Coltsfoot Country Retreat wedding | Emily + Oli

Countryside wedding, Photography, Uncategorized, Wedding photography

“The pictures are incredible – we have had so many compliments on them already and we absolutely love them! They captured so many things we didn’t see or remember so it’s great to have them to look back on.”

The more I blog, the more a realise that we live in a country with the most bizarre and changeable weather. When I arrived at Coltsfoot Country Retreat to in the morning to shoot Emily + Oli’s wedding, in was a pleasantly bright but slightly chilly morning. By the time I arrived at the pub before the ceremony the sun was out and it was WARM… Yet by the time we made it back to Coltsfoot it was blowing a gale, and possible raining and I started to panic about where I was going to do group photos…. Then we were treated to the most incredible sunset and glorious evening! It just goes to show that you never can predict what’ll happen with the weather on your wedding day, and it’s best to be prepared for all eventualities.

When I think back to Emily + Oli’s wedding, the first thing that comes to mind is fun – there was such an emphasis on them and their guests enjoying their day and I think it’s fair to say that everyone really did. My favourite bit of the day was the impromptu singing to Robbie William’s Angels after dinner, closely followed by gorgeous speeches and a packed dance floor when the drinks flowed… and flowed! I loved my day shooting their wedding and I really hope I make it back to Coltsfoot Country Retreat for another wedding soon.

How did you meet?

We met at university just over 9 years ago. We were put in the same seminar group and had to introduce each other on the first day – after a year being the best of friends it went from there!

Tell me your proposal story:

So Oli asked me to book some days of work, which was very difficult as he said he wanted to use them just to chill out which I was not happy to justify. After a little disagreement I finally did it. 

I woke up in the morning with a book of Florence under my pillow which was a lovely surprise. We flew there that morning and stayed in a beautiful hotel which had an amazing rooftop view over the whole of Florence.

After 2 days of exploring, he insisted we go for a drink on the rooftop (there was no bar, so this was a challenge in itself) but when the lift opened and I saw a waiter with a bottle of champagne I knew what was coming!

Why did you choose Great Amwell church and Coltsfoot Country Retreat for your wedding day?

My mum and dad got married in the church in Great Amwell, it’s a beautiful little church so I always knew I wanted to get married there.

Coltsfoot Country Retreat has been a family favourite for a number of years for lots of events, we know the owners well and after bringing Oli a few times we both said it would be nice to get married there one day. Oli had already booked the date by the time he proposed.

What was it you loved about your outfits and accessories that made you choose them?

Always loved Pronovias designs so knew I would probably get my dress from there one day, I loved the shape of my dress – always had a backless with straps number in my head and i loved the pattern and ivory colour of this one. The belt and veil were last minute additions (all Pronovias). The belt made the fit more comfortable and added a bit of bling and the veil made me feel like a proper bride!

Tell me about the vision you had for your wedding including your theme/colour scheme/styling/flowers:

I always wanted a bit of a rustic feel for a wedding. Woods, whites, pastel colours, bright/airy. Went for a dusty pink theme with pink and white flowers. The bridesmaid dresses/all the other accessories were that colour or a wooden look which I think worked well.

My Mum used to be a florist so we discussed her doing the flowers but thought it might be a bit stressful on the day so she sorted the florist who she knew well and then arranged all of those – I didn’t get involved which was lovely and I trusted she knew what I liked.

My cousin, who was also one of the bridesmaids made the table plan and order of the day for me which looked great and all fit in. She also did all the blackboards fitting in with the rustic theme.

Oli & I are both well known for being gin lovers so we thought the gin table plan worked well for us, listing a range of our faves. The cake was also gin and tonic flavoured and we had a pimp your gin bar.

What was your first dance and why did you choose it?

Our fist dance was the James Bay version of Alicia Keys If I Ain’t Got You. We are both James Bay fans and felt this song summed up our relationship well. After 9 years of such important times in our lives together, we have grown up together and Oli has always been the best/most important thing through all of that.

What were the most wonderful parts of the day for you?

Absolutely loved the little bits. Getting ready with the girls in the morning. The wedding car was amazing and a really nice chance to make sure Oli and I spent some time on our own on the day. The readings in the church, the speeches. The sax player Dan Goode was amazing and had everyone up dancing before food had even finished.  Going off with Hannah and Roo (the videographer) for pics etc meant that we had some time to reflect and take in the day. The band were incredible – it was an amazing party which is all that we wanted.

Why did you choose Hannah Hall Photography as your photographer, and what was your experience of your photography on the day?

Hannah was recommended to us by another photographer we had been following. As soon as we saw the website, we loved her pics and the feel of it all.

After our initial conversation, we knew Hannah was the photographer for us. She was lovely and we especially loved the fact that her favourite thing to do was capture the emotions of the day with natural pictures rather than lots of set up ones. We didn’t want to spend the day posing for pictures and missing out on all the fun so this worked perfectly and the pictures are incredible – we have had so many compliments on them already and we absolutely love them! They captured so many things we didn’t see or remember so it’s great to have them to look back on.

What would be your best bit of advice to other couples planning their wedding?

I would say when you see something you love,  just do it. We had just under a year to plan the wedding which was perfect as I didn’t have too much time to overthink things. So many people see something they like, then think about it, look at other options and change their minds all the time. I just went for everything as soon as I saw it and loved it so got things done quickly.

I had a really good idea before we got engaged about everything I love so that made it easier when it came to booking things. I also had a super organised/sad spreadsheet with everything I had to do and marked off when done which really helped. 

Also, definitely get a videographer. A last minute addition from us after recommendations from friends and was one of the best things we did, Roo & Hannah worked perfectly together and now we have pictures and a video to remember our day. It all goes so fast so the more you can do to capture the memories the more you have to remember it by!

Emily + Oli’s Coltsfoot Country Retreat wedding happened with the help of these amazing people…

Hair: Headlines // Makeup: Sophie Maria MUA // Dress: Pronovias

Flowers: The Flower Bar Hertford // Cake: Flare Cakes // Venue: Coltsfoot Country Retreat

Bridesmaids: Two Birds // Band: Fully Funktional // Videographer: Roo Films


Want to hear what the others say? The proof is in the pudding, read it here.


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