Wedding of the Week: Hollie Carpenter and Ashley Halls
18 Dec 2016
Showcasing how your special day can be amazing no matter the weather, this rustic chic-themed wedding was a delightful affair
How did you meet?
We wish we had a fairytale story, but it was a girl-meet-boy moment in a local nightclub.
Tell us about the proposal.
We were travelling in Croatia back in May; we had stopped for a couple of nights in Hvar, a wonderful harbour town. On our first night on a walk along the promenade at sunset, Ashley dropped down on one knee and asked me. It was so unexpected and very romantic with it being just the two of us.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
We both knew we wanted a relaxed day and opted for a rustic chic style with natural colours and pink flowers with foliage and gypsophila.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
Many brides had mentioned that you just know you've found the right dress and this was definitely true in my case. I attended an appointment at Sassi Holford in Taunton; the ladies were so helpful and made us feel completely at ease. My dad accompanied my mum and I (and secretly he enjoyed it!). I proceeded to try on many dresses and then... the dress. It wasn’t the dress I had set out for but I knew this had to be the one from the first time I tried it on. It made me feel like a princess.
Where did you find your suits?
Moss Bros provided the suits. They even had tails for our nephews who were page boys, aged seven and four, who looked adorable.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
We spotted Jane from Eden Floral Designs' table displays at an open day at the venue and loved the rustic, relaxed style of pink vintage roses, gypsophila and green foliage. We matched the flowers throughout the venue from the Orangery and Great Hall. My parents were wonderful and decorated the wedding vessels to add a personal touch to the day, which also meant the flowers could be enjoyed by guests afterwards.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
We added a DIY polaroid photobooth which captured some wonderful pictures that have provided lots of laughter since. My parents are keen gardeners and so we had personalised seed packets reading ‘watch the love grow’ for guests to plant and enjoy at home.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I felt so relaxed and excited. All I could see was my husband-to-be at the end of the aisle waiting for me. Walking down the aisle to Eva Cassidy's Songbird (a favourite record of mine growing up) was such a special moment.
What was your most memorable moment?
A very funny moment, and one caught on camera was during the ring ceremony, was Ash determined to put my wedding ring on my middle finger. We’ve laughed about this together since.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Getting Ashley to help make any decisions about the day. We only had a few months to prepare so it was all go once the date had been set. Being a typical man, Ash always thought we had plenty of time. We had such lovely people assisting us in our wedding; nothing was a real challenge and everything came together perfectly.
What was the most important investment for you?
This is easy, the most important thing to us was to find a venue that made us feel welcome, comfortable and catered for our complete event. St Audries was certainly that venue. The first time we saw the venue we didn't speak to each other on our tour in fear that the other didn't love it as much. It was a dream come true to be able to get married in such a venue with all our friends and family present.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We chose Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud, which was performed by our band The Shuffles. We’d been to see Ed Sheeran in concert a few years back so it felt like the right choice.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We decided to keep the cake simple and found a cake from Marks & Spencer. It matched our theme perfectly, looked amazing and tasted yummy. As we were both having so much fun on the day, it was only when we got back from honeymoon that we managed to have a slice.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
We had such a perfect day that there isn’t anything i would change. I just wish we could enjoy the day all over again.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
Don’t worry about the weather. You will have the most amazing day, rain or shine. We had sun, wind and rain but this made for some lasting memories and amusing pictures.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We were lucky enough to go to Mauritius with a stop over en route in Dubai. We had the most amazing couple of weeks. Snowboarding in Dubai and a catamaran cruise in Mauritius being some of the highlights.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Spend time on those things that are important to you. We remember spending hours picking background music for the ceremony and in reality, everyone was having too much fun to listen.Take time to enjoy every moment. It's amazing, but time goes so fast.
Steal their style:
Photography: Nicky Hill, www.nickyhillphotography.com
Venue: St Audries Park, Somerset
Pianist at drinks reception: Dan Phelps, www.phelpsmusic.com/weddings
The band: The Shuffles, www.theshufflesband.com
Flowers: Eden Floral Designs, www.edenweddings.co.uk
Hair and make-up: Victoria Hair and Spa, www.victoriahairandspa.co.uk
Dress: Sassi Holfords, Taunton, www.sassiholfordtaunton.co.uk
Car: Drive South West, www.drivesouthwest.co.uk
Take a look at more South West weddings in the latest edition of South West Bride magazine.