Holford Estate Wedding
It’s such a pleasure to be sharing the rustic and laid-back Holford Estate wedding of Kate and Chris today. They were married in the most stunning garden ceremony in the venue’s grounds on the 14th September 2019, which turned out to be a beautifully sunny Autumn day. Their ceremony was framed by the prettiest flower arch and blooms lining the aisle, what a backdrop in which to say I do! Following their ceremony they headed to the barns to celebrate, with thoughtful touches added throughout; a semi naked cake, bunting and afternoon tea galore.
I just adore the style featured here today. Kate wore a simply gorgeous gown called Valentina by WWW Supplier Love members Graces Loves Lace, while Chris chose a very smart suit and mustard yellow tie by Tailor Made London. Didn’t they look just amazing!?
I think you are going to adore these images courtesy of Voyteck Photography, especially those dreamy golden hour portraits. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing with us guys!
I proposed to Kate while we were on holiday in Thailand in 2017, while on a beach facing the sunset in Koh Samui. We had been together for almost three and a half years by then, and I thought our upcoming trip to Thailand would have been a perfect opportunity to pop the question.
K: I wouldn’t say we had a specific vision in mind when planning the wedding. Our aim was to plan a day that we would remember fondly and our guests would enjoy, but importantly we wanted it to be fairly relaxed and not necessarily following rigid formats. We ended up going with a rustic/barn theme because wanted our day to be fairly relaxed with people free to have their afternoon tea on picnic blankets and garden games dotted around rather than the traditional wedding breakfast with fixed table seating.
We are both big foodies who love to travel so food was really important to us. We chose to go with cuisines from around the world as the theme of our evening buffet. We got lots of compliments on both the theme and the food, courtesy of Samuel James Events.
The Planning Process
We started planning the wedding around 1 year before we intended to get married. The most important part of the process was to find the right venue which took 1 or 2 months and we saw around 15 places before deciding. For couples looking now, I’d definitely recommend they start looking as soon as they can especially if they have a location and date in mind as places can get booked up over 2 years in advance. With the wedding date fixed, it took us another 2 months or so to book the rest of wedding suppliers. We also tried to book and arrange our honeymoon as soon as possible. It was things like wedding readings and playlists that came in the final couple of months that we could have thought about earlier to save ourselves some stress. We did most of our planning over the weekends and tried to dedicate a few hours each week.
The Readings & Music
- Relativity by Albert Einstein
- Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss
- Let Me Put It This Way by Simon Armitage
Music – Triple Scotch Ceilidh Band
Stephen and his band played for us during the ceremony (piano & violin) and part of the reception and also for the ceilidh in the evening. We were looking for something fun and interactive for people of different age and experience as we had quite a few guests from abroad, with small children etc. The ceilidh turned out to be a great idea because people could join when they wanted to, it was great fun and the band had an excellent caller.
The Holford Estate
The process of looking for venues wasn’t easy for us, we saw maybe 15 places and I never realised how quickly things get booked up. I saw the Holford Estate on my birthday and it made a great impression on me – I could picture getting married there. The big plus of the venue was that it had a great garden for outdoor ceremonies and lovely barn in case the weather didn’t behave and evening entertainment. A few hundred metres away is the old restored mill where we had the night before the wedding and the night after the wedding. It was great to be able to stay just a stone throw away from the venue and not worry about transportation.
Hannah, Jackie and Frances from The Holford Estate were all great and very helpful in making everything come together. Especially Hannah helped us a great deal by asking all the questions we might not have thought about and helping to steer us in the right direction. It is mostly thanks to them that the wedding day went as smoothly as it did and the wedding day was as great as it was. I consider us very lucky that we decided to get married at The Holford Estate as the right wedding venue really helps to make the day extra special.
We had a three-tier semi-nude cake with three different flavours. We had a tasting a few months before the wedding and couldn’t decide which of the delicious flavours to go for so Sarah helpfully agreed to mail us another sample to help us decide. The cake was a huge hit on the day – we had an afternoon tea instead of the usual wedding breakfast and it complemented the menu perfectly.
The Details & Décor
Garden games and decorations courtesy of Sid & Olive Vintage Weddings and Events. The venue was beautiful on its own so we chose not to go overboard with the decorations.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Wedding Dress: Valentina by Grace Loves Lace
Wedding Shoes: Dosa by Grace Loves Lace
K: I tried my dress on at the Grace Loves Lace showroom in London and thought it was a great fit for the venue and the style of wedding we wanted to go for – not too formal and comfortable to spend the whole day in. I lucked out and got a brand new dress on Still White for fraction of the price from a seller who got different 2 dresses for her big day.
Suit: Tailor Made London
Stephanie Swain MUA
I was quite nervous about this part because I have fine hair that doesn’t hold shape very well and wear minimum make-up most of the time. Steph made me feel at ease during the trial – she was dog-sitting for a friend that day and it really helped to focus my attention on the adorable toy poodle and stop worrying about the wedding. My hair held its shape the whole day (and we had a long day with 12PM ceremony) – despite it being rather windy at times and the energetic ceilidh in the evening – and my make-up was lovely.
Sasha was a delight to work with and very patient with us. I admit I didn’t know much about wedding flowers and didn’t have a strong vision (apart from wanting to have an outdoor wedding with a flower arch, which was of course quite risky in mid-September in Cheshire) so we relied on her ideas and suggestions quite. I fell in love with the flower arch the moment I saw it and the aisle flowers looked beautiful and worked equally well for the ceremony and later during the reception. I only regret I couldn’t take my wedding bouquet home with me because we left for our mini-moon the next day.
Because weddings are usually just one day events and photos are one of the few memories lasting beyond the event, we spent a while deciding on a photographer, thinking quite a lot about the photography style that we wanted. We narrowed down to two in the end, and decided on Voyteck because of his ability to get some great sunset shots.
Wanting to get the most out of the photos, we also asked for some engagements photos which we did on a sunset evening in the middle of summer in Richmond Park. Voyteck made us feel very comfortable as neither of us had much experience having our photos taken.
On the day itself Voyteck was in the right place at the right time, balancing himself really well between being a fly on the wall and presenting himself at the right moment for those posed shots. We were also very lucky to have great weather on our big day, which Voyteck took full advantage of and got some beautiful shots during our golden hour shoot in the venue’s gardens.
Three weeks, one week in each of Bali, Thailand and Hong Kong. We didn’t manage to go for a honeymoon until a few months after the wedding but went for a few days to Lisbon immediately after the wedding.
It’s very difficult to pick them out because we thoroughly enjoyed our day. Our favourite moments include the ceremony itself, the evening photoshoot and the ceilidh. We also enjoyed a lot of the smaller moments too, like taking photos with our guests using our polaroid camera, saying hello to the horses kept at in the stables and just walking around the gardens in the venue.
Advice For Other Couples
Not everything will work out 100% and that’s all right. Decide which things are the most important to you in your big day and prioritise them in your planning process, it will make you feel more at ease. Try to plan your honeymoon ahead so that you have something to look forward to when things get stressful close to the finish line.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
The Holford Estate
Hair & Make-up
Stephanie Swain MUA
Samuel James Events
Oh so pretty. I just love the dramatic flowers all round.
Thanks ever so much to Kate and Chris for sharing their wonderful wedding story with us xo Lou