Off season weddings are growing in popularity and we were wondering why people are opting to get married outside the 'normal' wedding season. Who better to ask than the couples themselves?
Lucia & Jon were married at Matara this past January. They had the most incredible day, a melding of Jon's Icelandic and Lucia's Chinese cultures. After a morning of getting ready they had a first look in the cloistered courtyard, followed by the legal ceremony in the Hilarium, Matara's main reception room. Lucia then changed into a stunning red Chinese wedding robe for a traditional tea ceremony and the wedding breakfast.
Lucia sat down and answered some burning questions we had, so without further ado, enjoy.
How did you find Matara?
I think I literally googled "unusual beautiful venues". We wanted somewhere beautiful, with good indoor space (expecting the worst when it comes to weather in January...!) and I wasn't particularly keen on a 'country house' venue. Matara literally blew us away. Simultaneously, I love gardens (Kew Gardens being my favourite place in London) so I also had this idea that I wanted to feel the outdoors. To be honest, I didn't realise this was how I felt until we walked into Matara.. Geoffrey's 'outside inside' philosophy means that even when you're inside, the outside world never feels very far away. It's very hard to encapsulate what Matara is like in words, because there's very little that one can compare it to. It's like if Rituals made a venue, it would smell and look and feel like Matara, plus a few eccentric touches. It's well designed yet unfussy, an explosion of colour, exciting yet familiar.
What attracted you to Matara?
As well as the venue itself, we really liked the idea of having the night before the wedding with all our extended family (from all corners of the globe, some of whom hadn't seen each other in about 10 years!) in Kingscote house. It meant we could really catch up with family the night before and morning after. There was also lots of Asian touches in the decor, which was perfect for us. Also because of how beautiful the venue was inside and out, we hardly needed to bring in any extra decor - just our table stuff, some lanterns and the arch under which we got married.
We were concerned that the stone floors might mean it was cold, (side note - the venue at Matara has infloor heating, keeping the flagstone floor toasty) or that there wasn't enough indoor space for ~100 people, but it was all completely fine in the end. We were prepared for cold weather and even braved it into the grounds for our wedding photos.
Just loved how bonkers it was.
What made you decide on a Winter Wedding?
That date is special for us.
What elements of your wedding did you find easy during the planning stages?
Most of it was pretty easy, I seem to remember.
What was your happiest memory of your wedding day?
So many... Either the 'first look' we had in the Chinese Courtyard - it was really lovely to have that moment for ourselves, or just after the Registrar pronounced us to be married and seeing all our friends and family together in the same place looking really happy.
Would you have changed anything from your wedding day?
Made it a Groundhog Day...
Other things that we really appreciated about Matara:
- Attention to detail: when the tables were moved to the side for dancing, the staff rearranged the table decor to complement the new arrangement (rather than simply just leaving them.)
- The food - OMG, the canapés were amazing and I'm so glad we deliberately over-ordered.
- The staff were all really flexible, responsive and professional.
External Suppliers for Lucia & Jon's day were:
Photography - Frank Wood
Flowers - The Lily Pad Florist
Cake - The Cakery, Gloucester