More Magical Than We Ever Imagined by Jodie and Dan

We were together for just over 6 years before tying the knot.

We met when we were 16 working at Frankie & Benny’s together and drifted apart but started speaking again when we were both at different unis, rekindled our romance and finally got married at Manor Hill House on 24th February 2018.

[Dan] I proposed during a trip to Jodie’s favourite place, San Francisco. Despite all the planning it still went completely wrong but she still said yes after winging it completely and me forgetting the knee!

[Jodie] He asked me during a boat ride in San Francisco. It was the hottest day ever and he was wearing a gillet trying to hide the ring! Just after he asked we went to Alcatraz, quite apt starting a new life sentence I guess haha!

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We had a small nightmare with our venue choice, and we still can’t thank Manor Hill enough for pulling out all the stops and giving us an incredible day.

We originally visited Manor Hill as part of their open day, checking out lots of places for potential party venues. We had always known we wanted an intimate wedding and chose a snowy venue in Lapland, Finland for the ceremony with family.

Three months before our wedding, Monarch Airlines collapsed, and our wedding went with them. Faced with the prospect of not being able to get married and losing nearly everything, we had to make a plan. And that’s where Manor Hill came in.

We called them the week after it happened and explained the situation - Charlie, Emma and Ros were fantastic in taking the stress out of the planning and made the impossible possible! Not having to think of dietary requirements, entertainment, and the dreaded table plan with our original wedding, they helped with various options and understood exactly what we wanted when we ourselves didn’t. And it was perfect.

Sometimes you don’t get exactly what you planned, but it can end up being more magical than ever imagined.

We couldn’t get to Lapland, so we decided to bring Lapland to us.

Our godson Sulley collected lots of pine cones from the woods, and we had candles that filled the venue with a wintery scent. Pretty much all of our decorations were donations from friends and families’ weddings which meant so much (and it saves them cluttering your house afterwards!). We also had some lovely loans from the venue itself including the card postbox and outdoor lanterns.

My bouquet was filled with pinecones and wintery flowers, and pearls from my mum’s headband from when she married my dad 36 years ago.

It was a bit of a mismatched jigsaw but it came together perfectly.

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[Jodie] I picked my dress from a wonderful store called Adele Louise Bridal in Wolverhampton. I can thoroughly recommend it if anyone lives in the area.

[Dan] I had a bespoke waistcoat handmade for me from Blooms in Wolverhampton and embroidered with our wedding date. I rocked it with a dicky bow and a pocket watch.

As we weren’t having Bridesmaids or Groomsmen with our original intimate wedding, we decided to dress the kids up instead. Our flower girl Bella (2) had an ivory puff ball dress, and Sulley (2) and Dylan (1) had matching waistcoat, ties and chinos. They made a big impression walking down the aisle! The male family members originally due to come to Lapland had a tie made out of the same material as the custom-made waistcoat to wear on the wedding day, and everyone wore their own suits.

We hired a DJ who is one of our friends so that worked out handy! We also had a playlist of our favourite songs during the meal which was lovely.

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AS for the food, OMG the chicken wrapped in bacon was incredible and the vegan meringue using chick pea water went down a treat. Sticky Fig catering asked us for our favourite food and tailored a menu that would suit everyone. The evening pulled pork baps had a glowing review, but we were dancing too much to realise!

My sister baked 120 cupcakes – from Oreo to Chocolate Orange – for our guests to enjoy. We helped with the baking but were banished when it came to icing. I think she knew we weren’t good enough and would eat too many ingredients!

Our flowers were sourced from our local florist in the village Jodie’s parents live in.

We hired Chloe McCall makeup artist for the day, based on a recommendation and she was fantastic.

Our best friend Emily Horton is a professional photographer, but certainly not wanting her to work on the day she persuaded one of her friends out of retirement to take our wedding photos. Except for a couple, which Emily caught and take pride of place on our fireplace.

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The funniest part of the day was definitely being late for our wedding breakfast because we were watching England in the Six Nations! Secondly finding my uncle propped up the bar clinging to his gin glass for dear life. There’s always one at a wedding…

[Dan] Oh and Emma being so accommodating and dropping our aunty and uncle home because the emotion got to them, along with the wine…

Despite it being February we have some lovely photos in the field as Emma knew exactly where to get the best shot.

Our advise to people is never forget the reason you’re getting married. It’s not because of fancy photos or a big party, it’s because of love. And regardless of what is thrown at you, know that you can get through it hand-in-hand, with your family by your side, because that’s the most important part of all.

And the best part, looking at each other when the day is over thinking WOW we’re actually married.

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