Photography by Andy Wardle Photography
Creative & Colourful Woodland Wedding at Walcot Hall, Shropshire
A wedding day with two wedding dresses (one of them red) and a woodland ceremony where the bride and her gang arrive on the back of a vintage Chevrolet pickup? I mean, what’s not to love?! Gemma & Xavier’s epic wedding weekend took place at one of Mr & Mrs Unique’s fab supplier venues, Walcot Hall in Shropshire.
Over to the venue to tell us a bit more about this memorable wedding weekend…
What did you love about the couple and their ideas for their wedding day?
Gemma & Xav really got Walcot Hall. They loved the wedding venue just as it was, but also saw great potential in many other areas around the estate, hoping that they could ultimately do something a bit different to really put their own stamp on the day. We have a fairly flexible approach to weddings and secretly love it when couples come to us brimming with ideas, thinking outside of the box.
Gemma & Xav run a creative studio in London so we knew from the beginning that they were going to create something truly special and totally unique to them!
If you could describe their day in three words what would it be?
Creative, colourful, authentic!
Where was the wedding and reception held?
Gemma & Xav really wanted their ceremony to be held in the arboretum, with a backdrop of blooming rhododendrons but as this option isn’t licenced they opted for an intimate civil ceremony in the Ballroom first, before having a quick toast drink, an outfit change and then everyone gathered in a clearing in the arboretum for the main event, their woodland humanist blessing.
Their reception was held in the turquoise Ballroom at Walcot Hall where they chose a banqueting style layout. We have a 48 hour hire period so Gemma & Xav were able to arrive on the Friday morning with a van full of decorations and a team of friends to help!
What was your favourite moment of the day, and why?
When our caretaker put some hay bales in the back of one of our vintage Chevvy pickups so that he could take Gemma and her bridal party up to the ceremony location at the top of the arboretum…wedding transport goals!
What were your favourite decor details, and why?
Walcot Hall isn’t exactly a blank canvas with our turquoise Ballroom and numerous paintings that adorn the walls, therefore couples don’t really need to do too much decorating as it could just detract from Walcot’s natural character, (we have to assume this is why they chose us as their wedding venue in the first place!)
But Gemma & Xav did bring a mirror-framed stage with lights to put up in the Ballroom which looked pretty amazing and made a great backdrop for the speeches, and party afterwards!
What kind of ceremony did they have?
They had two! Their first was in the Ballroom where they had their intimate legal ceremony, and their second (the main event) was a humanist blessing which took place in Walcot’s arboretum.
They got married in May which is when the gardens really start coming to life and the colourful rhododendrons were really starting to pop! The weather hadn’t been great in the run up to the wedding but it definitely didn’t put them off; they, and their guests, donned their wellies and coats and trekked to the top of the arboretum where they had their beautiful personalised ceremony in front of their 130 guests!
Tell us about the food!
We don’t have in-house catering at Walcot Hall so couples are able to pick their own wedding caterers. Gemma & Xav opted for a highly recommended local wedding caterer, Tallulah’s Catering, as they wanted large veggie-friendly sharing platters and delicious Ottolenghi-style salads. They also had a cake table for dessert which their guests could help themselves to.
What kind of style did they rock on their wedding day?
Because they had two wedding ceremonies, naturally Gemma had two wedding dresses! The first was an amazing contemporary red dress (which we still talk about today!) with a thin gold belt and sleek hair. Her second dress was a white lace dress with a white overcoat, white boots and a Frida Kahlo-style floral head-dress…amazing.
Xavier looked great too in his blue tweed suit and patterned bow tie.
What was unique about their wedding day?
That they pushed the boundaries, regardless of the weather, and just got stuck in! The whole weekend was full of fun, colour and creativity.
What are your top three pieces of advice to couples when working with a wedding venue?
- Don’t be afraid to put your stamp on the day – venues love it when couples think outside the box and bring some real individuality to the day
- It’s always worth asking us for recommendations, of all kinds. We work with a wide variety of wedding suppliers so are always up for sharing our hints and tips!
- Try and get the most out of your venue, whether that’s with time, or space…or both! We have accommodation for 110 guests at Walcot Hall so we always encourage couples to organise a get-together the night before the wedding when everyone arrives, and reminisce about the wedding over a BBQ brekkie the day after!
What was your favourite photo from the day?
It has to be the bridal party in the back of the Chevvy pickup (below), making their way up to the arboretum! They look like they’re having the time of their lives!!
Thanks to Walcot Hall for sharing Gemma and Xavier’s wedding with us!
If you would like to see more from Walcot Hall visit HERE
Venue: Walcot Hall https://walcothall.com/
Photographer: Andy Wardle Photography https://www.andywardle.com/
Caterer: Tallulah’s Catering http://www.tallulahscatering.net/