January 04, 2023

Playful, Fun & Colour drenched

Playful, Fun & Colour drenched
Harry Michael
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Caroline and James' colourful wedding is here to brighten your day and set trends for 2023 and beyond. They invited 145 lucky guests to their colour drenched reception in October with a tropical twist and fabulously fun after party with retro disco vibes.

This is one for all fun loving modern brides to take notes from!

Let's dive in...

colourful wedding reception with orange tables and bright flowers
Harry Michael

How did you meet?

We met on a dating app during the pandemic - after weeks of lock down, there was added excitement to re-joining the dating world in ‘real life’!

colourful wedding at an unusual wedding venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael

Tell us your proposal story!

We got engaged in Barbados, my parents’ adopted home. We were at dinner, overlooking the ocean when James sprang from his seat and blurted out the question using a ring he’d bought in a local gift shop.

Despite being quite a public setting, it was actually hugely romantic and just such a spectacular location.

cool couple outside stately home wedding venue
Harry Michael

Why our wedding venue?

We moved to Bristol about a year before so wanted a wedding venue not too far away, to make the planning easier. It was love at first sight when we saw Elmore Court - the first venue we saw in fact. There had been a cancellation for that year so we just went for it.

mansion house elmore court is a very unusual wedding venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael

How did you come up with your colourful wedding theme?

We loved the idea of an English autumnal wedding but didn’t want it to be really cliched.

James was adamant we couldn’t have a ‘pumpkin spice latte’ colour scheme - he surprised me by having quite strong views on the colour scheme!

We decided to go for warm tones of oranges, reds, pinks and ochre but with pops of bright colours - lilacs, neon pinks and coral. We spend a lot of time in the Caribbean so it felt like a nod to the tropics.

‘Playful, fun and colour drenched’ was our wedding theme.

On a few occasions I worried it would all be ‘too much’ but our wedding planner, Rachel from Salt and Scent events, kept encouraging us to stick with our original instincts.

The trend for neutral palettes and pared back, muted tones just wasn’t for us.

Fun loving boho bride and groom laugh with joy at their colourful wedding reception with bright flowers in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding reception decor and retro stationery for party wedding in Gloucester
Harry Michael
colourful wedding bouquet with tropical flowers
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding reception decor and retro stationery for party wedding in Gloucester
Harry Michael
colourful bridesmaids with bright flowers
Harry Michael
colourful wedding reception tables with bright flowers
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding reception decor and retro stationery for party wedding in Gloucester
Harry Michael
festival wedding flowers and candles decorate steps of mansion house
Harry Michael
Retro wedding signage for a fun party wedding
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding with disco theme
Harry Michael

How was wedding planning?

We started almost straight away as we found Elmore only had that one date left, so it gave us just 9 months to plan the wedding.

I loved the planning process at the beginning but I’m not going to lie, it did overwhelm me at times and the stress really got to me. I think there are a lot of expectations, the pressure can feel immense and you get a bit of choice paralysis scrolling on Instagram and Pinterest. James was MUCH more chilled about it all!

cool bride at fun wedding reception entrance
Harry Michael

What amazing colourful wedding flowers!

We went loud and bright with streamers / disco balls on the dance floor and fruits strewn on the tables.

We chose Amber Persia for the wedding flowers and were blown away by what she created.

We wanted the flowers modern, bright, playful and not too traditional. My dress was quite boho / relaxed so we wanted unstructured bouquets / arrangements and I specified anthuriums, toffee roses, orchids and hanging amaranthus.

Bright colourful wedding flowers in pink red and orange theme for a fun wedding at elmore court
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding flowers with a tropical theme for a party wedding in a stately home
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding flowers on orange table for bright reception in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding flowers and fruit on wedding reception tables at elmore court
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding flowers on bright tables for party wedding
Harry Michael
colourful wedding flowers and candles on the steps of mansion house wedding venue in gloucestershire
Harry Michael
colourful wedding flowers and candles on the steps of mansion house wedding venue in gloucestershire
Harry Michael
cool bride and groom with colourful wedding flowers and candles on the steps of mansion house wedding venue in gloucestershire
Harry Michael
boho bride cuts cake next to colourful wedding flowers and candles at wedding venue in gloucestershire
Harry Michael
colourful cocktail wedding with bright flowers at eco wedding venue in gloucestershire
Harry Michael

What was most important when planning your wedding?

We put a lot of time into planning every detail of day, as all couples do, but the church ceremony was something we really enjoyed pulling together - and getting to know the vicar and community.

We wanted the reception decor, especially the tables, to be really impactful and vibrant, which I think we achieved.

The party / atmosphere in the Gillyflower and around the fire pit was also really important to us - we wanted it to be really fun and personal to us.

We served Bajan rum cocktails (my Mum’s recipe) and spent most of our budget on a live show band with 5 musicians and 2 singers.

Orange tables with bright flowers for a vibrant wedding reception at eco venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
retro wedding sign in orange for a cool wedding in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Modern Colourful wedding theme. Orange tables with fruit and flowers at sustainable wedding venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
colourful cocktail wedding with bright flowers at eco wedding venue in gloucestershire
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding reception. Orange tables with bright flowers at eco venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Colourful red table setting on orange table for fun retro wedding in Gloucestershire
Harry Michael
Clashing Colourful wedding theme. Orange tables with fruit at eco wedding venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
red and orange wedding candles for fun wedding theme
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding theme. Orange tables with bright flowers at wedding venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding reception. Clashing Orange colour scheme with bright flowers at eco venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Cool bride and groom sit on steps of beautiful mansion house wedding venue surrounded by flowers and candles
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding reception idea: Orange tables with bright flowers at eco venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Clashing Colourful fun wedding theme. Orange tables with bright flowers at eco wedding venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael

You both looked incredible. How did you choose your boho wedding dress and groom looks?

I wore the “Alcazar” dress by Margaux Tardits. A beautiful tulle and silk boho wedding dress, very relaxed and unstructured.

I got it from the Mews in Clifton and was so pleased I found a dress locally, I went to lots of wedding dress shops in London for for fittings and trying on shoes / accessories, it was a godsend having the shop so nearby.

Mews only stock French, female designers which I liked. I tried on a LOT of dresses and doubted my wedding dress right up until the day.

There’s a lot of pressure on finding ‘the one’ and I kept seeing more dresses online I liked!

I changed into another outfit for the party - a sequin and ostrich feather midi dress from 16 Arlington.

James bough a beautiful navy velvet jacket from Reiss and he also changed for the party into a neon paisley velvet jacket by Boden - it was really fun to reveal our evening outfits for the first dance!

My wedding shoes were by loeffler randall (they sold out in the UK so I got my bridesmaid to buy them in New York!) And my evening shoes were old ones I already owned from Zara.

My hair vine was from Shein - I think it cost £6!

boho wedding dress in french lace
Harry Michael
cool bride and groom in boho looks
Harry Michael
Cool modern boho bride in lace dress and long veil holding bright colourful wedding bouquet in the sunshine outside stately home party wedding venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
cool modern boho couple just married
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festival bride in beautiful designer wedding dress
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boho bride puts on wedding shoes in stately home bedroom
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modern boho bride puts in long veil in stately home bedroom
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Colourful wedding with disco theme
Harry Michael

Your bridesmaids and bridesman looked amazing too!

Yes I had a whopping 7 bridesmaids and a bridesman! Plus 7 ushers.

For the bridesmaids, I knew didn’t want matchy-matchy bridesmaid dresses but now, I totally understand why people opt to put all their bridal party in the same look!

I decided I wanted ‘copper’ dresses - and after months of the girls interpreting my vision of ‘copper’ as a million shades of red, pink and orange… we settled on the dresses. But it nearly killed me! And I think drove my bridesmaids potty trying to find a dress that fitted the brief!

We sourced the dress from various places - an Aussie brand called ‘Shona Joy’, Ghost, ASOS, Shein (yep, two of my favourite dresses were bargains from Shein) and Forever New.

I LOVED the final result but it was one of the most stressful aspects of the planning! Definitely worth it though, everyone really suited their dresses and it meant the girls could wear a style / tone that complemented them.

I don’t think I’d have found one dress they all agreed on!

The ushers were easier - they wore M&S suits with matching copper silk ties I sourced online.

Colourful bridesmaids in orange dresses stand with boho bride with bright bouquets with ribbons in the cotswolds countryside
Harry Michael
burnt orange bridemaids dresses in mansion house wedding venue
Harry Michael
bridesmaids in burnt orange copper dresses stand with boho bride with bright bouquets outside stately home wedding venue in the cotswolds countryside
Harry Michael
bridesman and bridesmaids in burnt orange copper dresses stand with boho bride with bright bouquets outside stately home wedding venue in the cotswolds countryside
Harry Michael
brides man and bridesmaids in burnt orange copper dresses stand with boho bride with bright bouquets outside stately home wedding venue in the cotswolds countryside
Harry Michael
mixed wedding party and bridesmaids in burnt orange copper dresses stand with boho bride with bright bouquets outside stately home wedding venue in the cotswolds countryside
Harry Michael
Colourful bridesmaids in orange dresses stand with boho bride with bright wedding flowers with ribbons in the cotswolds countryside
Harry Michael
Colourful bridesmaids in orange dresses stand with boho bride with bright bouquets with ribbons in the cotswolds countryside
Harry Michael
Colourful bridesmaids and groomsmen pose under beech tree with boho bride with bright bouquets with ribbons in the cotswolds countryside
Harry Michael
Fun mixed wedding party under huge beech tree at elmore court
Harry Michael
Groomsmen in suits with bright orange ties under beech tree outside stately home
Harry Michael

Your wedding morning. How did you feel?

I felt really tired on the morning of the wedding as I hardly slept a wink the night before, I was so nervous! But my bridesmaids and Mum made the morning so special - it was just perfect getting ready in the Coach House with them all buzzing around. I was pretty nervous beforehand but that melted away during the ceremony.

bridemaid in pyjamas pops open champagne and it explodes in beautiful stately home wedding venue
Harry Michael
Wedding venue for big party weddings
Harry Michael
wedding morning bridesmaid and bridesman hug
Harry Michael
bridesmaids in pyjamas walking across to stately home for getting ready
Harry Michael
Cool groom with long hair opening a gift from wife to be on wedding morning
Harry Michael
groomsmen in colourful ties get ready in the morning
Harry Michael
colourful orange bridemaids dresses hanging ready on wedding morning
Harry Michael
groomsmen get ready for wedding in colourful room in stately home
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wedding morning bridesmaids in pink silk PJs
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wedding gift wrapped in colourful paper
Harry Michael
bridesmaids in pink silk pyjamas getting ready for a colourful wedding in a mansion house
Harry Michael
sexy groom with long hair getting ready on his wedding morning in stately home
Harry Michael
wedding morning getting ready
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wedding morning preparations
Harry Michael
bride and mother of bride exchange gifts on morning of colourful wedding
Harry Michael
happy mother of bride opens gift
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tears from mother of bride on morning of wedding
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hugs with mother daughter on wedding morning
Harry Michael
wedding morning gifting is a lovely way to start the day at elmore court mansion house in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Bridesmaids having fun opening presents in pyjamas on wedding day
Harry Michael
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Talk us through your church ceremony

Before I walked in, we played an Alan Watts reading, ‘In Madness Lies Sanity’ - we also had the incredible Alice Gabb make us a banner with those words on it, which we hung in the Gillyflower.

The ceremony was truly incredible, we both had huge grins on our faces from start to finish.

We opted for three readings, one biblical one, and the other two were The Voyage” by Johnny Duhan, which has lots of references to sailing and the ocean, two of our favourite things and an extract from ‘All I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton.

My best friend from my childhood, Jenny, penned her own version of it, which was so personal and funny.

We absolutely loved our gospel choir, Vocal Works Gospel Choir from Bath.

They brought the house down in the church with ‘Higher Love’ which they sang during our signing of the marriage documents. They also performed ‘As’ by Stevie Wonder, 'You Got The Love' by Candi Staton and I walked in to a gospel rendition of Jess Glynn’s ‘I’ll Be There’.

One of our most memorable moments was when we stayed in church, just the two of us, to hear them sing the end of ‘All You Need Is Love’.

cool groom outside wedding ceremony
Harry Michael
guests arrive for church wedding ceremony with colourful flowers
Harry Michael
bride with father walking down step of mansion house decorated with colourful flowers for her wedding
Harry Michael
Elmore church is known as the prettiest church in England to marry in the UK
Harry Michael
bride and father walking to church in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
colourful wedding flowers in church
Harry Michael
church wedding at elmore in the cotswolds with colourful flowers
Harry Michael
bride and father walk down the church aisle in wedding ceremony at elmore in gloucester
Harry Michael
bride and groom in wedding ceremony at Elmore church known as the prettiest church in England to marry in the uk
Harry Michael
wedding ceremony in pretty church in the UK
Harry Michael
modern bride and groom at church ceremony
Harry Michael
bride and groom exchanging rings at church ceremony in elmore
Harry Michael
colourful wedding in a beautiful church in gloucestershire
Harry Michael
beautiful boho bride and groom in atmospheric wedding ceremony in a beautiful church in england
Harry Michael
cool boho bride and groom covered in confetti
Harry Michael

How was your drinks reception?

We had few pics outside church before hopping in a vintage jag back to Elmore.

Harry Michael was a great choice for a photographer, so relaxed and fun. Dan Dolan and his wife did the videography.

Acoustic singer / guitarist, Bethany Jane, performed during the reception.

Though I have to admit, I never made it inside Elmore as it was such a stunningly beautiful day, I ended up milling around outside and was so busy catching up with people, I didn’t make it inside! Everyone said she was wonderful though!

cool bride in heart shaped sunglasses and bright wedding flowers in sunny drinks reception outside elmore court
wedding guests enjoy sunny drinks reception outside mansion house wedding venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Colourful bridesmaids and cool bride in sunny outdoor wedding at elmore court
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding flowers in sunny drinks reception outside elmore court
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding guests and cool bride and groom in sunny drinks reception outside elmore court
Harry Michael
Colourful wedding flowers and cool bride and groom in sunny drinks reception outside elmore court
Harry Michael
cool bride in Beautiful boho dress in sunshine outdoor wedding in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Cool wedding guest in sunglasses at drinks reception outside elmore court
Harry Michael
Wedding guest in kilt pushing baby in pram
Harry Michael

What did you eat and drink?

We drank Tattinger, Sancerre and Moulin-a-vent. And lots of espresso martinis and rum punch!

Food wise, the meat eaters had roast salmon for starter, slow cooked beef for main and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. The veggies and vegans enjoyed the squash tagine and arancini for starter.

food and drink at colourful wedding reception
Harry Michael

Did you DIY any wedding details?

The stationery was quite ‘DIY’, we ordered a template from Etsy and used a local printers to do it all, which saved a lot of money. I was pretty busy with work in the run up to the wedding so had to outsource most tasks!

Cool bride and groom see their colourful wedding reception for the first time
Harry Michael
Cool bride and groom holding hands looking at their fun colourful wedding reception for the first time in an eco party venue in gloucestershire
Harry Michael
Cool bride and groom see their colourful wedding reception for the first time in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
boho bride and groom see their colourful wedding reception for the first time
Harry Michael
Unconventional bride and groom see their colourful wedding reception for the first time
Harry Michael
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Beautiful wedding cake!

The cake was delicious, made by Katherine at Cherish Cakes. We had three tiers - carrot cake, lemon cake and Victoria sponge.

colourful wedding cake
Harry Michael

Did you have a first dance?

Yes, that was the easiest choice. We went for Mystify by INXS. An absolute banger and brings back a lot of happy memories.

Retro disco wedding first dance with couple dressed in cool party outfits and streamers and disco ball
Harry Michael

Who played your wedding party?

We had the fabulous Luna Show Band and a DJ / saxophonist.

The party was pretty wild… having all our favourite people pile onto the dance floor and sing ‘Sweet Caroline’, with the live band was epic.

unique party wedding with bright streamers for a fun couple
Harry Michael
Party wedding venue with cool lighting and funktion one soundsystem
Harry Michael
Fun couple throw an epic party wedding in a soundproof venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Fun couple throw an epic party wedding in a soundproof venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
Fun couple throw an epic party wedding in a soundproof venue in the cotswolds
Harry Michael
cocktail wedding party at wedding venue in gloucestershire
Harry Michael
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What were your wedding highlights?

It sounds cheesy but marrying the man I love was the total highlight.

That and just the total outpouring of love we felt from everyone there with us.

We were incredibly lucky with the wedding, the sun shone all day so we got some beautiful photographs and the light in the church was stunning.

I did a speech too, something I was really nervous about, but really pleased I did.

I wanted a good balance of men and women speaking and felt it was important to say some words about how amazing James is, rather than all the attention being on me.

bride and groom confetti outside church
Harry Michael
modern bride speech at colourful wedding reception
Harry Michael

Any tips for couples currently planning their wedding?

I did a detailed wedding budget / breakdown from the start which helped us stay on track.

My main tip is to do as much as you can before the day - writing a note for your other half, wrapping them a little gift for the day (if you’re doing that) - that would have taken a lot of stress out of the wedding morning!

Oh and don’t worry if you doubt any of your supplies - I doubted them ALL until the day - and they were all amazing.

Who made this colourful wedding pop?

Wedding Planning : Rachel Terrett at Salt and Scent
Bridal Make Up: Rosie at RAW make up 
Hair: Juta Zorubiene 
Wedding Dress: Margaux Tardits from The Mews Bridal
Colourful Wedding Flowers: Amber Persia
Photographer: Harry Michael
2nd Photographer: Andy Matheson
Videographer: Dan Dolan 
Gospel Choir: Vocal Works Gospel Choir
Wedding Car: 1967 S-type Jag by Mr Bojangles Hire
Food Truck: The Little Taquero 
Photo booth: Belle Studio Silver Trailer
Band & DJ with live sax: Luna Show Band 
Drinks Reception Music: Bethany Hodge 
Wedding Cake: Cherish Cakes by Katherine Edwards 
Streamers for dance floor: Streamadelica 
Confetti: Shropshire Petals
Disco ball and festoon lighting: Every Event Hire
Table Linen: Jones Hire 
Poseur tables: Valley Furniture Hire
Wedding stationary design: Zebedee Helm, Emerald Paper Design and Studio Grazie 
Printing: Bristol Print Hub

Thank you so much Caroline and James for sharing your gorgeous colourful wedding and brightening up our January.

If this has got you craving more bright wedding inspiration, take a look at the stunning real weddings below, and give us a call to discuss your wedding colour schemes!

All the love,

Team E

xxx

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