In September 2014, I was in Lincolnshire to document John & Johanna’s Skendleby Hall wedding. The hall is a magnificent Grade II listed residence originally dating back to the mid-1700’s with a later Victorian wing and additions in the early 1900’s.
The Hall was in the ownership of the Brackenbury family throughout much of its history and it is only in recent times that the property has undergone an extensive programme of renovation and restoration. Skendleby Hall is a beautiful residence benefiting from such modern features as mains gas fired central heating and en-suite bathrooms to all the principal bedrooms. It still retains many fine character features including original Georgian and Victorian panelling, shutters to some of the many windows, and some fine original fireplaces and cornices. When Sir Edward Brackenbury lived at Skendleby Hall during the middle of the 19th Century, there was a Literary Salon here with Alfred Lord Tennyson, the Thackerays and R S Surtees amongst frequent visitors to the House.
John & Johanna have provided the rest of the article and tell us a little more about their wedding day.
“We chose Skendleby Hall because of their relaxed and flexible approach. We had the Hall exclusively for the whole weekend and our family, and close friends could stay with us. Our theme was relaxed, slightly rustic, a bit DIY and extremely child-friendly. Having two young children made us go down this route. We also wanted to maintain a personal touch, and keep costs down by doing as much as we could ourselves.
Having great photos to document the day was a priority for us. We found Ian from looking at the Wedding Industry Awards and seeing who had won in our area. After looking at Ian’s website, we knew that his style was exactly what we wanted – a natural, relaxed style – not staged or posed photos. After chatting over Skype, we knew that Ian was the photographer for us (and we were not disappointed!). We’ve already recommended him to friends who are getting married in the next year or so.
We wanted to do as much as we could ourselves to make our Wedding as personal as possible, so we made our wedding invitations, table plans and name cards. We wanted to keep it simple and rustic and used a herb theme. Jo (with some assistance from John) made all of the invitations and name cards. With some brown kraft card with paper inserts, dried lavender, a cool melt glue gun, a ball of raffia and some time and patience, the result was some half decent invitation and name cards. To keep it personal (and cheaper), after attending a cutting garden and hand-tie bouquet course, Jo also grew lots of flowers at home and made all of the table decorations.
As neither of us like icing, and were going for a rustic look we decided very early on that we wanted a naked cake. Darren at the No 82 cake studio in Lincoln made the most fantastic cake for us and decorated it using Lavender and Rosemary from our garden. People are still commenting how yummy our cake was!
Flowers were one of the first things that Jo booked up. An important consideration was being as environmentally aware as possible. She wanted to have British seasonal flowers grown locally for her bouquet (as growing and making her own was a step too far!). Rachel from Catkin made the most wonderful bouquet and mantlepiece display. Jo had given Rachel a sample of dress fabric, and, therefore, the bouquet looked great against the dress and had lovely seasonal flowers and herbs, so also smelt divine. The service that Rachel offers suited us down to the ground. If the flowers in our garden didn’t grow, we could buy buckets from her cut garden. If Jo felt last minute that doing the table decorations was a bit too much, Rachel would step in and do those too.
The dress. It’s fair to say that Jo had a bit of a predicament with the dress. She was pregnant while planning the Wedding and, therefore, couldn’t go to a Wedding dress boutique and try some on. So, knowing that the dress is an essential part of the day she contacted a few local dress makers to see if they could help. Kate from the Party Frock in Brigg was amazing – during the initial consultation she drew up the design and made great suggestions. Jo’s Mum sourced the material, and Kate made up the most fabulous dress and fitted in with the post-pregnancy timescale with no problems. Kate also made matching waistcoats for our two boys and ties for the men.
The food was supplied by another local company; Black Peppermint Food Company; they fitted in well with our flexible approach, and we knew from the initial visit that they would do an excellent job for us. Adam, the head chef has a real passion for the food, and on the day he was supported by a great team who made the day run smoothly – and everyone liked the food. Another, thing that appealed was that they used locally sourced and seasonal produce wherever possible.
Finally, though much of the above was entirely due to Jo, John was in charge of music – it was universally agreed that the band, The Showhawk Duo, were incredible! We also had piano music during the ceremony (using the hall’s own grand piano) and the meal that created a lovely atmosphere.”