Liz and Stu’s Doddington Hall Real Wedding – Chris Snowden Photography

Liz And Stu’s Doddington Hall Real Wedding – Chris Snowden Photography

A love of Lego and the most beautiful of flowers

Doddington Hall was the perfect backdrop to the wedding of Liz and Stu photographed by Chris Snowden Photography.

How did you meet – tell us a little about yourselves?

We knew each other through mutual friends for a few years before we started dating. Eventually, after some not-so-subtle matchmaking, we finally got together – and thanks to our friend for locking us out of the house and leaving us in the garden until we finally kissed!

How did Stu propose?

Stu surprised me for my birthday with a trip to London. I had no idea where we were going until we were in the car heading South. He’d booked a meal and tickets to see the Lion King. The next morning, during a romantic walk in Kensington Gardens, he got down on one knee and presented me with the most beautiful engagement ring. I’d said yes before he finished asking the question!

How did you find the wedding planning process?

I’ve been lucky enough to be a bridesmaid for four of my friends – who all ended up being my bridesmaids too! This had given me a good idea of what was involved in planning a wedding. As a groom, Stu was very involved as well and we made all the decisions together. Luckily we have similar tastes so we didn’t really disagree on anything – although he did have to stop me going over the top on numerous occasions! It’s very easy to get carried away. I’m a project manager so I had lots of spreadsheets and was quite organised. 

What was the inspiration for your style?

We chose an autumnal theme for our wedding as we both like the time of year and the colours. We started with a colour scheme of deep reds and oranges and we talked this through with our florist, the lovely Rachel from Catkin Flowers. She is based in the gardens at Doddington Hall (our wedding venue) and all the flowers she used were blooms that were growing in the garden at the time of year. We let her decide which flowers to use, so the bouquets were a complete surprise until the day before the wedding. They were more beautiful than we could have imagined and they really worked to tie everything together.

Aside from the flowers the venue itself didn’t need much decoration as it already looked beautiful and was perfect for a traditional country house/garden style wedding. We chose to add some extra touches to show our personalities a little bit. Stu is a big fan of Lego, so we made the place card holders out of Lego bricks, had Lego pieces as table confetti and a Lego themed wedding cake! We also had M&Ms made with a picture of us printed on them – a selfie that we took the night before our engagement.

What made you decide on your venue?

My dad is in a care home and we wanted to be somewhere near enough so that he could attend. It was also nice to go back to my home town for the wedding. We decided early on that we wanted a venue that did everything in one place to keep things simple, and we also needed somewhere that could cater for our 120 guests.

We started looking at hotels but struggled to find somewhere that could accommodate our numbers. In the end, we decided to take a look at Doddington Hall. When we met Justine (the wedding coordinator) she showed us around and we fell in love with the place. It was unique and a real bonus that we were able to have the ceremony in the hall itself, followed by the reception in the Coach House next door. Justine dealt with everything at the venue from the catering to the DJ and left us with nothing to worry about.

There were also cottages on-site so the wedding party and our families could stay for the whole weekend without having to worry about booking hotels.

We couldn’t be happier with the venue and the staff were fantastic the whole weekend. We had the advantage of being able to work with them to set the dining room up the day before the wedding, so I had the reassurance that it was exactly as we wanted it.

What food and drink did you choose?

We had a traditional three-course wedding breakfast and offered our guests a choice of two meals. The Beef was reared at Doddington Hall and most of the ingredients were locally sourced.

We offered prosecco as the welcome drink and provided bottles of wine on the tables to make sure everyone was suitably merry.

In the evening we served a selection of spiced meats.

Our wedding cake was made by a family friend. It consisted of layers of fruit cake, Madeira, Victoria sponge and lemon drizzle. She put dots on the icing and made flowers from icing to look like Lego flowers, all to tie in with the Lego bride and groom on the top of the cake. It was displayed on a keepsake log engraved with our names and the wedding date, provided by Take a Seat.

Most memorable part of the day?

The whole day was memorable to us. It went really quickly but we loved every minute of it. I’d been dreading the first dance as I really am two left feet, but when it came to it I loved it and didn’t want it to end. Looking into my new Husband’s eyes as he led me around the dancefloor was the best feeling.

If anything, what would you do differently?

My Bridesmaids are really special to me and I wanted to treat them to the perfect Bridesmaid dresses, so I ordered their dresses from the Bridal shop.  They were made to order but it turned out to be more hassle than it was worth. When the dresses arrived they were all an unusual fit so they ended up needing lots of alterations.

The girls all looked stunning on the day but I realised that they would have been happy and looked great in whatever I gave them to wear and maybe if I could go back in time I would have taken them shopping for dresses on the High Street instead.

Where did you honeymoon?

About a year before we got engaged we’d decided to plan an adventure to somewhere we’d never been before. We chose Japan and had already started saving for the trip. On the day that Stu proposed one of the first decisions we made was to do the Japan trip as our honeymoon. It wasn’t the typical luxurious relaxing honeymoon but for us it was perfect. We arranged it through Trailfinders and they planned the whole thing. We took our backpacks and travelled on the bullet trains from Kyoto to Hiroshima and then Tokyo, with a few stop offs in between. We had an incredible time and didn’t want to come home.

Funniest moment?

The most surreal moment of the day was probably getting out of the car in the pouring rain when we arrived at the Hall for the ceremony. I was surrounded by people with umbrellas and I had to clamber out of my friend’s car holding my dress up around my waist. I remember finding it hilariously funny.

Did anything go wrong? Were there any surprises?

Everything had been running smoothly leading up to the wedding. I remember my seamstress telling me that all brides lose weight in the final few weeks due to stress. I laughed at her and was convinced that it wouldn’t be me.

Then it happened – the seamstress we were going to use to alter the bridesmaid dresses took ill and had to cancel. I took to the internet and found someone else who could see us at short notice. I thought she was my saviour and we entrusted her with the beautiful dresses.

When we went back to collect the dresses it was a disaster. She had ruined one by shortening the straps so short that the dress wouldn’t even go on and she had hemmed my maid of honour’s dress about 2 inches too short. She ended up having to buy flat shoes and the other bridesmaid’s mum had to fix her straps using the offcuts!

If that wasn’t enough my husband-to-be injured his knee while running in a bid to get in shape for the wedding. He ended up in A&E and on crutches just 10 days before the big day! We were fortunate that on the day itself he took some painkillers and was able to toss the crutches aside.

My Sister and Aunt were also both in hospital leading up to the wedding and one of our cats was ill at the vet. It indeed became a very stressful lead up to the wedding!

We are lucky to have some incredible friends who helped so much in the days running up to the wedding and on the day that mattered nothing was going to dampen our spirits – not even the rain. It was the perfect wedding day. 

What tips or advice for Brides to Be?

Decide early on who you are going to invite and stick to your guns. We were strict on not inviting anyone we hadn’t met. That meant that some people didn’t get plus ones and others did – we explained that to our friends and everyone understood. The venue had a maximum capacity and it would have been easy to get carried away.

Book your suppliers in early too. We were fortunate we had 18 months to plan our wedding so we were able to choose the suppliers we wanted. Our photographer (Chris Snowden) is already fully booked for 2017.

I would also recommend hiring a hair and makeup stylist who will come to you. The lady I used, Shell Edwards, was amazing – she did much more than hair and makeup, she kept us all calm and organised in the morning, helped everyone lace up their dresses and made sure we ate enough. She was a superstar.

Bradgate Flowers, Lovingly Styled, Lovingly Created

Bradgate Flowers, Lovingly Styled, Lovingly Created

“On a beautiful spring day in April”

Bradgate Flowers had the pleasure of styling the gorgeous flowers for our Bride Liz and Groom Tom.

With a Marquee set on the lawns of the beautiful Nanpantan Hall, with it’s superb back drop of forestry and manicured gardens, the flowers looked absolutely dreamy, with focal blushing Peonies, Sweet Dolomitti Roses, and the sweet scented Stocks, this has to be my favorite choice of wedding flowers so far…

If you too are looking for gorgeous flowers to compliment your special day, along with styling fit for a Queen, then give us a call

07561 1175705 or 01530 245411

W:  E:

Flowers always lovingly created and as unique as the bride to be!

Plus Special offer for Buckinghams Brides

10% off Chair Covers when booked alongside your Florals

Just Say Buckinghams!

T & C’s Apply

Images credit to




    Wedding Hair with Flowers by Alison Jenner Hair Stylist

    Wedding Hair With Flowers By Alison Jenner Hair Stylist

    Last week I had the privilege of being the chosen Hair Stylist at the most beautiful wedding of gorgeous Sophie in the stunning village of Lyddington, Rutland. A marquee at home was transformed by the very talented Michele Gledhill who also styled the most amazing bouquets. Soft pinks and a gorgeous Naomi Neoh dress for the bride looked perfection with navy and cream completing the bridal party for Sophie’s amazing Mum. A mixture of plaits and soft updos with flowers was the brief for hairstyling which looked breathtaking. Here are a selection of my snapshots from the day to inspire you.

    Alison x

    Visit my profile page in the Wedding Hub – Alison Jenner Hair & see more of my work in the Bridal Hair Lookbook 

      Rebecca & Craig at Kelham House

      Rebecca & Craig At Kelham House

      Rebecca & Craig's Wedding Story

      We met eight and a half years ago when I was 17 and Craig was 19. We lived just around the corner from each other and got talking in the local pub. Craig proposed to me on the clifftop in Ibiza overlooking a beautiful little beach; it was 2 years before we got married.

      It was really important for us to get married in a church and luckily for us our local church is so beautiful and full of history. The vicar was very friendly and made the service personal to us. We wanted a chilled summer wedding so the most important thing for our day was having a venue with plenty of outdoor space so guests could enjoy al fresco drinks in the sunshine. We had visited Kelham House before when we attended a wedding reception and fallen in love with the vast grounds which meant we were able to make the most of the summer weather with lawn games. We also liked how it has been recently updated and there weren’t any patterned carpets like we’d seen in other venues!

      We were very lucky in that everything went to plan perfectly! On arrival to Kelham House we had Pimms and canapés; tiger prawns, chicken roulades with sun dried tomato, mini toad in the holes with crispy onions and vegetable won tons with chilli jam. For the wedding breakfast we chose caramelised onion and goats cheese tartlet followed by roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for the main course and mixed berry Eaton mess for dessert. We had red, white and rosé wine on the tables. We would both love to do it all again and wouldn’t change a thing except we’d like to slow down the day and have another chance to enjoy it all over again!

      We didn’t have a set theme as such but instead we created a pastel colour scheme. We had silver buckets for centrepieces and our florist incorporated silvery green foliage into the bouquets to complement. Nat at Yummy Little Cakes used our flowers and the bridesmaid dresses to create the perfect shade of pastel pink. For our wedding cars we chose Dennissons after recommendations from a friend. We chose both our cake maker and photographer, Geoff Kirby Photography, after trawling the internet looking at the work of different suppliers and both of these vendors really stood out to us. After meeting with them we were really impressed and they seemed to really get our ideas.

      For my dress, I visited a couple of dress boutiques before deciding on buying from The Dress Place because immediately I walked in they made me feel well looked after and gave me lots of time to try on as many dresses as I wanted. I was after a traditional ‘ball gown’ shaped wedding dress. I finally chose a Mori Lee gown by designer Madeline Gardner; I really like the modern touch she adds to her dresses and I instantly fell in love with the sheer back detailing on my dress.

      Our favourite memories are dancing the night away with our friends and families and waking up the next morning and reliving the day over breakfast with the rest of the wedding party. We both agreed that choosing amazing bridesmaids and groomsmen are a must for the day. They kept us calm and worried about the minor details on our behalf!

      For our honeymoon we went to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. We got married on the Friday and flew on the Sunday which meant the excitement of the wedding was still fresh. We spent two weeks relaxing in the sun, eating and drinking lots!


      Photography: Geoff Kirby Photography

      Wedding Venue: Kelham House

      Cake: Yummy Little Cakes

      Bridal Gown: Mori Lee from The Dress Place

      L.O.V.E. Letters: JMC Productions (see Special Offer!!)

      Bridesmaids dresses: ASOS

      Groomsmen’s suits: Debenhams

      Flowers: Zinnia

      Bridal car: Dennisson Classic Cars

      Service at St Mary and All Saints Church Bingham

      Darren & Lizzie, The Carriage Hall, Nottinghamshire

      Darren & Lizzie, The Carriage Hall, Nottinghamshire











      Photography: Geoff Kirby Photography
      Church: St. Nicholas Church, Nottingham
      Venue: The Carriage Hall, Nottingham
      Makeup: Amy Wilkinson MUA
      Hair: Emma Gordon
      Dress: Shade Bridal Linea Raffaelli
      Bridesmaid dresses: Debenhams
      Grooms suit: Next
      Florals: Kirsty Jepson
      Entertainment: The Soul Outlaws
      Wedding cake: Cupcake Kisses
      Most memorable moment: All of it – but especially the speeches

      (Featured? please send us a link to your website if you don’t see it)
      Yes No