Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin. Here is the story of a wedding, told by Spring for Bruisyard Country Estate as we brought their brand more fully and clearly to life. Illustrated with character and verve by Louisa Marcq to add even more depth to this glorious venue’s brand.
As you wake, you hear a blackbird, singing cheerfully from a nearby tree. The sound wafts in on a gentle breeze through the open windows. You stretch luxuriously, deeply rested after an exquisitely comfortable night in your four-poster bed. Ah! What a happy thought. Ahead, a carefree day in The Bruisyard Country Estate’s 700 acres, happy in the company of friends and family.
Nowhere to go, everyone to see. What for some can be a day of tensions and management, is for you a highlight of a three-day house party, relaxed and joyful, without a care in the world. You are at home in Bruisyard Hall. This ancient house dates back to the 14th Century, and contains rich layers of history: it’s been home to nuns, it’s hidden priests and housed royalty, and today you become part of its history too.
Because for this weekend, you are the owner of The Bruisyard Country Estate. From your arrival on the Friday morning, with the luxury of time to oversee preparations for the wedding day, before welcoming your dearest guests who’ll stay with you throughout the whole three days. A sun-drenched walk across the grounds, losing yourselves in the meadows, and with an impromptu croquet match in the garden.
A casual supper of Moroccan spiced vegetables and couscous, followed by local cheeses and icecreams – after cocktails of course!
After supper, whilst the older and youngest guests plunder the board game collection, you and your friends revisit childhood with a spirited game of hide and seek throughout the Hall’s three floors of corridors, nooks and crannies. You’re all bedecked in the extraordinary period fancy dress costumes you found in a trunk. Some looked like genuine Edwardian ballgowns, property of a long-gone aristocratic chatelaine; some old tweed jackets and cavalry boots.
And so the day has arrived. The day you have planned in such detail, sharing pictures with friends and laughing over outlandish dresses, strange gifts from long-lost relatives and some of the wilder ideas for table themes. Ever since your first contact with Bruisyard, you’ve felt the pressure of planning morph into the delight of feeling fully supported by your dedicated Event Manager, Katie. Capably striking the balance between advisory and flexible, she has worked closely with you to create the wedding you’ve dreamed of, with every element taken care of and the freedom for you to simply relax, enjoy and make the most of this special time.
And here you are: wriggling your toes in cosy bedding, relishing the peace of the Suffolk countryside and revelling in the sounds of laughter and the irresistible smell of coffee that drift up from the kitchen.
The Dads are up and about, preparing breakfast for 28 in the Hall’s fabulous kitchen: yours even brings breakfast up to you!
Gradually relatives, friends and workmates; children, siblings and Grannies, strangers once but quickly connecting in their shared excitement, join the table. Everyone makes light work of the fantastic local bakery’s produce, fruit and preserves, ready to play their part in the day ahead.
Yesterday afternoon you had plenty of time in the Barn to see the Banqueting Hall laid out for your wedding meal, elegant in light colours with natural country flowers festooning the space, bringing the Suffolk countryside into the high-ceilinged room. This afternoon, your resident party of 28 will be joined by over a hundred other guests, here to see you make your wedding vows in the Medieval Hall and celebrate with you long into the evening.
From local towns and villages, people arrive to deliver their wares or help you get ready: florist, cake-maker, hairdresser, make-up artist, photographer. All trusted people with real skill that Bruisyard introduced you to as you worked together on planning the wedding.
Bruisyard’s Head Chef, Richard Grinyer-Power, has been here since early morning, hard at work with his team of chefs in the Barn’s catering kitchen to prepare the delicious meal you agreed at your tasting stay last summer. Listening to your love of Italy and the Far East, and your interest in local, seasonal produce, he worked with you to devise a four-course menu designed to delight your guests with beautiful flavours, skillfully cooked and elegantly presented.
And so it’s time to get ready. Your dress has been hanging in the en suite bathroom since yesterday afternoon, allowing any creases picked up on the journey to drop out of its elegant folds. The heavy fabric that drapes so beautifully when you wear it and shimmers as you walk, almost luminous against the ancient timbers and bricks of the Hall. Your shoes are ready and simple jewellery laid out on the dressing table. Your closest friends have their outfits to hand in their own rooms, and you gather to be pampered and prepared for the wedding, the photographer hovering to capture every facet of the day.
Ready! You descend the worn oak stairs carefully, for the first time this weekend a slight flutter of nerves taking hold. But the nerves evaporate as soon as you see the gathering: 140 faces, smiling and delighted for you, all here to be part of this most wonderful of days.
The next few hours pass in a happy blur. From arrival drinks of English sparkling wine in the walled garden – with children playing tag and the excited greetings of old friends bringing a joyful buzz – to the wedding ceremony itself.
Nothing but joy as you walk down the aisle, the goodwill of your guests thick in the air. The magic of the moment that you became a married couple: for real! This will take some getting used to. And from that, a tumble of hugs, laughter, doubtless a few tears, excited conversations, photographs formal and candid, and settling down to everyone’s tables.
You know you are in safe hands: Katie is here with you today as she has been throughout the planning, keeping an eagle eye on the seating, the meals, the serving team and everyone’s enjoyment. Sound systems are sorted, lighting arranged, the ceremony space re-arranged quietly to accommodate dancing. Everything is in hand, so all you need to worry about is the speeches …
They go well, and as children escape from their places at tables to play in the grounds, and the music starts, it’s time for everyone to let their hair down, have fun and see the party through.
Those who dance themselves hungry fall on the pizzas that emerge from the outdoor wood-fired oven late in the evening, and gradually people peel away back to their own homes and hotels, leaving your weekend guests to head off happily to their bedrooms for another great night’s sleep.
Your first day of married life starts like your last day of singledom; with joyous birdsong floating in through the window, the enticing smells of coffee creeping up the stairs, the Dads whipping up a storm in the kitchen – and a sense of exquisite peace. Nothing has changed, yet everything
has changed. And the celebrations have another day: … like a Wedding Boxing Day, it’s your chance to talk properly to people, relax and enjoy more precious time in this beautiful place.
A group embarks to the nearby seaside, throwing buckets and spades, beach towels and their dogs into someone’s ancient 4×4. Another party makes their way to a farm shop, ready to stock up on local farmed meats for a barbeque and organic vegetables to make interesting salads. Those guests who choose to stay and soak up Bruisyard’s atmosphere sit about the Hall, reading magazines, playing billiards and catching up on gossip. How your uncle busted never-seen-before moves on the dancefloor, the friend who caught the flowers, a wedding matchmaking story, the children’s hilarious views of it all, and so many other wonderful stories you’ll cherish. You head out towards the Hundred Acre Wood, a much-needed run and some solitude allowing you to enjoy your fresh memories of the wedding day.
A late lunch barbeque and riotous multi-generational game of rounders is followed by a long walk for everyone exploring the grounds, a quiet evening playing board games beside the drawing room fire, and early nights before heading off the next day. And as you wave them off in little groups in the morning, some driving back and some heading to the railway station, you feel a deep sense of peace – it’s been a great success, and a wonderful start to married life.
Bruisyard Hall’s sturdy walls have added your wedding to the stories they have to tell, you are a fully-fledged member of Bruisyard society – like your marriage, this is just the start of a great relationship!