Cat The Bride:
My dress was Eden by Jenny Packham
. I tried it on in The White Closet
in Manchester and fell completely in love with it. I then spent a few months looking at other dresses and really trying to forget about it because it was totally out of my price range. However,I failed miserably and couldn't get it out of my head so I ended up sourcing it second hand on preloved. I loved the amazing beading and 1920's feel. I also loved how relaxed and comfy it felt (being able to dance in it was very important to me).
In terms of accessories, I had my heart set on a flower crown but at the last minute I decided that as you only get one chance to wear a veil, I'd go for it. I compromised though by having some flowers in my hair once it was up. My dress had so much going on that kept my jewellery quite simple. One of my talented bridesmaids did my make-up.
Jack just wanted to wear a nice suit rather than anything particularly formal so he treated himself to one from Reiss
. We didn't have a colour scheme so we just asked the groomsmen to wear whatever they wanted to. It meant we avoided everyone looking too matched and they were all stylish in their own way.
We had quite a clear idea in our heads of what we wanted from a venue. We had guests travelling from all over the country so it was really important to us that we had a venue where everyone could stay. We also wanted somewhere we could have for the whole weekend so we could drag the celebrations out for as long as possible. Walcot Hall
was the first and only venue we visited and we loved it instantly. It has loads of character, including a big grand old house and interesting accommodation (yurts, gypsy caravans). You are pretty much given free rein to do whatever you want for the weekend, there were no restrictions on music and there is no bar so you can bring your own booze. The weekend felt totally relaxed which is exactly what we wanted.
We didn't particularly have a particular theme. The most important thing to us was that the day felt relaxed and fun with good food and good music. We had quite a tight budget so we made or collected everything including bunting, signs, place settings and decorated what felt like hundreds of jam jars. We also had an amazing team of family and friends who spent the day before the wedding helping us to set everything up. We had a bit of a panic on the eve before the wedding, just before our guests started arriving when we realised we had no table plan. We quickly whipped one up using a cork board and the stages of our favourite festival as table names so disaster was averted! We actually got engaged at a festival so it was quite fitting.
We had planned to do our own flowers to save money, however, after having several unsuccessful practice attempts at putting together a bouquet, I decided it was time to call in the professionals. The beautiful bouquets were put together by Victoria from the Flower Garden
. The only brief we gave was that we wanted the bouquets to look wild and natural. We also ordered a load of flowers from a wholesaler and my mum and aunty did the flowers in jars for the tables and dotted around the venue.
I really wanted the bridesmaids to be able to have a dress that they would love and could wear again after the wedding. I had seen the 'Gloria' lace dress in Whistles
but by the time I decided it was the perfect dress for my bridesmaids, it had been discontinued. So I spent several months sourcing the dresses from eBay and luckily I managed to find all five.
The ceremony was the part of the day I felt most nervous about but it actually was without a doubt my absolute favourite part of the day. We really wanted to get married outside in the amazing grounds at Walcot Hall
and we didn't really have a plan b so during the run up to the wedding we became obsessive with checking the weather.
In the end, we were very lucky, there were a few drops of rain just as we came out of the house for the ceremony but it cleared up and the sun came out. I was worried that I was going to get really emotional during the ceremony but I actually just couldn't stop smiling - I think it is the only wedding I haven't cried at!
Having good music was really important to us and luckily we have talented friends who each took a slot in the evening to dj. They were amazing and kept everyone on the dance floor well into the early hours.
We really loved the idea of big platters that everyone could just tuck into so we were pleased when we found Tallulah
who shared our love for this kind of food. Tallulah did our starter and main and for desert we had a cake table which lots of our friends and family contributed to. Jack's mum also made us a wedding cake which we all totally forgot about on the day so we cut it in the pub the day after the wedding. My aunty did the most amazing cheese table for our evening food. We also had a bit of a shindig the night before the wedding. We had the venue for the whole weekend so we invited all our guests and everyone brought a dish and a bit of booze. It was so much fun and one of my favourite parts of the weekend.
I came across our photographer, Lisa Devine
, on a wedding blog and just absolutely loved her style. Lisa was brilliant on the day, she put everyone at ease. It felt like she was one of the guests, so many people commented on how lovely she was and we are so happy with the photos.