Kerry & Reece's Magical Woodhall Manor Wedding
Woodhall Manor is a beautiful 16th century listed Elizabethan Manor House with a quintessential English charm situated not far from Woodbridge and a perfect place for Kerry & Reece's December wedding.
What better way to have a little insight into Kerry & Reece's special day but to ask the bride herself a few questions about her big day (my thanks to the wedding team at Archant as Kerry & Reece's big day will be a feature wedding in bridal magazine 'A Suffolk Ceremony').
Tell us a little about 'the proposal'?
For my birthday, Reece whisked me away to Paris. On the second day, we woke up early and took a stroll down to the Jardin Du Luxembourg. The park gates had just been opened, it was beautifully peaceful. We sat by the fountain taking it all in and when I looked around, there he was on one knee.
Did it take you long to find 'the dress' ?
I was recommended Catrina’s Bridalwear in Gorleston. I was so nervous about trying dresses on because ‘it’s all about the dress’. I had always imagined myself wearing something similar to Kate Middleton’s dress. In the store, I chose several dresses that caught my eye, and Vikki, the assistant, decided to pick a couple for me. It quickly became apparent that I really didn’t like more voluminous dresses or dresses with long trains. I tried the dresses on that I picked and was frustrated because I didn’t like any of them. I decided to try on the dress Vikki picked out for me, even though I didn’t like the look of it. It was much too big but when Vikki clipped in the excess, my bridesmaids just grinned and said they loved it. I looked in the mirror and fell in love. No other dress compared. I would say I tried on around 8 in total.
Why did you choose your Woodhall Manor
We had both agreed that we wanted either a barn wedding or a manor house. We looked at wedding venues in Suffolk on hitched.com and the first one that came up was Woodhall Manor. We requested a brochure which had a picture of a cosy fire in one of the manor rooms and we were sold. It would be perfect for a Christmas time wedding.
Did you have a theme or particular colour scheme for your wedding?
There was a subtle theme of Christmas and the colour scheme was a blush pink with a hint of cranberry red. I chose the blush pink as it’s my favourite colour and the hint of cranberry was to bring in the Christmas theme.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
The bridesmaids wore a blush pink, full length, one shouldered gown by Adrianna Papell. And the groom/groomsmen? The groomsmen all wore a navy suit with a blush pink tie and pocket square. To differentiate the groom, he wore the same suit but with a bow tie. What flowers did you choose? Blush pink and cream roses with hypericum berries and winter foliage to go with the Christmas theme.
How would you describe your cake?
The cake was three tier, the top tier was fruit cake, the middle was strawberry buttercream and the bottom was chocolate. It was decorated with a lacy detail around the sides and blush pink roses.
Tell us about the ceremony and how you felt walking down the aisle?
The moment it was time to walk down the aisle, I was just so happy. I thought I would be nervous but instead I was just so excited to see my husband to be. The funniest moment was when the registrar asked me to give my bouquet to someone to hold for the ceremony. I naturally handed it to the person closest to me, which happened to be my dad, so he sat through the whole wedding holding my flowers.
Tell us about arriving at the reception, the photos, the wedding breakfast plus décor, any entertainment, the speeches
Our wedding photographer managed to capture some beautiful pictures by using the perfect mixture of capturing natural shots of us and the several masterpieces by setting up the lighting in a particular way against the backdrop of the manor house. To add a bit of Christmas to the wedding breakfast, we had placed Christmas crackers on the tables to get guests in the Christmas spirit. We had a three course wedding breakfast, which our guests could choose their own menu. To round off the breakfast, we had coffee and mince pies. We chose to do the speeches before the wedding so that the speakers didn’t feel too nervous to eat because of their upcoming speech.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
We hired a jazz swing band for the evening who played a mixture of old and new songs throughout the night. We also had a disposable camera going around for people to take photos of themselves as our guest book.
What was your first dance?
Stand By Me – Ben E King
Where was your honeymoon?
Reykjavik, Iceland. We left it a couple of days, we arrived on the 24th December and came home on the 27th. We had the most amazing time, we saw the northern lights, experienced the ‘Golden Circle’ and the Blue Lagoon.
Any top tip(s) for other brides
Enjoy your day, don’t stress about whether your guests are having a good time, or whether a decoration isn’t exactly how you pictured it in your head, just enjoy it.