I love our elopement weddings. They’re so special and intimate and with a small wedding the elopement team feels such a big part of each elopement day. Unlike our summer weddings where we have different photographers, florists and other suppliers, all the elopement staff, Clare our photographer, Amanda our florist, Harrie the chef, film makers Baxter + Ted, Jodie (hair), Jess (make up), Bethany who does the elopement admin and Emma who looks after everything on the ground (and me!) are the same team for each wedding. We’ve built a dream team over the last couple of years and we get so much from being part of such a supportive group of wedding experts.
Most of us in the elopement team are basically solopreneurs which we all love but it means – no office Christmas party. Now while some of you might think that’s a good thing (yep, we’ve all heard ‘those’ stories), we felt we were missing out. So we decided to have ourselves our own little elopement team Christmas party this month.
Inspired by a film she’d seen a few years ago Amanda had suggested to me a couple of years ago that we film a wedding supplier get-together. Getting a group of wedding suppliers together in one place during the wedding season is a tough call but we managed to find one date that nearly all of us could do (sorry you missed it Jess!) so we set a date. Everyone was going to do their usual bit so Clare would take some photos, Amanda would do her floral stuff, Harrie would do a cake and some canapes, Baxter and Ted would do the filming and I would do the styling.
I started to look around for some decor inspiration. I knew the xmas tree would be up on the terrace so I thought we’d go with the fir green colour, adding metallics and lighting for extra Christmassy sparkle.
Whilst I was looking around for ideas the lovely people over at Rockett St George sent me their December hotlist, which is a list of all that’s hot to eat, drink & do each month. Scrolling through I found some pics of a hot new rooftop bar at Dalloway Terrace. I follow the florist Nikki Tibbles of Wild at Heart on Instagram and funnily enough just a couple of days earlier I had seen Nikki’s post about her installation at Dalloway Terrace. It wasn’t til I saw the Rockett St George post that I really looked at it in detail and fell in love with the idea of a cosy design with sheepskin rugs and hot water bottles a la Dalloway Terrace.
Coincidentally I’d already ordered a sheepskin rug from The Dartmoor Shepherd as a Christmas pressie for the lovely S’s new shepherd’s hut. Lewis (aka The Dartmoor Shepherd) keeps the 3 original Dartmoor rare breeds and I knew the Dartmoor connection was perfect for us. It’s funny how these things come together because although I only saw Dalloway Terrace at the beginning of December and the elopement xmas party was scheduled for 7 December, I was meeting Lewis at a Christmas Fair in Shaldon with my bestie Karen. So many things were coming together!
And then something major happened which put a big spoke in the wheel. Amanda our florist was coming on Thursday morning to dress the terrace for the evening. But to cut a very long story short, she had a horrible accident at home the night before and ended up in A&E for the night with 15 metal staples in her head. She heroically turned up here on Thursday morning to do the set up but I sent her to bed in the honeymoon cottage (she said it was almost worth the accident to sleep in the cottage) so I ended up doing the flower installations, setting up the tablescape and doing the cooking!
Fortunately for me, before her accident Amanda had already done most of the centrepieces for the table and had also made the cutest napkin ties from pine needles (yep bunches of individual pine needles) tied together with wool bows she fashioned from local Dartmoor wool company Twool – thank goodness as I would never have had the time or the patience for these – take a look at the detail…
Amanda had also planted up small contemporary concrete planters with living bulbs, white hellebores, white sprayed ferns and several different types of fir. I just added moss and popped them on the table with some delicate copper wire battery fairy lights.
The table was set up with our dark forest green matte sequin table cloth, teamed with milk white glass beaded chargers we use for some of our elopements, crystal glasses and a selection from some of our tea lights. Our ghost chairs were covered with the new sheepskins and each chair had a faux fur hot water bottle to keep people extra toasty.
Lighting is a huge part of any party set up and Amanda had lent us her Edison light bulbs which we installed for the evening above the dining table. I added some of our glass baubles with candles to break up the symmetry of the edison lights. I added a wire bird cage with a large candle, moss and more copper wire battery fairy lights to the centre of the table. The indoor fire, fairy light canopy and fairy light nets on the terrace screens all added to the magical, fairytale feel.
It’s no party without gorgeous food & drink so we got things going with Dark & Stormy rum cocktails and of course some bubbles. Food wise we started with Harrie’s delicious canapes (finally I got to try them after several seasons of just looking at them), I rustled up a main course and dessert and we ended with Harrie’s delicious chocolate & orange cake with silver icing as a post-dessert dessert (as you do).
Despite the last minute drama, it all came together on the night and looked fabulous! And Amanda was able to gingerly join us for the festivities before going back to the cottage overnight so we could keep an eye on her recovery.
Caroline and Chris of Baxter + Ted who have filmed a number of our summer and elopement weddings came and did their stuff for the party – love this lil film which was egg-zackly the kind of film Amanda originally had in mind. Enjoy!