Victoria & Matthew
Be inspired by this magical wedding with an Alice in Wonderland theme
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDY HOOK PHOTOGRAPHY, andyhook.com
Horse breeder Victoria and event rider Matthew first met at a horse trials in Norfolk, although it wasn’t quite love at first sight. “Matthew was warming up to show jump and I went to adjust the height of the fence before he was finished, so he wasn’t best pleased. He then ended up riding some of my dad’s horses, so we were forced to spend time together!” Victoria laughs.
Matthew proposed to Victoria several years later and followed tradition by asking the bride’s father for permission to marry his daughter beforehand. “Unfortunately dad was chairing an important meeting, so he wasn’t able to talk. My mum found it hysterical, but Matthew took it as having his blessing so he chose me a ring.”
The bride found her perfect dress at Eternally Yours Bridalwear in Newark on Trent.
“I tried on several different styles but wanted them to be combined into one dress… and that’s exactly what my boutique did!”
The gown featured a corset back, long train and Swarovski embellishments on the back, bodice and train. “In the evening, the boutique also made me a lace ¾-length jacket to wear, which complemented my dress and enhanced our evening Alice in Wonderland theme.” Victoria accessorised with a headpiece, veil and Irregular Choice shoes.
The groom, usher, best man and both fathers wore morning suits with top hats and tailcoats, hired from Cameron Ross. “They were a brilliant company to deal with and any problems were quickly dealt with.”
Eight bridesmaids – four adults and four children – joined the bride, alongside one pageboy, their son. “My adult bridesmaids wore silk, burgundy dresses with a ruched front and the little bridesmaids, including our daughter, wore ivory dresses with a silk, burgundy bow. The dresses were also made by Eternally Yours.”
Julie at Lux Hair in Retford and makeup artist Katie Ince joined the bridal party on the wedding morning. “I wanted our hair and makeup to feel as natural as possible.”
“Airbrush makeup is brilliant. It feels light on your skin but it lasts all day.”
The couple married in a civil ceremony at Stapleford Park in Melton Mowbray. “My sister and Matthew’s best friend gave readings, both of which we found in Wedding Ideas. A string quartet played during the ceremony, performing renditions of Des’ree’s ‘Kissing You’, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Katy Perry’s ‘Fireworks’.”
“The string quartet kept the atmosphere romantic without becoming too cheesy.”
After the ceremony, guests sat down to three courses of ham hock to start, a fillet of beef and strawberry cheesecake to finish. “We also chose a pink Champagne sorbet for a palate cleanser between courses and served coffee and petit fours afterwards.”
The bride’s father, an experienced public speaker, set a high standard for the wedding speeches. “When Matthew spoke, he thanked the bridesmaids, gifted bouquets to both of our mothers and finished with a light hearted joke. His best man then gave a freestyle speech that perfectly picked up on the banter in the room, ending with a toast to us, the bride and groom.”
Matthew and Victoria chose two themes for their wedding, with an equestrian theme by day and an Alice in Wonderland theme by night.
“We wanted our wedding to be slightly wacky and outrageous, so we filled the Grand Hall with turf to make our guests feel like they were at an equestrian event. Even the flowers complemented this, presented in Hunters wellington boots at the ceremony and flowing from a suspended gate.
In the evening, to enhance the Alice in Wonderland theme, we had broken teacups and playing cards hidden in the flowers and topiary. While guests had afternoon tea in the main house, Premier Events transformed the Grand Hall. They added a checkerboard dance floor, stage lighting, a magic selfie mirror, this way – that way signs, drink me bottles and giant tea cups. It was amazing!” Line and Dot Creative designed invitations to subtly suggest the Alice in Wonderland theme.
“We kept the rich burgundy, gold and green colour scheme consistent throughout the day.”
Sophie’s Flower Co, based in Melton Mowbray, created the floral arrangements, which were inspired by Victoria and Matthew’s equestrian lifestyle. “The daytime flowers were whimsical, while the evening flowers were quirky, featuring oversized props, flying books, teapots and playing cards as well as the flowers! My bouquet featured dahlias, blackberries, astrantia, hedgerow foliage, eucalyptus, moss, bark and ivy.”
In keeping with their Alice in Wonderland theme, the couple chose a dessert table rather than a wedding cake.
“Christy Collins of The Swoon Bakery created it for us.” The main cake featured the Mad Hatter’s hat on top of a cake with the gates to wonderland. Cake pops, playing card biscuits, Champagne jellies, cupcakes and macaron towers also filled the table. Miniature bottles of Heston Blumenthal’s cherry bakewell vodka, complete with ‘drink me’ labels, offered themed favours.
“Entertainment was really important to us so we had jazz band, Mad Dog and the Sophisticats, play during the drinks reception, served a wedding breakfast and hosted an afternoon tea later on.” For the evening party, a magician and pianist gave guests the chance to mingle, before they walked down an illuminated path into wonderland, where a buffet was served. Two bands and even a fireworks display followed this to keep the party going all night!
“The fireworks display topped off the night for us!”
“1st Galaxy Fireworks timed the display to music from Walt Disney World’s own illuminations. Everyone had as much fun as we did at our wedding, just as we’d hoped they would.”
VENUE Stapleford Park, Melton Mowbray
DRESS Bespoke from Eternally Yours Bridalwear, Newark on Trent
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Eternally Yours Bridalwear
GROOM Cameron Ross
SHOES Irregular Choice
HAIR Lux Hair, Retford
MAKEUP Katie Ince
INVITATIONS Line and Dot Creative
DÉCOR Premier Events
FLOWERS Sophie’s Flower Co, Melton Mowbray
CAKE The Swoon Bakery
ENTERTAINMENT Mad Dog and the Sophisticats, Scott Perry Magic, 1st Galaxy Fireworks