Real weddings

A true love story

We’re so lucky to have so many beautiful weddings here at Woodhall Manor. We wanted to share some of these with you so you can be inspired for ideas on your special day!

James & Vanessa

Winter Wedding

“The palette was soft nudes, rose gold, grey and hint of dark berry tone somewhere between pink and burgundy.”

Photography: Sharon Cudworth Photography

It’s all about you

Tell us about your proposal ..

It was Christmas Day morning, we were in bed and James woke me up early before the girls were awake. He handed me 4 presents, all cryptic clues. The first one was a cuddly toy which was a ‘ewe’ (you), next was a photo of Mary Berry (marry) the next was a photo of Will from the Inbetweeners (will) and at this point I started to get the gist, and the last present I opened was a mirror with a post it note on it stating ‘say what you see in your reflection’ (me). So of course lined up,it spelt ‘will you marry me’… to which I turned to James and he was sat with the ring open in the box holding it to me with a cheeky grin on his face. Of course I immediately said yes!

What made you choose Woodhall Manor as your wedding venue?

We viewed Woodhall Manor, it must have been during one of the open days not long after the proposal. We fell in love with the location, rooms, character, charm and elegance of it. It was so warming in the wintery frost we thought ‘you know what lets do this in a years time’ (being quite impatient people as well, we didn’t like the idea of a long engagement) so we booked it pretty swiftly. It was at the moment we walked into the Cherry Blossom with the harpist playing, chairs laid out, frosty windows yet sunlight beaming through we looked at each other and knew that was the venue we really wanted.

Tell us all about your dress. Did it take long to find? Was it exactly as you’ve always imagined? How many dresses did you try on?

I did have a clear vision of what I wanted, I knew I wanted a slim line, low back, long train dress with the option of sleeves (with it being a winter wedding) and wouldn’t stop until I found it. I ended up in ‘The taylors cat’ Cambridge, where I had manage to find through the internet that they stocked a Martina Liana dress that I had been eyeing up on Pintrest. Of course the moment I tried it on in front of my entourage (mum, nan, sis, and bestie) they were all in agreement – the price tag however was somewhat over budget but when its clearly a ‘yes to the dress’ we made it work and I was very lucky to have both my nan, mum and husband all contribute to the cost of it!

Did you have a theme or particular colour scheme? Why did you choose this?

I LOVE Pintrest and was obsessed with searching wedding colour schemes and it was hard initially to make a clear decision and stick with it all the way through – at times I did go off piste and relax with decision making as i didn’t like the idea of everything being too matchy matchy.

The palette was soft nudes, rose gold, grey and hint of dark berry tone somewhere between pink and burgundy. I feel like if you look at one of the flower bouquets mine or the bridesmaids you’ll get and idea of the colour scheme.

What did the bridesmaids wear?

I had my bridesmaids all in different style dresses, much to the controversy of some peoples thoughts, I really disliked the idea of my girl gang all being dressed the same. I had them in really similar tones so all of the same palette but different styles and textures I think their dresses really offset the style of the wedding, I was really blown away by how beautiful they all looked. I had shopped about and found a range on ASOS I showed the girls 10 or 12 styles of dresses to give them maximum choice in the tone I loved and they all chose which one they preferred for themselves – luckily we never had an duplicates and they all looked so stunning as a group the dresses just worked!

What did the groom/groomsmen wear?

We swayed completely away from the tradition 2 or 3 piece suit (and we both share a strong dislike for tail coats which we laugh about). So he went for navy chinos, navy mixed blend waist coat, grey shirt and mixed grey blend jacket, on paper it sounds pretty awful but as an ensemble it worked and looked awesome! He opted for a tie matching the bridesmaids dress colour. We kept the best man and groomsmen’s ties all the same to keep a hint of the accent colour I had going running through the wedding party (with that part I got my way) the groomsmen also sourced their jackets and ties from. It all paid off they all looked so handsome!

What flowers did you choose?

All the flowers at our wedding were faux, much to many peoples surprise! I was looking for a way to cut some costs and with it being a winter wedding, this was the perfect area to do it! I loved my bouquet so much I still have it on display in my house! I really went big with it, my flower lady was such a wonderful woman who helped me with the colours and types of flowers to go for, I mainly left her to it – as an expert in the field she exceeded all my expectations she went to great lengths to make extra details I didn’t even think about out of the goodness of her heart! She made a beautiful dressed up teddy bear matching the colour scheme for my youngest daughter to play with during the ceremony, that was such a special touch.

Tell us all about your cake

I was lucky enough to have my beautiful wedding cakes gifted to me by the wonderful ‘Duncan’s butchers and bakery’, where both me and my sister had worked as young teenagers when we first got Saturday jobs! We went for 3 different flavours, she created me 3 tiers (on stands that my dad made out of geometric shape rose gold wire with fairly lights and ivy) with a heavy dusting of edible rose gold glitter in different patterns on each cake on the crisp white icing. With a little touch of traditionalism beautifully handcrafted icing flowers in dusty and deep pink/burgundy on top. The cakes tastes were to die for!! We had a carrot cake (my fave), a chocolate with oreo cream filling and a Victoria sponge!

Tell us about the ceremony?

I was so nervous! Before they opened the doors I think I said ‘not yet not yet’ about 10 times before it was literally times up, I guess just the suspense of it all and leading up to the one special moment. Each bridesmaid came down the aisle one by one and it seemed to go on forever, having 8 adult bridesmaids! Poor James was kept in suspense for quite long enough. Just before the doors opened for me and my dad,  that was a special moment. I didn’t really know what to do with myself when I was walking though, all those faces looking at me I was smiling a lot and then making a strange face at James as I clocked him at the end of the aisle.

Did you have any evening entertainment?

So James had been learning guitar for about 5 months before we got married, he was being taught by a guy who was not only a fantastic teacher and musician he was also in a band. It wasn’t until about 3 weeks before the big day we went to hear them practice some songs for the set they were going to do and they roped James into joining them for a few songs to show off his new learned guitar techniques and then I jumped into sing along to some of my favourite songs!

What was your first dance?

The band sang it and it was actually a mash up of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect” that cut into ‘The thong song” we thought it was amusing… we are so weird!

Where was your honeymoon?

We did we flew to Mauritius literally a day after we got married and it was the most incredible honeymoon ever! That is our one piece of advice – literally go straight on to your honeymoon after you get married, there is nothing like it! It really keeps the wedding blues at bay and it was just the most magical journey to carry on after the wedding had finished!

Miguel & Emma

Summer Wedding

“We wanted our wedding to reflect our different cultures. We had a Pimms reception on the terrace, garden games on the lawn and a very English wedding breakfast; to show off Miguel’s Venezuelan roots we had a piñata in the courtyard and hora loca in the evening.”

Photography: Caroline Opacic Photography

It’s all about you

What made Woodhall Manor stand out for you?

We knew that we wanted somewhere that accommodated all of us guests comfortably, was safe for children of all ages, had a number of socialising spaces and beautiful gardens.

We found all of that at Woodhall.  We had particular requirements for our wedding; we wanted it to be bilingual and a day that reflected our English and Venezuelan cultures. Woodhall ticked all our boxes! We knew from our first meeting that Woodhall was where we wanted to get married.

How supported did you feel in the planning process?

The staff were just perfect! Miguel and I planned our wedding from Switzerland – which we initially thought was going to be difficult, but we were so wrong.

Every person that we spoke to at Woodhall got back to us promptly and answered all our questions. The team were so kind in their responses, they helped us to plan a day that we will never forget!

 

What was your theme? Any favourite unique touches?

We wanted our wedding to reflect our different cultures. We had a Pimms reception on the terrace, garden games on the lawn and a very English wedding breakfast; to show off Miguel’s Venezuelan roots we had a piñata in the courtyard and hora loca in the evening.

The DJ was happy to turn a wedding party on its head and play traditional wedding music alongside salsa and merengue.  Woodhall was a beautiful backdrop for our bilingual wedding.

Favourite moment of the day?

I have so many favourite moments and too many to count!

My top ones were when my dad walking into the ‘secret room’ and saw me in my dress, watching all the children playing with the garden games in the sunshine, being married in Spanish by Miguel’s best man, staying up late in the manor with special friends and family and talking nonsense into the early hours!

 

With several ceremony spaces available, where did you choose and why?

We knew that we needed a large space and the ballroom room was perfect for us. We hadn’t considered getting married outside but this was a welcomed option. Sadly the weather didn’t permit it, but it didn’t ruin our day! We got married in the beautiful ballroom, which was decorated with summer flowers that matched the bridal party.

Tell us all about your food! What did you choose and why?

We loved that we could offer our guests a choice of what to eat. This really gave our day an extra bit of luxury.  Miguel and I went to the food tasting event and loved the shoulder of lamb and Suffolk pork dishes. As for dessert, the chocolate brownies were to die for and were an easy choice. We had many guests with dietary requirements and the chef at Woodhall was able to cater to everyone’s needs. He even made us some traditional Venezuelan arepas the next morning for breakfast!

With unlimited photo opportunities, where was your favourite spot?

Miguel and I invited many guests to our wedding; friends and family from all over the world. One photo that I will treasure is the group shot of everyone in the rose garden that was taken from the manor. Our guests have really enjoyed trying to find themselves in the crowd!

Our photographer Caroline, took us to one side for some time to ourselves, walking underneath the veranda and having our photos taken amongst the flowers. It was a magical moment for us.

Tell us about your evening reception, did you party the night away?

Our evening reception started after the speeches and was kicked off with our first dance and cutting of the cake. We really did party all night, especially during the Hora Loca (crazy hour) which involved fancy dress costumes, whistles and strange hats. The DJ played usual wedding music, as well as salsa and merengue which is typical in South America weddings. Before the wedding, we sent through a list of songs that the DJ was more than happy to play during the party.

Did you and your overnight guests enjoy the after-party experience?

Our family and close friends stayed in the manor and cottage accommodation. This was great for us as it wasn’t a long walk to bed after hours of dancing. Everyone loved their rooms – they were totally luxurious and really comfortable. The breakfast the next morning was delicious and helped to soothe any sore heads! Our family members with small children really appreciated having space to take their children for a nap during the day. The rollout beds were perfect for the older children.

Any suppliers that you would recommend to others? 

We knew straight away that we wanted Caroline as our photographer.  She came highly recommended and we loved her photos. She took so many great shots, read the wedding so well and captured so many magical moments.

Sarah was my hair and makeup lady! She and her colleague were brilliant.  They came early to the venue and worked quickly to beautify the bridesmaids and me! We couldn’t fault them, they were so professional and skilled!

Chris & Rachel

Summer Wedding

“Our theme was the outdoors / Suffolk / dogs, this worked really well at Woodhall Manor with a majority of our day being spent outside and the inclusion of our three cocker spaniels! Coupled with Woodhall being a grand Suffolk manor this really was our dream location.”

Photography:  Winson Saunders Photography

It’s all about you

What made Woodhall Manor stand out for you?

One of the biggest draws for us was the availability to have our dogs as part of our special day. We also loved how the venue flowed from the house through to the gardens and onto the courtyard and bar area.

How supported did you feel in the planning process?

The planning process was very smooth and someone was always on hand for any questions we had big or small.

What was your theme? Any favourite unique touches?

Our theme was the outdoors, Suffolk and dogs, this worked really well at Woodhall Manor with a majority of our day being spent outside and the inclusion of our three cocker spaniels! Coupled with Woodhall being a grand Suffolk manor this really was our dream location.

With several ceremony spaces available, where did you choose and why?

Our ceremony was held a nearby church, St. Andrews in Melton.

Favourite moment of the day?

Our favourite moment was our first dance and then carrying on the celebrations with all our guests on the dance floor for the evening, it worked really well having the outside courtyard and the large dance floor with bar area.

Tell us all about your food! What did you choose and why?

We had a BBQ because we wanted to have a relaxed and outdoor theme for our wedding day, the food exceeded our expectations with a real variety of bbq food catering for gluten free, vegetarian and other allergies!

Plus we went back for seconds! We also highly recommend the trio of desserts!

With unlimited photo opportunities, where was your favourite spot?

Out in the fields in-front of Woodhall Manor with our doggies, they were some of our best pictures as the sun was gradually setting.

The aerial shot from the honeymoon suite of all our guests was a great photo too!

Tell us about your evening reception, did you party the night away?

Yes we did! We partied until 12 o’clock on the dance floor with a live band. We also had a pizza oven outside for the peckish guests which went down a storm.

Those that wanted a quieter evening were able to use an adjoining room where our cake and endless tea & coffee was available, it had something for everyone.

Did you and your overnight guests enjoy the afterparty experience?

We all had a very long and exhausting day, some of our guests made use of the Manor Bar, where we had bacon rolls and a few night caps until the early hours.

Champagne breakfast the following morning is a great way to see your closest family and friends to chat through the day before. We also stayed in the adjoining cottage with our three dogs, it was lovely to enjoy an early morning walk as husband and wife around the grounds of Woodhall Manor.

Any suppliers that you would recommend to others? 

Yes! We would recommend all of our suppliers.

  • Winston Sanders photography
  • Browns Films (videographer)
  • W Flowers
  • Groovetails (live band)
  • Strictly Photo Booth
  • Trouble & Strife (vintage industrial hire)
  • Arbutus String Trio

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