This afternoon we are placing the focus on the grooms, who do sometimes get neglected!...
Happy Thursday everyone, I do hope you are keeping well? Today I am taking you off to one of the most gorgeous wedding venues. It is one that I have featured a few times now here on the blog: The Matara Centre in Gloucestershire. With the most stunning outdoor ceremony area, the Matara Centre is always a popular choice for Boho brides and every wedding I have featured here is just gorgeous. Charlotte and David chose it as they wanted a wedding that could last all weekend long, somewhere where their guests could stay the night, chill and relax. The day is super laid back, with gorgeous hanging flowers in the reception area and their own personally designed signature beer brewed especially for the big day. Big thanks to Jun Tan for the images.
Charlotte and David were married on 28th September 2019 at Matara Centre, in Gloucestershire. ‘We really wanted the wedding to be more than just one day and to be a relaxed occasion that all the guests could enjoy. We decided to look for venues that offered accommodation for the whole weekend. As soon as we arrived at Matara we knew this was the venue for us – we could immediately imagine the atmosphere of the day with everyone having fun and making use of the amazing outside space. We had 90 guests. We were keen to get started with the planning as soon as we got engaged and began looking at venues right away. Once we’d booked Matara we had over a year until the wedding, so we were able to take our time planning everything else without any need to rush.’
How they met
We met in Oxford over 7 years ago. We ended up moving into a house share together and got along so well that we’ve been living together ever since!
My plan was to propose on the beach while we watched the sun set on our holiday to Vancouver Island. All was looking good as we drove from the port to our accommodation. The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky – it had all the promise of the perfect sunset. Cue the sea mist rolling over the west coast for the whole duration of our stay… Nevertheless I popped the question on our last day as we walked along the beach. It was not exactly what I had planned but that didn’t matter. We were engaged!
How did you allocate your budget?
At the beginning we calculated what our overall budget would be and estimated how much we thought each element would cost. We then kept track of this on a spreadsheet and updated as needed once real costs were finalised.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
For us the venue, weekend accommodation and food were very important, so we made these our first priority. The great thing with somewhere like Matara is that we didn’t need to dress the venue too much, so were able save money on decorations. In addition, we were both lucky enough to have our grandparents’ old wedding bands and used these to create our own wedding rings. This was a really meaningful touch for us, and also saved us money.
How did you choose your photographer?
We spent a lot of time looking at other people’s weddings! We were looking for a photographer who had a fairly candid style and we stumbled across Jun Tan when looking at photos from a previous wedding at the venue. We really love his style and Jun is the perfect blend of friendly and professional. If we did the whole thing over again we wouldn’t consider anyone else.
My dress was by Maggie Sottero, bridal jewellery from Lily & Roo, shoes from Unisa.
The suit and bridesmaids
Suit from Paul Smith, with a Ted Baker tie. Bridesmaids were 3 different styles from Rewritten, shoes and accessories their own.
Theme or colour scheme
Not really. There wasn’t a strict colour scheme running throughout, except between the bridemaids’ dresses and groom’s accessories. In general we wanted to keep the theme fairly relaxed and natural-looking.
We already knew of Catherine Gray so it wasn’t a hard decision to choose her for our floral arrangements. We gave her some direction (rustic and relaxed, elegant, with a mix of wildflowers, greenery and splashes of colour) and let her do the rest. We think she did an amazing job!
The main decorations were the hanging floral arrangements in the reception room, as we wanted to make the most of the atrium. We kept the centrepieces fairly simple and reused the same flower arrangements for the ceremony and dining tables. The venue already had plenty of fairy lights and lots of greenery so we really didn’t have to do much.
The food tastings were one of our favourite parts of the planning process – Luke at Matara fed us very well! We had some amazing canapes followed by a three-course meal: we started with some butternut arancini, with a main of lamb and dauphinoise potatoes, and Eton mess for pudding!
We chose a tower of cheese, which we served in the evening with a grazing table of bread, chutneys and meats. We even found a very cute pair of pottery mice to top the cheese tower!
A few years before we were engaged we saw a guitar duo play in a local London pub. They were great fun and got everyone up on their feet dancing. When we started planning they were the first name on our list, and thankfully they were available. Double Shot played an acoustic set in the afternoon, then got the party started after dinner with some Latin-inspired covers. We found a local DJ to play in the evening.
Who supplied the stationery?
Our invitations and table numbers were from suppliers found through Etsy, and place settings were from Papier.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We spent two weeks in Puglia, Italy. We enjoyed some time relaxing in countryside farmhouses and exploring the local towns (and of course sampling the local food and wine!).
A friend of ours runs a craft brewery and offered to brew us a signature beer especially for the big day. It was such a lovely touch and we got to help decide the beer style, name and bottle design.
It’s difficult to pick just one highlight, but nothing beats the excitement before, during, and immediately after the wedding ceremony. We’d been planning for this day for so long and to see everyone we love come together in one place was something really special.
Advice for other couples
Relax and just enjoy it. The day goes by so quickly so just take stock of every moment and have fun!
The best man’s speech for sure. The amount of effort and background research he put into the speech were really something. Everyone was in stitches – it was perfect!
Hi! I’m Jun and I’m a wedding and elopement photographer based in Milton Keynes. I travel worldwide to capture love stories. My style is documentary, intimate and natural.