Wasing Park Weddings are simply delightful. I have been in lots of venues over the years and Wasing Park is up there with the very best it is nestled amongst 4,000 acres of park land and is simply stunning! From a suppliers perspective, I have never been so well looked after. The staff were so attentive to my needs and requests, they checked in with me and in such a friendly respectful way. But above all else, they just knew how to run a wedding. The team were seamless and it was quite amazing to watch the day unfold.
Lydia + Andrew worked tirelessly to plan a super classy and elegant day and it was clear to see how much there friends and family enjoyed themselves. The sun shone, the food flowed and everyone had huge smiles all day long! Here is what they have to say:
How did you meet?
We worked together but it took a works night out for us to get talking in February 2008. Andrew was recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, so couldn’t escape me even if he’d wanted too!
How did Andrew propose?
Andrew proposed on Boxing Day 2013. I had a feeling it might happen so got all dressed up on Christmas Day and opened every present with a little excitement in case there was another surprise hiding amongst my gifts. On Boxing Day Andrew surprised me with one last gift and as I wasn’t prepared for it, it was the best surprise!
What happened along the way?
I suggested the 3rd June as Andrew would be 40 the following week and we could be on our honeymoon for his birthday. He loved this idea and the date was chosen. It does mean I now have to find both an anniversary present and a birthday present in the same month for the man who has everything each year!
What made you choose your venue?
We looked at 18+ venues (my inner Bridezilla didn’t want to get married anywhere I’d ever known anyone to get married at before [it turned out none of our day guests had been to a wedding there before – tick].
Our initial Wishlist was somewhere not too far away, ideally with accommodation, permission for fireworks and somewhere we wouldn’t be dictated by the British weather! After looking at so many venues we reprioritised and decided accommodation for our family & friends and exclusive use of the venue were the most important features. When we first saw Wasing Park in September 2014 we fell in love with the venue although I had a few more on my list to see and it wasn’t until we’d visited them all (even though in our hearts we’d chosen) and I’d written a review in my wedding planner that we took my parents to see the venue in April 2015 and set the date and booked it. The accommodation for not just the bridal suite but all the guests was stunning and so individual. It also gave us the opportunity to get married in a church on the estate, we always wanted to spend the whole day in one place. Guests could walk from the church to enjoy the reception without any travel.
Your outfits & accessories – What made you choose your outfits and what did you love about them?
I’d had the idea of having 2 dresses from quite early on as I wanted a party dress for the evening to let my hair down, put my sparkly flip flops on and dance the night away! When researching dresses, I liked Charlotte Balbiers designs and was lucky to find “Sweet Pea” on sale at a Boutique in Newbury. Laura Jones at Mrs Jones Bridal Boutique was so lovely I knew I’d find at least one dress there! I tried some other short dresses, but sweet pea was the one! Whilst waiting for my appointment my Mum and sister spotted the dress. I was adamant that we were only there to look at shorter dresses and we’d come back to look for ‘the’ dress another time. When the appointment after me never arrived, I tried on the dress and when my mum and Sister started crying I couldn’t believe it! It was January 2016 I was going to London at the weekend to the National Wedding show to watch catwalks and get ideas. I did not expect to find the dress. But it was definitely the one, I wanted something individual, that would stand out from other dresses. The lace cape was gorgeous, and I felt quite regal wearing it, rather than a Disney princess an actual princess! I also loved it without the cape it would look like I had 3 dresses! I did try on a few other dresses for the fun but I knew I had found my dress by Benjamin Roberts.
My mum made the hairgrips I wore as my something old from my nanny’s wedding tiara, the flowers we made of wax and as over 50 years old they were so delicate to touch. They are so precious to my mum and it was incredible to have a piece of her day with me.
Andrew always knew he wanted a light blue Ted Baker 3 piece Suit as he wears a suit every day he wanted something that would feel special and not like a work suit so navy, greys, pinstripes were all out. He never faltered from the idea and just had to dress the groomsmen in a contrasting colour.
What made you choose your decor and styling / Tell me about your flowers/florist (bouquets, centrepieces & general decorative arrangements)?
My vision for the décor was Romance with a hint Glamour. When we met Hannah at Ruby and Grace I asked for lots of flowers. I had loved the idea of having the arch of the church adorned with flowers but as this was not possible at St Nicholas Hannah suggested garlands across the gates leading up to the church which looked absolutely stunning on the day. We asked for a mixture of high and low centrepieces for our tables, so we had both candelabras and punchbowls. She also suggested the punchbowls we had on our top table which looked incredible too. We weren’t too fussy about the flowers we wanted and let her choose the blooms only asking for Freesias and Cala Lilies. It was so wonderful seeing her creations on the day as we didn’t know exactly how they would look. Which when you’ve planned every last item it was quite exciting to have a final surprise on the day.
We met Claire from Ambience Styling as she was suggested by Hannah as we didn’t want traditional chair covers and we were looking to add a hint of sparkle to our tables. Claire could provide the sparkling finishing touches we needed. From Glittering favour boxes, table runners and chair drops with sparkly brooches to the Large Heart light we had on the dance floor and all the fairy lights in between. I had originally liked the Idea of Mr & Mrs Lights or the LED LOVE lights, but the large heart was something I hadn’t seen before and whilst it seemed quite an extravagant item we were both so glad we had it, it was such a focal point for the evening!
Tell me about your Ceremony including any readings, any special moments and your vows.
Did you tailor your vows?
We asked our close friend Helen McLean to do a reading at our wedding, my mum suggested “I Will” by The Beatles and it was perfect. I’m a huge fan of the Beatles and loved that we could include such a beautiful piece in our ceremony. There’s a photo I love when Helen’s reading and I’m holding Andrew’s hands taking in every word at that moment which I’ll treasure.
St Nicholas includes the lighting of the unity candle which was special to us, My mum and Andrews elder sister both lit candles then we lit together a new candle from their candles which felt quite a poignant moment.
When we decided to marry in Church we knew we had to have a choir, we wanted people to enjoy singing along if they wanted too and not be conscious of their singing voices or to just be able to enjoy the hymns we’d chosen performed how they were meant to be heard. We were very fortunate to have a dear friend Anne Hurst who sings with the Basingstoke Choral Society and she arranged our choir for us. We did choose traditional music for my entrance and for our exit with moderns hymns to well-known music, as we had learnt from attending the church that it helped if you knew the tune.
Our ceremony felt like a real celebration of our love and in the intimate church it was beautiful to have all our loved ones together at that moment. Especially when our 2-year-old Nephew asked out loud why we were doing that. It relaxed us so much. I remember being so nervous about saying my vows in the run-up thinking about everyone watching me and would I say anything wrong. I also thought I’d be a blubbering wreck I always cry at weddings, but I was bursting with joy and happiness like I’ve never known. You get through it with such a rush of adrenaline and don’t want it to end.
What was it like working with Kirsty and why did you decide to book her as your photographer?
We met with 3 photographers with a similar style, a natural approach as we didn’t want stiff/posed for photos. We’re terrible at remembering to take pictures unless it’s of food! When we met you, we knew it had to be you that joined us on our day, it felt like you were our friend and can’t imagine you not being there. It never felt like we spent too long taking photos or like we wanted to escape you. You were incredible with the many children we had on the day. You helped undo my dress going above being the photographer to allow for a quick wardrobe change, so we could crack on with the party! Although I wish I knew why I was performing the “Tragedy” dance move in the photo!
What was your first dance song and why?
We weren’t going to have a first dance, we didn’t want an awkward shuffle round the dance floor whilst everyone watched. Then 6 weeks before we chose we liked Queen, You’re my best friend as we were both bought up on the music of Queen. We liked that it was upbeat, not slow and quickly attempted to learn to dance to it! Having even the few dance lessons gave us the confidence we needed, and we knew where our feet would go so we wouldn’t be standing on each other’s feet! We did nearly pull it again on the day, we were happy enjoying ourselves and said no first dance but then we’d gone to the effort of learning the steps and just went for it. Which I’m pleased we did as you don’t really feel the eyes watching you just getting to share a moment together in each other’s arms as because as the evening goes on you tend to spend time apart with different guests and in different places!
Did you have any entertainment (day & evening)?
Natasha Hardy of Ice Creams and Ponytails sang during the drinks reception she sang a set of 50’s songs which suited the mood and setting perfectly whilst cocktails and canapés were served. It’s also music my Dad loved and I knew he’d really enjoy her performance which he did.
Richie Cooper was our DJ and singer for the evening between acoustic sets he played a great mix of music for us to dance the night away too. He had done a similar set at a works Christmas party a year before we’d set the date and everyone the following (myself included) said how fantastic he was, so remembered his details until we’d booked the date and he was one of the first people we booked. If you’ve never heard a band or DJ before its hard to know if they’ll do the music you like but he was fantastic the acoustic set he performed in the Garden Room before the evening party started was so much fun. Everyone in the room singing to classic Nineties tunes at the top of their voices.
What was your favourite part of the day and why?
Its impossible to choose one part of the day, we achieved the agenda for the day “Best Day Ever” it truly was. It flowed perfectly there was no waiting around at any point. Everybody enjoyed every minute with us, so many people commented it was the best wedding, they loved the venue, the food, the photographer, the ceremony, the new friends they made, the music, the singers, the cake and the drinks.
I probably enjoyed when the 2 of us went to have our photos taken with you, we felt so comfortable and like we were on our own we could be ourselves and enjoy that time completely without any awkwardness and I think that really shows in our photographs just how happy we are.
If you could impart any words of wisdom to a couple planning their marriage and wedding day, what would they be and is there anything you would do differently?
I would recommend not rushing into planning a wedding if you can wait, then it’s worth setting a date with plenty of time to plan and save for. It’s the way to ensure you get the day you really want. We don’t look back at anything during the day and think we would have done differently or changed it was perfect for us, but we spent so much time planning every choice and it really came together.
If you’re getting ready in different rooms, make sure everyone can do up their dresses on their own before the day. Before the ceremony, Myself, my sister and dad were all waiting and couldn’t work out where my mum was, she couldn’t do her dress up and to ring Helen who was sat in the church to come and zip her up as none of us had our phones on us! I then shouldn’t have worried about being late, we could have an enjoyed a slightly less panicked run up to the church and taken a final breath before we went in, but I was so worried about being late I route marched everyone! Not too long as your partner is nervously waiting for you and it just eats into your day on the other side, but in hindsight, I had 5 more minutes!!
Dress (Designer & boutique): Charlotte Balbier (Unfortunately both Benjamin Roberts and Mrs Jones Bridal Boutique have both closed.)
Hair and Make-up: Totally Flawless
Grooms Suit: Ted Baker
Florist: Ruby + Grace
Decor/styling: Ambience Styling
Venue: Wasing Park
Cake Maker – Brides Mum
Caterer: Galloping Gormet
Bridesmaids Dresses: Quiz Clothing
Groomsmen Suits: Slaters
Stationery: Little Red
Entertainment: IceCream and Pony Tails (Singer) // Riche Cooper (DJ)