Up and Away
A flower-strewn setting and a hot-air balloon twist made this couple’s celebration really pop
Photography: EPS Photography
It was a hot-air balloon that made Cheryl and Aaron realise Prested Hall in Colchester, Essex, was their perfect venue. Aaron had originally planned to propose to Cheryl during a hot-air balloon trip, but when she got wind of it he put off popping the question until they were on holiday in Grenada.
The couple were keen to continue the up-in-the-air theme for their nuptials. So when they arrived for their first viewing at Prested and saw a hot-air balloon sign pointing them up the driveway, they knew it was for them. “There were also framed photos of hot-air balloons inside the venue,” says Cheryl, “and the date they had available was August 24th – our lucky number. We decided it was obviously meant to be.”
Relaxed & personal
The couple describe their wedding vibe as “romantic, happy and casual”, with a palette of yellows and browns for a relaxed, rustic feel. They also included personal twists throughout the day. For example, the tables were named with numbers that meant something to the couple – 76, being the number of days it took to say “I love you”. The flowers were meaningful, too, being a combination of Cheryl’s favourites (freesias) and her mum’s (orchids), with flashes of lemony petals tying into the overall colour theme. And friends Rachel and Ben made their multi-flavoured wedding cake, which comprised tiers of lemon sponge, cherry Bakewell and Victoria sponge.
All about the details
And when it came to her dress, Cheryl used Pinterest to find the right style, which she then tried on in the Pronovias boutique in London. “Initially it seemed too dressy,” she says, “but by my second visit it felt right”. And to make it truly her own, she had a swatch from her mother’s wedding dress stitched into the inside – the perfect “something old”.
“After the ceremony, guests tucked into ice cream and played garden games before going to the marquee for a sit-down meal. And, of course, they were able to use the spectacular hot-air balloon as a backdrop for pictures!”
Be venue wise
“Do discuss priorities with your partner. We knew we wanted our wedding to be outdoors – ideally a lake and ducks! – all in one place and have rooms to stay.”
LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Bride’s dress pronovias.com
Bridesmaids’ dresses thedressmakeressex.com
Groom’s outfit thegroomsroomessex.co.uk
Cake Made by friends Rachel and Ben
Entertainment oakwoodstringquartet.co.uk; aurorapearl.co.uk
Hot-air balloon bloon.co.uk
Ice-cream cart simplysweetcandyco.co.uk