Betsy and James married at Hedsor House on a gorgeous and sunny March day. Read more about their wedding day on the blog...
Joanna and Sammi's big day was a joyful celebration with friends and family from around the world. After seven years of dating, the day was everything they dreamed of.
Every detail of the wedding we planned ourselves. The evenings were spent making our table numbers (the house covered in glitter), hours spent with bridesmaids making wedding favours and more hours of online shopping for laser cut place names were all part of the experience and made our wedding a product of us and our time.
There were a number of people who could not be with us on our wedding day such as my grandparents, and Sammi's granddad who could not attend due to ill health. It was important to have them there, and having photos of our absent loved ones at our wedding made us feel that they were right there with us.
A string trio greeted guests on arrival and made the perfect timeless entrance for me walking down the aisle.
During the ceremony, we felt like there was no one else in the room, we got the giggles and I forgot my vows, but it was truly special, it was just very us - perfect and unforgettable.
Details of the Day
The Dress: My dress was a fitted fishtail design, elegant, one piece of lace, buttons down the back accompanied by a long veil from the La Sposa 2017 collection. I found my dress in an amazing wedding boutique in Barnet.
My bridesmaids looked beautiful in their mid length navy Chi Chi dresses. The dresses were an elegant navy blue which contrasted against their blush pink bouquet's and neutral strappy shoes. To match my necklace from Tiffany's necklace my girls all wore matching pearl pendant necklaces.
My mother in law lent me a beautiful vintage aqua marine and diamond bracelet to wear for the day, it is a family air loom and it is simply beautiful. It ticked all the boxes for something old, borrowed and blue!
Sammi looked dapper in a navy Paul Smith suit, crisp white shirt with a red and navy dog tooth silk tie matching the groomsmen. Sammi's Oliver Sweeny shoes were an indulgent treat.
The Flowers were truly breath taking and exceeded all expectations.
Starter - English garden pea soup with smoked ham hock croquettes and a mint oil with bread in buckets.
Main - Fillet of sous vide Hampshire beef, on a wild mushroom tart tatin and fondant potato, with wilted spinach, baby watercress and an intense truffle infused jus.
Dessert - Date pudding, walnut praline, salt caramel ice cream and toffee sauce
Your Best Memory From the Day?
The feeling of such love. It was unforgettable to have people from all around the world in one place just for us. We had people travel from France, Cyprus and a friend who is currently traveling the world pop back to England just for our wedding. We did not feel worthy, but it made us feel so loved.
Caterer - Caper & Berry / Cake- Melissa Woodland / Production & DJ - Class Act / Singer - Idreiss Ibrahim / String Trio- Apollo Strings / Florist - Ruby & Grace / Photographer -Alexis Jaworski / Dress - Forever Bridal in Barnet / Bridesmaids - Chi Chi Clothing / Cake- Melissa Woodland / Groom - Paul Smith/ Groomsmen - Marks and Spencers / Make-up and Hair- Elizabeth Beckett
Between the attire, cake and all other elements of their day, Chloe and Arjun's day intertwined Western and Asian cultures in the most perfect way.
We initially settled on another venue in the area but when we came across Hedsor House we fell in love with it immediately and knew we were meant to be married here! We became very excited about our forthcoming wedding, everything seemed to fall perfectly into place as soon as we stepped over the threshold and confirmed our date with them! I don't think anyone could argue that this is a beautiful venue and the people there were absolutely fantastic.
I walked down the aisle to a piano and violin rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' - apart from both being big Liverpool fans, this had been the first vinyl my mother in law had bought and my mother never failed to remind me that she was kissed on the cheek by Gerry (from Gerry and The Pacemakers) himself!
Details of the Day
The attire: We tried to make the wedding a balance between Indian and Western traditions so the Groom and his Groomsmen were in Indian dress while us girls were in Western dress.
Myself and my Bridesmaids wore Western dress with a slight Indian element to my dress. My dress was actually a design by my sister, Ginny, and I had it tailormade in London.
The cake: My mother designed the cake which had four tiers- the base tier represented me with the English roses and white lace pattern taken from my dress, and the top two tiers for Arjun- glazed with henna icing. She also created from scratch a topper of Arjun and me in our outfits- me dragging him across the cake with laptop and phone in possession!
The flowers: Natalie at Luxe Flowers was fantastic- so lovely and bubbly and knew instinctively what we would like in our arrangements. Between Caper & Berry, LUXE Flowers and stationary by Papeterie Eugenie the Ballroom looked fabulous. To be honest all our suppliers were fantastic- I could not fault them at all and the day ran seamlessly.
Starter- Sesame crusted seared tuna with Asian vegetables, pickled ginger, crispy shallots and a wasabi ponzu dressing
Main- Sous vide rump of Surrey lamb with with garlic and thyme roost potato and vine roasted tomatoes
Desserts- Selection of desserts served in the Drawing Room: passion fruit panacotta, chocolate and salted caramel mousse, banoffee pie, coffee & pistachio macaroons, dark chocolate dipped strawberry lollipops and caper and berry kirsch brownies.
Your Best Memory From the Day?
Just how blissfully happy we were and how everyone there also seemed to be enjoying themselves.
The Father of the Bride, Groom and Best Men speeches were heart warming as were the readings by my Aunt and Arjun's two sisters- I swore I wouldn't cry and I did so within ten minutes of the ceremony!
Caterer - Caper & Berry / Cake - Maxine Handley (Bride's Mother) / Production & DJ - Class Act / Florist - LUXE Flowers / Photographer - Ruth Allen / Dress - Designed by Bride's Sister, Ginny and tailored in London / Make-up- Alessandra Make Up / Hair - Caitlin from Beauty Call / Stationary- Papeterie Eugenie
It was a cool, crisp & sunny late December day, as guests arrived at St. Nicholas' Church of Hedsor and they could already see what a beautiful day it was going to be in celebration of Katie and Adam. From personalised ornaments to mulled wine this wedding is what Christmas dreams are made of.
The first thing we did was start looking at venues from Ras al Khaimah in the UAE where Adam proposed in November 2015. My best friend, Anya (and Maid of Honour) was already getting brochures sent to my house for our return - super eager! We knew we wanted a 'Christmassy' wedding and I had a vision in my head of the sort of venue I would like. I knew once I found it everything else would be downhill.
A close second was booking our photographer. Chloe was a photographer at a friend's wedding two years before and when I saw her photos I fell in love - I wasn't even engaged at this point but I always had her in the back of my mind! I'm not a fan of posing and am really critical of myself in photos, but all of Chloe's shots were so natural and tasteful. She uses distraction techniques to catch everyone naturally in the best light.
Where do I start? I had looked at hundreds of venues online and tried whittling it down to a list of favourites we could go and see in person. The first two we visited did not meet up to expectations I had from photos online and I just did not get the 'feeling.' Hedsor was the third venue we visited. Even on the driveway we smiled at each other and Adam said 'I think this is it.' We had butterflies! For me, it was the little things that meant Hedsor was the place- it's so lovely to look at, but so homely as well.
Kelly, who greeted us, was so warm and inviting, as were the other members of staff. We spoke to Alexander, the owner, who told us he learnt to swim in the bath tub in the Bridal Suite!
The decor is elegant but warm at the same time. The Ballroom was exactly what we wanted with huge windows, incredible views and a cosy feel. It worked for our numbers and I could just picture our wedding there.
We visited in December and they told us they changed the tree twice in the month so it's fresh- these little details made all the difference. We stayed for two hours without realising where the time had gone, just sitting and making plans. When we left I had a little 'happy cry' in the garden as I could imagine my wedding day and it was everything I had dreamt it would be.
The ceremony meant a lot to both of us. We put a lot of thought into each aspect; the hymns, music and readings and seeing it all come to life made it very special. I just felt really happy to be there. I expected lots of tears (I couldn't get through the rehearsal vows!), but I managed to keep my emotions in check, just about. It was a pinch yourself moment and I had to keep telling myself 'it's your wedding day' or 'you're about to walk down the aisle.' Everyone looked amazing in their outfits, and there was so much love in the room. Everywhere you look there was a smiling face, even the choir were smiling at us, and you just realise what a huge moment it is.
We had a cute red 1960 Jaguar Mk2 as our wedding car which we loved to take us from St. Nicholas' Church to Hedsor. It looked great in our photos in contrast to my dress and brought out the red in Adam's outfit and the roses in my hair.
Details of the Day
The Theme: There was no particular theme we just wanted it be classic, Christmassy and elegant. We wanted the day to represent us and the things we like. Nothing too fussy or clichèd. We wanted it to stand the test of time and be individual to us at the same time, we did not look back and say 'why did we choose that?!'
The Dresses: I had no idea what I would end up wearing as over time I have learnt that until something is on, you just do not know! I specifically did not want strapless and looked for long sleeved (for a wintery feel) but couldn't find a sleeved dress that looked quite right. I love fashion so I knew I wanted something classic but with a couture edge to it.
The dress was intricate ivory lace with a nude and cream underlay. There are pearls and iridescent sequins all over it, and nude mesh panels under the arms which are very slimming. The front is V neck and back is a low V neck. I had a tulle overskirt made as I wanted a dramatic look for church and a more practical and fitted look for the reception. I had a plain, tulle, waltz length veil with a blusher.
My shoes were a bargain in the sale from Dune - gold lace with a Manolo Blahnik style brooch. They were my touch of Christmas. For my hair, I did not want anything too fussy so went with how I felt my best in the past- windswept type bun with two red roses. I love putting flowers in my hair on holiday and always feel a bit special so I wanted the same for my wedding day.
For my Bridesmaids I wanted something Christmassy without being the obvious red. Their dresses were by a designer called Adrianna Papell who does beautiful beaded gowns. They are a Champagne/light gold with pewter beading and suited all of their body shapes (even my Maid of Honour who was five months pregnant on the day). They were slightly ombre and had a subtle fishtail which moved when they walked. My Maid of Honour made the fawn coloured Monogolian fur stoles which really finished their look off. I also had one in ivory which I wore into dinner when I had removed my veil and skirt. They all looked incredible on the day - helped by fact they are beautiful to begin with. We bought them each a pair of gold knot earrings to signify the strength of our friendship.
Adam wears a suit every day to work so we wanted something even smarter so he felt that sense of occasion. We were recommended Stephen Bishop in Woking by two couples who had used him for their weddings. We chose navy tailcoats, with dark grey trousers, a light grey double breasted waistcoat. They all wore white shirts and shiny black shoes, with the ushers and fathers in navy ties and pocket squares and Adam in dark red to stand out just that little bit. We bought them each a gold tie clip with their initials engraved.
The 'flower-nans': We had our ceremony at St. Nicholas' which is a very small 12th century country church not far from the house with views over the country side and beautiful decor. My grandmothers were my flower girls (or 'flower nans') and walked down the aisle first scattering petals. The organist learnt 'Glasgow Love Theme' by Craig Armstrong and played it to perfection. It made walking down the aisle such an emotional moment and I did struggle not to cry.
The Menu by Caper & Berry
Starter - Salmon, Guacamole and Edible Flowers
Main - Rump of Lamb, Pecorino Mash and Mediterranean Vegetables
Dessert - Chocolate and Honeycomb Mousse
Your Best Memory From the Day?
The church service was another unexpected favourite part. Seeing Adam's face for the first time and singing carols with the choir as loudly as we could. Hearing my sister, Helen, and my friend, Katie, do their readings with such composure really meant a lot to me.
Caterer - Caper & Berry / Cake- Melissa Woodland / Production & DJ - Class Act / Band - Blue Juice / Piano- Sam Burkey / Magician- Faye Presto / Florist - Ruby & Grace / Videographer - Artistic Motion / Photographer -Chloe- Caught the Light / Dress - Ersa Atelier / Overskirt- Faith at She Walks in Beauty / Bridesmaids - Adrianna Papell / Groom - Stephen Bishop / Groomsmen - Stephen Bishop / Make-up- Laura Blu / Hair - Rebecca Chang / Transport- London Legends
This beautiful indoor/outdoor ceremony in the Hedsor Dutch Sunken Garden was a wedding that the Hedsor team will never forget. Sarah and Sam planned this day perfectly filled with the most stunning ceremony, food, dancing and fireworks...
How they met...
Sarah and Sam grew up on the same street together but lost contact after their teenage years. One day they bumped into each other on the train and the rest is really history. Their union was celebrated in the most beautiful way. Hear about it in the words of Sarah below...
Guests were greeted outside in the Hedsor Dutch Sunken Garden with a string quartet, Apollo Strings and an eight piece choir complete with pianist. Hedsor House is only officially licensed for civil ceremonies inside the venue so we stood in the door of the Dining Room framed by the beautiful backdrop of the house, whilst the formal part of the ceremony took place. Once the legalities were complete we then stepped out into the garden for the remainder of the service.
The ceremony was extremely special. The vows, readings and music were so personal and for me there were a number of moments during the ceremony when I was oblivious to everyone and everything else apart from the wonderful man standing in front of me.
We chose Hedsor because it was the perfect venue for our dream wedding. The fact that it was exclusively ours was very important. The house and grounds lend themselves to accommodating all the different aspects of our day. Once we had met all the staff we knew we would be guided & looked after every step of the way.
Were there any challenges in planning your big day?
Planning and designing the partial outdoor ceremony with the jeopardy of not knowing what the British weather would be like was difficult. However, all anxieties were solved on the day, with a quick call to a close friend at the Met Office! It ended up being a perfect day in every way.
Details of the day:
The Dress: My dress was the Tiffany Couture Gown, designed by Joyce Young, created in beautiful Italian silk combined with intricate lace. Ladies wore long evening or cocktail dresses. The gentlemen looked dapper in black tie.
The Dancing: We had Isreali dancing which was so exciting and hugely fun, led by The Function Band, who gave a wonderful and varied set throughout the evening.
The Food: Sublime and innovative catering by Create including 'crack open' duck egg petit fours and we made homemade sloe gin for favours.
Starter - Olive Oil Poached Salmon
Warm Burnt Onion Tartlet (v)
Main - Roast Dry Aged Beef Fillet
Gruyere and Wholegrain Mustard Souffle (v)
Dessert - Assiette of Chocolate and Cherry
Your Best Memory From the Day?
Every moment was absolutely perfect. From seeing all our guests, to the stunning Hedsor House; Create's fabulous food; the incredible fireworks; my dream dress; the excellent entertainment, and the beautiful flowers. I made a note to myself to take a snapshot in my head of every aspect of the day, and I relive it all the time!
Spectacular musical firework display supplied by Pyromania was the perfect conclusion to our perfect day.
Caterer and Production - Create / Band & DJ - The Function Band / Florist - The Little Flower House, Bernet / Videographer - Relevant Bee Productions / Photographer - Gusto Images / Dress - Joyce Young by Storm / Bridesmaids - Brides of Berkhamsted / Groom - Diverso / Groomsmen - Reiss / Hair - Claire Nicole / Coaches- Apple Travel / String Quartet- Apollo Strings / PA Company- Britannia Row
Caterina and Jianing faced a unique challenge on their special day with their loved ones coming from all over the world.
Jianing is Chinese, Caterina's parents are German/Japanese and with friends coming from over 15 countries - there was always a small concern of things becoming 'Lost in Translation'. Thankfully with translator assistance, communication ran smoothly and the universal language of love shone through...
Our style in general is pretty elegant and classic, so we kept all the flowers and decor in light pastel colours.
I did a lot of research online almost two years before the wedding (that's when we got engaged.) I found many nice venues across the UK however Hedsor House was the only venue that was perfect from start to finish.
I think the Centre Hall was what makes Hedsor extra special. We did not want to have a religious ceremony, so we wanted to make sure that the room we were married in was as beautiful and atmospheric as possible. We knew we would choose Hedsor House before even seeing it in real life! When we finally booked our visit, it was clear from the moment we walked in. It was the only venue viewed and probably one of the easiest things to decide on for our wedding.
The ceremony itself went by really quickly. Our violinist, who happened to be a friend played absolutely beautifully during the ceremony and for my walk down the aisle - it literally made me cry. I think we both found signing the dummy register for the photos a bit silly and funny at the same time - it did make us laugh!
Details of the Day
The Dress: I have to say I had a really hard time finding my wedding dress. I had done a lot of research online and thought it would be pretty straight forward but I was so wrong...
I must have tried on about 50 different dresses. In the end I found this amazingly cut dress by Karen Willis Holmes - it was practically a simple silk dress that you could combine with different boleros, jackets and overskirts. None of the boleros by the same designer suited me, so I went for a different lace bolero by AIRE. It was a bit risky as I actually never saw the two pieces together until I had purchased them both and took them to my first fitting. It worked out perfectly though and lots of people couldn't even tell it was two separate pieces.
The Bridesmaid's dresses were purchased at David's Bridal and were kept within the pastel colour scheme. My sister, who was my Maid of Honour, wore a different coloured dress and a slightly different design but in the same material.
The Flowers: We purchased our flowers from Hot Flowers and Art and were really, really happy with the outcome. When I had my consultation with the florist they were amazing about keeping the costs down and still trying to create something that I had in mind. I absolutely LOVED my bridal bouquet! Shame I could not keep it...
The Band: The real highlight of the night was our live swing band - Ashby Big Band and the singer Tony Casino. We had heard the band at our friend's wedding before and absolutely loved them. They were honestly incredible and even though we are not great dancers, we loved dancing all night. The guests thought it was extra special! I think it makes a huge difference to have a live music at a wedding. We really didn't want to just play music on our iPod, especially as we are musicians ourselves, this element was definitely very important to us.
The Production: GLO Production provided us with the dance floor, microphones and lighting for the evening which was great.
The Photography: Another big highlight of our day was our photographer - Remi Dupac. You will honestly never find a more talented, artistic and kind photographer!! We actually had him flown in from France. Our friends who got married in France almost four years ago had hired him for their wedding. I was a bridesmaid at that wedding and got to spend some time with Remi and see how he works and of course saw the amazing photos afterwards. Honestly, it's amazing how he manages to capture every important moment of the day - he didn't miss anything on our day!! And the photographs are simply stunning (see for yourselves.)
Instead of spending money on wedding favours, we decided to send out our personalised photos with our Thank You cards for each of our guests. There were so many stunning photographs of our friends and family that we wanted each of them to have them as real photographs rather than just seeing them on Facebook or sending them out by email. Everybody absolutely loved the photos and all our friends still talk about Remi, almost six months after the wedding. We can't recommend him enough!
Did anything unexpected happen?
Two small things (they felt a lot bigger at the time) went wrong just before the wedding. Two days before the wedding, I lost my phone in a taxi on the way from the airport and nearly freaked out as I was still coordinating everyone. Luckily I got it back...
Then I received a phone call from one of my Bridesmaids the night before the wedding when she kindly picking up the wedding cake and cupcakes for the cupcake tower, to say that the bakery had gotten our wedding date wrong and had not started making the cakes yet! The bakery had to hand deliver them on the day of the wedding... DRAMA! Luckily my Bridesmaid's handled it amazingly!
Starter - Sesame crusted seared tuna, Asian vegetable, pickled ginger, crispy shallots and a wasabi ponzu dressing
Flame roasted peppers and wine tomato tart tatin with a goat's cheese mousse, fresh basil and basil oil
Main - Lamb cannon with 24 hour slow cooked lamb shoulder, confit potato, pea puree, glazed asparagus, salsa verde and roasting jus
Buttermilk marinated Halloumi pan fried and served with garlic and thyme potato rosti, asaragus spears, roasted vine tomato and salsa verde
Dessert - Banoffee Pie, Eton Mess & Lemon Posset with Blueberries
What was your best memory from the day?
Everything! Pure happiness!
Three weeks before their wedding the Groom's best man, a meteorologist, predicted that their big day would be a beautiful and sunny day, something that the couple never expected in October. We have fallen in love with this Hedsor Bluebell wedding and hopefully you will see why from the stunning photography...
How did your wedding planning process begin?
The first thing we did was look at venues. I knew once that we'd found our reception venue, we could set a date and begin to plan everything else. It was also important for me to use the venue to inspire us in decisions on colour, style & decor and I knew the place we chose would determine this.
A close second was booking our photographer. We knew a long time before the wedding that we wanted Claire to take our wedding photographs. Working in the industry myself I am lucky enough to get to meet and work with talented people on a regular basis and Claire was at the top of my list for photography, having worked with her on several wedding shoots. It was especially lovely to have a friend taking our photographs, as she put us at complete ease and it was so nice to have her there as part of our day.
Why Hedsor House?
As soon as we drove along the tree lined driveway and saw Hedsor House we were blown away and then on entering the house, our decision was made. It is beautiful inside and out with a grandeur and glamour that we had not seen anywhere else. At the same time, it's so intimate and works amazingly well as a wedding venue. We knew that we would have a stunning day and we knew that our guests would feel the same.
We had our ceremony at St. John the Baptist Church in Central Windsor. The weather was absolutely stunning and made the day extra special as we could take advantage of the outside areas. It also meant that whilst our guests were arriving at the Church, the changing of the guard at Windsor Castle walked passed, which was a very special touch and a large stroke of luck. I got ready in the Castle Hotel across the road to the Church with my parents, my Auntie (also my Maid of Honour) and my Bridesmaids and we watched the guests as they arrived.
Details of the Day
Theme: We really took inspiration from Hedsor House and wanted to do the venue justice by choosing colours and styles to compliment it. I think theme is probably not the right word, as we just chose all things that we liked in colours that worked together. I love vintage styling but I was keen to keep it fluid and not be stuck on one particular era. Some words that I think that sum it up; Vintage, Grown up, Glamour with a bit of romance and sparkle, without too much fuss.
Dresses & Styling: I gave an awful lot of thought to how I wanted to look. Being a Bridal hairstylist, I felt it was very important to me that I looked my very best, not only for Marc and myself, but for my brand, as I knew that people would be looking closely at my styling. It was really great to be on the other side of things for a change and be the Bride and because of my background I had thousands of ideas to work from.
I chose a Maggie Sottero gown from 'Windsor and Eton Brides', that flattered my body and shape, in particular, pulled in at my waist. I was keen to have a dress with a vintage feel to it but something that gave me support on the day and this dress was the perfect balance. The beading on the dress is partly why I chose it, as it was so intricate and felt very 30's glam and I loved the low back.
I added a small belt, which I tied in a bow at the back and some cap sleeves to balance my shape. I wore a cathedral veil, a half flower crown and the most amazing gold sparkly peep toe bow heels from Miss KG.
I knew that I did not want 'traditional' for my bridesmaids and I wanted to choose something a little bit different, but a dress that would flatter each of their shapes. I found a full length nude Phase 8 dress that was adorned in silver, muted grey and black sequins in a 30's style. They looked absolutely stunning on the day and the dresses looked even better than expected as they shimmered in the sunlight and then on the dance-floor. I really loved them but it does help that my three bridesmaids are stunners!
The boys all wore navy three piece suits from Moss Bros with apricot ties and pocket squares. Marc wore a bow tie in the same fabric. We bought them each a pair of cufflinks with aeroplane propellers as a nod to Marc's job as a pilot.
Floristry: The flowers, which were done by Ruby & Grace were a big part of our decor and the style of my bouquet was important to me. I really wanted a large bouquet with lots of green and pastels with a wild feel. The bridesmaid's bouquet were smaller versions of mine and the arrangements at Hedsor, were variations of the same. I have had my bouquet pressed by Infinity Flowers and put into a large hanging frame, so I can treasure it forever.
Entertainment: Our band 'The Old Dirty Brasstards' were one of the things we were most looking forward to on the run up to the day and we tried to keep them as a surprise for the guests. They are a ten piece brass band that play modern songs. Very talented and lots of fun. We first saw them at Glastonbury in 2013 and absolutely loved them as they were so different and said then, if we ever got married we would have them as our wedding band.
Were there any surprises on your day?
Only the weather! When we booked our wedding for October, we did not really expect to have such a beautiful day. There was not a cloud in the sky all day and the sun shone from start to finish and it was warm, it was amazing. Our best man is a meteorologist and he predicted it three weeks before, but I did not believe him!
What is the thing that you remember most about your day?
The speeches. All three of them were really special in their own way and everyone was laughing and crying at some point or other. The photographs really capture the reactions too, which is lovely. I also surprised Marc and got up and read a poem I had written, which was really fun, as no-one was expecting me to speak.
Starter - Peas, Ham Hock and Crackling- A set pea mousse topped with smoked ham hock, garden peas , mint dressing and crisp crackling.
Tomato and Pepper Tart Tatin- Flame roasted peppers and vine tomato tart tatin with a goat's cheese mousse, fresh basil and basil oil.
Main - Rump of Lamb, Pecorino, Salsa Verde- Lamb rump served on a pecorino and mash with tender broccoli and olivette carrots, vibrant salsa verde and roasting jus.
(v) Potato Gnocchi, Wild Mushrooms and Truffle
Dessert - Lemon, Raspberries and Vanilla- Zesty lemon crunch, fresh raspberries and raspberry meringue with vanilla mascarpone and raspberry wafer
Caterer - Caper & Berry / Cake- Melissa Woodland / Production- Class Act / Band & DJ - Old Dirty Brasstards / Florist - Ruby & Grace / Photographer - Claire Macintyre / Dress - Maggie Sottero, Windsor & Eton Brides / Bridesmaids - Phase Eight / Groom & Groomsmen - Moss Bros / Make-up - Bride / Hair- Pin-Ups Bridal Hair / Glassware Hire- Wedding & Parties / Transport- Red Routemaster
It was a day of literally marrying English and Russian traditions through the key elements of music, food, drink, flowers and light to create an unforgettable experience for everyone.
Hear about it in Andrew's own words below...
As guests arrived and took their seats, they were met with the beautiful floral arrangements and elegant standing candles along the aisle. The ceremony started with a live saxophonist who serenaded Nataliya, who was wearing an absolutely stunning Suzanne Neville dress. The ceremony itself included both Russian and English readings that said so much about us as a couple and also reminded everyone about the two traditions coming together on the day.
The Drinks Reception
Rocket, our caterer, welcomed our guests with canapes that were beautifully presented and the saxophone provided wonderful background music. In addition to Champagne, we also had real ale from the very small Wimbledon Brewery, to reflect where I have lived for many years.
It all started with the Russian tradition of breaking a large, ornate and specially baked bread called 'Karavai'. Nataliya and I both ripped off a piece of bread to decide who would be head of the family!
I must admit that, my now wife, ripped a bigger piece. We also combined the twin traditions of speeches - typical of British weddings and shorter toasts from Russian weddings. The professional translator was there to ensure that everyone could understand what was being said which helped bring everyone together. To top it all off, each table had a chilled bottle of vodka to make the toasts in true Russian style. This went down very well...
At 10pm everyone was in for a surprise as they were ushered outside for fireworks, which were truly stunning. This completed the 'light' element of the day, with the evening being topped off wonderfully with music that included both Russian and British classic tunes to keep everyone get involved and be entertained.
Watching the house transform into a beautiful wedding complete with fairground sparked the inner child in all of the Hedsor team. Homun and David made sure it was a day that no one could forget...
Dave and I have always wanted dodgems at our wedding so we decided to go for a carnival/funfair theme. We hired fairground rides which had dodgems, a carousel, a rodeo bull, test of strength, shoot the duck and coconut shy.
The ceremony was short and sweet, just the way we wanted it. The room was big but at the same time it had a very intimate feel. We loved every moment of it! We could have opted for an outdoor ceremony but the thought never crossed our minds because it would have been a waste not to do it in such a glorious room!
I've always loved my period dramas and knew before I looked at venues that a grand house was what I wanted.
I had only seen one venue prior to Hedsor House but when I came for my first visit, after seeing the amazing ceremony room (Centre Hall) with the surrounding balcony I fell in love with the venue and nothing else mattered. The final room that convinced me was the bridal suite, after seeing that I could just imagine me and my girls getting ready there and I've always dreamed of having a four poster bed so the bed room was the cherry on the top! Even the bathroom was so amazing that it made it into our wedding photos!
Details of the Day
Our wedding invites were designed to be like carnival posters, the centre pieces were flower arrangements in the shape of a helter skelter and ferris wheels and the table plan was made from floating hula-hoops.
Everything was in a pastel blue and cream striped design to bring together our carnival theme with a touch of vintage to go with the venue.
I wore three dresses on the day. For the traditional tea ceremony I opted for a simple red Chinese dress which was given to me by Dave's Auntie, which gave it a personal touch.
For the main ceremony I wore an Angelina Colarusso gown which I adapted with the help of my amazing seamstress which took about six months of weekly fittings.
And finally for the evening I changed into a white version of my bridesmaid dresses! They looked amazing in their pastel blue version and I wanted to be a part of their gang!
Did anything go wrong, before or on the day? Who saved the day and how?
The M40!!! Two accidents on the M40 which was where all of my family were coming from to get to the venue.
As the day started off with the tea ceremony, with my side of the family, the start was delayed. As I was not supposed to see anyone until the tea ceremony started I was locked in the bridal suite on my own whilst my bridesmaids sorted getting everyone in place! They were such gems and with me being such a control freak, I had to put all my faith in them to organise everything downstairs while I waited. Miraculously, even though the family were late, the tea ceremony went smoothly and by the end of it, the time was aligned with the timetable for the day. BIG THANKS to my bridesmaids! They will never understand how grateful I am to them!
Did you face any challenges in planning your big day?
The table planning was the most challenging. I have always heard that was stressful and boy was that true! Caper and Berry were very good at accommodating my constant changes.
Starter - Tuna, Wasabi Mirin
Main - Rump of Lamb, Pecorino, Salsa Verde
Dessert - Mini Dessert Pots – White Chocolate & Cherry Cheesecake, Eton Mess and Peppermint Oreo Mousse
The very next day we flew straight to Mauritius! It was lovely to drop everything and switch off in what seemed like paradise! My amazing brother took care of all the arrangements after the wedding which meant we could have a stress fee honeymoon!
A glamorous affair that was planned all the way across the Atlantic with guests from all the world to witness their stunning destination wedding day.
After pictures became some of the most 'liked' on social media we knew that it was a wedding everyone had fallen in love with. We are delighted to share Caitlin and Patrick's view from their recent wedding day at Hedsor House.
We wanted the wedding to be beautiful and elegant, and we didn't have a specific theme to make that happen. Though, my friends would probably say black, gold and sparkles were really my theme...
I was surprised how outwardly emotional it all was... before (and during) the ceremony it was hard not to be a babbling mess. I know I would feel a lot of emotions, but I didn't think I'd be unable to keep my eyes dry! Also, getting ready almost seemed too relaxed... while this is a good thing I kept panicking that I should be doing or organising something! It surprised me how it was not hectic at all.
I wanted a venue in London so that people traveling from the States wouldn't have to go far once they arrived in England, and Patrick really wanted a more rural location.
After a lot of research trying to find the best countryside venues within easy travel distance to London, we stumbled upon Hedsor, and it seemed absolutely perfect. Luckily, Patrick's cousin lives in the area and was able to visit in person on our behalf. We booked before seeing it ourselves, but we knew it was the place for us.
Details of the Day
The Dresses: I went on about a dozen dress appointments before settling on the one... there were just way too many gorgeous options that I loved wearing! In the end, I really loved the shape of a Sarah Seven dress I tried, but my girlfriends said I couldn't get it because there were no sparkles! Every other dress I had loved had some sort of shimmer to it. The women helping me brought out a different Sarah Seven dress- it had the same neckline in a delicately beaded bodice, but I was not a fan of the bottom.
After a few minutes and a couple texts with the designer, the shop had coordinated my own custom gown! By combining the two dresses my dream dress was born, and I loved it because I could so easily envision it at Hedsor.
As for the bridesmaids, I had fallen in love with the gorgeous gold Badgley Mischka making the rounds on the internet, so I knew we had to do something just as sparkly and gorgeous. We went with an Etsy shop who does similar designs.
Did anything unexpected happen?
Before the day, our jeweller missed the deadline for my wedding ring, but luckily our good friend took a later flight out of Seattle and was able to come bearing a temporary replacement. Otherwise, the day went pretty smoothly, and while a lot of things went differently than I expected, it was often a pleasant surprise.
Your Best Memory From the Day?
People are not lying when they say how quickly it goes. It ended as it began, and I felt like we had to make a lot of effort to stay in the moment. I also remember being in awe at how many of our friends and family travelled so far to celebrate with us... I felt like the luckiest person alive throughout the entire day!
Caterer - Caper & Berry / Cake- The Sugared Saffron / Production- Class Act / Band & DJ - Tony Winyard/ Florist - Bloomingayles / Videographer - Mischa and James / Photographer - Greg Finck / Dress - Sarah Seven / Bridesmaids - Etsy / Groom - ASOS / Groomsmen - ASOS / Make-up and Hair - Carolanne Armstrong
The most elegant day that left guests in awe even a month after the wedding. Rachel and Graham wanted to incorporate history inside and out and make it a day no one would forget, and this they did.
We had our ceremony at St Nicolas Church in Taplow which was my childhood Church. It was beautiful but a blur, but I also remember thinking "please let the ring fit."
Graham and I went to view other venues however they just didn't compare.
My Dad came with me to view one of the other venues but on the way home we pulled into the Hedsor driveway. We phoned and asked for a viewing right away and luckily we were squeezed in. The minute we walked in we knew it was it and my Dad leaned over and said "this is where you are having your wedding". It was sorted there and then.
Details of the Day
The Dresses: My Dress was by Stella York from Pure Couture which was the perfect style for me and fitted like a glove. It was a lace, traditional dress and you know when you feel beautiful because all you want to do is swish in it, I loved it.
Pure Couture also made me a matching lace jacket to cover my arms which was just stunning and my veil was sparkly and from Saphire in Wooburn Green who also hand made my Mum's and my Mother in Laws fascinators.
We had flowers from Hot Flowers in Wooburn Green and Suzanne was amazing in discussing through our options and on the day she gave us exactly what I had envisioned and more. I think its fair to say there were a few "ooooohhhhs" as our guests walked into our wedding breakfast.
Our transport was certainly heard before it was seen! We arrived in a brand new Maserati which all the men loved taking pictures of outside the house. I was just happy to get in and out easily in my dress. It was also good because our chauffeurs who provided the cars were also part of our wedding party and very good friends so everything was kept light hearted and fun.
Our Entertainment was from Eight Ray Music a band called the Revue who were excellent and kept everyone dancing all night. But our sparkly diamond dance floor also helped from Class Act who also lit up Hedsor House and the grounds in beautiful different colours which we had a few comments made of how stunning it was.
A special mention had to go to Pyromania for the best fireworks we have ever seen and were still receiving comments two weeks later of how good they were.
The Menu by Caper & Berry
Starter - Prawn Cocktail
Main - South American Lamb and Chicken Sharing Boards with Salad and Potatoes.
Dessert - Shots in Pots- Chocolate Brownie with Salt Caramel and Honeycomb, Lemon Posset and a Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake.
Your Best Memory From the Day?
Standing out on the lawn watching the spectacular fireworks with my new Husband and all of our family and friends. You know when you have a moment of pure happiness... it even brought tears to our eyes.
Caterer and Production - Caper and Berry / Band & DJ - The Revue Band | Eight Ray/ Dance Floor & Lighting - Class Act / Florist - Hot Flowers / Videographer - Hazel Young | Heartfelt Productions / Photographer - Nigel Chapman / Dress - Stella York - from Pure Couture/ Bridesmaids - Pure Couture/ Groom - Jolliffes/ Groomsmen - Jolliffes /
A traditional English country wedding with a very fashionable twist, Jo and Ryan's special day was the party to end all parties, with guests dancing on their chairs before the starters even came out...
Not long ago, a few of the Hedsor House team watched the most beautiful, fun-filled, tear jerking wedding video. Only a few days later we were lucky enough to receive Jo's email with all of the details behind their amazing wedding that had our whole office laughing and smiling. We thought it was only fair to share Jo & Ryan's wedding in Jo's own words...
Our actual ceremony was very traditional. We got married at the little local church opposite the village green with a small pub in the corner. My Dad said I was actually shaking a bit when I was walking down the aisle but to be honest I didn't realise I was, I just so excited to get married and to see everyone! I couldn't wait to party!
Hedsor House happened to be the third venue we had looked at, when we got there we knew straight away that this was the one.
The house is just so picturesque and the grounds surrounding the house just have that WOW factor to them. As we both really wanted to get married in a church, the local St Nicolas' in Taplow, was only a short distance to Hedsor with the perfect little village green that surrounded it.
The drive up to Hedsor is just stunning too, it really builds up the anticipation and there isn't the slightest moment of disappointment once you get to the house.
Details of the Day
The Dresses: I found finding the dress the hardest part in the whole wedding organising. I went to so many different bridal shops I think I started to confuse myself! I finally found 'the one' at Suzanne Neville’s own boutique in Beauchamp Place. The top mesh straps of the dress initially drew me towards it and then when I tried it on the dress fitted my body shape so well I knew it was the one instantly.
I loved it at as I was able to have it made to measure so it was bespoke to my body shape and they were able to add one of her famous corsets into the dress too as well as the back necklace from Hermione Harbutt. My Mum also had her bespoke wedding outfit made by Suzanne Neville. She looked amazing and I have never known a mother of the bride get so many compliments on their outfit. I am fashion buyer for Kurt Geiger so the shoes and bags were another fundamental part to complete the look. I went for Valentino rock stud sandals in white patent and added a bit of fun with a Sophia Webster speech bubble bag.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Maid to Measure as I really wanted them all to have the same material and colour but different styles to suit their body shapes so they all felt really comfortable on the day. The soft pale pink was just stunning and really complimented the flowers. It was great that they were able to have their own style of dress to compliment each of their individual styles and personalities.
The Flowers: As I was getting married at the height of the summer I really wanted the flowers to take centre stage and create amazing back drops for the photos. Euphoric Flowers were just amazing to work with and totally brought my vision to life. The flowers just looked spectacular throughout the church and the venue really capturing my colour theme of pink, white with a hint of grey. The bouquet and mini versions for the maids and flower girl looked stunning. The flowers in the wedding breakfast were just breath-taking, the large clear glass vases full with flowers looked spectacular with all the guest going "wow" when the walked into the room.
The Food: Our caterers for the day and evening were Cavendish Events who did a fantastic job with all the elements including the planning stages of our day.
Starter - Tempura Prawns
Main - Feather Blade of English Beef with Rich Bourguignon Sauce, Horseradish Creamed Potatoes and Buttered Greens,
Dessert - Trio of Desserts – Chocolate Fondant, Eton Mess and Crème Brulee
The Entertainment: The entertainment and music was such a key part of our day. Ryan and I are a party couple and we really wanted the day to be a real party atmosphere throughout. Having the singer Danny Mills in the wedding breakfast with his piano taking song requests was the best idea by far seeing all the guests dancing and on their chairs was just brilliant. Also seeing all the guests faces when the three waiters started singing was so funny I had so many guests coming up to me saying this is just the best wedding ever which made everything worth it! Also our friend is the singer Danny Litchfield he came as a guest but he organised for his band to play at the evening reception alongside Kristina Joy who sang at the church and evening reception too - she was amazing and was on the show The Voice. Danny also got up and did a few songs in the evening too.
The Photographer: The photos of our day were honestly perfect, go check out them on Jay Rowden's website to see for yourself!
Your Best Memory From the Day?
I loved seeing all my guests having such a fun time all dancing on their chairs and around their tables at the wedding breakfast. I have never been to a wedding where the party started before the starters had even come out. Also seeing our guests faces when the three waiters started singing too was priceless. Also we had a north vs. south dance off in the evening which was hilarious.
Caterer and Production - Cavendish Events / Band & DJ - Danny Mills / Singer - Danny Litchfield & Kristen Jou & The Singing Waiters at Wedding Breakfast / Florist - Euphoric Flowers / Videographer - Kissing Gate Films / Photographer - Jay Rowden / Dress - Suzaanne Neville - Suzanne Neville Beauchamp Place / Bridesmaids - Maid to Measure / Groom - Mark Marengo Saville Row / Groomsmen - Mark Marengo Saville Row / Make-up and Hair - Jo Adams
EMMA'S AND MATT'S PURPLE PAGEANT
A day of vibrant colours, exclusive surroundings and seamless planning bought together a fabulous day for Emma, Matt and their guests at Hedsor House. Just scroll through the photos of their spectacular day by the talented Pippa Mackenzie to get a sense of the purple pageantry...
We were lucky enough for Emma and Matt to share details of their soulful wedding with us...
"We had always wanted a beautiful grand house, long drive way leading up to it with lovely surroundings and Hedsor House was all that with a magical feel to it". Hedsor gave us the opportunity to use both the stunning garden views on the south lawn for our drinks reception and canapés then moved into the magnificent ballroom for the meal.
Details of the Day
There were many small details that were very important to the couple, such as the invitations and wedding favours designed and made by Emma and her Mum. The colour scheme was vibrant purple - including the bouquet, bridesmaid dresses, grooms men bow ties and lighting in the room.
The House: We both loved how the long drive to Hedsor House built up the suspense and Hedsor definitely doesn't disappoint once you finally see it. The surroundings of the venue were very important to both of us, as we wanted to have our canapés and drinks reception outside. Hedsor House had a magical feel to it that we knew our guests would remember.
The Dresses: My gorgeous dress was from Windsor and Eton Brides, it was a strapless ivory dress with diamonds threaded throughout. Instead of a veil I opted for a sparkly headpiece that matched perfectly with my dress. To match the bright inviting theme I chose floor length 'Cadburys' purple dresses for my bridesmaids and my maid of honour wore a gorgeous headpiece to stand out from the others.
The Ceremony: The ceremony was beautiful, I remember smiling the whole way through. We had a civil ceremony in the Centre Hall, then celebrated outside on the South Lawns with umbrellas and outdoor furniture (luckily the weather was perfect).
The Flowers: This was the first element of our wedding that I organised with our planner Georgia from Rhubarb catering. Flowers were (of course) purple, with threads of pink, the colours were very bright which bought a sense of fun and excitement into the atmosphere. Philippa Craddock bought together the purple theme throughout and we absolutely loved them!
The Food and Drink: The superstars of the day had to be our caterers Rhubarb, we were lucky enough to have the help of Georgia Attwood who planned our day to perfection. Food, styling, planning and preparations leading up to our big day helped us both feel excited rather than nervous.
The Photographer: The photos below explain it all, we are so happy and proud to share with you - our special thanks to Pippa Mackenzie. As the saying says 'a picture speaks a thousand words' so we will just let you just look through them.
The Entertainment: We couldn't recommend 'The Wandering Hands' enough, they were amazing! They sang while we were having our canapés outside and did our first dance song which was such a memorable and special moment for us.
"You want people to remember your venue and with Hedsor you definitely achieve this!" - Matt
Rachel and David planned their entire wedding from ‘across the pond,’ though you wouldn’t have been able to tell they’d only visited Hedsor once or twice before their big day!
Their special day was flawlessly coordinated, and Hedsor was described by Rachel as “the perfect setting for the wedding of our dreams.” High praise indeed!
We spoke to Rachel to find out more about their special Jewish wedding and what Hedsor House means to them…
"We always knew that we wanted to hold our wedding in a grand house; half of our guests were travelling to the UK from America, so the traditional features of Hedsor House made it the perfect backdrop to our day! My Mum told me about Hedsor years ago as she’d seen it in the film ‘Quartet’ and knew immediately that it would be the most perfect wedding venue for us. Fast forward to us being engaged; we visited Hedsor and knew immediately that it was the venue for us, absolutely stunning and the staff were so wonderful.
Details of the Day
There were many small details that were very important to us, such as the invitations and wedding favours designed and made by myself and my Mum. The colour scheme was purple - including my bouquet, bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen bow ties and lighting in the room.
The House: There were so many elements that we just loved. The Sunken Garden was beautiful (even in winter) and we knew that’s where we would hold our cocktail hour. The Bridal Suite was gorgeous, definitely the perfect setting for the Bridal Party to get ready in the morning. The Centre Hall with the beautiful domed ceiling… WOW!
The Dress: My dress was by Maggie Sottero, covered in intricate lace and beading. When I found the dress I knew it was ‘the one’… It was everything I could have dreamed of with the scalloped edge, capped sleeves and sweetheart neckline. When I found it we already knew that Hedsor House was our venue and that the dress would fit the elegance of the venue just perfectly!
The Ceremony: It was very important that we could have a traditional Jewish Orthodox ceremony under a beautiful chuppah (wedding canopy) and ours was adorned with gorgeous purple and ivory cascading orchids. It was covered with the tallit (prayer shawls) of our grandfathers, a wonderful tradition within David’s family to honour those who have passed.
Though it was traditional, our ceremony had a modern twist. Our Rabbi sang many songs during the ceremony which included a beautiful rendition of Lecha Dodi (Come My Beloved) to All of Me by John Legend as I was escorted to the chuppah. Surrounding us was a sea of purple lighting and all our closest family and friends.
The Flowers: We used the exquisite Ruby and Grace who were so gracious in accepting the challenge of finding flowers that worked with our purple colour scheme. We gave them a small swatch of fabric from the bridesmaid dresses and Hannah told me that she always had it on her!
The Food and Drink: Philip Small, a specialist Jewish caterer, was absolutely amazing! Our starter was a duck salad and when we were walking around to greet our guests we knew it was a hit – everyone’s plates were empty! For dessert we enjoyed 4 miniature ‘shot’ desserts - chocolate mousse, berry compote with meringue, sticky toffee pudding and my favourite – vanilla ice cream with ginger stem.
The Cake: The cake was made by Philip Small’s wonderful pastry chef who made an exact replica of a cake I’d found on Pinterest – a three tier ivory cake covered in purple filigree. Each tier of our cake was a different flavour – red velvet on the bottom, chocolate sponge in the middle and lemon on top – delicious!
The Photographer: Our photographer was the brilliant Mike Garrard. We were both very sure we wanted a photojournalism style; when we discovered Mike we knew that his style and the vibrancy of his pictures would capture the essence of our day. He certainly did!
The Videographer: Looking at Hang The Moon’s website I was hooked, his style was everything I could have dreamed of. The trailer and film is fantastic, we’ve watched it more times than we can count!
Photography – Mike Garrard / Bride’s Dress – Maggie Sottero / Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Alfred Angelo / Caterer and Production – Philip Small / Videography – Hang The Moon / Entertainment – The Twentysomethings / Bridal Hair and Makeup – Bridal Hair Design and Make-Up By Elisa / Florist – Ruby and Grace
Huge thanks to Mike Garrard for permission to use a selection of photography from Rachel and David's celebrations!
For centuries, Hedsor House has been a place to gather, celebrate and entertain. So it was only right that Rachel and Will’s romantic wedding included so much to entertain and amuse their 140 guests.
An electrifying string quartet on the lawns, a live party band playing soul and disco, topped off by midnight hot chocolate and marshmallows on the lawns; it was a blast!
Rachel shared with us some more details of their special day at Hedsor.
Why Hedsor House?
“We wanted somewhere quite local and where both the ceremony and the reception could take place, but we didn’t want to get married in a hotel. We were also looking for somewhere that offered exclusivity, privacy and intimacy. We weren’t previously aware of Hedsor House, but discovered a hidden gem! It’s accessed by a one kilometre driveway and surrounded by almost 100 acres of glorious parkland, so it’s extremely private.
Details of the Day
The Style: Our day followed a contemporary champagne and nude theme that featured beautiful stationery, crisp linens, delicate cutlery as well as incredible floral arches. We were helped by Melanie from Cranberry Blue Weddings & Events who planned our day from start to finish. She could see our vision straight away, and helped to create an elegant and wonderful day that we will remember forever.
The Ceremony: One of Hedsor’s best features is its spectacular domed Centre Hall where our wedding ceremony took place. During the romantic service, our Buckinghamshire-based registrar provided some lovely information on the house’s quintessentially English history and two close friends gave a couple of beautiful readings.
The Reception: Having the perfect venue was our top priority, followed by wanting to provide great food and entertainment for our guests. We took time to choose our caterer, Melissa Webb, one of Hedsor House’s preferred caterers. We spent a lot of time selecting our caterer and deciding on our perfect menu, which included delicious cocktails, tender fillet of beef and an amazing salted caramel mousse.
The Entertainment: It was really important to us that our guests were kept amused, so we went all out on the entertainment. We had two magicians, a silhouette artist, a DJ and London-based party band Bellissima who kept the crowds dancing with pop and soul classics. We also loved having Stringfever, a crazy electrifying, comedy string group show. Hard to describe but really entertaining! And with all that dancing, it was only right that we supplied white dancing flip flops for ladies who wanted to kick off their high heels! For our send off just before midnight, we handed out sparklers and hot chocolate with marshmallows. A sweet end to the perfect day!
Huge thanks to Pippa Mackenzie for permission to use a selection of photography from Rachel and Will's special day!