Molly and Oli first met on Tinder back in 2015. After messaging back and forth, Oli planned dinner at his and the pair cooked a delicious meal together. “We ate food, listened to our favourite music, played a game and chatted until the sun came up – we couldn’t believe how quickly time flew by”, says Molly.
She was attracted to Oli’s smile and personality, which was so kind and thoughtful. Molly adds, “From the word go, we were on the same wavelength. We had such different lives but so much to talk about; our stomachs hurt from laughing – thankfully not from the dinner!”
Five years later, Oli knew it was the perfect moment to pop the question during a three-week holiday. Molly says, "We were on a small island called Bohol, and Oli had planned for us to watch the Sea of Clouds at sunrise.
We trekked up the biggest hill and watched the sunrise as the clouds below us wisped by – it was gorgeous." She continues, "I thought Oli was grabbing breakfast snacks from his bag, only to find him with a ring asking me to marry him – it was a complete surprise!"
Here Molly shares details about their special day...
The wedding took place on October 2nd 2021, and the couple created a day that perfectly represented them both. Molly says, "We both love autumn and wanted to highlight this in our theme.
Originally, our first wedding was supposed to take place in September 2020, which was the venue's only date available around that time. Our silver lining to the pandemic was getting to move our wedding date to October 2021, so our dream autumnal wedding was more realistic."
Molly grew up spending most of her childhood at Calke Abbey having picnics, walking her dogs, spending summer evenings with friends and dates with Oli.
The couple was so excited to find out the estate had a wedding venue and booked a viewing at The Riding School.
They fell in love with the blank canvas space, which allowed the pair to make the spaces even more personal while matching their colour scheme.
The Ivy House Weddings team were so welcoming and accommodating compared to other venues the lovebirds viewed.
The couple hired in a wedding stylist, Sass Weddings, to help create a warm and cosy feel to the large reception room.
To match the autumnal colour scheme, deep reds and rustic orange tones were used. There was foliage around the venue and warm lighting to mimic candles as no open flames were allowed in the Grade II listed building.
The pair wanted to give their guests something they would enjoy for favours and gave loved ones tiny bottles filled with different tipples. Each one had a tag attached saying, 'We've tied the knot, so take the shot.'
To make the wedding breakfast seem like a big family meal, the pair used four rows of banquet tables leading off of the top table. That way, everyone could see and talk to each other. The Black Peppermint Food Company, which works alongside Ivy House Weddings, created banquet-style sharing platters to encourage people to mingle and it worked!
Due to the table layout and sharing platters, the pair opted for simple centrepieces with natural linen table runners and small vases full of fresh and dried flowers. For table names, each table had a number presented in a frame with pressed flowers.
The Fabric Theatre provided lighting to the venue with warm festoon lighting and lanterns all over the dancefloor.
The bride wanted an oversized bouquet and foliage flower crown to represent her love of florals. She says, "We wanted to be surrounded by blooms! For the venue, I'd been inspired by greenery draped over bare brick walls and felt this would be perfect for the property. Our florist and Ivy House Weddings exceeded our expectations by covering one section of our wall, draping the balcony and the windows in a fountain of fresh foliage – we were left speechless!"
Based in the bride's hometown, Cakes by Mad Cake Maker created a three-tiered naked-style cake for the pair decorated in foliage and fresh berries.
The lovebirds picked carrot cake with orange buttercream and raspberry Bakewell cake with vanilla frosting for the flavours.
Oli had always wanted to drive him and Molly away in a classic car rather than being chauffeured. By postponing the wedding by 13 months due to Covid, the pair had a little more time to save and bought a Yellow MG Midget. Molly comments, "This was one of our wildest decisions, which we're so glad we made! It was lovely having a 20-minute drive to our reception, just the two of us."
When it came to finding the one, the bride found the perfect dress at Alice Rose Bridal called Sofia by Ellis Bridal. She accessorised her look with a diamond necklace gifted by her mum and a gorgeous pair of shoes from Charlotte Mills. Molly says, "I didn't see myself in a full-length mirror until arriving at our reception – I felt so beautiful."
Oli, his groomsmen, the bride's two brothers and their dads wore three-piece heritage blue tweed suits with Liberty Print floral ties that matched the peachy colours in the bouquets perfectly. Oli chose a bow tie to stood out from the others.
The bridesmaids wore floor-length multiway dresses. Molly didn't want them to look identical, so the dresses were all styled differently while ensuring everyone felt comfortable and gorgeous.
To keep guests entertained, the couple had a fantastic band called The Distance at their reception. The band played a relaxed acoustic set during the drinks reception, which was beautiful – they even played one of the couple's favourite songs at Oli's request.
The bride says, "They went above and beyond to contribute to our unforgettable day. In the evening, they turned up the volume and got everyone on the dancefloor with some classic songs."
The pair also hired a vintage-style photo booth for the evening, utilising The Riding School's bare brick walls as their photo backdrop.
On the day, Molly woke up with so much excitement and joy – it was such a happy morning. She says, "I was excited to see Oli standing at the bottom of the aisle, and for the day's celebrations to commence – I couldn't wait for the day to unfold.
I momentarily felt a little sick to my stomach with nerves when it was time to leave for the church, but that quickly disappeared once we were at the church door." She continues, "I wish I could walk down the aisle again! I specifically remember my dad having to slow me down, I always joked with Oli that he'd see me sprinting down the aisle and it almost came true."
Oli woke up feeling a little nervous but excited; he constantly had butterflies in his stomach.
He comments, "I wished Molly was there in the morning to help calm my nerves, but they quickly left once I started getting ready."
He continues, "Luckily for me, Molly arrived over half an hour late for the ceremony and all the nerves left my body by that time."
Molly's mum is currently training to become a vicar, so they had the privilege of her reading out the wedding vows. Molly comments, "It was so lovely having her be the one to marry us, and it's something I know we'll always treasure."
A lovely moment was when Giz, one of the groomsmen, did a truly exquisite reading of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat. After studying drama since high school, he made sure to put all his passion into the reading which made for some great entertainment.
Another fun moment was when the pair had a blast performing their first dance to Higher and Higher. The couple had taken up a few dance lessons, which really paid off. "We thought we'd be nervous dancing in front of everyone, but in the moment we forget there was a room full of people watching," says the bride.
Ivy house Weddings were an absolute dream for the couple. Molly says, "I can't say how incredible and supportive they had been in the lead-up to our wedding and on the day itself. Without them, I don't know how our day would have been as perfect as it was. The venue exceeded all our expectations; everything was perfect."
After the perfect wedding, the couple went to Thailand for three weeks after planning their perfect trip together.
Molly says, "We spent time dotting around Thailand, enjoying the gorgeous beaches, exploring Bangkok and Chiang Mai, heading inland to a national park for a jungle/deep forests experience and spending a day at an Elephant sanctuary.
We had the best time and didn't want to come home."
She continues, "The food was the highlight of our trip, everything was just so delicious and I don't think we ever ate an average meal there."
Venue lighting and drapes