WWW readers Chris and Natalie tied the knot at Hengrave Hall in Suffolk on Saturday 2nd June 2018. They both wanted a wedding that was quintessentially English and oh my, what an elegant celebration they had. I think you’re just going to love the blush tones and all the decorative touches, I just adore the clear signage and it sounds like the festoon lighting out on the terrace really added to the atmosphere later in the evening.
Our pair chose Gemma Giorgio to be their photographer and were delighted with the results – I’m sure you can see why! Thanks so much Gemma for letting us share these wonderful images.
I love to see a groom in a tux, and Chris doesn’t disappoint. Him and his groomsmen look brilliantly dapper and complement our beautiful bride Natalie in her gorgeous Suzanne Neville gown. Along with the bridesmaids, they really do make quite an elegant bunch.
Enjoy you lovely lot, and make sure you take in the beautiful blooms and epic cake too!
Chris proposed on my 30th birthday trip to Rio de Janeiro. It was a memorable trip due to him carrying the ring wrapped up in his hoody. I kept asking him why he had brought a hoody considering how hot it was! Eventually after over a week of him carrying it around he proposed on our balcony at a fairytale location in Rio.
I think we both wanted something quintessentially English, and local for both our families. We also knew we would like classic features, with elegance.
The Planning Process
The day simply would not have been possible without help from my mum! She kept track of everything and when it needed to be done. I always thought I was organised until we entered this process! The last six months go really fast and there is always something to be organising or booking! We had just over 18 months to plan, and it honestly goes so quickly. Our planning was made easier by Hengrave who had recommended suppliers that know what they’re doing which means less for us to have to organise!
Hengrave Hall, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
Hengrave really were absolutely amazing in the lead up and on the day. They were always so accommodating, and also replied to my emails almost immediately! Nothing was ever too much trouble for them, and I would recommend them without hesitation, their expertise is priceless.
The girl’s hair was booked with Botias and we had the lovely Kat and Charli do our hair and makeup throughout the morning for the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride.
The Readings & Music
We had a harpist during the civil ceremony and during dinner.
Bridal entrance was Canon in D by Pachelbel. During the signing she played ‘Fields of gold’, ‘What a wonderful world’ and ‘Can you feel the love tonight’.
I remember listening to her at dinner and being so pleased we decided on having her there! It added such a delicate balance to those particular times, and I loved the sound of classic songs played by her.
We had a dj during the drinks reception playing laid back acoustic music and a band in the evening!
My five bridesmaids were my best friends Clarissa, Claire, Katrina, Sharon and Zoe. I don’t get to see them all very often as they live all around the country, Manchester, Chelmsford, London but when I see them its almost as if no time has passed at all.
I had known almost immediately that I wanted to get my five bridesmaid dresses from Jenny Yoo, however without a store in the UK I ordered them online. They were the perfect dresses for the girls.
Our niece Olivia was our flower girl dressed in a classic white dress, cardigan and shoes from Next.
Chris rented the groomsmen outfits from Alexandra Wood.
He was also looking for his groomsmen/usher to wear black tuxedos so the difference in suits would strike a right balance and compliment his suit. He had a rather large party (10) and all the suits were fantastic. His best man was his brother Edd, and ushers included my brothers Lloyd and Grant, his friends James, Dan and Alex and then our fathers, and also his two young nephews Alex and Harry.
Chris got his suit made by a bespoke service at Alexandra Wood in Bishops Stortford.
Once he had met Alexandra for the first consultation any fears he once had were put at ease. Alex could see his vision and easily put it together so he could imagine the final piece. Alex produced an amazing three piece midnight blue tuxedo for him which looked amazing. He had so many compliments on the day. The suit itself was everything he had wished for and the quality was second to none. He was looking for something slightly different but nothing outrageously bold or flashy.
The Dress & Accessories
My dress was found at the Boutique Wardrobe in Ingatestone, where their experience clearly shone through. They knew what to suggest for me to try, and the dress I chose was one I had disregarded from looking at it on the rail! The designer was Suzanne Neville, who in the process I got to meet and drew me a bespoke drawing of my dress! I wore a Suzanne Neville belt in the evening, which I also fell in love with when they suggested I try it on in the shop.
My veil was my mothers veil, which was very special to be able to wear on the day.
My shoes were Rachel Simpson – and they were so comfortable I didn’t have to take them off, again I just wanted something very classic and timeless.
We knew that flowers would make a huge impact on the day, and the fact that I cried when I was handed my bouquet says it all. Tudor Rose florist in Bury St Edmunds honestly showed their experience and skill. All of the flowers were so perfect and exactly like the photos I had shown them from my Pinterest boards! Even the little flower girl tiara was beautiful!
Gemma Giorgio was our photographer. Her style of photography was exactly what we were looking for, and we were so incredibly happy with the photos of our day. She made us feel at ease on the day thanks to a pre-wedding photo shoot and was so laid back but professional on the day too!
Fond Media filmed our day for us and this was a very last minute booking, the week before! Looking back it was one of the best decisions we made. They told us before the day that they we wouldn’t even notice they were there, and to be honest they really did float around amongst everything. We can’t stop watching our video, it’s just so magical to be able to see it over and over!
The Details & Décor
Little Touch of Heaven added all the extras to our day! I sent them quite a few photos and they recreated it better than I could have imagined! They added the extras like the welcome signs, and the covers on the chairs, custom table names using rose gold frames and acrylic signs. We wanted to have rose gold and clear signage where possible which A little Touch of Heaven got absolutely spot on!
Dreamwaves provided the DJ and additional lighting, and walkway runner for the civil ceremony. The lighting the provided in the courtyard with the festoons and hanging jars really made it an inviting space for guests to be. I also love the photos of guests on the West Terrace in the evening with the fairy lights.
We used Vanilla Cake Design who were a recommended supplier for Hengrave. And they also showed their expertise and talent! We had lots of lovely comments out the flavours which were Red Velvet, Strawberry and Caramel! Definitely a highlight was going for the cake tasting!
For our honeymoon we booked through Kuoni and went to Kenya for a safari for six days and then onto Mauritius for 10 days. I am already planning our next trip to Africa!
I will never forget seeing Chris at the altar, the emotion in him literally filled me with more emotion than I have ever experienced. So much love in one room, and so much love for one another.
I remember looking out onto the West Terrace during the drinks reception and in the evening and seeing all our guests outside enjoying the grounds. Part of the reason I fell in love with this venue was due to the outdoor space. Seeing everyone enjoying it really did just fill me with so much happiness, it was exactly as I had hoped and dreamed.
Advice For Other Couples
I would say to definitely get a videographer, I know it’s an extra cost but it is so worth it to be able to relive those special moments!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Alexandra Wood Bespoke and Suit Hire
Natalie and Chris, what an elegant day you planned! It all came together so beautifully and we’re so grateful to you for sharing with us. Rachel x