Chloe and Gary are my kind of people, warm and welcoming to everyone they meet and not afraid of a good old party. Getting to know them in the build up to the big day was just awesome, we chatted about everything and anything from house renovations to Game of Thrones, we also very nearly got lost Blair Witch style in the woods during our pre-wedding shoot!
Their big day at Dodford Manor was everything I had expected it to be, a stylish and wonderful celebration of their love, fusing rustic and oriental themes there was a cast of over 1000 origami cranes and even a Unicorn Dance featuring a lettuce! Yep, it’s just as awesome as it sounds, see below!
Thanks for having me along guys, here is a little of what I saw:
Thanks again to Chloe and Gary for having me along on this adventure, I loved being a Dodford Manor Wedding photographer so if you are getting married at this wonderful venue and looking for a wedding photographer, I would love to chat to you about your big day.
Chloe & Gary’s Dream Team:
Video: Blue Ridge Weddings
Magician: David Penn
Band: Covers in Arms
Venue: Dodford Manor
Dress: True Romantica Bridal
Bride & Groom Q&A
How did you guys meet?
She’s my Tinderella! We started chatting on Tinder and met in a bar called Bacco Lounge in Rugby on Bonfire Night 2014. We had some great initial dates including Birmingham Christmas Market, GO APE! and Go Karting.
How did the proposal go down?
So I’d been planning the proposal for about 4 months and we decided to go to Iceland for a few days just before Christmas. This had to be the place to do it! I knew quite a few people did it looking at the northern lights. I wanted to be different. So we booked a trip to an ice cave. This was the place!
The weather was awful and our trip to the ice caves got cancelled! It was touch and go if we were going to be able to go! Luckily we did get there in some seriously harsh weather! I had told the tour guide I was going to propose earlier in the day and asked if she would take some pics of when I did it. After trekking up to the ice cave up on the glacier, we reached a spot where there was a waterfall. It happened here. I was so nervous and presented the box the wrong way around and did not manage to say anything other that, ‘I’ve got one question’. I then managed to turn the box the correct way around. Chloe was so surprised and couldn’t believe it. Speechless.
On our way back to the hotel we were lucky enough to see the northern lights for the first time on our trip. It was amazing.
How did you choose Dodford Manor as your wedding venue?
So it happened pretty quickly after getting engaged. We booked the venue about 2 weeks later during the Christmas holidays. We wanted it to have a rustic feel and weren’t too keen on some of the manor style venues where we have experienced guests getting separated due to the different rooms and the atmosphere not being as great. So basically we wanted to imprison our guests to a small area so they couldn’t escape! Dodford was perfect as it is beautiful, had everything we wanted and a great location being in between Northampton and Coventry where we are both from. We took Chloe’s mum and she cried. We all knew it was the perfect place!
What sort of experience did you want your guests to have?
We wanted a relaxing day where our guests didn’t need to move between venues and they would all be in one room enjoying the party!
Can you describe some of the details and stylings, did your wedding have a theme?
Gary is a graphic designer so he was very keen to get involved with the styling and small details. We wanted a slight oriental influence as Gary’s family are from Hong Kong mixed with a rustic, pastel natural feel.
We folded origami cranes to string around the room and use as place names, we folded over 1000 in the end! Gary’s cousins, Dad and Uncle performed a Chinese ‘Unicorn Dance’ which is a good luck blessing. This was kept a surprise from our guests. On all stationary that Gary designed he included the Chinese symbol which says ‘double happiness’ this is a symbol which is linked to marriage.
Chloe’s favourite colour is teal so the bridesmaid dresses were two different tones of teal. To give the decor a natural feel the flowers were in tones of white, creams and dusky pinks. It was important to us both to recognise the people in our lives that could not be there. We used crates, candles, frames, origami cranes and flowers to create an area at the top of the aisle dedicated to those who are gone but not forgotten.
What was the best decision you made in your planning?
Booking Roo’s services from the start. Meeting him and building a relationship with him really helped. Also booking Dodford was a great decision too as they were so easy to deal with from the day we booked it. It made our day run really smoothly and personalised everything to how we wanted.
What was the hardest decision during the planning?
The guest list was very hard to narrow down to a sensible number, making sure we definitely had all the people we wanted to come without offending others. This part I think could easily have gotten out of hand.
What are your favourite memories of the day?
- When we stopped for a moment straight after the ceremony and looked over the balcony at all our guests. It was great to take it all in.
- Catching a sunset shot. We didn’t think we were going to get one! (Thanks to Roo for making that happen with his sneaky flashes!)
- Seeing each other for the first time during the ceremony.
- Walking into the wedding breakfast room before the guests came in to see our creation was amazing.
- We also loved popping lots of shapes on the dance floor at the end of the night.
ALL OF IT!!! TOOO MANY!!!
What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding?
This is a hard one. Try to enjoy the planning process as much as possible and once it gets to the day relax and enjoy it. It will be the best day of your life even if some small details don’t go to plan. Make choices based on what you want your day to be not to make all your guests happy.