Nadine and Shaun
Why Ufton Court?
As soon as we arrived at Ufton Court we we knew it was the one, the beautiful long driveway up to the manor with the sun shining through the trees was the picture-perfect way for our guests to arrive. We really wanted a rustic barn for our ceremony and a venue that we could personalise and make our own and Ufton was perfect for that. We felt totally relaxed and at ease when were show round and knew it was exactly what we had been looking for.
The value for money, no corkage fee, and flexibility to choose our caterers and music also played a huge factor as that freedom to choose what we wanted was really important to us.
We personally didn’t want a theme to our wedding, the Tithe Barn had the beautiful rustic feel that we were looking for and we chose earthy, natural colours to match the atmosphere. We had seen the incredible lantern canopy by Oakwood Events that was set up for a wedding when we looked around to view the venue and chose grass, sage, ivory and blush lanterns to match our colours.
I spent countless hours on pinterest looking through wedding inspiration and after realising how much the signs and stationary I wanted was going to cost I thought I’d give it a go at making it all myself. I went scavenging around local businesses for palettes, bits of wood and easels, then went down to my local B&M for a tin of paint and a white paint pen and stained all the bits I had collected. The invites, menus, welcome sign and seating plan I designed myself using a template on Etsy and would highly recommend to all brides printed.com for printing all of your stationary.
We used Tithe Barn for our ceremony. During the signing of the register I had asked my bridesmaid and bridesman if they would sing Hallelujah as its a song that means quite a lot to me. To my surprise on the day, they began singing Bruno Mars ‘Marry you’ which then developed into a 10 minute medley
including ‘Your Song’ by Elton John, ‘Unconditionally’ by Katy Perry (which I had actually chosen for our exit song!) Hallelujah and then topped it off with my favourite song in the world that everyone knows me for.. ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ by Wheatus and they had re-written the lyrics to sing about how we met – it was incredible!
Everyone had said you get ’the feeling’ when you know it was the one. But after trying on over ten different dresses at two different shops I was starting to feel like I wasn’t going to find ‘that feeling’. I’m not a dress person, more of a jeans and trainers no matter what occasion kind of girl, so I found looking for the dress quite overwhelming at first. And then I visited Elderberry Brides in Basingstoke.
The moment I stepped in I felt relaxed and at ease, I told them what I thought I was looking for (something plain and simple) and they picked everything out for me. There was no pressure to decide on a dress and I didn’t feel rushed like I had in some of the other shops, but I still wasn’t finding ‘the one’. So they let me browse the racks out the back and there it was, the total opposite to what I had been imagining, I picked out a princess dress covered it detail and beading and the second I put it on I knew.
I don’t do high heels – I’m all about comfort, so sticking with who I am I walked down the aisle in a pair of white Nike Epic Reacts trainers!
When I visited Ufton’s wedding fayre I met Helen from Croppers in Bloom and she was just so lovely and had the most beautiful flower arrangements out on display. I had a picture of a bouquet I had seen from a friend of a friends wedding that I absolutely loved and by the strangest coincidence it was actually Helen that had put the flowers together for that wedding. I really wanted wild flowers, with deep purples and mainly green foliage to match our colour scheme and I had bought a tonne of different vases and bottles for the table centres that I wanted filled with greenery and calla lilies. We met with her one evening after work at her shop in Theale and picked out everything we wanted – I would highly recommend her to anyone as I felt I could trust her entirely to put all of the ideas in my head together and she did absolutely exceeded expectations.
Food and Drink
We had seen Fosters Catering all over Ufton Court’s Facebook page so knew we wanted to choose them just based on how highly recommended they were. With the no corkage fee we knew we would be providing a lot of alcohol on the day (our guests do love a drink!) so when it came to choosing our meal we wanted something hearty and filling. We went for pie and mash, followed by pizzas in the evening. The staff at Fosters were incredible, they took all the stress away and handled absolutely everything for us. Darren and his team were a dream.
My manager at work very kindly offered to make our cake – she’s an amazing baker and makes the yummiest cupcakes and we both knew we didn’t want a formal wedding cake. So I found a rustic wooden cake stand on Facebook Marketplace and Claire made an abundance of cupcakes to fill the table in our two favourite flavours – milky bar and kinder beuno.
We really wanted a live band at our wedding – but we were trying to keep to our budget and didn’t want to go overboard with what we were spending so we opted for a DJ. Best decision we could have made – Wayne from Wonderland Events was absolutely amazing, I don’t think there was a single moment where the dance floor was empty.
Being a photographer myself, choosing a photographer for our day was the single most important thing to me. I knew exactly what I wanted – soft, warm, natural photographs that would capture the special moments of our day rather than the typical staged family photos that you tend to have at a wedding. I cannot express how much of a dream it was to find Gemma (Romy Lawrence Photography). She creates the most magical photos and is the most wonderful human! Neither Shaun or I feel very comfortable having our photo taken, but she has a way of making you feel totally natural and at ease, and most of the time I didn’t even realise she was there. I literally love every single shot she took of us – especially the photos of our bridal party. She managed to capture everyone’s personality and we all could not stop laughing the entire time she was shooting. Ufton Court has the most beautiful grounds which are perfect for photos, my favourite shots are behind the manor in the garden and the area around the side. What drew me to Gemma were her ‘golden hour’ photos – she took us off as the sun was setting and the light was just perfect for capturing the most magical photos.
Advice to future couples
It’s your day, do things the way you want to do them and don’t worry about how they should be done, or how other people expect them to. Enjoy every single moment. After months and months of planning every little detail, the day goes by so fast and before you know its all over. Take in every minute and don’t worry about anything – the coordinators at Ufton Court are incredible and take away all the stress. The day flowed by so naturally and I did not have to worry about a thing.
I began with reasons why we picked Ufton Court for our wedding – but I don’t think its until after you’ve had your wedding there that you realise just how wonderful of a venue it really is. For anyone reading this and deciding whether choose Ufton, I think the Barn, the grounds, the flexibility, the value for money – they are all great factors. But what really makes your wedding day special is feeling totally comfortable and almost at home in a venue. It’s one of the biggest days of your life and you want to remember it for all the incredible moments and the staff at Ufton Court take out any worries, any concerns, any stress. They are so welcoming and friendly, and so incredibly helpful in organising your day. Any questions I had, Emma got back to me within hours of me asking. I was quite worried about getting the venue set up as I can be quite particular in how I want things to look! But to my luck there was no wedding the day before so I was able to go in the evening before and get everything set up and could trust that Emma would have it arranged just how I wanted it.
So I just wanted to say to anyone considering Ufton Court, it is an incredibly unique and special venue and if your all about personalisation and tailoring somewhere to be exactly how you have dreamed – this is the place for you.