A Country House Wedding at Silchester House in Berkshire for Caitlin and Chris

Caitlin, from South Africa, married Chris at their dream, country house wedding venue, Silchester House, at the end of March, 2017.

Caitlin and Chris tied the knot at a luxury country house wedding venue in Berkshire, Silchester House

About the Couple 

Caitlin and Chris like to think that fate brought them together. The couple locked eyes when they were both on a night out with friends in Reading in Berkshire. Caitlin was sat with her friends at one table and Chris was with his friends just one table along when the couple started chatting. The couple, by chance, bumped in to each other in a night club later on that evening and exchanged numbers just before the night came to an end. Within ten minutes of leaving the night club, Chris had messaged Caitlin asking if she’d like to meet him for a coffee, to which she replied, ‘I like hot chocolate’. Chris replied “One Hot Chocolate coming up with marshmallows” and the couple planned to meet for their first date a few days later. 

2 years down the line, Caitlin and Chris who were happy and in love, had planned to go on holiday to Feuteventura with Chris’s family. They planned to spend a single day alone, away from the family and ended up having dinner in a romantic restaurant in the evening. Upon walking in to the restaurant the couple were led to a large candle-lit table in the corner featuring a big heart light. After a free bottle of wine, garlic bread cut in to heart shaped pieces, heart shaped sliced potato chips to go with their steak, Mariah Carey playing in the background and the words ‘I Love You’ spelled out in cheesecake, Chris was gearing up to change both of their lives. Without a clue in the world, Caitlin thought that they’d chosen an over-the-top romantic restaurant, but when Chris bent down on one knee with an Ernest Jones ring box in his hand, Caitlin became hysterically emotional and of course said ‘yes, yes, yes’ to Chris’s proposal.

The couple spent the following 15 months planning their wedding celebration at Silchester House. 

Luxury sweetie cart available to hire across all four of Bijou's grand country house wedding venues
Wedding signage featured at a luxury country house wedding at Silchester House in Berkshire

Booking Silchester House

Caitlin and Chris looked at Silchester House and just one other comparison venue during their search for a dream, country house wedding venue. Chris's sister Jenna had found the luxurious wedding venue in Berkshire online and sent it over to the engaged couple to browse through. The couple first visited Silchester House in January 2016 and immediately fell in love. “Suzi the Venue Manager was just amazing when we first walked in which really gave us a good feeling. The Ceremony Room was what sold it for us, the wooden look with the Chandelier is stunning and then Suzi mentioned the Live Webcam. I remember crying as this meant my family in South Africa who couldn’t be at the wedding could still watch it!” said Caitlin. 

The couple found the online planner helpful as it made communicating their wedding plans to the Wedding Planning Management Team at Bijou Weddings really easy. 

Finding a Wedding Dress

Caitlin tried on 10 wedding dresses before falling in love with a mermaid style wedding dress featuring a beautiful long, lace train, found at a bridalwear shop in Southampton; to make the dress more personal to her, Caitlin had a halter-neck and a corset back added. As Chris is 6ft 9”, Caitlin felt like she needed to wear quite a high heel so that she didn’t look too short stood next to her man. She fell in love with a pair of white, lace embellished shoes online which matched her wedding dress perfectly. When it came to hair and bridal beauty, Caitlin chose to wear her hair down and curly with one side clipped back with white roses and gypsophilia. She hired Kayleigh Knox Hair and Makeup to make her look and feel like a beautiful bride. 

Wedding Theme: Lace, Hessian & Plum

Caitlin chose her sister Megan to stand by her side as Maid of Honor on the big day, plus, two bridesmaids; Hannah and Harriet. Caitlin is originally from South Africa, so having her close friends and family witness her country house wedding in England felt really special. The bridesmaids wore lovely plum coloured knee-length dresses featuring pretty lace. The spring wedding followed a theme of vintage lace, hessian and shades of plum.

The grooms party wore 3-piece suits in a dark blue shade from M&S, teamed up with a white shirt and tie. To look slightly different from the rest of the groom’s party, Chris decided to wear an ivory tie, but the best man, Jon, wore a plum tie to complement the bridesmaid’s dresses.  

The Big Day: 31st March, 2017

Caitlin and Chris were married in The Music Room at Silchester House. Their ceremony took place at 2:30pm and the bride was walked down the aisle on the arm of her brother Lloyd, to a song sung by her late father. He was a musician, and so in order to have her him feel as if he was in the room, the bride chose to play ‘Father and Son’ by Cat Stevens, as she walked towards Chris. There was not a dry eye in The Music Room as Caitlin and her brother walked down the petal-scattered aisle; it was a truly emotional moment for the bride and her family. 

During the ceremony, Caitlin’s friend Anna read a poem called ‘Here’s to right now’ and her sister did a short blessing just after the ceremony to remember their father and to say a prayer. The couple were then pronounced husband and wife before walking back down the aisle and in to the Library and Hall at Silchester House where they could enjoy a celebratory drink with their 60 day time wedding guests. 

After having their photographs taken within the beautiful country grounds at Silchester House, the newlywed couple and their guests headed back inside to enjoy a suptous three course meal, followed by tea, coffee and truffles. Round wedding reception tables were decorated with cylinder vases filled with floating candles, stood on circular mirrored plates with a scattering of wooden hearts. Napkins were scrolled and tied with a purple ribbon to match the overall colour scheme and the reception table were all named after places that meant something special to the couple. 

Spring Wedding Banquet Menu 

Starter: Roast butternut soup with root vegetable crisps
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Main Course: Roast rump of South Downs lamb 
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Dessert: Vanilla Crème Brulee with shortbread and raspberries

The couple had ordered a three tiered, vanilla, lemon and carrot sponge cake, decorated with a hessian ribbon, pearls and roses, topped with a ‘Just Married’ sign. For an additional sweet treat, Caitlin and Chris had hired a vintage sweetie cart from Bijou which was filled with a selection of retro sweeties for guests of all ages to enjoy throughout the night. 

Caitlin opted to decorate her wedding at Silchester House by using a combination of silk and foam blooms. She chose a lovely mix of faux hydrangea, gypsophilia and roses to incorporate in her bouquet and around the venue – all of which were supplied by Foam Wedding Flowers by Joanne. The groom and his best man wore a single white rose with gypsophilia and foliage in their button holes and a selection of vases filled with foam flowers were dotted around The Music Room to add a touch of spring beauty to the ceremony. 

The couple invited a further 17 guests to celebrate with them during the evening. They Bijou DJ kept the dance floor full all night and the newlyweds danced their first dance together to ‘The One’ by Kodaline; it was a great end to a truly wonderful day.

The Honeymoon 

Caitlin and Chris didn’t create a traditional wedding gift list and instead asked for money as they are in the process of saving money so that they can put a deposit on a house. They did, however, spend their romantic honeymoon in sunny Mexico; it was the perfect start to married life! 

When asked if there was anything else that they’d like to share about their wedding, Caitlin and Chris said: “It was the most beautiful wedding venue and with all the décor we added, it truly was everything we envisioned and hoped for. All our guests said it was an amazing day and venue! Take your time and enjoy your wedding planning. It can start to consume your life but remember you are in it together and although it is stressful, you want to remember the planning stages in a nice way. At the end of the day all that is important is that you are both there with your loved ones and friends, the rest is just ‘fluff’. Do what you like and want, don’t try do everything in order to impress others!”

Caitlin and Chris’s Wedding Suppliers 

Wedding Venue: Silchester House 
Wedding Photographer: Kris Karl Weddings 
Wedding Videographer: Lia Cinematic Weddings
Wedding Hair: Kayleigh Knox Hair & Makeup
Wedding Flowers: Foam Wedding Flowers by Joanne
Wedding Cake: Sally Holmes
Evening Entertainment: Bijou DJ

Caitlin getting her wedding hair and makeup done ahead of her wedding at the luxurious wedding venue, Silchester House
The bride getting her wedding day makeup done at Silchester House in Berkshire
The bride getting in to her wedding dress in the bridal suite at Silchester House
High heeled wedding shoes for the bride getting married at Silchester House in Berkshire
Foam wedding flowers are a great alternative to fresh flowers if you plan on keeping your bouquet after your wedding
The bride chose to carry a bouquet made of foam flowers instead of opting for a fresh bouquet
The couple saying their wedding vows in The Music Room at Silchester House
A photograph of the couple's wedding and engagement rings ahead of their wedding at Silchester House
The bridesmaids wore knee-length dresses in a plum shade to the wedding at Silchester House
The groom surrounded by the male guests attending the wedding at Silchester House
The bride posing for a photograph in the beautiful country grounds at Silchester House in Berkshire
The groom looking smart in his blue suit for his wedding at Silchester House
The back view of Caitlin's pretty wedding dress, taken in the gardens at Silchester House
The newlywed couple enjoying the country grounds at their Berkshire wedding venue, Silchester House
Sharing a few moments together in the lovely gardens at the exclusive hire wedding venue in Berkshire, Silchester House
Silchester House has a number of fireplaces to decorate on your wedding day
A three-tier wedding cake tied with a hessian ribbon to give it a true country house wedding effect
The newlywed couple cutting their wedding cake in The Music Room at Silchester House ahead of their evening reception
The first dance shared by the bride and groom in the grand Music Room at Silchester House