• Dodmoor House

Steph and Phil's Autumn Wedding

Wedding date: 01.11.2019


How we met...

It was my friend Emma’s 30th birthday party. I had a five minute chat with a guy who seemed quite nice towards the end of the night. The next morning, I got a text from Emma saying her cousin, who it turned out was Phil and also the guy I’d spoken to, had asked about the girl in the white dress...fortunately that was me! Things kicked off from there and, despite strongly denying we were a couple for the first couple of years, here we are almost seven years later!



The proposal...

It’s important to say that I’m the anti-bride. Any of my friends will tell you that I was fully against the idea of marriage for as long as I can remember, but the longer we were together, the more the idea grew on me. One Friday night, after a long day at work in Glasgow and an even longer journey home, we were getting dinner ready at the flat we lived in at the time, and Phil mentioned the wine he was drinking. He said he’d like to have it at our wedding, and I joked that it was probably a long way off. He proceeded to bring me keyrings and rings I already owned, pretending that he was proposing with those, and then finally produced the actual engagement ring he’d had hidden away! He had actually intended to propose on a trip to Bristol for my birthday a couple of weeks before, but left the ring in his car, which was where he’d left it in town following a night out the night before, and I wouldn’t let him go and get it because we were running late!



Our vision for the day...

Not having ever been that bothered by a wedding, I’d never really spent much time thinking about how I wanted it to be. What Phil and I completely agreed on though was simplicity. We didn’t want loads of people at the ceremony, just immediate family, and we didn’t want a sit down meal with speeches and table plans to worry about. We wanted the actual marriage part to be as low key as possible, and wanted to follow it with a big party where all our family and friends could come and celebrate with us. I knew I wanted an Autumn wedding and Phil really liked the idea of a barn. Dodmoor was the first and only venue we viewed. It lends itself so well to an Autumn wedding, and offered us the flexibility to have the day we wanted.



What we wore...

A friend gave me a piece of advice when we first got engaged which really stuck with me – you don’t have to spend loads on a dress you’ll only wear once, if you don’t want to. The thought of going to bridal shops and trying on tons of dresses really didn’t appeal to me, I just felt it would really confuse me and I wasn’t confident that I’d find what I wanted in a shop. So myself and my bridesmaid, Ali, spent afternoons trawling through the internet looking at different websites and options. In the end, I ordered two dresses from ASOS. I loved both, but a backless dress with lace detailing won out and was a bargain! Ali’s dress was also from ASOS, and as she was the only bridesmaid I was happy for her to pick something she liked in our wedding colour of forest green. I didn’t want a veil and went for a hair vine from Liberty In Love instead.


Phil’s and his best man’s suits were also found online, from House of Cavani. He thought the brown checked style went well with the forest green, and he took it a step further with his shoes. He had them made by a company called Undandy. He picked the colours, materials and style, and as a surprise he had the soles engraved with our names and wedding date. He loves to tie his ties in unusual ways (he’s always getting ready for our friends’ weddings accompanied by a YouTube tutorial!), and our wedding day was no different, if you look closely it was an Eldridge knot in his tie.



The food...

As I mentioned, we didn’t want a sit down meal, but one thing we did want was for there to be plenty of food! We decided following an open evening at Dodmoor that we wanted to go with a burger bar from Ian Brodie Catering. They were really flexible and provided us with a mix of burgers, pulled pork and sausages, and also provided a Ploughman’s table later in the evening. Everyone loved the food and plenty of people went back for seconds! We love cake and didn’t just want one kind! So alongside the M&S Connie and Colin Bride and Groom Caterpillar cakes, we had a cake selection very kindly provided by various friends and family to give things a more personal touch. If that wasn’t enough, we didn’t hesitate when Dodmoor mentioned they could also provide us with a donut wall...who doesn’t want a donut wall!?



Our favourite part of the day...

It’s hard to choose, but the part of the day which was completely unplanned and summed us up as a couple, was when we somehow ended up with the DJ’s microphone and in a Fresh Prince of Bel Air sing off with each other! Give us an opportunity to compete and make a spectacle of ourselves and there’s no stopping us!



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

The way we used the barns in the evening worked perfectly for the mix of people we had. The Courtyard Barn was a quieter area with seating, and the Catesby Barn was where the DJ was, but still with some seating for those that wanted to be involved with the action but on the sidelines! The sparkler arch leading our guests into the Catesby Barn for our first dance was also a suggestion of Carolyn’s, that worked really well.



The entertainment...

There was no question about the DJ we wanted to use. VJ Gary is the go to for any event we and our group of friends put on, and he didn’t disappoint! Whilst our evening guests were arriving, we had Mick Wright Caricatures on hand. When a caricaturist was mentioned during our first meeting at Dodmoor, we decided we really liked the idea as an alternative to a photobooth, and we’d never been to a wedding which had had one.



Where we feel our budget was well spent...

Definitely on our photographer, Aaron Collett. Our ceremony was at 3pm, and as it was November, we had limited light for pictures, so it was really key having someone experienced and who knew the venue to get a great range of shots. We really liked what we’d seen of Aaron’s stuff, it was really different and captured the fun and relaxed parts of weddings. He wasn’t insistent on us having an engagement shoot (we didn’t want one and some photographers make it mandatory) and he blended in perfectly, we hardly knew he was there but he got some fantastic shots!



Personal touches that reflected us as a couple...

We made sure we had the wine behind the bar that had triggered the proposal, along with his and hers cocktails (heavy on the rum and tequila to remind us of our holidays to Jamaica and Mexico!). Our first dance song was also a nod to our Jamaica trip (Bob Marley’s Is This Love).



An idea we loved...

The thought of organising flowers for the day filled me with dread, I had no idea where I’d even start! But Dodmoor is so well decorated already there was actually no need for them. I have a shameless candle addiction and there was enough to keep even me satisfied! So we kept our flowers to button holes and bouquets for me and Ali. We went for dried flowers from The Artisan Dried Flower Co which were perfect.



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

Don’t stress! There will always be something you forget, or that doesn’t go to plan, but no one will know! And remember, it’s YOUR day, you and your partner’s. Have the day that you want, and don’t compare it to anyone else’s.


Special thanks to Steph and Phil for sharing their story, and Aaron Collett Photography for the photos x

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