A Small Spring Wedding at Cain Manor for Rachel and Ben

Rachel and Ben tied the knot in a local church before celebrating in style with 70 guests at Cain Manor.

Rachel and Ben in the country garden at Cain Manor in Surrey

University Love 

Rachel and Ben met in the halls of residence during their first year at the University of Warwick – the couple were living on different floors, but happened to share a kitchen. Ben fell for Rachel in spite of witnessing various cooking mishaps! 

After 8 years together, Ben bought a ring and started to plan his proposal. The couple had taken an amazing holiday to New York and Mexico and Ben had been carrying the ring in his wallet the whole time, waiting for the perfect time and place to propose – but he never found it. In the end, the proposal took place in the couple’s hotel room on the final night of the holiday – it was the ultimate way to end an amazing trip.

Ben picked the ring himself in typical style, through lots of online research and the use of a spreadsheet. Rachel had no idea this was going on, and also didn’t know what sort of engagement ring she wanted – but once Rachel saw the ring Ben had chosen, she knew it was absolutely perfect.

A specialist gluten free wedding cake at Cain Manor in Surrey
A stylish wedding bouquet at Cain Manor by Sonning Flowers

Booking Cain Manor in Hampshire 

Ben and Rachel always knew they wanted to get married in a specific church, so did a wedding venue search around Farnham in Surrey, near the location of their preferred place of marriage. Cain Manor was the first venue the couple went to see in August 2016, and almost immediately they felt like they didn’t need to visit any other local wedding venue. “It was a stunning building with beautiful grounds, yet felt comfortable and homely at the same time. We didn’t want anything too ‘stuffy’ and felt we could have a really relaxed day at Cain Manor and be very well looked-after” explained Rachel.  The couple visited one other venue just to be sure, but it just helped to confirm the couples feelings and they truly believed that Cain had to be the venue for their day!

When planning their celebration, Rachel and Ben didn’t have a particular date in mind but knew they needed some time to plan and save up for the day. They also knew from the outset that they wanted to go to Costa Rica for their honeymoon and needed to get there before rainy season! In the end a spring date of Saturday 21st April 2018 was chosen and the couple started to plan and save for their big day. 

The couple found Cain Manor’s online planner so useful during the run-up to the day. Having everything contained in one place, online, meant they could make all sorts of changes and revisions to their wedding plans at any time without needing to bother a wedding planner every time they thought of something.

The Bridal Party 

Rachel did a lot of online research when it come to finding a gown to wear to her spring wedding at Cain Manor and, after lots of Pinterest-ing, she narrowed her list down to one particular designer – Catherine Deane. Rachel loved the vintage, boho look of her wedding dress designs and after trying on 5 different styles, she trusted her mother and bridesmaids’ opinions and said ‘yes’ to a design called ‘Fantasia’. Fantasia was a simple, silk design with a pleated skirt and bodice embellishment, along with a stunning full-lace back. 

Bridal beauty expert, Elisa Drummond, was responsible for Rachel’s make-up and Stacey Poynor styled the bride’s hair in a half-up/half-down do. A floral vine added a touch of sparkle to Rachel’s bridal look. 

In keeping with the rest of the day, Rachel and Ben decided to keep their bridal party small. Rachel chose two of her oldest friends from school to be bridesmaids and Ben chose his brother to be his best man. Rachel and her best girls shopped together for their dresses but it didn’t take them long to find two unique styles in different shades that worked perfectly on each bridesmaid. Ben and his brother wore matching three-piece, blue suits from Slaters, paired with a sage green tie. 

Spring Wedding Décor 

Bijou Partner Sonning Flowers provided the flowers for the day, as well as the button holes and bouquets for the bridal party. The wedding colour scheme followed a theme of pale pink, white and a touch of sage green and Rachel was delighted to find out that her favourite blooms, peonies and anemones, were in season in April. Rachel liaised with Sonning Flowers and opted for large, natural-looking bouquets with trailing ribbons for the bridal party and white ranunculus for the grooms’ party button holes. Small floral arrangements on pedestals stood on pedestals either side of the top table, and reception tables featured small vases filled with spring-time flowers. 

The Big Day: 21st April, 2018

Ben and Rachel said their vows at All Saints Church in Crondall near Farnham during the early afternoon of Saturday 21st April. The church had meaning to Rachel’s family so it felt right getting married there after having had the church in her life for so many years. The bride walked down the aisle to ‘One Day Like This’ by Elbow – Ben was delighted to see her. Two readings and a poem were read during the ceremony and a string quartet played ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol and ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ by The Verve before the newlywed couple walked back down the aisle to ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars. 

All 70 wedding gusts travelled a short distance to Cain Manor and were welcomed with refreshments and canapés on the lawn before heading in to the Music Room which had been perfectly dressed with pastel décor throughout. The couple had visited Cain Manor to taste a selection of the chef’s most popular dishes, and ended up choosing the following banquet menu for their spring wedding. 

Wedding Banquet Menu

Baked French brie parcel, served warm with a bacon, redcurrant and caramelised orange salad
Main Course
Slow braised sticky Hampshire beef with creamed parsnip mash, Root vegetable crisps and Olivette carrots
Treacle tart with marinello cherry, clotted cream and Anglaise custard    

When choosing their wedding cake design and flavours, Rachel and Ben were conscious that they needed to order a gluten free tier for several of their guests. However, when the couple went for their cake tasting with Georgia Green from Georgia’s Cakes, they couldn’t taste the difference between the traditional and gluten free versions, and therefore opted to have their entire cake baked gluten free. From the top, the three tier flavours consisted of Victoria sponge, chocolate orange and white chocolate with raspberry. To add to the sweetness of the wedding, and Rachel’s love of sweets, the couple hired the Sweetie Cart from the Bijou Venue Styling department and so that guest could pop a treat throughout the night. 

Wedding reception tables were styled by Sonning Flowers who used glass candle sticks and small vases filled with spring-like flowers to make them look lovely. Tables were named by Polaroid images of Rachel and Ben at the age each of them were according to the table number. 

After the banquet, guests enjoyed coffee and truffles in The Library before watching Rachel and Ben cut through their cake which then led straight in to their first dance; ‘Better Together’ by Jack Johnson. “It was a lovely moment when all our guests joined us for the first dance” said Rachel. 

The couple wanted a special honeymoon and instead of a traditional wedding gift list, they set up a ‘Honeymoon Wish List’ with Trailfinders. They booked a dream honeymoon to Costa Rica, touring the country for a couple of weeks visiting four different locations. They had an incredible time. 

Final comments from the bride: 

“All of it was wonderful, Bijou really exceeded our expectations in putting together a fantastic day and meant we didn’t have anything to worry about on the day itself! Try to be as organised as you can in the lead-up to the day, to avoid last-minute stresses. Our wedding spreadsheet was our bible for two years! Enjoy the day as much as possible – it will go by in a flash!” 

Rachel and Ben’s Wedding Suppliers 

Church: All Saints Church, Crondall
Wedding Venue: Cain Manor 
Wedding Photographer: Bill Sykes 
Wedding Florist: Sonning Flowers
Wedding Dress Designer: Catherine Deane (Fantasia)
Bridal Make-up: Elisa Drummond
Wedding Hair: Stacey Poynor
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Packham
Groomswear: Slaters
Sweetie Cart: Bijou Venue Styling 
Fairy Lights: Party Lights
Wedding Cake: Georgia’s Cakes
Entertainment: Bijou DJ
Wedding Insurance: John Lewis


A church near Farnham, close to the wedding venue Cain Manor
A designer wedding dress by Catherine Deane
Bridesmaids wearing dresses by designer Jenny Packham
A dream wedding venue in Hampshire with country gardens
A unique wedding card box displayed at Cain Manor
Spring wedding ideas at Cain Manor in Surrey
Decorative floral vases displayed on wedding reception tables at Cain Manor
The couple enjoying the grounds and gardens at Cain Manor
The newlyweds with their bridal party at Cain Manor in Hampshire
Fun in the country garden at Cain Manor in Surrey
The newlywed couple in the country garden at Cain Manor
A romantic sunset at the wedding venue in Hampshire, Cain Manor
A mirrored table plan idea for a wedding at Cain Manor
70 guests seated in The Music Room at Cain Manor in Surrey
The sweetie cart is available to hire for your wedding at Cain Manor in Surrey
Cutting the cake before the first wedding dance at Cain Manor
A beautiful sunset for wedding photography at Cain Manor in Hampshire