Move over marquee there is a new bad boy in town. Katie and Rich had a stretch tent in Katie’s parents’ back garden and I think it looks stunning! They put some work in to that garden and it is amaing. They created some sort of mini garden in the middle of the tent and it is just, well, see for yourself… The perfect place for a table for two. And I looooove the centrepieces. So original and… different.
“…fill a venue with pretty things that you love you will have a beautiful wedding.” I think Katie has hit the nail on the head. And boy did she do just that. She also has some very sound advice for those of you who are having to source a lot of your own suppliers. And it was all sumptuously captured by the talented Kirsten Mavric. Oh, and there’s a very cute dog involved.
Katie The Bride: My dress was by Catherine Deane. It was the first I tried and although I tried on about 15 more it was the only one I could picture myself getting married in. The appointments at Catherine Deane were very relaxed and felt a bit less rushed and pressured than a couple of bridal shops I tried. I can’t recommend the beautiful dresses (I would have happily worn about five of them) and lovely staff at Catherine Deane enough.
I knew I wanted a short veil but wasn’t keen on the mesh of most birdcages. Luckily I found a short, blusher veil in tulle on a beautiful american site called Twigs and Honey. Unfortunately I had left it too late for them to send it to me in the UK, so I had it sent to a friend in the US and they very kindly sent it to me. It arrived in my hands at 5pm the day before the wedding and I had no idea what it would look like on. Luckily it worked and I loved wearing it.
My dress was quite detailed so I didn’t want much jewellery. I wore my own pearl earrings to match the pearl beading on my dress and veil and a sapphire and diamond bracelet which belongs to my mum.
Rich wore a mid blue three piece Kenneth Cole suit purchased from House of Fraser and we were lucky enough to be able to buy the two piece versions for the grooms party. A pair of tan Grenson (www.grenson.co.uk) brogues completed his look.
This was easy, my parents have always wanted to host a wedding in their garden and they live in an Old Rectory next to our local church. We hired a Stretch Tent as neither of us love traditional marquess and with a Stretch Tent we were really able to appreciate my parents garden as we could have the sides of the tent up. They spent so much time and hard work making the garden look beautiful that it would have been a shame to have been shut in a tent. My parents have a shed in their garden which used to be the village toilet and which one of Rich’s ushers, Liam, converted into a very small whisky bar (The Pony & Trap) for the evening. It looked wonderful and was very much enjoyed by the guests until the wee small hours. It felt very personal and unique to be able to have our wedding here.
We didn’t have a stringent colour theme but as I have a sapphire engagement ring we decided to go dark blue with the the bridesmaids dresses and men’s ties. We tried to keep everything else fairly neutral. My mum owns a vintage china hire business so we were able to use her crockery. We kept the rest of the decoration simple as the plates, table settings and surrounding gardens were decoration enough. Until the day before the wedding we thought we were just going to have table numbers rather than names and then at the last minute we decided to name each table after a Grand Prix circuit as we are both huge F1 fans and were off to the Singapore Grand Prix (via India) for our honeymoon.
The bouquets and button holes were made by a family friend and were hydrangeas and gypsophila. I made my own table settings from hydrangeas in whisky decanters placed in silver trays and surrounded by gypsophila. This was quite an undertaking as I didn’t realise the gyp would have to be in oasis to keep it fresh. Each block of oasis took about an hour to cover and we had 40 blocks to cover. We only started working on these about 36 hours before the wedding so it was a little ‘all hands on deck’ to get them done. We even had to get some men involved. I’m not a terribly ‘crafty’ person but I enjoyed being able to make these myself, even if no one else did!
The ceremony was very special and actually my favourite part of the day (which it should be I guess). We hired in a choir to sing our blessing which was a beautiful moment and they also sang The Beach Boys God Only Knows during the signing of the register.
Food was a big deal for us, but ended up being fairly stressful. We had to sack our first choice of caterer six weeks before the wedding as they were completely uncommunicative and then made demands of the space which we couldn’t accommodate and which hadn’t been mentioned before paying our deposit. Luckily Purple Grape came to our rescue and not only provided delicious food but also took a lot of stress from us on the day by managing everything so professionally. Kate at Purple Grape was our saviour.
Having tried their gorgeous ice cream at a street food market we always knew we wanted Sorbitium to provide ice cream as our desert and Pedro bought his cute little ice cream cart to serve his delicious ice cream for our guests through the evening.
We made our own chutney and bought a selection of British cheeses from La Fromagerie in Highbury for the cheese table. My close friend Marie-Louise, the baker amongst my friends, made our cake. We decorated the cake with a few flowers from the garden, but had to increase the number of flowers after Lula (my niece) decided she wanted to sample the icing. It was delicious and I’m only sad we didn’t get more as we had to jet off on our honeymoon the following day.
Our photographer was the wonderful Kirsten Mavric who not only captured the day beautifully but was a lovely, calming presence to have around on the day. Even though she was not allowed at the front of the church she still managed to capture the beauty of the ceremony and we are delighted with the photos we have to remind us of our day.
My advice to anyone planning their wedding would be to not worry too much about a theme if one doesn’t naturally present itself to you. I worried that I had to have a theme and that everything should tie in together for quite a long time. If you fill a venue with pretty things that you love you will have a beautiful wedding.
Also, always check that a supplier has good reviews. We were hopelessly let down by our glass wear supplier who, now we have checked, has terrible reviews. A good website doesn’t always equal a reputable company and no one wants to be collecting emergency glasses from a local supplier three hours before their ceremony.