A summer wedding with sentimental details in Devon
17 Dec 2019
Stephanie Thomas and Alistair Jenner ensured family members were a big part of their wedding day with charity favours and flowers with personal meanings
How did you meet?
Through a mutual friend at university.
Tell us about the proposal.
Ali took me to Bovey Castle for a lunch and spa day (paying for my nails to be done, which I changed to a different treatment because I had no clue he was planning to propose). We walked around the grounds after our meal and Ali found the perfect spot and got down on one knee. I just cried and couldn't find the words.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
The theme was a classic English countryside wedding, with the Edwardian house and rolling hills of Devon as a backdrop. Our colours were white, greenery, muted blush and a hint of gold.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
Kingston Estate in Totnes. We chose it because we love old houses and this one had so much character with modern quirks like the wedding breakfast area and the converted cellar to nightclub. The venue wowed us the minute we stepped foot inside.
How did you know you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I must have tried on 40 dresses in shops all over the UK. I am an absolute perfectionist and couldn't find the dress with all the elements in. But by trying so many on I knew exactly what I liked and what I didn't.
When I put my dress on, I fell in love. I added some details of my own to make it unique. It was Dril by Pronovias.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
I had five bridesmaids, who wore blush gowns from ASOS. One of my girls was expecting at the time and fortunately the dress was also available in a maternity range.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
Where did you find your suits?
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
We went for a natural and relaxed arrangement with hints of blush. We wanted flowers which meant something to us. Peony is mine and my mum's favourite flower and freesias were my grandmother's favourite.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
- Our favours were British Heart Foundation pins, these were in memory of loved ones that we had lost to heart failure. It meant a lot to us that we could support a charity close to our hearts and remember these family members on our big day.
- Ali and I went to Italy three years ago and so all the food was Italian themed (plus Cornish pasties in the evening, as all my family are from Cornwall). We also had limoncello shots for our guests as they entered the undercroft (the venue's nightclub).
- I had a hairpiece made my Claire Austin, which included some of my late grandmother’s pearls. It was my 'something old' and is now a piece that I can pass on to future children.
- My violin teacher, from when I used to play at school for eight years, played at our wedding with her string quartet. It was so special to have her there playing some of the songs I was taught as a student.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
The happiest I have ever felt. I was so proud to be walking towards Ali to marry him. It felt like no one else was there, my eyes fixated on him. It was my most memorable moment from the day.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
My brother, Ali’s brother and my maid of honour gave readings. It was important for us to incorporate them into our day as family is hugely important to us.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Nothing. Ali and I did everything together and because of that it was truly ours. I enjoyed every part of the planning process and feel so blessed that my now-husband was part of every decision (minus the dress).
What was the most important investment for you?
The venue, as it was all about finding the perfect place which was a reflection of us as a couple.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Ed Sheeran featuring Beyonce, Perfect. We love Ed Sheeran and his music was topping the charts at the time Ali and I met. We used to play his music in the car when we were going to classes. We also saw him live and couldn't think of any other song that we would have.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
Yes and they were brilliant, a band called Firekind.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Less is more, we went for plain white icing with real flowers draped over it. The cake featured lemon, sponge and chocolate tiers.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
The maid of honour dress ripped right before we were due to walk down the aisle. However, our fairy godmother wedding co-ordinator was on hand and fixed it. It was as if it hadn't happened.
Did you have a custom hashtag for social media? If so, what was it?
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
That the last 30 minutes of the getting ready time goes so fast. Give yourself plenty of time even if you've allowed yourself plenty of time... it won't be enough.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went to Bali 10 days after the wedding, which gave us time to tidy, pack and settle a bit before we flew off.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Do it together, no matter how small the detail. It’s such a special time and you never get it all back, so make each decision together and enjoy wedmin days to get excited together.
Steal their style:
Venue: Kingston Estate
Photography: Thomas Frost Photography
Bridesmaids' make-up: Changing Faces
Hair: Michelle Ralph
Dress: Pronovias from The Wedding Company
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Accessories: Claire Austin England
Suits: Zebel Bespoke, Exeter
Bridesmaids' dresses: ASOS
Flowers: The Flower Sessions
Cake: Simply Delish Lambourn
Styling and finishing touches: Simply Celebrate Wedding Hire
Vintage games hire: https://www.vintagefunandgameshire.com/,
Photobooth: West Country Photobooths
Caricaturist: Caricature Shack
String quartet: Kernow Strings
For more Devon wedding inspiration, browse the latest edition of South West Bride magazine.