As Winter makes itself at home here in Herefordshire, naturally we have already started to think about those long hazy Summer days that are ahead of us! (we hope!)
2018 was such a special year for us here at Brinsop, as we got to meet so many lovely Bride and Grooms, and help them to create their perfect wedding day. One of these lovely couples, were Jessica and Sam who celebrated their Wedding with us on a beautiful Saturday in June with their loved ones.
From start to finish their Wedding weekend was full of Summer, florals and fun with their family and friends. A true reflection and celebration of Jessica and Sam who made memories here that will last them a lifetime.
Let us take a look back at their beautiful day.
The Wedding Day: Saturday 16th June 2018
The Wedding Theme: Family, friends, food and fun! These are our favourite things so we wanted them to be the biggest part of our wedding weekend. We absolutely love spending time with those closest to us and they are part of our most special memories together so it was important we had a houseful on the Friday evening to start the celebrations. We played rounders, had a big buffet of cold meats, pizza, salads and Shirley’s famous cheese and potato pie! The decorations we also based on our favourite things with peonies being on all of the stationary and within the floral arrangements.
The Wedding Ceremony: Our ceremony took place in Brinsop’s beautiful courtyard. We kept our fingers crossed for the rain to hold off, which thankfully it did. The courtyard is our favourite part of Brinsop, from all parts of the house this is the focus area and from the courtyard you get to look at the stunning building around you. We also chose to have our speeches here to keep them informal, relaxed and so everyone could see and hear, this was one of our best decisions.
The Reception Drinks: These were served on Wandsworth Lawn overlooking the moat. Making the most of yet another beautiful view of the house. We hired traditional fairground games from Aisle Hire It to keep guests entertained, prosecco and beer flowed and the canapes were consumed.
The Wedding Breakfast: Our Wedding Breakfast was served in the beautiful Banqueting Hall, we fell in love with it as soon as we saw it. It’s like something out of Harry Potter, especially when all the candles are lit. The ceiling is so impressive, as it is the room itself so we only wanted to add a few elements to make it ours.
Before guests were taken to the Banqueting Hall for the Wedding Breakfast, speeches were held in our Courtyard, Jessica’s dad, the Best Man and our Groom all spoke beautifully, sharing stories and memories of Jessica and Sam.
The Flowers: Created by The Herefordshire Flower Studio. Again based around Peonies, my favourite flower (it all started with Gossip Girl!) accompanied by light pink spray roses, gypsophila and eucalyptus. Hydrangeas were an important part of the decorative flowers as they remind me of my Grandma’s garden
Table Design and style: We chose to have the trestle tables for our wedding breakfast in a horseshoe shape to keep with the theme of the Banqueting Hall. We had large floral and beaded hoops suspended from the ceiling which left the table decorations relatively simple. They consisted of large hurricane vases with tall hand tied arrangements of Hydrangeas, light pink Alertie Peonies and Eucalyptus alongside candles and eucalyptus garland between.
The Caterers and your menu: A To Zest Catering and Events
Our Canape selection included a Pea, Pecorino & Mint Puree on a Seasalt Crostini, Ricotta, Roasted Tomato, Fresh Basil Pesto on a Parmesan Shortbread, Goats Cheese Tempura served with Gremolata, Preserved Lemon & Red Onion Marmalade, Mini Herefordshire Sausages glazed with Mustard, Soy & Honey and Home-made Crackling Skewered Crispy Slow Braised Pork Belly.
The First Course was 24hr Pulled Herefordshire Pork & Truffled Macaroni Cheese or Spiced Chick Pea Fritters & Truffled Macaroni Cheese. This was followed by Pan Roasted Lemon & Thyme Chicken Breast served with Niçoise Vegetables, Al Forno Potatoes & a Cherry Tomato Sauce or a Vegetarian Wellington served with Niçoise Vegetables, Al Forno Potatoes & a Cherry Tomato. And to finish, a Classic Eton Mess with Chambord Syrup.
The Photographer: The fabulous Marta and Artur – The Mays
The Cake : Our cake was a Cake of Cheese from The Mouse Trap. We absolutely love cheese and it was our perfect evening food served with crusty fresh bread and homemade chutneys.
The Dress: It took a few appointments to find the one, who knew there were so many types of lace! After a few unsuccessful appointments Mum took control and started the search for a designer, which is when we found Madeline Gardiner and her Mori Lee collection. The stocklist list sent us to The Cotswold Frock Shop which, from the outside looks like your typical chocolate box cotswold building. Once inside it’s a treasure trove of gowns in all shapes, styles and colours. Rails full of hundreds of gowns to search through.
Typically the dress was the last one I tried on and I fell in love with the lace top and scalloped edge and the blush colour underlay. The style was originally strapped and it was by total accident the dress in the shop was too big the straps fell in an off the shoulder style, which I loved that much that’s where they stayed. Steph at Stephanie Kyle Bridal made this a reality, she did all of the alterations and was absolutely wonderful especially during my fainting episode.
Bridesmaid Dresses: I had an idea of the colour I would like the girls to wear, a pale greyish purple. I arranged a bridesmaid evening with a couple of bottle of prosecco and a large ASOS parcel full of different styles the evening was such a laugh and chose the dresses that evening.
Hair and Makeup: Our hair and make up was beautifully done by the fabulous Le Glow. The bridesmaids each had individual updo’s with a mix of curls, plaits and height. My hair was down, in loose curls. All of our make up was inspired by the pink tones of the flowers.
The Suits: Pritchards Hereford supplied the suits for all 9 of the bridal party. They were a 3 piece royal blue Lydbury suit with modern tailcoat, white shirts and blue and white polka dot ties finished with tan leather shoes.
Entertainment: Our band 24k a 4 piece Motown Pop band from South Wales. We found them online and we’re so glad we did, they kept the dancefloor full all night
The First Dance: Here comes the sun by The Beatles
Our Wedding Favours: Light up wristbands, the idea came to us after being inspired by Coldplays A Head Full of Dreams tour. They looked so pretty all lit up in Wembley stadium we wanted to recreate it.
Where and when did you get engaged? Sam proposed on December 13th 2015 at The Elan Valley.. Along with being a beautiful place, my Grandad, along with his father and other family built the dams so it is sentimental. I always thought I’d know when Sam was going to propose as he doesn’t plan anything so it came as a total surprise when, after I suggested a trip to The Elan Valley he got down on one knee on the bridge beneath Caban Coch dam. I was totally speechless, which is very rare!!
How and why did you choose Brinsop Court? We fell in love with Brinsop from the moment we saw it, as we’re sure so many people do! After booking a viewing on a miserable February day Brinsop was so beautiful, homely and welcoming we couldn’t have chosen anywhere else. We loved the way the house all focuses around the courtyard, it is beautifully decorated and it’s yours exclusively for the weekend. The staff are also beyond wonderful, nothing is too much trouble and they deal with everything with such kindness and professionalism.
How long did it take to plan the wedding? After we booked the date in February 2017 we started booking our suppliers. The best piece of advice we were given, and have passed on, is to start with suppliers who can only do one wedding on that day. For us this was catering, music, photography, hair and make up, the bar and the Registrar.
Once these were booked we slowed down a little knowing that it was possible for me to totally change my mind on everything! We started again planning once we came into Autumn 2017 hunting for the dress, starting to make decorations and ordering bridesmaid dresses. Invites went out in January giving us plenty of time to get RSVP’s. The guestlist was one of the most difficult parts, we thought about it for a long time and made final decisions based on who we spend the most time with as a couple.
We had a huge amount of help from family with my Mum making the beautiful hoops hanging from the banqueting hall ceiling, confetti and chutneys made by my Grandma so everyone was amazing.
Was there inspiration or theme for your wedding? Our main focus was around family, friends fun and food. We tried to make sure everyone was catered for whilst making sure it was our day (which can be a challenge!)
What was your favourite part of the day? Oh gosh that is really difficult! EVERYTHING… getting ready in the morning, seeing each other for the first time walking down the aisle, the speeches, the food, watching all of our loved ones together having so much fun.
Did everything go to plan? Mostly yes, the weather was the biggest worry and thankfully the rain held off! The things you worry about during the planning aren’t worth worrying about when the day arrives. The guest book remained in the box, we missed out a vegetarian on the menu selection and we didn’t get chance to have any evening food but it honestly doesn’t matter.
All of the staff at Brinsop are wonderful, they are so passionate, dedicated and work so hard to make your day perfect. We were lucky to have Ellie on hand throughout the planning and on the day, she was exceptional.
What advice would you give anyone planning their big day? Don’t be nervous, think of it’s as party with all your favourite people enjoying themselves and telling you how beautiful you look! Book the suppliers that can only do one wedding on that day, even if you don’t decide the details get them booked up early and pay a deposit.
If you have children consider a children’s entertainer, we used Bea from The Creation Station who kept them thoroughly entertained during the wedding breakfast. For us it was really important to have the children at the wedding but we still wanted the traditional aspects of the wedding. The children had so much fun and the parents were really relaxed which was the best of both worlds.
Where did you spend your Honeymoon? Our dream honeymoon mixed our personalities, exploring and relaxing. We spent our first 3 nights at the wonderful Twelve Apostles Hotel in Cape Town exploring the beautiful Cape. We then flew to Port Elizabeth to go on safari, it was honestly the most incredible surreal experience we’ve ever had. Staying at the Pumba Game Reserve we couldn’t have had a more incredible stay, getting to see wild animals so close was incredible and the lions roaring right outside the lodge made sure you never forgot you were so close. Finally, ready to relax, we spent a week at Paradise Cove in Mauritius which was naturally stunning and the perfect end to our perfect honeymoon.