real wedding: quirky & contemporary winter wedding {louise & simon}

As January came to an end, my inbox was flooded with stunning festive weddings full of crisp wintery details.  With the last few days dropping to sub-zero temperatures I think now is the time to share some of these with you! Both today and tomorrow I have beautiful, but completely different winter weddings to share with you!

Today, is Louise and Simon’s contemporary winter wedding, featuring the most amazing Ian Stuart dress!  A designer famed for his theatrical designs, Louise’s grey and white striped ‘Libertine‘ dress creates a quirky modern statement, full of the romance with the soft folds of fabric and floral details echoed in her bouquet.  The cool grey hues are complimented in their wedding decor and cute personal touches, like the muted colours of the maps used as confetti to reference Simon’s job as a teacher, which they used on the dance floor at the end of the evening creating some awesome shots!

With photography by Bristol-based Sam Gibson, the images beautifully capture the emotion and spirit of this fun-loving couple

Louise shares their story ~

Simon and I met when I was 19, he was 22. I worked in a restaurant as he returned from a year travelling, he walked into the restaurant to get his old job back. I had become friends with the guys he had known before he left, they had such great things to say about him and as soon as I saw his great smile, it made me smile and I was hooked.

One weekend he took me away for my birthday, or so I thought; we’d been together 13 years and never even talked about marriage but the night we arrived we had some dinner… and bubbles and went for a walk along the water front. The bubbles must have gone to my head because for a reason unknown to me or Simon, I started asking questions about marriage and babies, whilst all the time the ring was in his back pocket!  The next day we took a boat along the coast and then walked to a secluded beach. After  a short time looking for crabs (at least that’s what I thought we were doing, Simon was just killing time while people were passing through the beach. For those of you interested I found three, and Simon found none!) that was until he shouted over that he’d found one and said I should come and see it, in which he turned round on one knee and proposed! I was gob smacked and stunned to silence, before I giggled ‘yes’, of course!

We got married at Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, Somerset. We both grew up around there so the location and stunning countryside were both special to us.  We wanted it to be natural, cosy, comfortable and personal. We didn’t really have a theme, we were more focused on people having a good time.  Simon is a Geography teacher so there was a slight ‘map’ theme!!! The table plan, place names and the hand cut confetti were made out of maps! But our main aim was to  enjoy every minute of it with friends and family and my gorgeous husband.

We  didn’t want to spend a fortune, weddings are expensive enough, so small details that didn’t cost the earth were what I was after.  I found some great ideas and inspiration in both magazines and on the internet. I took those and then put our own individual touch to them. Making it personal to us was important, and it was fun creating it all, injecting a bit of humour and personality.  Candles, instead of flowers, to create a natural and warm feeling.  I bought old wine glasses for floating candles, and cups and saucers & plates for block candles to scattter around. I made both my nieces dresses from the same fabric as my dress. My sister collected fallen pine cones from the tree at her work, even when she was 8 months pregnant, she was out there!!! Myself and my very patient and dedicated friend Sibel and  sister Elei lovingly hand punched confetti from maps; and photos of family weddings all added a loving atmosphere around the venue.  We also bought gold glasses, Kanye West style, for a bit of fun on the dance floor later

Sarah from Clifton Brides was so incredibly patient and supportive with me when I was choosing and buying my wedding dress I couldn’t thank her enough!  Also my cake supplier Catherine Rendall who is local in Bristol made my cake to the colour I chose and totally understood what I was after and it was delicious!! Also, Gini at Coombe Lodge was an absolute legend on the day. She was supportive flexible and in control throughout the day even with all the little hicups!

What was your first dance, and how did you choose the song?

I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor‘ by the Arctic Monkeys.  We had a band and really wanted to bust some shapes so we went for something lively, upbeat and fun from their list. One of the best decisions of the day!

Do you have any advice for future brides?

Enjoy it!



Dress – ‘Libertine‘ by Ian Stuart at Clifton Brides, Bristol

Shoes – Dorothy Perkins

Accessories – Hair flowers from Ian Stuart at Clifton Brides and necklace borrowed from the Brides sister

Bridesmaids Dresses – Hobbs

Stationery – Vistaprint

Venue & Catering – Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, Somerset

Flowers – by a friend

Hair: Sadie at Mane

Makeup: Kelly Hooper at The Barn

Cake – The Little Cake Store

Music – The Jacks Band (They were AWESOME!!!)


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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