This morning’s wedding is amazing. There’s Suzanne Neville, wild flowers, fishtail braids and it even made the news! Yep. Katy and Richard’s day will not be easily forgotten.
They married in August at Wentworth Castle Gardens and were to have their reception in Tipi’s, their dream. After saying their vows, the heavens opened. The wedding was flooded. Disaster. But Katy and Richard had the best day ever. They prove that no matter what the wonderful British weather might throw at you, the day is about YOU. It is so perfectly captured by S6 Photography. So with your umbrella’s at the ready, dive into Katy and Richards wonderful day.
Katy The Bride: I was quite clear from the outset on what I wanted to look like on our wedding day – it’s hard to describe I suppose but ‘understated elegance with hints of country fair’… There you go – try and make sense of that! I knew I’d found the dress I wanted at the very first shop I walked into; The White Room, Sheffield. ‘Cherish’ was just perfect – elegant and beautiful. The choice was easy! Carrying on a theme I wanted the bridesmaids to look effortlessly stylish – they’re a good looking bunch so it wasn’t hard! We looked at Maids to Measure Gowns and we all really liked ‘Charlotte’ – elegant and sophisticated. It was also available in a maternity option which proved very useful as my sister (and maid of honour) Sarah, gave birth to my gorgeous niece Annabel just 7 weeks before the wedding and my new Sister-in-law, Rachael was 20 weeks into her pregnancy on the wedding day and had a quickly expanding bump in the weeks running up to the wedding!
My headpiece came from Debbie Carlisle, a Sheffield designer who made the headpiece especially for me as I’d decided I wanted it to be sat on a ribbon (‘country fair chic’ you see!) but this was not a problem for Debbie who quickly got about placing one of her signature pieces on a starched grosgrain ribbon to match the detailing on my dress – perfect!
We chose Wentworth Castle Gardens restored conservatory as it was the obvious choice for Richard and I. We had decided we wanted a tipi wedding and were looking for the perfect place to hold our ceremony that had space for tipi’s. Wentworth’s restored conservatory seemed perfect – light, airy and oh so beautiful! Being an Architect I can be a little picky about spaces but seeing the conservatory (even though we saw it as a building site the first time we visited) we knew it would be stunning and our minds were made up – we booked it there and then!
We chose a date in early August as Richard is an Assistant Head Teacher in a Primary School and it allowed us to go away on Honeymoon before the school term started in September. Being classic English fools we also believed an August wedding would all but guarantee fair weather – little did we know what was to come!
In the run up the wedding Richard and I spend most week nights up to our elbows in wedding arts and crafts! We wanted the wedding to have a home made feel and were also trying to save money where we could. Our families also spent many a Sunday in July cutting, sticking and preparing all the details for our perfect day. My mum potted plants while my father restored 2 old wooden step ladders to create a beautiful table name display. (Please see pictures of it pre and post flood – seeing it post flood all laid on the floor in 6 inches of water nearly broke my heart! But fortunately it was saved and re-assembled in the conservatory later in the day – to our great relief! None more so than my mother who had spent so much time making it look amazing!)
The day before the wedding we went to Wentworth for final preparations and to check the tipi’s and conservatory, everything was looking so beautiful and just as we’d hoped in the glorious summer sun – surely the weather couldn’t change that much in a day?
On the wedding morning I felt my payers for fair weather had been answered! We awoke to a fair and bright morning. The sun was trying to shine and although the forecast didn’t look good we were feeling confident that we might miss any rain showers. Even my arrival at Wentworth was event free, I was on time (a first for me Richard will tell you!) and the only slight delay to the ceremony was because the Best Men had mislaid the rings… They’d been left in the car – typical!
Walking down the aisle to see Richard was one of the most memorable and amazing experiences of my life, the conservatory, the guests, the tipi’s beyond and my lovely man all looked amazing! I knew we were in for a beautiful day, I just didn’t realise at the time how ‘uniquely’ beautiful it would be!
During the ceremony however the weather began to change – I could see VERY dark clouds rolling in and at one point even remember whispering to Richard ‘the rains coming’ and did it come!! Our vows were accompanied by a cacophony of thunder rumbles and then the torrential rain began to pour. It was so loud on the glass roof of the conservatory that I do believe some people at the back are still unsure as to whether we are in fact married at all!
Our plan was to exit the conservatory onto the patio for drinks outside the tipi’s but it soon became apparent that was not going to be possible (there was no way I was going to get my Suzanne Neville wet!) so we hastily made a quick change of plan and left the conservatory out into the adjoining visitors centre. Moments after Richard and I had left the conservatory the roof began to leak considerably – right over the aisle that we had just walked down! Our guests had to hastily vacate their seats to avoid the several leaks which had sprung up around the conservatory. The next half an hour is something of a blur! Engineers were called and Wentworth staff went into full action mode – pretty soon the roof was fixed and the conservatory water tight again.
The Change Around
“Never mind” I remember thinking – we can soon enter the tipi’s and continue the party in there! That was when my poor wedding planner Joy (what a day it was for her – testing her skills to the max! She was such a star!) and wedding co-ordinator at Wentworth – Henry (what a guy – amazing!) announced that the tipi’s were under 6 inches of water and completely unusable. This was the only time of the day when I felt my lip began to tremble but the anguish wasn’t for long as they informed me the entire wedding breakfast could be relocated into the conservatory, it was going to be a squeeze to seat over 100 people but they could do it! What a relief – our day was saved!
Upon re-entering the conservatory with my new husband we were greeted by a hive of activity and action! The bar (barrels, glasses, spirits and wine) 13 tables, 107 chairs, the entire contents of both tipi’s and the catering tent were being painstakingly relocated into the conservatory. It was still raining very heavily at this point and there was such a ‘Dunkirk spirit’ in the air as staff (and some plucky guests) dashed back into the rain to fetch more and more things from the sodden tipi’s. Our wedding photographer Jon and videographers Gary and Marin had by this point taken off their shoes and socks, rolled up their trousers and were dashing around in the puddles – all in the pursuit of the prefect shot! They were all so amazing!
And the caterers! How they managed to serve 100 people 3 perfect courses from a kitchen which was flooded and relocated half way through cooking I will never know! We are indebted to them.
Perfect & Unique
To cut a rather lengthy story a little shorter our wedding was saved. We had a prefect day, not as we’d planned it but perfect and unique all the same. When the evening came and the rain finally stopped we were able to take our shoes of and go paddle and splash around in the remains of our tipi’s – such a fun experience! (and something of a masterstroke by our photographer Jon!)
So I guess I would say to all brides-to-be, don’t obsess over the weather, its not about having the perfect weather on your big day, its about making the most of whatever the Great British weather throws at you and remembering what the day is all about. You might just be pleasantly surprised at the unexpected outcome! Richard and I would have remembered our day forever I’m sure but now I’m pretty confident none of our guests will ever forget our wedding day either!
Photography by S6 Photography
- Bridal Gown Suzanne Neville
- Boutique The White Room
- Headpiece Debbie Carlisle
- Florist Swallows and Damsons
- Venue Wentworth Castle Gardens
- Tipi Totally Tipi
- Caterer PJ Taste
- Bridesmaid Gowns Maids To Measure
- Wedding Co-ordinator Unique Wedding Planning
- Entertainment Mad Dog and the Sofisticats
- Videographer First Sight Video