Planning a wedding from the other side of the world cannot be the easiest of tasks but Kate and Mark make it sound like a breeze. They tied the knot on the 17th April in a Church ceremony followed by a pub reception in Worcestershire.
Mark’s Scottish roots were featured in the day alongside a relaxed and fun atmosphere. There was a natural and pretty white colour palette with an array of gorgeous blooms, which also had special meaning.
Kate looked so very beautiful in a Monsoon bridal gown and she had the loveliest boho feel hair style I’ve seen in a while.
Thanks so much to Gemma Williams Photography for sharing such wonderful photographs with us today.
THE PROPOSAL | Mark and I had been living in Sydney for two years and made the most of living in Australia by travelling whenever we had the chance. One of our favourite places was the Blue Mountains as the haze from the eucalyptus trees down below is just breathtaking. That morning we had packed for a weekend away, all dressed in hiking gear (no make up) looking pretty rough. We parked up in Leura and got started on our hike to the Three Sisters. It was a walk we had done before and I am not a slow walker so I hot footed towards our halfway point. Little did I know that Mark wanted to propose. There were lookout points that he wanted to do the deed, such as ‘Honeymoon’ and ‘Bridal’ lookouts, both full of tourists and I completely marched past. We got to the Three Sisters where Mark was starting to panic! A quick refreshment and we were heading back with the ring now in his pocket. It wasn’t until the very last lookout that Mark seized his moment and suggested we should look at the view one last time. As I approached the cliff top, Mark asked me to close my eyes and hold out my hand. He then placed a box containing the ring in my hand and asked me to marry him. I looked rough, felt exhausted from a hike but wouldn’t have had it any other way.
THE VISION | We are both quite modest people and wanted the wedding to truly reflect us and be individual. We also wanted close friends and family to play a part in the preparations so it had a meaning. Mark is from Aberdeen and so we wanted his Scottish roots to be featured in the day but also for the day to be relaxed and more importantly, fun!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The planning was pretty tricky. We were living in Australia so a lot of it we did online or sent my parents on a various missions. It was my brother’s wedding in July so I flew in for two weeks and made a lot of decisions then, it is amazing what you can achieve when you’re under the pressure of time.
BUDGET | I didn’t really know what my budget was. I just wanted to use money wisely and affectively.
THE VENUE | We were married at The Parish Church of St James the Great in Churchill. It is a local church to my parents home and we have a lot of attachments to the church. We then chose Chequers in Cutnall Green for our reception. Both venues gave the intimate feel we wanted as well as a real ‘English Country’ setting, something we really missed during our time away.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Both the dress and the shoes were high street and I purchased the veil from our local bridal boutique in Blakedown, who also did all the alterations for my dress.
FINDING THE DRESS | During the time I was home in July I made it my mission to find the dress. Thankfully, I did a lot of searching on the internet so knew exactly which high street shops I was going to head for. I ended up getting a dress I had seen online and it gave the impact I wanted (My mum cried every time I slipped it on). I still went to a few bridal boutiques just to have the experience but nothing felt like ‘me’ in them.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Mark had his kilt made and then picked up the rest from the high street – The Tartan is ‘Holyrood modern’.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose two readings. The first was read by my brother – Corinthians, Chapter 13, verses 4-8. The second was read by my University flatmate – Edward Lear ‘The Owl and The Pussy’. This poem was something my mum used to recite to me when I was little and the words reflected our lives today.
I walked down the aisle to ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ by Johann Sebastian Bach. We sang the hyms; ‘All things bright and beautiful’, ‘Morning Has Broken’ and ‘Jerusalem’.
We left the church as husband and wife to ‘Water Music’ by Handel.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I saw the bridesmaid dresses online whilst living in Sydney. I didn’t want to commit to a colour as I didn’t want to restrict my options later. They were bridal dresses from BHS and looked great on the girls. I bought them in July and asked them to head over to my parents to double check the size was right. It was a little touch and go but I was keen to sort it out during my fleeting visit. I chose two of my closest friends who did an absolutely amazing job and were fully supportive both before, during and after the wedding. They even created their own, ‘Becks and Bri’s Bridal Photo Booth’, which produced some hilarious snap shots using a polariod camera and very props!
THE FLOWERS | Alan Prince supplied us with the flowers, decorated the church and made the bouquets and button holes. The idea was to use three key flowers to reflect us, Roses (England), Thistles (Scotland) and Eucalyptus (Australia). We wanted flowers that looked very natural, like they had just been picked from the garden. For the bouquet, I wanted something very similar to Kate Moss’s and Duchess of Cambridge. They both had Lily of the Valley and were small and delicate. Our church flowers were whites and silvery greens in jam jars which Mark’s mum had collected for us. We used the same flowers for our reception but in larger jars.
THE CAKE | Whilst we were living in Sydney we went to a small wedding fair, where we saw and tried LOTS of wedding cake. From this experience we came to the conclusion that no matter how much you pay, nothing is better than your mum’s baking! So my mum made the centre piece which was an orange cake and used bought icing to cover it (this was after many, many trials!), Mark’s mum made two fruit cakes which sat either side as we wanted to give a nod to tradition and the then our bridesmaid Rebecca Hupfield made vanilla cupcakes and she was in charge of the display. She did an amazing job and it looked exactly as we wanted it to and had so much more meaning than if we bought one.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Gemma Williams was our photographer. We did a lot of research as we felt that the photographer was worth the money as they are the ones that capture the day for years to come. We also felt that as we only had 60 odd people that we didn’t want anyone intrusive and that they would feel more like a guest. We spoke to her over skype and felt that we easily connected with her. Gemma did such an amazing job both prior, during and after the wedding. We feel that she really captured the essence of the day, which is exactly what we wanted.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted a simple looking wedding and something personal to us. We wanted guests to go away from the wedding knowing that they had fun and could relax. The kick off was at 3pm which made the day not feel too long and carriages were at 12. It was child free which people appreciated as they had a night off to let their hair down. The ceremony was the key focus for us as we felt that the day is really about us getting married and committing our lives to one another, in keeping with tradition! The reception, was where we could let our hair down and celebrate. The boys all did their speeches at the bar before everyone was seated, this meant that they could get them out of the way and enjoy the rest of the evening. The manner in which we did this, without the microphone and informal meant that they felt more at ease. After our delicious food, we moved onto the dance floor where we jigged our little socks off! We chose an Irish band who were very funny and got everyone on the dance floor. The reason why we did this is because we both feel a little uncomfortable dancing so we picked music that nobody was familiar with so that we could all look like fools and nobody cared!
We have hearts from everywhere we have travelled and so wanted to include this in our décor. We had hearts along the aisles rather than flowers and hearts around The Chequers. I made the wedding favours which were gingerbread men, they also doubled up as name places. I made the table plan with tags hanging from a tree and the card box from a lantern. We went for very country feeling theme.
THE HONEYMOON | Mark kept it a surprise. When we were driving to our destination, Mark cleverly typed in a local primary school near it into google maps so I STILL had no idea where we were going. We eventually rocked up at The Manoir Quatre Saison. It was a amazing|! The staff were great, rooms were just stunning and the food was spectacular. We are going for our proper honeymoon in December where we are going to New York followed by Lake Tremblant in Canada for Christmas and New Year. The reason why we have chosen this is because we haven’t really had a cold Christmas whilst living in Australia so thought that it would be something totally different and Mark is a keen skier so Ski Safari have organised all of this for us.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Where to start! Walking down the aisle seeing friends and family I haven’t seen for a long time and of course seeing Mark at the end. Walking out of the church as husband and wife and getting into our wedding car – a brand new Rolls Royce. Dancing like loon with everyone closest to us.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Make the day your own, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, its your day, do it for you. It meant a lot to us that friends and family contributed to the wedding day. Do your research and don’t sweat the small stuff. Most of all enjoy the whole process and have fun!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Reception | Chequers Cutnall Green
Photographer | Gemma Williams Photography
Menswear | Slaters
Hair | Top Connections
Décor | Country Baskets
Flowers | Flowers of Worcester
Band | The Hurling Boys
Ah how lovely?
Congratulations Kate and Mark and many thanks for sharing your gorgeous story with us xo Lou