Love Story - Claire & Harry
Today’s feature makes me so happy for so many reasons. To begin with, this is our first Coco & Kate Love Story – real wedding features starring wonderful Coco & Kate brides on their big days. Secondly, it’s an absolute joy to be sharing this wedding with you because bride Claire really fell head over heels in love with her Wtoo gown and oh my, what a fabulous choice she made…
Claire describes meeting her husband Harry as ‘cringeworthy’ as they met in a local nightclub through friends. Fast-forward to Claire’s 40th birthday and Harry had planned a very special gift for the birthday girl:
“The day before the dreaded 4-0 my parents, Harry & I went out to for afternoon tea at Dormy House Hotel. Looking back now Harry was very quiet and it turned out he wanted to ask my Dads permission but just couldn’t utter the words. We got up the next day and drove back to Hereford to find that Harry’s Mum had decorated our dining room with flowers, balloons, more presents and a fabulous chocolate cake. Harry lit the candles on the cake & sang Happy Birthday – then he asked me to close my eyes and make a wish! When I opened my eyes there he was down on one knee with a ring! Yes I did wish he was one day going to ask me to marry him and obviously I said yes and promptly burst into tears!”
Claire and Harry choose the beautiful Dewsall Court as their venue and opted for a style that not only suited the venue but worked well with them as a couple:
"I don’t like the word theme and cringed when it was used but we came up with keywords for our suppliers – boho, woodland, festival, secret garden and countryside.”
With the main element of the day set, it was time to start looking for THE DRESS! After spending quite a bit of time on Pinterest, Claire found pictures of Jasmine by Wtoo and was instantly smitten:
“I didn’t know if it had been discontinued or if anyone in the UK stocked it. My first response was from a shop in Manchester who had a sample but it had already been sold. Then, Sophie replied and said yes! She had the dress!”
“Mum & I went to our appointment & there was the dress hung up – WOW! I fell in love straight away. I tried on two other dresses in very different styles and yes they were stunning and surprisingly they suited me. One even made my Mum cry, but they just ‘weren’t me’. So sixteen months before the wedding, we ordered the dress and not once did I change my mind.”
“On the day, I think my dress surprised many people and I kept hearing comments like ‘I’ve never seen a dress like it’, ‘I thought it was actually vintage’, ‘it was totally you’ and ‘no way was that what I expected’! Those were the reactions I wanted and so much more!”
Claire choose a simple, beautiful veil and finished her bridal ensemble with a handmade browband from Italy. With everything ready, it was time for the big day and as Claire and Harry had hired Dewsall Court for the weekend, they had a wonderful time with their friends and family from the moment they arrived.
“It was a perfect day and it was everything both of us dreamed of. Walking down to the church was nerve wracking, but I couldn’t wait to get started. We had been attending church for the last 6months to qualify so it felt comforting & our vicar had been great from the start. We had a harpist who played Clair du Lune as I walked up the very short aisle. I couldn’t look at anyone; I just focused on one foot in front of the other & trying not to shake. Harry was there with his big grin and everything just came together.”
“The reception was in the Wainhouse which we decorated it ourselves – except for the table settings & the florist doing the table flowers. When we walked in it had all come together and like I had imagined in my head. Harry & I both love good food and wine so we put lots of thought into the menu & wine – I think the pudding table was the highlight. Four puddings per person: crème brulee, black forest gateau, sherry trifle and the most mind blowing chocolate mousse.”
After Claire & Harry took to the dance floor for their first dance to Florence & The Machine’s ‘You Got The Love’, it was time to hand over to the England rugby team:
“Unfortunately they didn’t receive the memo that we had hired a big screen to watch them play Australia. Luckily the DJ got everyone dancing after and the disappointment of our early World Cup exit was lost in the splendour of Lionel Richie’s – ‘All Night Long’!”
Claire’s most memorable moments from the day include the church service – “it was small and intimate and felt like it was just Harry, the vicar and myself there” – and the guest themselves and Claire recalls seeing everyone smiling and laughing throughout the day.
“We also made welcome bags for everyone and included an order of service, festival style wristbands, a lanyard with times on, pick and mix, glow sticks and bottles of water and these went down a treat! We also include a Memory Tree in our day. None of my grandparents are alive and Harry only has his grandpa plus he lost a close friend last year so we put photos in frames and pinned them to a tree with a candle burning below. Apparently it was still burning the next morning.”
I can’t imagine a more fabulous and heartfelt wedding to feature as our first Love Story and thank you so much Claire for sharing your day with us. It was an absolute honour to help you in the run up to your wedding and I loved every minute that we spent together.
Before we finish, I’ll just hand back to Claire for her nuggets of newlywed knowledge:
* I am sure everyone has dreamed about this day but really try to reflect your personalities throughout the day.
* Shop about – don’t just go with the norm or the shop that is local to you.
* Plan, plan plan and do as much as you possibly can before the big day. My friends, family and Harry can no longer criticise my rather OCD style planning. It meant there was a very calm bride who enjoyed every second of the weekend.
Venue: Dewsall Court
Photographer: Ben at Blooming Photography
Shoes: Lorraine by Freed
Accessories: Elibre on Etsy
Bridesmaids’ Gowns: Watters
Flowergirls’ Dresses: Flower Girls Couture
Page Boys’ Bow Ties: Mrs Bowtie
Groom & Ushers’ Suits: Jack Bunneys
Florist: Great British Florist
Entertainment: DJ Boy
Stationery: Adam Fisher Design
Cake: Divine Bakes
Hair: Bridesmaids Sarah-Jane and Kirsty
Make-Up: Danielle Goodall
Wedding Planner: Sadie Bristow at Dewsall Court
Wristbands & Lanyards: Wedfest
Favours: Black Mountain Gold Chocolate
Harpist: Hannah Allaway