What attracted you to Manor By The Lake?
The minute I walked into Manor by the Lake, I knew instinctively it was perfect, with its stunning grounds and setting and a lovely mix of a grand manor house, with a relaxed feel.
I am British and my husband is Australian. We chose the UK to get married as it was close to my family and friends and the perfect excuse for Greg’s parents to visit the UK, which had been a lifelong dream, especially as Greg’s dad is a steam train enthusiast.
We chose the Cotswolds as it was quite central for our UK family and friends to travel and represented quintessential England for the Australian contingent.
Did you have a theme for your wedding?
When organising the wedding, the very first thing we did was select words, summing up exactly what was most important to us and how we wanted the wedding to be, which were ‘Fun, Happy, Informal, Singing and Dancing’.
It is uncanny, that that is exactly how we would sum up the day and the exact words everyone used to describe the wedding, all the wedding suppliers that we found and everything else also seemed to fit that ethos.
The colours we chose were yellow and turquoise. I love sunflowers and so that dictated the yellow and half my wardrobe is turquoise, so my husband said that just had to be a feature colour. It also fitted with the ‘happy, fun’ feeling we wanted.
What was your dress like?
I am probably unlike most brides and didn’t organise the dress until three weeks before the wedding – in fact, that was the first time I had ever set foot in a bridal shop! I didn’t want to transport a wedding dress over from Australia and so had to wait until we arrived in the Cotswolds three weeks prior.
Despite getting worried I wouldn’t find anything at such short notice (a feeling shared by my friends and family!) I actually found a few I liked and it was difficult to make a final choice. I ended up with a gorgeous dress and after a few hasty alterations, it fitted exactly.
What parts of the day stood out for you the most?
As I had planned every detail of the wedding, some of the best bits were ‘surprises’ I didn’t know about (thankfully nice surprises!). Unbeknown to us, Greg’s mum and sisters had found out the Manor had a grand piano and had been practising a rendition of ‘It’s Real Love’ by the Beatles, which they performed during the drinks reception.
One of our other favourite bits was when two of my friends, who I had asked to do a reading of ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, asked different guests to stand up and sing different parts (including my husband!) They then led everyone in a lively rendition of it at the end which was really uplifting.
Did you have any live music?
We had lots more singing and dancing during the reception, in addition to the DJ, we hired a Karaoke machine as we knew many of our friends and family (and especially my husband) would want to sing.
Did you add any personal touches?
The ceremony was really personalised. Our wedding celebrant told the story of how we met, which many of our guests didn’t know, and included all our guests in the ceremony. One way she did this was through a ‘ring blessing’, where our rings were passed around during the ceremony, for everyone to give them a wish or a blessing. It’s an ancient custom and believed the ‘positive thoughts’ are imbued into precious metals
Where did you go for your Honeymoon?
We are now on a very extended honeymoon. My husband has got a year’s long service leave from the Royal Australian Navy so we are having a ‘year of adventures’ – catching up with friends and family in the UK and exploring Europe before going back to Sydney.
Celebrant: Judy Mansfield – www.cherish-ceremonies.co.uk
Photography: Susan Reason – [email protected]
Hair: Tabitha James Kraan – www.tabithajameskraan.co.uk
Make-Up: Christine Cara – www.christinecaramakeup.com
Flowers: Amanda Croot – www.manorbythelake.co.uk
Music (Band): Tommy Lewis – www.tommyandthefuse.com
Music (DJ): Major Entertainments LTD –
Bride’s Dress: The Cotswold Frock Shop – www.thecotswoldfrockshop.co.uk
Groomsmen’s Outfits: Sanders Menswear – www.sandersmenswear.com
Flower Girls’ Dresses: Next Online – www.next.co.uk
Wedding Stationery: Louise Rowles – www.louiserowlesdesigns.co.uk
Cake: Trudy Mitchell – www.jellycake.co.uk
Blowing Bubbles: Tiny Little Bubbles – www.etsy.com/shop/TinyLittleBubbles