Wedding of the Week: Megan and Blake Ellis
04 Jan 2017
With the reception held at the groom's family home, this rustic chic wedding delivered a garden party like no other
How did you meet?
Work. Nothing overly exciting or a crazy story. We met working for Lloyds Bank and now have relocated to new jobs but we are working together again.
Tell us about the proposal.
It was amazing and so unexpected. We flew out to New York for our anniversary of being together (think he used this as a cover). The second morning he told me to dress up as we were going to a nice restaurant for brunch in Central Park. I was walking through the park passing many people in trainers and jogging gear and did feel a bit silly in my dress and heels. He then found a bridge in the park and asked me to walk down to the rock and sit on it for some photos. I hobbled down the grass (not easy in heels) and as I turned around, he was there on one knee. I was so overwhelmed and remember just being in utter shock and then bursting into tears. We then did go to brunch and had lots of champagne to celebrate.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
Our theme was rustic, back garden wedding. The colour scheme was pastel colours. We had everything outside: bar, food, evening caterers. We had a lot of space to utilise including outbuildings which we decorated with lots of fairy lights. The whole thing was described by quite a few guests as a festival theme in the end, which, although not intended, fitted really well.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
My mum doesn’t live locally to me and as she wanted her present to me to be the dress, it was really important to me that we did this together. She booked a weekend to come down and we went shopping with my sister and two of my bridesmaids. The first boutique was amazing but nothing felt right. Feeling a bit disheartened, we went for lunch and then decided to call into another boutique I had seen at a wedding fayre. On arrival, Lynne - the owner, was amazing and I felt so comfortable around her. I picked a few out and then asked her to pick some she thought would be fitting for my shape etc. I tried the two I had first set eyes on, but again although everyone said they looked nice I didn’t get ‘the feeling’ I then tried on the one that had been picked for me. I instantly knew it was the one; I had butterflies and was desperate to see my family and friends' reactions. Lynne added a veil, shoes etc and then pulled back the curtain. No one spoke. Was this good or bad?! And then they all started crying. That was the moment for me.
Where did you find your suits?
For the groom party, Blake had quite a large number of friends and family he wanted to include in the big day. After lots of looking around we decided to rent the suits from Moss Bros. We chose the Ted Baker package, which meant the boys could keep their ties and handkerchiefs after the wedding as a little memento.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
For the flower arrangements I was keen to keep the rustic feel and use the pastel colours to create this. Jane at Eden was amazing and had so many ideas and visions. This was really reflected in the end product. It was also key for me to include the Scottish thistle in my bouquet as a tribute to my grandad who has sadly passed away. For the bridesmaids, instead of the traditional hand bouquets I wanted something a bit different. Jane came up with the idea of wrist corsages and I loved it. The boys had the same; pulled through the buttonholes with Blake also having the feature of the thistle.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
As we had chosen to hold the reception at Blake’s parents this had many pros and cons. It was amazing to be able to create every detail from scratch but it was also hard work. We created lots of focal points around the garden from bits and pieces we bought or found in the grounds. We also had a fingerprint tree which was sketched by Blake’s brother-in-law and each guest left a print. We had a sweetie cart inside the marquee, which was very popular with all ages. My mum and I also painted and decorated it with flowers. Large B & M lettering was made by my step-dad's friends; this was placed in the marquee.
We had a photobooth in the outbuilding and created a cosy area in there using hay bales and a barrel table. I also handmade the canapes for the reception with the theme of Pimm's and Pies. We had outdoor games, some rented from Rosy at Box Clever Weddings and some we created ourselves (such as the welly wanging); this was great in the afternoon and kept everyone entertained while photos were happening. We had a fire pit in the middle of the outdoor space with hay bales around to create a second outdoor seating area.
In terms of stationery, myself and a few of the bridesmaids hand-made all the invitations and although time consuming, this was a really nice touch and appreciated by all. For the table names we used photos of places in New York and framed them. The table plan was made by myself and my sister; we used an old door and wrote each table and name on each pane. We also had sparklers at the end of the night, which created a perfect photo opportunity.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
Overwhelmed. I couldn’t quite believe the moment was here. I was very nervous and emotional but tried not to cry as I didn’t want to ruin the make-up. I remember seeing a blur of faces and just concentrating on walking and not tripping.
What was your most memorable moment?
The most memorable moment for me was the first dance. I felt everything up to this point had gone too fast, with everyone wanting to talk to you and you have pictures to be done; this was the first moment Blake and I could spend solely with each other as newlyweds. Everyone then joining on the dance floor is also so lovely and feels like a real unity of both families.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
The most challenging part for me was picking a venue. Although we had the perfect venue right under our nose, it took a while to realise. We went through so many options - from country house to even getting married abroad. It was only when we sat down and discussed what was really important to us (which was having as many people there as possible) we then thought why don’t we have it at Bulford, Blake's family home? After persuading Blake’s parents, everything fell into place, although as it wasn't a traditional wedding venue every small detail was down to us.
What was the most important investment for you?
For us, it was the band. We both said from day one we really wanted a live band. Having been to weddings with both recorded music and live, we felt the live music really got everyone going and just created that extra touch.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
James Morrison – You Make It Real. This part we found so hard. We have many songs we liked and have a meaning to us. We used quite a few of these in our wedding ceremony and were left with four songs to choose for the first dance. We kept playing them and really couldn’t choose. We then decided to leave it a couple of weeks and then come back to it. We sat down and both counted down and agreed to say the song at the same time that we liked and that was how we picked it.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
The wedding cake again needed to fit the rustic theme and Jeri created this perfectly. We went for a semi-naked cake which was decorated with fresh flowers and fruit. Each layer had a different flavour and was separated with a jam filling. We used a log base to keep with the theme.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
For the time to go slower. Honestly, we would not have changed anything; all the little details came together and the day was perfect. After collecting things and ideas over the two years, I was thrilled with how it all came together and that nothing was forgotten or missed.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
To not over-worry what people would think. My advice to future couples is to enjoy the experience and just make it how you want; everyone will love it and enjoy it because they love you.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
Due to the expense of the wedding we opted for a mini-moon and we will have a honeymoon at a later date (this has helped with post-wedding blues as we have something else to plan and look forward to). Our mini-moon was a week in Madeira, which was relaxing and just what we needed after all that planning.
Get the look:
Photography: Gina Manning Photography
Band: Wild Nights Duo
Catering: Hungry Mule Catering
Evening catering: Kinori Japanesse
Photobooth: Booth Party Taunton
Cake: The Little Cake Boutique
Videography: George Ward (family friend)
Make-up: Kelly at The Barn Somerset
Flowers: Eden, Taunton
Dress: Belle Amie Bridal, Taunton
Outdoor games and decorations: Box Clever Weddings
To see more Devon weddings, order the latest edition of South West Bride magazine.