Wedding at Ash Barton Estate, Devon
Sunshine of my Life
Lilly and Garth's Spanish-inspired celebrations at Ash Barton Estate
“I had a crush on Lilly as soon as she walked in the office door,” says Garth of their workplace romance. “I asked her out so many times she eventually caved in!” he laughs. “Luckily for me.”
Planning a hilltop proposal, Garth walked Lilly to Little Hangman in north Devon’s Combe Martin where, overlooking the ocean “I got down on one knee, told her I adored her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her,” he says.
Armed from the outset with a clear vision – “we wanted the wedding to be over a long weekend, offering accommodation and a blank canvas to put our own touch on things” – the couple chose Ash Barton Estate for their quintessentially English country wedding, which fell on their fifth anniversary.
Inspired by the setting, Lilly and Garth used floristry to achieve an individual look, which featured neutrals, light pinks and lots of foliage.
“The moon gate arch that was the backdrop to our ceremony was so beautiful I couldn't take my eyes off it,” says Lilly. “In the barn, specially constructed hanging foliage hoops set the whole room off, and the tables were decorated with pampas grass, foliage and roses.” Bouquets of spray roses, garden roses and a mixture of textures completed the beautiful bloom-filled aesthetic while complementing Lilly’s dress perfectly.
Another personalised twist came with Lilly and Garth’s love of Spain, which was incorporated through the tapas menu and Spanish guitarist Mark Barnwell’s stirring performances. “It was just wonderful and created such a fun Mediterranean vibe!” reminisces Lilly.
But it was the post-dinner speeches that provided the pair with their most poignant moments. “All of them hit the right note between emotional and funny – not a dry eye in the place,” says Garth before Lilly explains that “particularly for me, my brother’s and uncle’s speeches will be remembered. My dad passed away 10 years ago, and I always knew my wedding day would be particularly difficult, but both of their speeches did him such an honour and we all felt him there with us.”
Escaping for a beach stroll on Saunton Sands was another highlight for Lilly. “It was such a romantic moment, just the two of us, to take a step back from our fantastic day now as husband and wife! We popped open some champagne and walked along the beach as the sun set behind the headland. I'll never forget it.”
An evening hog roast, accidental sparkler-induced fire (“it was safely put out and we carried on partying!”) and floor-filling soundtrack by Motown band, The Ferrantes, provided the energetic end to Lilly and Garth’s unforgettable day, leaving them to ponder any advice for couples on their own path toward wedded bliss.
“Note down as a couple what your ‘must-haves’ are,” says Lilly. “For us, it was making the wedding a long weekend, doing the booze ourselves and a venue that could offer accommodation. Everything else can be tweaked.”
“Also, get the groom involved in the planning process,” enthuses Garth. “I actually found it quite fun!”
Photography Olivia WR Fine Art Photography oliviawhitbread-roberts.com
Venue Ash Barton Estate ashbarton.com
Catering H&A Catering hacatering.biz
Dress Pronovias from Allison Jayne allisonjayne.com
Hair Viva Hair vivahair134.co.uk
Groom & groomsmen’s tuxedos Clifton Suits cliftonsuits.co.uk
Flowers Twigs Flowers twigsflowers.co.uk
Cake Clair at The Kitchen Front thekitchenfront.co.uk
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