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Leading luxury UK wedding planner Jessie Westwood planned, designed and produced this autumnal destination wedding weekend in the Cotswolds together with the bride and groom, and their parents, who live in Washington DC. With all guests living abroad there was an opportunity to host something extra special in this area of outstanding natural beauty in England.

The first event on Thursday welcomed guests to the main private house where the celebration was to be hosted - Aynhoe Park (no longer a wedding venue, but the owners have subsequently launched a new exclusive venue at Parnham Park).

As guests arrived they checked into hotels we had arranged for them, with welcome gifts containing the bride and groom's favourite treats, as well as local produce and useful information for the itinerary all weekend. Once settled we had arranged transport for all guests to Aynhoe Park where they were greeted with a cocktail & canapé reception. We kept the styling simple with warm autumnal florals, lots of candlelight and fires roaring in the reception rooms. That evening, we hosted a small and intimate dinner party at The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, using their private dining room with a tasting menu and wine flight.

On Friday we had arranged plenty of activities for guests - including visits to Blenheim Palace and shopping at Bicester Village, as well as shooting within the estate of Aynhoe Park. A relaxed spread of salads and sandwiches was available for the day, with guests making the most of their time visiting local attractions with transport arranged throughout. Later that evening, they were taken by coach to a beautiful Cotswolds barn steeped in history for a candlelit rehearsal dinner. We designed this event around the location and the more rural side of the area - with charcoal grey tablecloths and linen napkins, soft nude stationery with leather ties and lots of foliage and crab apples nestled amongst the hundreds of candles lining each table. Guests dined on local seasonal produce with some British inspired treats including scotch eggs and apple crumble! After speeches and a birthday singalong for the mother of the bride, guests were taken back to hotels locally for a day of rest to follow before the big day!

Saturday was the main wedding celebration. The family wanted to stick to tradition with a black tie event, which meant a ceremony after 5pm. Given the light in October and the fact they wanted to capture portraits on film, it meant we decided to plan a "first look" with the bride and groom, and family photos before the ceremony. The orangery was the location we chose for the ceremony itself - the bride was Jewish and the groom Catholic, so we found lots of ways to bring that all together whilst respecting traditions on both sides. Two huge floral archways were created at either end of the room, one of which we built around bespoke pillars made for us to mirror the interiors and architecture of the space. This was actually designed with wheels so that it could be moved after the ceremony and repositioned for the evening entertainment.

The music was incredibly special for this couple, as the groom worked in the music industry, and so we had a short classical concert for guests before the bride entered, with performances from well known artists including opera singers, trumpet players, harpist and a string trio.

After the ceremony, guests were treated to cocktails and canapes in the reception areas of the house - they even had an edible printer on hand to create an image of their beloved pet dog Peanut on the pisco sours!

Guests then moved through to the dining rooms for the wedding breakfast. This space was designed cohesively to flow through from the white floral and foliage ethereal ceremony space, but picking up on some of the more autumnal tones from the rest of the weekend, with a touch of added glamour. The linen we had made bespoke with a very subtle shimmer, the stationery featured black velvet, pearl and leather effect card with gold and bronze details. We used pearl cutlery and delicate glasswear, but grounded the room with the thread of black with chairs and bespoke hand spray painted urns for the florals. Pops of yellow and warmer colours in the florals and linen prevented it becoming more of a monochrome aesthetic. The food was elevated to a more fine dining menu on the Saturday, but we still used local and seasonal produce throughout as much as possible.

In the evening guests moved back through to the orangery for the cutting of the cake (with delicate sugar flowers to match the dining room) and first dance, with a live band performing two sets before everyone moved downstairs to a secret club in the wine cellar, with a DJ until the early hours. This was very much a secret space with moodier lighting and florals.

Sunday was very much a recovery day! We hosted a big brunch on a long table for guests staying on site, with spa treatments and relaxing activities organised at Daylesford Farm.


Wedding Planner & Designer - Jessie Westwood at Studio Sorores Wedding Ceremony & Reception Location - Aynhoe Park (owners have now launched Parnham Park)

Rehearsal Dinner Location - Tythe Barn - Photographer - Taylor & Porter -

Florist - Georgia Westwood at Studio Sorores - Caterer - Absolute Taste

Bar - The Cocktail Service - Videographer - Skinny Boy Films - www.skinnyboyfilms

Hair & Makeup - Gemma Sutton - Lighting & Production - Yes Events - Band & DJ - Flood The Floor -

Cake - Cakes by Krishanthi - Childcare - Lemonjelly - www. Officiant/Judge - Family Friend Photobooth - Photocabin -


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