When Zoe’s parents built their dream home on 10 attractive acres outside the Martinborough wine village, "it seemed like a silly idea not to take advantage of it” for her wedding to Steve.
"We were not limited with decorating and catering ideas, and could invite guests for an amazing ‘day after’ affair as well. Being based in London, we wanted the wedding to be easy to organise, and for everything to be a little bit whimsical, with a rustic look and country flair.
"We got everything we wanted; it was the best day of our lives. Ruth Pretty’s catering went down a treat and guests keep talking about it, "she reported.
"The ceremony was held on a sheltered lawn beside the house, and we created a very rustic spot with weathered timber poles, topped with a colourful wildflower-style floral arrangement and trailing ribbons that fluttered in the light breeze. With rolling green fields and trees in the background it was a very beautiful place to start our marriage.
"Everyone gathered for drinks on the verandah and by the pool. Luckily we had plenty of shade on a sunny Martinborough spring day.
"A fabulous marquee was set up for the wedding feast, and spectacular clear sides meant we could see the trees and hills until the light eventually faded, in time for dancing. To keep the mood festive and fun we handed out colourful cardboard hats and favours for everyone, which broke any remaining ice very effectively among guests who didn’t know each other!
"At first the thought of organising the wedding at a distance was daunting, but in reality it was great. Opening my inbox was always super exciting, and Ruth Pretty’s one-stop-shop team was in regular contact with us on menus, hireage and other plans, and my parents about site planning.
"We came over for a holiday a few months ahead, and caught up with everyone in person. Our parents were all involved one way or another, and it all went amazingly smoothly.
"My dress became a very special experience, made by a very talented dressmaker and family friend Tina de Bes as her wedding gift. We shopped together in London and chose a lovely hail-spot French Tulle. Tina added crystals, pearls and vintage lace that she had saved over the years as highlights, in a design that brought together my vision and ideas in my head with her skills and experience in knowing what would suit my shape and style.
"The flowers were very important to me, and The Piccadilly Flower Company was outstanding. I loved Yvette’s relaxed yet luxurious styling, carrying the country/whimsical/rustic theme beautifully.
"I did obsess a bit over "wedding beautifulness” and did quite a bit of DIY on menus, wine lists, and candle jars with wedding- themed ribbons – so it was lovely when people commented on them.
"Ruth Pretty was our only choice, we knew we wanted her foodie delights to be a part of our day.We had a served dinner, with all our favourite foods, and with some of the vegetables in bowls to encourage guests to pass and share. We sourced our wines locally from Martinborough of course, including magnums of Palliser Estate’s celebration bubbly.
"It was such a spread that we wondered if anyone would want the late night suckling pigs, but obviously DJ Max did such a great job getting everyone up and dancing: they were devoured!
"The next day we invited guests back, plus a few more family friends, and had a wonderfully relaxed time with everyone. The Lavender Lemonade kept everyone hydrated in the sun, and one neighbour is still talking about how much he enjoyed Ruth’s "fantastic pies!” she laughed.
"Ruth’s team was so organised, so helpful in meeting our requests, and worked so hard to make sure we had the wedding of our dreams, we were simply happy beyond expectations”.
When asked for a highlight, Zoe simply said "All of it”. She identified "catching up with people we hadn’t seen in ages; fantastical food delights; the great weather; getting ready; seeing the first glimpse of Steve waiting down the end of the aisle; our vows; speeches; cutting mad shapes on the dance floor. All of it” ... and what could be better?
Images courtesy of Mary Sylvia Photography