Tom and Heather had a beautiful & relaxed Swaziland / African inspired wedding back in the spring. They chose Walcot Hall in Shropshire as their wedding venue and here is why:
“To be honest, Walcot Hall was the only venue we looked at. The majority of our guests were coming from London or overseas so the fact that they could accommodate most on site was a big pro for us. We also loved the quirky beauty of the house and grounds. We could never have imagined how amazing it would be on our May wedding day when we viewed it in winter though! It was breath-taking.”
The couple describe their wedding day as having been “Euphoric, Joyful, HOT (one of the hottest days that summer!)” and I would absolutely agree! Then, Heather says: “I’m from Swaziland – so if we weren’t getting married in the African bush, we were keen to have that theme represented in my decor. I asked my mum to bring clay pots and bright material back from the Swazi Markets and she made some amazing bunting and serviettes for the tables. We wanted everything bright and colourful. The florist also did a brilliant job of mixing English and African flowers into the arrangements and did some brilliant button holes for Tom and the groomsmen that represented us both. Pinterest gave me some good inspiration but it can be overwhelming, so I tried to focus on what was important to us as a couple without getting too side-tracked!
- Try not to worry too much about other people’s expectations – the guests won’t remember much about the decor and detail when the wedding is over – so do what makes you feel good!
- Be realistic about how much you can do – I knew I’d be nervous on the day as I’m not someone who likes to be the centre of attention, so I made sure the decor was simple and could be set up easily the day before or the morning of. The morning getting ready with my bridesmaids was an important de-stressor for me and it was lovely and calm!
- Include your groom. Let’s be honest, most grooms are happy to let the bride take the lead with their decor vision, but it’s his day too, and making sure he and his family are represented will make it even more special. Tom’s parents gave us a jokey gift of a Lego wedding. It didn’t fit the decor but we wanted to use it and put it on the bar counter. It was one of our favourite things on the day because it was just so, “Tom”.
I wouldn’t change much about or day although I should have asked someone to video the speeches. They were such a highlight and I’d love to be able to listen to them over again.”
Big wedding vs Intimate wedding and the importance of photography: “One of the reasons we decided to have a big wedding and not sneak off for a quiet ceremony was so that all our family and friends could be there. Family is so important to both Tom and I and one of the major values we hold in common. It’s such an incredible feeling to be in a room where every single person is important to you. Having that togetherness captured so beautifully by Cat was amazing. We didn’t think we’d be that bothered about the photos after the day but to relive it through the pictures was so special. We were like little kids when we got our album.”
“We met Cat at a Wedding Fair. Her pictures are gorgeous but her personality captured us really. She was so calm and friendly and gave some great advice even before we’d even booked her. She also listened to us and was really determined to deliver what was most important to us in our pictures. She made our couples shoot on the day fun and relaxed and to be honest it was the only quality time on the day that Tom and I spent alone together! Our major advice is to choose someone who listens and will take control and get the job done without being intrusive.”
Venue: Walcot Hall
Invitations, seating chart and table names : Pigment + Paper
Dress: Morilee Gardener from Ashton Rose Bridal Centre
Shoes: Kade Spade
Make-up: Grace Amos from Grace Beauty
Hair: Laura Wheatley
Cake: Special Ice
Florist: Flowers by Sarah Jane Midwood
Men’s suits: Moss Bros
Evening Food: Pizza Van by Pizza Peddlers