On a beautiful sunny day, in a grand old manor house in the Essex countryside, Ellie kept her promise to Ben when he asked her to marry him by promising to be his wife.
The day was finally here, after all the years of planning, but before we jump to the end, lets start at the beginning! Their story starts in the city of love, Paris.
“Our proposal will always be one of my most special memories. It all started when Ben surprised me with a beautiful trip to Paris for my birthday. I was over the moon but never for a second expected what was to come. It was at the end of December, so Paris had that extra Christmassy romantic feel everywhere you went.
On our last evening, Ben had booked a visit to the Montparnasse tower for dinner. He took me to the open roof top for a glass of champagne and whilst admiring the pretty night view of the whole of Paris, he got down on one knee and asked me to stay by his side forever and to be his wife. I was in floods of happy tears and of course I said Yes!!”
What a lovely way to start such a wonderful experience together!
From there, this is then the time to start planning everything. From dresses, to name cards, song lists to food choices, photographers to themes! But first, the venue…
“Our engagement lasted for just over 3 years as we had our hearts set on saving to buy our first home together before we were married. So we decided to book a venue first and begin saving for the house and our wedding!
I always knew I wanted a classic wedding and was straight away drawn to the beauty of manor houses. We viewed four venues before Gosfield Hall but each one had something I disliked or that made me unsure. Our fifth venue to view was Gosfield Hall. This was the first venue were we both honestly could not find one thing that we disliked and it was love at first sight, the only venue where we loved every single room. We loved how it was a private venue and how and our guests would have the whole house to enjoy to themselves. We loved the grounds and how pretty they were in the spring. How every moment of your day is held in a different room and area of the house. We loved how beautiful the ballroom is, how the decor is so pretty but always neutral which any colour scheme would look wonderful with. I remember the moment I walked into the beautiful bridal suite for the first time, I was blown away by how stunning it was and I just knew we had found our perfect venue.
We booked right away at that meeting and were both so excited to continue with our planning ❤
So the first stage was complete! The venue was found, so now it was on to the small bits and pieces that come together to make the day of their dreams.
“The most helpful tool for planning I found was Instragam. It’s so amazing these days to search suppliers and see all of their work, to see other brides ideas and themes. To see other weddings that have been tagged in at Gosfield Hall really helps you pick up on things you do and don’t like for your own big day.
I wanted an elegant and classic theme. I wanted to keep everything very clean and pretty with white being the main colour with hints of dusty pink. We personalised our wedding by having a white aisle runner made with our initials and date on, which worked really well in the Grand Salon.
I was also so grateful to be introduced to the Gosfield Hall Family Facebook page. It was such a help and so interesting to be able to see past & present brides sharing their ideas or helping with questions. I would highly recommend any Gosfield Hall bride to join.”
With inspiration in full flow and using any tool possible to research, Ellie and Ben’s wedding was coming together nicely. All that would then be left to do is look forward to the date!
Just under 3 years later, the day had finally arrived!
Ellie and the girls arrived at the house on the morning of the wedding, full of excitement, nerves and laughter! The day was finally upon them and they would finally be able to call themselves husband and wife!
“I always had an image in my head of what I wanted and that was a typical fish tail gown, it wasn’t until I started to try on a lot more fitted ones than I realised I felt more elegant in those.”
“I always knew I wanted a low cut detailed back and pretty lace but it took me 4 dress shops to finally find the perfect one and I still look at my photos every day now and wish I could wear it again.”
“I kept my accessories very plain and simple. My mum brought me a beautiful pair of Pandora droplet earrings. I wore simple silver Kurt Geiger heels. My bridal underwear was from Bouex Avenue. They do the loveliest bridal collection.”
“My biggest saving had to be my bridesmaid dresses, they were from Asos. I had so many compliments about them and they looked so beautiful, yet they were so reasonably priced. For any bride not wanting to spend a fortune there bridesmaid section online is amazing.”
“I had five bridesmaids. I’m very lucky to have such a close group of best friends since I was at school. We have all shared so much together throughout the years so to have them by my side on my big day meant the world to me. They made the morning in the bridal suite so special and one I will never forget.
They all wore dusty pink dresses with a low cut back with a bow. Again, they were pretty and very elegant. Their hair was a statement pony tail by the amazing Carly Williams.”
With the girls in full swing upstairs, the boys were just as busy downstairs getting suited and booted!
“Ben and his groomsmen were very traditional in a navy blue suits. We kept it classic like the rest of our theme and Ben wore a scooped white waste coat to stand out. They all looked so smart.
I remember the first time I actually saw Ben that morning which was from sneakily peeking down out of the bridal suite window from behind the curtains with my bridesmaid Ruby. He had no idea we were there but I remember getting butterfly’s seeing him looking so handsome.”
“I think our photographer and videographer were what we spent the most on, but my advice to any bride is that it’s so important as the day goes so fast and flashes before your eyes. The morning after you wake up and seeing photos and videos means everything to you as it’s your way of reliving the best day of your life.”
While everyone was in full on prep mode, the house was being dressed and prepared for the arrival of Ellie and Ben’s family and friends.
With Bride and the Bridesmaids ready, Groom and Groomsmen ready, there was only one thing left to do… Get married!
“As I never had a close relationship with my dad, I actually asked Ben’s dad to walk me down the aisle which he was honoured to be able to do and was emotional on the day.”
It meant a lot to me and Ben that he did it, as after all, a wedding is bringing you all together as one big family.
I feel in this day and age, it’s important to girls to realise that it’s fine to have who ever you feel comfortable with walking you down the aisle, there’s no set tradition anymore.”
“Our ceremony was very romantic and I loved the setting of the room downstairs. I walked up the aisle to “I get to love you” by Ruelle, which definitely brought a tear to everyone’s eyes.”
“I was so nervous just before the ceremony but as soon as I saw Bens face at the top of the aisle I was absolutely fine and couldn’t control my smile.”
Introducing you to Mr and Mrs Wicks!
Having now done the hard bit, Ellie and Ben could finally relax and enjoy chatting with their friends and family during their welcome drinks.
Pimms and Lemonade
Having now caught up with everyone, it was off around the house and grounds to take some lovely photo’s with the very talented Jasmine Jade and to have some time for just the two of them.
With pictures done, it was time to greet their guests on the way to them taking their seat in the exquisite ballroom for their wedding breakfast.
Speeches were first thing on the agenda. Ben’s Dad spoke first, then Ben and then finished off by Ben’s best-man.
“We had three speeches. We had these before the dinner which was just so they could then be stress free and enjoy their meal. A special one from Ben’s dad, Ben’s speech which was so sweet and heart warming, then lastly Ben’s best man which is one of his longest friends James. His was brilliant and made everyone crack up.”
With the last, scary, formality done with, it was on to dinner!
Prawn and Crayfish Tian
Prawns and Crayfish bound in Marie Rose sauce, served with sliced Avocado, dressed leaves and Lemon dressing
Mozzarella and Rocket Salad with Tomato and Chilli Salsa (V)
Toasted Garlic Bruschetta, topped with Rocket Salad and slices of Creamy Mozzarella, garnished with Tomato, Red Onion and Chilli Salsa
Roasted Artichoke and Sun Blushed Tomato Salad (Vegan)
A whole roasted globe artichoke, served with tossed sun blushed tomato and salad leaves and garnished with balsamic and red pepper salsa
Free Range Breast of Chicken
Stuffed with Chorizo served on Sweet Onion and Potato Lyonnaise with a Roasted Tomato and Smoked Paprika Sauce
Roasted Vegetable Wellington (V)
Seasonal vegetables, blended and encrusted in Puff Pastry, finished with a Red Wine and Cranberry reduction
Goan Vegetable Curry with Coconut Infused Rice (Vegan)
Lightly sautéed vegetables, blended with curried spices and garnished with fresh coriander
Raspberry Ripple Terrine
Fresh Raspberry compote swirled through rich Vanilla Mousse, frozen and served with Lemon Shortbread and Raspberry Coulis
Chocolate Fudge Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream
Finished with Chocolate sauce
After dinner, Ellie and Ben made their way down to the bottom of the Grand Hall staircase to cut their beautiful wedding cake
Straight from there, it is on to the dreaded first dance!
“Our first dance was – ‘From this Moment’ by Shania Twain. We loved it because all of the words explained exactly how we feel.
We thought about choreographing, which would of been great if we were good at dancing, but neither of us are so we decided to just relax, go with the flow and enjoy the moment. Which was actually really lovely.”
The rest is history. What a lovely day, filled with loved ones celebrating the joining of two families. Mr and Mrs Wicks partied into the night with their loved ones and made it a day to remember!
We asked Ellie and Ben, based on their experience, to give future Brides and Grooms some advice;
“Don’t over think too much because planning a wedding can be stressful and especially as it gets very close. I can promise you that once your day begins all those silly things you worried about won’t even enter your head because you will be having the most amazing day with your new husband!”
“If we could do it all again, we would…”
We wouldn’t change anything because it was the best day of our live’s ❤️
After their wedding day, it was off to a magical honeymoon…
“We went to Dubai and stayed on the Palm for ten days. We left the afternoon the day after our wedding, which was so fun as the excitement continued. We had a wonderful time eating out at special restaurants, relaxing days at beach clubs, we went to the top of the worlds tallest building the Burn Khalifa & went to Atlantis water park for the day. Definitely a place that holds a lot of special memories that we will return to.”
We wish you both all the best and that your love story continues to grow! We were absolutely honoured to be able to be part of your special day!
Wedding Dress: Dando London
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Asos
Make up: Yasmine Anbouche – Glam box makeup
Hair: Carly Williams
Wedding rings: Neil lane – Ernest jones
Wedding cake: Jennifer cakes
Invitations: Angel Creations Halstead
Photographer: Jasmine Jade
Wedding favours: home made