Woodland wonders

Holly and James celebrated their summer nuptials with a magical outdoor ceremony

Accountants Holly and James worked together for four years before he plucked up the courage to ask her out – at her leaving do! “There was always something between us but it took James a long time to make his move,” says Holly.

Love blossomed and on 23rd November, 2013, James popped the question. “It was completely out of the blue and I was so not expecting it,” Holly recalls.

The proposal took Holly on a treasure hunt around Ipswich, following clues to significant places such as where they met, had their first kiss, first date, ending up back home – where they first said 'I love you'. “I returned to find James on one knee in our lounge, surrounded by candles,” remembers Holly.

The wedding took 10 months to organise, which included booking the register office the day before for the legal ceremony, as well as planning their Midsummer Night's Dream-inspired woodland celebration. Read on for Holly's account of their magical big day...

Woodland wonders: Image 1
Holly Golding, 26, and James Holt, 24, held their al fresco ceremony in a forest clearing at the beautiful Kenton Hall Estate in Suffolk, followed by a marquee reception in the grounds on 8th August, 2014.


Woodland wonders: Image 2aI'd always thought I'd have a slim-fitting dress, however when I tried on my gown, even though it was quite voluminous, I knew it was the one. I had a slinky Pippa Middleton-style number for the legal ceremony the day before though.

Woodland wonders: Image 2 The ceremony was very personal and emotional. We wrote our own vows which we recited to each other as the sun shone through the trees, surrounded by our loved ones, who were seated on wooden benches. It was everything I imagined and more.


Woodland wonders: Image 3
I'd always wanted a woodland wedding, like something out of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and we knew as soon as we saw Kenton Hall Estate that it was the ideal place.


Woodland wonders: Image 4aMy bouquet included David Austin roses in deep pink which I fell in love with.

Woodland wonders: Image 4 “On the day the sun was shining and everything went perfectly.” – Holly


Woodland wonders: Image 5
The four older bridesmaids looked stunning in long silver grey gowns while the four younger ones looked every inch the woodland fairies in pretty white dresses with flower garlands in their hair.


Woodland wonders: Image 6a“The bridesmaids carried bouquets of green flowers and foliage with bright fuchsia gerberas to add a splash of colour to their dresses.” – Holly

Woodland wonders: Image 6 My florist took the woodland wedding brief and created the most amazing floral arrangements, including making bases for the centrepieces out of logs from her garden.


Woodland wonders: Image 7
James, his best man and both dads wore tweed suits while the ushers wore matching trousers and waistcoats. They all had pink ties to complement the silver and fuchsia colour scheme.


Woodland wonders: Image 8aWe had silver and pink iced doughnuts as our cake which we displayed on a tree stump stand and had boxes of chocolate and jam-filled ones for our evening guests.

Woodland wonders: Image 8 My dad made giant garden games to entertain our guests.


Woodland wonders: Image 9
The top table centrepiece was made from twigs entwined with flowers.


Woodland wonders: Image 10
The day was everything I imagined and more.


Holly Golding and James Holt's contact book

Bride's dress and accessories
Grace & Lace, Ipswich

Bride's make-up
Blossoming Beauty

Bridesmaids' dresses

Ceremony music
Busking for Breakfast

Daytime catering
Events Couture

Evening catering
Baytree Pizza

Wedding Flowers & Designs by Kim Powell
Tel: 01473 687 003

Groom's and groomsmen's suits

Big Fish Photography

Kenton Hall Estate