Wedding at Buckland House, Devon
A Break From Tradition
Francesca and Matthew threw out the rule book, and let flamingos, gold glitter and colourful smoke bombs reign supreme for their stunning soirée
On a wet winter’s night back in 2015, Francesca was reluctantly dragged to the cinema with a group of mates. “I was feeling super ill, wearing a onesie and really didn’t want to go,” says Francesca, who met her beau, Matthew, through a dating website. “Suddenly I heard a familiar voice and then my face appeared on the huge cinema screen,” she recalls. “Matthew came up the aisle, dressed in a onesie and with a bunch of ridiculous flashing fairy lights wrapped around him. It was hilarious!” Cue a very cute proposal video, setting the scene for a brilliantly distinctive wedding that was full of surprises!
Planning their wedding extravaganza, the couple stumbled upon Buckland House. “The moment I saw photos, I fell in love,” Francesca remembers. “It was exclusively ours for the entire weekend. We could style our wedding exactly how we wanted it, and have our ceremony and reception all in one place. A shabby chic DIY dream!”
Sending out a kooky Save the Date video to their friends set the scene for their personality-packed wedding – watch it here
. Showcasing the best of south Devon, you get a real sense of their love of fun as a couple – and a hint as to the individuality of their big day.
With a theme of “berry toned opulent eccentricity, with a side order of unicorns and a seasoning of smoke grenades!”, Francesca and Matthew were determined to create a day totally unique to them as a couple. Retaining some traditional aspects, such as the speeches, the first dance and a three-course meal, the couple also wanted to jazz up some of the traditions. “At one point, we seriously researched the logistics of cutting the cake with a chainsaw!” laughs Francesca.
Deciding on an intimate ceremony and meal, followed by a big evening reception, they opted for rich berry tones, golds and moody autumn greenery, with a twist of fun, including flamingos on the lawn and gold glitter unicorn favours! Rather than bridesmaids and groomsmen, the couple had a team of ‘Matrimony Homies’. “We have an eclectic mix of close friends from all genders, and didn’t feel the term ‘bridesmaids and groomsmen’ really fit,” she says. “For example, the best ‘man’ was a woman.” As a surprise for the couple, the ‘Homies’ loosely matched their attire and wore matching corsages and buttonholes, while Francesca donned a lace bohemian
style dress and Matthew made a statement in a gold jacket, braces and bow tie combo.
Francesca’s inspired idea when it came to her bouquet was one of the talking points of the day. “I asked a few guests to bring a single flower that reminded them of me. As I walked down the aisle, I collected the flowers from these guests, thereby making
a completely personal bouquet. This proved astonishingly popular and the variety of flowers I was given was genuinely beautiful.”
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a feast featuring barbecued beef brisket; torched mackerel; bean, herb and green chilli cassoulet; chocolate cream, salted caramel, summer berries and bitter chocolate tuile; and classic vanilla crème brûlée.
Evening guests were treated to gourmet mac and cheese, and danced to the sounds of local bands Fly Yeti Fly and 3BF, while further entertainment came in the form of a roving magician and artist as well as a photo booth and video diary room!
“All in all, we look back at our wedding weekend and our faces light up with huge smiles,” says Francesca, who has wise words for those planning a wedding like she and Matthew had. “If you are going down the DIY wedding route, and someone offers to help – accept it! Also, if we could do it again, we would hire an on-the-day coordinator to take the pressure off us on the day itself and run the show for us.” And her final top tip? “Our biggest bit of advice would be not to skimp on your photographer. If you can stretch, consider a videographer too. There are some super talented people out there who will create something really beautiful to keep forever.”
Photography Matt Austin Images mattaustinimages.co.uk
Venue Buckland House bucklandhouse.co.uk
Dress Boohoo boohoo.com
Shoes Irregular Choice irregularchoice.com
Groom’s jacket Moss Bros moss.co.uk
Rings Carole Allen Jewellery caroleallenjewellery.co.uk
Make-up Emma Collyer MUA facebook.com/emmacollyerMUA
Candles St Eval Candle Company stevalcandlecompany.co.uk
Gold place names Angelic Wedding etsy.com/uk/shop/AngelicWedding
Catering Pickle Shack pickleshack.co.uk
Gourmet Street Kitchen gourmetstreetkitchen.com
Cake Lisa Barton
Cheese cake The Cheese Press thecheesepress.co.uk
Bar Motion Pitchers motionpitchers.com
Entertainment 3BF 3-b-f.co.uk
Fly Yeti Fly flyyetifly.com
The Roving Artist roving-artist.com