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  • Writer's pictureDodmoor House

Rebecca and Jason's Winter Wedding

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

How we met...

As with any true love story, ours began in 2013 in traditional drunken style at Tiger Tiger nightclub in Portsmouth. Our wing man and lady of that fateful night kindly agreed to be our witnesses, given they have both been there from the very beginning. Two failed dates later, courtesy of Jason, we finally had our first “official” date and the rest, as they say, is history!

The proposal...

In 2015 we decided to pack our bags and head to sunny Sydney where we subsequently lived for the next four years. The weekend prior to a trip home in January 2016 to celebrate his 30th, Jason planned a day out to Brooklyn, a small town on the banks of the Hawksbury river, north of Sydney. Lying in the sun following a lovely picnic, Jason popped the question, to which a surprised Rebecca, unexpectedly responded with “What now?”. Given the brilliant timing, we were then able to announce the exciting news to both sets of parents at the airport and subsequently celebrate with all our family and friends back in England. Somehow, in that busy 3 weeks, we also manage to find and fall in love with the amazing Dodmoor House.

Our vision for the day...

Our very first idea for our day was that we both wanted to have a hog roast in the evening and the rest grew from there. We really wanted the day to be very personal and truly reflect us, as a couple, and from this we knew that food and drinks would be a big feature of the day. On deciding to have our wedding in February, we chose to embrace what the English weather could bring and make it a feature of the day – from having coats, scarfs and wellies, to providing hot chocolate and blankets for our guests. We also went in with the mentality that a bit of rain wasn’t going to stop us! Overall, we wanted an elegant but rustic, relaxed and fun feel to the day – filled with love and laughter - which we felt we were able to perfectly achieve at Dodmoor.

What we wore...

The dress was Hepburn by Suzanne Neville, which I found at Serendipity Bridal, Weedon. I cannot recommend them enough, for their patient, personal, intimate and no rush approach, which was invaluable for a very indecisive bride to be! Although I didn’t have an immediate “this is the one!’” moment, on the final fitting and the day itself I knew I had chosen the perfect dress. Having a winter wedding, one thing I knew I wanted was a coat to complete my outfit. And with thanks to my mum for successfully finding my perfect coat at Miss Selfridge. The bridesmaid dresses were all purchased through high street stores. The Maids of Honour dresses were Little Mistress, from House of Fraser, and the Bridesmaid dress and accessories were from Monsoon.

The Groomsmen’s outfits were hired from Daniel John Menswear, who’s service was truly outstanding, including measuring and supplying one of the best men with his suit less than a week before the wedding.

The food...

As the hog roast was a key feature, we chose Ian Brodie Catering to not only provide this but also cater our whole day. In keeping with our love of French cuisine and wine, Ian and Tina were fantastic in allowing us the flexibility to create our own menu and with Dodmoor’s no corkage option, we were then able to select our own matching wine – a laborious chore in the wedding planning 😊

We would highly recommend Ian and Tina, not only for the quality of the food, but also help and patience with managing multiple dietary requirements and needs!

Finally, to top off the food and accompany the hog roast, we chose to have a cheese wedding cake, from Stamford Cheese Company, designed and set up beautifully by the Mother of the Bride.

Our favourite part of the day...

Rebecca: My favourite part of the day was the ceremony, from the bridal walk across the courtyard, seeing Jason turn around, and saying our vows with our close family and friends present.

Jason: Without doubt, my favourite part of the day was turning around and seeing Rebecca for the first time as she walked down the aisle towards me. It was one of those moments that I knew what to expect but I was blown away nonetheless.

The idea that we felt really worked on the day...

In keeping with our desires to have not only an intimate day, but one that was unique and personal, an idea that worked well was our unconventional order of the day. Having our wedding breakfast shortly after the ceremony, with our immediate family and close friends, gave us the intimate feel we were after. We then hosted the main reception after the meal, so not only were our guests (and more importantly the Groom!) not hungry during this time, but the additional family and friends joining us at this point could also be involved in more of the day.

The entertainment...

In addition to the inordinate amount of food and drink provided, we chose George Simpson to play an acoustic guitar set in the evening, including performing for our first dance, and then to DJ the party for the rest of the night. George was fantastic and played beautifully, despite having burst his eardrum that week! It seemed, however, that the most popular activity we put on was the DIY hot chocolate bar during the main reception, for kids and adults alike. So popular in fact, that we only managed to get one glass each before it was all gone!

Where we feel our budget was well spent...

Having a very budget conscious bride was a great start! We certainly felt that we managed our spending well across all areas. We weren’t afraid to DIY, which turned out to be one of the most effective ways of making the day so personal. We were also fortunate enough to have friends help along the way from making the DIY photobooth frame, to spectacularly arranging all the flowers in our bouquet, buttonholes and throughout the venue.

Overall, our best budget tip we could give would be to jointly decide which aspects of the day are most important to you both and allow yourselves to spend a bit more on these things to get a better quality and compromise on the less important aspects to make ends meet.

Personal touches that reflected us as a couple...

As mentioned earlier, ensuring the day was reflective of us was important throughout, and we feel we achieved this through our DIY stationary designs, food and drink choices (including him and her cocktails), having our favourite drink bottles as our table names, playing our own music playlists, designing our own DIY photobooth and props, donning our wellies and having friends and family involved. One specific personal touch was having 7 red roses in the bride’s bouquet to reflect our 7th valentines together!

Suppliers we used and loved...

All of them! We felt that all our suppliers made our day perfection. Those not mentioned so far:

Photography: Helen Cawte

Make Up: Beattie Lottie

Hair: Cassie from Pure Hair

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

Jason: The best advice that we received and I want to share with all prospective brides and grooms is: “Make sure that you find as much time as you can for just the two of you. Everyone will be wanting your attention but they have a lifetime for that. This day won’t come again and is about the two of you, so take as many moments together as you can!”

Rebecca: Make sure that you have someone else to run the day for you, so that you can just relax, enjoy and take it all in. This can be a family member, friend or a wedding planner, but make sure it’s not the Bride or Groom! Thank you so much to Shona, and the rest of the Dodmoor team, for being this person for us and running our day so flawlessly.

A special thanks to Rebecca and Jason for sharing their story, and to Helen Cawte Photography for the photos x

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