Idyllic afternoon: tea party perfection in the West Country

Antique pinks and floral china lent a quirky feel to Alex and Guy's party

Alex and Guy – In the beginning


The timing wasn’t quite right for romance when Alex and Guy were first introduced, aged 10, at primary school. “He was pleased as punch to have me sit next to him in class,” Alex jokes now, “but my thinking was more, ‘Yuck, I have to sit with a smelly boy’.” It was a staggering 18 years after they first met that Alex saw Guy busting his moves out on the dancefloor in a club: “He thinks it was those moves that drew me towards him, but I’m convinced it was alcohol-related!” she jokes. This time, love was definitely on the cards, and Guy proposed less than two years later.


Photography: Rosie Parsons (rosieparsons.com)

Alex and Guy – brewing up a theme


Plans for their mid-May wedding began with stylist Vicky Rowe of Vintage Tea Sets, after the couple met her at a local wedding fair. “We wanted a party with a touch of elegance and a vintage theme, so gave her complete autonomy to work her magic,” Alex explains. Together with florist Julie Whitfield of Floriture, Vicky went on to create a colourful afternoon tea party featuring an eclectic mix of cake stands, silver tea sets, china pots and glassware.

Alex and Guy – all dressed up


“I adore vintage style – I should have been born in another era! – and I wanted my dress to reflect that,” Alex says. A lace-trimmed V-neck confection by Lusan Mandongus instantly caught her eye – “I knew as soon as I saw it on the rail it was The One, and I loved the heart-shaped detailing on the back.” She teamed it with a veil from Teokath of London and peep-toe heels from Debenhams.

Alex and Guy – pretty in pink


Alex’s two best girls wore dusky pink, Swarovski-crystal-encrusted chiffon frocks from glam-net.com.

Alex and Guy – a dapper gent


Guy added a style twist to a classic M&S suit with a playful floral shirt. “He called it the Alfie Moon and was convinced it was worn on EastEnders a few weeks before the wedding!” Shoes from Hudson and a tie from TM Lewin completed his smart look.

Alex and Guy – the dream venue


On their hunt for the perfect venue, Alex and Guy had help from their caterer, Fosters. “They offered to take us around to view local places and we instantly fell in love with Goldney Hall,” says Alex of the 18th century house and exquisite gardens on the campus of Bristol University.

Alex and Guy – here comes the sun


The reception was held in The Orangery, a sun-drenched room with fantastic views over the grounds. It was decorated simply with elegant white linens and vintage crockery, with splashes of colour coming from the floral centrepieces.

Alex and Guy – roses are pink


Hydrangeas and an array of roses (Sweet Avalanche, Akito, Memory Lane, Amnesia and Old Dutch) in summery pinks and creams filled glass containers and were embellished with strands of pearls, glittery rhinestones and cameo brooches.

Alex and Guy – something blue


Blue and lilac peonies, lisianthus and stocks provided country-accents, arranged by Floriture in silver jugs as centrepieces.

Alex and Guy – please be seated


“We decided not to assign guests specific seats,” says Alex, who placed guests names and table numbers in ornate vintage-style frames from TK Maxx to form a pretty table plan.

Alex and Guy – food for thought


Guests sipped prosecco while they feasted on a tea party-style spread of sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, jam, lemon drizzle cake, macaroons and cream chocolate buns along with a festive hog roast, all by Fosters.

Alex and Guy – Family portrait


The couple had a no-kids affair, but took some private time out in the morning for photos with their cute daughter Esme. “I loved this part of the day,” remembers Alex.

Alex and Guy – the party


Jazz band Jazzique lent a magical atmosphere to the tea party, and afterwards funk, soul and disco specialists Funkty Dumpty took to the stage to get guests on their feet. “We skipped the first dance but did have a really special dancefloor moment midway through the evening with all our guests circled around us,” Alex says. “I have to confess, the drinks have caused me not to be able to recollect the exact tune, but I think it might have been an Abba classic!”

Alex and Guy – the perfect day


“Do it your way – we didn’t want traditional,” says Alex. “We thought about all the elements of weddings that we disliked and sought to either remove or minimise them, so we could concentrate on the bits we loved. It was all so enjoyable, I’ve asked Guy if we can marry again!”


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