A Twenties Twist – Melanie and James at North Cadbury Court in Somerset

Melanie and James are a delightful couple from Guildford who were looking for a party venue for their wedding where they could enjoy the ultimate elegance of partying for the whole weekend with their friends and family.

I first met Melanie and James in a swanky hotel in town where we talked about love, life and most importantly venues for weddings.  When it comes to matters of the heart, especially relating to the love of a venue, it was important that we found the perfect fit.  We searched high and low to find their dream location which was a country house with a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, rolling fields, a lake, tennis courts, an indoor nightclub, a casino in the cellar, a touch glamour, theatre and pizzaz. As if by magic we stumbled across North Cadbury Court a unique, luxury stately home in Somerset set within a 1,500 acre estate. Owned by the Montgomery family, world famous for their Cheddar cheese, the house dated back more than 700 years and has been stunningly renovated.  All of the gorgeous photo’s in this blog piece were captured by the super talented Martin Hill.
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The weekend had already begun with a relaxed party on the Friday night.  Melanie and James’s friends arrived to enjoy games on the lawn, a dip in the pool and a wonderful Hog Roast barbecue in the summer sunshine.  Purely Events were busy helping with the preparations for the following day which started at around 8.00am when the wonderful Kaz Fernando and her assistant arrived to make our bridal party look fabulous.  Kaz’s calm and professional manner makes her one of the best make up artists to have on your wedding day and she really created a wonderful look for Melanie and her bridesmaids.

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The bridal room was filled full of excitement and emotion for the day that lay ahead and with a year of organising finally all of these wonderful plans would come to fruition.  After many days trying on dresses we found Melanie’s dress from The Wedding Dress Shop in Wimbledon. The name of her dress was Gloria from Enzoani.    She looked simply stunning from head to toe.  Melanie’s five bridesmaids were dressed in Jim Helm and sourced from the wonderful Miss Bush located in Ripley, Surrey.

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Mel & James wedding-103Purely Events introduced Melanie to Gillian Million she is an Atelier of the most exquisite and luxurious wedding accessories all designed to order. Gillian creates bespoke pieces for brides all over the world including celebrity and royal clients.  Melanie purchased a wonderful vintage necklace and matching earrings which polished off to perfection her glamorous, timeless and elegant look for her wedding day.

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James and his groomsmen looked immaculate in their matching attire which Purely Events assisted in sourcing.  Before the wedding the guys had a quick pint at the pub.  On their return Martin Hill captured this wonderful shot of them looking relaxed and rather dapper.  Melanie wanted to give a personal note to James before they sealed the deal at the church.  No one knew what she wrote but from James’s reaction it was truly heartfelt.

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The men made their way to church to greet the awaiting guests.  A short while later Phil from Purely Events escorted the mother of the bride to the church.  It is tradition that the brides mother is to be the last to enter the church and escorted to her seat before the bride makes her big entrance.Mel & James wedding-107Filled with excitement and anticipation Melanie and her bridesmaids made their way across to St Michael’s Church located next door to North Cadbury Court.
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The church dates back to 1417. It is a Grade I listed building and is set within the quant and idyllic village of North Cadbury.  The stained glass windows provided a stunning backdrop to the ceremony and allowed the light to shine brightly over the couple.  To compliment the spectacular venue and church Melanie wanted to create an understated but glamorous feel.  Her vision was always to have white floral displays.  Sabine Darrall from G-Lily flowers brought this vision alive with her amazing attention to detail and relentless efforts to find the right flowers and accessories for this wedding.  The bridesmaids had bouquets of gypsophila and Melanie bouquet consisted of white peonies.  All of the bouquets were tied together using white gros grain ribbon.  The church’s aisle was framed with stunning white boxes of hydrangeas and the two large pedestals were breathtakingly beautiful filled with white hydrangeas, gypsophila and white roses.  (We managed to re-use the pedestals by moving them from the church after the service into the main wedding breakfast room).
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Melanie and James had bespoke wedding stationary made for their wedding, by Purely Events wedding stationary designer Michelle Fiedler.  She is uber talented and together we all decided that it would be a great idea to send something unique and different to the guests.  With the Cadbury connection we thought it would be a fabulous idea to send a personalised luxury chocolate box with an embossed gold stamp detailing the venue, the bride and groom names and the date on the front of the box. When the guests opened the box they found wrapped in gold striped tissue paper their invite and also some wonderful chocolate’s to enjoy.  The theme of the stationary was then set for the wedding and this translated beautifully into the church and the venue, where we constantly used the same font on all stationary and signage to give a 1920’s style feel.  This allowed us to bring another piece of glamour and design style that Melanie and James wanted.  Below is a picture of the order of service that Michelle Fiedler designed.Mel & James wedding-178

Mel & James wedding-177After the service the bride, groom and their guests made their way back to North Cadbury Court.  Purely Events had set up some wonderful food stations where the canapés were served.  The food stations had a vintage feel utilising our two white wooden step ladders as well as our linen cupboard.  This provided a unique and interesting way for guests to take their food.  The stations were not only aesthetically gorgeous decorated with flowers but they were also a great point of conversation and most importantly guests would not have to wait for canapés to be served to them, it would allow them to help themselves.  The catering for the day was provided by the wedding industry regional winner Sausage and Pear.  Their food was scrummy and the portion sizes were very generous which was important as we had quite a few rugby players attending the wedding.

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Sausage and Pear provided an amazing barrelled bar which we positioned perfectly right outside the house.Mel & James wedding-246

The guests enjoyed their drinks and canapés on the lawn.  They were also treated to a live guitarist performing songs from well known Brit pop bands.  The atmosphere was very relaxed after about an hour of soaking up the vibes, Purely Events then called the guests to be seated for the wedding breakfast using the house’s very own gong.  Melanie’s family originally came from Sweden and it was important that we brought some of the Swedish wedding traditions to the party.  It is normal during Swedish weddings for anyone to stand up and speak during the dinner and also to perform “Snapsvisor”.  This is where the guests enjoy the custom of drinking a snaps and belting out Swedish folk songs.  Michelle Fiedler beautifully designed some cards for each table that had the lyrics on.  After a couple shots of snaps it was quite apparent that the English people became fluent in Swedish.

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Two weeks before the wedding day James came up with the novel idea of introducing a champagne tower to give the wedding a true 1920s Gatsby feel.  The tower was a complete success as the bride and groom poured champagne from the top of the tower before the speeches.

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At Purely Events we believe our weddings should flow like the champagne and leave people wondering what is going to happen next.  So when thinking about how to best move guests from the wedding breakfast room into the garden we decided to bring in two amazing Gatsby girl dancers. The girls led the bride a groom and the wedding party out to 1920s music followed by a 20 minute fabulous show on the lawns.

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After the excitement of the dancers Purely Events and Sausage and Pear staff turned the main room around.  When we reopened the doors we were so excited to introduce the award winning best UK wedding band Ambassador Band.  They literally brought the roof down at the evening party.  We began the evening events with Pippa our Hula Hoop girl who accompanied our bride and groom to their first dance which was an upbeat number Changes.  Melanie had slipped into her second dress for the evening designed by the fabulous Jenny Packham.  It was really in keeping with the venue and theme of the wedding with the most beautiful encrusted jewelled belt and stunning design on the top and back of the dress.

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The guests also enjoyed a Sweetie Table, a Photo Booth and if they needed to take a breather from all this entertainment and fabulous music, the bar outside remained open for guests to enjoy.  Now if you thought this party was going to finish at this point you were clearly mistaken.  These guys took the party into North Cadbury Courts very own nightclub located in the cellar of the house – sooo cool.  The bride and grooms two gorgeous DJ friends played a number of sets and the hardcore party goers kept going until dawn.

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Behind the scenes to this wedding was a fantastic company called GLD Productions they went above and beyond helping us to ensure the day was a complete success providing all the chairs and tables as well as the lighting for outside the house and the trees in the garden.  They even built a little DJ table for the girls to spin their tunes off.  Purely Events would like to personally thank them and all the other suppliers mentioned in this blog piece.  We can certainly highly recommend them all to ensure your party or wedding is flawless. Purely Events final word on this wedding –  A little party never killed nobody – and these guys certainly danced until they dropped. Congratulations Mr and Mrs Kirk.

Smashing the Glass with the gorgeous Ben and Bernice

I have the absolute pleasure to introduce the most scrumptious couple Ben and Bernice.  I first met them at a hotel in Sutton where we enjoyed an exquisite cup of coffee and discussed the plans for their forthcoming wedding day.  I could see from our first meeting that these guys were soul mates.  Bernice looked radiant with her dazzling smile and Ben was very smart and dashing arriving on one of his rip roaring motorbikes. Ben shared stories of when they first met and how he wooed the stunning Bernice into being his girl.  Bernice’s calm demeanour complimented Ben’s enthusiasm for life and there began the story of their wedding.  Our journey was one of the most emotional weddings I have ever had to organise.  Both families were beyond gorgeous, without going into too much detail we experienced some heartache along the way.  Ben and Bernice’s love for each other and the support around them ensured that their wedding day was a day which would signify new beginnings and also remembering those people who influenced them throughout their lives.  The wedding was to be a fusion between Bernice’s Ghanaian roots and Ben’s Jewish traditions.  So on May 3rd 2015 the wedding took place at Ben’s family synagogue South London Liberal Synagogue where they were married under the same Chuppah as Ben’s parents. The reception took place at Nonsuch Mansion a stunning Georgian venue located in spectacular parklands in Cheam.  All of the photo’s were captured by one of Purely Events favourite photographers the very dashing David Long

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The wedding day began with Bernice getting ready at Non Such Mansion and her make up artist arriving Edee Beau who we found after much searching perfected the art of make up for darker skin tones.  Edee created a flawless and glamorous look for Bernice’s big day and complimented her strapless, clinched waisted ballerina inspired dress ‘Harper’ by Vera Wang the texture and layers of this dress are stunning.  Bernice’s hair was created by Junior Green who has been her stylist for many years she embellished her hair with flowers from the fabulous and creative florist Byrd and Spry as well as a diamante slide from Jenny Packham bridal accessories.  Bernice had six wonderful bridesmaids and all of them dressed in lace and satin from an African designer based in Ghana Christie Brown

 

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The ceremony had three rabbi’s. Rabbi Janet who officiated the majority of the service. Rabbi Danny Rich – a close friend of Ben’s family who married the couple ; and Rabbi Harry Jacobi who married Ben’s mum and dad in 1975 and said the final benediction.  They also had Cantor Cantor Gershon Silins who sang beautifully throughout the ceremony.

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After the ceremony at South London Liberal Synagogue the guests enjoyed food and champagne prepared by Ben’s mother who is a caterer in her own right preparing food for many Simchas.  I can certainly recommend her food to be of an excellent standard for any gathering. The guests were then in for a treat as they were transported to Nonsuch Mansion by the very last Routemaster that was in public service RM2217 provided for by Arrriva Bus– this bus was special to Ben as it was the 159 which used to run every day past his grandmother’s flat in Brixton. We also ensured that the bus had a plentiful supply of champagne and music to create excitement before we even arrived at for the main wedding reception….  Ben and Bernice travelled in style using the same 1925 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Landaulette for the filming of Mr. Selfridge.  Although at one point I wondered if Ben’s excitement about the fabulous bus would result in him driving the guests to Nonsuch Mansion.  The car was provided by Ivan whose service was unequaled he even took the trouble to drive the route before the wedding day to ensure his timings were spot on.

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The flowers – I could write so much about how stunning the flowers were.  Ella from Byrd and Spry knew beautifully how to give this wedding a visual explosion with her mix of Peonies, Poppies, Lilac, Trailing Jasmine all tied together with African fabric from Ghana.  The effort and love that Ella put into creating such masterful centre pieces using Lavender, Rosemary and Herbs to create fragrance that filled the room with beautiful aromas all placed into silver footed bowls and candelabras set onto mirror bases.

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Purely Events created a sweet little card table for all the guests to leave their love notes.

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Dotted around the rooms were Walkers toffees a very fitting sweet treat for the guests to enjoy.

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The groom and his groomsmen looked dashing in their Austin Reed suits and their co-ordinated socks and brogues.

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During the wedding breakfast the guests were treated to a wonderful menu starting with – Fresh fig, caramelised red onion & goats cheese tarte tatin, purple olive tapenade, parmesan shavings and sweet balsamic glaze followed by – Roasted rump of lamb with thyme and taleggio potatoes, fine French beans in garlic sauce, burgundy jus and vine tomato garnish and finishing with – Lavender roasted peaches on a brioche croute with fresh vanilla bean mascarpone and vanilla ice cream.  The service provided by Nonsuch Mansion was amazing a special thank you to Amy for all her efforts.

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After the wedding breakfast Mr and Mrs Walker cut their naked cake which came from Susie at SK Cakes based in Cobham the tiers were red velvet, lemon, and vanilla.   Not only did this cake provide a stunning centrepiece to the wedding but it also tasted delicious.  Susie is one of the best cake makers in the wedding industry and again her love for what she does shows in the work she produces.

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The key to a successful wedding is to keep it flowing and maintain mystery and excitement.  With our detailed planning that’s exactly what we managed to achieve with Ben and Bernice’s wedding.  Once the cake was cut the night began straight away with DJ Neptizzle one of the most influential and rocking DJ’s playing some amazing Afro-Caribbean beats.  Just when the guests thought that this was the only entertainment we had at the end of his sets the doors to the main room swang open with excited guests running in to listen the electrifying 8 piece band A singer and some dudes.  During the evening the guests could enjoy having their photos taken in the The Photo Booth Guys Photo Booth which added to the fun.  The evening ended with a sparkler archway created by the guests and Ben and Bernice disappearing into the night jumping into their Limo which whisked them away to a very swanky hotel.

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Ahh I still swoon at the memories of such a fantastic day and such a beautiful couple xx

 

 

ROCK OF AGES – 40th Birthday – Home House London

It was a pleasure to organise Kate’s 40th Rock of Ages themed birthday party at Home House in London – we loved organising this party the signage in the room looked so cool – The huge letters were all from Vowed and Amazed. The design work was from our lovely Michelle Fiedler and our fabulous artists gave that extra sparkle and wow factor to the party. The evening was great fun and all the party guests certainly knew how to ROCK….(Photos courtesy of Claire Long)

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Princess Party

What little girl didn’t want a fairy tale princess party at the age of 5 with wishing wells, toad stalls, castles, princess thrones and the real Cinderella playing games with all of her friends. Lilian was a very very lucky girl to have all her dreams come true. In order to create this spectacular party, Claire from Purely Events went about her magic designing the most stunning cake table and Jo Burton from Burton Bakes created the most wonderful cakes and biscuits which were enjoyed by all the guests. The main cake was a real centre piece with pink ruffles. Jo also wanted to add her famous cake pops so she introduced ruffle cake pops that matched the main cake as well as pretty biscuits with a vintage white decoration and stunning little cup cakes with beautiful roses on. Claire hand made all of the party hats including the little crowns that the little princess’s wore on their heads. After games with Cinderella the girls were treated to some amazing face painting from Claire Guest. They then enjoyed some Ice Cream and pink milk from the beautifully designed Ice Cream Parlour table which has become a popular request from our Purely Events clients. Lilian even had her own little photo booth area where her friends could dress up in Princess clothes and have their photo taken.



























The guests had a chance to win at the lucky dip in the Wishing Well

All the little princesses got to take home some, chocolate bars, cakes in little cup cake boxes and each guest was also given a very sweet bracelet in beautiful presented boxes with gross grain ribbon and an embellished tag with a gold princess dress printed on it.



Happy Birthday Lilian x

Vintage Funfair Party

Anne contacted me to organise the most wonderful birthday surprise for her darling husband Roger. Anne wanted the party to be about Roger and having something the family, friends and most importantly the children would enjoy together. Anne had envisaged a wonderful vintage funfair with little stalls serving hotdogs, jacket potatoes, fish and chips, a candy floss and popcorn stall and an ice cream parlour. No Vintage Funfair would be complete without a stunning Big Top and that’s exactly what we organised for Anne and Roger’s guests. Purely Events turned Anne’s dream into a reality with all our wonderful suppliers who worked so hard to ensure Roger had the best party of his life. From ‘Hook a Duck Stalls’ to ‘Boat Swings’ everyone found a little piece of wonderland in this enchanting, magical party. After some wonderful champagne and delicious food the guests were treated to the rapture of exciting live music in the Big Top.







The guests were greeted at the door by the most elegant stilt walkers who juggled and mesmerized the guests by manipulating crystal balls that glided, floated, danced and levitated surreally around their hands, arms and bodies.


The games included hook a duck and of course no funfair would be complete without a coconut shy!!































The wonderful Claire Guest “facepainter of the year for 2012” made everyone look stunning whether a child or a big child at heart.


Damien one of Britain’s greatest street magician’s who performs worldwide with his awe inspiring magic showed his skill to a jaw dropping audience at the party.




The Balloon Man made the most stunning balloon models for the children to take home with them.









The fabulous cake was in perfect theme with the party. Jonathan from Simply Cakes designed the most stunning Big Top putting in a little picture of Roger when he won the Diamond Cup in 1951 aged 18.



Anne’s extremely talented grand daughter sang a beautiful song with their friend Brian which was then followed by the band who completely rocked the party !!






Purely Events were so proud and honoured to be part of such a beautiful birthday party for a very special and truly loved man.


Thank you Anne and Roger