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Zara and Pete’s Real Wedding at Prestwold Hall | Dottie Photography

Zara And Pete’s Real Wedding At Prestwold Hall | Dottie Photography

A love of travel and vintage chic brought this real wedding to life

Prestwold Hall set the scene for the wedding of Zara and Pete, providing a stunning backdrop for the work of Dottie Photography. Bride Zara shared some words with Buckinghams to shed some light on her beautiful wedding day and the process leading up to the big event.

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

We met at university in 2005. Pete was in his second year studying Geography, and I (Zara) had just started my Biology degree. Since then we have done a lot of growing up and travelling until we eventually moved in together in 2009, renting a flat in Fulham. 

Tell us about the proposal – where, when, how?

It wasn’t until January 2014 that Pete finally proposed to me, nearly 9 years after we first met! He suggested we go for a walk in central London like we used to when we were at uni. We made our way towards a little spot on the river where we used to sit and chat and, once I’d finished the scotch egg I had insisted on buying just before we got there, Pete surprised me by dropping on to one knee. There was a beautiful vintage diamond ring staring back at me. I was shocked, but of course, I accepted straight away!

How did you find the wedding planning process?

The planning process was great fun if a little stressful at times! We had never appreciated how much time could be spent choosing a font or deciding a specific hue. I really enjoyed being creative and making our ideas come to life.

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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.

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Harping On…with Harpist Soraya Vermeulen

Harping On…with Harpist Soraya Vermeulen

Harpist Soraya Vermeulen’s recent real weddings

I had the pleasure of playing for two wonderful weddings this weekend!….. and you may also notice from my featured image that my new logo has arrived! Woohoo!!

Saturday saw the beautiful wedding of Kerri & Dan at The Walled Garden, Beeston. It was such a gorgeous setting, all pretty in pink, my wedding favourite! I even sat in the best spot; under the bandstand with hanging flowers all around me (made by Kerri herself!!) Kerri chose a lovely selection of music including, A Thousand Years by Christina Perri (for the bridal entrance), Pachelbel’s Canon in D and Kissing You by Des’ree, from Romeo and Juliet. Their guests were huge fans of the Beauty and The Beast music!

Then on Sunday it was over to one of my favourite venues, Prestwold Hall for the stunning wedding of Jen & James (decor courtesy of the lovely Elegance Chair Covers). Jen asked me to find a song that was particularly special to her mum for her bridal entrance, Por Una Cabeza, a Tango by Carlos Gardel. One of the lovely parts of my job is learning new music that means so much to a couple or their family. Another lovely part is managing to squeeze in a little catch up with supplier friends.. the amazing Paul Martyn took over from me for what I have no doubt was a great party!

It’s definitely time for a well earned glass of wine. Happy weddings everyone!!

Soraya x

Harpist Soraya Vermeulen

Elite Wedding DJs – 2017 Late Availability Dates

Elite Wedding DJs – 2017 Late Availability Dates

Elite Wedding DJs have a handful of dates remaining for 2017 if you’re still looking for your wedding entertainment.

We have a limited amount of dates remaining for 2017. Some mid-week dates are still available so please enquire for further details.

  • 2nd September
  • 23rd September
  • 21st October
  • 18th November

Check out our Profile Page in the Wedding Hub for our contact details or message us directly via the Hub

    Geoff Kirby Photography – Late Availability Dates for 2017

    Geoff Kirby Photography – Late Availability Dates For 2017

    Geoff Kirby Photography Still Has Weekend Dates Available For 2017

    Here’s a list of my availible weekend dates.

    April 29th

    May 6th, 7th

    July 2nd, 22nd, 23rd

    August 6th, 20th, 26th

    Sept 2nd, 9th, 10th, 30th.

    Oct 7th, 21st, 22nd 28th.

    November 4th, 11th,

    December 2nd, 9th

    Please remember that I also have weekday wedding special offers so it’s always worth enquiring if your wedding falls on a weekday.

    Check out my Profile Page in the Wedding Hub for my contact details  and get in touch

     

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