A Rime Arodaky Gown for a Cotswolds Country House Wedding

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How, please, it is July already?  For those of you with late summer weddings, the time is nearly here- how exciting!  Digital Editor Anna married Company Director Charlie on the 3rd September 2016 and they are fast approaching their first anniversary already.

The ceremony took place at the gorgeous National Trust owned Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate, near Aldsworth, Gloucestershire, followed by a reception at The Old Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold.  I love the contrast here between the very grand ceremony location and the fun and cosy (although still very beautiful) reception venue.

“As lots of our friends had already got married in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, we wanted to choose a venue that we’d not been to a wedding at already and to find somewhere that reflected us as a couple.  After getting engaged at The Old Stocks Inn, it was always going to have a special meaning for us, but we also really fell for the intimate setting, the contrast of the stylish Scandi décor and historic Cotswold stone building, and the delicious food, so we were delighted to find out that they were willing to host our wedding weekend.”

Images by Bow tie and Belle Photography

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Anna wore the wonderfully modern ‘Olsen’ dress by Rime Arodaky which she purchased from The Mews Bridal in Clifton, Bristol.  I just love how unique it is.“We hired the whole hotel for the weekend, which was brilliant as it felt like it was our house for the entirety.  We had an intimate pizza and prosecco party in the garden on the Friday evening which was a lovely way to ease into the celebrations and so nice to see everyone before the main event.”

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“I knew I didn’t want a big poufy dress, or anything strapless, but overall I wanted something that reflected my style. The Olsen gown was the first dress I tried on at The Mews and initially I thought it was too figure hugging, but after trying on more boho floaty dresses, I realised the more fitted style suited my shape.”

I loved that it was so different to any dress I’d seen before and the lace panel detailing and open back are just beautiful.  I loved it so much.”

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Anna wore a mid-length veil, also purchased from The Mews Bridal, as well as beautiful Lucie porcelain hydrangea pins from Luna Bea.  She wore a delicate patterned block heel sandal from LK Bennett and for jewellery she chose gold plated diamante stud earrings from Astrid & Miyu.  Hair and make up were the work of Di McDonald.

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“We hired a vintage Routemaster to take guests from Stow-on-the-Wold to the ceremony and back (unfortunately it is no longer for hire).  Our wedding car, a classic MG Midget, was kindly borrowed from my bridesmaid’s dad and Charlie drove us to the reception in it.”

“My dad was supposed to drive he and I to the ceremony in it, but at 6.5”, sadly he was just too tall to get behind the wheel so we borrowed a BMW Z5 from a friend at the last minute.”

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Flowers were the work of Emma Matthews from The Flower Girls.

“Emma was just incredible and totally got my vision for the day.  We had a shared Pinterest board, which I would highly recommend, and it was always exciting to see when she’d pinned new ideas.  Initially I just wanted white and green flowers but Emma persuaded me to incorporate burgundy tones and blush pink to soften the look.  I can’t tell you how much I loved my bouquet.”

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Charlie looked extra smart in a three-piece suit by Massimo Dutti, paired with a DKNY tie, shirt from TM Lewin, a pocket square from Reiss and cufflinks from Marks and Spencer.  The groomsmen wore their own charcoal suits with crisp white shirts and DKNY ties to match Charlie.

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Anna’s Dad accompanied her down the aisle, to ‘I Giorni’ by Ludovico Einaudi.

“We had three readings during the ceremony.  My friend Laura read the lyrics to ‘In My Life’ by The Beatles, Charlie’s eight-year-old nephew read ‘Hug O’ War’ by Shel Silverstein, and his sister Hannah read an extract from the novel ‘Wild Awake’ by Hilary T. Smith.”

People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square.  Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.

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Charlie’s palladium wedding band was purchased from independent Cheltenham jewellers, R.J Spicer, and Anna’s ring was by New York jewellery designer Anna Sheffield.

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Bow tie and Belle Photography are the duo behind today’s beautifully atmospheric pictures.

“We met Samantha and Thomas of Bow tie and Belle Photography just before Christmas 2015 and immediately bonded with them over our mutual love of cats.  We didn’t want any pictures that were too staged and we felt that their natural fine art style was just perfect for our day.  They were so lovely on the day, keeping us calm in the rain and we’re so happy with our photos. I would highly recommend them.”

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The four bridesmaids looked beautiful in a mix of dresses and separates from Mango, Reiss, Zara and Phase Eight, worn with shoes from Office and Dune.

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Reception decor included a light box, light up letters, pictures of Anna and Charlie together, a terrarium used as a card box with calligraphy by Emerald Paper Design, vintage-style husband and wife Ladybird books, and initial mugs from Anthropologie filled with flowers.  All paper goods were from Jennifer Wren Designs on Etsy.

“Emma from The Flower Girls, was brilliant at coming up with suggestions for décor and she, along with the team at The Old Stocks Inn, styled the venue beautifully. Walking into the venue and seeing it decorated for the first time was definitely a goosebump moment for me – it was exactly how I envisaged it.”

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The fabulous naked cake was by Anna Cake Couture, as were the chocolate and raspberry macarons which acted as delicious favours.

“I stumbled across Anna’s shop after one of my dress fittings in Clifton and immediately bought a box of macarons to take home.  They were absolutely delightful, so when we were hunting for wedding cakes, we decided to sample some of Anna’s creations and we certainly weren’t disappointed. We had a three-tier cake, with layers of chocolate, carrot, and coconut and raspberry. We added a kitch flamingo cake topper from Not On The High Street and decorated with fresh flowers.”

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For evening entertainment, Anna and Charlie hired acoustic singer Vince Freeman to do a set and then compiled a playlist for the last half hour to get everyone on the dance floor.

“It was so lovely having everyone come together for our special day but the moment that I’ll remember most is Charlie and I driving back to the reception.  Everyone waved us off and we then hurtled down the country lanes, both still feeling pretty surreal that we’d just got married.”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“I think it’s so important to remember that it’s your day and to do things that you and your husband want rather than trying to please people.  To-do lists will be your best friend and make sure you delegate in the month before the wedding.  No matter how organised you are, you’re going to be busy and it’s really helpful to know you’ve got an army of willing friends and family to be on call.”


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Huge thanks to Anna and Charlie for sharing this most delightful of days.  Have you fallen for Anna’s gorgeous Rime Arodaky gown? Take a look here for more brides wearing dresses from this exciting designer.

Much love,

S x

Credits & Thanks

Shona Raffle-Edwards

Shona Raffle-EdwardsView all Shona's articles

Shona is a wedding admiring bookworm with a love of the countryside, flowers and all things organisational who is currently based in sunny Yorkshire with her husband and beloved cat

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