Hey lovelies! As you read this I’ll be on top of a mountain, somewhere in the Lake District. (We’re using up my man’s holidays while the sun shines!) I’ve had this gorgeous wedding up my sleeve for some time now – Henna and Jason are a stunning couple and their day is full of joy and love and life – it’s just beautiful. Henna is also a talented modern calligrapher, and her vow booklets are exquisite. As calligraphy is my thing I fell head over heels with these and couldn’t resist sharing them with you! The wedding took place just before lockdown at the beginning of the year.
Wedding photographer’s website
Clearwell Castle Wedding Photographer HBA Photography
How did you choose your photographer?
As great things are so often found, we discovered Ben & Hannah through a friend’s recommendation. Photography is really important to Henna, and it took no time at all to know that HBA were who we wanted to capture the special day. We loved their style and especially their play with shadows.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We had such anticipation for Hannah and Bens’ work – not whether we’d like it (that was already a given) but just what artistry and surprise captures we’d see from the day.
From bamboo backdrops to Chinese tea ceremonies to the dance floor – such stunning and unique pictures and colours. The candid captures coupled with the balanced darks and lights created pieces we know we will enjoy for many years to come.
Both are so incredibly talented and deeply thoughtful. They were incredibly personable and evidently passionate about their work. They were professional through the whole process and on the day put everyone at ease which enabled such beautiful candid photography.
Videographer details if applicable – and any thoughts for other couples about having a wedding video?
James Wray from Manchester
To video or not to video, that was one of our big questions…until we met James at a friend’s wedding. We are so glad we took the dive as the captured video allows us to share the moments with extended family in Malaysia who couldn’t join us for the day. James captured this so perfectly
James being 6ft 5 captured some fantastic angles but I have to say he has the amazing ability to blend and remain unnoticed. The drone shots of the castle just added to the scale of the delightful venue.
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
Bearing in mind our British weather, good indoor space was important to us for a mid-March wedding. Apart from it being a castle (which was important to Henna), Clearwell castle had really great spatial flow and boasted multiple spaces where guests who were flying in had space to catch up in addition to places for other dancing and activities. From the library to the drawing room, each had character and provided a beautiful setting for the day.
They had recently renovated their guest accommodation at the Wyndham down the road and boasted fantastic food. The ability to have rooms within the castle enabled us to position relatives who may need to retire to the room for an afternoon snooze to do so. Pragmatism!!
Also, the additional and secret ‘after party’ in the vaulted cellar bar was a nice touch separating the partygoers from those who may want to continue in catching up when it came to the evening.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
Henna’s dress was the first she tried on at David’s Bridal, and after spending time trying on the rest she came back to the first, a Vera Wang with and a dark grey sash. The customer service was exceptional, and she was made to feel so special. Later in the day, Henna changed at the time of the tea ceremony into a red Chinese dress, made bespoke by Emmanuel Haute Couture.
Henna’s tip: comfortable dresses are vital to enjoying the day!!
Jason opted for a subtle green 3 piece which he got from Charles Tyrwhitt and changed to a bespoke mandarin collar vestment for the Chinese tea ceremony.
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
Clearwell itself was well decorated but Henna and the bridesmaids added the floral touches putting together all bouquets, boutonnieres and floral decoration of the lanterns and centrepieces. It really reflected the talent of friends and family.
Did you hire a wedding planner?
Tally from Clearwell helped to co-ordinate and was so amazing and incredibly accommodating.
We were getting near hourly updates of travel/ lockdown issues from guests and the team were so accommodating around catering/ accommodation. I couldn’t recommend them enough in their professionalism during what I know was a stressful time.
Tally had so much experience and a sure anchor during what could have been a frantic and fretful couple of weeks. She connected with the suppliers organising a lot of the legal aspects that Henna and I wouldn’t know about. She had great ideas to complement our own as experience sure does count!!
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
After much deliberation we knew food at Clearwell would stand to test. Our foodie friends hands down say the food was really spot on and the fact that there was choice of menu for guests was really special.
The cake was a Waitrose standard cake, decorated and made beautiful by the bridesmaids, the morning of the wedding.
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
@Hennainks has done creative pieces for other couples’ weddings and so was finally able to mastermind it for herself!! She managed all the décor around the theme of transparency. Repurposed windows coupled with her calligraphy helped frame the guest information. This was also seen in the table plans and gift box.
Henna also put together all the wedding stationary from the newspaper style order of service to the individual guest vellum menus and favours.
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
We opted for adding a little personality around the traditional vows as we recognise the personal promises to one another. It was tough to know what you wanted to be promising but made for a beneficial exercise to really think what we had been, what we wanted to promise and what we thought the other half would want to be promised.
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
We chose the song Known by Tauren Wells which echoes a quote by Tim Keller.
To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. To be fully known and truly loved liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
It is in the knowing and loving regardless which are both important. We have and are learning to accept, forgive and delight in each other.
Favourite wedding suppliers
Creative wedding photographer HBA Photography
Videographer: James Wray Weddings
Photobooth: Tailored booths
Dress: Vera Wang & Emmanuel Haute Couture
Shoes: Rupert Sanderson
Hair & Make-up: Sara Szpak