A Dreamy Romantic Wedding at Kelham House

You cannot help but get swept away by the romance and pure love soaked joy of this beautiful wedding. Sam & Tom make the most perfect bride & groom and Sam talks to us about how she created her big day with an amazing team of suppliers ...

"Tom and I got married at the beautiful Kelham House Country Manor Hotel in Newark. It’s such a cute little venue!
There were a few key things about our venue we had agreed on; it couldn’t be too far from the Church, it had to be a blank canvas, it had to have a good outside area and the bar needed to be in the main room. Not too picky then!!!!!! But we found all of that at Kelham House.


The Need to Know
Kelham House
Newark, Nottinghamshire
The White Room
Fiona Mcquire
Sugared Rose
Aimee Catt Photography

"You kind of know it’s the one when you can see yourself wearing a big white dress and walking into that room"

Way before me and Tom got engaged I had heard about Kelham House, and one day me and my big sister tricked our men into a nice dog walk around the grounds of Kelham…including a little trip to the hotel! That day I fell in love with it, and when we got engaged it was the first venue we went to see. It ticked all the boxes for us both, and I had visions of my wedding folding out in this gorgeous country space. You kind of know it’s the one when you can see yourself wearing a big white dress and walking into that room.

It was the perfect wedding venue because the main room had everything it needed! It was big and round, with a fresh, clean feel. We didn’t like the idea of the bar being separate, and we also wanted it to join up well with the outside area, that way all our guests would be together. Having big patio doors all down one side of the room helped it feel spacious and outdoorsy. The grounds were also beautiful. Our wedding was in June so I had loads of ideas for outside games, and photobooths, thankfully the weather was perfect and the outside area was fully in use all day and night, just how we pictured it.

"We cried, we jumped around with excitement and a week later it was my wedding dress!"

I will never forget the feeling I got when I found ‘the one’, it was only my second wedding dress shop, and I was with my mum, big sister and two of my bridesmaids. I went in with such a clearer idea of what I knew I had started to like. I was lucky because although it was only my second dress shopping experience, my first was so needed. That was also a lovely experience, and another group of my bridesmaids (I had 10) were with me for this. They got me trying on anything and everything in sight, and I was super happy to do this. I knew I wasn’t into high neck, nothing too busy but also that I loved vintage style lace, and wanted it to fit in with my vintage feel wedding. That’s when it happened for me at The White Room, Southwell. We picked out lots to try and I really did save the best until last. It was a sample sale dress from Jesus Peiro, made from pure silk, super plain but so elegant. Just the material itself had me hooked, but something about the simplicity of it, and quality in its shape made me feel amazing. I came out wearing it, and it wasn’t until my mum passed me a beautiful Augusta Jones vintage style lace overlay that ‘the one’ was right there! We cried, we jumped around with excitement and a week later it was my wedding dress! The thing I loved most about my dress is that it was unique to me, we added the lace to an already beautiful dress, but no one else would have that! Everything from then on up to my final fitting was the best experience at the White Room.  Leanne and Jenny couldn’t have made me more excited to wear that dress, and I seriously never looked back on buying it even though it was only my second dress shop.

"On a whole, when you see it all come together it really is one of the best feelings on the day"

When people would ask what kind of style I was going for I would describe it as ‘Rustic Country Vintage’. I knew exactly what I wanted and how I needed to achieve it (with a little help from Pintrest, Save the Date Wedding Fayres and Wedding Blogs!). I’ve always admired anything vintage, and our house is full of little finds and hand painted bits n bobs. My love for old and rustic could really shine through a wedding so I didn’t give it much more thought! I spent hours making mood boards from wedding mags, and pinning my wedding consumed life away, but I was really happy with my ideas. I had over a year to make my vision a reality and spent many weekends in antique shops collecting lace table clothes, brass candle sticks, funky jars, crates and anything rustic! I wanted a very simply colour theme,  nude or beige for my bridesmaids, and white, naturally messy flowers with lots of foliage to fit in with my country theme. On a whole, when you see it all come together it really is one of the best feelings on the day. I can’t tell you how many cars were loaded up with all our bits and bobs to the venue the day before, but I can tell you it was all so worth it!

Working with the best suppliers in the business ...

One of my favourite wedding experiences was meeting suppliers, and coming up with ideas together. I loved it when my vision was seen by others, and improved through their skills and experiences.  I was also far too excited to see what was produced, and always wanted to tell people our plans! I managed to keep lots secret though, as I wanted to see people’s reactions!

Stationary was by far the biggest deal for me, and I was insanely lucky to have one of my beautiful bridesmaids, Kirsty who runs Pretty Little Cards, on board every step of the way. We would meet and share ideas, create mood boards and just generally get giddy about the Willis Wedding hashtag! From our Save the Dates, to Wedding Invites, the Table Plan, table numbers and names, and anything personalised, Pretty Little Cards excelled in my expectations. Craft paper, twine and lace never looked so good!  Kirsty made everything personal, and really gave our wedding its own brand, nothing didn’t match and everything was done with so much thought and care.

You can also hire props from Pretty Little Cards, and so much of her stuff was right up my wedding style street! We used crates to provide information, suitcases for cards, jars, chalk boards, and one of my favourite was the log centrepieces. I couldn’t recommend ‘Pretty Little Cards’ more, creative and caring is in Kirsty’s blood!

We also worked with Pretty Little Cards co Business ‘Little Creative Caravan’. This was an absolute highlight at our wedding. The gorgeously decorated caravan can be used for many things, but we chose to have it as our photobooth… something so good for evening guests to certainly enjoy. Seriously recommend this to other brides, it looks so pretty and creates so much fun!

Save the Date wedding fayres were also a great place to find suppliers, and I did exactly that when it came to our cake. Sarah from ‘The Sugared Rose’ created us a beautiful rough iced 4 tier wedding cake, each layer a different flavour. Like most parts of our theme, it was really simple, and was draped in fresh flowers from our florist for a more rustic effect. If you want a beautiful yummy wedding cake, baked with love The Sugared Rose certainly deliver.

This takes me onto our florist, and again I was lucky enough that one of my bridesmaids knew the wonderful Fiona Mcquire, a florist specialising in weddings. We met over tea on a few occasions as flowers for me where really important. Can’t begin to say how lovely it was to be handed my bouquet, which looked better than imagined. The rustic, country feel of our wedding was complimented so well by Fiona’s flowers.

Our Photographer was by far the best find EVER. ‘Aimee Catt Photography’ did a friend’s wedding all the way in Australia and her phots where just dreamy. I remember saying ‘I want her, she takes the best pictures’ , and how lucky we became when only a few months later we heard she was living in Sheffield Photographing. I immediately contacted her, and soon after that she was doing our engagement shoot! Aimee was so fun to have around on our day, she made us both feel so relaxed, it was like having a good friend picture your wedding, me and Aimee would talk about how we both love ‘love’ and she truly captured that. I knew instantly her pictures would be insane….I think you can see what I mean!


One thing that will create you some of the best memories is a wedding video. I can’t emphasise how much of the day you want to re-live, and ‘Friends that Film It’ made this so possible for us. Instead of videography, myself and Tom wanted something a bit different so we chose these guys as it’s a more personal way of seeing your wedding day. Sophie at ‘Friends that Film It’ sends you two cameras (one each for bride and grooms party) and you film the day yourself. You get so many more funny bits, messages from guests, crazy dance moves from the end of the night, and all the other moments you don’t want to forget. I could watch ours over and over!

The beautifying was a mission to sort, but I guess when you have 10 bridesmaids and a bride it’s not going to be plain sailing! In the end I was so happy with everything. We all had our make-up done by two freelance mac make-up artists. The girls where amazing, and did an immaculate job. A big mention is needed for ‘Rock n Roller’ Hair- Sarah did 5 of my bridesmaid’s styles, and gave them all waves and plait styles to die for. Lydia from Love Hair, Carlton did the others and again did so well, and I had my close friend doing mine. Each of them made the morning of my wedding so lovely and relaxed. Another one of my highlights was seeing my bridesmaids for the first time, they all looked so beautiful and happy, and it made my morning!

And Finally ...

To those future brides out there who are wondering if it will all be ready on time, wondering if your hair will look as good as it did on your trial, and wondering if everyone does what they are supposed to do after all your hard planning…I’d just like to say that on your big day you stop wondering and worrying, because you’re getting MARRIED!!

The run up will be a crazy week, but write lists, cross of lists, makes lists for other people. Lists are the best. And my biggest advice of all is an itinerary of the day. I made them for ushers and bridesmaids which meant everything went to plan, remember it is what they are for, and they really do want to help. Savour each moment, and look around and appreciate all your efforts, and enjoy those familiar faces smiling back at you.”


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