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An Exclusive Real Life Wedding - David and Chris

Tell us all about how you got engaged:

Like most of the things surrounding our wedding, our engagement was really low key. We’d been together for about five years and, while we were on holiday in Portugal, we were having a drink on the balcony and just talking about how far we’d come since we met and how much we wanted to get married. We decided right there and then to take the plunge and organise something.

We wanted to take quite a bit of time to get used to the idea of being engaged and decide how we wanted everything to be, so we allowed ourselves six months before we even started looking for venues or planning anything. We booked our venue first,in August 2015, for a date in September 2016 and then got stuck into the planning.

Why did you choose South Lodge as your wedding destination?

We really didn’t know what sort of venue we wanted for our wedding, but when we went to see South Lodge, we fell in love with it as soon as we turned into the drive.

From the minute we met Cassie and the weddings team, we knew they ‘got us’ and they came up with lots of ideas as to how to make our day work. Over the year we worked with South Lodge to plan the wedding, nothing was a problem or a chore for them. They consulted with us every step of the way and we felt we could genuinely trust the team to make sure everything was perfect.

When the wedding day finally came, they went over and above what we expected - they’d listened to everything we’d said and pulled out all the stops. The final result was breath-taking and, even now, we feel a bit choked up thinking about it. We absolutely made the right choice for us.

Did you have a wedding theme?

We both love the 1920s and that era so decided to have touches of The Great Gatsby throughout. Our ‘save the date’ cards were themed around 1920s newspapers, our invitations were art deco in theme and this continued through the order of service, menus, name cards, table plans and signage.

We wanted the wedding breakfast to feel like a1920s dinner party, so we had the flowers designed to 1920s arrangements for the tables, with vintage vases and arrangements throughout – even the background music was classic. We also loved the idea of the prohibition eraso the favours comprised tiny alcohol bottles with sweets for our guests. Our two flower girls were dressed in lace 1920s-inspired dresses and we opted to wear shirts and ties instead of more formal morning suits to have a more casual laid back feel.

Finally, we wanted so pay homage to some of the great romantics, so lots of the wedding stationery also had quotes from authors, musicians and poets that we love.

What do you remember most about the day itself?

After all the planning around the flowers, photography, food and evening reception, it’s undoubtedly the ceremony itself that really stands out in our minds. We had a short intimate ceremony for just 30 people with some of our friends reading poetry or playing music and, when we were saying our vows, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. In saying that, we know it’s a cliché, but we felt like the only two people there and that was very special.

The speeches were amazing and we absolutely loved seeing all our friends and family in the evening as well. David’s mum was also the life and soul of the party making sure everyone was up dancing and the highlight of the evening was an extended conga, with every guest dancing all around the dancefloor… and beyond.

And finally, What tips would you give to a couple starting to make their wedding plans?

If you and your partner have an idea in your head as to what you want your wedding to be like – really try to remain true to that. It’s so easy to get carried away with loads of suggestions from friends and Pinterest, but it’s your day, so keep trying to remember why you’re doing it and how you want it to be.

And finally – remember a wedding day is the start of something much bigger. It’s so easy to get carried away with the planning that you forget about the important reason why you’re doing this. The important thing is that you’re going to share your life with someone you love – the rest is just a bonus!

The happy couple: David Woods and Christopher Hale
That special date: 
16th September 2016
The location:
South Lodge, an Exclusive Hotel – Ceremony in Goodwood; Wedding Breakfast in Disraeli; and Evening reception in Gladstone
Catherine Pound Photography
Amie Bone Flowers
Styling :Amy Bone Flowers
Stationery: Laura Hawkins Design
Attire: Ted Baker

The photographs have generously been shared by

Catherine Pound Photography