Orchardleigh House Wedding
December 19, 2013
DestinationWeddings in Historical VenuesFall Weddings
In my book, there is absolutely nothing better than an English countryside wedding, and when this bride described her wedding weekend as a "truly unique and proper Downton Abbey experience" I was sold. Planned and perfected by Ever Swoon, so you know it's good, this wedding, as seen through Ed Peers Photography's lens, is my Christmas present come early.
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And just a little teaser of these cuties from Shutterbox Films...
From the stunning bride... Jon and I met 3 years ago on a crisp October evening in a bar on the Upper East Side of New York, where we now live. Jon, who is English, had just arrived on a business trip, and he was still living in London, but the connection was immediate and we decided that despite the miles (3,459 to be exact!) between us, we would give the relationship a go. After countless Skype calls, emails, texts and trips back and forth and in between, Jon decided to move to the USA and pop the question!

As a graphic designer, I always knew I would design every piece of my wedding and what a project it was! First I designed a family crest for us, based off of the historic Mitchell crest and adding some fun elements that are personal to Jon and I (such as little UK and USA flag hearts, and diamonds in the crown matching my engagement ring!) The rose background image was also a custom watercolor I created just for the wedding. These design elements were used for the website, invitation suite, stationery, canvas tote bags, and leather gold embossed luggage tags.

We decided on an autumn wedding in Somerset near Bath close to Jon’s hometown. The venue is located in the sweeping English countryside on the grounds of the beautiful Orchardleigh Estate. At Orchardleigh, our guests stayed the night (and filled the entire estate) for a truly unique and proper Downton Abbey experience. We had a classic Church of England ceremony at this beautiful little church on the estate grounds, surrounded by water and dating back 1,000 years! Since there was no electricity in the church, the marriage service was entirely candlelit. The hand-pumped organ and string quartet played "Jerusalem" as I married my best friend and finally our two worlds became one.

The bridesmaids were all 5 of my sisters, plus my now-sister in law. The "vintage English rose" theme was carried through with their dusty pink gowns, each one unique different in style. As the guests arrived back at Orchardleigh House after the wedding, they were greeted with warm cider and live classical music played by a string quartet, The canapés were passed and the doors were open to the beautiful (surprising!) sunny day, allowing the guests stroll the vast grounds enjoy the spectacular views of the estate. Following the cocktail hour, we served a 4 course seated dinner, consisting of all local and traditional Somerset fair, made complete with hilarious speeches from my husband (English tradition), my 2 fathers, the best man, and my two maids of honor (American tradition). Following the dinner, the 3 tier cake was cut and the singer with a Frank Sinatra voice swept us into our first dance, “Beyond The Sea”- aptly chosen, in our opinion. Then came the DJ, countless glasses of champagne, a midnight buffet and eventually the sun, as we had danced ‘til dawn.