Amelia and Charlie

After getting engaged in the Austrian mountains on a ski holiday in January 2022, we set about wedding planning knowing we’d like a summer wedding in 2024. We weren’t really fussed about picking a specific date and instead hunted for our perfect venue. We knew we’d like to get married in Shropshire where both are families live and where we grew up.

We found a list of all the registered wedding venues on the Shropshire Council website and began narrowing down the list based on size, cost and aesthetic. Having narrowed our choice down to 4 possible venues we booked in viewings over 2 consecutive weekends. Although the first 3 venues were lovely there were compromises with each, so we were absolutely delighted to visit The Courtyard as our fourth venue and we absolutely loved it. The size was perfect to accommodate our number of guests, the grounds and buildings were beautiful and best of all we got the warmest welcome from Simon and Tig. There was no pressured sales pitch, we felt like each and every wedding really was individual and special to them.

Having settled on the venue, we needed to pick a date. From the weekends available in 2024, one of them happened to be Amelia’s parents 23rd wedding anniversary and we knew immediately that it was meant to be (it also meant Charlie had someone to remind him of our future wedding anniversaries). As a project manager, Amelia went full on into wedding planning mode and arranged with the potential caterers from The Courtyard’s suggested list; to see menus and discuss pricing. We loved the look of Tallulah’s menus and booked her and her team to cater for our wedding. We chose to have canapés, main and dessert followed by evening food which worked really well for our guests.

Charlie works in the media and marketing industry so naturally has lots of photographer contacts, we were really lucky to have Kenny Clayton as our photographer and Charlie’s work colleagues filmed the day which we later edited into a highlight video ourselves.

Finally, the last critical part of early wedding planning we had to sort was a florist. We’re definitely a couple who like to take on a challenge and also set others a challenge so we broached the subject of growing our own flowers with our parents. The thinking was we can use 2023 as a trial year and then have perfected the art for 2024! Luckily everyone was up for the multicolour wildflower/English country garden challenge. We used The Shropshire Flower Company based near Church Stretton to grow and create my bouquet and bridesmaids’ bouquets, buttons holes and 2 diy flower buckets as Amelia wasn’t willing to risk these with the home grown flowers.

We then took a bit of a break from wedding planning until autumn 2023. Amelia arranged to go wedding dress shopping at Shropshire Country Brides, where she had the best experience and picked the perfect gown. We also collected rose petals from the garden and dried them to use as confetti.

After Christmas, the final 6 month countdown was on and we went back into full on wedding planning mode. For bridesmaid dresses we picked a colour and allowed the bridesmaids to pick the style of dress they liked most which meant they all felt comfortable on the day. We made giant wooden garden games to keep the children (and adults) happy and booked our final vendors. Tipples for the bar and drinks package, Carys Ellis Bridal for hair, Helena Restell for Makeup, Pippos Bakery to make our wildflower inspired wedding cake and last but not least The Tartan Trio band to provide the music for a Ceilidh in the evening.

Having spread out the planning over an 18month period and working with wonderful, reliable and professional suppliers we didn’t feel masses of wedding stress. We took a few days off work in the week leading up to the wedding to put final arrangements in place, pack up the cars and most importantly harvest our homegrown flowers. I think we overestimated how many flowers we’d need!

The day before the wedding we arranged for our closest friends and family to help us set up the venue, including the boring tasks like ironing table cloths to laying tables and by far the most exciting element flower arranging. We really needed the help we got and it took a lot longer than we’d expected.

On the big day itself, Amelia stayed with her bridesmaids at Cynion Uchaf a beautiful cottage about 5 minutes drive from The Courtyard. Charlie got ready in the Gatehouse at the venue itself; this really helped with organising suppliers when they arrived on the morning to set up and get ready.

Simon and Tig had the day perfectly organised and made sure we were both in the right place at the right time to meet the registrars and be ready for the ceremony on time. It meant we could fully relax knowing everything was under control. We had the most wonderful wedding day and knowing that all our guests were all there for us was surreal. We didn’t have evening guests which really meant we didn’t need to panic too much about the reception timings or speeches overrunning. The food was incredible and so tasty, Tallulah’s was definitely a great decision. Our guests particularly loved the canapés. The day itself flew by but we wouldn’t have changed any of it. We loved introducing our guests to a Ceilidh in the evening and The Tartan Trio did a fabulous job of keeping everyone on the dance floor all night.

From our experience if we were to offer some top tips, they’d be:

  • Make the day personal, like growing your own flowers, making your own decor or games – it’s these things that guests notice.
  • Make it a day about you as a couple, don’t worry about trying to please other people. You only get to do your wedding day once!
  • Pick reliable, friendly and communicative suppliers, if someone is not responding during the planning process, you will only worry on the day. If you can put full trust into your suppliers you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourselves.
  • Have fun, enjoy the planning process and use the people around you for support to lighten the load.