An ivory and pink Somerset wedding featuring handmade finishing touches

23 Sep 2019

Shannah Serlin married Paul Morrell at Trull Church for the ceremony followed by an evening reception at Woodlands Castle in Taunton, Somerset

How did you meet? 

We met on Tinder, which I am sure you can imagine featured in the speeches a lot.

Tell us about the proposal.

Paul proposed while we were away on a family holiday with my parents, brother and my now step-daughter Erin. We went out for a walk one night just the two of us on the beach and he proposed - he was so nervous he couldn't even get his words out so he just dropped to one knee and held up a ring at me. 

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

The day was quite rustic and handmade. We didn't have a scheme as such, just pastel colours. 

What venue did you choose and why did you choose it? 

Paul grew up in Trull with his parents. Sadly, Paul’s mum passed away about ten years ago so we both knew we wanted to get married in her church, so we had to find a reception venue close enough to the church. We loved Woodlands because it had lots of outside space and for us it was a blank canvas that we could make our own. 

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When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress? 

I had been to a few bridal shops and come out feeling a bit deflated. I had tried on a few dresses which were okay but nothing. One of my friends suggested Belle Amie Bridal Boutique in Taunton so I booked an appointment and went there. Instantly I was really relaxed and we spent over four hours trying on different dresses. The owner, Lynne, suggested that I try on a dress that was on the mannequin which I really wasn't keen on, but when I put it on I absolutely loved it.

Does the dress match the one you originally thought you would choose? 

Absolutely not - I was convinced I didn't want anything strapless, lacy or with beading, and ended up with all three. 

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What did the bridesmaids wear? 

I ended up with six bridesmaids and three little flowergirls. My adult bridesmaids wore grey dresses from Oasis, the teens wore pink dresses from Dorothy Perkins and the little ones wore dresses from Monsoon. The adult bridesmaids all carried flowers and for the little ones I made flower wands out of twine, ribbons and fake flowers. 

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Where did you find your suits?

We were very lucky, as the groom and two of his groomsmen are serving in the army so we didn't have to worry about finding outfits for them as they wore their uniform. For the other two groomsmen and the father of the groom and father of the bride we bought suits from Moss Bros.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements…

A family friend supplied the flowers for me and I couldn't have been happier. We kept them simple and I had some fresh flowers in my hair. 

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Tell us about the details of the day…

We did quite a lot of DIY in the lead up to the wedding:

  • About a year before, we made up a tonne of flavoured gin in lavender and strawberry, and apple and blackcurrant for the wedding favours.
  • We decided not to hire chair covers and made mini bunting for the back of all of the chairs.
  • We had a Polaroid guestbook, and we made hundreds of poms-poms to create a pom-pom backdrop for this.
  • We decided to have table names after our favourite childhood films so we painted miniature figures for the table decorations.
  • We made some hanging hoop decorations out of twine, hula hoops and fake flowers.
  • My uncle also made us an amazing giant photo frame for people to take pictures in and a sign which included important places to us.
  • We also had ice creams instead of canapés.
  • Every time Paul and I go on holiday, we like to get a caricature done, so we hired one for the wedding reception. It was a really great hit with everyone. The artist also did our thank you cards which were amazing and so personal.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

I was quite overwhelmed. My dad was very emotional so I think that distracted me a bit.

How did you make the ceremony personal to you? 

It was really nice doing a lot of DIY as that makes it very personal. It was also lovely that our friends and family did a lot of little bits for us. 

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What was your most memorable moment? 

We were lucky enough that my godparents let us use their vintage MG car to go from the church to the reception. The journey was only about 20 minutes but it was lovely to have a few moments just us. 

What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

We got married in June so planned for the sunshine and luckily the weather was on our side for most of the day, but we had a few unexpected showers. 

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What was the most important investment for you? 

For us, it was really important to have a good band that would keep people up dancing. We chose the Moon Loungers and they were absolutely brilliant. 

What song did you choose for your first dance, and why? 

We had an acoustic version of You're My Best Friend by Queen. We didn't really have 'a song' before the wedding but we both love this song so it was an easy decision for us. 

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Did you have any evening entertainment?

The caricaturist, who was brilliant. We also had arrival drinks for our evening guests. We had a beer barrow outside and Mojito and Tequila Sunrise shots for them too.

Tell us about your wedding cake. 

We had a naked cake with a chocolate tier, lemon tier and Victoria sponge tier. We bought the cake locally and decorated it with supermarket flowers; I am so pleased with how it turned out, it was beautiful. 

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

The only thing I would change was the weather, but in England there isn't much you can do about that.

Did anything go wrong on the day?

Our caterers dropped the vegetarian meals. Luckily they were great and whipped something else up for them quickly. 

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Was there anything you wish you’d known before?

How quickly the day goes; everyone does say it, but it really is true.

Where did you go on honeymoon? 

We got married on the Saturday and jetted off on the Monday. We went to Sardinia and stayed in a converted lighthouse, it really was the most amazing destination for a honeymoon. 

Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages? 

Don't try to please other people. It really is your day so do it your way.

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Steal Their Style

Photography: Photos By Jim
Venue: Woodlands Castle
Catering: Laura's Customsied Catering
Band: The Moon Loungers
Dress: Bella Amie Bridal Boutique
Make-up: Kimberley Louise Beauty
Caricaturist: Parody Portraits

For more Somerset wedding inspiration, browse the latest edition of South West Bride magazine

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