Celia and Richard
Why Ufton Court?
We always knew that we wanted to get married in the Autumn/Winter months around the date of Dickie’s Grandpa’s birthday.
We were instantly wowed by the entrance to Ufton Court – I know everyone says it, but the driveway and approach to the manor house is spectacular! Not only this, but the exclusive access to the Tithe Barn, Archer’s Hall, Manor House & all the surrounding grounds throughout the day was a real selling point.
As total suckers for a cosy atmosphere, and with the open fire, panelled rooms, exposed beams and twinkly fairy lights, we knew Ufton Court was the one for us.
Aside from the venue itself, the wedding team at Ufton were so welcoming from the first email enquiry right up until the big day.
We were not set on a theme and felt that Ufton naturally offered the authentic, rustic & cosy atmosphere that we were after. We also both love Christmas, so even though our wedding was at the end of November we opted to have the Ufton Christmas tree up which looked absolutely beautiful with all the rest of the twinkly lights and candles in the barn. On the day it was so lovely to see our homemade touches come to life. We are very lucky to have some talented family members who helped us get everything together, from the confetti petals that we dried ourselves, to the table plan palette, sign calligraphy, our foraged table centre wreaths and of course our [now legendary] homemade sloe gin favours!
The ceremony content was important to us as we really wanted the music and readings to be meaningful. Our sisters did a reading, one from Winnie the Pooh as we loved these stories as children (and adults!) and another called ‘Marriage isn’t a piece of Paper’, which I actually had never heard before and is a great sentiment for married life.
I walked down the aisle to the end theme of the first movie Dickie and I watched together (True Romance!), and during the signing of the ceremony we had Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’. Dickie loves Metallica and sent me this song to listen to very early on in our days of dating.
I had a rough idea of what dress I wanted, but also loved the experience of dress shopping and trying on every style! I visited four bridal boutiques before finding ‘the one’. As soon as I put it on I felt amazing, and could see myself on the day wearing it. I knew that Dickie would love it too which was important to me. I chose a fitted lace dress with a low back, I didn’t have a veil but had some bespoke long tulle bows made which trailed behind so nicely down the aisle and also in the wind during photos. They were detachable too which meant I was able to then take them off when hitting the dancefloor!
Pinterest was a real help for this! Mixed foliage, seed heads and herbs was the vibe we were going for – not being too fussed on what specific flowers were used, I was happy to take guidance from Helen at Sonning Flowers as to what was in season and readily available. We went for a relatively ‘undone’ bouquet style in muted autumn colours with a mix of fresh and dried flowers, I really recommend the use of dried as I now have these displayed at home. For the dressing of the venue and table centrepieces, we used a lot of evergreen foliage either draped or displayed in wreaths (which were raffled off for people to take home and hang on their doors for Christmas!).
Food and Drink
The food was super important for us as a couple, as our wedding day was a chilly autumn setting in a barn, we wanted hearty homecooked food to reflect this. We worked with Fosters Catering to put together the ideal menu. They produced wonderful ploughmans sharing boards to start, followed by pie & mash – still now our guests comment on how good the food was! We also had an abundance of tasty canapes served during the drink’s reception – the mini steak and chips was a winner for us! With hot cheese toasties at the end of the night to round things off, Darren & Kirsty really controlled the running of things and looked after us.
We loved that Ufton was a no corkage venue, meaning we were able to independently choose and order our table wine and fizz. We chose Laithwaites for this, who held a private tasting for us and delivered our wine directly to Ufton on the morning.
We decided to have our wedding cake as our dessert and choosing flavours that reflected us as a couple was important – we had a 3 tiered cake which was very simply decorated with white buttercream and foliage. The largest tier was salted caramel (Dickie would happily have salted caramel flavoured anything for breakfast, lunch and dinner if he could!) We were very lucky that one of my oldest primary school friends is a skilled baker and offered to make our wedding cake for us, which made it extra special.
We both agreed to have a DJ over a band, mainly as we knew we wanted to create a real party atmosphere and to hear specific songs and genres on the night. We worked with DJ Simon at Live Events Group who was brilliant! We sent him a long list of songs and artists we liked (and didn’t like!) and he put together the most amazing playlist. So many of our guests commented on how good the music was. We now have this downloaded on Spotify and enjoy listening to it at home.
Our photographer was the incredible Lauren Knuckey. I found Lauren through Instagram when looking at wedding dresses, she had photographed a styled shoot and I loved the soft editing and natural feel to the photos. We didn’t want lots of posed pictures and asked for candid shots of us and the guests. Lauren was amazing and really blended into the background during the day – the result was SO many lovely moments captured that we are finding it hard to choose which ones to print! Ufton offered up many beautiful backdrops for the photos – I would say our favourite spot was the driveway, at that time of year it was flanked by trees full of golden autumnal leaves.
I also want to mention our videographer, the lovely Charli May, who worked alongside Lauren on the day and captured some really special moments that we will treasure forever.
Advice to future couples
Don’t stress about the little things – as we got closer to the big day I panicked we didn’t have enough entertainment, or the right decorations for the day… but my bridesmaids reminded me that guests are not there to be entertained, they are there to see us get married and celebrate! Don’t be scared to ask your suppliers for help, no question is ever silly or something they probably haven’t answered before.
With Ufton we managed to have our dream wedding day, it really was the best day of our lives!
Enjoy, be in the moment, and if you can – take a few days off straight after the wedding. We had a week in a cabin in Somerset and we were able to fully relax as newlyweds and reflect on the big day.