BELVOIR CASTLE FAIRYTALE WEDDING
December 5, 2016
A gorgeous late autumn Saturday in November saw the opulent and fairytale castle wedding of Susan and Andrew at Belvoir Castle, just outside Grantham in Lincolnshire. Susan who is from Arizona in the States dreamt of a fairytale wedding in a castle and that is exactly what she got.
Susan’s mum (also living in the States) initially contacted me in August to enquire if I had availability the last Saturday in November for wedding day management. They were all visiting at the end of August / beginning of September to catch up with the castle and get some more pieces of the jigsaw in place. As soon as I met with them all, there was that ‘natural fit’ straight away, ideas were flowing and they asked me to find their final few suppliers (hair, makeup, florist, cake, DJ) for them, some partial wedding planning as well as running the wedding day itself. As with all of my clients, I put together a bespoke package for them to include everything they wanted. Susan had read a blog I’d done from a March wedding and so had already booked Blue Topaz Strings as their string quartet which was great news.
With less than 3 months to the wedding it was full steam ahead. Susan only visited once more (during October), before the week of the wedding and that was the time that hair and makeup trials happened, a full day in detail meeting took place and a great brainstorming session with their florist, Dan at Zinnia’s vision for Susan’s wedding was ‘spot on’ and we had great fun talking through ideas and getting a mood board in place. Because Susan was mainly based in London on her visit I met with their cake designer Leanne and the lovely Megan at Belvoir Castle separately. This included sorting out those final details such as table plans, dietaries, supplier meals and firming up timings.
Susan’s vision was autumnal opulence with deep reds, greens, candelabras all which oozed a timeless and classical vibe with a real fairytale edge. Susan’s bespoke couture dress was just breathtaking and the bridesmaids added that richness in colour with their jewel red dresses and the groomsmen in sapphire blue kilts. They really couldn’t have got married anywhere else other than Belvoir Castle, it just fitted them to perfection.
Upon my arrival, the fantastic Emily (from Belvoir Castle) and I had a talk through everything and we really were each other’s eyes and ears on the day. Such a lovely girl to work with. I ensured everything was set as it should be as well as ensuring Susan, Andrew and their suppliers were happy with everything.
It was such a relaxed morning in the bridal suite with Susan and the girls, all so happy and chilled with Estera at Kokoshka Makeup and Sarah Elvin Hair Design ensuring they all looked and felt gorgeous. Prior to arriving at the castle, Estera and Sarah had been busy doing hair and makeup for some of the other bridal party at a pretty cottage down the road.
There was a pre-ceremony drinks reception in the Guard Room which was great for everyone to get acquainted and this is where Blue Topaz Strings started to play on the beautiful balcony overlooking the room. They also playing during the ceremony, drinks and canapes reception and wedding breakfast. Just outstanding and the perfect setting for them.
The Chapel at Belvoir Castle looked just beautiful. Red rose petals lined the aisle, flowers were around the candelabras. There were tall pewter vases filled with stunning florals at the start of the aisle and at the altar. A further display was at the front of the church. Candles were lit within the chapel and in the corridor leading to it.
Once everyone was seated in the Chapel, Susan and her bridal party made their way down the grand staircase for photos prior to the wedding ceremony. With 6 flower girls and 3 bridesmaids it was a pretty long bridal procession which we coordinated fantastically. The ceremony was just beautiful for Susan and Andrew, this was actually conducted by Andrew’s mum (as she is a vicar) so very personal and special to them as a couple.
After the ceremony, the majority of the flowers were moved to the State Dining Room for their wedding breakfast. Tall candelabras were already on the guest tables.
Tours of the castle happened straight after the ceremony and Susan and Andrew were taken away by Sacha, James and Ellie for photos and video. Once they were back they were announced in the Picture Gallery for canapes and drinks before group photos were taken in the Ballroom.
Susan and Andrew opted for a receiving line to greet their guests into the State Dining Room for their wedding breakfast. Once everyone was greeted and seated they sat down and enjoyed their first meal together as husband and wife. After the beautiful meal of a goat’s cheese starter, lamb main and Seville orange and chocolate brioche pudding, the speeches began. The first one being by Susan’s parents (Beverly and Frank). Bev actually thanked me in her speech which was really lovely and totally unexpected. The next speech was by Susan’s Maid of Honour, Jen, followed by Susan herself, then Andrew, then one of the ushers. Such great speeches by lovely genuine people. After the speeches, Susan and Andrew cut their beautiful three tier wedding cake which had handmade red ‘edible’ diamonds on with the Duke’s sword.
Straight after this everyone was invited down to the Guard Room where the Ceilidh band had setup. Their first dance was however on an old-fashioned record player and was Louis Armstrong song (huge thanks to Katy for assisting with this)! The Ceilidh band were just brilliant and provided entertainment for an hour and a half.
Some of the flowers were moved down to the Old Kitchen ready for the disco later in the evening, as well as ensuring the guest book was out.
After the Ceilidh, guests were then invited outside for the canons being set off, a tremendous firework display and sparklers. MLE Pyrotechnics who orchestrated the fireworks were fantastic. Susan changed into her second wedding dress for this and looked equally as gorgeous.
Once everyone was back in, a High Tea was served outside the Old Kitchen / Bar area and dancing (provided by Bliss Wedding DJ) went on until 11.30 / midnight with the bride and groom leaving just before.
I got to work with a new photographer and couple of videographers on this wedding who were absolutely brilliant. Sacha Miller based in Wales was their photographer and James and Ellie from Ground Films in Southampton were their videographers. Very much looking forward to seeing some of the professional photos (of the gorgeous couple and the day) and the video in due course. As mentioned previously Emily at Belvoir Castle was just brilliant on the day. We moved flowers together, ensured we were on time with everything and worked together to ensure the canons and fireworks all went to plan, as well as giving out sparklers, getting them lit and collecting them safely. A huge thank you to John (Master of Ceremonies) as well, a real gentleman who announced everything perfectly.
The whole day was just beautiful for Susan and Andrew. A great bridal party were also on board to assist Susan and Andrew with their preparations, a real must for every bride and groom. Having me there as well, ensured that they could spend time with them and know that I was liaising direct with the staff at the castle to ensure everything ran seamlessly on their wedding day. Having that independent wedding professional really can help to make this happen.
Some great suppliers were on Susan and Andrew’s dream team, including:-
Photographer – Sacha Miller
Videographers – James and Ellie at Ground Films
Across the Miles – Wedding Day Management / Supplier Searches / Partial Planning – Amaranthyne Weddings
String Quartet – Blue Topaz Strings
Flowers and Floral Styling – Zinnia
Makeup – Kokoshka Makeup
Hair – Sarah Elvin Hair Design
Cake – Tilly Eats Cake
Fireworks – MLE Pyrotechnics
DJ – Bliss Wedding DJ
Venue – Belvoir Castle
A huge thank you to Susan and Andrew (and Susan’s mum Beverly) for letting me share and assist in their special day and to Belvoir Castle for hosting the perfect wedding for them. A wedding I shall certainly remember for a long time – just gorgeous in every way.
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