Wedding planning was a breeze for bride-to-be Elly and fiancé Greg. As a Project Manager by day, Elly took to wedding planning like a duck to water and absolutely loved every minute of the process. “Like most girls I have always had some ideas about my own wedding. Greg and I had discussed what sort of wedding we’d like before getting engaged, so we were quite decisive about what we wanted from the start,” says Elly.
Approaching their to-do list in a rational order, the first stage the couple planned to sort was the venue. “We felt that the venue determined so much of the wedding – the date, colour schemes, food and entertainment options and generally the look and feel of our wedding day,” says Elly. Having a venue where there was space for the ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast was one of the couple’s must-haves. They dreamed of a day full of smooth and easy transitions and a ceremony in a significant and special setting. “Farnham Castle was beautiful, it fit all our requirements. We loved everything… the building, the grounds and Galloping Gourmet’s professional touch,” smiles Elly.
When it came to their big-day style, Elly and Greg were keen for the Castle to do all the talking. “We didn’t want to overpower any of the beauty within the Castle, so we opted for a subtle coral colour scheme,” explains Elly. The couple added delicate touches including coral rose petals scattered on the tables, soft coral sashes around the chairs and a few fairy lights to accent the room. “Our suppliers were great. I’d advise all brides to do their own research with any suppliers they engage with. Meeting them or speaking to them on the phone always helps ensure that you can feel confident with them to deliver the services you require,” advises Elly.
To finish off their décor, the pair got creative with some wedding DIY. “I bought a cardboard post box from Hobbycraft, which I painted and tied into the colours and font of the invitations I’d made. I also made coral roses from sugar paste to add to the M&S wedding cake we’d bought,” says Elly.
As with most of her wedding day style, Elly knew what she didn’t want when it came to her wedding dress. A big, poofy or strapless gown was out of the question. Her wedding gown wishlist listed lace, good coverage and a flattering fit as some of the features she wanted from her dress. “The dress I ultimately chose was not something I initially wanted to try. It was a lace trumpet silhouette style with a low v back and beaded waist belt. My mum encouraged me to give it a go though,” explains Elly. “They say you just know when you try on the right dress for you and I certainly had that moment. It will stay with me forever,” she adds.
To Elly and Greg, the perfect wedding ceremony was very important. “Even though we weren’t having a religious ceremony we still wanted it to be traditional and personal,” says Elly. In keeping with this, Elly’s father walked her down the aisle and the couple added a personal touch to their ceremony with their own vows.
After the ceremony, the wedding party enjoyed a Pimms and Bucks Fizz drinks reception along with a feast of canapés – which whet guests’ appetites for the wedding breakfast to come. Their four-course dinner included a crispy duck salad starter, sorbet palette cleanser, fillet steak main and chocolate brownie with ice cream for dessert. “The food was incredible and people still tell us it was the best food they’ve had at a wedding,” smiles Elly. “The venue was definitely the biggest cost but was ultimately worth every penny, I can’t imagine any other venue working as well for us as Farnham Castle,” she adds. To balance out wedding costs the couple made their own invitations, sourced items from eBay, negotiated prices with suppliers and shopped around to find the best buys – all of which helped them to stay in budget.
Come evening, the couple added a few special touches to create the perfect atmosphere. They hired some uplighters and flame bins, which transformed the reception room from day to night, and hired a photo booth, roulette table and a band, Blonde Ambition, to provide the evening’s entertainment. “We’d seen Blonde Ambition live on a night out before and knew they’d get everyone dancing. They even learnt our first dance song – Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together – and played it on the night,” smiles Elly.
Take one thing at a time when you begin wedding planning and nearer the date get your multi-tasking hat on. Keeping your plans and details in a spreadsheet with help with this.
Images © Senior Mac Photography