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  • Writer's pictureDodmoor House

Laura and Charlie's Autumn Wedding


How we met...

We met on one of the original dating apps, plenty of fish. We are not even sure if it is even around anymore, but we did try log in to retrieve our original messages to each other for fun, but no such luck!


The proposal...

Charlie knowing how much Laura loved Christmas planned a Christmas advent. Having bought our first home 6 months earlier, on 1st December 2018 a new advent calendar appeared on our living room wall. However, knowing what Laura is like he didn’t put the ring in day 24! Instead, the night before he replaced the chocolate with another box that said “10 things I love about you”. After Laura had finished reading them, Charlie was down on one knee!

Charlie's highlight is that Laura continually shouted “You’ve surprised me, you’ve actually surprised me!”



What made us choose Dodmoor...

Dodmoor was the 7th venue we viewed, and we were losing hope as we weren’t getting the “feelings” we thought we should. We viewed Dodmoor on a sunny, wintery day in early February 2019. Knowing that we would want an autumn/winter wedding this was ideal, and there was enough indoor space that could house our guests comfortably for an autumn/winter day. The venue had an immediate warmth, and it was clear from the communication and organisation of the show around they knew exactly what they were doing. We booked the venue as soon as we drove away!


Dodmoor is a high quality, classic barn venue with no pretentiousness, and this leant itself to the 'special but simple' day we wanted to create for ourselves and friends and family.



Our vision for the day...

This vision was amended! Our original date was 12-12-2020 and like so many other couples we postponed due to the pandemic (which Dodmoor couldn’t have handled any better). Our new date of 05-11-2022 did mean a big change to theming and décor however, we could no longer use the giant Christmas wreath we had purchased for the end of the aisle etc..! At the end of the day, after a 2 year + postponement we just wanted a simple autumnal wedding.


We wanted the space to feel cosy, warm and comfortable. Amber tea lights, seasonal scented candles and gold touches on all décor helped bring warmth into the room. Along with the vast amount of fairy lights within Dodmoor itself, indoors and out!


We also had a nod to Rum being Charlie's favourite drink, with our seating plan and favours themed around this. Flowers were a big part for Laura, wanting the colours to represent the season and make a statement.


The outfits...

The men’s suits were a doddle, these were from Fogartys in Leighton Buzzard who were fantastic from start to finish with service and price. They had come highly recommended to us from various friendship groups, so we felt safe we had made a good choice.


The dress caused stress from start to finish, including a change in the middle of planning! However, with 9 days to go before the wedding Laura found an excellent seamstress in Milton Keynes who was able to tailor to dress to be perfect on the day. The dress was a blush, sparkly A-line with sleeves. Laura hadn’t realised how big the train was however, so spent the days leading up to the wedding wondering if it would fit down the aisle!


The food...

We used recommended caterers Lemon Zest as we had experienced the food on the open evenings. As we had a few more years to save, for our starter we decided to upgrade to a sharing platter of meats, cheeses, olives etc. as this is exactly what we like to eat and more than likely what you would be served if you came to our house for dinner! For main it was Beef Brisket and Root Vegetables and for dessert it was Chocolate Fondant, with clementine syrup. For evening food we had Cumberland sausage swirls in brioche buns and rosemary fries – our guests are still talking about these!


For the cake, we used Iced Delights. Finding a cake maker after we postponed became one of the hardest tasks ironically! The ladies at Iced Delights provide a high quality service and high quality products. Our flavours were Millionaires, Espresso Latte and Red Velvet. Across the whole menu, for an autumn/winter wedding we really wanted our food choices to be indicative of the time of year.



Our favourite part of the day...

This is really hard for us both to pick! For Laura, the two things that stick out are the walking out of the ceremony room, confetti everywhere and the “we’ve finally done it!” feeling! Also, the moment when Laura arrived to the venue as the Dodford Room had opened and 75% of set up had been completed and the vision that had been curated all these years was finally coming together. Charlie's speech also wowed Laura and guests, which was a pleasant surprise!


For Charlie, all of it! But to narrow it down it was after dinner. We opted for sparklers, then cake cutting and then the party to flow in quick succession. This all flowed so smoothly, with Dodmoors coordination, it just happened! Such a simple 30 minutes but so impactful and fun and then all our guests were on the dancefloor and the night began!



What made Dodmoor stand out...

Service. Service. Service!


We realise all the reviews say this, but it is simply true. So many of our guests commented on the day how wonderful everyone was too. They genuinely care about what they do. We knew this already, but to have so many guests re-affirm we had made a great choice was a wonderful feeling. Our co-ordinators on the day Kathryn and Nadine were fantastic, we never had to think of anything as they were always 10 steps ahead. Never once did Dodmoor make us feel like just another couple or a transaction, which can't be said for many other venues and that makes them so special.


On a practical note, nearly all our guests travelled from far away so its location was very suitable. As well as being so conducive to a winter wedding with its cosy barns and grounds, and various spaces to use.



The plan that worked well on the day...

We went on the basis on leaning towards a wet weather plan but with a little optimism! Having not worried about the weather for the past almost 4 years of planning, Laura spent the days before obsessively checking! We decided to do our confetti shot indoors and we love the results, our guests said they loved the fact they were able to do that and the venue allowed it!


The weather also meant Laura opted not to do an aisle walk through the courtyard for risk of damaging the dress early on, initially disappointed by this, Dodmoor co-ordinated Plan B seamlessly. So much so, we’ve only just re-called that it didn’t happen.


Entertainment...

We loved having 1 Entertainments as our DJ, and the fact we could use an online portal for song requests and do not plays prior was really handy.

We also had a photobooth from PicMe Photobooths, again, this ended up being so popular and was filled with guests all night. Our only wish is that we maybe had used it together!



Where we feel our budget was well spent...

Firstly, in Dodmoor itself. But also the Dodmoor Drinks Package. We selected Dodmoor prior to the package being introduced, and then it was a no brainer. How often do you go to a wedding and get that much choice! Our friends LOVED having a hot option too in Mulled Pimms to keep them warm on a chilly day.


We also felt like having postponed the wedding it was starting to lose its theme/vision so one of the wisest purchases we made was a stationary template on Etsy for £50. This allowed us to design and print EVERYTHING. From invites, name tags, table plans, order of the day, sparkler tags, signage – you name it, we did it! All costs including printing and materials probably tallied £300 so was one of the best purchases we made and it brought the look together again.


With the budget, there were times where we wondered would it all be worth it, and it categorically is!


Personal touches that reflected us as a couple...

As mentioned before, the stationary really allowed us to make it ours. We also put our photos up around the venue so people could see our story as a couple.


The drinks package is also quite personal in some ways, as we selected the drinks WE wanted as a couple and what we enjoyed.


Laura's dad, Steve, had sadly passed away in 2015 so there were touches throughout the day. We had a memory candle, a memory token attached to the bridal bouquet, and Laura's mum had had Steve' s wedding ring melted down into the shape of a heart which was sewn into her dress. We also had Lauras parents wedding song played as we signed the register and photos taken with his two best friends.


Also, we opted for no first dance. We didn’t feel comfortable and fully stand by this decision. If its not for you, you do not need to do it for the sake of tradition!


Suppliers we used and loved...

We only used Lemon Zest and 1 Entertainments from Dodmoor House's recommended list.

Not recommended by Dodmoor were - Ayelle Photography, Flower Boutique MK, Kerry Anne Hair and Jema Jakes - all BRILLIANT suppliers to work with.



Finally, if we could give a tip to other couples...

Whether you are a spring, summer, autumn or winter wedding, do not obsess over the weather as you simply do not care on the day - you’re just so thrilled to see everyone you love in one place.


You will be very busy! Even with photography, videography and a photobooth, there's so many moments we didn't see so make sure people are capturing these and sending to you after as it is so fun to see. We understand you may want an unplugged ceremony, but after that the more the merrier!


Also, just enjoy it - the people that are there are the people who want the best for you. Things haven't been easy these past few years and we need to celebrate these moments when we can. We would do it again in a heartbeat.




Special thanks to Laura and Charlie for sharing their story, and Ayelle Photography for the photos x

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