Wedding at Rockbeare Manor, Devon
Love, Light and Laughter
A wedding on New Year's Eve was always going to be full of glitz and glamour, and Gemma and Matt's end-of-year soiree didn't disappoint
With a theme of "gold, sparkly and sophisticated new year", bride-to-be Gemma began the planning process in an unusual way. "I actually bought gold Jimmy Choos as my wedding shoes and planned the scheme around them," she laughs.
Choosing to get married in the elegant setting of Rockbeare Manor was followed by a healthy obsession with Pinterest, which helped Gemma and Matt, who got engaged in Thailand, with their decision-making. "My florist, Tracy of Tracy Baker Floral Designs, was so fabulous. She helped me by recreating my Pinterest pins. We had a mix of white roses and eucalyptus in the bouquet and buttonholes, with gypsophila for the bridesmaids' bouquets."
The wedding party oozed glamour, with Gemma donning a beautiful floor-length Pronovias gown, her bridesmaids in shimmering gold and Matt looking dapper in black tie. The ceremony, which took place in Rockbeare Manor's stately dining room, was full of joy and punctuated with lots of giggling. "We laughed all the way through our vows and that just made me love him even more," remembers Gemma. "We laugh and joke around every day so why change for your wedding day?"
The ceremony was followed by a drinks reception and canapes, before sitting down to a menu that truly impressed the guests, featuring a starter of confit of chicken leg with toasted pine nuts and chorizo with a paprika emulsion, then a main course of ale-marinated beef and roasted vegetable pithivier with a cep and chestnut sauce, finishing with white chocolate and raspberry brūlee with praline snap. "Honestly, Rockbeare served up the best wedding food I have ever tasted," says Gemma. "From canapes to the evening food - the best pasties ever - it was all exceptional."
The couple opted for a doughnut tower rather than a traditional wedding cake, which the groomsmen sprayed with edible gold glitter as a surprise. A live band kept the dance floor full, with guests heading outside for an incredible fireworks display as the clock struck midnight. The celebrations carried on until the small hours, with guests grooving around a portable speaker after the band had finished. "Sometimes you just have to keep on dancing!" laughs Gemma.
Stating her favourite moment as standing as husband and wife underneath the midnight New Year's fireworks, Gemma realised that "all the stress paid off and I'd just married my best friend".
And her top tip for nearly-weds? "Get all the big things sorted early and don't stress about the little things. No one notices the table numbers or the colour of the guestbook pens so put your effort into the things that really matter." And her parting words might be our favourite advice to date: "Spend as much time with each other as you can, laugh as much as possible and love the day."
Photography Pip & Simon pipandsimon.co.uk
Venue Rockbeare Manor rockbearemanor.co.uk
Dress Pronovias from The Wedding Company the-wedding-company.co.uk
Shoes Jimmy Choo jimmychoo.com
Groomsmen's outfits The Grooms Room at The Wedding Company the-wedding-company.co.uk
Bridesmaids' dresses Sorella Vita
Flowers Tracy Baker Floral Designs
Hair Revelations Hair Studio revelationshairstudio.co.uk
Make-up Adele Hack facebook.com/adelesweddinghairandmakeupplymouth
Entertainment iRock irockpartyband.co.uk