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.

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