Samantha and Alistair’s wedding story 15th February
“The day before our wedding was torrential rain and high winds, the Orwell Bridge was closed all through the night – myself and the bridesmaid were 40 mins late to the venue due to heavy traffic coming through Ipswich! Luckily we got there had time to decorate, have hair and make up done and be ready in time. With the exception of some windy moments the weather held out lovely and we even saw a little bit of sun!”
Where did you get engaged and how long had you been together before hand?
“We had been together a year and half, when just before Christmas in December 2012 I opened an envelope saying that I was being taken to London that afternoon for a weekend away – Alistair took me to London for the weekend, he booked a private pod on the big wheel at Winter Wonderland and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”
How many venues did you visit before you chose Woodhall Manor as your wedding venue?
“Woodhall was the first place we visited, for me – I didn’t think we would find anywhere else that matched up.”
How did you feel when you first visited Woodhall Manor, did you know straight away that you wanted to get married here?
“I knew straight away this was the venue for me, we loved the flow of the venue, welcome drinks in the manor, wedding breakfast in the banqueting hall then the reception in the nightclub bar – none of the awkward waiting around for rooms and tables to be repositioned that you get with other venues.”
What was your first step of wedding planning? Venue search, dress shopping, choosing a date etc?
“We had our daughter Poppy in June 2013 – so we needed to keep a close eye on our budget – we happened to go along to an open day (2nd time we visited a Woodhall manor) and booked a last minute special offer – we booked in October and got married on 15th Feb 14. Dress shopping was ok – I had to buy off the rack due to the time, however found my dream dress in my 3rd visit to a bridal shop and never looked back!”
How many months/years in advance did you book your special day?
What was the hardest thing about planning your wedding day?
“Keeping within budget and doing the table plan! My mum and dad are separated and it was the first time my mum had met my dad’s new partner, Alistair’s dad is no longer with us so we decided to have the top table as bride and groom, our baby and our mums. My dad hosted a table and so did the best man.”
Where there any funny moments on the Day?
“I’m a bit of a ladette and thought it would be fabulous to have a picture of me with all the guys, smoking a cigar (none of us even smoke) but thought it would look quirky. Our photographer captured it perfectly.”
What were the highlights of your day?
“Nearly 2 years ago I found my mum In a coma in her house, she had a severe brain infection. We were told she would never sit up or speak again – it was amazing to see my mum looking so wonderful stand up and do a reading “take care of my little girl” just before we exchanged rings.”
“When I was getting ready in the bridal changing room my bridesmaid handed me a card and 2 presents from Alistair, the card read that he wanted the presents to be passed down to Poppy to hopefully wear on her wedding day – I opened the most beautiful diamond earrings and necklace! I was speechless!”
Now you have “been there done that” in hindsight is there any thing you would have done differently?
“My only regret is that we didn’t have a videographer – we had Alistair’s 4 year old son as Page boy, and his Daughter as flower girl along with my niece and our baby Poppy – they all looked so cute and were so excited, I was especially disappointed that I didn’t get to see them walk down the aisle. During the speeches my dad got really teared up and emotional and said some lovely things, it would be fabulous to watch that back in hindsight I wish we had researched that a little more.”
Do you have any advice for Bride and Grooms that are just starting their wedding plans?
“Don’t let the planning take over your life, we did many DIY things such as bought all our own centrepieces, did a kids photo scavenger hunt – we also splashed out and hired a photo booth which all of our guests loved and we have the most amazing guest book with pictures and well wishes in.”
Thank you once again to all the team at Woodhall Manor for making our Wedding day so special and one we will never ever forget.
Sam & Alistair
Photography by: Matt Staples Photography