Laura & Bryan’s amazing Dodford wedding, with Hannah Hall Photography

Published by Claire Gould on

Laura & Bryan’s wedding is everything I wanted when I started English Wedding. To be able to share such an amazing blast of colour and joy is just incredible. The happy pair filled their day with vibrant styling touches and chose the perfect photographer to capture their celebrations. Laura is stunning in a fabulous couture dress made just for her; Bryan’s elegant outfit is just perfect for the occasion. They’ve written a brilliant write up of the day with some wonderful reviews for their wedding suppliers at Dodford, including the supremely talented wedding photographer Hannah Hall.

Wedding photographer’s website

Hannah Hall-Beddoe

Wedding photographer review

I do not even know where to start with words of praise for Hannah! I had been stalking Hannah’s Instagram for several years, before Bry and I got engaged. I’m not even sure how I found her! Most likely, it was from one of her many collaborations with one of my other epic wedding suppliers. I had been quietly assembling my ‘dream team’ for about 4 years before the engagement – Bry and I have been together for years and had two children. The wedding was purely a formality, but one we were going to make the absolute most of! While following Hannah on Instagram, I loved her candid, relaxed style and talent for capturing the moments that couples would laugh along with, smile with pride at and, most importantly, treasure forever! Hannah only takes a very limited set of staged group shots. Just enough to please the trad family members, without making the couple feel like they are a set of shop window mannequins!

Hannah was an absolute pleasure to spend our day with. She was there to see the bridal party getting ready and slotted right into the relaxed, chatty atmosphere that I wanted for the morning. Chilled, no drama! Hannah is a pure professional and knew exactly which shots to take and when, ensuring that all of our lovely suppliers would have gorgeous photographs that showcased their work. What’s even better is, when you hire Hannah, you don’t just get a photographer, you get a lovely friend too! We share a similar sense of humour and still chat on Instagram.

Onto the main event, Bryan and I are certainly not naturals in front of the camera, we’re reasonably socially awkward, particularly around public displays of affection! Hannah knew just how to give us gentle guidance to get the best photographs without making use feel nervous.

When we opened our full gallery, it was like reliving the best day of our lives all over again! Every moment captured, even things that we had no idea about! The photographs are just perfection, I don’t think we will ever stop looking at them daily, hourly!! Thank you Hannah for being an absolute legend!

Your best moment or memory

This is so difficult to choose! I think seeing family and friends happy and together! Particularly our two daughters who had the time of their lives! My youngest daughter screamed, “I’m so excited!!!” throughout the ceremony and melted everybody’s hearts twirling unashamedly on the dance floor during our first dance. While our eldest daughter was filled with emotion and burst into tears as we sat down to sign the Register. We got her over for a cuddle and she just said, “I’m just so happy!” What more could you ask for in a wedding day! Also, the Registrar acknowledging Bryan’s parents, who had joined the wedding over video call by necessity, and getting all of our guests to say bello to them! So simply, but such a lovely touch.

Tell us anything you did differently – we love hearing about NEW traditions (or none at all!)

We wanted our wedding to have three key feautures: 1. Brilliant Music 2. Delicious Food 3. A chilled but totally extra and colourful vibe. We wanted everybody to feel comfortable and have a tonne of fun and laughter. Children were absolutely welcomed, our own girls were going to be in attendance, so we knew they’d like other kids to play with. Plus, I’m a primary school teacher, so a wedding without at least one random moment from a child would have felt bizarre to me! My dress featured two cartoon characters and I wore gold sequinned trainers. The speeches were before the meal and were also more like quick toasts. All designed to keep allow Bry and I to relax and enjoy our day. There was no bouquet toss as there was zero chance that I was going to let that beautiful bouquet be ruined! We basically kept the traditions that meant something and threw out anything that didn’t feel like us!

Venue name + review

Dodford Manor, Northamptonshire

We visited a few barn venues before choosing Dodford Manor. Again, I had been following the venue on Instagram for a while and had heard great things from friends and family who had attended weddings there. On the day we viewed, it absolutely hammered it down with rain but we still thought the venue looked incredible! As we were planning an October wedding, with all the inclement weather that the month can entail, this seemed like a sign!

The venue staff know exactly what they are doing. Weddings are their business and every detail was handled professionally and with genuine care. We felt so looked after as we booked, organised and experienced our Wedding Day. Not detail was too small or insignificant to be considered! The day ran without a hitch and this is down to the incomparable professionalism of the staff at Dodford.

I’d also like to praise Dodford’s approved caterers, Jenkinsons, who provided the most delicious and generously portioned food! The sausage and mash will live on in infamy for all time! They produced the most extraordinarily inclusive menu that we could have imagined! Everybody’s dietary needs were catered for with the same finesse as the main menu courses.

Tell us a little about your outfits – both of you!

The wedding dress was so fun to wear and was designed and made couture, just for me! Kimono style champagne silk with full floaty sleeves, intricate appliqués, a gold sequinned underdress and a corset for the shape I was after. I also had a beautiful belt with my daughter’s favourite cartoon characters, Sarah & Duck (Quack!) embroidered amongst the flowers.

I styled it with a drape veil for the ceremony and an epic flower crown from the hugely talented Bombini Studio! To finish off the look I wore turquoise tights, from a company called Snag, (my favourite colour and such a lush inclusive brand) and of course sequinned gold trainers, with turquoise soles and personalised ribbon laces, from a lovely shop I found on Etsy called BeccisBridalDesigns

Bryan wore a gorgeous indigo suit from Marks and Spencers. A coral pink tie and pocket square and a white shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt.

Dress or suit shop name + review

The Couture Company

Being a plus sized bride, your options in regular boutiques can often be seriously limited and depressing. I hated the idea of trying on samples that were 6 sizes too small! Enter, The Couture Company! Jo and her team are Couture magicians!

I shared a few photos with Jo online and then travelled over to Birmingham for a design appointment. The studio is a treasure trove of bridal jems! There is a dress to suit literally every style! Jo immediately started pulling together a range of elements from different dresses and soon we had our final design. It was more unique and special than anything I ever would have imagined being able to wear! We looked at fabric samples too.

I had at least 4 more visits to The Couture Company and it was so exciting seeing my dream wedding dress being created! Jo’s attention to detail is incredible! She even embroidered my daughters’ beloved Sarah & Duck characters onto the belt! These were a huge hit with both children and most of the adults on my wedding day! Thank you Jo for making me feel like a bride but also still like me!

Florist name + review

Rockabilly Rose Cat from Rockabilly Rose was another of my wedding, “Dream-Team” suppliers. I love Cat’s eye for colour and use of both traditional and more modern flowers, within her arrangements.

Cat listened enthusiastically to all of my visions for colours and style. We shared some photos back and forth but ultimately I knew Cat’s work well and trusted her judgement.

Nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful the flowers looked on the day! All of the colour and vibrancy was shining out from every arrangement. Autumn weddings often have a more muted, earthy pallet, which can look gorgeous. Not for us though, we wanted ALL the colour, which Cat delivered in spades! Could not have been happier!

Cake maker name + review

Amelia Rose Cake Studio

Leann makes the best cakes, bar none. Light in texture, utterly delicious and meticulously decorated, to perfection. I gave Leann creative freedom and she ran with that. The resulting cake was really something to behold! The other guests loved it too judging by the sheer amount consumed in the day. The best compliment a baker can get, I reckon!

Any crafty projects or homemade styling touches?

Justine from Beau Bright Events was in charge of the decor and styling. I would say that for people who have the time, some of the elements, such as the ribbons draped on the ceremony room chairs and the coloured candles in gold coloured candlesticks could be recreated by a crafty type.
Confetti!! We bought loads and made sure it was super colourful! The supplier was Proper Confetti and the photos show just how important that often forgotten detail can be! Plus it was free entertainment for the kids! Some were even seen making confetti angels!

Wedding readings?

Yes, I’ll Marry You! – Pam Ayres Love by Phoebe Waller-Briggs (the hot priest’s speech from Fleabag)

First dance song? Playlist recommendations?

First Dance: We Found Each Other in the Dark – City & Colour.

Bridal entrance: Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

Signing the Register: You’re All I Need to Get By – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell One Day Like This – Elbow

Exit song: I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown

Music was so important to our day. We both have a love for live music, so a live band was a non-negotiable! We chose Apollo Soul as our wedding band. They play a mixture of classic Motown and Soul, along with a range of generation spanning floor fillers. We opted for their six piece band which gave us Male & Female Vocals, Sax, Guitar, Bass/Keys and Drums. The music was outstanding and kept us all dancing and singing along to the end of the night!

Wedding stylists name + review

We had the wonderful Beau Bright Events as our Wedding Stylists!

I would highly recommend Beau Bright Events! From start to finish Justine was a dream to work with! She listened carefully to my wedding vision and used her creative flair to share ideas and make suggestions. All meetings were done virtually, which really helped to fit around my lifestyle as a busy working Mum.

Justine consulted me on every element of the design, I knew I was in safe hands. Justine also suggested a fantastic graphic designer, the wonderful Hannah from H Design, who was able to create unique, beautiful signage and stationery for the wedding. The close collaboration between Hannah and Justine meant that the finished look was cohesive and well considered!

The venue looked utterly incredible once Justine had worked her magic, dressing the whole place with colour and candlelight. Not to mention the awesome light up DANCE letters! Every detail was perfectly placed! Justine is talented, creative and knowledgeable, do not hesitate to work with her!

Hair + makeup name + review

Hair – Love Laura Hair Design

I have known Laura, on an off, since Primary School! We grew up in the same town and share friends. However, this was not the reason I chose her. Laura is a genuine genius at wedding and occasion hair! There was nobody else I would ever choose or trust!

Laura gave me an epic up-do for my sister’s wedding, which I received so many compliments about. I nearly cried when I had to take it down the next day! (Yes I slept in the up-do!). Laura has done the hair of so many of my friends as they became bridesmaids, brides or just wanted a great look for a special occasion! Fast forward to my engagement, on my 40th birthday in 2021, and Laura was one of the first people I messaged – to get my booking locked down! I had a trial, of course, but I knew I didn’t really need to. Laura, knew exactly what I wanted based only on my vague descriptions and the random Pinterest images that I showed her.

Laura makes everyone feel relaxed and happy. Chatting with ease, sharing lots of laughs, calming any nerves, all while meticulously creating the most epic hair creations! Laura also styled the hair of our two bridesmaids, my Mum and our beautiful daughters, who were extremely excited to be flower girls! Laura even gave my youngest daughter her first ever hair cut, on the day! I let everyone choose their own hairstyles, and everyone looked absolutely stunning and more importantly were happy with how they looked!!! My hair was everything I had wanted and more!! Laura made me feel so special and beautiful, I can never thank her enough for that!

Makeup – Features by Courtney Jane

Courtney was recommended to me by my hair stylist, Laura. They had worked together closely on a large number of weddings, so I knew I was in safe hands. Courtney is the queen of beautiful skin! She made my usually pale and palid skin shine, as if lit from within!

She listened attentively at the trial and fully got my ‘old Hollywood glam vibes. She helped me to choose the perfect red for my lips and the most luscious lashes! Courtney is friendly and professionals. She has luxurious brands in her kit and, my goodness, she knows how to use them! However, she also always puts the needs of the clients first. My Mum has very sensitive skin and Courtney was more than happy to use Mum’s tried and tested products to ensure that she felt comfortable, as well as beautiful! My make up lasted all day, bar a quick swipe of lipstick here and there! I loved my bridal look and working with Courtney was fantastic!

Special mentions need to go to two other suppliers, who did the ground work for my bridal look. Firstly, Emma from Rockabelles hair salon – who has taken my hair from mouse brown/grey to radiant copper! I’ve always wanted auburn hair and with Emma’s help, I have finally found my perfect shade! Secondly, Lucie for BrowWow Beauty! Lucie has brought back my brows from over plucked 90s style tadpoles, to the full and fluffy beauties I am proud to own today! She is a legend and beautiful person, inside and out!


Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


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