Thornbury Castle Wedding – Heather & Rob
What can I say about Heather & Rob that can’t be seen in their wedding photos below? Whilst I was in the midst of editing this unforgettable Thornbury Castle wedding, I thought long and hard about what to write here in this little intro paragraph. They’re a terrific couple, fun and with a great sense of humour. They are the perfect match and make each other laugh. They love a ceilidh and a game of croquet. They have wonderful friends and family who all enjoy a laugh too. Have a look for yourself below to see if you think that their wedding photos get all this across.
I met Heather & Rob for the first time on a cold November evening in their local pub. They invited me there to have a chat about their wedding and I was immediately introduced to some of their friends. And that really sums these two up. Relaxed, laid-back and very welcoming. Fast-forward seven months to their wedding day and I’m capturing these two taking a stroll through the beautiful gardens of Thornbury Castle of which they now have many happy memories to look back on. Heather herself has taken the time to tell you all about how their special day came to be below.
How we met… We met in a crowded, smoky pub garden and it was love at first sight! I thought Rob looked so suave and sophisticated in his tweed jacket, whereas I was bedraggled and tired from an evening of political campaigning but luckily he still liked what he saw! Our friend Mickey introduced us and he went on to be a groomsman on the day, flying back from his work in Japan for us.
The proposal… Rob proposed in Thornbury Castle. It’s a place that has a lot of meaning to him as he grew up just around the corner and went to castle school. We had a lovely romantic meal where I ate far too much cheese. We stayed in a beautiful room and I was in a food coma on the chaise long when I realised Rob was on his knees, I soon snapped wide awake!
The venue… The morning after the proposal we made enquiries with the reception about their wedding packages. We have family all around the country – and the globe! So Bristol felt the right place for us. I had a look at other venues online but we wanted people to celebrate our marriage at the place we got engaged, so they could be part of that story. I did have my heart set on an outside wedding and the Thornbury Castle gardens are outstanding. However, our wedding was the one week where the weather forecast was “uncertain” and so a last minute change of plan meant we had the wedding in the great hall. Fortunately, it was a lovely sunny day and we were able to have the reception outside. Our guests got to enjoy the beautiful castle and all its surroundings.
The attire… I wanted an ethereal dress and was determined to find an off the shoulder gown. I found a beautiful dress at Harmony Brides, which has sadly now closed down. It was a much more formal dress than I pictured myself wearing but it fell in love with it right away. I didn’t want to take it off at the end of the night! My shoes were from Irregular Choice, although I later slipped into some Charlotte Olympia flats for comfort! My three bridesmaids were a challenge as they are such different heights but I found some dusky pink dresses from WED2B that suited their shapes. Soon after buying the dresses, two of my girls announced they were pregnant so some minor alterations were required but the dresses really accentuated their bumps on the day and they all looked stunning. My mum made flower crowns for us all, which I hope gave an bohemian vibe to the bridal party. My bridesmaid Katie is a trained beauty therapist so she did my makeup. My hair was by Sue Jones of Salon 52 in Wootton Bassett. Rob, the groomsmen and my dad wore three piece, navy tweed suits from Skopes with brown brogues. The groomsmen had dusky pink ties and pocket squares and Rob’s was a brighter shade. He also wore Swarovski cufflinks, the first Christmas present I had ever bought him.
The décor… We wanted to have the least pretentious wedding ever held in a castle and so went for a relaxed and rustic look. We were fortunate to have many skilled friends and family that wished to contribute. My mum works in the design and technology department at our local secondary school and made all the decorations with help from a fellow technician. She made bunting from hessian and lace, dried floral arrangements, wooden signs with fairy lights. The fact so much time and effort was put into the decorations makes them all that more special and many of them have taken pride of place in our home. I’m an avid book reader and so we trawled the charity shops looking for old, bound books to use as centre pieces. My mum dried flower petals to use as eco-conscious confetti too.
The cake(s)… We were greedy and had two cakes, one savoury and one sweet! The traditional cake was made by our friend, Sue King. It was a naked cake with raspberry jam and a cake topper made from book pages. It was decorated with flowers and eucalyptus cut from Rob’s mum’s garden. The savoury cake was a cheese tower, our groomsman, Steve Newton, is the head chef at the Three Crowns in Brinkworth and he sources cheese from the local area. It really was a sight to behold and people still gush about it.
The flowers… All the flowers were from Pocket Full of Posies by Wendy Jackson. The corsages were miniature versions of the bridesmaids bouquets; eucalyptus and chamelaucium uncinatum (waxflowers), tied up with hessian. My bouquet was a teardrop shape with the same flowers but also beautiful, large, dusky pink roses.
The ceremony… I was so eager to get down the aisle and the Spanish guitarist (our friend Julian) had started singing my song “That’s all I ask of you” from Phantom of the Opera, when my dress popped open at the back! I had to be sewn back in and poor Julian sang my song three times whilst waiting for me! It was worth it though. The ceremony was wonderful and full of love and laughter. I was nervous and unable to pronounce my words properly, Rob had to hold my hand throughout the vows as I was shaking so much.
The reception… We had a Pimm’s reception outside in the gardens with Julian playing more beautiful music. There was croquet on the lawns and it was lovely to see everyone enjoying themselves. We skipped the traditional three course meal and had a BBQ instead, as we hoped this would keep things nice and relaxed for everyone. We had a ceilidh for the evening, Forbes Robertson and The Canny Band, and we thought it would be an excellent idea to have our first dance as a ceilidh, so that our guests could join in too. We started off just the two of us in the middle and eventually others were brought in to circle around us. It was a great way to get everyone off their feet and ready to party throughout the evening. When the band stopped for a break, we filled the gap with some 80’s and 90’s classics and we were both on our feet for most of the night, we didn’t want the day to end!
The best bits… Watching everyone enjoying themselves, having fun and laughing was the highlight for us. We come from quite a tight knit community and we didn’t want the wedding to be all about us, we wanted it to be enjoyable for all our friends and family; we feel we achieved that. It was a beautiful day and we wouldn’t change a thing!