Tanya and Johnny's Winter Wedding


How we met...

I first met Johnny way back in 2008.

I’m from Leeds but I did a University work placement in Bedfordshire and ended up going for a night out in Leighton Buzzard. Only one bar stayed open late so of course I had to go in there. It was the tiniest, seediest little bar (with ladies that occasionally came out in their lingerie) but it is where I met Johnny. He claims that he was also only there because it stayed open late! We had a few dates whilst I lived down South but then had to test out long distance when I moved back to Leeds. Lucky for him it worked and we have since had some great adventures, travelling the world, buying a house and getting our beautiful ginger dog, Ruby.


The proposal...

Then in August 2016 we went to Oslo, Norway for Johnny’s birthday. We were close to our 8 year anniversary and after watching the majority of our friends meet and get engaged, I was thinking it was never going to happen! As part of the trip I had planned a surprise trip on a zip line down the ski slope at Holmenkollen for Johnny. The weather was horrendous so we weren’t looking our finest, so when we headed for the sculpture park and Johnny suggested we go back to the hotel to get changed I should have got suspicious… After walking round all the amazing and slightly rude sculptures Johnny led me to a hill overlooking the park. After a few minutes he popped the question but standard me, I didn’t believe him and asked him if this was for real – even though he was holding the ring right in front of my face! Long story short I said yes and we spent the rest of the weekend celebrating.


The dress was…

Amazing! I had one dress shopping day with my mum and Johnny’s mum. Because we chose to have such a short engagement I couldn’t buy a dress like most people do so I first went down the sample dress route. Whilst I felt really good in two of the dresses, I wasn’t convinced as they were strapless and I had already decided strapless wasn’t for me but I still left thinking I would buy one.

We then went to Wed2b in Milton Keynes. The shop was well designed and spacious. After trying on about 25 dresses – that included princess dresses, poof balls, slinky numbers and fishtails – I tried an Anna Sorrano lace fishtail dress that eventually became the one. I never had that ‘this is the dress’ moment. I took it home wondering if I had done the right thing and after sleeping on it, decided to stick with my choice. It wasn’t until my dress alteration appointment that I had that monumental feeling.

I kept my dress a secret from my bridesmaids so it was great to see their faces as they walked into the Dodford Room.


Our favourite part of the day...

Walking down the aisle with Johnny at the end, and seeing all my friends and family in one place was truly amazing. I would honestly love to relive the day over and over, it was so special. There were small issues like a crash on the M1 but the Dodmoor team rallied round to make sure it all worked and I didn’t have to worry about how the delays would impact the day as they were all on it.


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

We really wanted to have a party atmosphere throughout the day so music was an important factor.

After we had sorted out the venue (a couple of weeks after Johnny had popped the question!) the music search started. Johnny used to play the drums so has a keen ear and is very picky. After listening to multiple bands online we chose The Beat Collective as we had heard them play before and knew they would be great to get the party going. We also decided that we wanted music throughout the day which Johnny booked 10 days prior to the wedding! Laura Kelly was an instant hit – a female solo artist with looping equipment and the ability to create her own harmonies and make her sound like a man!

As soon as we booked the music we passed the details on to the Dodmoor team and they liaised with them about set up times, the health and safety bit and any important venue info. I work in events so I know there can sometimes be a bit of boring work to get this all sorted but the Dodmoor team made this as stress free as possible.

I also wanted fairy lights everywhere so Dodmoor was the best place and teemed with our lantern decorations, gold stars and glittery accessories we had the perfect winter wedding foundations for our party.


Where we felt our budget was well spent...

Every couple start off trying to keep the budget as low as possible but the ‘we will only do this once’ feeling kicks in towards the end which is why it is so important to be as cost effective as possible at the start! As we had a very short engagement we were able to get a late availability booking at Dodmoor House which helped, and we also found that the photographer and videographer were slightly cheaper as it was a December wedding.

It is great that Dodmoor offers couples the chance to provide the daytime drinks. We were able to really think about what we wanted to offer and even though we had multiple options the team rose to the challenge. We had prosecco and elderflower, fruit ciders, beer and squash for the reception drinks and then fruit ciders, beer, red and white wine, coca cola for the father in law, squash for the kids and then a jug of vodka, soda and lime for Johnny and I. Oh and prosecco and apple sour shots for the many toasts!

The food, whilst a massive chunk of our budget, was worth it. We got several quoted but stuck with Lemon Zest who are one of the preferred caterers. They weren’t the cheapest but whilst we wanted to be cost effective, we wanted good quality food! We chose:

·         Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

·         Beef and ale pie with chunky chips, roasted veg and loads of gravy

·         Alternate drop desserts with warm chocolate brownie and ice-cream and apple crumble with custard.

·         Tea and coffee buffet bar with shortbread

Lemon Zest also included free canapes which were a lovely addition – one that I was happy to forgo originally but it was a lovely touch on the day. They also provided our evening baps – salted beef and gherkins (my fav) and bacon sandwiches (Johnny’s fav).

Our other awesome suppliers were:

Photography: Benjamin Roome Photography

Videography: Jane Louise Films

Flowers: Orange Blossom Florist

Hair and Makeup: Kerstie Ann Make-up and Hair Stylist



And finally… If we could give one tip to other couples...

We wanted a party (and I wanted everything to sparkle!) so everything we planned had that in mind. I also think that once you have got your idea you need to stick with it, I have heard so many tales about people that have chosen things early on in their planning but then change their mind half way through, which can add more money on to an ever increasing budget!

However…the most important thing is to enjoy the day. There will always be things that don’t go quite right but those flaws are what make it your day so just keep your head up and embrace it!

Also – look at everyone else’s ideas on Pinterest – even if you don’t use them it is great fun looking :)


Special thanks to Tanya and Johnny for sharing their story with us, and to Benjamin Roome for the wonderful photos x

accreditations RMW Supplier
Get in touch:

Dodmoor House,
Weedon Lane,
Near Weedon,

01327 341736


Nothing was too much effort, all ideas were greeted with a smile and all suggestions were gratefully recieved and accepted. 
Hazel and Joshua
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