Kayleigh & Simon’s Real Life Wedding

Mr & Mrs May had a dream Summer Wedding. They chose a stunning peacock theme with a complementing colour scheme matching their attire and venue decorations. Their wedding was complete with a romantic horse drawn carriage, arriving in style for a Castle Ceremony.

Tell us about the proposal – how and where did it happen?

“I decided to propose to Kayleigh whilst studying for the second year of my Degree, I came up with a plan to go to London for a weekend treat. I bought tickets to go to the viewing platform at the top of the Shard, with a glass of Champagne in one hand I nervously popped the question! She said yes! We went out and had dinner and cocktails at Gordon Ramsey`s!”

What was your first step in planning your wedding?

“We decided to go to a variety wedding shows, but we quickly realised that without a venue booked it was hard to answer the questions posed by the various suppliers. With a venue in place it allows you to plan and build your day around that. It gives you a talking point when communicating with suppliers, so our first step was finding the venue. We also used Pinterest for inspiration.”

Inspiration: Did you use blogs or magazines for ideas?

“West Country Weddings Magazine, it gave us an idea of what other people had done with ideas and colour schemes.”

What were your wedding “must have’s”?

“We really wanted a Castle Venue and Clearwell Castle was the perfect venue for us! We had to have a Harpist and we booked Jemima Philips to play for the Ceremony, Drinks reception and Meal, she is fantastic with a massive range of music, including some surprises!”

Wedding budget: how did you organise your wedding budget?

“We had a good idea of what we could save per month towards the wedding and we booked Clearwell Castle early in our three-year long engagement, leaving us enough time to perfect our day. We found it helpful to keep a spreadsheet with when suppliers need paying and how much. We found making payments as close to payday as possible, that way it is easy to control outgoings and ensures that saving goals are met.”

What made you choose your wedding venue?

“We chose Clearwell Castle as it had that WOW factor! What an incredible Venue in an incredible part of the country and it felt right as soon as we walked in! The Castle and all the rooms are beautiful! The staff and their attentiveness to our needs really made the planning easy! We had viewed several venues before we discovered Clearwell Castle, we found that Clearwell Castle was the only one that could give us a clear and concise overall package cost, without the hidden extras.”

Styling your wedding: how did you personalise your big day?

“We had a Peacock theme for our big day, we wanted to keep it subtle, so we looked at the colours of a Peacock feather and settled on the turquoise colour rather than the dark blue. We wanted to keep the turquoise colour consistent throughout the wedding, everything from the Cravats to the place names were carefully colour matched. I enjoy making things and wanted unique favours for our guests, so I created heart shaped pewter and Swarovski Crystal heart shaped pin badges. We found a beautiful Peacock themed cake on the internet and decided that we would love something similar, the cake was a three tier, in plain white icing decorated with a pair of beautiful blue and white Peacocks complete with beautiful flowing tails.”

Wedding photographer: how did you choose your photographer?

“We discovered Katie of Still Light Photography at a Wedding show at Stanbrook Abby. She was friendly, warm and professional, her experimental style really appealed to us, alongside her excellent photography.”

Wedding suppliers: how did you choose your suppliers?

“We used a variety of sources online “google searches”, wedding fairs, forums and wedding magazines.”

Describe your wedding attire?

“My dress had a sweetheart neckline with a corset back in ivory satin with diamante accents by Callista supplied by Your Wedding Shop Birmingham. It was not the dress I thought I would have! I originally wanted a dress that offered slightly more coverage, however once I tried it on my mind was set on this one, it made me feel great!”

What accessories did you wear on the day?

“I had a beautiful sparkly diamante necklace, bracelet and drop earrings with clear and turquoise diamantes to match in with our colour scheme, these were from the Jon Richard range from Debenhams. I wanted something completely different from the usual white wedding shoes, we did some research and found some glittery, sparkly shoes online, so I decided to decorate my own! We found some Court heels at a reasonable price and used Mod Podge glue to paint layers of turquoise glitter to the upper and Cadburys purple to the sole, building up layers until it looked solid, the look was finished off with clip on Peacock feather and diamante brooches and silver diamantes to the heel. My husband bought my underwear set from Debenhams bridal range, a lovely suspender belt and underwear with white tights, although I didn’t wear the tights on the big day as I was too hot!”

What did your partner wear?

“Simon chose his suit from a company called Tweedmans Vintage which we found online. They specialise in re-selling ex hire suits and menswear. He chose a lovely mid grey to silver morning suit, a white waistcoat with turquoise embroidered embellishments. We struggled to find a cravat to match the other turquoise items we had purchased, so we visited a fabric shop in Birmingham and found the exact material, we found a seamstress online that could make the cravats using our fabric. With the leftover fabric I handmaid pocket squares so it all matched nicely. We saved some money purchasing a used suit rather than hiring or buying new and it can be kept as a memento of the day!”

Tell us about your Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and their outfits?

“We had four bridesmaids, my two sisters, Simon’s sister and my friend who all wore matching turquoise dresses purchased from eBay! Simon`s Niece Elleanor was our flower girl wearing a dress and shoes from Debenhams. We decided to give her a flower wand rather than a petal basket on the advice of the florist, younger flower girl/boys will tend to throw or tip the petals on the floor before they are meant to! We had three groomsmen, Simon’s dad, Best man, and brother in-law, who all wore suits purchased online from Dobell.co.uk with waistcoats from Tweedmans Vintage and the custom cravats to match with Simon’s attire.”

What was your biggest wedding splurge?

“The venue, it was however worth every penny!”

What was your biggest wedding saving?

“Our biggest savings were made with buying the bridesmaids dresses from eBay (£35 each) and buying a used suit for Simon (about £120) and suits for the Groomsmen (£50 each)”

What was your ceremony like?

“My mum always wanted to be the one to walk me down the aisle and give me away, which she did perfectly!

We had music during the ceremony performed by the fantastic Jemima Philips the harpist recommended by Clearwell, her music is outstanding, I implore you to listen to the samples on her website. Our ceremony was performed in the Ballroom by the registrar from Gloucester registry office. Simon read a passage from the book The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman.”

Tell us about your drinks reception and wedding breakfast

“For the drinks reception we served Apple Breeze, Raspberry Fizz cocktails and Beers, with a canape selection of Tempura King Prawns with Wasabi mayonnaise, crispy Popcorn Chicken with aioli dip, Brie and Red Onion Crostini, Herby Lamb Kofta Kebabs, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and Caramel Profiteroles.”

“We served our guests a three-course wedding breakfast consisting of, for starter Pork and Herb Terrine with Red Onion and Grape chutney or a vegan option of Haricot Bean and Vegetable soup with Pesto. A main of topside of Beef and Yorkshire pudding or Goan Vegetable Curry with Coconut infused rice. A desert of baked New York style Cheesecake or Caramelised Apple Pastries with Fruit Compote.”

“By far the most memorable element of the wedding breakfast was the food! It was fantastic and all our guests were full and happy! The service was fast and efficient, our guests commented on how great the servers were!”

“We had Jemima play her harp throughout the wedding breakfast to entertain the guests, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.  Speeches were then given by Simon, Simon’s best man, the mother of the bride and Simon’s dad, each speech was funny and heartfelt at times!”

Did you have a band or DJ for your evening reception?

“We had the DJ supplied by Clearwell, he was great and kept everyone dancing!”

Tell us about your first dance – what song did you chose and why?

“Our first dance was George Ezra with his song ‘Hold My Girl’, we felt it was an appropriate song for the moment.”

Based on your own experience, give us some top tips:

“Our top tip is plan out your saving goals and leave plenty of time between booking your big day and the big day itself (We had three years between booking Clearwell and our big day!), this way you get enough time to make decisions and discover exciting suppliers without feeling rushed into making decisions! Plenty of time means low stress planning! Keep it fun, we had a great time planning our big day, it was fun having something to work towards as a couple.”

“If we could do it all again, we’d…”

“Change nothing! We only wish the day lasted longer; it goes so fast!”

Did you go on a honeymoon or mini-moon?

“We had a fantastic honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We highly recommend Mexico as a honeymoon destination, we stayed at the RIU Vallarta on an all-inclusive basis through TUI. The food and drink out there are fantastic and there is so much to see and do!”

Purchase & Hire – Tell us who your suppliers were:

Photographer: Still light Photography

Videographer: Andrew McCabe Films

Harpist: Jemima Philips

Wedding attire:  Groom: Tweedmans Vintage

Bride: Callista range from Your Wedding Shop

Bridesmaid’s & Flower girl dresses: eBay, Debenhams

Other outfits: Groomsmen: Dobell and Tweedmans Vintage

Wedding rings: J&M Jewelers (Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham)

Wedding cake: Emily Rose Cakes

Horse and Carriage: Catherine’s Carriages

If you have any questions relating to having your wedding at Clearwell Castle, please don't hesitate to call Charlotte via the contact details below:


T: 01594 832 320
E: info@clearwell-castle.co.uk

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