An Elegant Rosa Clara Dress for an Alpine Skiing Inspired Wedding at Ramster Hall in Surrey

Today I have the pleasure of sharing the wedding celebration of a couple who took their mutual love of skiing and wove it through their day with playful touches.

Add to that a beautiful, classic country house venue in Surrey, an elegant, clean-lined silk dress (complete with detachable over-skirt), and the rich, warm colours of autumn, and you have all the makings of a spectacular day you won’t want to miss. Meet Sian and Marcus, who are both Engineers. They were married on the 29 September 2018 at St. Edmund King & Martyr Church in Godalming, Surrey, followed by a reception at the beautiful, family owned Ramster Hall, on the border of Surrey and West Sussex.

Images by Matt Penberthy Photography

“We both love the area, having spent a lot of time cycling in Surrey, and after looking at a number of venues, when we visited Ramster Hall, we just knew that this was the perfect venue for us. Rosie, the owner, was very friendly and welcoming, and we loved the fact that there was no corkage fee, and we could enjoy a trip to France to select the wine for our wedding.”

Capturing the spectacular hues of the season was brilliant Little Book member Matt Penberthy, who has really outdone himself here with a collection of exquisitely composed images.

“We loved Matt’s photographs from the first time we saw them. He was so friendly, easy to deal with and completely unobtrusive during the day, whilst capturing some really beautiful candid shots, which was exactly what we wanted.”

“Matt also knew the venue and the gardens really well, so we got some wonderful shots of the two of us as well. He also stayed much longer than we expected him to, so that he didn’t miss out on making sure that the evening festivities were caught on film too! We have had so many compliments on the photos from our friends and family after the day. We cannot recommend Matt highly enough.”

To choose her wedding gown, Sian headed to Wedding Atelier in London, where she discovered the perfect graceful design by Rosa Clara, with a simple, bateau neckline, waist-cinching belt, and ingeniously removable over-skirt.

“After trying on a number of different styles, when I put this dress on, I just loved it! The removable over-skirt meant that I had an incredible train for walking down the aisle, but then I was able to remove it to dance in the evening without worrying that people would stand on my dress, or that it would be too heavy and get in the way.”

“I also had a bustle added at the suggestion of Svetlana from Wedding Atelier, and this meant that the train was out of the way when we were walking around the tables talking to our guests between courses at the wedding breakfast. It felt like I had three different dresses, without the expense or hassle of changing.”

To complete her look, Sian wore a satin trimmed cathedral length veil by Wedding Belles New York, from Nordstrom, and perfume – Happy, by Clinique.

Hair stylist Sara Elhaj was on hand to create the most divinely romantic looks for Sian and her bridesmaids, and adorning Sian’s curls were delicate spray roses and greenery, courtesy of her florist.

Sian’s shoes were sparkly sandals by Jimmy Choo, and for jewellery, she kept things simple with a Links of London bracelet, which had been a Christmas gift from Marcus.

The bridesmaids looked wonderful in deep coral pink dresses by BHLDN, which they wore with their own choice of footwear, and fresh flowers in their hair.

“In terms of colours for the day, I looked for warm autumnal colours to reflect the time of year, going for colours which also worked well with my bridesmaids dresses, and the rich, warm décor of Ramster Hall.”

Lovely autumnal colours were also present in the beautifully romantic floral arrangements by Spriggs the Florist. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of ivory roses and cala lilies, with greenery and seasonal berries, whilst Sian carried a striking, fiery arrangement, which included wonderful two-tone coral and pink Miss Piggy roses.

“I saw a previous bouquet that Spriggs had provided for another wedding, and Samantha Spriggs was wonderful at advising how we could make that work with the colours I wanted, using beautiful Miss Piggy roses to tone in with the bridesmaid’s dresses, and also bring in the rich, warm yellows and oranges.”

St. Edmund King & Martyr Church organist Kevin Guinness played Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by J.S. Bach, as Sian and her dad made their way down the aisle to begin the ceremony.

Marcus was waiting there, wearing a grey three-piece suit by Ted Baker, which he found at John Lewis. Marcus wore his suit with a white T.M. Lewin shirt, and a pale pink tie from Ted Baker.

“We met on a work sailing trip, attempting to cross the short stretch of water from the mainland at Hamble to the Isle of Wight.  This is the one and only time I have been sailing! I took the guys to the supermarket in the car before setting sail to buy booze for the trip. My driving made a lasting (Marcus would probably add ‘terrifying’ here!) impression on Marcus that he couldn’t forget.” 

“We got engaged on the snow covered shores of Lake Bradley in the Grand Teton National Park in the US. We spent a week there before heading up to Yellowstone to meet up with my parents for another quite special occasion (pre-celebrations of my dad’s 90th birthday). Marcus was incredibly shifty that day, and had completely put me off the scent the day before.”

“Thankfully, the exhaustion combined with the altitude, and lack of a proper lunch meant I had completely forgotten the previous evening and said ‘Yes!’  We were engaged for 18 months before the wedding.”

The couple’s ceremony was conducted by Father David Parmiter, and as Sian and Marcus exchanged their vows, they also gave each other rings, which they chose at Samara James.

“Marcus went there to choose my engagement ring on the recommendation of a couple of friends who had bought their engagement and wedding rings there, too. I loved my engagement ring, and we went back there to buy the complementary wedding rings.”

Alongside two Bible readings (no further details about these, sadly), Sian and Marcus also chose an extract from the classic Dr. Seuss book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

The newly married couple were chauffeured from the church by Chess Ferrier (AKA Mr. Rolls) in his vintage Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, which was booked through Premier Carriage.

Sian designed the stationery herself, which she then had printed at Heron Dawson & Sawyer, with on-the-day stationery printed using Photobox.

Guests enjoyed drinks upon arrival at Ramster Hall, which looked sublime in the golden autumn sunshine, with a colourful arbour of flowers adorning the entrance. There was live music too, from trio Fully Funktional.

“We wanted the day to reflect us and the things we love. We are both keen skiers, and we used that as a mild theme running through the day, with the resort that we go to every year (where Marcus’ family has been going since his father was a child) providing the backdrop to our seating plan and table names. We even managed to find a bride and groom on a chair lift for one of our cake toppers.”

Old ski boots belonging to Marcus were filled with flowers, and placed beneath the seating plan, and the lovely, timber-framed, panelled reception room was decorated with more blooms in gorgeous shades of orange, red, crimson and pink – garlands on the top table and across the mantelpiece, table centrepieces and petite vases dotted around the room.

The wonderful wedding feast was provided by caterers Jacaranda, and there was a lovely semi-naked cake, too, baked by Rachel Simmons of The Wholesome Bakery.

“We chose to have a semi-naked cake after much debate on log boards to reflect our slight alpine theme, decorated with edible flowers and fruit that complemented the autumnal colours we’d chosen for our flowers.”

“We had a delicious tasting with Rachel where we chose the flavours for the tiers of our cake (chocolate – Marcus’s favourite, carrot – my favourite, and a Victoria sponge) Rachel also produced a beautiful gluten free cake and small gluten/dairy free cupcakes. Rachel was very helpful in advising us which flowers and fruits would last for the day without wilting, too.”

“Our favours were Lindt milk chocolate bears. Marcus’ sister works for Lindt, so sourced the bears and kindly printed personalised ribbons for us. We had a Polaroid camera and guestbook, it was great to look back at the photos!”

After cocktails and cake cutting, it was time to dance, and Fully Funktional returned – this time as a 6-piece band, and later, a DJ, too.

“The band were recommended to us by my sister-in-law’s boyfriend, as they had played at his work’s Christmas party. They were great, and we have had so many compliments since. They really engaged all the guests, and moved around the reception to include everyone without being intrusive.”

“For our first dance, we chose Take Over the World by the Courteeners. We didn’t want a generic ‘lovey’ song, and the Courteeners were the first band we saw together.”

“It is really hard to choose a specific favourite part of the day. I loved the car journey to the church with my dad, and seeing all the smiling faces of all our friends and family when I walked into the church. Walking down the steps of the church being showered by our guests (who were lining each side) with rose petals that had been diligently collected, dried, and beautifully packed by Marcus’ mum.”

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“I would advise any bride and groom to take time to enjoy it and take it all in – this was great advice that was given to me by a good friend. The day goes so quickly, so I would suggest to take a moment for the two of you just to absorb it all. It isn’t often that you get all your favourite people together in one place.”

“The drinks reception, which I wish could have lasted much longer so we could have spent more time talking to everyone – I could go on! I think we maybe ordered too much food, but it’s better to have too much than too little!”

“The other piece of advice that I would offer is try not to get too stressed if you can’t get everything done that you had planned. Chances are that your guests won’t notice, they are just excited to be there with the two of you!”

Sian and Marcus, thank you so much, and many congratulations to you both as you approach your first anniversary. Huge thanks also go to photographer Matt Penberthy, whose lovely work you can enjoy more of on our pages right here. Do also take a look at more exquisite Rosa Clara dresses here, too.

Until next time.

With love,

Laura

Credits & Thanks

Laura Callan

Laura Callan View all Laura's articles

Laura is a freelance writer and content creator who loves telling stories. She has keen eye for photography and art, and lives with her husband, cats, and huge amounts of books.

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