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Llama surprises and beautiful heritage surroundings for Morag & Danny’s Ashdown Park wedding, images by Damion Mower Photography

… because you can’t beat a llama surprise, right?! Honestly, this wedding is everything. Glowing with newly wedded happy vibes, Moran and Danny celebrate their love at Ashdown Park. Their day is magical, breathtaking, beautifully designed and brilliantly captured by our friend and English Wedding member Damion Mower Photography. Morag’s dress is exquisite, unique and different; from the fabulous Needle & Thread. The venue is oh so special – Ashdown Park is in the Ashdown forest, believed to be the inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood (home of Winnie the Pooh!) – and the converted chapel with its stained glass windows is so enchanting all Morag & Danny had to do was add flowers – which, it has to be said, are stunning!

Ashdown Park Country Hotel wedding photography by Damion Mower (45)

“Our theme was loosely based on a Midsummer Nights Dream style, my dress, hair, bridesmaids and flowers were very ethereal and the original ceremony was going to take place in the Summer House by the lake. The tempestuous weather the night before moved the wedding inside but added a magical twist of excitement to the day.

Ashdown Park Country Hotel wedding photography by Damion Mower (25)

I fell in love with my wedding dress, it could not be any more prefect for me. It completely reflects my personality and I knew I didn’t want something that was too traditional. I can’t ever imagine wearing anything else on that day.

Wedding photographer’s website:

https://damionmowerphotography.co.uk/

How did you choose your photographer?

I was recommended Damion and as soon as I saw his wedding photographs I immediately loved them. They were just in the style we were looking for. I wasn’t interested in anything too formal, I just knew we wanted our guests and ourselves to have a wonderful day and we really wanted to capture that vibe in our photographs. Damion was just the person for the job with his documentary style of photography.

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!

Yes we were so pleased he made our wedding feel really important and helped us with our ideas when we were feeling indecisive. Nothing was too much trouble. On the day he was really funny and relaxed and even brought a lovely apprentice photographer with him, which meant we had even more great pictures from different angles. The photographs are brilliant, every time I look at them I see something different, they really tell a story.

Ashdown Park Country Hotel wedding photography by Damion Mower (4)

Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?

When we first saw the snapshot, I was so thrilled at how unique the photographs were and I was so happy that Damion had taken a beautiful photograph of me and my Mum laughing together in the morning. She wasn’t feeling very well during the wedding and so it was really lovely to have that moment captured. We were delighted when the final photographs came, they were really able to capture the personality of my friends and family. I still find new surprises when I look at them. Damion worked so hard to try and get some photographs of us outside, despite the weather. Some of these are my favorite, even the one with the umbrella!

Ashdown Park Country Hotel wedding photography by Damion Mower (1)
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Ashdown Park Country Hotel wedding photography by Damion Mower (44)
Ashdown Park Country Hotel wedding photography by Damion Mower (46)

Wedding venue:

Our wedding venue was at Ashdown Park Country Hotel, in the converted chapel.

Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?

Magical and fun with llama surprises among beautiful heritage surroundings.

Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)

Mainly online research and recommendations.

What’s your top tip for saving money?

Think outside the box for your wedding dress rather than just looking at bridal shops.
No one really needs chair covers.

… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?

I am glad we choose our stunning venue, I am a museum studies graduate so it was really important to me to have a heritage venue. It didn’t matter that we didn’t get as much time outside as we wanted because the interior of the converted chapel where our reception took place was so gorgeous and unique.
I am glad we spent more on our photographer and picked the best!

Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?

We used Etsy and photobox to design our own wedding save the dates and invitations.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

My dress was a hand embellished dress from designer Needle and Thread, outlets can be found in Harrods and Selfridges. It was part of their Spring 2019 collection. I love all their dresses which are so romantic and feminine.

Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!

I borrowed my now sister in laws pearl wedding tiara which my hairdresser carefully wove delicate flowers into to match my dress and the bridesmaids hair. My shoes were called Tallulah Twist Vamp Block Heel Sandals from Monsoon, they were a sort of nude satin. I didn’t want anything too high as I am quite tall enough but they were just right. I put in some party feet gel insoles which made them so comfy throughout the whole day and night!

And what did the groom wear?

The groom and his party wore a light blue suit and chequered pink and blue waistcoat, which looked a bit like tartan. These were rented from Jack Bunneys. They had light brown brogues.

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

My bridesmaids wore long light blue full tulle dresses from Little Mistress with silver sandals. They both had flowers in their hair.
The younger bride maids had dresses from Monsoon and French Connection.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

I did hire a most brilliant hair and makeup artist called Lucy Watson, she did my make up and hair and the bridesmaids hair. She made us all look so stunning on the day.

Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)

Our wedding flowers were all arranged by Zara floral in East Grinstead, she was so excited about how fairy like my dress was an really enjoyed creating ethereal l bouquets and table flowers. My bouquet had cream lisianthus, pale blue oxypetalum, waxflower, white fressia, larkspur, astrantia and fountain grass to name but a few.

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

Our venue spoke for itself and needed no decoration from us other than the flowers.

Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?

We found it really tricky trying to think of a theme for our table names and eventually decided to name them after the beautiful places we visited last summer after we were engaged in North Yorkshire. Each table had a name, such as Fountains Abbey, Whitby Bay and an envelope with a selection of photographs from the holiday. We also included trivia cards from our pub quiz game we play at home. People loved these as they were real talking points for our guests. On each table we had a box of Edinburgh rock to eat, as I am half scottish. We also had a llama pencil and a magic fish because I used to love these when I was a kid.
The hotel provided activity bags for the children which were terrific.

The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?

We had a three tired chocolate cake covered in light pink, blue and lilac icing from Cloud9 in Brighton to match our wedding colours.

Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?

We had an awesome 5 piece Gypsy Jazz band; The Hot Club Collective for after dinner who played our first dance and then we had a DJ for the evening.

Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:

From experience: Make sure you have saved seats for your bridal party to sit down in after they have walked down the aisle!
Try not to sweat the small stuff and be sure to expect the unexpected on the day. Its going to be amazing!

What’s the best thing about being married?

Getting to call my most favorite person in the world my husband.

Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:

Ashdown Park wedding photographer – https://damionmowerphotography.co.uk/
Flowers – www.Zaraflora.com
Ashdown Park Country Hotel
Hair and Make Up Lucy Watson
Wedding dress – www.needleandthread.com
Stationery – Etsy
Shoes – Monsoon
Suits – Jack Bunneys
Bridesmaids – Little Mistress, Monsoon, French Connection
Cake – Cloud9 in Brighton
Band – The Hot Club Collective

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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