Photography: Oehlers Photography Wedding Venue: Swancar Farm, Nottinghamshire
All the details….
Claire & Ben’s Kedleston Hall Wedding was the perfect mix of elegant marquee set against a grand, historic backdrop. Find out more from Claire about their day.
How did you two meet? We met on a night out in Derby town. I was out with my work friends and Ben was out with his friends.
How long have you been together? 9 years.
How did he pop the question?
Ben is very good at surprises. He had my engagement ring for quite a while before he proposed. He’d bought it from ‘Veronicas’, a shop in Kefalonia, Greece. I had seen it whilst we were on holiday there one year and said “wow that’s so beautiful and different”. He agreed and sneakily got it whilst his family and I were having a drink at a bar. He told me he was going to the cash point! In December 2011 he took me to Belgium, to the Christmas Markets, as a surprise and an early Christmas present. That’s where he proposed.
What was your favourite moment from the wedding?
All of it! We had an amazing day and enjoyed every moment.
How would you describe your overall wedding experience?
Overwhelming, exciting and amazing. Everything we wanted it to be.
What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding?
Get everything sorted from the minute you start planning. Don’t leave everything until the last minute and then you will enjoy it. The closer you get to the day an item on your initial ‘to do’ list will suddenly develop its very own ‘to do’ list; things you haven’t even thought of! Get a book to keep everything together…your lists upon lists! Also Post-it notes with guest names on and A4 paper for individual tables; brilliant when creating your table plan until you’ve got everybody, and every table in just the right place.
Tell us about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?
It was the first one I tried on with my mum at Beau Belles in Borrowash, who were brilliant by the way. I actually saw a poster in the shop of what I wanted and they had it in! I wanted an ivory silk dress with no tulle or lace but diamanté detail. I was intrigued as to what Ben would expect me to wear so I asked him to send me a picture of what he thought. It was scary how similar my wedding dress was to what he sent. It made me feel great though and I looked forward to him seeing it.
How was your experience with your photographer on your wedding day?
I can honestly say Elen Studio Photography were absolutely brilliant. From the minute we met to now, Elena and her husband have been so supportive and lovely throughout the whole wedding process. The photos are amazing and overwhelming. Elena sent us one to look at and I couldn’t believe it was us! The venue was beautiful and the picture she sent was exactly what I wanted and envisaged before we got married. To see it for real with me in my wedding dress and Ben in his suit was quite emotional. I was so happy.
Did you have an engagement session? Would you recommend having an engagement photo shoot to other couples?
Yes yes yes! We had ours at our wedding venue which gave Elena some good ideas for the day and was so much fun. We got dressed up and had some beautiful photos taken, one of which we used within our guest signing picture frame for the wedding day.
We love to hear about suppliers you love. Who did you have in your wedding team?
Sophie and Kate from Imagine Invites and Events were amazing and created our invites, dressed our venue and helped conduct the day so everything ran smoothly. They have been brilliant and so supportive and as you can see from the photos the venue dressing looked beautiful and exactly what I wanted.
Flowers were by Jo from Jo Beth Floral Design and they were stunning! Again, an amazing job and a lovely lady who did everything exactly how we wanted.
Catherine and Hannah from The Red Olive Catering Company were brilliant. The food was outstanding and the service on the day was incredible.
Yolande, Natalie, Fliss, Rebecca and the team at Harvey Luke Hair. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Getting ready at the salon was so much fun. We took breakfast and had a couple of drinks. We were ready at the time I’d requested. I will definitely continue to get my hair and beauty treatments done there. The prices were reasonable and the results were amazing.
We booked our transport from Cupid Carriages, who were brilliant. From booking to getting to the venue, it was simple and on time. The drivers were great and made everyone feel relaxed. It was a fun journey.
I found my wedding dress at Beau Belles. They stocked exactly what I wanted. The dress fitted beautifully and they helped get everything sorted on time. The women are lovely and made me feel comfortable too.
What food did you choose for your reception?
We had canapés, BBQ food and a trio of desserts by The Red Olive Company. They also prepared our evening food which was antipasti.
What was the first song you danced to as husband and wife?
Adore by Jasmine Thompson. Her voice is beautiful.
What advice would you give to other couples?
Take a walk with your husband away from everyone and just look at everything. See everyone from a distance enjoying your day. It’s a great feeling and makes it all feel real. Ben and I walked on our own from the ceremony venue to the marquee. It was lovely watching everyone and taking in how beautiful the day was, the venue and our guests.
Photography: Elen Studio Photography | Website