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Real Weddings

Charlie Brear for a unique wedding at Iscoyd Park – Sarah and Lee

02nd December 2019 | Alexis Forsyth

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Floral artistry takes centre stage amongst the grandeur of Iscoyd Park country house in Wales for Sarah and Lee’s ‘done but undone’ wedding last September.

With styling details inspired by everything from interiors and typography through to neon and taxidermy – flowers, foliage and feathers, including eucalyptus, orchids and dahlias, combine harmoniously with the decorative touches of ornamental grasses, bell jars and a hanging centre piece from the ceiling. The bride’s unconventional two-piece, meanwhile, is all about the texture.

Showcasing plenty of personality and puns, special touches included two gin bars and a bright pink sign featuring their favourite house track.

With images by Harry Michael Photography

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The proposal

One sabbatical to travel the world, numerous house-moves and many an adventure later – Lee took me and Norma (our Boston Terrier) away for a long weekend in the beautiful Cotswolds. Marriage was never much of a priority for either of us so I was probably more shocked than most when Lee proposed on the terrace overlooking the gardens. Once I got over the shock, the tears and the enormity of what he had just inadvertently slipped into our conversation, I remembered I should say yes. It was a low-key proposal but perfectly timed & very ‘us’.

The venue

We had the ceremony and reception at Iscoyd Park on 8th September 2018. Iscoyd Park really is a beautiful venue so we tried to focus on decorating the marquee and let the rest of the house speak for itself. We didn’t have any particular theme and we knew Mat and his team at Red Floral would make the flowers the focus of the day, so we just let them showcase their artistry.

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The photographer

I went to a wedding show with my mum during the planning process and that was where I met the lovely Harry Michael. In a nutshell, his photos were exactly what we were looking for – documentary with a touch of fine art thrown in for good measure. He was really unassuming, sweet and didn’t take himself too seriously despite being clearly very talented. He caught the in-between moments, the candid moments after moments, and the moments that’ll stand the test of time. We couldn’t have asked for more.

The details

The best way I could describe the style we were aiming to achieve would be a “done but un-done wedding”. The kind that looks like it has all just been thrown together but in reality, it took forever.

What inspired us? Everything we love individually and as a couple…interior design, typography, neon, minimalism, puns, taxidermy, informal, relaxed, somewhere between industrial and rustic, understated style with a touch of Game of Thrones thrown in.

We wanted the flowers to represent us so rather than adhere to a strict wedding style we were keen to move towards loose unstructured flowers. Our brief was pretty simple; dark reds, grasses, pheasant feathers, taxidermy influences and unstructured styling. Red Floral took our ideas, ran with them and oh did they deliver! As well as the bouquets and buttonholes, they decorated our signage, the staircase and the tables with low tumbling flowers in exactly the style we were looking for.

For a couple whose flower knowledge is pretty limited we ended up with cymbidium orchids, ranunculus, dahlias, garden style roses all in marsala tones with hordes of eucalyptus foliage, ornamental grasses, the most gorgeous pheasant feathers and bell jars filled with all sorts of curiosities!

We debated for hours whether or not to have a centre piece hanging from the ceiling of the marquee and we are so glad we did.

Our cake, by the lovely Dominque from Poppy Pickering, reflected elements of our styling perfectly – beautiful but understated and we added a little lightbox to the cake table asking “Do you want a piece of me?” just for a touch of humour – we don’t like to take things too seriously.

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The dress

I knew I wanted a British designer and did bucket loads of research before I even thought about visiting any boutiques. My only pre-requisites were simple, unconventional and texture, texture, texture. I took my mum to White Closet in Manchester and when I saw her face when I tried on the Charlie Brear Payton dress and feather Piora skirt I knew it was the right one for me. Teamed with a gold leather Charlie Brear belt I was in alternative wedding dress heaven. It also happened to be the very first ever dress I had tried on so that sealed the deal for me.

The special touches

We threw in a couple of pieces of neon in bright pink that hang in our house. One with our favourite house track “music sounds better with you” and one with an in-joke between Lee and I “you had me at hello”.

The lovely Samantha at Pear Paper Co created some beautiful minimal signs for us that were adorned with flowers, foliage and feathers – one to say “hello” to our guests as they walked through the door and another with our table plan at the entrance to the marquee.

We also had two gin bars set up for the duration of the day and we styled these with some cute black and white peg-boards for menus, old school stripy red straws, fabulous textured tumblers and our personalised “themcguffies” drinks stirrers.

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