Katie and Alan were married back in April at their local church followed by a reception in an incredible PapaKata teepee tent at Escrick Park Estate, Escrick.
They wanted their day to local, with a formal feel to their ceremony but a relaxed country vibe for their reception. There are so many elements of this wedding i adore. The statement pretty florals are amazing, the fab scrabble theme, Katie looks fabulous in her classic gown with fur wrap. Alan looks super smart in his uniform and of course that teepee… wow! Don’t they create such atmosphere?
Thanks so much to the wonderful Annemarie King Photography for sharing her photographs with us today.
Names…. Katie & Alan
Wedding Date…. 7th April 2012
The Proposal…. We’d been together for about 6 months when Al was posted to Cairns in Australia for 4 months so it was a perfect excuse for me to fly out for a holiday! After a few days in Cairns we headed up to a backpackers in Cape Tribulation, where I had stayed when I was travelling in my gap year – although this time we had a chalet with an ensuite to ourselves rather than sharing a room with 10 other smelly backpackers!! The following morning we took a walk on a gorgeous deserted beach in the rainforest when Al popped the question :)
The Vision for the day…. I really wanted to get married in the village where I had grown up and Mum still lives – I have strong connections and memories of the area. Due to the fact that Al is in the army we knew some elements of the day would be fairly formal, like the traditional church service, uniforms and the guard of honour so we then wanted to contrast that at the reception with a chilled out country vibe where people could drink, eat and laugh.
The Planning process…. Hmmmm….. where do I start … I have been mocked relentlessly for my epic ‘wedmin spreadsheets’ … which I lived and died by. They contained every possible bit of information, a budget tracker, guest list, contact details, to do lists…. But they worked and kept me sane and as a result I can’t tell you then amount of people who have asked for a copy – I may need to patent it!!!
The Venue… St Helen’s Church, Escrick, York: I was christened at the local village church, and the Vicar today is one of my bridesmaid’s Dads and it’s 30 seconds from my Mum’s house so it was the perfect place for us to be married
Escrick Park Estate, Escrick, York: For the reception there’s a big estate with farmland and fields where we walked the dogs as children, Escrick Park Estate, so I was really keen to have a marquee there. However in recent years a company called Papakata who are a Teepee hire company have been holding open days on the estate so we popped down to have a nosey and I fell in love with the amazing atmosphere and unique vibe the tepee’s created.
The Dress + Accessories….. I always thought I wanted a slim lace low back dress, however in a bridal shop (Elizabeth of York) I tried on a really classic Ellis dress, made of tuille with a long train and full skirt and fell in love! I tried on a few more on other shops, but everything I liked about those were all encapsulated in the one dress back in York.
I kept accessories really simple with just a pair of earring from Olivier Laudus, shoes form Rainbow Couture and finally I found my Grandma’s mink stole in the loft at Mum’s house and it went perfectly!!!
Groom’s attire… Al wore his Army uniform which looked fab and super smart! All the army lads made the effort to cart two lots of uniform to the day with them and changed into their Mess kit in the evening which brilliant and looks great in the pics!
The Readings + Music…. We had two reading, my friend Nick who lives in St Andrews wore his very smart kilt and read Philippeans 4 v 4-9, and one (of the three!!) best men, John read, ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’ by Yeats. We chose the Arrival of the Queen of Sheeba for the procession, Al says I should have it playing everywhere I go – I don’t know what he’s implying ;) !! We had Tocatta by Widor for the recessional music which is what my Mum and Dad had at their wedding. We chose our favourite Hymns, I Vow to Thee My Country and Jerusalem, which everybody entered into and sang VERY loudly!
Finally Rev Kirkman, who I have known for 16 years made a brilliant sermon … including taking the micky out of my spreadsheets and making reference to me liking men in uniform! Cringe indeed – but he had the congregation in stiches and made it so memorable and personal for us both.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. I had 4 beautiful bridesmaids, Jo Love who I met at university, Helena and Abi who I went to school with and another Jo (Lewars) who I grew up in the village with – Jo Lewars had only given birth 10 weeks before the big day and did an amazing job to a) fit in to her dress and b) be as fantastically involved as she was!! I was really lucky with their dresses, which I’d happened to come across in H&M, for £39.99! Bonus! I loved the colour which, depending on how the light hit them was a dusky pink/mink and I really like the soft chiffon material. The fact that they were full length meant the girls could all wear whatever shoes they wanted/ liked and felt comfortable in. My two flowergirls (Millie and Alice) wore dresses and cardi’s from monsoon in a similar hue but green and made of the same soft chiffon.
The Flowers… I’d done quite a lot of internet research (all captured on the spreadsheet) on different types of flowers! I ‘d really fallen for anemones, particularly as there was already a lot of colours going on with uniform + best men outfits + the dusky pink of the bridesmaids + green of flower girls – I loved the fact that they were simple but striking.
Our florist, Fiona Hogg was brilliant at translating my suggestions into reality, so the boys had a simple anemone button holes, the flowergirls had bunches of soft pink gyp, and I and my bridesmaids had anemones, vintage roses and jasmine which were absolutely stunning.
At the teepee’s we had really informal arrangements in galvanised buckets on each table.
The Cake… Both of us have a more savoury that sweet pallet and we settle on a gorgeous cake of cheese from thecheeseshed.com, which my friend Beks decorated on the morning with figs, grape and anemones, and laid out the hundreds of biscuits!
We cut it after dinner with Al’s ceremonial sword and there was a steady queue all night for people to nibble away!
Your Photographer…. We had the incredible Annemarie King as our photographer for the day. I always knew photos would be important, but it’s not until after the day that you realise just HOW important – as they are your lasting reminder of an amazing day. Annemaire put us at ease and caught some brilliant shots – as a couple known for not being big into ‘PDA’s’ (Public Displays of Affection) she made us feel at ease and we are over the moon at the results!
The Details + Decor…. Al and I played scrabble on our first ever blind date! So there was a scrabble theme running through out the day … I designed and hand made all the save the dates and invites, then glued magnets onto the back of scrabble letters, so every place setting was a scrabble rack spelling out the persons name which they could then take home for their fridge!
Our caterer the fab The Thought of Food, which is based in the village, sourced Yorkshire brewed Blond Bombshell Ale, for the bar which was decorated with wheatsheafs and tealights.
Every table had a game on such as a trivia quiz or charades to keep the guests entertained or break the ice if they didn’t all know each other (although in hindsight the peashooter target game was only asking for trouble ;).
For the main course during dinner, one person on each table was given a chefs hat and union jack apron and was brought a huge joint of beef to carve for the rest of the table – which was great fun and got everyone involved.
The Honeymoon…. We’re yet to book our official honeymoon as it all depends on Al’s leave dates, but we had chance to squeeze in a gorgeous mini moon and had 4 days down in Devon at the beautiful Cary Arms – perfect to chill out and get some sea air!
Memorable moments… So many, but the fabulous marriage service was definitely one of the most special bits, the brilliant speeches by my hubbie, my brother and the 3 best men, John, James and Jason…
One thing I definitely won’t forget is the impromptu dance-off Al and I had – It started with me doing a roly-poly in my frock – people said it looked as if a flour bomb had gone off as they just saw a mass of white with my two ankles going through the air…then there was some running man, and sprinkler action thrown in somewhere and it ended with Al taking a running slide between my legs on the dancefloor!
Advice for other couples… Negotiate with suppliers and if you don’t ask you don’t get!
Work out the things that are most important too you and then work the remaining budget around that- it may be time consuming but homemade elements can save you a fortune and tend to be the elements that the guests notice, remember and appreciate.
We were so thankful and lucky to have such great bridesmaids/ bestmen who all rolled they’re sleeves up and got mucked in and nothing was too much trouble
At the reception my hubbie took me outside the teepee and got me to walk back in and just stand at the entrance and take it all in so I could just have moment to take in our wedding and everything that we’d planned and saved so hard for!
Credit where credit is due…
Cheesecake – www.thecheeseshed.com
Photographer – www.annemarieking.co.uk
Caterers – www.thethoughtoffood.gbr.cc
Florist – www.flowers-york.co.uk
Band – www.chameleon-music.com
Cars – www.superiormotorcars.co.uk
Teepee’s – www.papakata.co.uk
Venue – www.escrick.com
Dress – www.elizabethofyork.co.uk
Makeup – www.juliemercer.co.uk
Hair – www.sotahairdressing.com
Maps for invites – www.cutemaps.co.uk
Wasn’t that just amazing?! So romantic :-) And I do love an organised bride like Katie!!
Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful day guys XOXO Lou
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