After 3 frustrating wedding date changes, Jess and Matt finally celebrated their dream wedding at Farnham Castle during the height of summer. The couple met online back in 2015, and were together for just under 4 years before their romantic proposal which took place at home, the day after Jess’s 30th birthday. Matt had bought Jess a birthday trip to New York, and as soon as they were back in the UK, the excited couple started searching for the perfect venue and suppliers in order to create their dream day.
Jess and Matt physically visited 5 wedding venues, all located within 30 minutes of their home in Basingstoke. They were on the hunt for a venue to comfortably hold their 85-day guests and additional evening guests, and eventually, after the disruption of Covid, and alterations to their original wedding date and plans, the couple secured Farnham Castle for the perfect Sunday date in August, having been inspired by the amazing images on our Instagram account.
The Great Hall was one of the stand-out features at the Castle for Jess and Matt, but they fell in love with the entire venue. “The ceilings, the mirror, the lighting, the view of the Keep, the grounds, the Stone Hall and Gatehouse are beautiful, but we just thought the Great Hall had the wow-factor and we could really see ourselves celebrating with all our family and friends; the thought of bringing us all together in this wonderful room just made us both get all the feels!”. The couple were adamant that they wanted to have a restriction free wedding, surrounded by as many people as possible, and were therefore happy to wait until they were able to marry in exactly the way they wanted in the Lantern Hall, followed by dining and celebrating in the Great Hall.
Jess loved shopping for her wedding dress, and did not hold back in trying on between 12 and 15 dresses, across 3 different boutiques, to find the perfect gown. She eventually found her satin, Jasmine Couture Bridal, gown in a boutique in Winchester. Jess felt like this particular dress reflected the theme of the day she was aiming for: elegant but with the wow-factor! The A-line style of the gown flattered her figure and she chose to team her gown with the ultimate ‘something blue’, a pair of Manolo Blahniks!
Jess invited four of her closest school friends to be bridesmaids, and they went all out with their support, kindness and generosity during the turbulent wedding planning that Jess experienced during the pandemic. The girls all wore blush, floor-length, gold tone dresses that could be worn up to 25 different ways, and spent quality, memorable, time together, getting ready in the Gatehouse ahead of the 12 noon ceremony in the Lantern Hall.
Matt and his Groom’s Party wore traditional morning suits with duck egg blue coloured waistcoats, which had been hired from Healy & Son, teamed with buttonholes to complement the bouquets carried by the bridesmaids.
Jess and Matt transformed Farnham Castle with fragrant, meadow-style floral arrangements, Jess completely trusted Linz from White Horse Flowers, to create dream floral décor to feature across the historic venue; from the large displays framing the top of the aisle in the Lantern Hall, to a combination of stunning high and low arrangements in the Great Hall, and not forgetting a show-stopping creation for the 5 metre long mantlepiece behind the top table.
And, with so much time to plan, think and gain inspiration during lockdown, Jess went a little bit wild and decided to hire the team at Bubblegum Balloons to create a dramatic balloon installation which hung from the Great Hall ceiling, over the reception tables. She also hired an instagrammable neon sign for guests to create fun photos, for the Stone Hall later in the evening.
Jess and Matt described themselves as ‘foodies’ and chose to dine on our four-course Montague Menu. “We got so many compliments about the food and how amazing it was, many guests saying it was the best they had ever had!” said Jess. “We loved the surprise course and was something we’d never seen at a wedding before, so wanted it to almost be an experience in itself! The food and drink were really important to us, as having been to so many weddings ourselves over the past few years, we knew how impactful this was as part of the whole day”. A table plan, table names and place cards followed the same gorgeous blush colour scheme as Jess and Matt’s wedding invitations – all of which had been designed by the extraordinarily talented, LouPaper.
Odiham Cake Company designed the 4-tier wedding cake, which stood elegantly in the Stone Hall. It featured different flavoured tiers, including vanilla, lemon drizzle, chocolate and Oreo. The impressive design show-cased a grey marble effect, with hues of pink and real gold leaf. Jess described her wedding cake as totally exceeding her expectations.
The couple invited a further 25 guests to celebrate with them during the evening, bringing their total guest list up to 110. As Jess and Matt cut their gorgeous wedding cake in the Stone Hall, their band, The Upstarts, set up in the Great Hall ahead of the couple’s first dance and introduction to an unforgettable evening. The couple danced their first dance to an acoustic version of ‘Heaven’ by Bryan Adams, and surprises kept on coming as guests ventured out to the Rose Garden to watch a spectacular fireworks display.
Wedding Photographer: Benjamin Stuart Photography
Wedding Stationery: LouPaper
Wedding Dress: Jasmine Bridal Couture
Bridalwear Shop: Sass and Grace, Winchester
Florist: White Horse Flower Company
Wedding Cake: Odiham Cake Company
Groomswear: Healy & Son
Bridal Hair & Beauty: Totally Flawless
Wedding Videography: Brand One Visuals
Balloons: Bubblegum Balloons
Neon Sign: Farnham Sound & Light
Wedding Band: The Upstarts
Fireworks: Star Fireworks
Wedding Gift List: Honeymoon donations