Charlie & Shaun's Relaxed Woodland Wedding

Charlie and Shaun’s love story started when they met while both working at HMP Peterborough, yet despite the unconventional meeting, love blossomed and led them to marriage five years later. With a son each from previous relationships, they added to the family two years after meeting welcoming a son together prior to their engagement. 

The engagement & search for a venue

In May 2016, a day before Charlie’s 27th birthday, Shaun popped the big question, putting his own twist on tradition. “Shaun proposed at Rutland Water with some awesome personalised Rayban sunglasses which were inscribed with 'will you marry me,' on the arms of the glasses.” 

They took a few months to enjoy their engagement and began the wedding venue search in the September. “We wanted something very relaxed and informal away from tradition that still had the special feel to it,” Charlie recalled. “I viewed The Woodlands on a really wet rainy day and loved it so I knew if in the rain I loved it I would love it no matter what the weather. Shaun viewed a month later and we both loved the relaxed feeling that surrounded it. We are very chilled out people and we wanted a 'no hassle' wedding.” 

The Big (sunny) Day! 

A year after becoming engaged and just nine months after booking The Woodlands, Charlie and Shaun enjoyed their sunny wedding day. 

“Our wedding day was stunning; the weather was fantastic and really hot. The wedding morning was very relaxed, we casually got ready and the makeup artist came to The Woodlands. I am a bridal hairdresser so I did all the Bridesmaids’ hair!” With Charlie and her bridal party getting ready in the Woodland Snug accommodation, Shaun and the groomsmen got ready at home in Peterborough and travelled to the venue later on. 

‘Relaxed’ was the theme of the day for Charlie and Shaun. They wanted to enjoy the day and for their guests to as well. The couple left presents for each other for the morning of the wedding, with Shaun buying Charlie a pair of personalised Raybans and Shaun receiving a brand new bike from Charlie. Shaun’s love of cycling was carried through to the table names in the wedding breakfast too. 

Simple and relaxed followed through in the décor, with Gypsophilia flowers throughout, a green colour scheme and simple venue decoration. Charlie wore a calf-length lace dress with chiffon backwards jacket and laced shoe boots, while the bridesmaids all wore beaded sage green full length dresses. 

The couple’s civil ceremony in The Woodlands venue was followed by reception drinks and fun on the lawns, then a sit-down wedding breakfast with speeches. After the wedding breakfast, Charlie and Shaun escaped with their photographer to local Foxton Locks where they’d chosen to have some alternative photos on their own. They returned in time for the evening reception where The Woodlands was filled with their guests, Charlie’s fire blowing friend provided entertainment outside and a fantastic band played tunes for an evening of dancing.   

Charlie and Shaun opted for a beautifully different first dance, where Shaun played guitar and sang while Charlie and their three young boys danced along. 

Would Charlie & Shaun recommend The Woodlands at Hothorpe Hall? 

“The staff were unreal,” said Charlie. “Lisa was the main person I dealt with and I couldn't fault her. It was all relaxed and perfect and we would hugely recommend The Woodlands to anyone. Everyone who sees the photos loves the venue and our guests had nothing but huge praise for the staff, venue and accommodation. The food is on another scale - we had many comments along the lines of 'the best wedding breakfast ever!'” said Charlie. 

Lasting memories 

“Our lasting memories of the day… absolutely everything! We didn't want any more or any less,” ended Charlie. 

With thanks to for the photographs.


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