The rolling hills of The Cotswolds will always be one of my favourite backdrops for a wedding and a gorgeous September day for Lauren and Tom only helped to cement that opinion. Today on The Journal, I’m reminiscing about their wedding held at the beautiful Bay Tree in Burford with oodles of styling inspiration and lovely touches throughout.
A typical chocolate-box Cotswold stone building, The Bay tree dates back to the 16th century and offers a wonderful mix of historical charm with a warm and inviting contemporary style. The hotel caters to both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, and throughout the wedding planning process, Lauren and Tom had their hearts set on tying the knot outside in the gorgeous grounds. Luckily, September spoiled us with one of the hottest and sunniest weekends of the year, so we had the perfect weather for their outdoor ceremony and drinks reception in the secret walled garden.
The brief from Lauren and Tom was to bring touches of the Mediterranean to Oxfordshire. Tom has Italian heritage and so it was a lovely personal link used throughout their wedding styling.
As guests entered the hotel they were greeted by a welcome sign hung from a gold frame, the stationery designed by Minky Cards was beautifully simplistic in style, monochrome with a wonderful hand drawn illustration of The Bay Tree. Alongside this we styled a stunning cards and gifts table, rustic touches nestled amongst more modern pieces and of course, a lemon or two – really setting the scene for the overall styling of the day, and the hotel itself.
When considering the florals, we decided early on that a classic white and sage green colour palette would best suit the look we were going for. To incorporate those med vibes, we opted to include lots of olive leaf foliage. The lovely ladies at Classic Flowers did not disappoint, arriving with tons of olive branch ready to decorate the ceremony spaces including the beam across the top of the summer house where Lauren and Tom would say I do.
I really love the palpable buzz of anticipation before a wedding ceremony as family and friends arrive and start taking their seats. Set across different levels The Bay Tree’s garden offers a truly intimate setting, you’d never know you’re in one of the busiest towns of The Cotswolds, so secluded is the atmosphere. As the arrival of the bride was announced all that could be heard was a relaxing trickling from the water feature and birdsong overhead.
Looking absolutely stunning in her gown the music started playing and Lauren got in position ready for her last walk as a Miss. Making their way down the aisle first were her four bridesmaids looking gorgeous in their sage green dresses.
As guests looked on, cooling themselves with fans provided by the bride and groom to keep everybody comfortable, Lauren and Tom exchanged their vows. They were announced as husband and wife to claps and cheers from their nearest and dearest. The wedding certificate was signed at a beautifully decorated ceremony table, adorned with an olive leaf runner alongside candles and clusters of lemons.
It was then time for champagne and photos in the secret walled garden, the couple’s beloved Golden Retriever Chester arriving with his doggy chaperone to take centre stage looking oh-so-smart in his sage green bow tie.
The wedding breakfast took place in the beautiful restaurant area of The Bay Tree, featuring an original flagstone floor only adding to our Italian themed styling. Guests were seated at traditional round tables which had centrepieces made up of various height bud vases and tall tapered sage green candles in gold candlestick holders.
We continued the Italian styling with fresh lemons adorning every table which provided a lovely fresh scent throughout the restaurant. A green water goblet and sage coloured napkin brought all the styling elements together and provided a real pop of colour to the tables.
The elegant setting was completed with table names displayed in brass frames, named after various lovely places Lauren and Tom have visited together. Each guest sat down to a personalised menu featuring gorgeous gold leafing.
Keen to ensure the styling continued into the evening celebrations, we didn’t stop there. Lauren and Tom’s wedding cake was displayed on an antique chest which we styled with a sage green runner, bud vases and of course, candles.
After cutting the cake, Lauren and Tom proceeded to get the party started by popping the bubbly and pouring an epic champagne tower ready for guests to grab a glass and raise a toast. It was then time to start the dancing, the vibe well and truly set by the ‘til death do us party’ neon sign, personalised sunglasses and large foam glow sticks.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this journal entry and have felt inspired by the blend of Mediterranean charm and timeless elegance. From the intimate garden ceremony to the Italian-inspired styling and lively evening celebrations, it was a day to remember for everyone present and the perfect way for Lauren and Tom to celebrate becoming Mr and Mrs.
I’ll leave you to enjoy some more of their stunning gallery shot by the incredible Lara Jacques Photography.