A Woburn Abbey Wedding by Sarah Critchlow

We are delighted to welcome Sarah Critchlow into our Premier Photographer's Portfolio. These breathtaking images have a timeless quality and set in the magnificent sculpture gallery are works of art in themselves. 

Amidst the magnificent backdrop of the Woburn Estate, Patrick and Natalia hosted a beautifully elegant wedding.  With a day of unfolding surprises, Natalia and Patrick’s guests were entertained from start to finish.

Patrick’s sweet proposal to Natalia is oh so reminiscent of the lyrics to the song “Oh such a perfect day…”

As a photographer myself, I was busy shooting two weddings over the August Bank Holiday weekend and didn’t think anything of it when Patrick said he’d sort something nice for us to do on the remaining two days. Knowing my favourite things to do, we spent the perfect day around London: A Gordon Ramsey lunch, trip to London Zoo and him cooking a lovely dinner at home that we dressed up for. I only thought he might be up to something when he asked me to dance in our living room and I could feel his heart beating through his shirt! He then dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him – of course I said yes after several ‘Oh my God’s!

Having said I’d never go for anything vintage (especially not lace), my mum and I knew straight away the Lourdes dress by Caroline Castigliano was the one for me: Strapless, dropped waist, with a figure-hugging lace bodice and organza skirt. It was the perfect blend of feminine and romantic, and the lightest, most comfortable dress of all I’d tried on. I literally couldn’t stop dancing around the shop!

To complement my dress I wore pearl and diamond earrings and a pavé diamond bracelet – both bespoke gifts from my Mum.  And to finish it all off, I chose the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen in my life let alone owned – Swarovski crystal studded 5.5in peep-toe platforms by Gina!

For our ceremony we chose St Mary’s Church, Woburn, five minutes from where I grew up. After Patrick and I said our vows, we were whisked off to our wedding reception at Woburn Sculpture Gallery, in Buckinghamshire.

Patrick had the venue sneakily booked when he proposed (after 7 years together, he had no doubt about my dream venue and its popularity!) – it was so special to have our reception close to my childhood home and in such an incredible setting. The formidable Gallery with its high ceiling, drapes and columns features statues from 2AD and comfortably seated our 180 guests.

For our colour scheme, we chose a very light palette of blush, cream, peach and ivory, with greenery in the flowers to accent and heather in the bridesmaids’ bouquets that matched their dresses beautifully. Our florists did an incredible job of filling the church and venue with overflowing pedestals and centerpiece candelabra. As favours we gave engraved teaspoons of Sheffield stainless steel (where we met at University).

For my words of wisdom for other brides, I would certainly advise to opt for a Master of Ceremonies any day as they are indispensible in not letting timings get out of hand and guests do appreciate being directed between each key part of the reception. There needs to be someone dedicated to the role as it really does affect people’s perceptions of the day. 

Our wedding day was filled with memorable moments we will never forget. To mention but a few:

The gospel choir singing upon arrival at the venue; the ‘fake cake drop’ trick we played; three surprise singing waiters had our guests standing on chairs waving napkins and with tears in their eyes during Nessun Dorma, and our Best Man’s showing of the most hilarious video of us in ‘’Strictly Come Dancing.”  Our photo-booth was great fun and provided a talking point and some interesting evidence of inter-guest mingling as the night went on…! 

Finally, I will never forget our first dance, the result of 5 weeks of lessons at the Karen Hardy studios in London, and despite never being able to practise in my dress, it didn’t go too badly!


The Dream Team:

Wedding Photographer – Sarah of Critchlow Photography (www.critchlowphotography.co.uk)

Wedding Dress – Lourdes by Caroline Castigliano (http://www.carolinecastigliano.co.uk/bridal/)

Wedding Venue – Woburn Sculpture Gallery (http://www.woburn.co.uk/weddings/sculpture-gallery/)

Cake – Made by the Groom’s sister

Flowers – Ramsbotham Flowers, Bletchley (http://www.ramsflorist.co.uk/)

Videographer - Leo Ferenc from Perfect Day Studios (http://www.perfect-day-studios.co.uk)


Other Finishing Touches:

Photobooth – Boothnation (http://www.boothnation.com/)

Singing waiters – Incognito Artists (http://incognitoartists.com/)

Magician – Chris from mk:magic (http://www.mkmagic.co.uk/)

Gospel Choir – CK Gospel Choir, London (http://www.ckgospelchoir.com/weddings.php)

Chocolate Fountain – Ideas Box (http://www.ideasboxuk.com/)

Ceremony soloist – Diana Drysch (http://www.dianadrysch.co.uk/)

Cheese buffet – Paxton & Whitfield (http://www.paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk)

Dance lessons – Karen Hardy Studios, London (http://www.karenhardystudios.com/)

Hair and make-up – Murielle & Lulu of Velvet-Muse (http://velvet-muse.com/)

Groom’s suit – Neal & Palmer, London (http://nealandpalmer.com/)

Bridesmaids dresses – Dessy (http://www.dessy.com/

  • 4 comments "A Woburn Abbey Wedding by Sarah Critchlow"

    Add your comments

  • Natalia Baker says

    5th September 2011 at 3:33 pm

    So excited to see our big day featured on The Wedding Vine, thank you! Sarah you were the perfect photographer for us, I can't recommend you highly enough.

  • Natalia Baker says

    6th September 2011 at 8:20 pm

    So thrilled to see our big day featured on The Wedding Vine, thank you! Sarah you were the perfect photographer for us and I can't recommend you highly enough.

  • Sri Grace says

    15th September 2011 at 9:27 pm

    this is very interesting, especially the pictures & location are excellent. the photographer had a good taste, i think all the credits goes to photographer Hats Off.

  • Bellagala says

    13th December 2011 at 4:55 pm

    What beautiful locations for both the wedding and reception. We are absolutely loving the groom and groomsman's outfits! This wedding is gorgeous and the photography was amazing and captured the beauty of this wedding incredibly well.

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