17-year-old Laura met 20-year-old Ben in 2005 while working in their local pub. Despite setting up home together some years later, the happy couple focused on their careers so a wedding didn’t appear to be on the cards. That all changed when Ben proposed in June 2014 while on holiday in Ibiza. Not only was it a huge surprise for Laura but for the whole family as well. It was very exciting and they started planning right away.
Laura found Hothorpe Hall online after receiving a friend’s wedding invitation and saw that Hothorpe were developing a smaller woodland venue. As The Woodlands was still in its planning stages, the images were computerised and the details limited but they were curious enough to book a viewing. When Ben and Laura arrived, it was still just a field, but they asked a lot of questions, saw the plans, and then had a tour of Hothorpe. The couple left feeling excited and confident that the team could help deliver their perfect wedding, so they booked the date and let the planning commence. “We booked a blank canvas but it felt very exciting. We had a good feeling about it and I think the prospect of the honeymoon suite being in a treehouse really helped!” Laura recalled.
The couple celebrated their reception at The Woodlands with the ceremony beforehand in St. Michael and All Angels church in Croft. Laura said: “It’s a beautiful church which is special to the family as both of my siblings were christened there.” Unfortunately, it had rained through the night before their big day which made Laura fear for her dream woodland wedding reception, but thankfully the sun shone before the ceremony.
The couple said: “Our friends and family thought we were crazy for booking a wedding venue that didn’t physically exist yet! We visited Hothorpe regularly throughout the winter to track the progress of the build. The team were amazing at keeping us well informed. On one occasion we were taken down to the woodlands in wellies, and we were shown the development. The team at Hothorpe were very understanding and made it their priority to reassure us. We were so impressed with how the team handled our queries throughout the development. The finished venue was exactly as it was described and how we imagined it to be - it was perfect.”
“Our favourite memory is the final song of the evening played by our band, The Guns, they played Wonderwall originally by Oasis. The setting was perfect, it was close to midnight, the large doors on the woodlands were open so the night breeze was keeping us cool and the stars were shining.”
“Absolutely - I just wish we could do it all again.”
"Definitely have drinks in the reception, you want your guests to feel relaxed and enjoy themselves. Also take the advice of the coordinators - they know what works and what doesn’t! Just enjoy it, relax, the little things really don’t matter, it’s about you two and the commitment you are making to each other. If you relax the likelihood is that all your guests will too. Happy wedding day!”
Photos by 'Katy & Emily Photography' from www.katyandemily.co.uk
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