How to create your own Downton Abbey wedding in the Midlands

Downton Abbey themed wedding photo shoot at Holdenby House in Northamptonshire

Creating your own Downton Abbey themed wedding in Northamptonshire

We loved the TV series and now we have another chance to get our Downton Abbey fix with the release of the movie. There are lots of reasons for loving Downton but one of them surely has to be the stunning vintage style, period settings and gorgeous costumes. We’ve also been lucky to watch a number of weddings over the years – from Anna & Mr Bates’s simple registry office ceremony, Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes opting for a traditional village celebration to the full-scale society wedding of Lady Mary Crawley. 

Our photoshoot at historic Holdenby House near Northampton made us think about how amazing a Downton Abbey themed wedding would be and how that could be created here in Northamptonshire. 

The Wedding Venue

First of all, of course, you’ll need a magnificent country pile. Holdenby House is what remains of Elizabethan England’s greatest Palace. After the Civil War, the Palace was sold and reduced to a single wing. In 1709 it was bought by the Duke of Marlborough, since when it has descended the female line to the Lowther family. The house is still lived in by the Lowther family and it has a number of beautifully ornate rooms that are licenced for weddings including the Ballroom and Dining Room.

Other incredible country house wedding venues include Fawsley Hall with tradition and history, Highgate House set in picturesque countryside, or Kilworth House with a taste of timeless elegance. 

The Wedding Dress

Possibly the next most important ingredient to creating a touch of Downton style will be the bride’s gown. Eliza Jane Howell’s 2020 collection is aptly called ‘The Roaring Twenties’ and really embraces the glamour and silhouette of that era, whilst still including elements of modern fashion such as jumpsuits and colour. Beading, fringing and texture all bring the ‘20s to life and you can easily imagine Lady Mary or Lady Edith wearing any of the gowns. Eliza Jane Howell is available exclusively in Northamptonshire by Courtyard Bridal Boutique.

The Wedding Breakfast

What other elements will help you create a vintage vibe to your wedding? The food and drink you choose to serve to your guests is a great way of emphasising your chosen theme. You could simply create a menu with Portfolio Events that includes timeless classics or opt for a luxury banquet that includes ingredients such as game to really give your day an aristocratic air. Cocktails such as Mimosa and Sidecar were invented in the ‘20s and you could serve them to your guests before the breakfast. 

The Bouquet

One of the great things about a Downton Abbey themed vintage wedding is it’s a great prompt to go plastic-free and use natural materials throughout your wedding. From flower petal confetti to natural foliage decorations, table settings, wedding stationery and even gifts on your wedding list, it’s a great way to bring vintage style bang up to date. Local florists such as Florae Foray and With Love & Roses will help you create stunning arrangements. KTV Venue Stylists or Something Borrowed Event Hire will take your theme and style every aspect of your wedding to fit in with it. 

The Carriage

Include your wedding transport in your theme and pick classic vehicles or even a horse drawn carriage to get you to your venue. Speak to local suppliers about the vehicle options they can offer, and you might find yourself travelling to your wedding in a vintage Rolls-Royce from Bridal Carriages or your wedding guests being conveyed in an old-style charabanc. 

The storylines in Downton Abbey might have had their highs and lows but, without giving away any spoilers, we love it for the happy endings and your own Downton Abbey themed wedding is sure to have the same outcome. 

Read our interview with Eliza Jane Howell’s founder and designer, Gill Harvey.

Photo shoot credits