Danielle and Adrian met 13 years ago whilst working for the same company in Bristol. “The very first time we met was when Adrian decided to take our team out for a thank you drink,” Danielle tells us. “We got chatting and ended up drinking numerous bottles of flavoured Lambrini before dancing around poles and sharing a kiss in the basement of Reflex nightclub! Adrian was my line manager at one point, meaning that our early days of dating were spent in secret, which was exciting and kept us on our toes,” Danielle reveals.
The couple became engaged in a surprise proposal at luxury hotel Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham. “We had visited the hotel to enjoy a champagne afternoon tea that friends from work had treated me to for my 40th birthday,” Danielle explains. “I wasn’t expecting Adrian to propose even though we had talked about marriage. He had everything prepared - he had already asked my father for his permission and got down on bended knee with a ring box. When I opened it, there was a little note inside that said ‘I owe you something shiny’ because, after 13 years together, he knows me well enough not to have chosen the ring but instead, pick one together! It was all so romantic.”
The moment the couple visited Clearwell Castle, they knew it would be their wedding venue. "It was simply breathtaking," Danielle tells us. "It looked like something from a fairytale, with manicured gardens and the beautiful ballroom that worked perfectly for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. We both loved the fact that we could have exclusive use of the venue and host our entire day in one place, and then stay over with all of our friends."
Adrian had another reason why he wanted to get married in the castle. He tells us that, "Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple are just some of the rock bands who used the castle to record their albums in and being a big rock fan, I loved the fact that we would be able to party where my idols had created some of their masterpieces!"
The couple chose an ivory and burgundy colour theme for their venue décor. "The team at the castle arranged our flower displays to decorate the venue that tied in with our chosen colours and they also organised the burgundy chair sashes," Danielle explains. "Our cake complemented our colour theme with handmade burgundy and ivory sugar flowers created for the topper that cascaded down the entire cake..
..The top two tiers were made from ivory buttercream while ivory fondant icing was used on the bottom tier together with handmade sugar twists decorating the bottom layer. The top tier was a fruitcake, the middle one was chocolate and the bottom tier was lemon-flavoured – it was delicious!"
The catering was taken care of by the talented team at Clearwell Castle which included the arrival drinks, canapés, wedding breakfast and the evening buffet.
Danielle got creative and made the table centrepieces from empty gin bottles. "We placed different gin bottles filled with fairylights next to ivory birdcages holding candles on each table with scattered crystals in the centre," she tells us.
"Our mirrored table plan displayed our guests' names underneath each gin bottle and I ordered the template for the place names on Etsy and then changed the font to suit our theme."
Danielle's dress was a fishtail gown with cut-out detail at the sides. "It featured pearl beading and a train at the back. I teamed it with a veil, which I initially had no intention of wearing but my younger sister suggested it and I loved it," she tells us. She carried a stunning shower-style bridal bouquet featuring burgundy and ivory flowers that included black baccara roses, ivory cymbidium orchids and burgundy hypericum berries. "It complemented my dress beautifully," Danielle tells us.
"Our bridesmaids held bouquets of gypsophila that suited the burgundy dresses that they had chosen themselves, and gypsophila was also used in the buttonholes, while the corsages for our mums included the deep burgundy black baccara roses." Adrian and his groomsmen chose traditional navy morning suits paired with pale gold waistcoats, grey herringbone trousers, and burgundy cravats and pocket-handkerchiefs.
The team at Clearwell Castle organised a DJ for the evening disco which was held in the old recording studio located in the basement. "When we sent out our invitations, we asked our guests to list three songs that they would dance to if they were played," Danielle tells us. "This meant that we had a full playlist to please everyone."
The couple also had Jemima Phillips, former harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, play music that they had chosen. This varied from romantic tracks as the guests arrived, to the Glasgow Love Theme by Craig Armstrong taken from the film Love Actually as Danielle walked down the aisle. She also played some funky rock songs during the drinks. "Everyone loved it when she played Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N Roses - it sounded fantastic!" Danielle says.
"I stayed at the castle the night before our wedding with my sister and two best friends and Adrian arrived on the wedding morning in his Porsche.
We arranged for some of our guests, who were coming from Cheltenham, to be picked up and dropped back to a central point in by a minibus operated by Bouden Coach Travel which
helped everyone.” - Danielle.
"My wedding planner at the castle, Zoe Pritchard, was fantastic and so calm. She was there from start to finish on the day and ensured that everything ran like clockwork - it was the most perfect day." - Danielle.
Cake | Isabel's Bakehouse
Hair and make-up
Printing of place names
Table plan vinyl