Romance, elegance and style at Brookfield Manor
"Ant and I were married in the beautiful Peak District - where we first fell in love - 4 years ago. We chose Brookfield Manor as our venue as it was totally unique and reflected our love for the great outdoors, set in 130 acres of luscious gardens and countryside. We were honoured to be the very first couple to marry in the venue’s stunning temple set in the woodlands, where we had our magical ceremony (decorated in the style of a Midsummer Night’s Dream) amongst the peaceful flowing streams and wildlife.
As a nod to my Cypriot heritage, our wedding also reflected our love for all things Greek! Our caterers did a fantastic job of replicating my Yiayia (nan’s) delicious family recipes, and our live Greek band had everyone on their feet all night!"
TELL US ABOUT YOUR VENUE…
“As soon as we were engaged we knew that we wanted to marry in the beautiful Peak District, as it’s where we first fell in love 4 years ago. We live in Berkshire and our family and friends are also based in the South of England, but everyone agreed that our gorgeous venue and the surrounding countryside made it well worth the journey!
We chose Brookfield Manor as our venue as it was totally unique and reflected our love for the great outdoors, set in 130 acres of luscious gardens and countryside. Knowing that we would be the first couple to marry in the venue’s stunning temple set in the woodlands was such an unexpected bonus and our ceremony ended up being one of the most unforgettable parts of our big day, especially the minute of mindfulness (this was our celebrant’s idea, as she wanted to give everyone a chance to take in the sights and sounds of the temple’s surroundings, including the peaceful running streams and wildlife in the woodlands).
Another reason we chose the venue was the exclusivity – Brookfield Manor only hold a handful of weddings a year and every single aspect of the wedding was tailored to our liking, so there was no sense of the conveyor belt copy and paste weddings that we’d seen at almost every other venue.
We also loved that every part of the venue was different – from the woodlands, to the manor house, gardens, romantic courtyard, marquee, pavilion (which we used as our dance floor), fountains and Chinese bridge – every corner of the venue was unique.”
DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR WEDDING…
“Elegance was the order of the day:- Our colour scheme was oyster and ivory with hints of blush and celadon, which looked beautiful against the backdrop of the countryside and gardens.
– Our marquee and the pavilion were decorated with flowers, blossom trees, gorgeous vintage mirrors, mercury candlesticks and tea lights, creating a really romantic feel.
– My wedding dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses were simple designs with delicate finishing touches.
– Our temple was decorated beautifully with ivy and flowers, which looked wonderfully dramatic against the woodland backdrop.
– Huge olive trees were placed in the pavilion (which was our evening dance floor), which really complimented the Greek singing and dancing!
– I especially love candlelight, so lanterns and candles were lit all over the grounds of the venue and within the marquee, which also had starlight lining. It looked so romantic in the evening.
– Our stationers were fab and they designed everything from our personalised menus to the order of service, cake tags, miniature ouzo bottle labels, table names and much more, so everything was consistent and in keeping with the style. They also designed our monogram which we had printed on a lot of the stationery too.”
WHAT DID YOU ALL WEAR?
“My wedding dress was a Stella York design; it was a simple, elegant a-line dress in ivory satin, cinched in at the waist with a delicate belt. My hairstyle was vintage waves, with a dramatic hair comb with swirling crystal leaves, as a nod to the woodlands. My bridesmaids wore a simple design in celadon (a light green) with oyster clutch bags and pearl jewellery. The groomsmen wore dark grey tails with waistcoats and matching celadon cravats (with the exception of the groom who wore oyster).”
WHAT DID EVERYBODY EAT AND DRINK?
“Ensuring food and drink was tasty and plentiful was a top priority on our wedding day! The wedding breakfast was largely Greek:
Starter: meze of homemade stuffed vine-leaves, grilled halloumi, tzaziki, hummus, pitta, bread and Greek salad
Main: kleftiko (slow roasted shoulder of lamb) with parmentier potatoes and vegetables for the meat eaters, and vegetable moussaka for the vegetarians
Dessert: Trio of chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice-cream; lemon and raspberry posset; vegan elderflower, prosecco and fruit jelly
Petits-fours: mini baklava
Evening food: burgers, including classic, American, BBQ and halloumi (catered by Black’s Burgers, my dad’s business).
Canapes: Tempura Tiger Prawns; Croute of Wenslydale & Red Onion Jam; Honey & Grain Mustard Chipolatas; Parmesan Sable with Cream Cheese; Avocado Salsa; Duck Spring Roll with Hoi Sin.
For our wedding favours, all guests were given miniature bottles of ouzo, with our monogram printed on them.
As is traditional at Greek weddings we had a free bar! We served two signature cocktails which included ‘The Elleni’ (a Hendrick’s gin and elderflower spritz) and ‘The Ant’ (an old fashioned), plus mojitos, kir royale, ouzo and all the usuals (e.g. wine, prosecco, champagne, beer, cider, spirits, etc).”
HOW DID YOU ENTERTAIN THE GUESTS?
“Our fabulous acoustic guitarist (Zoe Kyoti) sang and played guitar while our guests arrived and during the drinks reception on the lawn.
After the ceremony, guests played lawn games (giant Jenga/Connect4/Dominoes) and croquet, and were also entertained by a caricaturist.
In the evening we had a live Greek band and everyone was able to attempt Greek dancing (including Zorba!). Ant and I also did the traditional Greek money dance, whereby guests pinned money onto us while we danced. We also had a DJ who played a later set.
We also had a magic mirror photo booth and caricaturist in the evening.”
ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES & GROOMS?
“If you can, write your own vows. We’ll forever treasure the memory of hearing each others’ vows for the first time and they’re beautiful words for us to live by now.
We chose to have a celebrant who wrote and told a “love story” based on what she knew of mine and Ant’s relationship. It was wonderful for us and our guests to hear this love story during our ceremony and made it feel completely unique to us.
Instead of a normal guest book, we decided to have messages in a bottle! We had empty bottles numbered 1-5, each one representing a year of our marriage, and asked guests to write a message for us on a notelet and to place it inside a bottle of their choosing, which we’ll open on the respective anniversaries.
If you have a large (or complicated!) family, let the photographer know in advance what photo groupings you’d like. This worked really well for us.
I’m sure everyone says this, but the day whizzes past in a flash. Make sure you have moments of the day just for the two of you to take a breather and absorb all the love and happiness around you.”