Although Ella and Hamish both grew up in Haverhill and knew each other through mutual friends and parties, it wasn't until after Ella moved away to university in Wolverhampton that they actually began talking. "It started with a text from Hamish wishing me a happy New Year," remembers Ella.
Romance blossomed and after a year working away, on and off, Hamish booked a sunshine holiday in the Maldives for the two of them. "Despite many of my friends saying that he must be planning to propose, I was in complete denial," says Ella. So, as they headed out for dinner one evening, when Hamish stopped to take a sunset photo and got down on one knee to ask her to marry him, it came as a complete surprise. "We spent the rest of the evening FaceTiming, calling and messaging our friends and family before sitting down and writing out our guest list!"
When it came to the venue hunt, they visited a number of different locations before finally finding the perfect setting. "We knew we wanted a traditional house and to get married outside in the summer and when we saw Chippenham Park, it ticked all the boxes," enthuses Ella. "The gardens were absolutely stunning and we couldn't fault the venue in any way. The entrance, marquee, lake and the historic building itself were all beautiful!"
After shopping around for her dream dress at a couple of bridal shops, Ella had a good idea of what she wanted, but couldn't quite find the one. Until arriving at Adella Bridal, just outside Norwich, that is! What's more, the gown she fell in love with was designed by the owner of the shop. "This meant I was able to tweak or change anything I wanted, so I had a square back without the mesh and a slightly lower V-neck. I completed the look with pearl earrings and a pearl bracelet that Hamish bought me as a wedding present," explains Ella.
Hamish wore a smart black suit with contrasting grey check waistcoat, sky blue tie and ivory pocket square. The groomsmen had the same but with darker waistcoats so Hamish stood out from the crowd.
Despite all the careful planning and organisation, the weather was the one thing that was out of everyone's control on the big day. However, although it was raining slightly all morning, the wedding party, family and friends styled it out with white Chippenham Park umbrellas and the al fresco ceremony went ahead regardless. "Walking down the aisle just felt so surreal. We had been advised to make time to take it all in and we did, but the whole day still seemed to fly by," recalls Ella. Later in the day, the rain stopped and after the speeches they were able to go outside for some fresh air and to enjoy the glorious gardens.
The wedding marquee was decked out for the reception with beautiful white and green flowers and foliage, including tall and low-level arrangements for the centrepieces, and simple table numbers in frames. The table plan was designed to match their save-the-date cards and invitations. Ella says, "Sam, our florist, was amazing and really listened to my ideas (which were rather vague) and created a masterpiece. The bouquets were stunning, they were used to decorate our top table too and matched the beautiful reception displays perfectly." Instead of a traditional wedding cake they went for a stack of their favourite brownies. Ella explains, "We weren't too fussed about having cake-cutting photos, so we started looking at alternatives and discovered our local brownie company catered for weddings and thought it would be much better to have something we both love."
Family and friends were kept entertained by a magician followed by a live band in the evening. "Our guests loved both and still talk about the magician now. He was a big hit with the kids too and they followed him around all day!" adds Ella.
Hair and make-up