Jo and Mal didn’t have to look far for the perfect place to say ‘I do’: “My parents live right next to the most picturesque church in Castle Cary,” says Jo. “It felt very personal being able to walk just next door to the ceremony with my father.”
In keeping with the countryside setting, the couple chose a converted stables at Pennard House for their reception. “It was breathtaking, rustic and not too glam,” says Jo.
Most importantly it was a blank canvas, so the bride could work her creative magic and turn it into her autumnal fairytale. “I saw this as my chance to go wild with décor and create a magical impact,” she says.
Working to a palette of aubergine, burnt orange, green, ivory, blush and copper, Jo scoured flea markets for unique products, such as the small apothecary bottles and copper sprayed pheasant feathers that served as place settings.
She also called on friends and family – an artistic colleague created the table plan and her father hand-made wooden boxes for the table centres.
To complete the look, the couple went to town with hundreds of fairy lights, metres of Indian ribbon and giant paper pom poms.
Jo thought she’d found the classic lace dress of her dreams at Luella’s Boudoir until her mum picked up a blush skirt that fitted her theme perfectly. “I put it over the simple dress and that was that, I’d found The One.” Jo also commissioned a bespoke lace top to finish off her look.
And while the groom was fairly relaxed on the décor, he knew exactly how he wanted to look on the day. “Mal was adamant that he and his groomsmen would wear morning suits,” says Jo. “They added succulent and pheasant buttonholes and all looked very handsome!”
Jo was keen for her bridesmaids to work a mix and match look rather than all wearing the same. Her chief bridesmaid found a theme-perfect maxi dress from Ted Baker while her other two friends wore ginger-coloured dresses from Hobbs – “it created the perfect autumn colour palette,” says Jo.
To reflect the relaxed feel of the day, the Victoria sponge-loving couple chose a naked cake from Shellys Cakes and gave it an autumnal finish with blackberries, feathers and flowers.
“The flowers brought the whole fairytale theme together,” says Jo. “I look back at the photos and the image is exactly how I imagined – a perfect autumn colour palette.” To create this seasonal look, the florists and family friends, Marvic and Trish of The Flower Room in Castle Cary used Echeveria plants, dahlias, chocolate cosmos, Tom Pearce chrysanthemums and various roses.
“We also had giant milk urns filled with flowers at the entrance of the church and vintage step ladders decorated with terracotta pots and feathers.”
And the floral fantasy didn’t stop there – Jo wore a striking crown of flowers in her hair. “A good friend of mine is very creative, so between us we collected silk and fake flowers from market stalls and charity shops and spent an afternoon winding them around a wire headband,” Jo explains. “I was probably more excited about pinning this into my hair than actually putting on the dress!”
Photography by Dave Watts Photography