The five acres of formal gardens at Hodsock Priory, the exclusive use country house wedding venue in north Nottinghamshire, welcome the arrival of April with a fanfare of colour. The vibrant daffodils and early rhododendrons from earlier in the season make way for Spring’s unmistakeable shade of green, ethereal pale pink blossoms and flowers in pastel lemons and lilac; the perfect framing for chic and stylish wedding photographs.
Seasonally-themed weddings ranging from one day to three day events are offered at the secluded estate within the 19th century House and grounds.
Dreamy thoughts of April bringing longer and clearer days fading to the romance of soft light in the early evenings are realised at Hodsock Priory. Yet even if the weather fails to deliver, the day is not spoilt for brides and grooms. David and Katherine married at Hodsock Priory on 11th April 2015. When asked what they’d say to couples considering the venue, David said simply, “Take a look around. You’ll know straight away if it’s the place for you as soon as you walk in the door.”
Katherine agreed, “Even if the weather’s awful and even if you don’t step outside, there are so many beautiful places around the House for photographs. It doesn’t matter what the weather’s doing.”
George Buchanan, ninth generation owner and manager of Hodsock Priory said, “April’s often a glorious time of year. Following the carpets of white snowdrops and vivid early spring blooms, nature’s colour palette turns softly romantic with blossom blowing in the breeze. Guests will receive complimentary petal confetti from the estate at all April weddings booked before 31st May 2017.”
David and Katherine’s wedding took place on their fifth anniversary. Katherine says, “I discovered Hodsock Priory online and totally fell for it saying to David that it looked so nice that we probably couldn’t afford it! I phoned to check if our date was available and booked a showround visit.”
Having confirmed the date and time with All Saints Church in Gainsborough, their reservation was secured with Lynda Pepper, Hodsock Priory’s weddings manager and planning began in earnest.
“We had a really lovely service and afterwards, the wedding car took us to Hodsock Priory. Lynda met us with a welcome drink and we had a few photos before everyone started arriving.” said Katherine.
Lincoln-based Rich Hines was the couple’s photographer. He organised a group photo on the Italian Terrace directly outside the House before a series of small group shots. The couple then rejoined the wedding party in the Bar, Library and Ante Room before greeting their guests in their receiving line.
The Pavilion was simply dressed with crisp table linen, cutlery, crockery, glassware and flowers on the tables. Although a dark blue-purple colour featured within the handmade-wedding stationery and bridesmaid dresses, the couple neither wanted nor felt the need for a theme.
“Hodsock Priory really doesn’t need a theme. We didn’t want lots of fancy decorations in such a beautiful place as we thought it would detract from its beauty.” added Katherine.
Katherine and David’s 85 day guests were offered a choice of wedding breakfast menu. Gail Dandy Catering provided starters including antipasti sharing platters and delicious tomato soup. Options of chicken in tarragon, traditional roast beef or vegetable Wellington followed and Katherine’s sweet tooth was indulged with chocolate fondant, lemon tart or Eton mess for dessert.
After dining, the couple were taken to the formal gardens and the lake for photographs while their guests took coffee in the Library. The Pavilion was turned into a dark blue-purple hued, mood-lit dancefloor with DJ set up and a giant video screen from Xclusive Video Disco. The couple celebrated in the evening with 120 guests, starting with the cutting of a stunning five-tier wedding cake.
The music came to an end at 11.30pm and the bride and groom’s parents stayed in the Blue and Green rooms within the main House adjacent to the opulent Bridal Suite, while The Courtyard at Hodsock’s 10 luxury apartments were booked by grandparents and close friends. Everyone met for breakfast at The Courtyard in the morning, bringing an incredible 24 hours to a close.
Seasonal wedding planning is straightforward thanks to Hodsock’s all-inclusive wedding packages from the Grand Wedding at £17,500 for 60 guests, to the 3 Day Wedding House Party Experience. Packages can be flexible but as standard include exclusive use of the House and Gardens, one night in the luxurious wedding suite, three course wedding breakfast, drinks reception, bouquets, buttonholes and floral table arrangements, wedding cake and DJ entertainment with mood lighting.
The venue is based in 800 acres of formal gardens, woodland and countryside and can cater for up to 120 guests. Couples receive the support of Lynda Pepper, an award-winning Weddings Manager who invites them to share their inspirational mood boards with her at an initial consultation. For details about Hodsock’s facilities, visit www.hodsockpriory.com/weddings or call 01909 591204.