Kate The Bride:
Growing up I wasn’t one of those girls who fantasised about my wedding but there is one thing I do love in life & that’s a good party plan! When setting out to plan our big day, there were a few things I knew that were important. Firstly, I wanted to do as much of it as possible myself, ensuring there were plenty of personal touches & that we had a personal connection to as many suppliers as possible. Secondly, I wanted it to be an enjoyable experience! As it happens Mike turned out to be my perfect planning partner! Good job really!
I chose a dress from Adele Howarth-Winstanley Bride
. It’s a funny story as I only stumbled across her shop after a pretty horrific experience in another bridal shop nearby, we popped our head in to see if she could squeeze us in so that it wasn’t a wasted trip & that she did. Adele is a proper Northern lass & really lovely; she made us feel totally at home and I knew I could trust her; it was here I tried on the Watters
dress and knew straight away it was what I was looking for. I later asked Adele to help me source my drop veil so it had a matching lace trim and I had a gold head band custom made by the lovely Bex at Franklyn & Delilah
. It’s a really satisfying (and slightly relieving) moment when you first see your entire outfit all together & realise it actually works! I loved the quiet moment I had with my mum on the morning, where she gave me the opal earrings I wore and helped me into my dress. I’ll never forget the big reveal to my Dad in his garden where he looked so handsome in his bow tie standing below the floral archway; I had asked him to wear this outfit as is reminds me of him when I was a child.
I was so lucky to have friends do my hair & makeup! Massive shout out to Zoe Cashin Make Up Artist
who not only did a fantastic job on my makeup but also the conveyor belt of all my bridesmaids & girlfriends! Even bigger shout out to Arron Fawcett who’s been my hair dresser for over 10 years & who stayed by my side making sure I was picture perfect all day!
The flowers were one of my favourite parts of our day. I was extremely lucky that a dear friend of mine Nikki
asked if she could do the flowers for our wedding. I knew I wanted a lot of flowers...wild flowers throughout Lains Barn, two floral arches & all the bouquets & button holes. I knew also knew Nikki had never undertaken such a big project. She assured me she was up for the challenge and I’m so glad she was. I made sure to keep an open mind so as not to feel disappointed if Nikki hadn’t quite interpreted what I had said on the day but from the second I first set eyes on the bouquets I knew she had nailed it! Several people have said to me since they were the best flowers they have ever seen at a wedding & I agree. I was so in love with them I even dried my bouquet after so I can keep it for ever.
I was nervous about the ceremony, there are a lot of eyes just on you but luckily for us we had the amazing Pam conducting the ceremony; she put us totally at ease and led a beautiful service. Mike’s sister Jo also sang Sam Smith’s Latch...needless to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the church.
Choosing the location was simple, as my dad runs a beautiful fly fishery in Oxfordshire which holds a very special place in our hearts, it also has a beautiful church situated in the grounds. I had initially wanted to hire a tepee and do it all ourselves on the fishery but for once I’m glad my independent streak didn’t get the better of me and we decided to go with Lains Barn
for the reception. I honestly don’t think we could have done it without the team there, in the lead up to the big day nothing was too much trouble for them and I was more than happy to hand over responsibility on the actual day. Saying that, we still managed to recruit some pals Leon & Jon Boy to make some cocktails at the fishery after the ceremony so had an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful setting. There was a particular moment when Mike & I had walked off to have our photos and the sun came out! Everyone cheered. In that moment I looked over at all my loved ones and felt very lucky! Shortly after, we all jumped on board a red double decker bus
and it was off to Lains Barn!
The Wedding Party
I got the girls’ dresses from Coast
; it was important to me that they all felt comfortable on the day which is always tricky with 4 girls with different tastes. I wanted to have some embellishment in their dresses to not only give them a bit of lift but because I knew the contrast against the lace of my dress would look great. We ended up getting the lads’ suits from Next and added a touch of country chic by dressing them with bow ties & braces.
I really struggled to find a photographer and in the end my mum found Frankee Victoria
online! After a good snoop on her Instagram I knew Frankee not only had the right style for what I was after but was the right person too. After trying to find as many personal links to suppliers as possible I was adamant that if I couldn’t recruit a friend to do the photography then I wanted someone who would put us at ease & blend in on the actual day. Frankee was amazing from arriving on the morning & gelling in perfectly to having a code word if my hair needed re adjusting, she literally put us a total ease & we were so happy with all our pictures.
We both wanted something a bit different for the wedding breakfast and seeing as we both live up in Manchester it was a no brainer to have Pie. Not only are the Pies at Lains Barn absolutely delicious but they also provide chef’s hat & aprons so each table has a Pie Master...Fun & Foodie, what’s not to like! Instead of coffee we did Espresso Martinis & for dessert we had Daisy a traditional ice cream van
. Our Wedding cake was made of cheese which also doubled up as our evening food! I was so happy with how the cake turned out as we selected all the cheeses our self and worked with Umami, a local deli, to get the quantities right.
I really liked the idea of having our ‘happy places’ as our table names (Glastonbury festival, the student union where we met and our first home together to name a few) and when my friend Elly kindly offered to design our invites, I asked her to try to incorporate these. She came up with the idea to put them on a sign post; this obviously meant I wanted to make the sign post for the actual wedding. Luckily Mike’s cousin Louise is a DT teacher so kindly offered to engrave the wood for us! It might sound small but I was so happy to have the sign at the wedding! To add a personal touch we did ‘find your face to take your place’. If you are considering doing this I warn you it’s not easy if you have a large party! It took Mike about 2 hours on the morning of the wedding to pin all the faces in the right order. Saying that I absolutely loved standing by the board at the reception laughing at people as they reacted to the pictures. I also must say a quick thank you to my friends Sharon who at 8 months pregnant sat in my garden writing out all of the chalk board quotes and signs we had up. Her baby was born the day before the wedding so she didn’t even make it to see her handy work. Thanks also to both our mum for tireless filling favours with jelly beans & jam jar lacing! You guys rock!
During the reception we asked a friend’s sister, Phoebe, to sing. She played at a friend’s wedding a couple of years ago and has the most beautiful voice & style! Then after the meal I surprised Mike with having a brass jazz band playing. I found it really difficult to find the right band with in budget but the Horn Headz
were fantastic & really kick started the party. We finished the night with our friend Bobby DJing where we danced the night away...straight into marital bliss!