Our Autumn Wedding Day
On the 31st of October 2020, Jaz and I finally got married at Hedingham Castle! After 9 years together and a 2-year engagement, it was definitely about time we tied the knot. Of course, our wedding day was far from easy. Planning a wedding is stressful enough as it is, let along planning a wedding during a global pandemic.
In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed in my life. I was getting very little sleep. I was always panicking and worrying and checking the news. The rules changed so often in the run-up to the wedding and so many other plans we’re put in place. It was an actual nightmare!
But, we did it. We managed to get married on our original date, in our dream venue with just 15 people and it was actually an amazing day! So, for today’s post, I’m going to show you some of our favourite pictures from our wedding day.
Getting Ready for the Wedding
I got to the venue at around 10:30am with my mum, two bridesmaids (my sister and friend) and my gran to get ourselves ready in a little cottage near the castle. I’d booked a limo for all of us to go from my house to the venue so we were all pretty upbeat after spending just over an hour in a limo drinking prosecco and listening to Disney songs haha.
I did my own makeup for the wedding and my friend did my hair as I hadn’t had a chance to book anything for that due to the pandemic.
Doing my own makeup for the wedding was pretty nerve-wracking as it wasn’t something I had planned to do. But, it also kept me busy and preoccupied while everyone else around was in panic mode haha.
For Christmas last year my mum got me a white bride robe from Etsy. So, as a wedding present to my bridesmaids, I got them matching robes in a pale pink which we all wore while getting ready.
I absolutely loved my hair on the day. My friend did a great job with it and we’d barely had any time to practice beforehand either!
About half an hour before the ceremony began I got into my dress. I needed help getting all the buttons done up at the back, I think both my mum and sister underestimated how many there were haha.
After I got in my dress, the photographer said she’d had a crazy idea. She wanted me to get in the bathtub while holding some prosecco. It was very awkward trying to climb into a bathtub and sit down while wearing a big princess dress, but I’m so happy with how this picture came out haha.
The Wedding Flowers
The florist popped down to the cottage to see us all and drop off the wedding flowers. I had a very specific image in mind for how I wanted my bridal bouquet to look like and she delivered it perfectly! It was such a stunning bouquet and it smelled absolutely incredible. My bridesmaids also had matching, but smaller, bouquets that went so well with their navy dresses. We also had pumpkins with a floral arrangement inside to line the aisle.
As soon as the day was over and we took the flowers home, I knew I wanted to somehow keep my bouquet forever. So, I found a place in Essex that will preserve and framed your bouquet and luckily that had availability for me to drop it off the very next day! The process of preserving the bouquet takes a couple of months but I’m so excited to get it back and hang it up somewhere.
During the wedding planning process, I only ever saw one venue. The minute I saw Hedingham Castle I was in love. It was everything I’d ever wanted. A 900-year-old castle with beautiful grounds that was perfect for an autumn wedding and all the princess/Harry Potter vibes. It was such a dream to get married here! And we’ve already secured our date for the reception next year, so we get to see it all over again!
We hired a guitarist to play while the guests waited and I had requested a specific song for when I walked down the aisle. As a huge fan of Twilight, (I know, I know, don’t judge haha) I really want to have Flightless Bird, American Mouth. He did a fantastic job, even if I was too distracted to really listen while I was walking down the aisle! I heard it back in a video and it sounded amazing though!
The Wedding Ceremony
The venue had a car we could use to get me from the cottage to the castle. Of course, it was raining like all day. So, the driver walked me to the car very slowly holding the biggest umbrella I’d ever seen. When we arrived at the castle, I had to go through some legal questions with the registrars for the certificate and then it was ready to go! I was so beyond nervous at this point. It sounds cliche but I genuinely was so worried I’d trip or stumble or just something would go wrong. Thankfully, it all went pretty smoothly and we successfully got married!
One of my favourite things about the day was definitely the ring bearing owls. We had the owls booked pretty much right from the start. I saw them on an open day at the venue and was obsessed! When the time came for us to give each other the rings, a white barn owl flew down, landed on the best man while my sister untied the rings from a pouch on its leg and gave them to us. It was a surprise to a lot of the guests and an amazing, unique part of the day that I’ll never forget!
Cake Cutting and Drinks Reception
After the ceremony, we all had our group photos done. Then, Jaz and I went off with the photographer to have couple shots taken. While we were busy doing our photos, the guests were downstairs in the castle with the rest of the birds of prey we’d hired as entertainment.
The whole wedding party. 120 guests cut down to 15.
We had dried, biodegradable rose petals which were used for the confetti shots!
The rain stopped just in time for some sunset shots.
How adorable were the owls?!
As neither of us liked wedding cake we decided to throw in a little spooky element to our Halloween wedding with a classic M&S Frankencolin cake.
We really made the most of the small drinks reception too haha.
I still can’t quite believe we made it. That we actually managed to have our wedding in 2020. The second UK lockdown was even announced on our wedding day. So we were extremely lucky to have just missed that! Even with all the issues we had, it was a fantastic, unforgettable day and everyone who was involved made it so special.
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All images were taken by our amazing photographer, Lucie at The Unscripted Collective.