Getting married outdoors in the UK is always a gamble as our weather is just so unpredictable, but Katie and Ben hit the jackpot with their glorious big day. The stretch tents they opted for just cry out for gorgeous weather and the sun shone down on the lucky couple all day long! What with the weather, and their Italian antipasti sharing platters, you'd be forgiven for thinking this wedding was on the Med. Images come from the lovely Ania Ames, who has captured every moment beautifully. I particularly love the images of the girls outside the black and white rose covered cottage, it just looks idyllic, as does the rest of the day for that matter...
Our WeddingKatie The Bride: Something that was really important to us from the get go, was the sense of freedom...no venue rules such as “turn down your music”, “you're only using our suppliers”, “you need to finish by midnight”. We never liked rules anyway ;) We wanted this to be a day for ourselves, a day which our family and friends would know we had put together personally. And we are confident they did. Having been together for over 10 years, we had spoken about it a fair bit beforehand and were lucky enough to be on the same page when it came to the planning. Having lots of different suppliers to deal with without the help of a wedding planner/venue coordinator was stressful at times, but it was worth it to make sure everything was exactly how we had envisaged. We were both after the fairly traditional Church wedding, then onto the marquee field setting for the freedom during reception.
The WeatherThe weather wasn't kind to us on the Friday while setting up and during wedding rehearsals but family and closest friends kept us calm. And on Saturday when we woke up...the wind died down, the sun came out...someone up there likes us! But it is the risk you take having an outdoor wedding. We didn't have a contingency to be honest! Huddle under the stretch tent and hope for the best! The hay bale wall you see in the photos was not purposely put there for photos...but as a windbreak. It was a stroke of genius in the end though because the photos in front of it are some of our favourites. The guys at Alternative Structures also worked really hard against difficult windy conditions to provide the clean, personal space we were after...and although a little extravagant, the mirrored bar we had to have looked spot on and got a lot of attention going into the evening. Also a big shout to The Perfect Letter Company who did a spectacular job of setting off the entire tent with our amazing personalised light up Mr & Mrs Atkin sign! It looked the bomb!
The Wedding PartyOur Bridesmaids and Groomsmen weren’t only stunning and handsome on the day but incredibly organised and made the day so much easier for us! You have to give them responsibility on the day, firstly because they secretly love it, secondly because if they have been lucky enough to be selected they gotta earn it, and lastly because they have to do the most random stuff on the day of which half of it you probably will never know about! Our parents were also absolute angels and we couldn’t have done it without them, I think they were ready for a honeymoon straight after the wedding too!
The CeremonyI got so many compliments on the surprise singing performance in the church part way through the service which my Mum organised! They were incredible and the biggest shocker to us both as we had no idea! Hilarious and everyone got involved...bigger and better than the scene from Love Actually in our opinion :)
The FoodThe catering was beyond a shadow of a doubt one of the highlights for everyone at our wedding. Instead of canapes, we asked for antipasti tables packed with cured meats, bread, olives...all the beautiful, colourful Italian we both love! Complemented by Prosecco and plenty of it! While everyone was enjoying that, we had a live BBQ where the main courses were being prepared, a little theatre and it got everyone's appetites going.
The EntertainmentAfter the food was cleared away, it was onto the dancefloor where we met possibly the best DJ we could have ever asked for. He travelled pretty far but was worth it in spade loads, he did everything we asked of him and more, plus was incredibly funny. Sometime reading reviews pays off, as we hadn't even met the guy before he turned up on the day all the way from York! Him and a saxophonist that we knew through a friend completely hit it off, and made the evening turn into what was close to a rave...it was off the scale! We loved it and so did our guests. It was the a crazy end to an epic day!
The PhotographyAnia has left us with one of the greatest gifts of our day, which are the photos. We could not be happier with them. Ania was so easy to work with and got what we were after right from the beginning. We did want to be apart from our guests for long and we didn't want a photographer that barked orders at people and took over the flow of the day to get their part done. Ania blended in as a guest, having a laugh with people and capturing the most natural moments of our nearest and dearest. Everyone thought she was fabulous and we have had countless compliments on our photos. So much so that our best friends will be using her at their wedding Summer 2018.
Final ThoughtsUltimately our aim was keep it all simple, but to do the simple things really well. And we think we cracked it :) It was the best day of our lives and when people ask us “do you just want to do it all over again?” we say no. It was perfect and we have the fondest memories of every single part of it, we wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
Bride: Serendipity Brides | Flowers: Country Garden Winslow | Venue: Oak Tree Farm | Stretch Tent: Alternative Structures | Letters: The Perfect Letter Company | Cake: M&S | Catering: Indulgence | Pizza: The Little Oven Of Joy | Bridesmaids: ASOS | Groom & Groomsmen: Vintage Suit Hire | Stationery: Kall Kwik | Singer: The Love Actually Experience | DJ: Club Class | Saxophonist: George Grant