Real Intimate Wedding: Somerset, Little Quarme Wedding Weekend
Updated: Dec 9, 2022
Thank you so much for agreeing to have a chat with us about your wedding – the images by Laura of Freeform Images look amazing – you had quite a day! Before we talk about your wedding at Little Quarme, we’d love to know a bit more about your story:
Where and when did you guys meet?
We met at Plymouth University in 2007, we lived in halls of residence together.
When did you know it was forever?
We’ve been on many adventures together and shared some great memories. For me, it would be how Mark always supports me even when I’m at my lowest. In 2014 I was very unwell and he was there for me throughout looking after me. He never lets me down and never fails to make me laugh. He is so kind without even realising it and also he’s a great cook!
I always knew I wanted to marry Katie. She is a beautiful, selfless and caring individual who always puts her heart into everything! We took an unconventional (and some would say long :P) path to engagement. I’ve always had a notoriously laid-back approach to life – but with a house, dog, baby and estate car already on board, marriage was the final cherry for our family cake.
Tell me about the proposal
Mark proposed on my 31st birthday, during our usual morning routine of a cup of tea in bed with our little boy Maxwell and springer spaniel Jessie. Maxwell gave Mummy a present which was a wooden ring asking the big question. I laughed and cried and of course said yes!
You chose Little Quarme in the heart of Exmoor for your wedding – what drew you to this venue and what did it offer that made it your number one choice?
Little Quarme is such a beautiful place. Katie grew up in Somerset and always wanted to get married there. Mark is an avid cyclist and has spent many hours exploring the lanes of Exmoor. We loved that we could make our wedding a weekend celebration at Little Quarme with our closest family and friends staying with us, including Jessie the dog. We loved its simplicity and that the scenery is unbroken with beautiful views of Exmoor.
Your wedding day looked absolutely gorgeous, first of all tell us about the British bird theme at your wedding and those beautiful handmade illustrations…what inspired these, who made them and where did you weave this beautiful theme into your day?
Our married surname is Raven, so we wanted to use birds in our wedding. The Raven family are keen wildlife enthusiasts and Mark has tried to teach me throughout our relationship different bird song. Our tables were named after birds we like or have in our garden. Mark’s Dad was the artist who created the hand drawn images from his own photographs. We gave the original images framed as presents to our family for all of their hard work helping with our wedding.
Our theme was simply a collection of things we like; birds, ladybirds, tea and of course cake! We decided to use teapots for our floral centrepieces and we already had our own Emma Bridgwater British bird teapot which had to be on the top table. We sourced teapots from charity shops, family and friends.
Tell me about your wedding dress – what you actually went with and why.
I went bridal shopping with my Mum and maid of honour. I visited a few different bridal shops in Bristol and thought I would go for a soft romantic dress. But I could not commit, I knew I wanted something classic, simple but not what people would expect. We visited Wed2B where I found my dream dress. My Mum recalls me saying “wow” when I saw it on the rail. I instantly felt amazing and knew it was the one... and there was a bonus of pockets! I had my lipstick and great grandmother’s handkerchief (my something old) in them throughout the day.
What did your wedding stay look like in terms of arrival, order of your day and the day afterwards?
We arrived at Little Quarme on Friday morning, our marquee was already up and we set to work creating our wedding. We had a list of tasks which needed completing. We provided food for our guests and we all thoroughly enjoyed Katherine’s homemade cream tea. We had a food delivery and had a BBQ on Friday evening.
We decided to get married at 3pm on Saturday. The morning consisted of Mark going for a bike ride with his best man, Katie taking Jessie for a walk and leaving the final touches of the wedding to our amazing friends and family. Our wedding breakfast was at 5pm, we cut our wedding cake at 6pm and whilst the speeches were taking place, Big Pot Kitchen cut our cake ready for pudding.
Our evening consisted of a DIY disco with our guest requests from their RSVP’s and we had a silent disco from 10.30pm onwards. We were very lucky to have so much help from everyone and our day would not have been such a success without them. We delegated tasks throughout the day to people including setting up the wedding cakes, evening cheese and the silent disco.
On Sunday the clean-up mission began, it did not take too long and we rewarded all our helpers including the campers who stayed on site with breakfast in the barn.
What are your abiding memories of your wedding day at Little Quarme?
Little Quarme is such a special place to us. We loved getting married outside and how relaxed our wedding was. All of our guests had such an amazing time. We loved dancing and enjoying ourselves in the evening. Some highlights include all our guests participating in our Great Raven bake off completion and giving out prizes together along with Raven handshakes to the star bakers. We loved taking a walk around the grounds on our own with our photographer Laura and all of our guests singing their hearts out to our silent disco.
Which wedding services did you use (that you would recommend to others) to make your day complete?
Laura from Freeform Images was our photographer. Laura was so kind, friendly and just the most amazing photographer. She was like a guest at our wedding and was so flexible with trying to get shots with an over tired toddler and unruly spaniel.
Big Pot Kitchen - provided a grazing table for welcome drinks and their famous sausages and cider potatoes for main. The food was incredible and Trevor and Jane were so friendly.
Coutts Events Hire - we used for our glassware and some furnishings. Communication was so easy with Joanne and delivery was quick.
Covered Marquees - we loved our marquee and that it was the perfect size for our day. Nick provided our PA system for the evening disco and communication was faultless.
Cindy Beddard Bridal Hair - Cindy was my honorary bridesmaid, she is so talented and such a genuinely lovely person. She really calmed my nerves.
Headphone Disco UK - we had a silent disco for the evening. The service was faultless and it was great fun.
Flowers - we very extremely lucky that our close friend Hannah Clifford offered to do our wedding flowers. She’s so extremely talented and worked so hard to make our table centrepieces, milk churns and pergola display. The bouquets and buttonholes were dried flowers by Twigs and Twine Floral Design. I loved that I am able to keep my bouquet for years to come and the bouquets were a beautiful thank you present for my bridesmaids.
We also rented several items and used some of the free items available at Little Quarme.
Wedding cake - rather than a traditional tiered cake we decided to have a cake table of 4 wedding cakes which we served as our wedding breakfast pudding. We were so fortunate to have three incredible friends who baked our lemon, carrot and vanilla fondant bird cakes. Our vegan sponge was provided by 404bakes in Bristol who is known to us as Anna the baker bakes the cakes for the coffee shop near to the children’s hospital where Katie works.
Would you recommend Little Quarme to friends and if so, why?
We would absolutely recommend Little Quarme to anyone. Katherine and Nick were great at supporting us with our big day and letting us create such a special wedding. The added bonus of hiring all of the Little Quarme cottages to accommodate our family and friends over a long weekend helped to stretch the wedding celebrations over more than just the wedding day itself. Little Quarme is just beautiful and we can’t wait to go back for our anniversary and for holidays in the years to come.
If you could do it all again (a) would you? And (b) is there anything you would change?
We’d do our day again in the heartbeat. It was so special and it is absolutely right that people say it goes so quickly.
Kate and Mark thank you for sharing your beautiful story. It’s been a real privilege to hear your story and in particular the creative and fun ways you involved your guests in making your Little Quarme Wedding totally your own. We are sure this will inspire others who are currently considering their wedding celebration options. You can see more information and images of Little Quarme here.