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  • Writer's pictureDodmoor House

Matt & Tom's Informal February Wedding

How we met...

Our first date was 6th Feb 2017 at a local pub, The Bure Farm in Bicester. We spent hours chatting, we knew then there was a connection, from then we then had many more dates in Bicester and then we became official, we had so much in common from theatre to music, movies & TV shows, our love for animals and Disney!


The proposal...

Matt planned a trip to London for a surprise, the only thing Tom knew that was happening that day was going to see Sister Act the Musical. We

made our way into London, when we got there Matt said there was plenty of time before the surprise, so we had a good walk around Covent Garden and Embankment area. We then chose to cross over to Southbank and started to walk along the Thames but also in the direction of the surprise. As we got closer towards the surprise Matt revealed that the surprise was going up to the Sky Gardens. We arrive and we got in the lifts and made our way up to the Sky Gardens which had fantastic views. We went all the way round the gardens and stopped to have a drink too. Making use of the time we then went back round again, Matt wanted to stop in a particular spot. When it became less crowded, Matt pulled Tom aside, got straight down on one knee and within seconds, Tom was crying his eyes out. People around us waiting for Tom to say yes, he cried so much he couldn’t speak and nodded to say “Yes, I will marry you” everyone clapped and cheered. So, on 28th August 2022, we got engaged, one of the best days of lives, engagement celebrations continued, with Sister Act the Musical on the same day, and then a Steps concert at one of our favourite zoos in the UK, Yorkshire Wildlife Park.


Why we chose Dodmoor for our special day...

We had looked around a lot of venues before Dodmoor House and started to worry about how many options we had left. When we got to Dodmoor House, we instantly fell in love with the venue, everything about it just felt right. When visiting other venues and a thing that always seemed to pop up was food option, which of course is needed. Both of us always said we did not want a sit-down meal as find them to formal which isn’t really our thing and as well as the very stupid “minimum spends of £1500”. When being shown around by one of Dodmoor’s fabulous staff member, they asked what we wanted and we said either a buffet or burger van style, very informal food option. She said we could have anything we wanted for our food option, and that they worked with a few suppliers. That was it, we knew then Dodmoor was going to be our venue, stunning barns, most decorations included, whatever food option we wanted, and accommodation for us two to stay the night.



The vision and theme for the day...

Our vision of the day was to be very simple and fun. For most of the day we wanted it to be relaxed and informal so that there was less furniture moving as possible. We went with a Navy & Gold theme, and little splashes of the pride flag colours. When we found out that Kara was our Wedding Planner, she completely understood everything we wanted and delivered everything we asked for the day.


The outfits!

Sticking with our Navy & Gold theme, we got suits that matched with the only difference was the colour in waistcoats and both suits finished off with matching buttonholes of dried mixed coloured flowers.


Food...

As our main food for the day, we opted for the Hire@Dodmoor option of a Toastie Shack... best idea ever!! It went down amazingly with our guests and all guests saying, “It was the best toastie they have ever had!”. By choosing the toasties through Dodmoor House directly it meant we also go a free dessert option, and we chose the Sweet Pick & Mix wall, which again went down a treat with all guests. We also organised a Retro Crisp Pick & Mix table to accompany the Toastie Shack, as Tom is a big fan of crisps as well as organising our own canapes for the drinks reception which we cooked at home the morning of the wedding, and Kara had these out on a table for guests to help themselves.


Our favourite part of the day...

Of course it would have to be the I do moment; however, the whole day had just been wonderful and all of it was our favourite! (We could write so much here!) But not only was it the best day ever, it was the best week, the following morning we was off straight to Disneyland Paris! BEST WEEK EVER!


How Dodmoor as a venue stood out to us...

Kara and the rest of the Dodmoor House team, they just completely understood everything we wanted and asked for and that they just made it happen.

What was the plan/idea that you felt really

worked on the day?

Just having an informal layout from the start just made the rest of the day just go smoothly and meant that our guests could just be comfortable and have a seat for most of their time whilst celebrating with us without having to be constantly moved around.


The entertainment...

We had organised a DJ as usual, but for the main event, our DJ was also a singer from Singing Surprise (which Tom had found through hitched.com). The company is run by, and amazing vocalist and gentleman called Aston. We wanted a surprise element for all our guests. So, planning with Aston, he would be disguised as Dodmoor House waiter, and served the prosecco during the drink's reception. We then did our speeches and agreed that after Tom’s speech Aston would then make his grand entrance. Aston made his grand entrance by stumbling over and crashing onto the floor, everyone gasped, and a few tried to help him back up, he told them “Everything was fine and not to worry I’m just new”. He then grabbed his microphone and began to sing, he sang some of our favourite musical numbers and then moved on to some of our favourite party anthems, by the end of his set, he had everyone up on their feet and dancing.


Where we felt our budget was really well spent...

The Venue for the fact that they had lots of beautiful decor included already within the price. We then only spent no more than £60 on our decorations that brought our colour theme to life and considering they have done an amazing job at renovating the barns and with the barns and grounds being on such beautifully looked after. The Toastie Shack & Free dessert option, it cost us less than £900 to have (compared to some venues forcing us to spend a minimum of £1,500 just on a 3 course meal for our guests). Finally Aston from Singing Surprise spending no more £900 on entertainment for us and our guests, that was his Singing Waiter set & for him to DJ in the evening.


Suppliers we used and would recommend!

Although we organised our Toastie Shack through the Hire@Dodmoor, it is run by a lovely guy Ian, who we met a few times on the open evenings. We discussed with him how it would work and if he can cater for dietary requirements (like gluten free), and just like the team at Dodmoor, nothing was a problem.

We also wanted to have Navy table cloths, which can be hard to source in that colour, but James from Taylor’d had us covered!


Our one tip to other couples...

Enjoy every moment, and at one point during the day when everyone is enjoying themselves, go up to the mezzanine in the Catesby Barn and just look down and soak it all in... just the two of you... no one else.



A huge thank you to Matt and Tom for sharing their beautiful day and story with us! Then also a huge shoutout to Jamie Phillips Photography for the amazing photos!

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