Blogging Bride: Annie & Dean

Did you enjoy January’s instalment from our Calke Abbey bride, Annie? We wanted to give our readers an insight into what planning a wedding at a Honeysuckle & Castle venue is really like… from the bride’s point of view!

In her first blog post, Annie told us the story of how she met her fiancé, Dean. If you missed out, take a peek here.

Without further ado, let Annie talk you through how they chose their dream wedding venue: Calke Abbey

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Calke Abbey had always been brought up in conversation by my fiancé, Dean, when he reminisces about his childhood adventures with his grandfather and brothers. He would spend hours building dens, roaming the parkland and looking in fascination at this property and its ageing façade.

Dean said he has always thought he would get married there, so when he put that gorgeous ring on my finger, we set a date and of course Calke was the venue of choice.

I had been to Calke just once before, when I was lucky enough to work as a model for Honeysuckle and Castle on one of their amazing venue shoots (as you can see in the pictures, captured by Humpston & Bull Photography). I will never forget that feeling when I knew that not only is it Deans ideal venue – it is mine too…

As I drove down the almost 2-mile-long driveway, I could imagine getting married here – it gave me goosebumps! The parkland and woods would make a beautiful back drop. Bumping over the cattle grid I was reminded of the sheep and deer in the park too – another tick in the box.

The weather on that day was dramatic to say the least – the windiest day of 2016! The sky was dark and foreboding, and coming up over the brow of the hill there was the house in all its glory – it was stunning! I realised that no matter what the weather had in store, rain or shine it would be an incredible setting for a wedding.

Discovering Calke Abbey

After parking up, I walked a short way to the Riding School – the 18th century blank canvas used for weddings at Calke. As I entered the building not knowing what to expect…it took my breath away! There it was – MY WEDDING!

Yep – the shoot that I was working on was coincidently my perfect wedding in its entirety! The colour scheme, the flowers and even the props – it was perfect!

The Riding School itself is red brick with a gorgeous clock tower set in beautiful rolling countryside. Within the grounds you will find an orangery, walled garden and of course the deer park. Inside the venue there are white washed exposed brick walls, immensely high beams and an incredible grandeur making this venue so unique.

With beautiful muslin curtains diving the room giving it a romantic feel, the space is so diverse. A dining area, a dance floor and chill out area with the all-important bar – what more could you ask for? Oh yes, how about on-site cottages for you and your guests to stay in! I knew from then on, that when Dean did finally ask me to marry him I could create our perfect day with ease – after all the wonderful team at H&C had done it already!

In my previous post you would have read that Dean did proposed later that year. After an almost immediate chat with the girls at H&C it was confirmed that 2017 was not an option – being a beautiful 18th century stately home, Calke is one of the most sought after locations in the midlands and H&C are in high demand as wedding planners.

We are very lucky to have set 20 October 2018 to tie the knot! It seemed so far away at the time and yet here we are… I blinked and all of a sudden, we have 8 months and 2 weeks to the big day!

It is a good job I have already found my dream dress… (but we’ll save that for next time!)