The Woodlands Outdoor Wedding at Horthorpe Hall in Northamptonshire
The Woodlands at Horthorpe Hall is one of the most unique wedding venues around.
If you dream about that informal, rustic, outdoorsy vibe at your wedding with a benefit of indoor comfort too – The Woodlands at Hothorpe Hall is the place you should definitely consider. With no exaggeration, it is one of the most unique wedding venues around.
The woodlands, outdoor licensed ceremony spot is located right in the middle of the … yeap you guessed it.. the woodlands, you will get to say your vows with the sun peeping through the trees, birds singing and the river literally only a few steps away. You are even allowed to bring your four-legged friends along!!!
This is exactly why Laura and Steven chose the Woodlands to be their perfect place to get married. Their super cute dog Harvey is a big part of their family and to have him around during their wedding day was truly special.
The Story of Laura and Steven
1) Tell us how you first met? Who, what, when, where, why?
We first met studying Motorsport Engineering at Oxford Brookes University. Steve was racing in Formula Renault and I’d joined him on a few events as his data engineer. We were both in relationships which ended after a year or so, and we eventually got together in our second year at uni. We got together at a friend’s house party after drinking the majority of a bottle of cherry vodka… Steve had a flight to Cyprus to catch the following morning and only made it by minutes!
Our ‘first date’ was in the back of a van at a race meeting at Brands Hatch. That set the tone of the relationship as we then spent the next few years running a racing team and living from circuit to circuit.
2) When did you know he/she was the one? Was there something he/she did?
The more time we spent together the more we realized although our personalities are very different, we have the same values and interests. We were committed from the beginning, like 6 months into the relationship we got some pet rats! shortly followed by running a business together, getting a mortgage and finally a dog! It never crossed our minds it would come to an end.
3) Tell us about the proposal.
Laura’s Response: We’d been together 9 years when Steve decided to propose. I’d put him off for years by telling him I would say no! (The thought of marriage scared me). I’ll leave him to describe the actual proposal… but it’s fair to say I was freaking out, and not expecting it at all. Steve regularly wound me up about having a ring – he found it hilarious. I genuinely thought this was another one of his pranks…
Steve’s response: I’d planned it for over 7 months and the majority of our best friends had got engaged or married in the last year. This gave me the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of different engagement rings with Laura. Laura pretty much described her perfect ring to me. Unfortunately at this point, I’d already bought a different ring to the one described, so sent it back and got it re-made! The payment and final approval of the new ring design were made parked up on the test tracks in the middle of the proving ground at Jaguar Land Rover where we both worked at the time… the only place I could get some peace and quiet!
Laura has a special way of never taking me too seriously or believing I’d follow through with the promises of engagement I’d been making for years.
One night after work we’d been speaking about all our friends’ recent engagements when Laura surprised me by saying ‘we’re never going to get married are we’. I retrieved a cardboard box from the cupboard and told her not to touch it. She thought it was a complete wind-up and handed the box to the dog. As the dog started to tear into it, she opened it up and said ‘see I told you there would be nothing in it’. She sat down looking smug, as I retrieved a second much smaller box from behind me, and watched her turn ghostly white as she saw the box contained the ring she’d been describing weeks before… she didn’t actually say the words ‘yes’ until about an hour later. The first time I’ve ever seen her truly speechless!
4) Tell us the one thing you love most about each other.
Laura’s response: Steve is passionate and driven about everything he does, and how caring he is to animals.
Steve’s response: I couldn’t possibly say one thing, but Laura is so loyal, compassionate and loves with a passion that needs to be seen to be believed. That applies to the dog as much as it does to me!
5) If you feel comfortable, share with us something silly or quirky the other person does.
Laura’s response: Steve has an obsession with polishing everything. If I ever can’t find him he’s normally upstairs in his den polishing his watch, or anything else he can find!
Steve’s response: Laura can’t tell the time. This might explain her continual lateness to everything. I can’t believe she made it down the isle on time on our wedding day…
6) What inspired your décor or theme?
We love the outdoors, and it was important to us we found a venue where we could get married outside no matter the weather. The Woodlands is so beautiful it hardly needed dressing up – the landscape did it all. Naturally, a rustic, woodland theme fitted in perfectly with the venue, but with bright flowers to reflect the summery time of year. Emma from Sassy Blooms did an outstanding job with the flowers and decor, and the team at Hothorpe was fantastic in helping pull everything together on the day.
7) What was the best part of your wedding?
The fact we could have our dog, Harvey with us!
Other than that, it’s so difficult to say, but we loved seeing all our friends and family enjoying themselves so much. The relaxed, informal atmosphere made it, and there was something for everyone. We also loved taking a few minutes away before the wedding breakfast as suggested by Latzo. That’s the moment it all sinks in.
8) What’s one thing you wish you would have known earlier in regards to planning?
That everything will be ok! I couldn’t believe how well it all came together. Had I known, I wouldn’t have worried as much about all the little details. Get the right suppliers and venue, and let everyone take care of their own bits – it just all falls into place on the day. When you’re surrounded by family and friends, it will be a great day no matter what.
9) Could you give 1 or 2 most important pieces of advice for all the couples who are planning their wedding?
1 – Get a master of ceremonies. Don’t underestimate how smoothly they make the day run, and how much more relaxed you feel – Alan completely sorted us out.
2 – Make sure the day reflects who you are, and make it fun. The more fun you have the more relaxed and happy you’ll be – and so will everyone else around you.
10) What was the most important factor in choosing your wedding photographer and why have you chosen Latzo?
We wanted someone who would catch the real-life moments as they happened, and also someone who’s photos are artwork. You don’t have to look through many of Latzo’s photos to see they are truly something special and reflect so much emotion. What we couldn’t have known before booking Latzo was what an incredibly energetic and fun person he is to be around. So many people we have spoken to about their own weddings and photographs have said they got bored of smiling and having pictures taken. We can honestly say we loved every second of our time with Latzo – his energy is contagious and it felt like he mentored us throughout the whole day and helped us get the best out of every moment. He quickly becomes another one of your guests rather than a supplier. So many of our guests have commented on how fantastic he was to have around. We feel very lucky to have found him.
Dress Designer: Justin Alexander
Dress Salon: Anna McDonald Bridal Gallery (Thame)
Makeup: Make Up By Jenni
Hair: Lox Hair Coventry (Emma & Abbie)Band: The Fat Cats (AKA The Boy Racers)
Harpist: Alina Bzhezhinska
Master of ceremonies: Alan Hodge