After five years, three houses and one child together, Tarquin proposed to Alice in September 2014, having taken her out for dinner on a rainy evening. "We stopped off on the way home to look for something he had dropped while cycling home. I was reluctant to get out of the taxi - I didn't want my beautiful shoes getting wet, so told him I'd only go if he carried me," Alice recalls. "Of course, he did and when he put me down I saw the most incredible piece of graffiti artwork that he had commissioned a local guy to do on his garden wall. There was a character kneeling down holding a ring with a big love heart and the words 'from now until my last breath I promise to love you always and forever, can I have your hand?'. He completely took my breath away."
Alice and Tarquin had always wanted to get married in Devon so when they found Kingston Estate, they knew it was 'the one', falling for its elegant Georgian house, scenic grounds and converted barn with views across the countryside. "We are both very outdoorsy people, so we knew we wanted to get married outside and have as much of the day outside as possible incorporating nature," says Alice.
Flowers played a key role in setting the mood, particularly for the ceremony. "We wanted the day to have an inside-outside feel and we created a living aisle so it looked as if the flowers were naturally growing out of the ground as if to line my pathway," Alice says of her walk towards her husband.
Having two ceremonies - an intimate registry office affair on the Thursday and the main event at Kingston Estate on the Saturday - afforded Alice the opportunity to don two beautiful dresses: a Georgian-style lace number by David Fielden for the Thursday and a stunning Claire Pettibone design for the Saturday. Flanked by six bridesmaids donning floaty Twobirds' dresses and three 'flower fairies' - including the couple's daughter, Lacie - the bridal party made for the prettiest of pictures. Tarquin, meanwhile, looked dapper in a tailor-made suit.
The beautifully styled reception space featured a luxe colour scheme of pink and gold, evoked via stunning floral arrangements, gold-rimmed plates and glassware, glittering table runners and a multitude of glinting candlesticks and tea lights.
A menu featuring Alice and Tarquin's favourite dishes - including scallops and chorizo, summer steak salad, macaroni cheese, a trio of chicken, Eton mess, and chocolate and coffee mousse - was supplemented in the evening with fish goujons, pulled pork burgers and chickpea patties. "Our caterers made macaroons which they brushed with gold leaf to pick up the accents of gold on the tables," says Alice.
The feast for the senses continued with the entertainment: guests enjoyed vintage garden games on the lawn, a magician and, in the evening, live band The Modern Way filled the dance floor with their high-energy set.
Of her favourite moment, Alice says uttering her vows - which she had started writing a year before - was "incredibly personal and took a lot to get out in front of all of our loved ones. It was a truly emotional and overwhelming feeling, yet extremely empowering."
Photography Sarah Lauren www.sarahlaurenphotography.com
Venue Kingston Estate www.kingston-estate.co.uk
Wedding planner Jenny Wren Weddings and Events www.jennywrenweddingsandevents.co.uk
Furniture and props Inspire Hire www.inspire-hire.co.uk
Catering Posh Nosh www.posh-nosh.co.uk
Dress Claire Pettibone at Carina Baverstock Couture www.carinabcouture.com
Bridesmaids' dresses Twobirds www.twobirdsbridesmaid.co.uk
Flower girls' dresses Monsoon www.monsoon.co.uk
Hair and make-up Amanda Marsden www.amandamarsden.co.uk
Flowers Blue Geranium www.blue-geranium.co.uk
Video Cupcake Videos www.cupcakevideos.co.uk
Groom's outfit Brown in Town www.brownintown.co.uk
Plates and glassware Jones Hire www.joneshire.co.uk
Entertainment The Modern Way www.modernway.co.uk
Dan Brazier www.danbrazier.com
Games Box & Cox Vintage Hire www.boxandcoxvintage.co.uk
Copyright Wed magazine 2017