Cowdray Home Wedding ceremony | Andrea Hawkes Bridal

On April twenty second, 2023, Amy and James’s marriage ceremony befell at Cowdray Home in West Sussex, an event that was superbly framed by the seasonal spring cherry blossoms and the venue’s breathtaking historic attract.

Being conscious that so usually, the choice making processes throughout marriage ceremony planning are lead by the bride, they very deliberately approached this facet of planning collectively, because it was vital to them that their day very a lot mirrored their joint tastes and pursuits.

While the groom and his groomsmen donned traditional morning fits, Amy wore essentially the most stunning and stylish silk robe by Andrea Hawkes Bridal and accessorised with a veil by Luna Bea Bridal and an exquisitely hand-crafted headpiece by Hermione Harbutt – three British designers I’m so extremely proud to advocate to you.

Images by Paul and Nanda – get pleasure from!

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Groom in traditional morning suit looking lovingly in to his newlywed bride's eyes. She wears an Andrea Hawkes silk wedding dress.

Venue & Location

We received married at Cowdray Home in Midhurst, West Sussex.  We each grew up domestically and knew that we wished a venue that was near dwelling. We seemed round lots of completely different choices, however finally the choice was simple.

Before everything, the home and grounds at Cowdray are beautiful. We had been so fortunate that the cherry blossom avenue was in full bloom. It felt like one thing out of a fairy story.  Plus we may accommodate most of our friends on website, which meant that we may celebration late into the night time and likewise meet up with everybody over brunch the following day.

Lastly, the staff at Cowdray sealed the deal. They had been so heat and organised that we felt assured entrusting them with our special occasion. 

We didn’t use an occasion planner, however Erin Overend from the Cowdray Staff and Phern Latta from our caterers,  Jacaranda, had been absolute angels. They ensured that the day went extremely easily. 

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Cowdray House wedding venue in Midhurst, West Sussex.

Bridal Magnificence & Equipment

I’m so grateful to have discovered Gavin Harvie and Nadia Harper – often known as The Bridal Dream Staff. They immediately put each me and my bridesmaids relaxed, and the ultimate end result was precisely what I’d hoped for.  I used to be fairly indecisive about  whether or not to have my hair up or down, so Gavin designed a ‘two in a single’ model. This meant I may take out the underside half of my chignon for the night celebration. And Nadia might be the primary and solely make-up artists who has ever made me really feel comfy in my very own pores and skin. She’s a magician! 

I beloved sporting a veil for the ceremony. I selected the ‘Aura’ tuille veil with a blusher from Luna Bea Bridal, which was very plain however had numerous size and quantity. I’d discovered the studio by Instagram and, very like with my marriage ceremony gown, it felt proper to decide on a female-owned studio the place every little thing is made within the UK. 

Bride in red lipstick and silk pyjamas getting ready on the morning of her wedding. Bride sat smiling on a vintage chair reading a letter from her groom.

My footwear had been white leather-based slingbacks from Hugo Boss. On the recommendation of the Andrea Hawkes staff, I averted any sparkly elaborations that might catch on my gown – and I actually beloved how easy they had been. They had been surprisingly comfy and I’ve already worn them just a few instances since. 

About 5 years in the past – lengthy earlier than  we received engaged (whoops!), I saved an image of a Hermione Harbutt’s Wild Rose Tiara on Instagram. It had actually caught in my thoughts, so I went with my maid of honour to strive it on at theKensington showroom. The freshwater pearls had been a pleasant praise to the silk satin marriage ceremony gown, and I then ‘borrowed’ my mum’s pearl stud earrings to match. 

 I wore my great-grandma’s marriage ceremony ring as my “one thing outdated’. I’ve worn it on my proper hand just about every single day since turning eighteen, so I’d have felt very unusual with out it.

For my fragrance, I wore my ordinary Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. I’ve worn it every single day for the final decade and simply wished to scent like ‘me’.

White Hugo Boss slingback wedding shoes. Hermione Harbutt mother of pearl bridal headpiece.
Bride with red lipstick wearing an elegant & minimalist Andrea Hawkes Bridal silk wedding dress.

The bridesmaids’ clothes had been from ASOS and labored very well. We experimented a little bit with “combine and match”  types, however finally all of them most well-liked the identical reduce and sage inexperienced color. The bridesmaids’ picked their very own footwear and equipment, though we did get them new PJs to put on while we received prepared. They seemed beautiful. 

The Groom

I stored issues pretty conventional, going for a traditional morning swimsuit. My ushers and I paired this with a stone-coloured waistcoat and a forest inexperienced tie from Ted Baker, whereas we gave our Dads a bit extra freedom to match their equipment to our Mums’ clothes. I had a few significant equipment; my cufflinks had been a tenth anniversary reward from Amy, fabricated from Amazonite to commemorate the place we first received to know one another. I additionally wore a watch gifted to me by my dad and mom for my twenty first birthday.

It was good to make an event of selecting our outfits – with a particular journey to the Neal and Palmer store in Burlington arcade adopted by dinner.

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Images & Videography

Selecting Paul and Nanda as our marriage ceremony photographers was simply among the best choices we made. 

The photographs communicate for themselves. We will’t fairly consider how superbly they captured all the main points, in addition to all of the personalities of our friends! We’ll treasure each shot perpetually. Plus, their consideration to element was excellent all through.

Most significantly although, they had been such a peaceful presence and made every little thing really feel very pure. You spend a lot time together with your photographers over the course of the marriage, and we couldn’t have picked a extra beautiful couple to share the day with. 

We discovered our fantastic videographer, Ash, due to Love My Costume. We had seen one other Cowdray marriage ceremony featured on the weblog, which led us to Ash’s Instagram web page. She was so fantastic that two completely different buddies have since booked her for his or her weddings. Ash did an excellent job with our marriage ceremony movie.

A couple of relations shed a tear watching it again! And her sunny character actually made such a distinction in serving to us chill out. Two completely different buddies have since booked her for his or her weddings, which is the very best praise. 

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How They Met

We met as youngsters, and had been collectively over eleven years by the point we received married. The romantic model of the story has us assembly within the Peruvian Amazon on a youth expedition with the British Exploring Society. In actuality, we first locked eyes at a pre-expedition coaching weekend on the Drumhill Scout Camp in Derby.

We received engaged shortly earlier than our tenth anniversary while on vacation in Madeira. James proposed at dawn overlooking a peninsula on the fringe of the island. It was so early within the morning that our households thought we’d had an accident after we rang to share the joyful information. 

It was vital that we did every little thing collectively. A lot of the marriage planning course of defaults to the Bride, however we actually wished it to be a mirrored image of our joint tastes and pursuits. 

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The Reception

For the reception, we had three lengthy tables lined with taper candles and bud vases. The lights had been steadily dimmed all through the meal, that means that pudding was served by candlelight.

While we didn’t have a standard top-table, we did sit along with our dad and mom – giving us an opportunity to really catch-up within the midst of all of the exercise!

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Beautiful Karen from This Floral Life did all our flowers. We just about gave her free reign, as we implicitly trusted her experience. 

Every little thing was domestically grown and seasonal, with plenty of ranunculus, peonies, sweetpeas, tulips and recent foliage. We requested a vibrant palette, with plenty of reds, pinks and greens.

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We didn’t do marriage ceremony favours, however we did have enjoyable deconstructing all of the floristry for friends to take dwelling after the occasion. It was good that nothing went to waste, and we had been despatched so many photographs over the following week of the flowers unfold throughout the nation!

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We did virtually all of the stationary ourselves utilizing Canva after which It was all quite simple and traditional, and James did a tremendous drawing of the venue that we subsequently used for our thank-you playing cards. 

All our catering was by Jacaranda, they usually additionally sorted the night bar. The meals tasting had been the very best bit about marriage ceremony planning, and every little thing was simply as scrumptious on the day. 

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Highlights included a tomato tarte-tatin with torn burrata, roast rooster served with potato gratin, and a chocolate caramel torte served with griottines cherries, ice-cream and a hazelnut brittle. We served Madeira with desert, in reference to the place we received engaged.  

After dinner, Jacaranda had arrange a cocktail bar with Espresso Martinis, G&Ts, Margarita’s and a personalised cocktail devised by one among our greatest buddies known as ‘The Am Jam’.

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At midnight we did a spherical of tequila pictures, and served late-night empanadas as a nod to our numerous South American adventures. 

We had a triple tier buttercream cake made by Butter & Cream – a Surrey based mostly bakery who had made Amy’s birthday truffles as a youngster! It was the most important cake they’d ever made, and it was scrumptious. 

Amy’s mum additionally made a boozy fruitcake that went down an absolute deal with each on the night time and with hungover friends the following day. 

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We do have to offer a particular point out to our photographers for crafting a reasonably magical second. After dinner, Paul and Nanda took us exterior for portraits and  shocked us by enjoying our first dance music. It felt very surreal dancing below the cherry blossom at golden hour. 

Night & Dancing

Electrical Kicks are a completely excellent marriage ceremony band. The dance ground was at all times packed, they usually even offered 45-minutes of ‘bandeoke’ the place friends may take a flip on the mic. There’s arguably an excessive amount of footage from this a part of the night!

We had been exceptionally fortunate {that a} group of buddies had secretly received in contact with the band to organise a shock efficiency for us. That they had re-written the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s Love Story to be about our relationship, which was hilarious. The lyrics at the moment are framed and hanging in our hallway. 

Our first official date was at a Snow Patrol live performance in 2012, and our favorite music as a pair has at all times been a monitor known as ‘Lifening’. The lyrics embrace the chorus “that is all I’ve ever wished from life”, so it was at all times going to be our first dance music. Numerous our buddies have been taking dance classes in preparation for his or her first dance. We simply made it up on the spot! And while that labored out in the long run, it may need been enjoyable to be taught just a few new strikes forward of time.

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I knew I wished to have the ability to correctly let free later within the night, with out concern of trashing my stunning prepare. So I  swapped into a shiny celebration gown and recent white trainers about an hour after our first dance.

I used to be a bit unhappy to take off my marriage ceremony robe, however finally my second gown gave me extra freedom to bounce across the dancefloor. 

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Firebird did an skilled job of offering a sound system, uplighters and dancefloor. Plus their sound engineer queued up the music for our “entrance” into dinner – the theme tune to Check Match Particular. 

A shout-out to the very best males for redecorating our automobile forward of our “going away”. All our barely worse-for-wear friends had assembled to wave goodbye, and it was solely on the last-minute we realised the automobile had been decked out with tin cans, banners and balloons. What may have been fairly a tragic second – the “finish” of the celebrations – became a extremely heartwarming and humorous technique to spherical issues off. 

Phrases of Wedded Knowledge

We did our greatest to stay collectively as a pair – and scheduled just a few quiet moments (for instance, instantly after the ceremony) the place we’d be capable of really chat and mirror on every little thing that was taking place. 

Talking of schedules, we’d advocate making a concise  and exact listing of the formal household/good friend portraits you wish to tackle the day. We actually printed this listing – together with the order they might be taken – and the 2 finest males had been in control of corralling the related individuals. All in all, we had been finished in about fifteen minutes!

Lastly, our hottest planning choice was a late-night snack hamper. This featured every little thing from Twixes and Hula Hoops by to Haribo and Monster Munch. Not significantly elegant, however the good after-party gas. The group went wild.

We frequently visited Love My Costume for inspiration! It was a good way to see how completely different {couples} approached the day. We significantly loved studying about different weddings that had taken place at our venue, because it was a good way to see how the house may very well be used to full impact.

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Annabel View all Annabel’s articles

Founding father of Love My Costume. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire together with her husband and enterprise companion Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves pictures, meditation, strolling, being open air and star gazing. She is fierce in terms of championing expertise inside the marriage ceremony business and when she’s not engaged on Love My Costume, she helps her husband Philip within the operating of the household’s sustainable flower farm and floral design enterprise, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she grew to become a broadcast creator.

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