If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful wedding venue, look no further than the gorgeous Matara Centre. Located in the heart of rural Gloucestershire, this regency manor house along with it’s incredible grounds, are the perfect setting for a relaxed wedding. Rhys and I had the pleasure of photographing a brilliant September wedding at the Matara Centre back in 2021, and it was nothing short of wonderful… Apologies that I’m still catching up on 2021 blogging, but keep scrolling for this colourful Matara Centre wedding!
HOW DID YOU MEET?
23 years ago at work (JHP): I’m a graphic designer and Dave is a retail designer.
TELL ME YOUR PROPOSAL STORY:
It took a while! Dave proposed to me having designed and had a ring made prior. It has a timeline with the birthstones of our three stepsons, and of our children, Molly and Freddy, in it and is engraved with ‘Sail away with me’ inside. (David Gray was a fav when we first met). My wedding band now has ours in it.
We were in Hyde Park, at the Magazine restaurant having a coffee and I’d bought him a little pressie I gave him. He then said he had something for me – which I thought would be a KitKat or something – it was the ring! To say I was surprised is an understatement.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE A COLOURFUL MATARA CENTRE WEDDING FOR YOUR DAY?
Whilst we live in and love London, we liked the idea of getting friends and family to a new place so it wasn’t just a party for the night, but time away somewhere special. I’m from Cheltenham so looked in the Cotswolds. Matara was recommended and we fell in love straight away. It’s so colourful, quirky and mixes the best of a beautiful English Country house with eclectic travels. Whenever we visited it felt warm, whether in the deepest winter or on a sunny day. It felt like home, and Geoffrey and the staff there were always fantastic.
WHAT WAS IT YOU LOVED ABOUT YOUR OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES THAT MADE YOU CHOOSE THEM?
It took me a while to go down any traditional route. I love pattern and colour so white scared me! However I found ‘Lucy Can’t Dance’ and from them on choosing a dress was more fun. I loved the bold fabric of mine from the start, it seemed to suit the greenery and lush surroundings of the Matara and gave me the option for colour too. I actually went quite subtle with a more champagne dipdye – as I felt this was my time to try and be classy! Colour was added to everything else – red nails, yellow earrings, our beautiful flowers – and of course our guests. Comfort was an important factor for us both and the trainers for Dave and his best man were an important accessory!
TELL ME ABOUT THE VISION YOU HAD FOR YOUR WEDDING INCLUDING YOUR THEME/COLOUR SCHEME/STYLING/FLOWERS:
Relaxed, fun, colourful, and eclectic. We wanted no one to be bored or ‘waiting’ at any point, to always have a drink, something to eat, and no formalities.
As a designer, I almost unconsciously themed things around the circle in the Matara dome and pops of colour around the place. Celebratory confetti. I also wanted to avoid the classic bridal typography and associated wedding formalities.
I wanted everyone to feel considered so our photo wall was important, with all our memories of people that would be there, and our 20 + years together.
We wanted to do things ourselves as much as possible so finding Cotswold Country Flowers was one of the best things. We had a workshop to make our bouquets and button holes as a family (best pre wedding chill) and I’d collected a colourful, mixed variety of vases from charity shops to place on the tables throughout the venue, making any arrangements easy and informal.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DANCE AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE IT?
No first dance – way too self conscious! But we chose fab music that was special to us for the Nero string trio to perform on the lawn and the ceremony.
WHAT WERE THE MOST WONDERFUL PARTS OF THE DAY FOR YOU?
A cliché but all of it! It’s a bit of a blur and really hard to take it all in. Seeing everyone smiling in the sun, hilarious dancing and watching people enjoy the venue and great food.
The craziness made the calm moments we had together when Hannah was photographing us special. It felt like we were hardly together apart from that, as we’re both so social, and being with so many best mates together, especially after lockdown is very intense.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE HANNAH HALL PHOTOGRAPHY AS YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER, AND WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE DAY?
I’d had to rearrange four times so finding Hannah was extra special. I aligned with her colourful style and love that she captured moments not formalities. When we first spoke it was like chatting to an old mate and I felt v relaxed.
The results don’t disappoint and I can’t imagine how she managed to make so many drunk people look so fab! Our guests commented on how her and Rhys were everywhere and I know they worked so hard to capture so many people and moments. The photos are so expressive and capture our friends and family so authentically, with real attention to detail.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BEST BIT OF ADVICE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?
Don’t wait for a global pandemic!
Do it your way but take people’s advice.
Get suppliers you feel relaxed with as you will spend time on your most important moments with them.
Build a collection of the best friends over the years, who love you both as much as you love them – and that know how to party!!!
BECKY + DAVE’S COLOURFUL MATARA CENTRE WEDDING HAPPENED WITH THE HELP OF THE FOLLOWING SUPPLIERS…
Venue Matara Centre / Hair Honeystone Hair / Makeup Elizabeth Spry / Dress Lucy Can’t Dance
Flowers Cotswold Country Flowers / Cake Evelina’s Patisserie / String Quartet Nero String Quartet
Are colourful wedding photos your vibe?
I’d love to chat about your day some more! Get in touch to check my availability.