Wedding at Coombe Trenchard, Devon
Aku and John's lovingly handmade wedding at Coombe Trenchard "We chatted on match.com for about a month before John plucked up the courage to ask for a date," reveals Aku. "We then met for a drink in a little pub in Plymouth - our date was interrupted a few times by a lady who had taken a shine to John, but thankfully he kept his focus on me and the evening was a success!"
A birthday trip to Paris culminated in the couple's engagement under the former Love Lock Bridge on the River Seine, where they found themselves alone in the garden beneath. "I was busy trying to see the Eiffel Tower and when I turned around John said he had a question for me," recalls Aku. "After saying 'veux-tu m'epouser' I asked for a translation and promptly cried for a long while after 'will you...' was said! We then went to a nearby cafe for champagne."
Coombe Trenchard was the only venue they viewed. "As soon as we saw the site and met Sarah and Emily, we knew it was the place for us. It was grand but had a 'homely' feel, which was important to us both," explains John.
Designing a day that reflected both Aku's Ghanaian heritage and John's Yorkshire roots, the church ceremony was the perfect mode of expression, with both mothers giving special readings. "John's mum read the lyrics to a beautiful song by Steven Curtis Chapman called 'I Will Be Here' and had everyone in tears. My mother read a passage from the Bible - first in our Ghanaian mother tongue (Ewe) and then in English. The service was filled with a lot of laughter!" The outfits also perfectly reflected their cultures, with Aku donning a lace gown for the day followed by traditional Ghanaian attire for the evening, while John wore tweed.
Drawing on Aku's organisational skills and John's creative flair, the couple undertook the planning and styling of the day. "John designed the save the date cards, invitations, orders of service and thank you cards. He also hand-painted the pallet signs used on the wedding day as well as our handmade photo booth!" says Aku.
"Some of the decorative items, such as the pom-poms for the marquee, were made by our matron of honour, Gilly. We were so grateful for her help," she adds, whose own imaginative input was beautifully demonstrated by the table design and cake, while a series of hired props completed the scene, including a flower wall, beer barrel cake stand and milk churns filled with gypsophila crowns.
"We wanted a rustic dining experience with good food and plenty of it," says Aku, who named tables after the houses from 'Games of Thrones' and chose sharing platters brimming with the likes of pork sausages, jerk marinated chicken thighs and Devon cheddar, spring onion and herb cakes alongside salads and breads, completed by a trio of desserts.
"The end of the evening back in our room after saying goodbye to all guests and vendors was our main time to speak to each other and reflect on what an incredible day it had been," reflects John. "We were exhausted, but beyond happy."
Photography Evolve Photography evolvephoto.co.uk
Venue Coombe Trenchard coombetrenchard.co.uk
Dress Maggie Sottero from Prudence Gowns prudencegowns.com
Evening dress Rambling Rose ramblingrose.co
Groom's outfit Marc Darcy from Prudence Gowns prudencegowns.com
Make-up Emmie Green facebook.com/makeupbyemmiegreen
Props The Prop Factory prop factory.co.uk
Flowers St Mellion Flowers stmellionflowers.co.uk
Catering Oaktree Occasions oaktreeoccasions.co.uk
Bar Thirst Choice thirstchoice.org.uk
Entertainment Heavens Group heavensgroup.co.uk
Copyright Wed magazine 2019