Booking our venue was simple. We wanted to get married somewhere that already held special memories for us, which made the decision really easy. Jonny took me to The Manor House for my 23rd birthday and it was so beautiful, I've never forgotten it. We went for long country walks and the village is just stunning. When we got engaged 7 years later, it was one of the first venues I thought of. And it was available and within budget – job done!
Another reason we chose The Manor House is that its restaurant holds a Michelin Star and every meal we’ve eaten there has been fantastic. Jonathan and I love food, so naturally it was always going to be an important component of the day. As soon as we got engaged, we started brainstorming ideas and quickly decided to create a 3-course menu inspired by our most memorable dates from the last 10 years. It was loads of fun reminiscing, and we soon pitched our ideas to the very accommodating Manor House team. It took a little persuading (especially as I insisted we chat through the dishes with the Head Chef...), but they eventually agreed to bring our personalised wedding breakfast to life. And I think they enjoyed the process, too!
The starter, a mushroom and truffle velouté, was inspired by Jonny's first Michelin-starred dining experience. This was during one of our first trips abroad together, to France. The main course, a Thai-inspired cod dish, was a recreation of one of the most delicious dinners we've ever eaten together – back in 2012. We'd both been travelling for work in California and found a window of opportunity to meet up in San Francisco. And that was one of the best dates we've ever had! Dessert was easy: brownies. Our love of brownies was something we bonded over when we met. This resulted in our first date happening (two days later) at Monmouth Coffee in London, where we each ordered a flat white and a brownie. We sat beneath the Christmas lights in Seven Dials getting to know each other – feeling thoroughly smitten!
We put a lot of thought and care into our 'foodie' wedding favours. About a year ago, Jonny and a couple of friends started brewing their own beer on the weekend, so we had the idea that they could make a special Wedding Brew. Then, my mum knows a great local chocolatier who supplied chocolates, wrapped up in little boxes with a heart charms on them. Jonny's friend offered to make us a special 'BonJon' logo, so both the beer bottles and chocolates were branded with it! We left one of each on our guests' place settings, which also decorated the table nicely.
We worked with Jasmine, the lovely owner of Little Cake Garden, to create our wedding cake. She organised a yummy tasting for us – surely a major perk of wedding planning. In the end, we went for a 'naked cake', which had 3 tiers and was decorated with flowers. One tier was salted caramel (my favourite), one was Victoria Sponge and then we had a white chocolate and raspberry tier. It was fabulous.