Allison, married Luke Penfold, at Axnoller in Beaminster, West Dorset, on 1st July 2017. She says:
Axnoller was perfect for our summer wedding for numerous reasons. First, it's beautiful, comfortable and luxurious; second, there's lots of outdoor space and a contemporised barn for our reception and, last but not least, we were able to have 36 guests stay onsite! This was ideal because we had so many important guests travelling from the US for our big day. Luke's immediate family and nearly all of my guests from New York were able to stay on the estate for the entire weekend.
Since my eight bridemaids were from both New York and the UK, I felt it would be easiest to have each of them choose their own dresses. This also meant that they'd be most comfortable. I wanted an ombré effect when they'd be standing together on the day, so asked each of them to get a certain shade of grey. They sent me photos when they were choosing, which I compiled into a collage to see how the the effect was coming along. It worked really well in the end!
Because I had quite a few bridesmaids, I decided to have two Maids of Honour and one Matron of Honour. I've been friends with my Matron of Honour since pre-school! My little flower girl was Luke's neice and my eldest brother's son was also our page boy. Six of my maids, those that had travelled from New York, stayed in the main house on the estate with their plus ones.
I loved incorporating a mix of British, American and Jewish elements into our big day. For example, outside the barn where we held our reception, I created a little table of trinkets that included a British and US flag - in fact, we had lots of both flags everywhere! Metal pales held sparklers for later in the evening, with American/British flag matchboxes to light them. I also attached personalised tags from Etsy to each sparkler. They read, 'Let Love Sparkle, Ali and Luke 01/07/17' on one side, and had guests' names and table numbers on the other. I'm Jewish, so, as per tradition, both my parents walked me down the aisle. We also had a Chuppah (the canopy beneath which we married), blessings of the wine and challah and a stomping of the glass.
Our Cheese Cake (not cheesecake!) came from The West Country Cheese Co. From bottom to top, it included a Brie de Meaux, a Donge Quickes Mature Cheddar, a Colston Bassett Stilton, a Brillat Savarin (this was a triple-cream dessert cheese) and a White Nancy goat's cheese. Its tiers were decorated with fresh flowers, including Cappucino roses, apricot lisianthus and delphiniums to match our tables. It was amazing.
Photographs by Robin Goodlad