Alice & Neil’s Dewsall Court Wedding

Written by Caitlin Hoare
There’s not a lot I love more than a wedding celebrating the joining of two cultures.

A + N’s big day, which took place at Dewsall Court last September, is a magnificent, luminous, emotional (so emotional, watch the video!) Chinese-English fusion wedding.

From the Chinese tea ceremony, to Alice’s elegant Savin dress, and the Wainhouse styled to perfection, the detail here is impeccable. Their day was a JOY to pull together into a real wedding feature and I might have spent a little longer than usual pouring over all the beautiful images in their gallery! Captured perfectly by Steven Rooney Photography. Enjoy, I know you will…

Notes from the Couple

Alice + Neil say…

We have no particular ties to any one location in the UK or abroad, so we looked for a venue that we both loved and felt our guests would be happy staying at after making a long trip. Because of the number of guests expected from abroad it needed to have accommodation as part of the venue for added convenience, plus we wanted a venue which showcased the classic English countryside.

After viewing hundreds of options online, we created a shortlist of 5 together and arranged viewings. We did all the viewings over a 3 day period, and it became a nationwide road trip. It started in London, then we went to Devon, then across to Norfolk, and then finally to Dewsall Court in Hereford, in that order!!!

After viewing all the venues, there were some that Neil liked but Alice didn’t, and vice-versa. But with Dewsall, it was the only venue that both of us immediately agreed is the perfect venue for our special day.

Our colour scheme was white with a pop of yellow, together with autumnal tones for the decor. We wanted to ensure that this was coherent and ran across the wedding party’s outfits as well. So for the bridesmaid, groom and groomsmen, the featured colour was burnt orange, paired nicely with a dark blue suit. The bridesmaid wore a long ankle length burnt orange silk dress. The groom wore a burnt orange bow-tie (as opposed to the standard tie for groomsmen) with a navy blue suit and a checked grey waistcoat.

For the wedding gown, the bride was set on simple with elegance, a modern cut yet still with a hint of romance and details befitting an outdoor wedding. Savin was the perfect choice, with the bottom skirt covered with 3D laser cut flowers that resemble Chinese paper cuttings. Her veil was custom made to be at a length longer than the train of the gown, sewn intricately with real hydrangea petals to match the florals of the dress. The hair piece was a delicate piece consisting of pearl flowers with golden centres to match the white & yellow/ gold colour scheme. As for the hair & makeup she went for a natural romantic look that would complement her wedding gown, nothing too heavy or unlike her usual self.

The theme of our wedding was: rustic with elegance and sophistication, mixed in with Chinese paper lantern elements as the bride is Chinese, and the groom is British so it was a cross-cultural wedding, which we wanted to reflect in the theme of the decor & floristry. For the main house and the living space where the Chinese tea ceremony took place, the colour scheme was mainly red and golden yellow to match with the Chinese cultural elements/ decor and the bride’s traditional red outfit.

For wedding favours, we wanted guests to take home a shared element from both our cultures and it became immediately apparent that it should be our love for tea. We commissioned an award-winning ceramicist, Kirsty Adams, to create two types of bespoke porcelain cups, one oriental/ Japanese style and the other, an English teacup with handle, both styles have our wedding emblem marked in a subtle delicate way.

Clementine Moon was our chosen florist. The ceremony took place outdoors by the lake and the wedding breakfast at the Wainhouse Barn. Our vision was to have some large foliage/ floral installations suspended in the Barn. As for the ceremony space, we wanted a moon gate to represent our union of bringing two families together. As our wedding landed on the day of the Mid-autumn festival, a time when Chinese families come together under a full moon and dine together, the moon gate just seems the most perfect backdrop for our marriage.

Dewsall Court provided the catering for the reception and wedding breakfast, and the food selection was superb. We really wanted a ‘feasting style’ meal at the wedding breakfast, with lots of large buffet style plates spread throughout the centre of the tables. We wanted the sharing of food to be a way for our guests to get to know each other. Dewsall Court were fantastic in the way they accommodated our wishes. This style isn’t their typical style, usually offering up a 3-course meal, but they worked closely with us to trim down some portion sizes, so that we got the same overall quantity of food, but with a greater variety, and of course the quality was top notch!!

The cake was made by Sakurado. This is a cake shop in London that specialises in mille crepe cakes. We really wanted this style of cake for our wedding, as it’s something we both enjoy (usually at Lady M for anyone visiting New York or Hong Kong!). Sakurado don’t typically do a lot of celebration cakes, although they have done some in the past, but our three tiered elegant masterpiece gave them something of a challenge. Of course we went with their speciality matcha, but also really enjoyed the rose and mango too, as a way to mix up the flavours for our guests.

Steve Rooney really stood out to us with his honesty and integrity when we first got in touch with him to discuss doing the photography for our wedding. He made it clear his style wasn’t to spend the day capturing rehearsed and staged moments (although he would do the necessary family team photos of course!!), but instead, to really capture the real, honest joy and happiness of the day. This was exactly what we wanted to hear, as these photos were to be our memory of one of the most special days of our lives, so we wanted them to be the truth.

On the big day at Dewsall, Steve was really kind to accommodate what was going to be a long day for him, with the bride’s prep starting at around 6am, then leading onto the Chinese style ‘door games’ and the Chinese tea ceremony in the morning, before the traditional ceremony and wedding breakfast in the afternoon and evening. To be honest, thinking back throughout the day, he was as good as his word, in that he was able to capture such perfect, intimate and authentic moments without being noticed, something of a photo ninja!!

Best part of the day

There were so many magical moments throughout the day. From the fun and games of the ‘door games’ in the morning, when Neil showed off his ‘beautiful’ singing voice, to the solemn and intimate tea ceremony held later that same morning, which gave a deeper meaning to the day, in that we were both entering into new families to be a part of all that they are.

But I think the most magical moment of the day was the vows. With dear Uncle Pete as the officiant, doing an amazing job welcoming our guests to the ceremony and to our story, the vows was our one moment in time to speak to each other of the true meaning our love holds. Both of us had written our own vows, and it was a special moment not only to hear what the other person felt, but also to be able to speak openly in front of friends and family about how I felt about my partner. It is definitely something we will never forget, and will give us a warm, fuzzy feeling for all the many years to come.

From one couple to another…

Talk, plan and talk some more.

We had multiple obstacles to overcome in organising our big day. Not least the fact that half the guests would be travelling from abroad and with restrictions still in place, we didn’t have a set guest list until a few weeks before the day. ‘Love in the time of Covid’ I guess.

But by being organised (we had one hell of a spreadsheet going!), and talking to each other about what was really important to us about this day, we were able to put something special together.

Press Play


Venue Dewsall Court

Photographer Steve Rooney

Videographer Authentic Wedding Films

Florist Clementine Moon

Cake Sakurado

Band Stylus

Wedding Gown Savin from Agape Bridal

Bridesmaid Dress Rewritten

Bridal Shoes Elihav Sasson

Hair Accessories + Earrings (white outfit) Hermione Harbutt

Veil Sash and Veil

Hair Hair Comes the Bride

Makeup Naomi Parsons

Crockery Whitehouse Event Crockery

Stationery Ink and Paper

Favours Kirsty Adams 

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