Wedding Wednesday – Our Autumnal UK Wedding Blessing & Reception

You’ll know by now, because I haven’t stopped banging on about it, that Ed and I got married at the beginning of September in Santorini but we had always planned on having a reception back home as well as we weren’t able to invite many of our friends and family to the wedding itself.

I am so glad we had a blessing in our local church as well as the reception as, due to circumstances at the time, we didn’t have some people there to witness us saying our vows who we would have loved to have been there with us.

We ended up booking our reception back home for the weekend of bonfire night, and although this wasn’t originally intentional, I soon decided to theme the uk celebration around this as it was totally opposite to the colours we had for Santorini, and it was a whole lot of fun!

As our wedding was out of season, we were lucky to have some brilliant deals with our suppliers. I wanted to talk a little about the reception, and the suppliers who helped make our second big day so special!

Firstly, when it came to a venue for our UK reception, we didn’t really look at anywhere other than The Orchid hotel. Ed knows the lovely Christina, who currently runs the venue, and she was able to offer us a brilliant price for the hire of the hotel function rooms and our wonderful bonfire themed menu of hot dogs, onions, chilli and rice – yum!

Other than a disappointment with the gluten free and vegan food choice on the night, which I know Christina is looking into with her chef following the reception, the food was really well received and us and our guests were really impressed!

The venue itself looked lovely and the decor, including twinkling lights in the main room, really leant itself to the theme.

I stocked up on confetti cannons from Ginger Ray (we actually only used 3 but my word there were so many stars that came out of them, you don’t need many to make an impact!), and I also purchased some fake autumnal leaves from eBay to decorate the tables along with some battery powered gold sparkly tealights. I also reused our Star Wars silhouette cake topper, and I invested in 100 sparklers from Amazon for our guests to have fun with at the end of the evening!

We had booked a photo booth through Smiley Booth, a nationwide franchise run locally by newlyweds Andy and Pia. They had taken on our booking from the previous owner, and unfortunately it came to light only a few days before the wedding reception that they wouldn’t be able to offer one of the elements of the original booking.

I cannot fault them for their willingness to make it better for us. Although they werent able to offer the guest photo printing service add on we had booked, instead Pia herself came along on the day and took photos on her camera of me getting ready, at the church for the blessing, and the start of our wedding reception, before then running the booth all evening along with her husband.

They are a superstar couple and I would highly recommend Smiley Booth to other local couples – all of our guests both young and old loved getting dressed up with the props and heading into the booth to strike a pose and the shots we have from the night are absolutely hilarious! Definitely worth the investment!

We had also booked a chocolate fountain, after speaking with David from Chocolate Fountains of Dorset at a local wedding fair during the planning stage. Having had a sample sent to us at home, we were confident our guests would love the fountains (we went for the Gold package, which included 2 small and 1 large fountain). We also got to choose 10 items for dipping and I was overwhelmed by the choice!

I must admit, as the bride, I didn’t really head up to the fountain much, as I realised that a wedding dress and melted chocolate wasn’t necessarily a good mix, but Ed and our guests, and definitely Carly, loved this addition to the celebrations!

The best bit? We got to take any leftover chocolate home at the end of the night (just ensure you bring along suitable Tupperware containers), and we have been enjoying eating our way through this for the past week and a half!

We decided against a traditional wedding cake, and instead opted for a brownie tower – very fitting for an autumnal theme! Gemma from Dark Matters was brilliant at listening to my vision, and she sent over samples to ensure we were happy with the flavour we went with before the day – salted caramel – yum!

The brownies are soft, fresh and gooey and they were very well received on the night, with guests tucking in before we had officially started things off! I was really impressed that Gemma didn’t just provide one brownie for my sister who has coeliacs disease and cannot eat wheat or gluten, but a whole mini stack – which she was very happy with!

She also kept with the bonfire night theme with a log slice for the stack to rest on, and mini sparklers stuck into the brownies!

Last, but certainly not least, for my bridal look I entrusted the wonderful Sally from Blushing Brides in Bournemouth. Sally did my hair and makeup for my first wedding as well, so I knew I was in good hands!

Without much direction, Sally was able to create a look for the night that I loved, and I will be sharing a separate post on the products she used to have me looking my best for our celebrations!

I absolutely loved our wedding back home, and I enjoyed getting to wear not one, but two wedding dresses once more (I changed into a surprise burgundy coloured gown halfway through the evening).

If you are getting married local to Bournemouth and are looking for suppliers to help make your day amazing, I would highly recommend all of those I have mentioned in this post. They worked hard to ensure our day went off without a hitch, and I am really grateful for all their help!


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