Aynhoe Park in Cambridgeshire is always a show stopping venue with its animals, antiques and Matthew Williamson decor, but add a seriously cool couple, stylish decor and dry ice desserts and you have a truly immense summer wedding.
Kate’s bespoke grey organza gown with gold flecks is so unique and just unbelievable fabulous in every way. She designed it her self, adding 7000 Swarovski crystal beads, swallows to represent the birds on the necklace Terry gifted her when he proposed, and written on the hem their names and the lyrics to their first dance, The Power of Love by Gabrielle Aplin. SO romantic.
A special mention for the fabulous five tier cake too. Homemade by Terry’s talented mum who hand crafted every flower in sugar icing or rice paper. Replicating the Swarovski pearls from Kate’s dress in icing and even hiding a miniature sausage dog within the cake to represent their dachshund Dave!
Kate the Bride: We chose Aynhoe park for our wedding because although we live in London, our families are from Northumberland and Hampshire so it was really important we found a venue where everyone could stay together, and the importance was always on having a big party. We also didn’t want a conventional ‘wedding’, but something that reflected who we are. We love the fun interior of Aynhoe, the animals, antiques and the Matthew Williamson decor, but also how warm and friendly the staff have always been there, and now we truly feel like friends of the house.
We got engaged four years ago, so the wedding has been a long time coming for us and our guests! My friend attended a Halloween party at Aynhoe and when I saw her pictures I knew it was the place for us! We booked with Aynhoe over three years ago, before it was the Instagram success it is today! We were lucky enough to visit the house multiple times over the years!! One special moment was when we had our food tasting in James’ library with our parents- that was a really fun day and seeing their reaction to the house I knew our guests would love it!
The tasting was an amazing opportunity to add some extra flourishes. We decided to have gold leaf and dry ice accompany our dessert which was a raspberry and white chocolate spectacular of macaroons, jelly, panacotta and meringue.
We wanted to have fun with our table decorations so alongside the little gold animals we also had each guests initials added to their napkins and used it to hold the name cards. We gave Laduree macaroons as favours as a nod to our Paris engagement, and they looked really pretty on the table. During the day we had Poparazzi champagne ice lollies as another canapé option- which went down amazingly well as it was such a hot day!
One of my favourite elements was the bespoke cocktail menu. We had a Laurent Perrier champagne reception and for the evening we renamed our friends favourite cocktails to things which applied to us as a couple- a sloe gin Bellini was a ‘Geordie Pout’, Moscow mules were ‘Red Hot’, and a twinkle was a ‘Shangri La’. The bar team were incredible!
The most special moment of the day for me was reading my vows. We wrote our vows together and said nearly the same thing to each other. To be able to say those words to each other in front of our guests was magical. The other highlight was the speeches, which we read outside. Everyone did so well and really represented everything we wanted to say on the day. We also had a best woman speech from Terry’s oldest sister which was so well read and funny, it was such a lovely addition to the day.
The most magical moment of the day was when Ben, our photographer grabbed us as the sun was setting and we ran to the end of the garden to get some alone shots. We met Ben through a friend and he really felt like a friend from our first meeting! He was discreetly snapping at a distance and we had a lovely moment to ourselves watching the sun set, and then the church next door started playing wedding bells. It was insane, nothing could have staged that moment and it still gives me goosebumps – it was the most overwhelmingly special feeling.
Another special detail to our wedding was that Terry’s mum made our cake. This is something she did as a hobby when the kids were small, so she hasn’t made one for years, but all of our guests were completely blown away by it. Every flower was handmade in sugar icing or rice paper, she copied the Swarovski pearls from my dress in icing and even made a miniature sausage dog and hid him in the cake to represent our dachshund Dave!
I never wanted a white wedding dress. I am a fashion designer and I knew the only way to get the dress I wanted was to design it myself. I loved the idea of layers of grey organza with gold glitter and I layered up fabrics to get the look I wanted. All of the embellishment at the neck and down the back I did by hand myself, and is over 7000 Swarovski crystals and beads. I was lucky enough to be introduced by a friend to Rebecca Street, who has cut for Mary Katrantzou and McQueen. She cut the pattern for the dress and we worked together for 9 months working on the fit and construction of the dress.
When Terry proposed to me, he proposed in the Shangri La in Paris with a necklace that was a brass envelope with swallows on the chain. Inside was two small cards laser cut, one with the date, and one with ‘marry me?’ I wanted to include this is the dress so the skirt was embroidered in India with swallows, chain detailing and all round the skirt is written our names, the date and the words to our first dance which was the Power of Love by Gabrielle Aplin and sung by our band Sophie and the Rumours.
Having our friends and family together was the most important thing for us, and seeing their reactions to everything made me really happy. The day felt relaxed, it was hot and sunny, and I know that it was a special day not just for myself and Terry but for everyone we care about.
Photography by Millar Cole Photography
- Dress Designer The Bride! – Custom Made
- Bridal Shoes Prada
- Dress Pattern Cutter Rebecca Street
- Bridal Accessories Swarovski
- Grooms Suit Edits Suits
- Bridesmaid Dresses Elizabeth and James
- Venue Aynhoe Park
- Florist Fabulous Flowers
- Caterers Indulgence
- Cock and Bull
- Entertainment Diamond Group Events
- Sophie and the Rumours
- Popsicles We Are Pops
- Balloons Bubblegum Balloons
- Favours Laduree
- Rings Cartier