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  • Writer's pictureDodmoor House

Nadine and Edward's Spring Wedding

How we met...

It was a Wednesday afternoon, Edward was looking out of the window of his flat on the green

outside. There was a Kung Fu class happening on the green, however the dark grey clouds were

growing stronger in the sky and Edward was not sure he wanted to join. Nadine taking the class on

the Green was focused on her students as coming out of lockdown this was one of the first classes

since then.


Nadine saw a keen student who approached and asked to join in the class. This was the first time

Edward and Nadine met. The progress of her class was then threatened by a huge hail storm. After

the heavens opened Nadine asked the class to sheltered under a thicket of trees and they didn't stop

training.


The day was captured in both our memories and without a plan for this, Edward and Nadine were

married 2 years to the day after this first encounter. It was not until looking back at a Facebook

memory did we realise the exact day we were married at Dodmoor (5th May 2023) was the same

day (5th May) we met in 2021!



The proposal...

After an anticlimactic date, Edward and Nadine returned home. The door to the flat was unlocked,

and Nadine feared the flat was burgled. Unbeknown to Nadine, Edward had enlisted the help of her

best friends to decorate the flat with balloons, fairy lights and flower petals. The special moments of

our relationship to date were memorialised on engraved coasters, which marked a path to the

balloon words “will you marry me?”.


So after recounting these moments together the next thing for Edward to make clear was his

intentions then get down on one knee and pop the question, will you marry me? This is were Nadine

said yes! The rest is history.



What made us choose Dodmoor for our special day...

Nadine spent weeks searching for the perfect venue, sometimes for up to 6 hours a day. There were

a few criteria that were really important - she wanted a vegan Caribbean menu, so it was important

to be able to use external caterers, and space for a fairground ride.


She had a good grasp of the cost of the average wedding venue and quickly realised that Edward's proposed budget was not going to cut it in 2023! Her vision was a castle or country manor, but the prices as well as the fact that they didn’t offer what she wanted quickly crossed them off the list.


But she kept searching, and came across Dodmoor House. It had the pretty grounds and beautiful house for pictures Nadine had been looking for in the Castle venues, and had something different in the beautiful barns they have to offer.


With the freedom of their flexibility, and the possibility of having a Ferris Wheel(!), Edward was keen to get in touch - at this point we had spent 6 weeks trawling the internet for venues that didn’t match with

what we wanted, and Dodmoor had it all. We booked our visit and the welcoming nature of the

team and the barns turned the tides, and it certainly helped that the venue was a much more

economical choice.



Our vision and theme for the day...

Nadine had one goal, and that was to make sure our wedding was unforgettable! We wanted

everyone to be laughing and enjoying themselves the whole day. Choosing a theme was not easy but

we settled on gold, white and greenery for the simple classic beauty it offers.



What we wore...

Nadine: I had a vision in mind for my dress when we first started our shopping trips, of a mermaid

dress, but my Maid of Honour quickly convinced me that this is the only day I get to be a princess! I

visited tens of websites and a handful of shops, but in the end went with a custom made dress which

gave me the freedom to get exactly what I wanted and was, surprisingly, better value than shop

bought ones as well. I had a Mikado Satin princess dress, and I felt the simplicity of it suited me far better

than lace or embellishments. The neck was cut in a sweetheart shape and it had off the shoulder

‘sleeves’. I had a lace up corset in the back, but the best part of it was the pockets.


Edward: Like Nadine getting to be a princess, this is the one day where Edward could choose anything

he wanted. He decided on a green suit, and went with the first tailor he spoke to, which worried

Nadine thinking he’d turn up looking like a Leprechaun. But as I’m sure you can see in the pictures,

his decision paid off!



The food...

Nadine is half Jamaican and so Caribbean food was non-negotiable. Nadine is vegan and Ed

vegetarian so everything had to be vegan - we didn't want anything we couldn’t eat at our wedding.

We are also big foodies and wanted a buffet so we could eat as much as we wanted.


Finding a caterer that does all of this was hard, to say the least. We ended up enlisting a cousin of Nadine’s

who has a Caribbean catering business. We weren’t sure how it would turn out, and it was important

that the food was a showstopper for us. But it blew us away, it was so delicious. Nearly every guest got seconds at our buffet, and there was nothing left!


We had canapés of split pea fried dumplings, and jackfruit tacos. The Wedding Breakfast buffet had

vegan goat curry, ackee and jackfruit (like Jamaican ackee and saltfish), a sweet potato and chickpea

curry, rice and peas, some veggie sides and salad, and unlimited plantain!


In the evening we had patties available for our guests too, and our vegan cake had 3 tiers - a salted caramel layer, Biscoff layer and passionfruit layer.



Our favourite part of the day...

Nadine: My favourite part of the day was probably the buffet! My dress was ridiculously big and

difficult to walk in, especially after the alcohol, so having some time to sit down and eat some great

food was perfect.

Edward: I loved our vows and the ceremony, we were especially lucky to have a humanist celebrant and to

choose our own vows.



What made Dodmoor as a venue stand out to us...

Dodmoor went above and beyond to make sure our day was perfect. They put a lot of time into

answering our queries and emails, and on the day did a good job of mitigating the few crises we had.



The plan we felt really worked well on the day...

Nadine: I had been planning the wedding for so long and I’d had an expectation of what everything

would be like. Nothing was the same as what I’d imagined, some better, some worse, some just

different. Except for the cake - it was exactly how I had envisioned it.

Edward: I think that the Ferris Wheel was a big centrepiece and we couldn’t have done it without the expertise of the Dodmoor staff. There were free rides for all our family and friends. Even when things got a bit hairy with the thunder storm, we were all kept very entertained and safely saw the day through.



Entertainment...

Nadine was dead set on having a Ferris Wheel, but finding one was another story. Edward made it

his mission to make her dreams come true. Thanks to Dodmoor’s help with planning we were able to

get a Ferris Wheel put up on our day, and despite the rain we found most guests had a go and

enjoyed themselves. We also had a DJ in the evening and it was nice to see everyone letting loose on the dance floor!



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

Nadine: It’s hard to pinpoint any one thing, but I think our choices of wine was one area of our

budget that was well spent. We tried to stay within a reasonable budget, without compromising on

taste, but there was a white wine that was a bit more expensive that we decided to splurge on, and

I’m glad we did as now we have loads of it leftover! We usually drink red wine so having a white

wine we actually enjoy in the house is great.

Edward: I think that the venue was where we made the biggest single investment for our wedding, this was absolutely worth every penny we spent on it. Without the barns and the bar, the day wouldn’t have been such a success. The pictures at the front of the house are absolutely fantastic.



Personal touches that reflected us as a couple...

I think the food really reflected us as a vegan/veggie couple, and the importance of our heritage. The

table names we chose also, as these were all names of snake species. We have 3 ball pythons and

wanted to have something that shows our love for our reptiles.


The humanist celebrant we chose I think reflected our values, and we also made sure to include

something about Wing Chun Kung Fu in there too.


One mini crisis we had during the day was when we realised there was no way we could do our first

dance we had been practicing for weeks, in my big dress. I couldn’t lift my arms! But we decided to

do what we could, and even managed to get our lift into the dance.



Suppliers we used and loved...

Orange Blossom Florist - Louise at Orange Blossom spent over an hour with us helping us to curate the

perfect flowers for our wedding, and they ended up being stunning. Each bouquet was an array of

different textures and fit our white and green theme seamlessly. The best part was the top table

display!


Heat and Soul - A Caribbean caterer based in Slough, this was their first all vegan wedding and they

did a stellar job of it - nearly everyone went in for seconds at our buffet. They were professional in

how they engaged with guests also. We still dream about the food we had at our wedding!


Lori Humanist Celebrant - Lori truly made our ceremony ours. It was so personal and lovely, we

placed our trust in her and she came through for us. I would recommend a humanist celebrant for

any couple unsure of religious proceedings, but what made Lori stand out was her acceptance that

religion can still be a part of a humanist ceremony. She also created a handmade wedding certificate, which we have hung on our wall.


Big Day Productions - Loz and Olga went above and beyond for our wedding day, we have some truly

artistic shots that we absolutely love! They were unobtrusive and managed to capture the important

moments well. We were happy that a drone was included in our videography service, especially with

the Ferris Wheel. We absolutely love our wedding video as well!


We are Tricycle - We recommend a Ferris Wheel to all couples if you can manage this into your

budget! A true showstopper which turned our wedding into one of the most memorable weddings

our guests had been to.


DJ - Team Salut was great at taking requests from the bride!


Rebecca Cakes - like I said earlier, the cake was visually perfect. It was exactly what I was looking for.

It was also really tasty! Rebecca also does cupcakes for her tasters that were divine and we ate the

whole taster box immediately. For a non-vegan baker I was very impressed with her work.



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

We all want our big day to be perfect, but there will be lots of things you’ll look back on and think,

why did I spend so much on that? So I think it’s important to properly budget, and to think about

whether certain aspects of your wedding are something you need to splurge on.



Special thanks to Nadine and Edward for sharing their story, and to Big Day Productions for the photos x

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