Ela and Quentin – English country wedding
Ela and Quentin celebrated their marriage with a English county wedding in the late Spring. They first met in the summer of 2010 at a camping site on the Isle of Wight. After exchanging numbers when they got back to London they arranged to meet up – the rest as they say is history.
After a number of years together, and surviving the stress of buying and renovating a house in Surrey, UK, Quentin thought it was high time that he ask Ela to marry him. The proposal occurred whilst on holiday in December 2013. Quentin was showing Ela his native country of South Africa, and proposed to her place in very romantic style in Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town. Ela was both surprised and exciting and happily said YES!
With Ela being of Polish origins and Quentin South African they initially came up with a proposal to elope to Italy in September. However circumstances suddenly changed, so they decided to get married in the UK instead, and have a intimate country wedding not far from where they lived. That way both sets of parents and close friends could attend, so they could share their special day with those they loved.
Due to short timescales involved they called on the services of Karen of Timeless Weddings Company to assist then with the logistics of organising within time constraints and within their fairly tight budget.
The Guildford registry office was selected for it’s lovely historical building and for the proximity to accommodation and the proposed reception venue. As neither Quentin nor Ela wanted a church ceremony the registry office offered a perfect solution.
After 3 venue changes, The Percy Arms in Chilworth was chosen. One of the driving reasons for choosing this lovely country pub was that the food was superb. Having eaten there a few times they were convinced that the location, the setting and the food would be perfect for their celebratory dinner.
The couple booked into Barnett Hill hotel for the evening before the wedding, which is also where Ela got dressed the next day. The hair and makeup artist was Jojo Hicks who did an amazing job of styling her long dark hair creating a fresh clean look with the make-up.
Ela and her bridesmaid Ola’s beautiful bouquets were done by Alissa at Fleurie Flowers using peonies in contrasting cerise pink and white. The groom and best man had matching cerise pink rose buttonholes. Ela’s headdress was a stunning wreath of wax flowers offset with a single cerise rose, which lasted all day long.
The one hiccup of the day occurred when the bridal car failed to turn up to collect the bridal party from the hotel due to mechanical problems, but fortunately a cab was called that transported them to the registry office in good time. The highlight of the ceremony was the candle lighting ritual which involved the mothers of the bride and groom. After the ceremony the guests gathered outside to congratulate the couple and delphinium confetti was thrown.
Luckily the car problems where repaired in time to whisk the bride and groom off for official photo’s at the end of the ceremony.
The wedding party travelled to The Percy Arms and upon arrival where they were met with a welcoming glass of champagne, whilst the bridal couple went to have their photos taken at a lovely old church and formal gardens of Barnett Hill hotel by the official photographer Henry Wells.
The reception venue was in the conservatory which had doors facing out onto a wooden deck and then the large lawned area below. The light and airy conservatory had one long table set out with hessian runners that were decorated with English country flowers of sweatpea’s, lisanthus, peonies etc. all placed in hand decorate recycled glass jars. Menu’s were printed on recycled paper and place names doubled up as guest favours with wild flower seeds in a packet.
Delicious canapes, lawn croquet and a talented musician by the name of Russell Shaun who specialised in jazz and swing/ “rat pack” type music entertained the guests throughout the afternoon. The sun broke through after some heavy downpours in the morning and everyone enjoyed the glorious late spring weather.
A chalk board was available for guests to write messages to the bride and groom in their local language which was very diverse.
The dinner was server which included a choice of South African signature dishes such as Babotie and Boerewors. The main course was a buffet and the dessert was a choice of plated options such as Eton Mess and cheesecake.
The cake was cut shortly after the main meal. There was a choice of different flavoured cup cakes and two delicious cakes that Ela’s friend had baked and decorated. The cake stand fitted in with the woodland/country theme and was hand made by Ela’s father who brought it all the way from Poland disassembled in a suitcase! To have special items handmade by friends and family created that special touch.
After dinner the music was turned up and the dancing started. Everyone from the oldest to the youngest guest had a terrific evening.
Here’s to Quentin and Ela, may your marriage continue to be as warm, fun and intimate as the beautiful wedding that you hosted.