Gallery | Belvoir Castle Wedding Fair AW18

Gallery | Belvoir Castle Wedding Fair AW18

Next Belvoir Castle Wedding Fair

Sunday 24th February 2019, 11am – 2pm

Would you like to exhibit? Email for more details

Riviera Rose

Riviera Rose

The French Riviera meets the Quintessential English Rose for Buckinghams’ cover shoot at Hodsock Priory, Notts, featuring three magnificent gowns by Joanna Leigh Couture.

Written by EJ Wright, Photography by Dottie Photography

I first met Joanna Leigh Couture at our wedding show at Belvoir Castle in the Autumn of 2017. Her designs are sensational and I knew we’d definitely want to work with her on a photoshoot. I called her after the show and asked if she would be interested. She said yes and we set about discussing dresses. Jo sent over detail shots of several gowns she was working on. The first was ‘Florence’ – or 3D Silk as we were affectionately calling her at the time. After my initial gasp, my mind’s eye wandered  instantly to the beautiful gardens at Hodsock Priory. We just had to shoot this dress at that location.

[Come to the Hodsock Priory Wedding Fair]

‘Little Bow’ followed along with immediate inspiration to pair her with a sharp suited Riviera styled groom. Last, but by no means least, ‘Birdy’. A breathtaking humming bird gown so beautiful it is beyond words.

So who would we ask to go behind the camera? Myself and Mandy Carter at Dottie Photography had been chatting for nearly a year about working together on a project and I had a feeling this would be the perfect one. When I showed Mandy the dresses and the venue, she was on board.

Scene 1 – Florence

‘Florence’  embraces lavish textures, exquisite embroidery and the rustle of silk taffeta. A hand pleated silk bodice accentuates the waistline.  Chiffon petals and floral detail delicately flutter revealing rich pearl and crystal adornments. The sheer, voluminous sleeves and veiled shoulders create a dramatic sense of romance as the floral embellishments softly trail away from the train.

Our backdrop was Hodsock Priory, the beautiful country house in Blyth, Nottinghamshire, once visited by Henry VIII in 1541. With the impressive Tudor Gatehouse,  the Panelled Hall ceremony room, glamorous chandeliers and the stunning gardens with its own lake, we were spoilt for photo opportunities.

I’d been praying for a dry day and although it was really overcast when we arrived, we took the risk and set up our first scene in the gardens. I’d been speaking to George Buchanan, owner of Hodsock, about what was in bloom and when. I wanted to create an al fresco double depth top table with the front table doubling as a dessert table with cake centrepiece. A waterfall of fabric was to froth onto the grass below it. I invited beautiful harpist, Soraya Vermuelen, to complete our scene.

For cakes and favours I went straight to Lorien Storey from Storeybook Cakes. I haven’t known Lorien for long but she’s already in my little black book of go-to cake designers. Her attention to detail is epic and I was confident she’d totally smash it, and she did. Leading up to the shoot, Lorien sent me teaser shots of the cakes and favours she was working on. From the first photo I knew she’d taken what was in my head and turned it into sweet reality.

Mandy had recently launched ‘Dottie Events & Hire,’ her new marquee company. This was a great opportunity to delve into her extensive stock of hire items and she had the very pieces I was hoping for – gold cutlery, cut crystal and lots of candle sticks! We borrowed gold edged chargers and votives from our friends at Nerissa Eve Weddings in Market Harborough. Millie Stone UK designed our beautiful name cards for the table and the lovely ladies from Nuptia, set about adding sashes to our ceremony chairs and draping the backdrop, kindly assisted by  Anna Straw.

Scene 2 – Little Bow

Little Bow’ was designed especially for the Hodsock Priory shoot and inspired by a single pair of silk retro styled gloves which represent elegance in its simplest form. Appropriately named, it displays a delicate bow positioned in the centre of a clean cut and sensual bust line without interrupting the sophisticated décolletage.

When Marianne Slater at Frances & Rose checked her schedule and said she was available, we knew we were on to something special. Marianne’s combination of home grown ‘just foraged’ flowers were perfect for the table setting and bouquets. 

With Adele Coxon MUA and Kirby Blythe Hair on beauty, the stage was set. Our models, Sadie Straw and Josh Oxley Adams  made the perfect couple. We styled Josh in a selection of suits from Christopher Scotney Mens Hire in Leicester. For gloves, there’s really only once place to go if you’re looking for the best. I approached the fabulous Cornelia James. I always love the moment their little packet of gloves arrives at my office.

Scene 3 – Birdy

Birdy – a glamorously fitted and semi sheer bustier is artistically decorated with intricate embroidery in magenta, kingfisher and green, all the shades least expected to be found on a bridal gown. Even more captivating is the way the intertwining branches, climbing roses and hummingbirds dance around the hemline of soft draping silk tulle. A couture bridal gown in every sense of the word.

After several hours, scene one was set. The gardens burst into petal and bloom right on cue and the rain swept over us very briefly and promptly disappeared. Thank you to everyone involved in this project, especially to Hodsock Priory for looking after us. To Florence, Birdy and Little Bow – we love you.


Venue Hodsock Priory, Nottinghamshire –
Creative Direction & Production – EJ Wright, Buckinghams –
Photography – Dottie Photography –
Wedding Gowns – Joanna Leigh Couture –
Gloves – Cornelia James –
Wedding Cakes, Sugar Flowers & Favours – Storeybook Cakes –
Stationery – Millie Stone UK –
Make Up – Adele Coxon MUA –
Hair – Kirby Blythe –
Flower Arrangements & Bouquets – Frances & Rose –
Grooms Wear – Christopher Scotney Mens Hire –
Chair Sashes, Ceremony Decor & Draping – Nuptia –
Cutlery, Glassware, Candle Sticks – Dottie Events & Hire –
Gold Chargers & Votives – Nerissa Eve Weddings –
Place card holders – Editor’s own
Photography Assistant – October Willis Photography –
Harpist – Soraya Vermeulen –
Female Model – Sadie Straw
Male Model – Josh Oxley Adams

Hart’s Hotel | Last Minute Weddings

Hart’s Hotel | Last Minute Weddings

Are you looking to tie the knot within the next year but haven’t found the perfect venue yet?

Hart’s Hotel in Nottingham will work with you to create and deliver the day you have always dreamed of, yet we also understand the consideration of the wedding budget.

With packages for 50 guests starting from just £4499, book a show round before they get snapped up. A must-see-venue for all foodies, we are a contemporary city centre hotel with the surprise find of a garden affording stunning views out across the rooftops of Nottinghamshire. We have 32-bedrooms to accommodate your guests, outside space, stylish bar and parking. If you’re looking to say ‘I do’ pretty soon then maybe we could be the answer.

Available Dates

  • Saturday 15th September 2018
  • Saturday 13th October 2018
  • Saturday 10th November 2018
  • Saturday 29th December 2018
  • Saturday 19th January 2019
  • Saturday 23rd February 2019
  • Saturday 2nd March 2019

Package from £4499 to include:

  • 50 Wedding guests
  • Ceremony room hire
  • Post Ceremony Prosecco
  • Three course Wedding Breakfast
  • ½ bottle of wine per person
  • Prosecco toast
  • Evening reception for 70 guests
  • Evening reception buffet for 70 guests
  • Complimentary hotel suite for the Bride and Groom

Call Sally Thornhill our Wedding and Events Manager on 0115 988 1900 or visit

It’s not just the sticky sausages!

It’s Not Just The Sticky Sausages!

“I love Prestwold Hall”

Okay, it’s easy for me to simply make that statement. Bloggers say they love this and they love that every day! It’s important to me however, that you know this isn’t just a disposable comment. This is a true statement of my genuine respect and admiration born from my personal experience.

I have the privilege and pleasure to work with the Prestwold Hall team twice a year to organise their wedding fair. In my opinion, for every great event there has to be a great venue and a team that genuinely care about the event and want it to be a success.  In my experience, every member of the team at Prestwold Hall has gone that extra mile. Before every wedding fair their anticipation and preparation makes me feel confident about the event ahead. Their attention to detail is reassuring. Their calm demeanour, soothing (I’m a stress head so I really value this!). Not to mention their patience! And boy do they need patience with me when I’m rearranging the floor plan at the last minute…. for the third time!

It all comes down to knowing their craft. And co-ordinating an event is a craft. Understanding the real meaning of hospitality. Ironically, hospitality is what’s missing from many venues. But not at Prestwold. A team of highly experienced hospitality and catering professionals steer the ship. They are ably assisted by a fabulous crew of men and women, smartly turned out, always with a smile, nothing too much trouble. They are passionate about service. Passionate about delivering a fabulous experience for every guest who walks through the door. Passionate that you feel at home and looked after. They know what they’re doing. And they do it superbly time and time again. It’s this consistency that is so important when you are planning an event. That reassurance that they have your back, they’re right there with you every step of the way.

Now you’re planning your wedding

If you are currently at the venue hunting stage of your wedding journey, I don’t ever want you to underestimate the importance of the venue team you’ll pull in around you. Choosing the perfect wedding venue is not just about the views and the late licence rules. You’ll discover as you move closer to your big day, the people who surround you will become even more important to your state of mind and general well being. They must value your event as much as you do. You must have a connection with them and a good line of communication. Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. Surround yourself with people you trust.

Prestwold Hall In Leicestershire - Dottie Photography

So don’t ever think when I say “I love Prestwold Hall” that I’m just saying it. I genuinely do love this venue and the people who work so hard to deliver the beautiful weddings and special events that happen here.

Not to mention you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted their sticky sausages!

EJ x

Prestwold Hall, near Loughborough, Leicestershire
01509 880236
Mention ‘Buckinghams’ when you call!

Images of Pete & Zara’s beautiful wedding at Prestwold Hall with huge thanks to Dottie Photography  x