WWW readers Natalie and Kieran drew inspiration from the1920s for their October wedding. They chose The Netherwood Hotel in Grange-Over-Sands as the the perfect backdrop.
Natalie wore the most beautiful Jenny Packham dress with statement forehead hairband which looked incredible. Kieran went for a dark brown suit with ivory and gold accessories, and they both so very looked gorgeous.
There were some beautiful blooms, especially Natalie’s unusual Solidaster bouquet, which was so amazing. They wanted a feeling of an enchanted garden, so decided on birdcages as their centrepieces and i adore the bridesmaids whole look in those pale pink beaded dresses.
Thanks so much to the wonderful Sansom Photography for sharing their photography with us today.
The Proposal…. Kieran- I had bought the ring a week earlier and while Natalie was on a night away in Blackpool, I went to a house warming party where I started telling people I had bought a ring (I had by this point had a couple of beers). I also thought this was a good night to ask Natalie’s Dad for permission but my timing could have been better as I waited until around 3am!! Thankfully he still said yes!! So the next day Natalie arrived home from Blackpool and we attended a Christening and all I could think about was the ring! So I decided after the Christening before meeting all of our friends in the pub across the road for a few drinks, I would tell Natalie I needed to nip home to get changed and asked her to come with me, thankfully she agreed. So while Natalie waited in our living room I ran upstairs found the ring ran straight back down, got down on one knee and asked her to marry me!
Natalie- It was a prefect proposal to me simple, at home and completely out of the blue I didn’t expect, suspect anything at all, I was completely and utterly shocked I couldn’t have guessed anything because it seemed so random and out of the blue, I loved it!!
The Vision for the day…. Natalie- My original vision was enchanted garden, I wanted it to look a bit outside inside with my very first thought being birdcages that had flowers over growing out of them and the chair sashes being green, but I also wanted to include my love of the past especially the 20’s. My main aim though was for the wedding to be relaxed, fun and reflect both of us as a couple.
The Planning process…. Natalie- Luckily I am very decisive and Kieran liked every idea I had, we made a list early on of the things we both liked and the things we needed to organise. Once this was done we spent lots of hours looking on websites including many blogs to aid our inspiration and ideas and we saved lots of pictures to look back over and websites to purchase things from once we had saved more money. I absolutely loved the planning and seeing things come together, it was the most fun I’ve ever had!
The Venue… We looked at different venues all within the Lake District and each was beautiful in its own way but we decided on The Netherwood Hotel in Grange-Over-Sands, which is stunning and has amazing views over Morcambe Bay. We first looked at the hotel on the first weekend in November 2011 and the weather was glorious, cold but clear blue skies. We loved the atmosphere and how warm, friendly and homely it felt and because of that we both fell in love with the place. Before booking my Dad and his wife Claire travelled down from Aberdeen, and my Mum and her husband Steve along with my brother, sister, Uncle and me and Kieran all stayed over and had a meal together which was lovely, and everyone loved the hotel as much as we did so we booked it at the beginning of January 2012.
The Dress + Accessories….. The dress is called Eden and I bought it in ivory. It genuinely is the most beautiful dress I have ever seen and it was absolutely perfect for me. I found a website online called Baba-C designs and the lady who owns it Trina, makes beautiful headpieces and I fell in love with Clara which is “a gorgeous headband in silver tone with a diamond shaped centrepiece encrusted with delicate pearl and sparkling crystal topped with delicate feathers”. I sent off the swatch for my dress and Trina matched my head piece to it. My shoes were from Dune and were the first pair I saw and tried on which was lucky. I also wore earrings which were my borrowed from my Nanna and a necklace from Debenhams. My friend Gaynor did my hair and I think she is massively talented and did a fantastic job on my hair and the bridesmaids. My other friend Kay did my wedding make-up and again Kay is amazing at what she does and she did a fantastic job with me and the girls.
Finding the dress…. Finding the dress was easy for me! I had been to Glasgow on a shopping trip with my Step-Mum Claire and had visited a few bridal shops and tried some dresses on, I had instantly fallen in love with every dress by Jenny Packham! A month later I visited my Dad and Claire and booked an appointment in Perfect Bridal Rooms in Aberdeen as I found out they stocked Jenny Packham, I went on my own which was something I wanted to do and I found “the one”!! After that I took my Mum, Step-Mum, Maid of Honour and sister to see the dress and thankfully they all loved it too! I took the decision to go solo because I know what I like and that had proved to be quite different to most around me! I also knew I wouldn’t have been swayed by another’s opinion and I didn’t like the thought of someone not taking to the dress as much as me and then me always knowing their first reaction wasn’t what I’d hoped, I need not have worried though! All the girls I dealt with in Perfect Bridal Rooms were fantastic and the shop is gorgeous!
Groom’s attire… I initially saw dark brown suits in a magazine and loved them, it wasn’t a colour that had entered my head before I saw them, I broached the subject with Kieran and he didn’t seem keen until I showed him the picture. After that Kieran went to the suit hire shop himself and picked the suits, waistcoats and ruches and I didn’t seem them until the week before the wedding and I absolutely loved his choice! He went for the dark brown suits with ivory shirt and waistcoat with pale gold ruches for the ushers, fathers and best man and ivory for himself.
The Readings + Music… We chose not to have any readings. For the walking down the aisle song we picked Desree’ kissing you from the film Romeo and Juliet which is a song I love and Kieran grew to love! For signing the register we had a mixture from Oasis She Is Love to a few songs from the twilight breaking dawn saga including Christina Perri (who Kieran loves) A thousand Years which is a beautiful song, and then to walk out with both chose a song we both love by Elbow, One Day Like This.
Beautiful bridesmaids… I really did have the most beautiful Bridesmaids. I had my sister Emily-Rose, my cousin Hannah and two of my best friends Leanne and Katrina as my bridesmaids and then I had my cousin Erin as my flower girl and my best friend Kelly as my maid of honour. Hannah and Erin travelled all the way from Hong Kong! Picking their dresses was luckily really easy too! I had bought a headband for my girls Christmas night out from topshop which was a dusty pink satin band with a jewel in the centre that sits on the forehead with pale pink feathers coming out of the top and I realised that I would really like them for Bridesmaids so when I next when into topshop I bought another 6 and I got them for half price in the sale so £7 each! I now had to match my dresses to these headbands originally I was going to get my Nanna to make the dresses but finding a suitable pattern was proving too difficult, so when I was in Aberdeen my Mum, Step-Mum, sister and Maid of Honour all came shopping with me and in the first shop Monsoon, we saw a dress that I had already seen online and both Kelly and Katrina had emailed me but online the colour didn’t look right but when we matched it to the headbands there and then it was a perfect match, the perfect style very 1920’s and fitted everyone that was there beautifully so I bought 5 of them! So first shop, first dress could it really be this easy!! Next we went to Debenhams and found Erin the perfect dress with the sash on hers matching the lace on the other dresses perfectly (another fluke!) and I bought her a fur shrug and some glittery white butterfly tights to match. For 4 of my Bridesmaids I bought their shoes from New Look in the sale at £25 a pair they were high with a strap over the foot and in a bronze metallic colour. My Auntie sorted my cousin’s shoes out.
I also had three gorgeous page boys my Godson Fraser, Jack and Sam, they wore matching suits I bought online, dark brown jacket and trousers with ivory ruche, waistcoat and shirt.
The Flowers… The Netherwood Hotel use Grange Flowers for their weddings, so I went there one afternoon to discuss my birdcages, bouquets and button holes. Susan was the loveliest most helpful person and saw my vision straight away and helped guide me towards the perfect flowers. I had told Susan I wanted the bird cages to look overgrown and I wanted my bouquet to be yellow flowers more like wild/weed type flowers (I know nothing about flowers!) The only flower I had found which I loved was for my Bridesmaids which was astilbe although we had a very small window for this being available so I picked a second choice of berries, I found out on the wedding day that it was to be the berries but they looked fantastic and I’m so glad Susan recommend them because I think they were the better choice! My flowers were solidastair and I had them hand tied with lace and a piece of blue ribbon. The birdcages were filled with gip, solidastair and some green stuff I can’t remember the name of!! They looked amazing. Then for button holes the Ushers, Best Man and fathers had berries with gip and Kieran had the same but with solidastair too.
The Cake… My friend and bridesmaid found a picture on Facebook of the exact cake I wanted and luckily she knew the girl who had made it as she had been at school with her so Katrina organised that and paid for it as a wedding present! It was a beautiful three tier Victoria sponge cake decorated with matching flowers of whites and lime green, it was absolutely gorgeous and tasted delicious!
Your Photographer…. One of my best friends Wendy got married to Matt in May 2010 and they chose Sansom Photography, and as I did Wendy’s wedding make up I spent most the morning with Verity and I thought she was so sweet and lovely, and unlike most photographers very subtle it didn’t feel at all like we had a photographer there I didn’t feel uneasy like I normally would with a camera! When I saw Chris and Verity work together at Wendy’s I thought they were great one capturing the more structured posing while the other captured the natural shots a perfect balance and again it seemed very relaxed and unpressured. When I saw Wendy’s photo’s I absolutely loved them! Therefore when it came to our wedding I didn’t even have to think about more than asking Wendy for their contact details and Kieran was more than happy with the choice as he had met them at Wendy’s too. So I contacted them and thankfully they were available. Meeting them again was lovely and they made us feel at ease during the engagement shoot and on the day! They arrived so early on the wedding day and stayed late into the night do and again made us feel very comfortable throughout and did a great job, I was so pleased with our wedding shots, they are clearly passionate about photography and you could see that on the day and in the photos!
The Details + Decor…. We kept it pretty understated, when I first went to visit the Netherwood it was decorated for Christmas and they had huge bare branches draped with white fairy lights and above the top table and almost like an archway of bare trees with white fairy lights lining the corridor into the evening reception room I asked them if we could have these put up but no Christmas decorations just the branches and lights which they did and it looked beautiful. I also had white table cloths and chair covers with bright green sashes. As mentioned our centre pieces were birdcages and our tables were named after people who couldn’t be there from family and friends in Australia to Grandparents and friends who had passed away. Our favours I made myself for the guys we had little whiskey bottles with brown labels that had a picture of a thistle and the name McNormans which is an in joke as we travel to Scotland a lot because my Dad lives there so Kieran’s friend call him McNorman! The ladies had miniature either honey, jam or marmalade each having a brown label with different words the honey said Meant to Bee! With a little picture of a bee, and the jam and marmalade said Spread The Love with a picture of a strawberry or an orange. I cut pieces of floral and checked material and placed this over the lids and tied with brown string. Our table plan was an old suitcase which my Nanna lined and put string inside the lid to hang the table plan off wooden pegs, the bottom of the suitcase was for placing cards and gifts. My Dad, Claire and their friends Kenny and Carol made the table name pouches which held the cutlery and my friend Marie made the gorgeous table place cards which I stuck onto the cutlery pouches.
We had a singer called Fiona Hanlon who sang at the end of the wedding breakfast and did at set for us between 5 and 7 before the evening guests arrived, who we can’t recommend highly enough. Fiona sings with an acoustic guitar and is simply amazing!! Me and Kieran absolutely love her and her vast range and knowledge of songs past and present.
We also hired a photo booth from Funtastic to provide some entertainment along with Fiona in between the wedding breakfast finishing and the evening reception starting, they arrived at 5 and stayed until 9. They are great fun and the picture book with writing that people had filled in for us was a great gift and very funny!
I also had a purple VW Campervan which took us from the Turrets which are on the grounds of the hotel to the main entrance.
We also had a videographer who captured the day.
The Honeymoon…. Me and my Dad ran the Great North Run for the 5th time in September and it was the week after my hen weekend to Magaluf so not the best pre run training, I felt dreadful! My Dad decided half way round to tell me if I got under 2 hours (which I have done many times before but was looking massively unlikely on this day) he would pay for me and Kieran to go on a honeymoon my official finish time was . . . . . . . . 1 hour 59 minutes and 59 seconds true story!!
So we went to Paris for 4 nights and it was absolutely magical, we did a river cruise at night and sat at the front of the boat had an amazing meal with entertainment, we did an open top bus tour, had a meal up the Eiffel Tower, walked for miles taking in the sights of Notre Dame, Champs Elyse, we visited the Louvre Museum it was the perfect way to start off married life and we were very grateful!
Memorable moments… Seeing my Dad for the first time on the morning of the wedding, he burst in to tears as soon as he laid eyes on me which I wasn’t expecting but it was a hugely touching and special moment. Then of course seeing Kieran at the end of the aisle waiting for me to be his wife was amazing I felt so unbelievably happy all day.
Advice for other couples… The guest list was the hardest part for me I so desperately didn’t want anybody to be upset but sometimes that is unavoidable, the people that love you both will understand the choices you make and why you have to make them!
So just enjoy it! Every single part of it from the planning, to the actual day, to the memories you’ll cherish after, remember what you are doing and why you are doing it, you’re marrying the person you love and the person who loves you back because you want to commit to spending the rest of your lives together and as long as that happens nothing else is as significant!
Credit where credit is due…
http://www.1860.com/en/store-locator/north-west/barrow-in-furness.aspx (suit hire)
http://perfectbridalrooms.com/ (bridal dress shop)
http://www.jennypackham.com/ (wedding dress designer)
http://www.baba-c.co.uk/ (head dress)
http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/ (Bridesmaid gifts)
http://www.funtastic-entertainment.co.uk/ (photo booth)
http://www.rococlothing.co.uk/ (Page boy suits)
http://www.vw-weddinghire.co.uk/Home.html (VW Camper hire)
So decadent, so glamorous and just beautiful. Thanks so much to Natalie and Kieran for sharing their wedding with us today XOXO Lou