Primary school teacher Charlotte booth married sales manager Christopher Bestwick at Cain Manor on 27th July 2014
When Chris and I started discussing marriage we both knew immediately that we wanted a relaxed, informal venue for our wedding. We moved into our first home together in 2012 which we call the 'cosy cottage' due to it's age, character and charm. We wanted our venue to reflect this and for our guests to feel relaxed.
The Planning Process:
Once we started looking online in the Surrey area and found Cain Manor we pretty much knew that we didn't need to look any further. We were quite realistic about the possibility of rain in July so we had been looking for a venue which would comfortably allow for shelter should we need it. On the initial visit there was a lot of sideways glances and smirks to each other that we knew we had found the place we wanted to get married. We were drawn to the cosy feel of the meeting room with huge fire place, the high beams of the ceremony room and the amount of space and stunning views outside.
We thought we couldn't so lucky as to find 'the one' on our first visit so we arranged an appointment at another venue to compare. The following weekend we visited the other venue and there really was no comparison. On the way home from this venue we rang Bijou to see if we could arrange another visit that afternoon. The staff were happy to help and immediately having hung up the phone, we received a text message confirming our appointment and informing us that 'champagne would be chilling for your arrival'. This was one of the many little details along the way which made us feel welcome. We were so sure about Cain Manor that we confirmed our wedding date before we had even got engaged! We knew we wanted to get married the following year and we didn't want to risk not being able to get married at the venue so we booked the venue in September 2013 before Chris whisked me off to Venice for a romantic proposal in November.
Like many brides I had an idea of the dress I wanted from the off. With this in mind I based the colours and theme around the dress, the relaxed feel of the venue and with the advice of my florist, Michele, the types of flowers that would be in season during July.
Our theme was 'Shabby Chic' as a result of mixing antique rose with sage and ivory. Our invitations and wedding stationery from byinvitationly.co.uk had featured birds so I wanted to keep the theme of lovebirds throughout too.
For further inspiration I had wonderful chats with my mum and Michele about elements we could combine. I wanted every table arrangement to be different and even though we were aiming for a relaxed feel, all arrangements were planned to the last detail. As much as I love flowers I wanted to avoid being wasteful so we came up with the idea of accessorising in other ways. Chris and I enjoy playing Scrabble so this was included from our guest’s tables to our bouquets. Michele had a multitude of beautiful antique glass domes, under which she made individual arrangements, paper flowers, candelabras, cameras and books which were all talking points for our guests during the wedding breakfast. These details spilled out into the waiting room where intricate vases of flowers and swans decorated the tables for the guest book and finger print tree.