Claire and George met at university and got chatting on the dancefloor during a night out with friends. "We started seeing each other after that evening," Claire tells us, "and then moved to London together after university before relocating to Torquay where I'm originally from."
The couple became engaged during a trip to Edinburgh for Claire's birthday. "The weather was terrible but George insisted we do the walk to the top of the tourist attraction Arthur's Seat," Claire tells us. "I remember moaning the whole way up but the breathtaking view when we reached the top was worth it. I thought it was a little odd that George had asked a stranger to take a photograph of us but while I was admiring the view, he had bent down on one knee and was holding the most beautiful ring. The lady taking the photos was snapping away, capturing the entire proposal. When George did his speech at our wedding, he said the engagement speech that he had prepared two years previously – there wasn't a dry eye in the house!"
The couple wanted an English and Greek wedding and George has a large family so they needed a venue big enough to host everyone for the entire day. "George's family live in London so we thought it would be nice to pick a country venue where they could all spend a long weekend," Claire tells us. "We both really enjoyed our initial meeting at Muddifords Court with the owner, Nicky, who was amazing every step of the way with the planning and on the day."
The couple called their wedding a Grenglish celebration marrying elements from both Greek and English traditions. They chose a Greek barbecue as their wedding breakfast and traditional Greek almond cookies, known as pastitsia, as favours. The wedding cake was a white three-tier design decorated with white roses, eucalyptus and sugar succulents. "These details looked so realistic and the coconut with pineapple cream, vanilla sponge with raspberry and prosecco filling, and lemon and elderflower flavours were mouth-watering," Claire tells us. "The designer, Claire from Claire's Sweet Temptations is a cake artist!"
Each table was decorated with eucalyptus, edible flowers were placed in the post-ceremony drinks, rosemary was displayed on each plate and Claire's pretty bridal bouquet featured cream roses, white waxflower, lisianthus, and white veronica mixed in with eucalyptus and succulents. "My dad passed away at the beginning of the year so I had a photograph of us together placed in my bouquet," she tells us. "We also had a memory ladder holding photos of family members who we have sadly lost."
The couple chose a perspex table plan presented on a copper frame with perspex table names and elegant white place cards featuring each name written using a copper-coloured calligraphy pen by their bridesmaid, Harriett. "We also chose copper menu holders for each of our tables," Claire explains.The venue was filled with 100 glass baubles suspended from the beams holding LED tea lights and a mix of copper lanterns and candlestick holders on the tables.
Claire teamed her dress and veil with a bespoke headpiece that she made herself. "I design and make award-winning bespoke headpieces and accessories so wearing something from my new White Collection felt amazing," Claire tells us. "I picked one featuring handmade ceramic flowers set with Swarovski crystals and pearls. I also made my bridesmaids' head pieces and posies which looked so pretty."
Claire and George hired a live singer called Yazzy who performed while she walked down the aisle and during the post-ceremony drinks. "We also had a magician who was a hit with our guests," Claire says,"followed by a Greek band who got everyone up dancing in the courtyard.
We did the Greek money dance as well as our first dance and finished the evening celebrations with a DJ."
"We made sure that everyone was thoroughly entertained and provided lots of food and fizz – it was the best day ever!" – Claire
DJ and illuminated letters
Florist (bridal bouquet, buttonholes, edible flowers in drinks, chair ends and succulents and eucalyptus on the tables)
Headpieces (and bridesmaids' posies, floral dog coat, mother-of-the-bride headpiece and floral arch)
Venue décor hire, table plan, table numbers, menu holders and welcome sign
Wedding dress and veil