Ian and Ian’s love story started back on the 14th February 2017, what a lovely, simple and romantic way to start off one of the most exciting journeys of their lives!
“Ian Ross (Little E) proposed to me on the beach at Camber Sands on Valentines Day 2017 during a short break to Sussex.
During the day, I thought he thought I was going to propose as I had booked afternoon tea in our favourite hotel in Rye. Due to this, I made the comment I thought it was tacky proposing on Valentines so he would not be disappointed, little did I know he had already bought the ring and was planning to do it! He nearly didn’t ask me due to my comments!
Luckily he still went ahead with it and it was perfect. We were stood on the sand dunes at dusk when he popped the question as he snuggled into me, I didn’t hear him at first so he had to repeat it which he doesn’t let me forget!
We then went back to our hotel overlooking the beach for a bottle of Prosecco and engagement party planning!”
With the engagement now in full swing, it was time to start brainstorming into what they both imagined for their dream wedding.
With the excitement having now set in, it was time to have a serious chat… Budget!
“We set the budget by what we had available to us and what we felt was a comfortable amount to spend. We didn’t want to be relying on borrowing too much and re paying for a long time. Although through general wedding research the average cost of a wedding was easily available so we knew we were in the right area for what we had budgeted. We didn’t quite stick to our original budget but it was a conscious decision to go over in the areas we did. It is always worth getting several quotes, especially for photographers and florists as these can really vary, but that said it does seem you get what you pay for. Luckily ours was just as we had hoped and we think at a really good price!”
Lots of couples use different forms of media to help aid them in planning their special day. To get as many ideas and as much inspiration as possible is key, as everyone has different ideas in what is most important! For Ian and Ian, the venue was their first port of call.
“We both had several ideas of what we imagined the day to be, some of these were similar which helped! The Venue was our first priority, we knew roughly the sort of venue we wanted and the area so we started looking online through various search engines and apps (Bridebook). We knew that the actual design and location of the venue would then set the style for what we did on the day.
We always knew looking for venues would be one of the fun parts so we wanted to visit as many as we could to see what was on offer. It is really useful to do your research on venues and see as many as you can as each one offers something different and it really is a matter of finding the one that grabs you. A bit like finding your partner, you know when it’s the right one! We didn’t do any visits on open days as we preferred the personal touch and wanted to get the real feel for the venues and staff. Don’t underestimate the impact the staff have on your day, they really can make or break the atmosphere and the experience your guests have.
Ian R fell in love with Gosfield Hall as the tour progressed, so there wasn’t really any question after our first visit. He was ready to sign at the end of the tour! The feel of the venue, the setting and the dealings with the staff on the visit along with the fact it had accommodation and was exclusive use really sold it to us. After previous visits at other similar venues, we knew we had found the one.
We didn’t view anymore after Gosfield Hall!
The viewing of Gosfield Hall with Emma spoke for its self. The whole tour grew with anticipation, you had a sense of more to come after each room and we weren’t disappointed. The ceremony room was just perfect, it had the nearest feel to a church we could get and knew it would feel like an intimate setting.”
They had found their dream wedding venue! Everything else was then easy to plan and fell into place, knowing they had found the perfect place to start their married life together.
Suppliers were booked, decoration sorted… All that was left to do was to look forward to the big day!
Ian and Ian arrived together on the morning of the big day. Armed with boxes, suits and excitement, they got busy with setting the scene for their perfect wedding.
“We let the venue speak for itself, we loved the feel of Gosfield Hall and the history that oozed from its walls. We wanted to enhance what it had rather than dress it up so we choose subtle flowers in the areas it was needed and to help add to the romantic ambience we wanted. There is so much to look at in Gosfield Hall that we wanted our guests to enjoy that. We wanted a romantic yet classic feel to the day that was relaxed. We ended up with a subtle Stag theme which seemed to evolve as we went along. We already had a thing for Stags but when we saw the two in the grounds it lent itself to be part of the day. We incorporated these through an antler design on our wedding invites and day stationery, we had stag cuff-links for the wedding party and two clear stags as our wedding cake topper.”
“Our cake was one of the things we were really excited to see done. We had initially worked with our cake lady, Jips Cakes, to create a 4 tier cake with each tier being a different flavour, but we added a dummy gold tier after seeing pictures pop up on social media. Don’t be afraid to adapt your ideas as you go along, as there can be such a long time from your initial planning stage to the point at which your suppliers actually starting making your items. Our cake lady was very approachable and open to suggestions that we felt comfortable to ask for the changes.”
“She made a magnificent cake that all our guests raved about and it far exceeded our expectations, it was a real talking point and a piece of art that just fitted into the space perfectly. I still look at the pictures in awe now with my mouth watering!”
“As for the standard parts of the wedding such as guest book and wedding cards we wanted to do something different and something that we could keep rather than put away in a draw. We created our own guest book in the style of the love lock bridge. Guests could write their messages on a tag and then lock the padlock to a frame we adapted. This worked well and looks good with all the padlocks on. We love antiques and vintage style so purchased an antique set of leather-bound draws which we used for our wedding cards and still store at home now. This was accompanied with antique picture frames with the signs to finish the look.
We wanted to bring a bit of ourselves into the style and venue so it felt more personal to us.”
“We did a lot of research online for all our suppliers, but our cake lady, florist and photographer popped up on facebook. We fell in love with their styles right off. We meet them one to one and worked closely with them with our ideas to ensure we got what we wanted. We worked with some great people that made the whole process enjoyable. We got various quotes so we knew what was a reasonable price. We choose local suppliers to both us and the venue so as to support local businesses. We didn’t attend any wedding fairs as being a shift worker they never seemed to coincide with my days off and we wanted to do them together if we were going to go. We had heard mixed reviews on them in general with a few people telling us they were like cattle markets and they had not enjoyed the experience. We don’t feel we missed out by not attending as we built a relationship with our suppliers by meeting them one to one which made the whole experience a lot more personal.”
With all decoration now in place, the guys could then focus on getting dressed and ready for the registrars imminent arrival!
“I bought Ian R some gifts to wear on the day which was given to him by our photographer. I did a box along the lines of the traditional something blue etc this included stag head cuff-links, aftershave and my engagement ring as something borrowed.”
“We both went for hired suits, the same colour but slightly different waistcoats and ties to match the colour theme but yet not look too dissimilar to each other. We went for Navy suits with light grey check waistcoat for me and light blue check waistcoat for Ian R. I wore a burgundy tie and Ian R gold tie to match our wedding party. We had seen the look initially and both loved it but when we saw similar in a shop we didn’t like the quality so started looking at alternatives. We tried a few suits on in hire shops but just didn’t feel like grooms, we felt more like guests and knew we needed something a little different. When we tried on the original style of suits at a different hire shop the quality was a lot better and we fell in love with the look again, with our groomsmaid’s vocalising their approval! On the day the suits seemed just perfect and certainly made us feel like grooms. Ian R looked stunning every bit the perfect groom as he walked down the aisle, we made the right choice! When we looked at the photos we knew our colour choices hit our image perfectly and everything worked as we had hoped.”
“Ian R bought me a pocket watch to wear in my waistcoat that the groomsmaid gave me on the day. Neither of us wore our engagement rings on the day so we had bare fingers when we exchanged wedding rings.”
With the guys now ready to roll, suited and booted, it was time to head to the ceremony to finally say their vows to each other.
“We choose Songbird as our entrance song, followed by At Last by Etta James and The Rose for the signing of the register. We then left to A Thousand Years. We had not told many people of our plan for the entrances so no one knew what to expect or who was coming when it left the element of surprise for people and helped to build a bit of anticipation. Ian R decided to wear sparkly gold shoes with his suit (unknown to me) which caused a bit of laughter and a lot of smiles as he entered, this really helped to break the ice and set the mood for the day!”
“We went with Carley in a burgundy slim fitting long dress and I wore a tie to match. Then Suz in a dark blue slim fitting long dress so Ian R wore a gold tie to match the groomsmaids.”
“This was probably one of the areas we had the most discussion over, as there were so many ways we could work the entrances as there was no tradition to follow. We decided to both make separate entrances, so we had our best men walk our mum’s down to start the entrances. Followed by our separate wedding party so my groomsmaid started, followed by me and Carley giving me away. Ian R groomsmaid then came down, followed by Ian R and Suz.”
Look at their happy faces… They were married! After the ceremony, it was off to have photo’s taken with their loved ones and to their drinks reception.
“We both had a best man each, Ian R had his twin brother who he was best man for and I choose my eldest nephew as I wanted family involved where we could. They both wore the same suits and colour as us but both had navy waistcoats to match the suits rather than our cheque ones. They wore the same tie colours as us so there was a consistency to our outfits. In the photos of us all together this seems to have really worked. Both were really chuffed to be asked to be the best men, especially my nephew who at 15 is a typical teenager with not a lot to say but his smile on the day spoke volumes.”
“We both had a groomsmaid and choose a close friend each to do this. We wanted the girls to have the experience of the bridesmaid dresses shopping so we booked a fitting at Abigail’s after already choosing the men’s department for our suits. We wanted a style that would suit the girls both and help create a romantic feel to the day. We were initially looking at nude colour’s to go with the flowers but when the sales consultant bought out the champagne dresses we knew that was the colour and would really set off the girls giving us away.”
“We had our drinks reception in the lounge with our ceremony singers moving down and entertaining our guests whilst the drinks and canapes were served. It was a great site as you come down the stairs to see the staffed lined up with the drinks trays. This was a great moment for everyone to mingle and catch up with a glass in their hand.”
Basil crostini with Feta and Tomato Pearls
Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Sour Cream
Welsh Rarebit Bite
Free-range bang bang Chicken
Mini Banoffee Pie
With their family and friends enjoying the carefully picked canapes and drinks by themselves, they went off for some alone time around the house and grounds and had some pictures taken with their photographer.
“We found our photographer via Facebook in the end, her photos popped up and that was it! We fell in love with the style of our photographer from the moment we saw them. We wanted more casual candid photos rather than lots of staged photos and these seemed to radiate from her previous work. On our initial meeting with her, we were there for nearly 3 hours chatting so knew we had found the right one! Choosing someone you can relate to and feel relaxed with is very important as they are with you for a large part of the day and at some of the most romantic moments! The more relaxed you are with them the better the photos will be.”
It was time for family and friends to start making their way up to the Ballroom for Ian & Ian’s wedding breakfast.
“We were stuck on what to do for our wedding favours, again we researched ideas online using Pinterest, Etsy and anything else that popped up. There were some great ideas for all types of budget that confused us even more! In the end, we ended up going for meringue kisses from a supplier at Jimmy’s Farm in Ipswich after eating some! They proved popular and looked good on the tables.”
French Onion Soup
The caramelised onions are mellow and sweet and the beef broth itself is laced with white wine and Cognac. Finished with crunchy baked croutons topped with melted cheese
Leek and Potato Soup
Traditionally made and finished with cream and chives seasoned with salt & pepper and a hint of nutmeg
Traditional Roast Topside of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding
Served on a bed of horseradish mash and a rich red wine jus
Roasted Vegetable Wellington (V)
Roasted seasonal vegetables encrusted in puff pastry served with a cranberry reduction
Trio of Desserts
“We had great feedback on the food and the service was impeccable. Throughout the service, the staff were professional and friendly with great timing.”
“For the speeches, we had four. These were started off by Carley who gave me away, this was replied to by me and the gifts to the wedding party and mum’s flowers given out. Ian R and his best man Stewart then followed with their speeches. Carley included a rhyme in hers about me which was amazing and really went down well. Ian R gave me a present during the speech which was a vintage top hat I had always wanted, so that was a great surprise and worked well with his speech. The speeches went on a bit longer than planned but the time flew with all the laughing and toasts.”
With everyone’s bellies full, it was time to head downstairs for cutting of the cake, the first dance and to get the party started!
“We choose ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ by Lady Gaga from the film ‘A Star is Born’. This was a last-minute change as we had decided on an Ed Sheeran song right from the start, but after watching the film we both knew that was the song to smooch to. We were both a bit worried about the first dance as we were not too keen on everyone watching our slow dance, but on the day it was actually a lovely moment with some great photos! Our guests joined in after a few minutes too and the door floor was filled. We also had a song straight after, photograph by Ed Sheeran, to dance with our mum’s too.
We used the in-house DJ for the evening reception. He did a great job and kept everyone dancing all night. We gave a playlist as there were a few songs we wanted to hear, he did a great medley towards the end of the night that just topped off the day perfectly.”
With the last of the formalities over with, all that was left was to party on into the night.
The next morning, Ian and Ian joined their nearest and dearest for breakfast and had the chance to reflect on the day before. And what a fabulous day they had!
We asked the guys a couple of questions…
What was your biggest wedding splurge?
“It has to be the venue, after all this is the one part that sets the day, this was closely followed by the outfits and then the photographer. All worth paying that bit extra for.”
What was your biggest wedding saving?
“Our on the day stationery. We did the printing for our table plan via a close friend so that saved a little. Our wedding favours also came in a little cheaper than we had planned due to the amount we bought.”
Based on your own experience, give us some top tips:
“Keep an eye on your budget, it is easy to forget about all the little bits. If your budget is strict stick to the bits that are important to you and plan the day for what you want and not what others expect. It is your day and your chance to introduce yourselves to everyone as a couple. Listen to each other’s ideas and try to incorporate both where you can, it will make your day more personal, you and certainly your guests will notice it on the day.
Enjoy every moment as it goes too fast. Everyone said that to us beforehand but you never really appreciate it until it is your day. Take time to stand back and take it all in. It is not often you have all those people together for the day. We were overcome with the love from everyone on the day and that without a doubt is our lasting memory of the day and whole experience.
“If we could do it all again, we’d…”
“Be in heaven, Ian R already wants to do a renewal as he loved it so much! The only thing we would change would be to spend more time with our guests and the singers in the drinks ceremony as we missed a big part of this being with the photographer for the outside shots. The shots were worth it though!”
Ian and Ian went to Paris for a few days after the wedding to have some time away and have booked a delayed honeymoon for the summer time and will be going on a beautiful cruise!
From all of here at Gosfield Hall, we wish you a lifetime of happiness!
Wedding attire: The Groom’s Room – Colchester
Florist: Triangle Nurseries
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Abigail’s bridal wear – Colchester
Other Outfits: Coast
Wedding Rings: H Samuels
Wedding Cake: Jips cakes
Invitations: Polly pickle – Ipswich
Photographer: Katy Gell
Wedding Favours: Arabella’s Kitchen at Jimmy’s farm
Other: Singers for ceremony/reception – The Papersong birds