As venues go, I think a winter wedding at Donington Park Farmhouse is hard to beat; the cosy bar with a roaring fire is the perfect setting for couples looking for cosy vibes. Em + Will wanted to fill their winter wedding with colour and opted for jewel tones; ruby red, sapphire blues and emerald greens – the colours ran through the flowers and into the groom’s suit and bridesmaid’s dresses. I absolutely loved Em’s dress which had the most etherial sleeves.
Having planned for a chilly day, the sun made an appearance which meant they were able to have drinks outside and we were treated to an incredible golden hour. Strap in with a brew, you’re in for a treat!
HOW DID YOU MEET?
On the worldwide wide web: Plenty of Fish, it really does work!
TELL ME YOUR PROPOSAL STORY
Went out for a lovely countryside walk in Derby, after a weeks holiday at home. We started talking about the future and what we wanted for our lives together. After us both saying we’d like to be married to each other, soon, Will uttered the now infamous phrase ‘do you wanna?’ and we were engaged on the spot! It later turned out that Em had already told Instagram that she was going to propose to her boyfriend as part of Feel Good Friday – so not spontaneous at all!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO HOLD YOUR WEDDING AT DONINGTON PARK FARMHOUSE?
We loved it before we visited, and when we had the tour we loved it even more. In all honesty, we didn’t think we’d be able to afford it, so we were looking for inspiration mostly. We went home, did some sums, and worked out that we could and rang them straight away to book a date! The whole thing took about 90 minutes from getting to the venue and ringing them later to book – they were very surprised to hear from us so soon.
Even closer to the wedding after hypothetical conversations about what we’d want if money was no object, we both agreed we’d stick with what we chose.
JEWEL TONED WEDDING STYLING
WHAT WAS IT THAT YOU LOVED ABOUT YOUR OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THEM?
The dress was nothing Em had even dreamed of before seeing it, but as soon as she put it on, she couldn’t stop smiling. She kept swirling the long sleeves round and claiming she looked like Galadriel from Lord of the Rings (which was a definite plus!!). Looking back at the pictures of the different styles she tried on, you can tell from her face she’d already decided.
Will was allowed to choose any suit he wanted – which, when you see how much colour he wears, was a big risk. He went for a dark red suit & as soon as he and his best man saw it on, they knew it was perfect. It was eccentric enough to fit with his style – especially with the rainbow belt, but went beautifully with the colour scheme planned. Will also wore cufflinks that had Will & Em’s childhood homes from an old map.
TELL ME ABOUT THE VISION YOU HAD FOR YOUR WEDDING
When we decided on a winter date in the venue that we chose, we knew neither of us wanted a white winter wedding – so we embraced the colours. After many many Pinterest trawls we found that we liked the jewel toned theme because it allowed us to have many colours at once and knew the warm tones would look great with the open fires and brickwork of the barn. The flower’s only job was to bring the colour and Maria really excelled at bringing our vision to life. Neither of us had much imagination when it came to decoration, so we let Maria and Tara run wild, and boy did they do a good job. The colours popped and brought everything together beautifully.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DANCE AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE IT?
Ben E King – Stand by Me
We chose this song because it’s a lovely message about being a team and standing together. It also wasn’t as sappy-romantic as many of the traditional ones are. Neither of us can dance so we weren’t looking forward to everyone watching us awkwardly shuffle from side to side.
WHAT WERE THE MOST WONDERFUL PARTS OF THE DAY FOR YOU?
Being sat in the pig styes having our wedding breakfast, watching our friends and families all sat together, mixing & having a great time. A stand out moment was during the speeches, seeing everyone roaring with laughter & brought to the edge of tears with shared jokes and stories from our past. It was an overwhelming feeling of love.
We also had a really lovely moment after we’d left the ceremony room while the staff & Hannah were trying to hustle everyone outside for the confetti, where we just stood and grinned at each other, all the important bits were over and we could just have fun…. no one tells you how much you have to hide at your own wedding!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE HANNAH HALL PHOTOGRAPHY AS YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER, AND WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE DAY?
Most of the advice that we’d got from couples who were previously married was to get a good photographer because the day goes so quickly and the photos are what you have to hold onto for the rest of your lives. We took this to heart.
Both us are quite awkward and didn’t relish the idea of standing in rows with our loved ones for hours on end. Not only is Hannah’s style super candid (which we loved) but she’s also quite clear on her website that her priority is you having a good time on your day and that posed photos weren’t what she was interested in.
All through the process she was very honest and open with us, kept us informed at all the different stages & by the time the wedding came round it felt natural for her to be there, almost as if she was one of the guests.
Hannah was one of the very few people that were with Em in the morning to get ready & there wasn’t a moment she made her feel self conscious. Having those really tender moments with your family captured forever and not having them tainted by the embarrassment of having a relative stranger in the room was really special.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BEST BIT OF ADVICE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?
Book Hannah as your photographer!! No seriously – we can’t recommend her enough. On the day we had practically every guest come up to us and say how good she was, and that’s before they’d seen the photos!
Sit down together before anyone knows you’re planning a wedding & make a list about what’s important to your day – and bloody stick to it! People will have their opinions, so say thank you and then carry on with you wanted to do anyway.. but also acknowledge the parts you’re flexible on, you’ll soon realise which parts you’re willing to take advice on.
Make sure whatever you’re wearing, whether it be dress or shoes, are comfortable for the full day. The last thing you want to be doing is sitting down because something hurts and missing out on the fun!
Jewel tones are perfect for winter weddings
I’m sure you’ll agree the jewel tones such as ruby red, sapphire blues and emerald greens are the perfect colour pallet for a winter wedding, adding a real richness when quite often the outside can feel a little bare and bleak. Donington Park Farmhouse is a brilliant winter wedding venue because it has a really cosy vibe do it, with large wood burning stoves and low ceilings in the bar and lots of twinkly festoon lights around the barn and in the courtyard outside.
Em + Will didn’t just bring their colour pallet through their florals; there were subtle hints in the artwork on their wedding stationery and Em’s bridesmaids wore emerald green dresses and Will and his best man wore amazing vibrant red suits which really helped to pull the theme together. They decorated the pigsties at Donington Park Farmhouse with small arrangements on pink satin table runners, and small tea lights (although be aware real candles aren’t allowed an Donington Park Farmhouse!) with larger arrangements for the ceremony and top table. They also brought some fun to the dance floor with a neon sign framed by more seasonal flowers, which made for the perfect wedding photo opportunity too!!!
Em + Will’s jewel toned winter wedding at Donington Park Farmhouse happened with the help of the following awesome suppliers…
Bridesmaids Barbaroni.co.uk / Groom The Happy Gentlemen / Styling Tara Knot