What it really feels like to marry at Tythe . . . by our last bride of 2022.
What did guests remember the most? The number one thing she wishes she’d never worried about? Her top five highlights? The must-book addition you shouldn’t miss out on. Plus, her low-cost bridal fashion buy that saved the day. Our wonderful bride Zoe reveals all.
On Saturday 16th December 2022 Zoe Caton married Nitin Begra at Tythe. They were our very last wedding couple of 2022 which got us thinking. What advice would they offer to our first wedding couple of 2023 – and everyone thereafter? Here is Zoe’s honest account of what she loved, what she’d change and the best way to tackle those big day nerves.
What did you spend too much time needlessly worrying about?
Zoe: Family politics! Everything is always alright on the night and everyone is grown up enough to allow you to enjoy your day. And even if they don’t, you’re too busy enjoying yourself to worry about it anyway.
Was there anything you were wavering on including, that in hindsight you would now class as a must-do?
The banquet style food served was a selection of lamb, chicken and vegetarian slider burgers with chips and a tasty Vegetarian Jalfresi – what more could anyone want? It’s always better to have too much than not enough and the guests loved it. It was a great way for us to include both cultures in the day.
The catering for the night before was the only thing we were wavering on but we were so so glad we went ahead with it – Tythe’s delicious Italian Feast was served with gorgeous Vanilla Cheesecake for dessert. It was an opportunity for everyone to really bond and chat over food before the big day.
The Celebrant. We were convinced we wanted a ceremony that wasn’t your usual boring ceremony with the same wording. We almost gave up, but Tori our Event Manager then recommended Samantha Kelsie and she was fab! She made the ceremony so personal to us and it was beautiful.
How did you keep your nerves under control and stop them impacting on the day?
Zoe: This was actually our third wedding – we really milked it. We had an Indian ceremony, then our legal civil ceremony and Tythe was our grand finale and the real celebration so both of us were just super excited! Being in the farmhouse with all of our loved ones and my mum really added to that excitement the morning of the wedding. I have to also shout out our photographers Ayelle Photo. Liz in particular was just incredible the morning of the wedding. She knew all the tips and tricks and was so much more than a photographer. From helping me get dressed, my perfume application, holding my phone. She really was like one of my closest friends that you need on your wedding morning. They were amazing.
Would you recommend that other couples extend their wedding celebrations over a longer period of 2-3 days if they can?
Zoe: 100% yes! The wedding day itself goes by so fast that the extra day gives you a chance to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest to really soak in that special time of your lives. What’s better than one wedding day? A wedding weekend of course!
What were some of the best ways that you made full use of everything on offer at Tythe?
Zoe: The getting ready space in The Farmhouse was amazing. It allowed Nit and I to be apart the morning of the wedding whilst knowing the other was only down the hall.
Dinner the night before and for breakfast a selection of pastries and eggs and bacon cooked by the in-house breakfast chef on both mornings was just amazing. To be able to spend that time with our loved ones aside from the big day was phenomenal and seeing the children all play together and have as great a time as the adults was really heart-warming. We really didn’t want the weekend to end.
Jess, one of the catering team was phenomenal all weekend. As was Joe the Bar Manager. They were both extremely accommodating, and it was amazing they played such a special part in our weekend. They were always so happy to help and are a true asset to Tythe. Their help and the hours they worked really did not go unnoticed.
Do you feel you got the balance of inside/outside right?
Zoe: We would have loved to have been outside more given the grounds were so beautiful and I don’t think the garden games got used unfortunately. But it’s OK, I know our guests appreciated the fires and the blankets outside. We were too busy on the dancefloor to make use of these ourselves. Thankfully we were able to get some beautiful photos out the front and back in the snow, so we are happy.
Why did you go for a winter wedding? What might you do differently if you were marrying in the summer?
Zoe: Nitin always wanted a winter wedding. Once we decided the month of December, I knew we had to go with the 16th. That was the wedding anniversary of my nan and grandad who are no longer with us and I thought what a special way to honour them and have them be a part of our day. Funnily enough they had snow on their wedding day. I like to think two special people were looking down on us that day and made it happen.
What are your top five highlights of the day?
Our first look – in The Farmhouse.
Our first dance – ‘Lover’ by Taylor Swift.
Our last dance – ‘Don’t look back in Anger’ by Oasis but officially closed by ‘Freed from Desire’ by GALA both played by Elite Drummers.
Our ceremony – set in the magical Tythe Barn.
The food – Delicious!
Are there any tweaks you would make to the order of your wedding or the timeline?
Zoe: We loved the order of our day and wouldn’t change a thing but we would advise couples to be mindful of the turnaround time after the wedding breakfast and allow enough time for the band to set up if they have one. Their sound checks can take a while.
What were the most memorable elements of your day for your guests?
Zoe: The food was a massive one. Everyone loved the quality and what was available. So many of them said it was the best wedding they’d ever been to. One even said it was like something featured in Vanity Fair! They all adored the venue and said we’d thought of every detail which is amazing to hear as we truly wanted everyone to have the best day with us.
How hard was the search for a wedding dress?
Zoe: I went into it having no idea what I wanted. I was never one of these girls who dream of their wedding day. I only went to two shops and the lovely ladies from White Lace and Butterflies in Buckinghamshire, they knew exactly what they were doing. They dressed me in every style possible as they advised that a lot of brides rarely go for what they picture in their head. I went for the dress I felt the most comfortable and most like me in as I would we wearing it all day. I went with a crisp white a-line dress with a detachable lace skirt with rose gold beading & pearls which I removed for the evening. Being comfortable was super important for me. One piece of advice I’d give is around bridal underwear. Don’t be fooled by expensive edits online as they’re very often not practical for under dresses. The pair I found most successful were cheap invisible Sloggi pants from Amazon for just £6.50!!
How did Nitin make his personality felt across the wedding celebrations?
Zoe: Nit loves giving and always goes out of his way to make sure everyone is taken care of. With this in mind we wanted to make sure no one went hungry or thirsty. This is why we went for the banquet style food and cocktail hour/gin bar with a fabulous selection of Espresso Martinis, Elderflower Collins, Mojitos and Pina Coladas. Nit also loves music and he took charge of all those elements of the day which we and all our guests loved.
Photography: Ayelle Photo
Flowers: Blossom and Ivy
Celebrant: Samantha Kelsie
Wedding dress: White Lace and Butterflies
Hair and Make up: Jennifer Fogerty MUA
Hair and Make up: JKA Make Up
Wedding Caterers: Absolute Taste
Wedding Doughnuts: Mrs D’s Dougnuts
Evening entertainment: Gigz Management
Face Painting: Oxford Face Painter