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Romantic country house wedding in Somerset

Sarah and Andy filled a country house with butterflies for their romantic wedding

The Proposal

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Photography by Lis McDermott Photography

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Sarah and Andy met at school, but didn’t get together until they happened to meet up again a few years later. They dated for seven years before Andy proposed in June 2008 while on holiday in Thailand. “On the last night of our holiday Andy took me to a beautiful restaurant where he’d organised a fantastic table for two,” Sarah recalls. “He leant across the table, took my hand and popped the question over dessert – of course I was overjoyed and said yes straight away. We spent the last day of our holiday all gooey and happy!”

The Venue

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“We got married at St Mary’s, which is a tiny church, set on an island in the middle of a lake, in the grounds of The Orchardleigh Estate, Somerset,” Sarah says. “The church has no power from the mains so is lit only by candle light and the organ is pumped by hand, it’s very romantic! Our reception was held at Orchardleigh House, the manor house of the estate.”

The Dress

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Sarah wore an ivory satin and tulle Benjamin Roberts dress with beading and crystal detailing. “I knew my dress was The One as soon as I tried it on. I didn’t want to try on any others after I’d found it. I knew I wanted a ‘princess type’ dress and mine was perfect. It had the right amount of detail, sparkle, a full skirt with layers of tulle and 4ft train to make me really feel like a princess!”

The Bridesmaids

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“The bridesmaids’ dresses were from Monsoon, and the first thing that was organised,” says Sarah. “I originally wanted peacock blue so didn’t pay much attention when my mum pointed out the fuchsia dress when we were shopping one day. My sister was with us so she tried it on and it just looked beautiful. I got my other maids to try on the same dress and they also loved it. The outfits were accessorised with a white and pink orchid hair band from Accessorize. They all chose their own shoes.”

The Reception

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“As we had a fairly modest guest list of 60, wanted a venue that had wow-factor but wasn’t huge enough to mean our guests would feel lost. This was the perfect size inside, with several large airy rooms, beautiful fireplaces, a massive sweeping staircase and enough bedrooms for all our guests to stay the night. We both instantly fell in love with it and knew it was where we wanted to spend our special day.”

The Theme

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“The theme for our wedding was butterflies, which happened as kind of an accident,” Sarah explains. “My sister Jo and I were playing around creating design ideas for the wedding stationery and I designed an invite with a butterfly motif on. We both really liked the idea and went with it. I have always loved butterflies and knew they would compliment the romantic style of our wedding well, adding little splashes of colour and interesting points of detail.”

Butterflies available at eBay

The Flowers

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“I knew right from the beginning that I wanted a bouquet of orchids – they’re my favourite flowers,” says Sarah. “I adore their simple, contemporary look and they remind me of our wonderful engagement in Thailand. My bouquet was made up of trailing white phalaenopsis orchids with hot pink centres, a few Singapore orchids and green ivy foliage.” Sarah’s flowers were by Ye Olde Flower Shoppe in Frome, Somerset.

The Stationery

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“I made all of my stationery with the help of my sister Jo,” Sarah explains. “We are both artistic so it was great fun and also a brilliant cost saver, designing and making the invites, menus and Save The Date cards. My sister is very good at calligraphy so she handwrote all of my place cards which featured a small pink or black laser cut butterfly in the corner.”

The Cake

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“Our wedding cake was made by a friend of my mum’s, Judy, who has been making wedding cakes for a while. It was a round four-tier design: two of the tiers were traditional fruit cake and the other two were chocolate sponge and plain Victoria sponge. It was decorated with beautiful sugar orchids to match my bouquet, and dotted with a few sugar butterflies which Judy hand-made.”

The First Dance

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The couple’s first dance was to Leona Lewis’s Run. “It’s a beautiful song with lovely words and is one we both really liked,” says Sarah. “The first dance was one of the most memorable parts of the day for me, it was really emotional and every time I hear the song now it brings back the feeling and emotion of that moment.”