Katy & Henry, Garthmyl Hall
There are some weddings where it feels like the stars align, and everything just comes together perfectly! Katy and Henry’s wedding at the absolutely gorgeous Garthmyl Hall was just such a day. This lovely couple, who clearly absolutely adore each other to the very depths of their souls, knew exactly what they wanted, and it was a joy to be able to bring their vision to life in such a fantastically versatile, elegant venue.
Before we get into the stunning details of the big day, I just want to share a little story from Garthmyl Hall. The venue underwent extensive restoration in 2015, in order to protect its incredibly detailed plasterwork and gilding. This building work led to the discovery of a decades-old letter to Father Christmas up one of the chimneys. Julia, the owner of Garthmyl Hall, tracked down the little girl who wrote this letter and invited the now 84-year-old to open the newly restored hall.
To me, this totally charming gesture encapsulates so much about this venue and the team that run it. Not only is it a beautiful space, but it’s owned and staffed by people who value nostalgia, and who truly understand the importance of making memories that last a lifetime.
For Katy and Henry’s wedding, I put together a team of talented suppliers to create a range of different atmospheric spaces throughout the hall and grounds. The couple had fallen completely in love with the light-filled orangery and its whitewashed beams for their ceremony, and this space’s capacity meant a limited number of daytime guests. We wanted to keep an intimate, personal feel for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, before taking things up several dozen notches for the 190 guests that arrived in the evening. After 6pm, it was party time, and we wanted to make sure that each guest felt wowed and well looked after.
I can’t go any further without talking about the flowers for this wedding. There was barely a surface in the whole venue that wasn’t covered in deep greens and curling tendrils of foliage crreating an elegantly whimsical feel of the outside brought indoors. From boughs laden with crab apples across the beams in the orangery, tall lupins, white blooms and flickering candles draping the staircase, to hundreds of metres of foliage garlands and an incredible leafy feature wall behind the top table in the marquee – the overall effect was totally jawdropping.
The marquee was further transformed by festoon lighting installations and filled with gorgeous fragrance from the Jo Malone candles that nestled along the foliage table runners. We also had sharply tapering candles to add height in a shade of dark grey that perfectly matched the stationery.
As the wedding breakfast finished and the evening guests arrived, we moved things to the amazing Sperry tent that we’d erected on the lawns. A smaller tent also appeared, courtesy of our crèche, who entertained the wedding’s younger guests in a magical wigwam filled with stories and fun. Guests were treated to delicious cocktails and a hilarious speech by the best man, before the party started in earnest. And what a party it was! I wanted to make sure that every area we used was treated differently, while still reflecting Katy and Henry’s personalities, and the overall ‘modern romantic’ look we were going for.
Music filled the marquee and had the dancefloor full in no time. Meanwhile, the cellar bar played host to a team of mixologists creating incredible molecular gin cocktails. A range of mouthwatering street food and pizzas was served in the orangery, and over in the walled garden we set up a hot chocolate station that would have been right at home in Narnia. A photobooth had people posing all night long in the living room, and those with tired feet could retire to the ballroom, where luxury velvet furniture and tables groaning with sweet treats were
Feast your eyes on these amazing photos from Matt Willis. I hope this wedding will inspire all you country-house couples mid-way through your planning to think about how you can use the spaces you have available in modern, fun and beautiful ways.