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Julia and James’ Wedding at Cain Manor

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A Small Autumn Wedding at Cain Manor for Julia and James

Julia and James met through work. They were both sent up to the north of England on a site visit and over drinks and dinner the couple just clicked.

2 years passed and on a surprise wine tasting evening out in London for James’s birthday – he popped the question to Julia. He muscled up the courage to get down on one knee half way through his birthday wine tasting experience and pulled a perfect ring out of his jacket pocket. Julia fell instantly in love with the white diamond band and princess cut diamond that James had chosen as a surprise and the couple enjoyed the rest of their evening, tasting wine in anticipation of their forthcoming wedding.

The couple announced their engagement in August 2015 and booked their wedding date for 15 months later.

Booking Cain Manor

Julia and James narrowed down their choice of wedding venues to just 4, but they knew that Cain Manor was ‘the one’ as soon as they walked through the doors. The barn-style wedding venue in Hampshire ticked too many of the boxes on the couple’s venue wish-list and they also loved the fact that Cain Manor could be hired on an exclusive use basis. Being able to host their entire day under one roof was ideal and the secluded, rustic feel of the venue just felt so right for the day that the couple had dreamed of planning. “It’s beautiful and classy without being grand or snooty and it is welcoming and homely yet still has that sparkle of somewhere special! With roaring fires and cosy furnishings, Cain Manor is perfect for a cosy autumn wedding!” said bride Julia.

The couple found the use of Bijou’s online planner invaluable during the run up to their early November wedding date. Julia quotes “The online planner is a stroke of genius that acted as our best friend in the planning of our wedding. It made everything so straight forward and the best part about it was being able to see a running cost too; they updated instantly when you made changes. It took a lot of stress out of that organisation.”

After booking their wedding, the couple went back to visit Cain Manor exactly a year before their wedding, so that they could get a good feel of what the venue and grounds looked like at the beginning of November. The couple were in awe of how gorgeous the venue looked and in the car on their way home James mentioned how lovely it might be to have an autumn colour scheme at the wedding. The couple then decided to plan their special day around an orange and burgundy colour theme.

Finding a Dress

Julia took her two bridesmaids, mother and future mother-in-law wedding dress shopping and was sure in her mind that she didn’t want anything that looked like what a Disney Princess would wear. The bride-to-be had always imagined herself in a traditional a-line style wedding gown, but when it was suggested that she try on a mermaid silhouette, Julia gave in – and then fell in love. The ‘Private Label’ gown was in fact the first of around 10 wedding dresses that Julia tried on, but it was her absolute favourite and she made her purchase.

Julia’s wedding shoes were actually ivory coloured wedding booties by ‘Irregular Choice’. She had the same pair in black which she absolutely loves, so when she found out that the company made an ivory version, she knew that they were a wedding day must-have!

Julia opted for a hair style that she described as ‘up and messy’ when briefing her hair and makeup artist Kim from Moby Beauty.

The Bridal Party

Julia chose her two best friends from primary school, Carly and Kerry to be bridesmaids for her on the day.

Following the autumnal colour scheme, the girls wore ankle-length dresses with a halter-neck. Julia and her bridesmaids shopped for dresses together and ended up choosing perfect gowns to suit both of their figures and a small baby bump belonging to Carly.

The groom’s party which included James’s best man, the page boys and fathers of the bride and groom wore black suits with black waistcoats and burnt orange, slightly patterned ties. James wanted to stand out a little so instead of wearing a black suit, he opted for a dark grey. The groom and his men shopped for their suits at Clarks Village, an outlet centre in Somerset.

The Big Day: 3rd November, 2016

Julia and James were married at 2pm in the grand Music Room at Cain Manor.

The bride walked down the aisle with her father, who was also carrying the couples 2-year-old daughter, Emma. ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’ by Band of Horses played in the background as the bride made her entrance and the couple had a special playlist of songs that were personal to them and their relationship. After the ceremony, the new Mr & Mrs walked out of the patio doors and were showered with confetti by their 54 day time wedding guests.

Julia and James discussed their floral visions with a local florist called Nicci G’s. Their wedding flowers consisted mainly of Roses and Gerberas, in shades of orange, yellow with green foliage and twisted hazel. The groom’s party wore burnt orange coloured roses to complement the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets. A vibrant top table arrangement was also created by Nicci G’s.

After their drinks reception, guests were called back in to The Music Room and were served a sumptuous wedding banquet that has been pre-chosen by the newlywed couple on a previous Wedding Planning Wednesday menu tasting session.

autumnal tiered wedding cake on rustic log slice

Wedding Breakfast Menu


Baked Brie
Main Course

Hampshire Sticky Beef with Vegetables

Chocolate Pot with Jack Daniels Ice Cream

Wedding Reception

A family friend decorated Julia and James’s three tier, traditional fruit wedding cake with iced leaves cascading down one side. To follow the autumnal theme, the wedding cake sat on a sliced log on a round cake table in the corner of The Music Room. Numbered wedding reception tables were decorated with birdcages filled with painted pinecones and battery powered tea-lights to avoid the worry of dripping candles. For wedding favours, guests were given a small brown paper bag with a packet of Wrigleys chewing gum, to reflect on the couples new married surname.

A further 60 guests were invited to the evening reception at Cain Manor to celebrate the marriage of their friends Julia and James. Julia didn’t toss her bouquet to a group of single friends – instead, she said ‘catch’ to the Best Man’s girlfriend – who didn’t know that she was going to be proposed to later on that year – Julia and James were in on it! The couple had been to dance lessons during the 6 month run up to their wedding, so when it came to their first dance, their guests were wowed. Their colleagues from work held up ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ style score cards at the end of the couple’s first dance to ‘You and Me’ by Lifehouse.

The Honeymoon

The bride and groom didn’t set up a traditional wedding gift list, but instead they asked for donations towards a wonderful honeymoon to Cuba. The couple knew that they wanted to travel to the Caribbean and with the help of their travel agent, they were able to narrow their choice down to Cuba.

Advice to Future Wedding Planning Couples

When asked if there was any advice they could give future Bijou wedding planning couples, Julia and James said the following: “Don’t get sucked into all the little things you ‘should’ have or ‘should’ do, they’re not worth the stress or the cost. There is no need to spend a fortune on decorations, centrepieces, flowers, extra fairy lights, seat covers etc. Your day will be amazing because it’s your wedding day, not because of the bells and whistles.

Julia and James’s Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Venue: Cain Manor
Wedding Photographer: Family Friend
Wedding Dress Designer: Private Label
Wedding Shoes: Irregular Choice
Wedding Hair and MakeUp: Moby Beauty, Holistics, Event Hair and Makeup
Bridesmaids Dresses: Debenhams
Wedding Florist: Nicci G’s
Wedding Band: Bijou DJ
Wedding Cake: Family friend

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