Real Weddings

Sottero & Midgley for a colourful & classic wedding at Iscoyd Park – Claire & George

10th March 2020 | Sarah Symonds

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Tie the knot and celebrate by candlelight with Claire and George at their romantic, winter wedding at the imposing and elegant Iscoyd Park. You’re going to swoon over the stylings of this marquee soiree!

With an early start for the wedding party, as the frost begins to thaw outside in the gardens, it’s Team Bride vs. Team Groom; all the girls get ready together, while the boys suit up, making for a fun morning leading up to the exciting main event.

Claire is positively glowing, radiant in her beautifully embellished Sottero and Midgley, ‘Downton’ style dress and Jimmy Choos. We’re seeing classic country chic and seasonal blooms, with pretty touches of sheer glamour, such as the addition of feather boleros (which also helped keep the bridesmaids warm in the November chill!)

Then onto the intricate and elaborate four tier cake and the most enchanting marquee! Hundreds of candles adding heaps of atmosphere, extravagant chandeliers, stunning suspended floral and foliage arrangements and the incredible table styling inspo you’ve been looking for. We’ve been speaking to bride Claire for all the finer details.

With photography by Tobiah Tayo Photography

Proposal

Claire says: Every Christmas I have a bespoke advent calendar which has little personal gifts in. To my surprise box number 19 contained my engagement ring!

Setting

We tied the knot on the 26th of November and it was a fantastic time of year to get married. I had always dreamed of a spring wedding but actually the early darkness gave us opportunities for romantic candlelight that lighter nights just wouldn’t have, and because it was out of season, our suppliers were all available.

Iscoyd Park was really high on my list. We wanted a stylish venue which had beauty and old-world charm, yet was modern and spacious enough to host a fun and fashionable reception, with the added benefit of stunning guest rooms for the bridal party. The mix of old and new here works perfectly and the marquee allows you to totally create your own design with your fantastic suppliers. In fact, I owe the wow-factor to Red Floral, who I had found on our first Iscoyd open day. I knew right there and then, we had to have that venue and they would be top of our list of must-have suppliers. If I’m totally honest, my mum and I love to plan a party, so we just got stuck in. Luckily for me George was very happy to let me take control.

Theme

I knew I wanted a colourful wedding but in a subtle way. It was kind of like ‘Downton Abbey meets modern day’ with a lot of focus on florals.

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Dress

My dress was by Sottero and Midgley, and I had the best experience at TDR Bridal in Halesowen. Up to this point nothing had really impressed me, but TDR had everything a bride could ask for in terms of range and style! I love glitz, detail and the beauty of lace, and the lovely staff pointed me in exactly the right direction.

The dress was out of their Downton range. Tulle paired with intricate pearls, Swarovski crystals and embellishments on a simple sheath wedding dress with a stunning illusion bateau neckline and back.

The only thing it didn’t have, which I wanted, was a sleeve. But, with a little extra fabric and lace, their seamstress created me some beautiful sleeves to complete the dream dress.

Groomsmen

George’s outfit was from Peter Posh. For the groomsmen, we opted for a morning suit with a grey and ivory tweed waistcoat and matching ties to compliment the bridesmaids. They all looked amazing and enjoyed dressing up.

Bridesmaids

I had fallen in love with a shimmery fabric from the Dessy collection, called Lavender Silver. We went over to TDR Bridal’s sister shop, Pandora’s, and they had a great selection of the Dessy range. The girls tried on various styles and, luckily, they all loved the same style and the colour suited all of their skin tones. As the day got closer, I realised how chilly it had become so I also got them all beautiful feather boleros and I am so glad I did; they complimented the dresses so well.

Beauty

We had a really lovely morning getting ready. Our hairdresser, Maxine Morgan, who we have been going to for years, came over to do hair, whilst Harriet, from Sorelle Beauty in Codsall, did all our makeup.

Photographer

Our photographers were husband and wife team, Tobiah and Laura, of Tobiah Tayo Photography and they were just outstanding! We’d met them a few times and had some pre-wedding photos taken in our family holiday spot of Aberdovey. We knew they were great fun and would totally put us at ease. You just forget they’re there as there’s too much going on, but I couldn’t have been happier with their style and final results.

Videographer

We had New Fruit Productions film the day.

Styling

The styling was all down to Red Floral, who I had found on our first Iscoyd open day. I knew I wanted a colourful wedding but in a subtle way, and I saw a lovely photograph of a perfect bouquet on Pinterest. I showed it to Mat and the colour scheme was designed around that. We picked out our favourite roses and my love for tulips was incorporated, making it the most amazing array of flowers I could have hoped for.

We DIY-ed lots of personal touches throughout the day, like creating cute little gold animal place name holders for each guest. We made a doughnut wall of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, we had a Bubbles Bar in the form of an Ice Sculpture with bottle holders, and fruit bowls built in so people could create their own cocktails with fruit juices, and then we made lots of cake stands so the cut cake could be enjoyed by all our guests.

Our seating plan was a beautiful mirror with cut lettering. We sat this on an easel at the entrance to the marquee and had some foliage draped over the frame to soften the look.

Our menus were all personalised for each guest, based on their selection of starter and main course, and tailored to their dietary requirements. On the reverse of every menu we had either an Eye Spy game or ‘advice for the bride and groom’. The children had personalised wedding-themed drawing books and puzzles, with some small games to keep them entertained at the tables.

Favours

We had heart shaped boxes of Charbonnel et Walker truffles as favours; the pink champagne ones for the ladies and salted caramel for the men.

Cake

Our cake was just amazing. Tracy from Cotton & Crumbs had tied in the flowers so perfectly that George even thought they were real! I loved her style from day one and was very pleased when we found out she was still available for our date. The cakes not only look spectacular but tasted incredible.

Dining

We served guests a beautiful four course dinner from The Fine Dining Company. The style, taste and service was outstanding and perfect for us, as we’re big foodies.

We kept it informal for late night munchies in the evening. Mini sausage and mash, a Thai green chicken curry and a beef stew were on offer as we knew heart-warming winter food would be ideal. We wanted everyone to have fun and so for extra snacks we had a Krispy Kreme doughnut wall alongside our ice sculpture for the bubbles bar and finally we had our wedding cake, with all 4 flavours for everyone to enjoy.

Entertainment

We had a saxophonist for background music and Dexter as our evening live band, who were great. They really got everyone on their feet.

Thanks to

100% the venue! You need to find somewhere you feel comfortable and at home and Iscoyd Park does just that. You want to enjoy the day, and the venue staff are a big part of that, as they can make your experience even better by taking the stress away. Iscoyd Park did just that and we could not recommend them enough.

Best bit

Seeing George at the end of the altar was a mixture of excitement and nerves. After all the planning, it was finally real. It was so emotional.

Also, my Dad walked me down the aisle, which was a really special moment. Every little girl dreams of that moment and I was so happy to have the most supportive man in my life to be there at that moment for me.

Honeymoon

We left for honeymoon on the Monday after the wedding. Bags were packed ready, and it was great to be able to get away for some much-needed relaxation. We went to the Constance Halaveli resort in the Maldives and it was the most exquisite place. On arrival, being greeted as Mr and Mrs Southall as we stepped off the seaplane, was so lovely, and they continually reinforced this each time you see the staff every day. It was a great way to get used to your new name as a newlywed.

Advice

My advice for another bride-to-be would be follow your heart, prioritise important suppliers and book them early to avoid disappointment.

Then finally relax and enjoy. It is true what everyone says, it really is the best day of your life!

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