and obsessive pinteresting can be spent on your wedding, but you do have to attempt to keep a level of perspective. Make it your dream day, go for what feels right and works for the two of you, but not at a cost to your happiness, stress levels or future financial prospects. I can hold my hands up and say there are a few projects that I didn’t have the strength to complete as the wedding loomed closer and they did not have any bearing on just how incredible the day was. As I ate chocolate with my Bridesmaids the night before, feeling a mixture of excitement and pinch-me nervous bubbles, I let go of the mental to-do list and concerns over stopwatches (!). Keep the balance between creating a magical day and holding onto your sanity!
Feel present with no pressure. There are no rules as to how you should feel on your wedding day. It is hugely overwhelming, all kinds of wonderful and every person processes and deals with that differently. In the morning I attempted a few calm moments of breathing, then put on some music and danced around the Bridal Suite in a haze of pure, unfiltered excitement. During the speeches though, I became completely overwhelmed and unable to cry, think or form words. Dreams coming true can do that to a person. Ten minutes of walking the grounds with my new husband remedied that and I could continue enjoying every second of a day that whizzes past in smiling faces and squeezy hugs. Vow to stay present, feel the moments and the love coming your way and let the day take you with it.
Go on honeymoon straight away. I’m a planner, someone who copes with stress and pressure well and was lucky enough to have a wedding day that exceeded my own expectations, but I was not prepared for the wave of exhaustion that the aftermath brings. It’s happy, elated tiredness that requires you to fall asleep whilst looking at your friends pictures from the day for the thousandth time, but its best done on a beach in a bubble of joy with your new husband. That or a mini-moon before the big honeymoon event, either way you’ll be thankful for the breathing space.
Use Coombe Trenchard’s spaces to their full potential. So much wow-factor is contained within this magnificent venue. Sarah is incredible at seeing ways to use a space she knows and cares for. We used the minstrel’s gallery for speeches, it was fantastic. These spaces are yours to optimise, celebrate and fill with love: talk to us about how best to use them.
Stick to your guns and be brave. Others input and expectations can cause issues as you plan a day that carries a lot of weight to it. The road was not without bumps, differences of opinion and lacklustre comments but I’m extraordinarily glad we stuck to our guns and did it our way. Choosing to celebrate your love on your own terms and deciding how much tradition to include is personal and decisions that should be made me you and your partner alone.
Understand how much the day means to your family and friends. I found that our family and friends respected and revelled in our unique take on wedding celebrations. On that day your union and happiness takes precedent in your wonderful loved ones lives. It’s an incredibly special and moving feeling to feel that positivity and unbridled joy being aimed at you and your day. Remember it, treasure it and make time to talk to everyone after the wedding, you’ll be surprised at how much your family will want to discuss such a momentous occasion.
Bask in the Bridal Suite of dreams at Coombe Trenchard! That bed, that bathroom. A cocoon of grandeur and peace, I still feel emotional just thinking about the time spent within that beautiful part of such an exquisite venue.
Use this new found brain space to plan wonderful things to look forward to once you are wife; after all, this is just the beginning of happy ever after.
I think present and future brides of Coombe Trenchard are super lucky to have both Sarah & Emily by their sides during their planning journey. Thank you so much to both for sharing this gorgeous piece, it’s advice I wholeheartedly agree with.
Emma is the founder & curator of these award-winning pages. Passionate about venues, interiors and a good Whiskey Sour. You'll also find Emma working as a Creative Director consulting for wedding venues around the UK.