Louise and Mark got engaged on a sunny holiday to Mexico in 2012, following a relaxing couples massage in the spa. “After the massages, our masseuses left our robes on the end of our beds. On putting on my robe, I put my hand in my pocket to find a ring box. I exclaimed ‘Oh how sweet, they’ve given us a gift’ on opening the box, only to realise once I’d seen the ring that it was a gift from Mark,” smiles Louise. “Mark had intended to get down on one knee after the massage with champagne and strawberries, but as the robes had been accidentally swapped round, the proposal was a little bit earlier than planned,” she laughs.
Everything in one place
With all the excitement of planning a wedding, it wasn’t long before Louise got stuck in. “I tried to resist getting straight into planning as soon as we returned home from Mexico, however a few weekends after being home we were visiting venues,” she laughs. The couple wanted a venue which everyone could relax in from the minute they arrived; somewhere with a church, reception room and accommodation all on one site. With such specific requirements, their venue choices were rather limited, but luckily enough Louise stumbled upon Wasing Park online. “We absolutely loved it. The church also held approximately 100-120 people, which was ideal,” recalls Louise.
Louise took inspiration for her big day from online blogs, including Rock My Wedding and Style Me Pretty. Despite not having a strong theme, the couple were keen to add pretty, elegant, spring like touches to their March wedding day. “We tried to make sure most elements were in a green, plum, white and cream colour. The church was kept very simple with a simple flower arrangement, and small pretty green flowers on the end of the pews; and the venue was adorned with low pots of beautiful spring, plum, green and ivory blooms,” explains Louise. Springtime home and garden elements ran throughout the couple’s wedding cake design and favours too. Louise’s aunty made the couple a traditional white fruit cake, with plum and green flowers around each tier, and Louise and Mark made their own jam favours with mini spoons attached to the sides.
Superb photography was high on Louise and Mark’s must-have wedding list. Having browsed several photographers online, the couple decided to choose Anneli Marinovich to capture their big day romance. “She had previously photographed a few weddings at Wasing Park and none of the shots were the same – despite being at the same venue. Our photos were really natural and demonstrated how fun our day was,” says Louise.
Making a statement
When it came to her bridal attire, there was no doubt which gown Louise would choose. From the moment she put on the Augusta Jones ‘Ali’ dress, she fell in love with it. “I didn’t really believe that I would know that the dress was the right one, but I really did,” remembers Louise. Her look was finished off with a delicate veil and silver Roland Cartier shoes. Mark decided that his attire would reflect his heritage and so he chose a traditional Scottish tartan suit for the whole grooms party. “Mark wears suits everyday to work so he really wanted something special. They all had a cheeky hipflask in their sporran to calm their nerves too!” laughs Louise.
Keeping it in the family
Louise and Mark’s traditional, simplistic day was reflected in their beautiful church ceremony. Louise’s dad walked her down the aisle and the couple enjoyed a ceremony with their favourite hymns and readings – read by special members of their wedding party. “Our mums lit unity candles during the first hymn, and Mark and I then lit our own candle from both of our mum’s candles. It was so special,” says Louise.
A wonderful feast
Luckily, the couple’s March wedding day brought with it fine weather, enabling the wedding party to enjoy peach Belinis and canapés outdoors. The tasty, spring like reception drinks were followed by a sumptuous four-course wedding breakfast the couple were more than happy to splash out on. “We had scallops for starter, beef wellington for main, a palate cleanser of champagne sorbet and a trio of desserts to finish. After having an amazing dinner at Wasing’s tasting evening, we kept increasing our catering package ever so slightly,” says Louise.
The couple’s wedding day wouldn’t have been complete without their Ceilidh band, Licence to Ceilidh. “We wanted something to get everybody dancing early on. It was such a success and people still talk about it now. It was hard work though, especially whilst holding up my dress!” laughs Louise.
Louise’s top tips:
- Don’t fret about the minor things – you won’t even notice these on the day
- Leave yourself enough time to get ready in the morning. You’ll probably want 45 minutes spare before you head out to your ceremony for photos, a glass of champagne and a moment to compose yourself
- It’s such a cliché, but it really is true – just enjoy it, it does go so quickly!
Images © Anneli Marinovich Photography
To find out more about holding your special day at Wasing Park, call the friendly events team on 0118 907 0199.