Neill and Alison’s wedding included lots of lovely personal touches, including their family crests in the wax seals on the napkin rings. The décor, styled by our sister company BVDécor, was designed to seamlessly tie in with the tartan used on the stationery by Studio M, which was designed to feature both of their family crests.
Neill proposed to Alison whilst on holiday in South Africa, on top of Table Mountain. They booked their wedding with Bride Beautiful at Elsham Hall in December 2014: ‘we liked the beautiful courtyard, open fire for the winter wedding, and the flexibility to have caterers rather than a set menu. Once we met Julie from Bon Appetit caterers we knew they were a great fit for us and the venue’ (Alison).
Alison bought her stunning wedding dress from Crown Joolz on a trip to Bury St. Edmunds: ‘I fell in love with the dress so bought it even though I had to make a special trip for every fitting. Joolz did a great job with making me some lace cap sleeves to personalise the dress.’ The happy couple were joined in their wedding party by some of their closest friends. The bride’s school friends Vicky and Catherine were beautiful bridesmaids, wearing pale green dresses from Jenny Packham at Debenhams; the two best men, Ben and Ed, and two users, Matt, and the groom’s nephew David, wore wonderfully coordinating ties in pale green.
After a beautiful ceremony the newly-weds went for a short drive in a white London taxi: ‘this gave us some time to chat to each other and as we live in London, it brought an element of it to the wedding’ (Alison). They were then joined in the Garden Room by their closest friends and family to drink prosecco and warm, spiced cider and mouthwatering canapés in front of a roaring fire. Jars of the bride and groom’s delicious home-made marmalade filled crates around the Garden Room, from which their guests were able to help themselves. As photographs in the courtyard and gardens were completed, guests were able to confirm their seating arrangements for the wedding breakfast on a beautiful, autumnal table plan.
In a wonderfully fun, original idea, Neill and Alison’s guests were allocated to tables named after their favourite darts players. Tables were announced in one-by-one, and guests were encouraged to dance in to their darts player’s signature theme song. Last to be seated was ‘The Count’: to the great amusement of the bride, groom and the remainder of the guests, those seated at ‘The Count’ table entered the Barn wearing capes and throwing paper bats, to the boos of the other tables.
After the fun of the entrances, the father of the bride’s speech was followed by a delicious three course meal. Any initial hunger was kept at bay by the wonderful, home-made marshmallows by Melinda’s Mallows, which were wonderful, unique favours. A starter of soup or pate was followed by the groom’s speech, whilst a speech from Neill’s two best men followed the main course of beef or pie. A trio of tasty miniature desserts provided a light sweet treat; this was washed down with tea, coffee and mingling in the Garden Room.
Neill and Alison’s evening reception began with the cutting of their three-tier pork pie, from Nelson’s butcher of Stamford, a tasty savoury alternative to a wedding cake, served alongside a delicious variety of Lincolnshire Poacher cheese; ‘we would recommend this to anyone as our guests said it was the best pork pie they had ever had!’ (Alison). A sparkler archway led to their first dance, played by a band, during which the happy couple were joined on the dance floor by their guests: ‘the motown band, The Hot Jazz Biscuits, came from Manchester and kept our guests dancing all night long’ (Alison). The band and our DJ provided an evening full of musical entertainment, whilst the celebrations were fuelled by cones of chips, sausage, bacon and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, and our well-stocked bar, including Neill and Alison’s favourite ales which were served by our bar staff throughout their wedding day. An evening send off to the midnight carriages marked the end of Neill and Alison’s first day as husband and wife.
After their wedding, Neill and Alison enjoyed a short break at Winteringham Fields, followed by a trip to Paris. They are planning a trip to New Zealand for next year. When looking back at her wedding planning process, Alison provides an excellent piece of advice for future brides: ‘personalise your wedding and don’t feel you have to go with tradition!’
For more information about Alison and Neill’s wedding styling concept, please visit the BVDécor blog.