Start Slideshow View Grid Start Slideshow 36

A English Summer Wedding at Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds

By Shayna Seid | Photography by  |Planning by 

ByChenai Events

Bethany Spencer and Jack Holuba first exchanged glances in their CrossFit gym in New York City, but it wasn’t until they ran into each other on the subway that they first spoke. He asked to take her out for a birthday drink, and three years later, Jack proposed to Beth on a mountain top in Acadia National Park in Maine.

The engaged couple picked Sudeley Castle as their wedding venue; it’s only 10 minutes away from where Beth grew up in the Cotswolds. History buffs rejoice: It is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried on the grounds. Queen Katherine Parr, the last surviving wife of King Henry VIII, lived and died there. The pair booked the castle’s group of quintessential English country cottages within the picturesque village of Winchomb.

Aesthetic-wise, Beth wanted to create an English country garden feel with pops of bright colors, and she let ByChenai Events take care of the overall design details and styling choices. Aimee Willow set the tone for the weekend with a beautiful invitation suite.

“What I thought I wanted in a wedding dress was totally different to what I ended up getting,” Beth says. The bride-to-be had saved so many tight-fitting, off-the-shoulder, and strapless designs, but after trying on gowns, she learned that A-line silhouettes with a deep V and low back suited her perfectly. Ultimately, she chose Anne Barge’s Everlasting dress at Kleinfeld. And for dancing at the reception, Beth changed into a short Katie May look.

On the day-of, the bride got ready with celebrity hair and makeup artist Claire Hanson of Mach Management. Bridesmaids complemented the bride in light blue, floor-length Jenny Yoo dresses. As for the British-originating tradition, Beth’s “something old” was the “B” necklace she wears everyday that her grandmother gave to her around a decade ago.

For the summer ceremony, Jack wore a custom Suitsupply tuxedo with black peaked lapels and black cap-toed Allen Edmonds Oxfords. Later in the evening, he changed into a gray Suitsupply jacket with a shawl collar and Del Toro suede loafers. “I was trying to capture the Michael Bublé look, given the song I had planned to sing for Beth at the reception,” Jack hints.

On July 2, 2022, Beth walked down the church’s floral-lined aisle, decorated by Lucy Vail Floristry. “We aren’t a religious couple, so we wanted to keep it lighthearted, loving, and give people an insight into our relationship and love for one another,” the bride shares. Jennifer Pearce officiated the sentimental ceremony. The couple recited their own vows and had their mothers do a reading; there was hardly a dry eye in the house. 

On the north lawn of the castle, the reception marquee was filled with blooming British flowers and had a 12-piece live band from LDN Entertainment waiting for guests. The newlyweds made their grand entrance to “New York, New York” and then wowed everyone with a Dancing with the Stars-esque routine to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

Dinner was catered by Relish, and the main course consisted of English beef, green veggies, a purple cabbage and red pepper salad, roasted potatoes, and gravy to top it all off with. “The inspiration was a classic English Roast, but think healthy and lighter,” the English bride explains. Dessert was a deconstructed version of the British classic Eaton Mess, cheekily titled “Eaton Tidy.” 

Before cutting the cake, created by Colline’s Kitchen, Jack made a moving speech to the whole marquee that culminated with a surprise serenade to his bride of Michael Bublé’s hit “Everything.” The groom had secretly been taking voice lessons in New York City for weeks, but after all the pre-wedding festivities the week prior, he’d lost his voice. However, the live band from LDN Entertainment and full audience participation on the backup vocals made the moment perfect. While Bublé needn’t worry about his job security after Jack’s rendition, the thoughtfulness and energy that went into the surprise still moved Beth to tears.

For the rest of the night, guests enjoyed drinks by Cock & Tail mixologists—the signatures were a “Beth-spresso martini” and an “Old Fashioned Jack.” Revolutionary Cigars hand-rolled bespoke cigars for everyone to enjoy outdoors with late-night fish & chips, as the band played their last set.

At the end of the reception, the new mister and missus left in a classic Austin Healey convertible on a path lit by fireworks. The next day, they took off on their mini-moon to the Lake District. Their big honeymoon to New Zealand will be happening over the Christmas holiday.