Harriet and Ed chose the stunning Horsley Towers in Surrey for their wedding celebration
Photography: Julia & You
An exclusive-use wedding at Horsley Towers
‘We knew we wanted an exclusive-hire venue with character and history, and as soon as we set eyes on the castle-style turrets at Horsley Towers we fell in love with it,’ says Harriet. ‘It was only the third venue we’d looked at, but we were so impressed that we booked it the same day.
My advice to any couple would be to prioritise what is important to you both. Pick three or four must-haves, i.e., your photographer, band, dream venue (don’t settle, everyone deserves to find theirs!), then decide which of them you’d be willing to compromise on.’
The ceremony at Our Lady of Sorrows in Effingham was a true family affair with the couple’s sisters, brothers and cousins acting as bridesmaids, groomsmen and ushers. ‘My mum wrote a poem for us entitled ‘Love’ and the whole ceremony was so overwhelming that I had to take a few deep breaths to keep the tears at bay.
‘Once we were actually married, we waited for everyone to leave the church then Ed drove us up the driveway at Horsley Towers in a Jaguar Convertible. There our guests were waiting to greet us on the terrace with glasses of Champagne in their hands.’
Also on that terrace was a barrel bar decorated with flowers, moss and Echeveria, serving Pimms, G&Ts, Prosecco and beer from Ed’s parents’ favourite brewery in Tring. Canapés included roast beef with mini Yorkshire puddings and smoked salmon, pea and mint tartlets.
The couple went with an elegant green and white botanical theme with white roses and lisianthus, gypsophila and lots of mixed foliage, including lovely grey tones of eucalyptus. ‘Pinterest is amazing for inspiration and we bought a lot of decorations from Etsy,’ says Harriet. ‘We also handwrote all the place settings to add a personal touch.’
Just over a hundred guests sat down for the wedding breakfast, which featured beef carpaccio, rocket and parmesan salad, hazelnut and truffle dressing, a pink champagne sorbet, roast lamb with roasted garlic mash, and a lemon tart with fresh raspberries and passionfruit sorbet. ‘We bought our cheese cake from Waitrose and decorated it with grapes for the evening buffet,’ says Harriet.
An extra 60 guests joined them in the evening where the band, OJ Soul, played Tom Walker’s Just you and I for the first dance. ‘We love the lyrics and wanted a modern song – it was perfect,’ says Harriet. ‘The highlight for me was simply the overwhelming feeling of love in the room.’
‘My brother is the co-founder of a gin company called Blue Thorn Gin so he very kindly made limited edition miniatures to give to guests as wedding favours’, says Harriet.
‘I found my Dando London dress in the first shop I visited and fell in love. One look at my mum tearing up told me it was definitely the dress for me!
The dress was absolutely stunning, particularly the back and the train.’
Top tips… Don’t settle on choosing a venue, everyone deserves to find their dream venue, and on keeping to a budget – prioritise what’s important to you
both. Pick a few must-haves and then decide what you would be willing to settle on.
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