Gary and Mat’s family focussed wedding will fill your heart with so much joy, it’ll be close to bursting. I honestly looked through the images with tears in my eyes. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in all the hate in the world, but this wedding shows some of the amazing things about living today, about living now. Gary and Mat’s big day is truly a celebration of their love, their union and their gorgeous family.
Images come from Michelle Wood, whose style I love, given that I tend to favour a darker, more atmospheric edit. It suits the dramatic venue Huntsham Court to an absolute tee. Right, are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin…
We met on a dance floor in a Students’ Union in Liverpool in 1998…little did we know that 19 years later we would be getting legally married! After being together so long, we decided that when we got married we would really drag it out and spread the party over two days at a country pile which we fell in love with. Although it was great to express how we felt about each other in front of everyone, the wedding was really about everyone else – our sons, friends and family captured by our friend’s videography company, Loved Up Films and Michelle Wood’s brilliant photography, we did feel really spoilt. Having all those people together in the same place was overwhelming, hilarious, emotional and really, really, really boozy.
Both of us decided to wear something classic in fear that five years from now we could end up looking back and shouting “what were you thinking?” The key thing was although the tone was the same, we didn’t want to be matchy, we tend to dress differently day to day and wanted to make sure we kept some semblance of individuality – this was a great thought but in reality on the day we were practically the same!
We both wore Reiss tuxedo trousers, white Reiss shirt and white flower dress pins from Reiss also. Gary wore a grey velvet jacket from Reiss, a green velvet bow tie from Reiss, socks from Happy Socks and black slip on shoes from Russell and Bromley.
Mat wore a green velvet jacket from Noose and Monkey, a black velvet bow tie from Reiss and shoes from Kurt Geiger. Once we knew we were practically dressed the same, it made sense for our sons to look classic too. Both boys were in tuxedos from Dobell and shoes from Dobell too. They couldn’t have loved themselves more if they tried.
When we got engaged, we pretty much decided straight away that we would want a winter wedding, ideally in the middle of nowhere. We chose Huntsham Court near Tiverton in Devon. It was the first venue we actually went to look at and felt right from the moment we arrived and met one of the owners, Chris. Our dream was that wherever we had our wedding, there was no moving about, no coaches picking people up and no feeling short changed with a 12pm finish and most importantly somewhere where the majority of the guests could stay. We always wanted our celebration to be a weekend away for everyone where we happened to get married during it.
The venue could not have been more amazing, the staff are brilliant but ultimately is like a home from home (if you live in a home that sleeps up to 80 people) – we provided all the food over the weekend and the booze and the venue really made sure that everyone felt like it was their place to hang out and party for the 2 days.
Music played a big part of our day – sadly one of our close friends passed away a few months before and he was always going to DJ during the day. Lots of his playlists had been saved on a music website so luckily for us we were still able to have his music as a big part of our day. The party began with a set by DJ Neil Prince who got the crowd perfectly and then ended with a couple of hours of Silent Disco.
A colleague of Gary’s had recently got married when we started to plan the wedding and she recommended her caterer’s Sausage and Pear and they gave us an excellent price. One of the best things about booking them was going to their amazing railway carriage restaurant (on a disused railway platform) in West Bay. The food was great and our boys loved eating on a train and the beach is literally across the way which meant we got a proper day out (we later realised it is the beach where Broadchurch is filmed, how we didn’t notice when then we’re not sure…)
The food and service on the day was amazing – we had a couple of fussy eaters and they accommodated them really well and just got on with it, you barely noticed they were there.
One of our good friends had spoken about a close friend of hers who is a wedding photographer so we thought always good to meet friends of friends so contacted Michelle Wood. We felt relaxed with her immediately, chatted on Skype and had regular email contact pre wedding. Michelle came to see the venue the evening before to get her head around the place and on the day she was superb. Most of the time we didn’t notice her snapping away, so to see the amount she took and how strong the quality is, is amazing. The colours alone bring so much life to the pictures. The day was full of so much love, laughter, partying and friendship and it really does feel like Michelle has captured it. When we look at the photos it makes us want to be there (even though we were!) as it looks great fun. Asides from taking great photos, Michelle sent a printed selection, along with a personalised USB in a gorgeous personalised box. It is a lovely keepsake, now we just need to get round to printing some more!