Sunday 16 June 2019

Real wedding: A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

From a bride in black and a masquerade-themed ceremony to a David Bowie-inspired celebration, Charlotte Powney and Chris Hartles' autumn celebration was full of unique personal touches when they celebrated their wedding at Elmore Court on a glorious October day.

The lowdown

The happy couple: Charlotte Powney, 28, a retail jewellery supervisor, and Chris Hartles, 28, an insurance broker, who live in Nailsworth.
Wedding date: Thursday 8 October 2015
Ceremony and reception venue: Elmore Court
Wedding theme: Masquerade


The suppliers

Photographer: Seth Bates Photography
Flowers: Kate Coombs
Dress: Nina Furness
Bridesmaid dresses: Monsoon
Groom’s outfit: Moss Bros
Cake: Made by the mother-of-the-groom, decorated by the bridesmaids
Catering: Elmore Court
Transport: A baby Bentley limo
Entertainment: Manchester-based singer, John King, on acoustic guitar and Absolute Band
Favours: Handmade salt dough hangings
Hair and beauty: Make-up from Bare Minerals and hair by Debonair
Rings including engagement ring: Engagement ring was Chris’s great granny's and wedding bands were from F Hinds.


The details

When and how did you first meet?

We met in 2006 during our first year of university. We lived two doors apart from each other and have been glued together ever since.

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

Who popped the big question and how did they propose?

Charlotte explains: ‘It happened at Chris’ brother’s wedding! Chris was in a big wooden chair and I was sitting at his feet on the floor. I started talking in such a way that he knew I was going to propose, drunkenly and spontaneously, so he decided to take the reins and got down on one knee.

Why did you choose your venue?

Love at first sight. It was the last venue we went to see on a bit of a whim and it turned out to be the most amazing place ever. Elmore hadn’t even had a wedding yet but we just had an amazing feeling about the place.

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

How long did it take you to plan your wedding?

It took us two years.

Was there an inspiration or theme for your wedding?

The movie, Labyrinth, with David Bowie, and in particular the masquerade scene, along with a random bunch of vintage things.

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

What made you choose your photographer?

Seth Bates is one of our amazing friends and was also an usher. We didn’t hire a photographer as we wanted everyone to be our photographers and we love perfect natural shots. The photos were a gift from Seth and they were absolutely perfect, better than we could possibly have asked for, and we would recommend him to anyone. My maid of honour’s husband filmed the ceremony and speeches for us too.

How did your wedding photographer capture your big day memories?

We just asked for natural shots not too many posed pictures as we didn’t want to be away from the guests for too long either, and in the evening we set up a photo booth which was so much fun.

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

Did you hire a wedding planner or was it a DIY affair?

Everything we could possibly do, we did ourselves and we loved getting crafty.

Did you make, design or create anything yourself?

Everything from favours and a guest book tree to the centrepieces and cake. My sister and her husband made the giant light up ‘love’ letters on the dance floor as a wedding gift.

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

Tell us about the wedding dress.

Charlotte explains: ‘I miss my dress so much! I have it hanging in the spare room and I hug it about once a week. It is a beautiful big black silk and lace wedding gown that I had handmade by Nina Furness. I got to choose the fabric and the lace and pick how it fitted. Nina was great; she pretty much just made my complete dream dress.

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

What did the groom wear?

A Victorian-style frock coat and the most beautiful gold and black tapestry waistcoat from America. It looked amazing.

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

Did you incorporate any special family details or heirlooms, for example?

I wore my mum’s earrings that she wore on her wedding day. My engagement ring belonged to Chris’ great granny, my something blue was Chris’ granny’s paua shell bracelet from New Zealand and I got the matching necklace sent over for my something new. We also had pictures of our parents on their wedding days.

What song did you walk down the aisle to?

‘Unforgettable’ by Nat King Cole, it was absolutely perfect.

Did you have any special readings during the service?

We didn’t have any readings but we did do the ceremony a little different. We had a short ceremony with the registrar during which Chris said his name wrong twice! After that Chris’ brother, Bertie, read a passage Chris had written and then we exchanged our vows before Bertie pronounced us man and wife. It was amazing, so personal and just perfect for us.

What did you have for your wedding breakfast?

Afternoon tea but it was all savoury as we had the wedding cake for dessert, which was genius idea! Oh and lots and lots of prosecco.

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

What kind of cake did you go for?

I not much of a sweet person but Chris’ mum makes the most amazing flapjack and brownies. We got talking one night and that’s what we decided it should be. It was amazing, we had four huge tiers of brownie and flapjack and two of the bridesmaids decorated it beautifully in lace, gold dust and flowers.

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

What was your first dance song?

Al Green, ‘Let’s Stay Together’. We wanted something we could dance to as we absolutely love to dance and I think we did well considering the big dress!

What was your favourite part of your wedding day?

Absolutely every second and I really mean that.

Did everything go to plan?

It honestly went to plan and was much better than I could have ever hoped for. The weather was fab, especially for October! Elmore was amazing, they opened up their home to us and it felt like it was just us there but whenever we needed somebody they were there to help. We can’t thank them enough for making our big day so special.

What advice would you give anyone planning their big day?

Have masses of fun, it doesn’t have to be mega bucks and when it all comes down to the day just embrace every second, love it, and always remember it’s completely your day.

A masquerade celebration at Elmore Court

Where did you spend your honeymoon together?

We mini mooned in Scotland, with one night at in Balmoral and then six days in a camper van, just the two of us and the most amazing scenery. In February we are heading to Peru for three weeks for the main event and we can’t wait.

And finally, is there anything you know now that you wished you’d known before the big day?

Don’t drink 14 bottles of cheap cava the night before, it makes the bridesmaids ill, but they were perfect at show time though!


If Charlotte and Chris’ special day has inspired you to tie the knot at the impressive venue, see Elmore Court for more details.

© SoGlos
Monday 01 February 2016

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