Jo & Ed’s Houghton Lodge Wedding

Written by Emma Hla
When Jo and Ed chose Houghton Lodge, they knew it was the perfect spot for their relaxed and elegant wedding. The stunning grounds and variety of spaces made the whole weekend feel personal and exclusive.

They incorporated a nautical theme to reflect their love of sailing, adding a fun and unique touch to their day. Food and music were top priorities, and their caterers, McCrimmon and Reid, delivered an unforgettable feast that guests are still raving about a year later! Happy anniversary to this wonderful couple—we’re thrilled to share their beautiful wedding story on their first anniversary!

Notes from the Bride

Jo says…

We were aiming for relaxed elegance for our wedding, and Houghton Lodge fit the bill perfectly. The venue speaks for itself; the grounds are beautiful, and the different areas of the venue create a journey for you and your guests. It was important to us to have the opportunity to choose our food and drink, and the venue really allowed us to create the day we wanted. Having access to the venue for the whole weekend meant we could do a lot of the preparation ourselves and enjoy the beautiful surroundings before our big day. Sitting by the water the night before our wedding with our dog, enjoying a drink was a special moment. Sophie and her team make you feel like it’s a home from home, which makes the experience feel personal and exclusive.

My dress was from a boutique in Botley, and my bridesmaids chose their own dresses from Monsoon, which has a great selection and different designs to create a relaxed look. The Groom and Groomsmen hired their suits from Moss Bros. We all did our make-up together at home, and I got my hair done at my local hairdresser beforehand. I did a make-up trial with Charlotte Tilbury before, so I had more of a plan for the day, and my sister gave me a hand! Having space in the morning to enjoy with my family was important, so this gave me a bit more time and didn’t feel rushed.

Our theme for the day was tying the knot to reflect our love of sailing and the sea. We brought this into the invitations, table names and menus, which was great fun. Everything else feel into place as we focused on how we wanted the day to feel for us and our guests. It was really important we felt relaxed and could let our hair down, but the main elements were the food and music for us. Not having a specific colour theme or aesthetic made my Pinterest obsession more controllable and let us make decisions a bit more on intuition rather than thinking we didn’t have a specific colour or look.

A friend recommended a local florist, Claudia & B, and they got my vision entirely and made everything easy. Our table arrangements were a DIY job using a local wholesaler, and I arranged them the day before with help from my bridesmaids. I’d never done something like this before, and having some advice from the florist and friends was invaluable but kept the cost down.

Sophie had recommended our caterers, McCrimmon and Reid. They were faultless. A year on, we’re still hearing about how good the food was, and we could not recommend them more. They also coordinated a lot on the day, which made everything run smoothly. Food was a big element for us, so we couldn’t have been happier. We had a family friend make our wedding cake.

Where do I start? I learned about Katherine from a make-up artist at a Wedding Fayre, and she said if we did one thing, we needed to book her for our wedding. It was the best decision. Katherine can capture the emotion of a moment like nothing I had seen before, and she was brilliant and felt like part of the family! I think we didn’t realise how lucky we were, deciding on a photographer is a really important decision as they are involved in every part of your day.

Best part of the day

Apart from our ceremony, the food! Our band was rocking, too. One moment we both look back on was when we walked our guests down from the walled garden to the tipis with the band playing in the background.

From one couple to another…

Have a budget and agree on what is important early on; this makes things easier when looking at the small stuff. We thought a lot about the journey of our day and what our guests would experience and focused on that and did away with the smaller things as they added up quickly! A big help was to have a document for all your suppliers with details and timings of the day – that saves a lot of time answering emails and means you don’t have to answer questions on the day on what’s happening and can just relax and enjoy yourselves.

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