“You were everything we hoped for! You were unobtrusive, but somehow ever present, always there to capture the moment.”
Carla and Daniel’s Dorney Court wedding in Windsor
When I asked Carla and Daniel what their Dorney Court wedding inspiration was the answer was simply “the moon and the stars.” I loved that answer and I love this couple. We had previously met for their engagement photo shoot in the Cotswolds. During the shoot the heavens opened and they just carried on, laughing, donning the wellies and the drowned-rat look. I immediately liked their outlook on life. Fast forward to their wedding day. There was not a drop of rain during their Dorney Court wedding. There was, however, an abundance of laughter and colour and emotion. It literally rained joy, all day. Their Dorney Court wedding was so kick-ass it was immediately featured over on the fab Miss Bush bridal blog thanks to Carla’s Sottero and Midgley Abrianna wedding dress choice. Here’s the day told in their own words:
Describe some of your favourite wedding details and how you came up with them.
Our theme started with a print that we have hung up at home ‘La Lune’ by Double Merrick, we had little phrases and stars throughout our wedding that most people probably wouldn’t have strung together, but I loved seeing them throughout the day. Our first song was by McFly ‘Love is easy’. In the middle of the song there is a clip from ‘It’s a wonderful life’ where George offers to give Mary the moon and I don’t know that people picked up on it, but it was special to Daniel and I and I’d been looking forward to hearing it all day.
Our table plan was also very special, we wanted to reflect the union of our families past and present in the table plan. Each of the tables was named after a family name and we had a picture of the couple on their wedding day. For example the top table was the ‘Sherman-Griffin’ and it had pictures of our parents on their wedding day. Other tables were named after our maternal and paternal grandparents and so on. Having those pictures at the wedding and seeing the generations of marriages that came before us was really wonderful and a great way to include family members who couldn’t be there.
Why choose Dorney Court Wedding Venue in Buckinghamshire?
We chose our venue because we wanted somewhere that would have the feel of different locations, but without the need to travel. We didn’t want our guests to feel like they were only be in one place throughout the day so it was important for us to find a venue that we could give each part of the day its own identity. Weddings are long for the guests so we hoped by having some different locations it would help keep the energy of the day flowing. Having them all in one venue meant no travelling between the ceremony, reception and dinner. Dorney Court let us do this in a beautiful setting and was just the right size so that for our number of guests it felt neither too crowded or too sparse.
Tell me about the dress. Why did you choose it and what did you love about it?
My dress was by Midgley Sottero and I bought it at Miss Bush in Ripley. In the end it came down to two dresses, both incredibly different from each other. There isn’t really any other time in your life when you can wear a dress with 7 layers of tulle and petticoats, a train that you can swish when you walk and enough sparkle to last you a lifetime (although honestly I don’t think you can ever have enough sparkle). So in the end it was an easy choice. It’s also funny how a dress can look beautiful until you put it on and then you realise it’s just not the right dress for you, the shape doesn’t suit you, or the cuts not quite right. I learnt a lot about what suited my shape whilst trying on wedding dresses (and I tried on a lot), my dress helped me highlight the parts that I liked, and I felt incredible wearing it. Whilst it’s fun to swish your way round the bridal shop it’s even more fun to swish your way back down the aisle with your husband by your side.
[Daniel] My suit was from Hackett on Regent Street, we made several trips to Hackett together to pick out the suit and for it to be tailored. The important thing was to find one that didn’t feel like a work suit, no one wants to feel like they’re heading to the office on their wedding day, so we searched out for something that had the edge to be special but not gimmicky. With a waistcoat, pocket square, tie, shoes and pocket watch (wedding gift from Carla) I felt fabulous!
Bridesmaid’s dresses & shoes:
The bridesmaid’s dresses were by Sorella Vita and were full length sequined gowns with a vintage feel. Initially we were a little worried that a full sequined gown would be a bit too full on, but the sequin have a lovely soft finish which helped to soften the look and both my sisters looked divine in them, they’re both gorgeous so I wanted to find dresses that would do them justice, I was so proud to have them stand by my side. My own dress had a retro feel to it from its shape and I wanted this to be reflected in the bridesmaid’s dresses as well so the silhouette was quite 50’s in its style and we also tied this in with the girls hairstyles giving them a retro feel to tie everything together.
Carla, what advice would you give to future brides for their wedding day?
It will all fall into place. Things have a magic way of working out without you having to stress about them. Take little moments throughout the day to take everything in, it’s true what they say it goes so quickly. Have a few people you trust assigned to make sure things happen so that you don’t have to think about them on the day itself and lastly, make the day before as simple and relaxing as you can, you’ll need your sleep to get through the big day itself, get as much of it as you can so you can last as long as possible the next day!
Dan, what advice would you give to future grooms for their wedding day?
Time is not your friend; hours become minutes. The last few days before the wedding, and especially the day itself, just disappear in a strange accelerated time vortex, but as Carla says things have a magic way of working out. Still, as magical as you think you are, best write a speech well in advance! Don’t try to wing it, you will regret it. But the important thing to remember is everyone’s experience will be different since your wedding is so personal to you and your partner. Make the day your own, don’t overcomplicate things, have fun and expect to be emotional – I was completely unprepared for just how emotional I felt on the day.
Any advice for those planning their wedding now?
A cloud based storage site that both yourself and your groom can access is great then you don’t have to be in the same place at the same time to review or share things, a shared cloud based calendar for appointment setting works also works if you’re both busy people often working late with little time together in the evenings and a budget spreadsheet really helps you keep track of things.
And don’t worry if you’re not having all the super duper wonderful excited ‘everything is wonderful’ feelings you read about on blog sites and in wedding magazines. Planning a wedding can be hard work, some of us aren’t super gushy people and sometimes everything isn’t just ‘darling’, it doesn’t mean I love my husband any less. Don’t try to act a different way to how you normally would just because it’s what you’re supposed to do, or how you’re supposed to feel. Relax, breath, listen to your gut and do what makes you happy.
Expect to fall out/argue over the table plan, we found it the most contentious part of the wedding!
What was the most anticipated part of the day?
We agreed before the wedding day, to take some quiet time together to reflect on the day itself. During the evening reception, we snuck off and sat on a bench in the gardens. It was the first time on the day we managed to be alone and it was a special moment.
What song did you walk down the aisle to?
I walked down the aisle to a medley of songs from Mary Poppins which is one of Daniel’s favourite movies. The day is filled with such huge emotions I didn’t want anything that would be overwhelming at such an important moment, having something fun made everything more relaxed and made both of us smile and it was great seeing people’s faces as they realised what the music was.
Did you have any readings?
We did we had ‘Song of Solomon’ as our bible reading read by Daniel’s sister Lucy and ‘I like you’ by Sandol Stoddard’ which was read by Daniel’s sister Justine.
What song played for your first dance?
We had Mcfly’s ‘Love is easy’
What did you want from your wedding photographer?
Someone approachable, personable and fun. Our wedding photographs are going to stay with us forever, so we wanted to ensure the person who captured our day and put people at ease. There had to be the right connection between us, our guests and our photographer. We also took a lot of time looking for someone that had the right style of photography. We both really like photos where the subject hasn’t realised they’re having their picture taken, or that capture a moment in time, that way you really get the feel of the day. You were everything we hoped for! You were unobtrusive, but somehow ever present, always there to capture the moment. You felt like a guest who was taking photos, rather than a wedding photographer. Your personality was a great fit with us and our guests, it’s great to work with someone who’s generally just a lovely guy!
What are you most looking forward to as a married couple?
Daniel: Growing older together.
Carla: keeping Daniel on his toes, knowing he’s always got my back and taking on the world together!
2nd photographer: Paul Summerfield Photography
Make-up artist: Carolanne Armstrong
Florist: Hannah Berry flowers
Cake: Foxy Cakes
Rings: Diamond Palace, Hatton Garden.
Catering Company: Absolute taste
Entertainment: 4 to the floor via Tailored Entertainment
Cars/Transport: Premier Carriage
Production (dance floor, lighting etc.) Lex Marquees
Thinking of getting married at Dorney Court in Windsor? If you like the look of these Dorney Court wedding photos then please get in touch with Jonny – I’d love to hear more about you, your wedding day plans and what you want from your Dorney Court wedding photographer.