Sarah and Caroline's eyes met at a work Christmas party and the rest is history. Their day was filled with so much love and personal touches. Read more about their November wedding below...
We were first attracted to Hedsor because of the fantastic location, I wanted something private with a rural feel yet close to the surrounding towns. The drive immediately makes you feel as if you’re somewhere else, somewhere exclusive, peaceful, elegant. The winding drive creates a build up, then the road opens up to reveal a spectacular house – simply breath taking. We both looked at each other and said ‘WOW’. Inside, does not let it down, in fact the whole house, grounds and surroundings oozes class and sophistication. With its grand Staircase, beautiful Balcony, sensational Ballroom and Centre Hall, Hedsor really is amazing - yet the real delight and something you don’t expect is the Bridal Suite which is almost a whole floor. Incredible!
Was there a theme to your day?
There was not an overall theme. We were just keen that everyone had a good time and enjoyed spending the day with us.
Details of the day
The Ceremony: I could not believe how nervous I was! Walking in to a room with what feels like hundreds of pairs of eyes on you, willing yourself to not move too quick (or trip) is very nerve wracking – I was clutched on to my dad for dear life! Michael and Katherine, the two registrars were complete pros though, and took us through the ceremony with ease.
The Dress: My dress was not the vision I had in mind when I set out looking (but what bride doesn’t say that), it was delicate lace, embroidered with sparkles throughout. It had cap sleeves and a high neck, but the most amazing diamond cut out on the back. I fell in love with it on the hanger, and was (apparently) beaming from ear to ear the second I tried it on.
The Suit: My suit was amazing. Although I was cutting it fine by only purchasing it a week beforehand it was perfect, and I am glad I held out. It was a Hugo Boss virgin wool navy suit from Harvey Nichols. It hung perfectly and was tailored to me by a local seamstress - not that it needed much adjusting. I received such incredible service, the assistant at Harvey Nichols simply couldn’t do enough and after about 20 suits we found ‘the one’.
The Bridesmaids: I knew I didn’t want matchy matchy bridesmaids, and actually when we started looking I was originally looking for a Cadbury purple colour….however, over time that soon changed and we ended up choosing a pale blush for one bridesmaid, and a slate grey for the other.
The Flowers: We chose Suzanne at Hot Flowers, as after the first time we met her we felt she ‘got’ what we wanted. I’m quite into flowers myself so this was a key part for me, but I didn’t want anything too structured – it needed to be natural, free flowing and seasonal. I left Suzanne to the creative side as I prefer to trust the professionals! The bouquets were a mix of roses, spray roses, lisianthus and wax flowers and smelt amazing courtesy of some freesia. Caroline wore a buttonhole which was a rose and lisianthus, and the rest of the buttonholes were roses. We decorated the beautiful Staircase with some beautifully simple ivy and other foliage, and had a jaw dropping hanging foliage wall of ivy and other greenery in the central hall which created a sort of waterfall effect. This was something Suzanne had never worked on before but we were so pleased with the outcome.
Hair & Make-up: Adele (my hair & MUA) was fantastic – she brought the lovely Claire along with her. What a calming influence they were! Both ladies made me feel completely at ease, we had a giggle, and Adele took charge a bit when it all got a bit overwhelming for me. Complete stars and we all looked fab!
The Cake: The cake by 'Cakes by Ali' was definitely a talking point. we wanted to play a little with this aspect of the day and she certainly allowed us to express ourselves. The outside was a beautiful arrangement pastel colours in a ombre cake with inside each layer was a different flavour. Ranging from Victoria sponge classic jam, chocolate fudge, prosecco and raspberry and finished with peanut butter and chocolate. Lastly, we decorated the cake with subtle influences of our favourite films…. Marvel. We had Thor’s hammer, Captain America’s shield, Hulk’s fist and a few others all sticking out between layers. People kept walking around the cake to see which ones they could spot.
The Band: We booked a string trio recommended by Hedsor, Apollo Strings. They were brilliant, we picked from a lengthy play list about six months prior, so this took all the stress out of it, and although we do enjoy classical music we also wanted some modern-day classics with a string twist. They have fantastic range and did not disappoint. They played before, during and after the ceremony and everyone loved them.
In the evening we had a live band called Dexter; they were just perfect. Our first dance was At Last by Etta James. Cat the female vocalist and Steve on guitar gave the most intimate and special acoustic version and we could not have been happier. It was absolutely perfect for us and everyone was on their feet all night.
What is the one thing you remember most about your day?
The overwhelming feeling of love in the room – which is so cliché but its true, and many people commented on it. The majority of our guests from each side had not met before this day but you wouldn’t know that from the atmosphere. It was a big ball of love.
Did you face any challenges in planning your big day?
I think the main challenges were fitting it all in. We wanted to share the experience and make sure we took the time to speak to and understand all the suppliers. For us, it wasn’t just about they make a great food or it looks good. Yes that was important but, with so many fantastic companies to choose from it was important to us that we got on with all our suppliers. That they understood what style, feel and quality we wanted so that took a lot of time.... we met a lot of people.
The Menu by The Wild Fork
Starter: Smoked haddock fishcakes with gribiche & herb dressing
Salt baked beats with goats cheese mousse and pickled beetroot (v)
Main: Venison haunch with pearl barley and fresh apple
Mushroom, sundried tomato, spinach and ricotta wellington (v)
Dessert: Croquembouche to each table with a jug of chocolate sauce followed by cheese.
Caterer - The Wild Fork / Production - Class Act / Cake- Cali Ali / Band- Dexter / Florist - Hot Flowers / Videographer- Martin, Posterity Videos / Photographer - Guy Hearn / Dress - Pure Couture Beaconsfield / Bridesmaids- ASOS & Biba / Suit - Hugo Boss / Groomsmen- Lemmings, Chalfont St Peter / Make-up and Hair - Adele at Rosie Blush