The Hertfordshire wedding of Carly Robb and James Murray-Watson
17 Nov 2014
The Hertfordshire wedding of Carly Robb and James Murray-Watson
Carly and James joined together to become Mr and Mrs Robb-Watson at their wedding at Tythe Barn, Tewinbury Farm Hotel, Welwyn, Hertfordshire. Here Carly tells how they went from stranger to spouse in 18 months.
We met online in October 2012. We emailed back and forth for a couple of weeks before he asked if I would like to go for lunch. We were pretty much inseparable from December onwards, everything moved very quickly but felt so natural.
We looked around Tewinbury Farm and we both fell in love with the Tythe Barn and knew it was just what we wanted for our big day, we were then surprised to find out they had no weddings booked in for Good Friday, and they were happy to drop their minimum numbers, meaning this was very much in our budget. It was fate, so we paid our deposit and had less than 15 weeks to bring the rest of the wedding together. It was the best 15 weeks, we had so much fun organising our wedding and would love to do it all again.
With regards to our venue, we knew we wanted our guests to be comfortable and well catered for and this was a massive consideration in our venue selection and we wanted somewhere that could house us all inside for photos if the April showers arrived. We knew some guests would want to stay overnight so accommodation was important, so we were very lucky to find such a beautiful venue that catered for all of our wishes.
The dress, on the other hand, ended up being totally different to how I had planned. I wanted something light, comfortable and plain. But ended up with one that was very tight and detailed, but I loved it as soon as I saw it on the catwalk at the Knebworth wedding show. We bought it 30 minutes later after I tried it on in the make shift cubicle.
The bridal show was the best day of all when it came to planning our wedding. My mum and me had a great afternoon and we found our photographer (Lyndsey Challis), the photobooth (Glamour Booth UK) and most importantly, my dress. I came away feeling very pleased with progress.
I stayed with my sister, mum, niece at the venue the night before the wedding, it was so enjoyable to be calm and relaxed with them and having a girly night and a giggle. We woke up early and the three of them sorted out the confetti cones, the registrar’s table and some signs, and I sorted out the ‘welcome/present table’ as I had such a particular idea of how I wanted this and it was great to be able to do this. We then had a yummy breakfast and the hairdresser arrived and we all started getting ready.
I was buzzing as soon as I put on my dress, then I got emotional walking down the aisle and seeing James looking at me. I managed to take in the ceremony really well through all the happy tears… We had a reading from my sister (the same one our Nan had read out at her wedding) and then James’s brother had written a reading just for us. Him and his wife read it as if they were James and me, it was funny and soppy and made the ceremony so personal.
We had been to other weddings where the bride and groom are whisked off straight after the ceremony, and we really didn’t want this. We wanted to greet our guests straight after the ceremony and luckily the weather was bright so we got to give everyone a hug as they stepped out into the gardens. This was great for some informal photos and a great way for them to all say congratulations before the photos started. We knew we didn’t want too many structured/posed photos, and our photographer Lyndsey Challis was simply amazing. One of our guests thought Lyndsey was one of my best friends, from the rapport we had and the way she relaxed into our wedding party.
Our colour scheme was green and champagne (as my dress was champagne and we wanted a green spring feel to the wedding). We wanted the décor to be fairly low key and a bit rustic. The barn is so pretty it didn’t need too much. I had been collecting glass jars since Christmas and had wrapped them in hessian and lace. These were dotted around the barn and on the tables, with lovely flowers in.
I was really pleased with our favours, for the guys we ordered rustic wooden beer coasters, engraved with the guy’s name (which were I found on eBay, they were really reasonable and ordered from directly from the eBay seller firstname.lastname@example.org) – they were also the place cards for the guys and would be cool for them to take home.
The ladies had green favour boxes with a tiny East of India Heart inside and then had an individual note from us. This was a great way to offer a personal note to all the girls (best friends and aunties were all really touched).
Luckily our cake was made by my aunty who is a professional cakemaker. It was three tiers (chocolate, fruit and lemon). The icing champagne and it was decorated with flowers to match our bouquets.
Our flowers were by Linda Masters Florist, the bouquets were just how I had wanted them, wrapped in hessian, with bright spring flowers, with plenty of gyp and freesias. The buttonholes and table flowers also carried this theme and looked fantastic.
Tewinbury Farm let us have a ‘his and hers’ menu, so the guys were offered soup, roast beef and sticky toffee pudding, and the ladies were offered melon, chicken and cheesecake. That way the couples could then swap around a bit to have some more variety. The food was amazing, everyone commented on it and I think menu choices were suitable for our guests.
We knew we wanted a big party to celebrate and we had the space in the barn to accommodate all our extra family and friends. We had a photobooth set up which are so popular and very funny. We also had a lovely Easter-egg themed candy bar which we put together ourselves (baskets from Dunelm and sweets from online).
James was keen for us to have a different type of first dance, so we had a routine choreographed, we had three lessons and practised a lot. We surprised our guests with this dance and it went viral after the wedding and everyone loved it. I was more nervous about that though, than actually saying my vows!
Our DJ, Mr H Entertainment, was fab. He really got the party going, played all our suggestions, listened to what we wanted and even added a bit of dry ice during our first dance that we were not expecting. He catered for everyone and made sure to steer clear of some of the usual wedding cheese like the Macarena.
Making it all possible
Photography: Lyndsey Challis, 07521 165726, lyndseychallis.com
Venue: Tewinbury Farm, Welwyn, 07521 165726, tewinbury.co.uk
Dress: Allure, romance style 2709, allurebridals.com
Hair and make-up: Bridal Hair by Kim Sandford, Stevenage, 07717 291666, facebook.com/kimsandfordhairdressing
Stationery: The bride, on Vista Print, Vistaprint.co.uk
Flowers: Linda Masters Florists, Marston, email@example.com
Entertainment: Mr H Entertainment, Stevenage, 01438 355 358, mrhproductions.co.uk