When Ben began his placement year in the office where Shannon worked in 2013, neither of them expected a romance to follow. “However, after a few chance encounters on nights out, we realised we were pretty fond of each other!” says Shannon. “Fast-forward 10 years, and we've lived in three different counties together, bought a house, moved house, had a few changes in jobs and become dog parents to Clover.”
A summer’s proposal at Snapes Point led to the couple planning their wedding at Deer Park Country House. A theme of pastel springtime colours, seasonal flowers and sparkle saw the inclusion of gorgeous faux and dried flower arrangements, as well as hydrangeas and pampas grass. “It was important for us to be as sustainable as possible and we wanted to keep some of our flowers and give some to our family after the wedding,” explains Shannon. The pastel hues were complemented by glass jars and vases decorated with macramé for centrepieces, as well as handmade macramé napkin rings and clay name tags with guests’ names stamped onto them.
Shannon and Ben chose to meet in the venue’s walled garden for a ‘first look’ on the morning of their wedding. “This was such a special moment and we'd highly recommend doing it to other couples,” she says. “It allowed us to have half an hour together and helped us to calm our nerves.”
The glorious sunshine meant the couple could have an outdoor ceremony at the summer house. “When Shannon walked down the aisle, she was followed by small yellow butterflies – it felt like a real life fairytale,” says Ben.
“We felt quite nervous about standing in front of everyone to say our vows but very quickly realised that everyone there just wanted to see us happy and in love. We messed up saying each other’s names, which we were both worried about doing, but it actually broke the ice and made everyone laugh,” Shannon says. “It put us at ease a little more and the rest of the ceremony was filled with smiles and laughs.”
After the love-filled ceremony, it was time for celebratory drinks and relaxing in the grounds. “As it was such a lovely day, we spent most of the time outside playing garden games and chatting with our family and friends,” says Shannon. A snack table filled with fruit, sweets and savoury snacks made a welcome alternative to canapés. “The main feature was our crisp wall, which everyone loved!”
A wedding breakfast of ham hock, roast chicken and lemon tart and raspberry sorbet proved a crowdpleasing delight as Dan Brazier, who thrilled guests with his magic during the coctail hour before Shannon and Ben kicked off the evening revelry with their first dance to AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. “It had everyone on the dance floor playing air guitar and got the party started!” says Ben. Bespoke Disco and saxophonist Daniel Costin kept the dance floor full. “At the end of the night, we had all our friends circled around us on the dance floor smiling, dancing and singing along,” says Shannon. “It felt so magical!”
Reflecting on their wonderful day, Shannon advocates a considered approach to wedding planning. “Breaking down the planning into smaller jobs and tasks makes it feel way more manageable and enjoyable,” she says.
Photography Melanie Barnfield Photography melaniebarnfieldphotography.com
Venue Deer Park Country House deerpark.co.uk
Dress Eva Lendel from Brides at Waterfields bridesatwaterfields.co.uk
Suits Moss Bros. moss.co.uk
Bridesmaids' dresses Quiz quizclothing.co.uk
Make-up Helen Wraight instagram.com/madeupbyhelen
Flowers Wild Floral Events wildfloralevents.co.uk
Garden games Rustic Love rusticlovehire.com
Entertainment Dan Brazier danbrazier.com
Bespoke Disco bespokedisco.com
Daniel Costin danielcostin.live