This week’s #bowbride is our beautiful Melissa who wore Chanticleer. Her wedding was at Basing House and featured on wedding blog – My Wedding Fair. The incredible photos are by Angela Ward Brown.

Tell us about your look

I chose a Chanticleer dress from Brides of Winchester, which I loved but was completely different to the dress I had planned on buying! The ladies in the shop were fantastic at giving advice and made buying a dress a lovely experience. The three bridesmaids wore pistachio green floor length dresses. Tim wanted the country wedding look but it was too hot for tweed so he wore a checked linen suit with a woollen tie.

How did you choose your venue?

We were looking for a flexible venue that was not tied to particular suppliers and that would allow us to have a relaxed day. We had looked at a few other local venues but nothing quite felt right for the two of us, we both like historical buildings and when Tim found Basing House on the Hampshire county council website (after a lot of searching!) we knew we had to go and visit. We both loved that Basing House allowed us to completely personalise the day in a beautiful setting.

What was your wedding theme and how did you create it?

We didn’t choose a specific theme for the day, we felt that the venue did not need too much styling as it was already so atmospheric. Our aim for the day was to have a casual, relaxed celebration where everyone felt welcome.

My wedding story

Our Wedding Story started at secondary school where we were in the same form group for five years but were never close. However, romance blossomed during Sixth Form college when we were 17 and at a New Years Eve party. Six years later we got engaged in Budapest and married a year later at Basing House.

We decided to choose Angela as our photographer as we were looking for someone who could document our wedding as naturally as possible. When we met her Angela made us both feel at ease, which we both felt was really important as neither of us normally feel particularly comfortable with having our photo taken. She did an amazing job on the day and we love looking back at our pictures. We also hired a photo booth for the evening from Lilybean Booths, a company based in the town where we both grew up after seeing one at a friends wedding and having a great time.

What food did you choose? 

We wanted the whole day to have a relaxed atmosphere so we decided to have an antipasti starter then a hog roast with accompanying salads which was great given the hot weather. After the speeches we all went outside onto the lawn where an ice cream van served dessert and we had laid out garden games, swing ball got very competitive!

What flowers did you choose?

We had seen a local flower grower and supplier, Claire Brown of Plant Passion, at a local farmers market and since then we knew that we wanted to get our flowers her as they are local, seasonal and absolutely beautiful. We then found our florist Paula through Claire as she supplies her with flowers. As we had decided to be flexible about the colour scheme we spoke with Paula about our likes and dislikes and then asked her to do what she thought would look best. Paula also made up some lovely herb and flower bunches tied with string that we hung from the cart shed where we held the ceremony. Claire supplied us with some DIY flower buckets with a selection of gorgeous flowers which Tim’s Mum and Nan then used to make up the centrepiece arrangements in Kilner jars.

What was your favourite part of the day?
Our favourite part of the day was the final dance of the evening ‘Wonderwall’ surrounded (literally) by our friends and family. The band ‘Jam side down’ were fantastic and it felt overwhelming to have everyone we cared about celebrating with us.

Your wedding advice

My wedding advice is relax and have fun, the most important part is getting married in front of everyone you care about.

The dream team:

Venue | Basing House

Photographer | Angela Ward Brown Photography

Photo booth | Lilybean Booths

Florist | Floral Alchemy

Flower provider (DIY table arrangements) | Plant Passion

Wedding Dress | Chanticleer by Tracey Middleton-Salt

Wedding Dress Provider | Brides of Winchester 

Transport | Clover Care

Hair | Kelly at Salon AK

Entertainment | Jam Side Down

Caterers | Swine Waiters Lollie Dollies

Stationery | Tim Janes Graphics


Thank you so much Melissa for sharing.

Why not share your own special day! Send your snaps to or tag us #bowbride