Malgosia & Matt - Botleys Mansion

Designer Matt and Training Advisor Malgosia chose Botleys Mansion as the venue for their romantic spring wedding on 10th April 2014. 


After a proposal that took place on a mountain top in Mauritius we began leisurely looking at venues, starting with our favourite local spots but then noticed Botleys Mansion in a wedding magazine we picked up. It perfectly matched our ideal venue with light and spacious rooms, ornate and symmetrical Palladian architecture, and a sociable layout. We actually looked at 17 venues in total mostly trying to find another venue that could compare – we couldn’t.

The planning process: 
We gave ourselves plenty of planning time as we wanted the engagement and planning process to be generous and enjoyable. We are both pretty organised and clear thinking so we were able to achieve almost all of our desires (except the first dance which was meant to break out into MC Hammer!). The menu choice was easy; it had to be the red onion tart to start, slow braised sticky Hampshire beef for main, and blackberry and apple crumble with caramel ice cream for dessert. Absolutely delicious!

The theme: 
The theme of our wedding could be described as elegant and romantic: a princess style bridal dress and matching flower girls dresses, pink and cream roses and rose petals, pale pink bridesmaids’ dresses, and our favourite smart dress code of black tie for the guests. The groom had a variation on the theme with a midnight blue shawl lapel DJ, with a white Marcella cotton waistcoat and bow tie. It perfectly matched Botleys luxurious feel.

The day: 
We were really lucky as the weather was clear, sunny, and had the distinct smell of spring. It was an April wedding and I remember the multitude of beautiful daffodils lining the Botleys mansions driveway. I remember every moment, but the part that sticks in our minds is the ceremony, speaking our vows, and the kiss. It’s a very happy memory.

Matt and Malgosia's wedding cake
The Green Room and Botleys Mansion looking beautiful

The Reception: 
We had the drinks reception and photographs outside by the fountain which was absolutely gorgeous; the champagne and chit chat was flowing nicely and the canapés were delicious. We entered down the spectacular atrium staircase (luckily without any spectacular falls), and began the speeches. First was an emotional Polish father of the bride, followed by an amusing and engaging groom, and ended on a big high with a fantastically funny best man’s speech. The food that followed was simply amazing! It could not have gone better! 


The Evening: 
We had planned to dance a foxtrot to Rod Stewart’s ‘The Very Thought of You’ breaking into MC Hammer, but a week before the wedding we realised MC Hammer was a little too optimistic in the timescale! We practiced a basic foxtrot routine which went quite smoothly. The DJ played a good mix of dance and house from our list, and a few requests such as ‘Gangnam Style,’ which was fun!

The Honeymoon
The honeymoon was an around the world trip lasting a total of three weeks beginning with Hong Kong. We spent the weekend there before jetting off to Fiji where we stayed for a week at Shangri-La’s Yanuca Island. The next stop was Hawaii which was 23hrs behind but only 10 hours flight away. We took off from Fiji very early on Monday morning, and landed on Easter Sunday morning for breakfast in Honolulu. After our island hopping adventures, we set off for our final destination of New York, where we spent three days walking, shopping and indulging.

Top tip(s) for other Bijou brides:
Leave plenty of time for planning as it always takes longer than expected. On the day just relax, enjoy yourself, and smile a lot (you will get a lot of beautiful photos). Take time to stop and absorb the magic – the day goes really fast.

Life after Bijou: 
After the wedding and honeymoon we settled back into a more sustainable lifestyle. The remainder of 2014 was sociable but less indulgent, and in the near future we’re thinking of starting a family.


Who did what?

Photography: E&G Photography
Dress: Shaylee by Maggie Sottero
Accessories: Warren James
Wedding rings: Little Ingot Company
Bridesmaids dresses: Louisa Carmelitano
Hair & make-up: Hair by Vicki Osborne, make-up by Tania Claire 
Groom’s outfit: Tailor Made London
Flowers: The Fine Flower Company
Cake: Simply Stylish Cakes
Venue dresser : Bijou
Entertainment: Bijou DJ