The wedding of
Amy & Michael
Real Life Weddings at Pennyhill Park
How did you both meet and how did the proposal occur?
I met Michael whilst working at a law firm in London in 2014. We hit it off straight away, and it wasn’t until later that it blossomed into something more, although people who knew us told us that they could always see something in the way we looked at each other! Since then, we haven’t looked back. I have gotten to know Michael’s three children Charlotte, Alex & Amelia (all of whom had a role in our wedding), and we have become a family together, along with my wonderful parents, Lorraine & Stephen - all it needed was our wedding!
We bought a house in Guildford together in 2020, and anticipated getting married in August that year but….Covid! Our dates got pushed back to June 2021, and then September 2021, but with help from Jodey at Pennyhill Park, and some understanding suppliers, the rescheduling went (relatively!) smoothly!
What did you love most about Pennyhill Park?
We both love Pennyhill Park and have been there many times – initially it was for work events or conferences, but now it is more and more just to relax too. Michael is also part of Flock, the Exclusive Collection business network. It is my “happy place” and I have become good friends with quite a few people that work at Exclusive too. They even helped make my hen special at the wonderful South Lodge (another Exclusive Collection hotel). Thanks to Ratnesh!
We did look around at the wedding venues around our area, but none came close to Pennyhill Park as an overall package. The combination of the spectacular venue, space, and fantastic food was brilliant, and the outside marriage ceremony venue of the Pavilion was just perfect. But, the main reason we chose Pennyhill Park was the simply the people, and the very personal experience they give to their customers – it really felt that they genuinely cared and that they wanted it to be exactly how you envisaged it (which is what every girl wants for their wedding day!).
Tell us all about the dress...
I had an idea of what I wanted which wasn’t what I ended up with. I always thought I would have plain but always envisaged myself in a fitted dress…..I love a classic look rather than anything too bold so I tried to find things that matched that description.
I tried so many dresses on, I’d say about 35 in total (most of which were plain & slim fitting). It wasn't until about dress 30 that I realised I hadn’t found what I loved. It was then that I tried on THE DRESS and that was it. Mum & I both cried. My shoes – I was very sensible because I love a dance and knew I wouldn’t survive in killer heels. Again, I went for a classic pair of Jimmy Choo’s (one of my favourite brands).
What do you remember most about the day itself?
What we remember most was the moment after our vows! It was lovely to finally be Husband & Wife.
As to the ceremony what stands out most, is walking from the end of the conservatory (stopping underneath our flower arch with my dad holding my arm, looking down towards the pavilion and seeing my wonderful family and friends as well as the spectacular setting which had been set up by the Pennyhill Park team – it was picture perfect and exactly how I had imagined it.
Michael says that he remembers … “the cake” which was made by the lovely Sarah Frankland. We took home half of it and ate almost nothing else for around 4-5 days. It was that delicious!
Were there any special moments or surprises?
The organisation was brilliant. Jodey was excellent throughout despite us having to re-arrange our wedding twice before. During the lead up to the wedding, Pennyhill Park was also very helpful with all the many adjustments we had to make. The build up to the wedding was also a fabulous experience - our menu, cake & wine tasting and the overnight stay we had with my parents.
Even when we had some slightly left-field requests like wanting a proper barrister cart at the reception, PHP had just the right contact and were able to set up a tasting with Mozzo for us and they came along on the day which for us coffee lovers, made it!
What tips or advice would you give to future couples?
Make sure you have stayed at the hotel prior to booking your wedding so you get to soak up the full experience because just being at Pennyhill Park for your wedding day is not enough. We looked at several venues and some of them had very nice wedding ceremony rooms, but the reality is that the ceremony is only a small part of the day, so it is important not to let that be the only thing you think of.
Our advice is that you should look at the whole package from rooms, facilities, service, food and see the experience as a whole. Pennyhill Park exceeded expectations on all of these. It also really helps if your venue has got a good track record with suppliers as this really does save some time. Even though, we knew Pennyhill Park, we went along to their wedding fair to meet some of those suppliers and in fact, ended up using a lot of them including the Phoenix String Quartet, Airmagination and Longacres Florist.