All photography by Alexander Crane
As bespoke wedding planners and wedding caterers, Two Many Cooks works with each of our beautiful brides on a wholly personal basis. Our flexibility and vast experience enables us to match your exact brief.
We collaborate with a range of choice venues and suppliers to deliver your dream wedding. Fetcham Park House in Surrey is one of the prestigious venues we work closely with.
Here at Fetcham Park House, Clare and James chose to host their wedding. The discerning duo asked Two Many Cooks to create a suitably stunning menu, to mirror the elegance of the house and its surroundings.
It Only Takes (Four) Minutes…
Gorgeous bride, Clare, fills Two Many Cooks in on the finer details of her love story with James:
“We met in 2013 on a speed date near St Paul’s, and although it was only 4 minutes long, we knew we wanted to see each other again.
On our first ‘real’ date we realised that we had lots in common, including both having been in the TA (at uni, not the serious stuff!) and a fondness for wine and the outdoors. He is also very tall. I like tall men!”
“He proposed on a beach in Ireland – somewhere that he had spent at lot of time as a child. His reasoning was that it would then be a special place for both of us. Although the game was nearly given away when the airport security took an interest in his ring hiding place, luckily I was too busy faffing with my own hand luggage to notice and it remained a surprise!”
Clare and James opted for Fetcham House for a variety of reasons. First, “We think it’s very important not to force guests to travel far or stay in expensive hotels, so being close to London and my home town was where we were looking for. Also somewhere that was exclusively ours, rather than shared with tourists.”
In desiring an elegant yet relaxed day, which resonates with the Two Many Cooks ethos, Clare and James turned their attention to personal touches.
Clare explains they wished for their wedding to be “sophisticated, whilst not taking ourselves too seriously. There was a loose affiliation with our respective degrees – German and Natural Sciences. This was reflected in German animal names for our tables and bell jars for the centre pieces!”
“Abundance” was a key priority for Clare and James, which is another department Two Many Cooks tend to be well known for!
“We personally hate going hungry at weddings or having the bar run dry of a particular drink. So having lots of amazing food – we were complimented on our canapé range and quantity – thanks, Two Many Cooks!
Glasses that never go empty also featured heavily in our planning. It resulted in many a complaint about a sore head in the morning!”
“We also are very keen on our wines and wanted to be able to bring our own supplies in, without paying a corkage charge, so we could get something special in. Fetcham House, unlike a lot of venues, allowed this, which was key in our decisions.”
“The venue is such a grand place that the food and service had to match. We had a Salmon starter and a Lamb main which are foods we like to eat. The style was British.”
Clare and James’ bespoke, luxury menu was as follows:
Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin with Fresh Basil Pesto
Rare Beef, Creamed Horseradish & Yorkshire Puddings
Hot Smoked Trout, Caper Crème Fraiche & Dill Blini
Peking Duck Rolls with Cucumber, Spring Onions & Hoisin
Bang Bang Chicken in Filo Cups with Satay Sauce
Salmon Gravadlax with Horseradish & Dijon, Baby Beets, Radish & Cucumber Pickle & Flowers
Basket of Fresh Breads
Chargrilled Rump of Lamb, Aubergine & Tomato Caponata with Capers, & Olives, Fine Green Beans & Smoked Garlic Aioli
Lemon & Passionfruit Cheese Cake with Ginger Crumb & Raspberry Macaroon
Coffee Bar & Marshmallow Kisses
“My Achilles heel for desserts is lemon – if there is a lemon dessert on the menu at restaurants I have to have it! So it was an obvious choice for our dessert option.
In the evening there was also a cheese board but, heartbreakingly, I was so caught up in the day I didn’t get to eat any. However, I was assured that it was very good!
“A good friend of ours had given up the Bar to go into baking, and we were extremely honoured that she made our wedding cake.
It was shaped like a log (to go with the Botany theme). Apparently, a couple who were planning to get married later in the year took the remains away in a Tupperware as they wanted it for their event!”
With their wedding happening to fall on the same date as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, another synchronicity ensued as a surely splendid omen!
For their first dance, Clare and James chose “‘Stand by Me,’ by Ben E. King. This was for no particular reason, but it also turned out to be the song that Harry & Meghan chose on their wedding day, so was clearly part of the zeitgeist that we’d picked up on.”
Clare made the somewhat unusual but wonderfully inspired decision of also standing up to address her groom and their guests, in a speech she had prepared.
“I really enjoyed giving a speech myself, as I think women should get a voice at weddings. It was lovely being able to thank everyone and express in my own words how wonderful James is, and how excited I was to be starting a life with him.”
The Personal Touch
Clare advises future brides and budding grooms: “Weddings are expensive, so focus on the bits you are going to remember – like having great food, good entertainment and a smooth running day. No one is going to remember or care about things like a ceremony program – so why bother worrying about it.
Also, you can do a lot more yourself than wedding fares would have you believe. We made our own sloe gin for favours, we (OK… my mother did!) learnt calligraphy so we could write out our menus, envelopes and placecards beautifully.
We made the table plan (an old frame with a collage of returned RSPVs as a backdrop) and personalised a box for confetti. We experimented with foraging for blossom petals for the actual confetti as there was loads on our road but they turned brown so that idea had to be abandoned.”
We are eager to hear your unique ideas and requirements, so that we can curate each element perfectly for you.