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Real Wedding: Claire & Will’s Story

Weddings


Claire and Will celebrated their wedding reception at Highgate House in July 2014. After working at Highgate for 11 years, Claire’s role switched places as she became the bride for the day. The couple chose romantic and vintage touches to decorate the venue and the sunny weather allowed them to make the most of the beautiful grounds.

Tell us your story

Will and I met nearly 13 years ago at The Saracens Head pub in Little Brington. On 14th February 2013, Will proposed at the top of The Shard! I had booked it as a treat for us for Valentine’s Day so it was a complete surprise and we then had a great day in London and lunch at Clos Maggiore.

What made you choose us as your wedding venue?

I have worked at Highgate House for 11 years and I had always wondered what I would do if I got engaged! I love the venue with its beautiful grounds and Baronial Hall, the food is amazing (which is really important to us) and I completely trust and value the staff (my colleagues) who would be looking after me. I knew that we would totally relax on the day knowing exactly what to expect and being surrounded by friends fulfilling our dreams for our wedding day. We looked at other venues but no others could offer us the magical experience that Highgate could. As Sales Manager, I sell Highgate House to prospective brides and grooms for their wedding day and I truly believe that we are a fantastic wedding venue, one of the best in the county, and now I can qualify this from personal experience as a bride! 

Which suppliers did you use?

Stunning Bridal for my wedding dress, Party Linen for decorations, Perkins Florist for our flowers, Identity by Kelly Fisher for hair, Elliot Patching Photography, Ultimate Photography for the photo booth, singers Anna-Marie Johnson and Ed Arm, and Vintage Music for the evening music.

On the day, what were the best bits & what made the day memorable?

On the day we were both quite calm. Everything was organised to perfection as those who know me would expect. I loved arriving at the church with my Dad to the chiming bells and then seeing Will at the altar! We loved the car journey to Highgate with people beeping us and waving which made us feel really special. When we arrived at Highgate House, Sara, our toastmaster from Highgate House, was waiting for us on the front lawns with our Prosecco and made sure that we were happy and relaxed about the next part of the day. The drinks reception out on the lawns was just how we’d dreamed and we were lucky that the sun came out for us. We remember the day going so quickly, it really did fly by and we were suddenly welcoming our evening guests.

What was your vision/theme and how did you make it happen?

We wanted our wedding to be romantic with a touch of vintage. Our wedding car was beautiful, a white 1928 Citroen and our flowers were amazing. Rosie at Perkins created our vision perfectly with soft pink peonies, stocks, sweet williams and baby’s breath as the main flowers. I made our card box from a vintage suitcase I ‘up cycled’ and our invites, menus and place cards were all in the same style that we’d designed using ideas from Pintrest. 

How was the food on the day?

This was a big reason for choosing Highgate House. Lee and his team produce wonderful food and we knew that it would be at its best, even for 65 guests or more. We created our canapés with Lee which were asparagus wrapped in Parma ham chargrilled with hollandaise dip, pesto chicken and tomato skewers, rare roast beef with tomato salsa on bruschetta and lasagne cupcakes - people are still taking about them! We also created our wedding breakfast together which was delicious and just as we’d imagined. For the evening, we wanted something interactive so Lee cooked prawn, chorizo and chicken paella on the front lawns as well as a chicken fajita buffet. Lee and his team didn’t let us down in any way!

What/who helped during the planning process?

My experience in the industry really helped me, the suppliers were all really helpful and I would recommend all of them very highly! Jo, the wedding planner at Highgate House, communicated our vision perfectly to all the staff running the day and kept me calm with her support leading up to the day.

What’s the best advice you can give a couple planning their wedding?

Keep calm and be organised, and ask for help if you need it. Aim to get everything done two weeks before so you can relax and enjoy the last two weeks. Also use Pinterest for inspiration, and of course book Highgate House!

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