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Emma and Tim’s Wedding at Botleys Mansion

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A Glamorous Winter Wedding at Botleys Mansion in Surrey

Emma and Tim planned a church wedding followed by a Christmas themed wedding reception at Botleys Mansion in December 2016.

About the Couple

Emma and Tim were introduced at a mutual friends housewarming party and spent the entire night chatting away in the kitchen, completely ignoring their other friends. Emma felt a spark and decided to leave her number with a friend to pass on…but disappointingly she didn’t end up hearing from Tim for several months. The friend she’d left her number with had forgotten to pass it on and ended up going on holiday…but eventually found it and gave the number to Tim, who got straight in touch with Emma.

Emma was late for their first date, their second date was interrupted by a work emergency and the third date was spent babysitting children who ended up being horribly sick throughout the night – needless to say, everyone was convinced that it must be true love!

The couple shared a wonderful, 9-year relationship before deciding to book a luxury mini-break to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Before their trip, Tim paid a secret visit to Emma’s father and carried the engagement ring with him, nervously, through airport security. On the day of their engagement the couple spent the morning Kayaking and then went for a meal during the evening, looking over Dubrovnik’s beautiful harbour. After dinner, the couple went for cocktails and then, as they were strolling back to their hotel along the cobbled streets, Tim suddenly got down on one knee and asked Emma to marry him. Emma accepted Tim’s marriage proposal with delight and the couple went back to their hotel with a bottle of champagne to toasted their engagement on the terrace until the early hours of the morning.

The couple completed on a property together just a couple of months later and spent the following 14 months planning their winter nuptials.

Find the Wedding Dress

Emma tried on 6 dresses before the emotion on her mother’s face made her realise that she’d found ‘the one’. Emma fell in love with an ivory, strapless, princess style wedding gown with a stunning sweetheart neckline from the designer, Allure. The bride-to-be made the dress her own by adding a diamante and pearl belt along with a lace bolero so that she’d stay warm at her winter wedding. For her ‘something old’ Emma wore her mothers veil but had it altered to a more modern style; it looked perfect on the day! To complete her bridal style, Emma bought a pair of Paradox wedding shoes online and when it came to her wedding hair, Satin Hair Design in Church Crookham styled the most beautiful up-do for Emma before putting in a glamorous diamante hair slide which complemented the belt on her wedding dress perfectly.

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Booking a Winter Wedding Venue

The newly engaged couple spent their weekends doing research and searching for the right wedding venue to host their winter wedding. They went straight from an open day at one wedding venue, to their appointment to see Botleys Mansion. “As soon as we pulled through the gates and swept up the drive, we could imagine arriving there on our special day. The venue continued to wow us as we were shown around and the staff were incredibly attentive; we had no doubt our big day would be in very capable hands!” said Emma. The couple also loved the interactive table planner that comes as part of Bijou’s proprietary online wedding planner. Allocating guests to tables and tracking their dietary requirements was made simple and 24/7 access meant that Emma and Tim could plan their dream day around their busy lifestyles.

The Big Day: 3rd December, 2016

The couple opted for a traditional wedding ceremony at St. Nicholas Church in Pyford on the afternoon of Saturday 3rd December, 2016. Emma had always imagined getting ready for her wedding in the comfort of her parent’s house, so she spent the night with them and then travelled to the church the following day in a white Rolls Royce Ghost. Emma’s large bridal bouquet featured a collection of deep red roses, chrysanthemum, aubergine lilys and winter berries and had been created by Jen’s Cakes and Flowers.

Emma walked down the aisle to The Bridal Procession with her father in front of the 73 guests that the couple had invited to witness their special day. Her granddad read a bible reading during the ceremony and a friend of Tim’s read a poem that he had written especially for the couple, which now features in a frame in Emma and Tim’s home. Instead of hymns, the couple chose a selection of Christmas carols to sing with their guests and after their exchange of rings, the couple were introduced to their guests as husband and wife.

The wedding party travelled to Botleys Mansion to commence the wedding celebrations. After celebratory drinks, guests walked down the grand stair case in to the glass-roofed Atrium and saw a beautiful, festive-themed wedding reception awaiting them. To find their seats, guests looked at a table plan in the style of a festive advent calendar, in perfect keeping with the Christmas wedding theme. Each place setting featured a cracker and a Christmas bauble place card holder to take home as a wedding favour. Tall vases filled with aubergine coloured lilys and floating candles made for glamorous table centerpieces and the round reception tables were all named after Santa’s reindeer. The couple hired a vintage, cream post box from Botleys Mansion along with faux ivy and twinkly fairy lights to decorate the grand stair case. They also chose to have a white carpet leading down the stairs to add extra glam to their winter themed wedding.

For their wedding banquet, Emma and Tim chose to serve their guests a warm buffalo mozzarella tart as a starter, followed by the Hampshire beef and Chianti pie for the main course. For dessert, guests enjoyed vanilla crème brulee, and later in the evening a slice of wedding cake! Their three tier, semi-naked wedding cake, designed by Jeni’s Cakes and Flowers looked sensational surrounded by snowflakes and featured two penguins sitting on the top.

A further 21 wedding guests joined the newlywed couple in the evening. Emma and Tim hired a band called Hipster through an agency called Alive Network who were absolutely fantastic and kept the dance floor full all night. The new Mr & Mrs danced their first dance song to ‘Grow Old with Me’ by Tom Odell and their last dance was ‘The Wonder of You’ by Elvis Presley; all of the guests circled the newlywed couple on the dance floor and it was the perfect way to end the perfect day.

Botleys Mansion couple newlyweds

The Bridal Party

Emma and Tim had 4 bridesmaids and 1 flower girl in their bridal party, along with 7 ushers, a best man and a page boy! The bride-to-be and her bridesmaids went shopping as a group in hope of finding perfect dresses. They were lucky and found beautiful floor-length dresses in a wintry aubergine colour which worked perfectly for the December wedding. As a thank you to all of the ushers and best man, Emma and Tim bought each of them a suit from Ted Baker to wear at the wedding. They had a great time meeting up to get fitted; Ted Baker in Covent Garden laid on beers and champagne for the boys and the day inevitably turned into a ‘pre-stag’ party!

The Honeymoon

Instead of opting for a traditional high street wedding gift list, Emma and Tim set up a honeymoon gift list through Kuoni. As they already have a home, they thought it would be sensible to gain contributions towards their once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. They chose to celebrate their marriage on the romantic island of Kuramathi in the Maldives.

Top Tips for Future Wedding Planning Couples

Emma and Tim had a truly magical winter wedding, but if they had to give advice to future wedding planning couples, they said: “Create a spreadsheet which tracks your original budget, actual costs then your balance as suppliers get paid. You might want to create a programme with the running order, timings for the day and responsibilities for everyone down to the tiniest detail. Include suppliers contact details and mobile numbers for your wedding party and make sure this is issued to all key players. And finally, spend the day before the wedding doing something fun!” Emma went to a spa with her Mother, Godmother and bridesmaids whilst Tim played golf with his Best Man and some of the ushers. All of the major wedding prep had been done, which meant that the couple and their families could just relax and look forward to the big day ahead.

Emma and Tim’s Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Venue: Botleys Mansion
Wedding Photographer: Neale James Photography 
Wedding Dress Designer: Allure
Wedding Shoes: Paradox
Bridal Beauty: Hannah Maria Munn Makeup
Wedding Hair Designer: Satin Hair Design
Wedding Cake and Flowers: Jeni’s Cakes and Flowers
Wedding Band: Hipster
Fireworks: Flashpoint Fireworks

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