Back in May, two very happy people tied the knot here at Gosfield Hall
“It was on 15th December 2016 on top of the Ferris wheel at Winter Wonderland in London. I kind of knew something was up – we’d been dating for 7 years and I’d been seriously hinting that I wanted a very specific Vera Wang engagement ring for having to wait so long! That paired with the fact my usually laid back (now husband) was acting shady all day, plus taking me to my favourite place in the world (Christmas can’t begin without a trip to Winter Wonderland!) meant that I pretty much knew what was going on.
As we reached the top of the Ferris wheel, Joe pointed out the spot where we had first kissed and got down on one knee, he asked the question and I proceeded to spend the rest of the evening seeing how many free drinks we could get in celebration!
We then held an engagement party in May 2017 as I hate going out in cold weather and May meant we stood a good chance of sun (it rained all day).”
We like a man that can take a hint here… Joe did very well in our eyes! How romantic!
After the question had been popped (and free drinks consumed!), it was time to think about what they envisaged for their special day.
“I, like most girls, already had a Pinterest board waaaaay before being engaged. Our (My) colour theme was dependent on the time of year – meaning our first step was sorting the date.
I wanted burgundy for a September/October wedding or dusky pinks with a touch of gold for a May-August Wedding. Again, I hate going out in the cold so a winter wedding was off the cards – although I must admit Christmas or snowy weddings are stunning.
Then, my friend had her wedding in October with the colour burgundy, which made my decision of dusky pink so much easier.
With the time of year sorted our colour scheme followed and I was able to Pinterest and research more specific ideas – I loved the dusky pink theme but not too ‘barbie’, we wanted the flowers kept slightly wild rather than ‘perfect flower balls’ and nothing too over staged. Pinterest was my best friend with Instagram a close second.”
With the time of year decided, it was then time to take on the task of actually finding that perfect place to have all those ideas and dreams come to real life.
“Most of my must-haves were all venue related:
This sounds ridiculous now but I was really funny about the flooring – no mouldy green marque carpets and no crazy loud hotel corridor type eyesores! Basically, I wanted somewhere classy and romantic but not so upmarket that our guests (and ourselves) would feel out of place, it also needed to be within easy reach of our friends and family plus have accommodation for everyone who needed it.
Finally, I wanted to have the wow factor – something which I instantly felt the minute we drove up the drive of Gosfield Hall.
Entertainment was also important to me – I really wanted fireworks and a magician.
Lastly, I wanted amazing memories which meant the perfect photographer and videographer.”
So, with a clear mindset of how they wanted their day to be, it was time to find that all-important venue! Before that though… Budget!
“LOL, what budget?!
We were very lucky to be given a sum of money from my parents and other family members chipped in. There is no denying we also both worked and saved incredibly hard and I was lucky enough to have my side business take off so we were able to splurge a little bit more.
I do not recommend going to wedding fayres and getting drunk on free wine – this is how we ended up with both a pianist and a violinist
(although to be honest Caroline, the violinist, made our ceremony and Matt, the pianist, was the finishing touch to our reception drinks so no harm done I suppose).
In all seriousness, there was a point when I started to panic about the amount of money we were spending but the budget planner on hitched.com plus a good old fashioned paper and pen made it easy to assess.”
Now on to find that venue.
“To being with, I always imagined getting married in a barn. As previously mentioned, I had a big thing about the venue’s floor – this pretty much ruled out all marquees, hotels and a fair few stately homes.
However, everything changed once I saw Gosfield Hall. They were the first venue we visited in person and we booked it straight away, so no other venue ever got a real look in.
The second we saw Gosfield Hall we fell in love with everything, from the long driveway to the distinct brickwork, the architecture and colourful doors to the original features.
Once we were inside it only got better, with its stunning entrance, beautiful staircase and the most amazing bridal suite I have ever seen – plus enough equally stunning rooms for our guests.
The outside was just as beautiful as the inside and we knew straight away we had found our dream venue. “
With the date booked, venue on-board, it was time to decide on how they were going to personalise their day, to really make it theirs!
“Our colour scheme was dusky pink with a touch of gold and lots of natural foliage. We both felt that Gosfield Hall is stunning enough without any banners or too much ‘faff’. I did, however, surprise Joe and our guests by creating a 12-meter photo banner which was hung in the library. Each photo had messages from different countries and states from around the world, I collected over 300 places and it took me over a year but the end result was totally worth it and we have it hanging in our home now.”
“Gosfield Hall is such a romantic venue we naturally lent towards a soft, romantic theme, flowers were one of the most important aspects of our wedding. I knew I wanted tall floral centrepieces and a cascading stair bannister piece and oh my did they look amazing!
For our cake, we knew we wanted four tiers matching our colour scheme, but nothing could prepare us for the masterpiece our cake maker made – the matching cake favours were also perfect.”
With all the finishing touches being planned and finalised, all that was left was to look forward to the big day, as it would soon be upon them!
The night before, Charlotte arrived with the girls and settled themselves in our Lady’s Chambers Cottage for the night.
The next morning, it was all systems full speed ahead in preparation for the day.
“Hair & Makeup – Michelle is just so highly recommended I was never going to book with anyone else, I seem to choose a supplier, get fixated on them and then book straight away as I don’t think we booked anything other than the band less than a year before the wedding.”
Whilst Charlotte and the girls were downstairs, Joe and the boys were arriving on the other side of the house and heading off to get changed themselves.
“Joe chose a pale blue/grey French Connection three-piece suit with dusky pink roses on the back of his waistcoat and lining his suit jacket. He finished the look with a white shirt, dusky pink tie and tan shoes (Ted Baker).
I also gave him cufflinks personalised with our initials, the time of our ceremony and the date and a tie pin with ‘Always & Forever 23-5-19’ which he wore.
He looked gorgeous, I have never seen him look so handsome and the dusky roses were a total surprise – I was so touched that he had put so much thought into his outfit.”
Whilst they were both busy, the final touches were being made to the Hall.
“From Gosfield Hall’s recommended list – Megan (The Willows flowers) has worked at Gosfield Hall so many times that she knew exactly what we were after, as soon as I met her with my maid of honour, I knew she was the one.”
“The invitations, welcome sign, table plan, the order of the day and menus were all done by myself. I ended up starting my own wedding stationery Etsy shop off the back of it and we saved over £500 so win-win!”
“I contacted Amy after the first lady I contacted wasn’t available. On her Instagram, she also had these amazing cookies which you could personalize with names making them the perfect name cards/favours. After our initial meeting, Amy drew up a sketch of our design and it was everything we could ever have dreamt of. Our actual cake was nothing short of a masterpiece and the cookies were stunning.”
With the final bits and pieces in place, it was time for Charlotte to put on that all-important dress.
“My mum lives in France so I wanted to go wedding dress shopping with my Queen (Nana). My Nana has limited mobility, so we had to visit shops within a 10-mile radius of her house.
I had looked online and found a shop near her house selling a designer called Riki Dahal. There were a few dresses I liked the look of but one, in particular, stood out – Juliet.
From the second I put the dress on I knew it was the one, it was everything I wanted and more. It was flowy without being too ‘puffy’ and had delicate flowers on the body with a skirt made from 7 layers of lace and tulle. I felt like a real bride and my Nana was also welling up. I didn’t try any other dresses on and the boutique – Dress Dreams was the only one I visited (I’m starting to see a pattern here).”
“Originally, I was going to wear Jimmy Choos, this went out the window when I wore them for my hen party to break them in and nearly lost my feet in the process. I decided there and then to reconsider and instead went for a comfy pair of mid-heels from Dune’s bridal collection. I also treated myself to a pair of Gucci trainers for after the ceremony.
My original jewellery didn’t go to plan either when 8 months before the wedding my Nana was burgled, they stole all of her jewellery including everything I was going to borrow for the wedding day. Instead, she gifted me a pearl necklace and earrings set from The Pearl Company as my something new and my mum lent me a gold bracelet for my something borrowed.”
“Our ceremony was so beautiful, it was everything I had ever pictured and more! The weather was perfect, so we were able to marry outside and the set up looked stunning with the long red carpet and our beautiful pew ends and floral décor.”
“Caroline, our violinist played several chosen songs as guests took their seats which I could hear as I walked down to the courtyard bringing me butterflies where it sounded so stunning. After my 2 flower girls, Luke and the dog and the bridesmaids, I walked down the aisle with my father to ‘Beauty and the Beast’. It was the most picture-perfect moment of my life; the music was so beautiful it brought a tear to so many eyes including my own and when I saw Joe I was almost overcome with emotion.”
Say hello to the newlywed Mr & Mrs England-Smith
“We found Tom in Gosfield Hall’s ‘recommended suppliers’ and once we saw his photography work it was only ever going to be him. We booked him 2 years in advance and it was the best decision we have ever made.”
“We then walked back up the aisle to ‘Signed, sealed, delivered’ and the real party began.”
“Joe’s must-haves were simple, he wanted our Staffordshire bull terrier there. We actually had a minor argument when I fell in love with Gosfield Hall – if the dog wasn’t allowed, I was going to be devasted and I thought there was no way somewhere so beautiful would allow a dog to attend our wedding.
Luckily, Gosfield Hall is that amazing and Millie was able to attend our outdoor ceremony and have photos taken in the courtyard, they even said she could walk down the aisle inside if the weather was bad – which thankfully it wasn’t.
Once we knew having the dog was an option there was no way I was walking away without putting a deposit down on a date.”
With the hard bit over, it was time to enjoy each others company, chat with their guests and get some moments captured with their photographer!
“The boys all wore their own suits – Joe wasn’t keen on them all matching, and it saved us money anyway. The best man was Roger, Joes oldest friend. He was backed up by Joe H as he’s recovering from a brain tumour. The other groomsman included James – my brother and George, Antoine and Dave who are all friends through skateboarding.”
“I had 5 bridesmaids, Meg – My MOH and best friend, Katheryn – my sister, Carly – Joe’s sister and Jess and Jamie – two of my best girls. Plus 1 bridesman – my GBF and absolute King, Luke – we’ve known each other for around 10 years now since we both worked as carers – He’s now a fully qualified nurse and I’m an almost qualified paramedic so we’ve grown up in the NHS together.
All the girls wore multi-way dresses from Victoria Lou Bridal in dusky pink. They also had rose gold jewellery sets given to them on the morning of the wedding and their bouquets. Luke wore a navy suit from Debenhams with a dusky pink shirt and a big buttonhole, as it seemed inappropriate to give him a bouquet, he walked the dog down the aisle which was just the cutest!”
Welcome Drinks & Canapes
Basil crostini with Feta and Tomato Pearls (V)
Tempura King Prawn
Brie and Red Onion Crouton (V)
Smoked Duck Croquette
Free-range bang bang Chicken
Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Sour Cream
Whilst their guests tucked in, Charlotte and Joe went off around the house and grounds with Tom Halliday to have some alone time and to capture some beautiful photos of the two of them.
Whilst everyone was busy, the finishing touches to the Ballroom were taking place.
Pesto Roasted Salmon
Served with Roquette Salad Parmesan Shavings & Basil Oil
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (V)
A silky Tomato soup with the smokiness of slow roasted Red Peppers
Avocado and Humous Salad and Toasted Pitta Bread
Ripe avocado, blended with chickpea tahini and garlic, served with pine nut and rocket salad
Free Range Breast of Chicken
Stuffed with Chorizo served on Sweet Onion and Potato Lyonaise with a Roasted Tomato and Smoked Paprika Sauce
Roasted Vegetable Wellington (V)
Seasonal vegetables, blended and encrusted in puff pastry, finished with red wine and cranberry reduction
Goan Vegetable Curry with Coconut Infused Rice
Lightly sautéed vegetables, blended with curried spices and garnished with fresh coriander
Dark Chocolate Fondant (V)
A dreamy chocolate dessert with cherries and mascarpone cream
Eton Mess (V)
Strawberries & cream simply irresistible
Caramelised Apple and Date Pastries with Fruit Compôte
Caramelised apple and dates encrusted in soya pastry and garnished with fresh fruit compôte
“The speeches were amusing. I went first and at the last minute almost bottled it – I was so nervous but I said what I wanted to say and everyone has since told me my speech was the best so I’m glad I went through with it.”
“Next up was my Dad who, bless him, was so nervous. We went on a trip around the world and he lost his glasses halfway through but the concept was cute and we are forever grateful for all his effort.”
“Roger was next who kept it short and sweet, given he is still recovering from a brain tumour.
Plus, Joe chose his best man well as most of his memories were wiped with the operation.”
“Joe finished and his speech made me cry, it was so thoughtful and finished the wedding breakfast off well.”
After dinner, it was off downstairs to start the evening reception. This was kicked off with the cake cut!
After this, it was round to the dance floor to have their first dance as Mr & Mrs England-Smith.
“Our evening reception was AMAZING, we had a magician, a BBQ, ice cream and the band, followed by fireworks and
the DJ to finish the night off.
Our band – All that Soul, played our first dance plus a 45-minute set then had a break for the BBQ and Ice cream, followed by another 45-minute set. They were just the BEST and provided such a good atmosphere –
they were a surprise for my husband and his reaction was priceless.”
“Seriously, the biggest mistake we made was not practising our first dance properly, every time we tried to practice one of us got the giggles and we lost it – we would have been better off just swaying as most couples do.
It ended up being a mixture of swaying and Dad dancing but we still got a couple of gorgeous shots (honestly – the perks of a good photographer!)
Joe chose the song (he had to get a say somewhere) – ‘To love somebody’ by Nina Simone and the lyrics fitted us perfectly.”
“After their second set, we had the fireworks and then the DJ played a garage/trance set – best thing ever – I have video evidence of my Nan in law raving hard! The dance floor was full and it was such a good way to end the night.”
After the first dance, Charlotte and Joe’s guests were entertained by their Magician.
“Oliver had performed at a friend’s wedding a number of years ago and was just phenomenal, I tracked him down online and luckily he had our date free!”
And while guests were occupied, it was time for some last-minute photo’s whilst the sun went down.
After the sun had set, there was time for one last surprise…
“Entertainment was another big thing for us, we knew we wanted a photo booth and went for a full-length mirror with the idea being you could fit more people in a photo. I was desperate for a magician and fireworks – I just love both so much and for me, they were a no brainer.
The last thing we booked was the band. Originally, we couldn’t afford both fireworks and the band so up until 3 months before the big day, we didn’t have one booked. Luckily my work started doing really well and I decided to surprise Joe by booking ‘All that soul’ to perform our first dance and 2 x 45 min sets which he still says was the best thing about the whole day.
After that, it was back inside to enjoy the band and singers to then party the rest of the night away!”
A snapshot of their day by Rideout Films:
I absolutely bloomin' loved this wedding.Charlotte and Joe's wedding told their beautiful tale of love and fate AND IT HAD A DOG. A REALLY CUTE DOG.I had so much fun with these two whilst filming at Gosfield Hall Wedding Venue alongside some pretty almighty suppliers in Tom Halliday Photography, Cookie Delicious – Wedding Cakes & Cookies, Bumblebee Bridal – Hair and Makeup Artistry,Oliver Ward Magic, Matt Carter – Wedding and Event Pianist, Caroline Pattrick and All That Soul – Live Band and Soul Divas show.
Posted by Rideout Films on Thursday, 27 June 2019
What was your biggest wedding splurge?
“Our single biggest expense was the venue but considering it included catering I think that’s fair enough.
Aside from the venue, we did spend a lot on flowers, but they made our wedding so thou shalt not apologise.
I guess a sensible answer would be the band, they were £1,650 but I wouldn’t change a single thing, its always been both of our dreams to have a live band and to be fair we did compromise on the £3,500 Motown band.”
What was your biggest wedding saving?
“By getting ready at Gosfield Hall and staying at the cottage we saved a fortune on taxis and hotel rooms for the night before. The groom’s party booked a large Air BnB so they were also close by so the only transport we used were our personal cars.
Also, by getting married and having the reception at Gosfield Hall we saved on the cost of any transport for our guests and didn’t need any wedding cars or horse and carriages.
The groomsmen also wore their own suits and our dog sitter was my Maid of Honour’s Sister.”
Based on your own experience, give us some top tips:
“If you are keeping to a budget then set it at the beginning of your wedding planning – not halfway through, by then it’s too late – trust me!
Spend money on what matters most to you – for us, this was photos/videos, venue and flowers. We then planned the rest of the wedding around this. By cutting out things such as transport or an outside stationery company in order to afford what we wanted.
On the day you can guarantee something will go wrong and this is okay. For us it was my witness dropping out the night before and the buttonholes being given out to the wrong people despite them being labelled (I blame the excitement of a wedding) – my Mother in law gave a buttonhole to someone I have never even met and Joe’s Grandad wore his own red one which was totally not in my colour scheme. The day was so perfect it didn’t matter anyway – plus every time I see a picture of Joe’s Grandad, I can’t help but smile.
Don’t stress – your wedding planner will have it under control, my witness situation was immediately sorted out and Tegan was available at 10 pm the night before when I was having a panic attack about what the legal situation would be.
Spend some time by yourselves throughout the day so you can take it all in and enjoy moments just you two.
Finally, you will have the best day of your lives so relax and enjoy it!“
“If we could do it all again, we’d…”
“Be on top of the world – I wish we could do it every day. We wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe the buttonholes!)”
From all of us here at Gosfield Hall, we wish you the happiest of marriages and we hope to see you again very soon!
Wedding attire: Riki Dahal @ Dress Dreams, Kent
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Victoria Lou Bridal
Groom’s Outfit: French Connection
Groomsmen: Own suits
Wedding cake & Cookie Favours: Cookies Delicious
Flowers: The Willows
Invitations: Handmade by Bride
Photographer: Tom Halliday
Band/disco/DJ: All that Soul & Gosfield DJ
Wedding favours: Mind pins
Videographer: Rideout films
Pianist: Matt Carter
Hair & Makeup: Bumblebee Bridal
Magician: Oliver Ward
Fireworks: Dynamic Fireworks