Yet again, Wethele Manor delivered an amazing wedding for all of Francesca & Simon’s guests to enjoy. I have been to Wethele Manor many, many times now and I have yet to find a wedding where there isn’t an electric atmosphere and a great group of people to photograph. The layout of the Wethele Manor, with its gorgeous courtyard and stunning gardens, really lends itself to my style of reportage wedding photography. This means I never fail to come home with anything other than a fantastic set images for my couple’s. I love it!
I just wanted to give a mention to Andy Li. He was my second photographer on the day and did an amazing job of covering the chaps getting ready while I was with the girls. Thank you for helping out Andy!
Also, while I was with Francesca getting ready, I had the pleasure of working with Helena on hair and Katrina & Dionne on makeup. These guys made an incredible team a knocked it out the park with Fran and all of bridesmaids. They all looked amazing!
1) Please tell me how you first met?
I’d spent a lazy Sunday afternoon at Simon’s flat recovering with Steve (the best man) from a party he’d hosted the night before. Simon had been away on a golfing weekend, and came home much worse for wear. After a few minutes of sitting on the floor generally ignoring everybody, Simon leapt up to “introduce himself” to me and shook my hand. I was completely oblivious but our closest friends maintain the spark was obvious immediately!2) When was it you knew they were the one?
Simon says he knew I was “the one” when we went for our first date and I ordered the stuffed red pepper, because I panicked about the prices (I actually really wanted the steak!). I thought he was the one when I liked the shorts he was wearing after his golfing weekend!3) Could you give us the story of the proposal?
We were celebrating Christmas with Simon’s family at their home in Scotland, and had done the usual Christmas present swapping. There was a box (shoddily wrapped!) left at the back under the tree which Simon fished out. As I unwrapped the paper, I’ll admit I was feeling a bit underwhelmed – the box was from one of Simon’s work suppliers! It was a decoy and contained another box which I opened to find a third. As I’m working my way through the layers, Simon’s mum quips “you watch, there’ll be a ring in the bottom” . If I’d been watching Simon’s sister’s face I would have seen a picture of outrage, despair, horror… the reason being that she and her fiancé had been roped in to helping Simon buy the ring! His mum was none the wiser.
Once I had the third box in my hands and was curiously shaking it, Simon speedily grabbed it from me and the next thing I knew he was on one knee asking me to marry him. I of course said yes in front of his whole family (no pressure!) and the champagne planned for dinner was quickly fetched from the fridge! To top off the morning was Simon’s Dad giving him some feedback… the way he’d popped the question had been, in his opinion, “a bit rushed”!4) If you don’t mind sharing, can you tell me something quirky, funny or silly about your partner?
Simon eats popcorn and crisps at the speed of light – he can finish a whole tub of popcorn before the trailers have finished. I have to up my game if I’m to get any.5) What is your perfect day together?
A relaxed breakfast with fresh coffee is a must. After that, anything really! Perhaps going for a walk, spending time with friends, hosting a meal, pottering in the garden, exploring somewhere new… We just enjoy spending time with each other.6) Apart from the obvious, what were you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Seeing everybody relaxing, sharing great food, enjoying Simon’s “home-brew”, and having a brilliant day together.7) What was it that inspired you to go for the theme or the decor you chose for your wedding?
It came together in a completely unplanned way! Our main ambition was nothing should be fussy, everything should be relaxed, simple and easy going. I am a huge fan of stationary and I found my dream set randomly via a bridal shop Instagram page – they matched our flower colours perfectly. It was unquestionable, I had to have them, even though they were over budget. Quite quickly after that I found a cake decorated with marbled icing, hexagon decorations and touches of metallic, and the theme ended up stemming from there. I’d seen some copper piping in B&Q and decided it would somehow make a frame for the table plan and then after that I just had great fun making all the extra touches to tie together.8) Please tell me one thing you wish you had known at the beginning of your wedding planning process, that you could pass on to future bride’s reading this blog?
Not all brides have the “movie moment” and cry with joy upon finding “the one” – I kept questioning why I’d not had a minor meltdown in the shop, even though I knew I was really happy with my choice! Once you’ve bought your dress, delete ALL social media bridal accounts. You’ll see literally hundreds of gorgeous perfectly styled dresses online, and completely forget that you tried on ones almost exactly the same that you really didn’t like. Worrying that you might have committed too soon becomes an obsession, and literally until the day of my final fitting, I still doubted my choice. But on the day – I LOVED it and so did everybody else.9) When searching, what were you were looking for in a wedding venue?
The location was the most important factor – we wanted somewhere that represented us. We chose Wethele Manor as it’s 5 minutes from where we’ve made our life together, and helpfully Warwickshire is half way (ish) between West Coast Scotland and Essex!
Having seen a few amazing purpose built wedding venues, but been one of a string of appointments in a day we realised the running of the venue and an a more personalised service was also really important to us. Having met with Simon from Wethele one Wednesday evening and left him 2.5 hours later, we realised that we were onto something special with the service we’d receive. Duncan was paired with us to support us in the planning and on the day. He was incredible to work with, nothing was too difficult and he really kept us on track in the later stages as the planning started to come into reality!10) Could you tell me the process you went through when you were looking for a wedding photographer?
We did fairly extensive online research into photographers, and had come up with a shortlist which we were looking through. I wanted to be sure we’d not missed anybody in our search (as there are so many to choose from and with really varying price points) and so asked Duncan at Wethele whether he would recommend anyone. He came back really quickly to recommend Duncan Cox as someone very professional, great quality photos and really easy to work with. We looked at Duncan’s photos and were sold, and when we met him it confirmed for us that we’d made the right choice.
Photography | Duncan Cox Photography
Ceremony Location | Wethele Manor, Warwickshire
Reception Location | Wethele Manor, Warwickshire
Florist | Cindy at Pure Botanics
Wedding Band | Dukes of Havoc
Dress Designer | Catherine Deane
Wedding Dress Retailer | Rachel Ash Bridal
Other Details/Vendors | Makeup – Katrina Bate & Dionne Robinson, Hair – Helena Sinclair, Veil – HM Veils, Flower Halo – Fifth & Spring, Shoes – Emmy, Favours – Little Lollipop Shop, Suits – Vintage Suit Hire (Bedford), Bridesmaid dresses – Coast, Invites – Paperknots