Liz & Gary’s Wilderness Wedding

Written by Emma Hla
Images by Eva Tarnok.
Sibton Park at Wilderness Reserve is one of those magical venues that delivers everything you could possible have on your wishlist. Click through to their recently-refreshed listing and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about – accommodation galore, a rich history, a glamorous pool, cinema, meadows, an Orangery, a walled garden and of course a stunning Georgian House.

Liz & Gary chose to marry in the beautiful walled garden and celebrate with a dinner set in the Orangery. All planned in just 5 weeks, we have Planner Sweetpea and Blossom talking us through their big day details…

Notes from the Planner

Gary & Liz wanted a show stopping venue but that also had a lot of natural light. Avant Garde meets woodland was the brief we were given, and The Wilderness Reserve was the perfect choice. Chic barns, a large orangery with stunning views, you couldn’t get a more perfect venue. They wanted it to be fun. Boat races and pool games on the day before the wedding and a family feast in the walled garden for the rehearsal dinner. It had all the different spaces and guests could also stay onsite. There were firepits in the garden and haybales for guests to relax on if they wanted a dancing break during the evening party.


It was only going to be couture. Liz found her show stopping dress by Cherry Williams. Flower girl and Maid of Honour Dolly had a tulle cape over her stunning bespoke dress to match the bride. An abundance of layers and silk chiffon with raw edges, tulle, silk velvet and a dress guests wouldn’t have expected the bride to wear. Larry King, celebrity hair stylist and a personal friend of the bride, landed from NY and went straight to the venue to be the bride’s hairstylist. Keeping it in the family, the bride’s niece was the make-up artist for the day. Not to be outshone the groom and groomsmen had bespoke suits made by McCann Bespoke – a very ‘peaky blinders’ feel. The full 3-piece suits were charcoal grey tails with a stripe down the trouser legs to give it that non-traditional edge.

Avant Garde meets woodland

As Liz is an interior designer it was going to be a task to wow her. The ceremony was super simple and in the walled garden mother nature played her part – it was glorious sunshine which is rare in the UK for an autumn wedding! Ghost chairs lined the grounds and pots of hydrangea nestled beneath 2 olive trees set the scene for where they married. They had their drinks reception in the garden surrounded by stunning garden blooms. A short walk through the grounds lead to the main event in the Orangery. We had favours of English green foliage candles, gifted to guests as a keepsake of the wedding day.

Larry Walshe was the florist as the brief was a full foliage heavy wedding that wowed. Standing tall framing behind where the couple were seated for dinner in The Orangery, a large and impressive arch-like structure formed from two freestanding contorted willow trees which veritably “kiss” overhead. Each piece was crafted from a base of contorted willow which was latterly adorned with a mix of luscious green foliage’s through the canopy alongside lengths of fabulously fragrant and textural hops. Autumnal hydrangea flowers then punctuated throughout the trunk area to add a dash of colour. It was the wow in the room. But it wasn’t the only one!

Guests dined on two full room length long tables for a chic and uniform look. Running along the centre of each long dining table; a textural scenography of fragrant herbs, ferns and autumnal hydrangea. Chic in their conception, each fragrant rosemary, lavender and fern plant was potted within a black painted terracotta pot then painted with the brides favourite Farrow & Ball grey. Exquisite Italian crystal candlesticks, each topped with an ivory dinner candle were then placed throughout to add a touch of height and low standing dinner candles alongside clusters of cut crystal votives scattered throughout to add the perfect finishing flourish! As a surprise to the couple as we knew we had to wow them, we installed a full hop ceiling installation to create that Avant Garde meets woodland feel.

Ivy inspired food

The catering was locally sourced and supplied by Julie Abbs. The food was very ‘Ivy style’ (the couple’s favourite restaurant) and a menu was created to feature their most loved dishes. Artisan breads and hand-rolled grissini with sea-salt butter followed by East Anglian beef cottage pie.

And in true Ivy style Individual apple crumble pie, Calvados creme Anglaise and scrumpy gel.

For the evening – a Croque ‘Bar’

A take on the traditional croque monsieur with artisan sourdough, locally smoked ham and vintage cheddar. As soon as dinner was finished guests made their way outside to the fire pits to enjoy rounds of pink G&Ts and chic cocktails listening to the fabulous Fair Vue. The prettiest naked cake made by one of the brides’ friends was the wedding cake.

Eva Tarnok was the chosen photographer for her light fresh and unobtrusive style. She captured the day beautifully and produced the most incredible imagery.

Best part of the day

Watching the bride and groom walking in to take their seats for dinner and seeing their faces when they saw the Orangery and the transformation that had been made. The happy tears flowed as they had said it was better than they could have imagined in their wildest dreams.

From one couple to another…

Gary & Liz decided after years of being together to get married and we planned this wedding start to finish in just over 5 weeks. It was the most fabulous wedding and really it shows you can achieve a stunning show stopping wedding even if you are really short on time!


Venue Wilderness at Sibton Park

Photography Eva Tarnok

Wedding Planner & Design Krissy Murphy, Sweetpea and Blossom Weddings and Events

Flowers Larry Walshe

Band Fairvue

DJ Mahiki

Catering Julie Abbs

Dress Cherry Williams London at Morgan Davies Bridal

Suits McCann Bespoke

Favours St Eval

Hair Larry King

Furniture Banqueting Hire

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