Kristie & James Hestercombe House wedding in the spring was totally gorgeous. It’s a rare thing I feel I need to visit a venue before a wedding day but I did with this one.  The gardens are epic. REALLY epic and I would thoroughly recommend visiting them for a day out.  On the wedding day itself the weather was perfect which made the gardens even more beautiful and the early evening light was the kind that makes me happy dance with glee. Kristie looked totally stunning and James looked so very smooth in his Tweed suit.

I’ll let the photographs tell the story of the day. At the end of the page you can read Kristie & James’ story as they very kindly wrote all about it themselves. Please do go read too. it’s lovely.

Kriste, what  do you love about James?

James is kind and considerate, he is a very generous person to all in his life. We have lots in common and are very silly together but just enjoy making each other happy.

James, what do you love about Kristie?

Kristie’s bubbly and fun-loving personality, warm heart and caring nature, ability to indulge each other’s silliness.

Our story

We met in our first week of university when living in flats opposite each other. The connection was instant and it wasn’t long before we were spending day and night together. For the first 2 years we were inseparable, then for our third year of study Kristie had to spend the year split between France and Spain as part of her languages degree. This was the hardest challenge we’d faced but knew that if we could survive that then we’d do ok.. And we did! James proposed after 7 years on one of our amazing holidays backpacking through Europe. We wanted to buy a house before thinking about the wedding so once that went through we were finally able to start planning. This took around a year, we actually found our wedding venue almost a year to the day of our big day and the rest just fell into place.

What made us choose our venue?

We always knew we wanted to get married close to Bristol as that is where we met and where we’ve built our life together. Other than that we were just looking for something that would suit our tastes, potentially a barn for the rustic feel or something outdoorsy. We viewed about 2 or 3 venues before finally finding the one. The first was gorgeous, something out of a fairy tale but felt far too stuffy for our taste. The second and third both felt more to our feel but still didn’t quite fit. Then finally we found Hestercombe Gardens, the one. We knew instantly, it was funny because I (Kristie) was waiting for that feeling of finding the dream venue but James didn’t think it would happen for him, however when we both left we had it and it took us about 1 minute to decide! Hestercombe fit everything we’d been looking for, the gardens were stunning and as we’d viewed the venue in May we knew that they would be just as gorgeous the following May for our day. The venue for the ceremony was breathtaking, and where we would host our reception had that barn feel we were looking for elsewhere.

What we wore

We always knew James would wear tweed. He wears suits everyday for work so we wanted something a bit more special than a black or navy suit, so thought tweed would be perfect as it fit our rustic look and also he would look extremely dapper in it! Once we’d chosen our venue I was happy to go dress shopping (finally – as my mum would say!) Along with my mum and my 4 bridesmaids we went to an old school friend’s bridal shop for our first dress shopping experience. I’d already done the classic Pinterest boards and decided on the basics of what I was looking for and actually had a dress in mind that I knew I could try on at Lindsey’s store. This was the first dress I tried and while it looked nice, it wasn’t quite right. I tried on another 8 dresses before finding dress number 10 – the one! It was perfect, it was an Essence of Australia dress and it was far more elaborate than I’d first imagined I would choose, but once I’d tried it on I knew that nothing else would come close to how this felt and looked.

Decor & Styling

Our day didn’t have a theme or colour scheme as such, however things just started to fall into a certain scheme as we moved through our plans. As we met and live in Bristol, we wanted this amazing city to play a part in our big day. Bristol is known for the annual Balloon Fiesta so we decided to make hot air balloon centrepieces for our tables. With the help of a good friend we fashioned 12 of these balloons ready to be filled with flowers the day before the wedding. The flowers were sourced from a friend, she arranged our stunning bouquets and buttonholes based on a couple of Pinterest boards I’d made, and then supplied extra stems so that we could fill our centrepieces ourselves The rest of the styling was rather rustic and low maintenance; bunting, homemade table names and seating plans, DIY chalkboards dotted about detailing the goings on, and homemade favours from both mums – we had a variety of homemade jams from James’ mum and homemade Limoncello from my mum. .

Our ceremony

Our ceremony was simple, just the way we wanted it. We asked my maid of honour, my sister Vickie to choose a reading to give and we asked not to know what it was until the day. She chose to read and a piece by Richard Bach called ‘a soulmate is’, it was perfect.

The entertainment

After the ceremony we headed out on to the lawns for drinks and nibbles, group photos and our formals.. Then it was straight up to the wedding breakfast. For the evening entertainment we chose a band we’d seen the year before at our friends’ wedding. They were called Festival Sons and are by far the best wedding band we’ve ever seen. They turned our reception into a party, which is exactly what we wanted when planning the day.


On our wedding invitations we asked all our guests to choose a song that would get them dancing, and we built those into the playlists to have on in between the bands’ sets. We were able to choose a few songs from the bands repertoire that suited us and they then built their sets around these tastes. We also asked them to learn our first dance song, Jason Mraz – I’m Yours. This song was one we always listened to together from when we’d originally met and was the natural choice for our wedding song. The Festivals Sons couldn’t have done it more justice if they’d tried, the rendition was stunning and meant so much to us.

Our favourite part of the day

The whole day from start to finish was perfect for us, however the favourite part has to be the evening reception when everyone took to the dance floor and the wedding become a true party. James and I didn’t stop dancing all night and seeing our friends and family dancing alongside us to celebrate our wedding will always be one of the happiest memories of the day.

Words of wisdom

Take your time and don’t rush any decisions. Don\’t feel pressured by what others are telling you you should’ve done already. James and I got the majority of our tasks done in the 3-4 months leading up to the wedding despite having it planned for a year! Make time to have fun whilst your planning. Our best piece of advice would be to do any planning over wine or bubbles, we certainly made our best plans and had our best ideas after a few glasses…!


Immediately after the wedding we went to Mykonos for a 5 day minimoon. We wanted the chance to get away and relax and Greece was the perfect place to do this. We are in the midst of planning our ‘mega moon’ at the moment, we have both resigned from our jobs and decided to take off on a round the world trip over the next year! We head off on November 1st and cannot wait to see what this adventure brings.

Our photographer

Larissa was recommended to us by another photographer and instantly we fell in love with her style and her work. We met over Skype initially and got on straight away. On the day Larissa was amazing, she was patient and attentive but also well organised and assertive when necessary. Particularly when guests needed rounding up! We are so happy with our photos, looking through the various albums you feel like you’re there back at the wedding again, Larissa captured everything and manages to bring all of her work to life. We would recommend Larissa time and time again.



Second photographer – Viktoria Kuti Photography
Bride’s outfit – Essence of Australia, Verona Couture –
Accessories – jewellery was a mix from Warren James Jewellers, Fraser Hart and borrowed from the MoH
Hairpiece bought from Debenhams
Shoes – Benjamin Adams
Florist – Bouquets and buttonholes arranged by a friend
Venue – Hestercombe Gardens –
Decor/styling – all DIY by us and our amazing friends and family
Cake Maker – one of our amazing bridesmaids, Alice
Caterer – Hestercombe Garden’s own –
Bridesmaids Dresses – asos
Groom’s outfit – Moss Bros
Groomsmens’ outfits – asos
Stationery -Sienna Mai at Amazon
Entertainment – Festival Sons –
Transport – provided by the Father of the Bride and a family friend
Rings – Fraser Hart

Leave A


Leave a Reply