Blackwell Grange Wedding Videographer
Planning a wedding is a pretty mammoth task at the best of times, but doing it from the other side of the world and then having a pandemic thrown into the mix is certainly not for the fain hearted! But my word did Ella & Andy pull it off! With their families living in Kent and Manchester they wanted a venue that was somewhere in the middle for their travelling guests and Blackwell Grange in The Cotswolds was the perfect spot.
Ella & Andy’s Wedding Dream Team:
Bride and Groom Q&A:
How did you guys meet?
We both went travelling to Australia (separately, without knowing the other even existed) We met on Ella’s 4th day in the country at a Hostel in Perth, Western Australia. We shared a 6 bed dormitory and spent our evenings in the courtyard having BBQs and playing drinking games. We both had trips booked prior to meeting, Andy was to go to Melbourne before spending Christmas and New Year in Sydney, whilst Ella was going to Cairns to eventually travel down the east coast. On January 7th, we both realised that we wanted to spend time together and therefore both came back to Perth where we decided to make a go of things. Andy did his ‘farm work’ as a traffic controller ‘out bush’ whilst I managed the hostel where we both met. We then moved out into our first home together before going through the long process of becoming residents and then eventually Australian Citizens. 9 years later, we moved back to the UK together where we got married.
Tell me about yourselves, how do you like to spend your time?
Andy is a carpenter whereas Ella currently works as an Operations Manager (which basically means organising everything within a business and improving processes). We spend half our evenings together in the gym where we spot each other through sets, the remaining evenings we spend on the sofa aching from our gym sessions! We like to spend our time in the countryside, going on walks or visiting farm shops, mainly to check out all the dogs! We are dog mad and are in the processing of finding a dog to join our family. Travelling was a huge part of our lives pre-pandemic and enjoyed going to new places to experience the different cultures but mainly eat the local cuisine.
How did you choose Blackwell Grange as your venue?
We did discuss the idea of an Australian wedding, but the logistics or getting everyone to travel to the other side of the world was just too much. Therefore we decided on a UK wedding. However, Andy and his family are all from Manchester, whereas Ella and family are mainly based in Kent. Therefore, we got a map, drew a line between the two places and looked at what was in the middle. To our delight, the Cotswolds was 2.5 hours from each place. We both love autumn and British countryside, therefore we wanted a venue that captured both of these aspects. When Andy stumbled across Blackwell Grange and their round oak door, it was a no brainier to check it out. We were still living in Australia at the time and therefore Andy’s parents went to view the venue on our behalf. It was an absolutely stunning and at a great price therefore we had no trouble booking the venue 3.5 years prior to actually getting married! (Thanks COVID!)
What sort of experience did you want your guests to have?
As we had not spent much time at all with our friends and family throughout our entire relationship, our wedding was always about bringing everyone together. We enjoy good food, good wine and great company, therefore this was always on mind when planning our day.
Describe some of the details and stylings, did your wedding have a theme?
The great thing about our venue was, even though it had beautiful exposed oak beams, log fireplace, Cotswold’s stone etc. it was a blank canvas. It allowed us to create an autumnal feel with forest greens, copper, wood, terracotta, fairy lights and lanterns. There was so much talent across the families, as we wanted to bring the everyone together, our styling was a reflection of this. The honey jar favours were from Andy’s dad’s bee hives. The cake was made from Andy’s mum (family Christmas cake recipe). Andy made the cake stands, whilst Ella drew the tree guestbook as well as making the confetti boxes and signage as well as other items with the help of her mum and sister in law.
Why did you choose to have a wedding film?
We had a few friends who used a Videographer and each one said it was the best decision they made from their entire wedding. We are not ones to pose for photographers, or post on social media therefore for us it made sense to have a film of our day that we could watch again and again and told the story of our wedding day. We were excited to see parts of the day that we weren’t there for. For example, Andy to see the Bridal preparation process, the guests arriving and Ella to watch the guests and Andy’s anticipation prior to her walk down the aisle.
What was your best decision during planning?
Having a videographer! Although as we’ve pretty much gone over why above, our second best decision was to make decisions based on what we wanted. Not allowing traditions or families preferences dictate our day.
What was your hardest decision during planning?
Other than postponing our wedding by 12 months (thanks again COVID) it would have to have been the menu choices and seating plan. What got us through it was to go back to the best decision we made, staying true to ourselves.. In the end, we picked our favourite food items rather than the crowd pleasers and split tables 50/50 of both families to encourage conversation. We stopped over thinking about the minor details and remembered why we were getting married, it wasn’t about the food and table arrangements.
What are your favourite memories from the day?
Ella: Andy surprised me by buying me some beautiful diamond earrings to wear on the day. After walking down the aisle and seeing him for the first time, he looked at me and just said “Nice lobes”. We both burst into laughter and my nerves of the ceremony disappeared.
Andy: …“Nice Lobes”
What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding?
Keep it simple and allow 10% over your budget. The biggest advised is that a wedding isn’t one day, it is from the moment you get engaged to sending out the ‘Thank you’ cards after the honeymoon. It is viewing venues, tasting the menu options, stag weekends, bridal showers, dress fittings, makeup trials, making decorations, finding vendors, honeymoon, reading the beautiful messages in your guestbook, thanking guests for their gifts and cards, watching the video of the wedding with a glass of sparkling. Enjoy the planning as it is all part of getting married.