Bryony & Rachael
Italian Garden Wedding at Hever Castle, Kent,
by Louisa Dettmer Wedding Photography, Kent Wedding Photographer.
Photographing a wedding in the fabulous Italian Gardens at Hever Castle has been on our wish list of venues for years! And in 2021 we had the honour of photographing the wedding of Bryony and Rachael. The gardens at Hever are stunning and huge, we had already planned the locations we wanted to visit as it was important to us not to spend all afternoon taking the ladies around the grounds as they would have missed out on the socialising time with their guests. We were not disappointed at all, the ladies looked stunning in their dresses with the Bridesmaids looking gorgeous in their matching pail teal gowns. The weather was perfect as well, warm, bright, and not a rain cloud in sight, a perfect day to get married in the Italian Loggia next to the lake. All the staff we interacted with at Hever Castle were polite and very helpful which when you’re a wedding photographer under pressure having great staff makes our job easier.
We had a perfect day at Bryony and Rachael’s wedding, we wish the ladies all the very best and hope we return to the castle again in the future for another beautiful wedding.
Louisa & Duncan Dettmer, Kent Wedding Photographer
Bryony and Rachael’s “wedding story” is featured in the Autumn edition of A Kentish Ceremony Magazine 2021.
How was (if at all) your wedding affected by Covid-19?
We were extremely lucky and had our original wedding date, although there was a lot of uncertainty on the run-up to the wedding as the announcement by Boris Johnson, left a lot of questions unanswered not just for ourselves but for the venue too.
What restrictions were in place at the time of your wedding?
Face mask to be worn when going in to sit down for the food, then could be taken off once seated at the allocated tables. Food and drink had to be served, including the pizza van. Anyone who had a drink had to be served while seated. Luckily, we were able to have dancing due to the venue set up, and the DJ had the decks facing outside where the first dance, dance with the dads and then rest of the evening continued.
Why did you choose to go ahead under these restrictions?
We decided long before the announcements that we were going to get married regardless of what rules were in place. Luckily for us having an outside wedding in the Italian Gardens meant that restrictions for the day were minimal and we were able to have all the friends and family we wanted there for the big day.
Did you have to change venue/suppliers?
Luckily Hever castle was very on the ball with all the changes and was in communication with us on the run-up to the wedding- catering and reception were all covered by them. All our other suppliers were very accommodating to the forever changing circumstances and worked well with Hever castle to produce the most amazing day.
Did you change the theme/ethos of your day?
We had some last-minute changes due to covid19- All sweets from the sweet cart had to be pre-bagged and the doughnuts from the doughnut wall also had to be in individual boxes/bags.
Do you have any additional advice for couples planning or going ahead with a wedding during a pandemic?
Have trust in your venue- that they will try and make your day the best they possibly can.
Find suppliers that are trustworthy and accommodating and work with you no matter the situation. Know that everyone who’s invited is there to celebrate your big day and regardless of restrictions are there to support you on your big day.
Your dresses. Did it take long to find? Was it exactly as you’ve always imagined? How many dresses did you try on?
Rachael- Visited 2 stores in total and tried on about 20 dresses- when you find the one you will know.
Bryony- Visited 1 store- tried 9 dresses on and was something unexpected.
Why did you choose your venue? Did you have a specific place in mind from an early stage?
We visited a total of 4 venues- Hever castle was our 4th visit and was the only venue that had that magical feeling and from the first time we saw it we knew we couldn’t see ourselves getting married anywhere else. For us, it was the perfect fairy-tale setting.
Did you have a theme or particular colour scheme? Why did you choose this?
We had a pastel and neutral colour scheme, due to the gardens being so full of colour from the flowers.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
The bridesmaids all wore the same sage dress with a crisscross back that was light and airy due to the time of year.
What flowers did you choose?
We chose eucalyptus to be entwined around the pillars for the ceremony. Having a total of 9 bouquets maid for everyone including a variety of flowers: Pink roses, white roses, pink waxflower, Bruni eye eucalyptus.
And your cake?
Our cake was made by the fabulous Kennedy bakes and was a large 3-tiered cake. All tiers were completely edible. We opted for a lemon cake and elderflower buttercream. The most delicious cake we have ever eaten.
Tell us about the ceremony? How did you feel walking down the aisle, were there any funny or touching moments? Did you have any personal readings etc?
Walking down the aisle was funny for both of us. At the venue, a red carpet is laid out which is quite long. Walking on top along the grass was quite difficult in heels and when bryony’s sisters went down together Arica nearly fell over giving everybody a little chuckle before we arrived.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
For Bryony’s wedding gift Rachael arranged for a Sax to play during the reception. Which was a big party pleaser. For the evening we had 2 roulette tables with fun money with our faces on. We also had a DJ which kept everyone booging through the night, and a magic mirror instead of a photo booth to capture all the funny moments of the night.
What was your first dance?
Our First dance was outside under the pergola and was to ‘Can’t Help falling in Love- Haley Reinhart’ we had practised a dance routine to the song however Bryony forgot that with her dress she couldn’t raise her arms above her shoulders so went completely out the window.
Where was your honeymoon? Did you go immediately after the wedding or leave it for a few days?
Our honeymoon was booked for Aruba- However, due to Covid 19, it remained an amber country so we switched our destination to Ibiza a couple of days before the wedding. We left for our honeymoon 2 days after we got married.
Top tip(s) for other brides:
A glass of champagne will always help before- during and after.
Look up when walking down the aisle- try not to stare at the floor.
Take a spare pair of shoes for the evening.
Everyone’s going to want to speak to you- try to prioritise the most important to you on the day.
The evening goes so fast- so take time to get away from the crowd together.
Christina K Bridal Shop
Amy Linsdell- 07539116107
Shannon Spinks- 07525618536
Ace of Diamonds Fun casino
Richie Garrison – Saxaphonist
Please feel free to email us from this page to discuss your wedding.