Gareth and Leanne decided they wanted to marry in a Windmill and so searched high and low for the perfect spot when they came across Willesborough Windmill, Kent. They wanted their wedding to be relaxed with a vintage quirky feel. Think BBQ, wild blooms and ice cream.
Leanne looked stunning in her 1950s style tea length dress while Gareth donned tweed. There was floral bunting, fun details and a LOT of laughs. Be sure to enjoy the wonderful report at the end of the feature written by Gareth.
Thanks goes to the brilliant Gavin Hardy for sharing the photographs today.
THE PROPOSAL | So, there we were in Paris for the weekend with a river cruise/meal on the Seine and a trip to the Moulin Rouge booked for the Saturday night. I had it all planned that I was going to propose on the boat until we arrived! It wasn’t exactly the romantic setting I had in mind. Panic set in and I was trying to think of a plan B when I found a good spot at the back of the boat. Just as we passed the Eiffel Tower I got down on one knee and popped the question. The rest of the night was a blur of champagne and entertainment.
THE VISION | Relaxed, casual (ish) affair. We Wanted close family and friends to have fun in a vintage, quirky environment. No sit down meal, free bar and sunshine and of course a Windmill! What more could you ask for.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Initial thoughts were to marry abroad, something simple, and it’s from this that the windmill idea cropped up as someone suggested Amsterdam. After looking in to this and the expense, plus the need to be a resident in the Netherlands for at least 12 months to allow marriage there, we started to look closer to home. The windmill idea had stuck and so we started looking for suitable venues in the UK. Our search took us to Kent and Willesborough Windmill. We made contact with the owners and set the date for August. Pat at the windmill then sent contact details for the caterers and registrar which made things simple for us. We found a local photographer, Gavin, who had previously covered a wedding at the windmill who seemed like the perfect choice. We live in Leeds so arranged a weekend trip to Kent to meet Pat and Gavin and to get a feel for the place. It just so happened that the lady who’s wedding Gavin had shot lived locally and was a florist. We got in touch with Suzie who turned out to be a massive help. Not only did she arrange the wonderful flowers but also put us in contact with glass suppliers and inspired us on certain aspects of our day (mainly the ice cream van we had arrive as ‘dessert’ for our guests). Everything was kept simple due to the distance we had to travel and pretty much everything was sourced locally. We provided our own drink which was supplied by Tesco and a local brewery by the name of Hop Fuzz who were brilliant.
BUDGET | We initially budgeted for about £10,000 for the wedding which was to include everything. We ended up spending just over £12,000 which included a party we had organised back in Leeds for those that we couldn’t invite to the actual wedding.
THE VENUE | Willesborough Windmill, Ashford, Kent. Amazing working windmill set in its own grounds with a large barn. Ceremony was in the actual windmill and then we moved to the barn for the party.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | 50’s style just over the knee dress with lace overlay and long lace sleeves. Customised tiara with silk flower detail and detachable net headdress by Victoria Walker Boutique in Leeds. Shoes were by Irregular Choice (Mrs Lower). Something borrowed was a bracelet form the Bride’s mother.
FINDING THE DRESS | Dress was spotted in a magazine and tracked down to a stockist in York. Leanne knew from the first moment she saw it that the dress was the one.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Tailor Made in Harrogate, green tweed three piece suit with mustard backed waistcoat and matching tie. Brogue boots by Loake and a pocket watch which was a wedding gift from my wife.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | No readings, just the usual speeches. Music was our own choice throughout the day/night consisting of plenty of soul, rock, indie…you name it. We also hired some entertainment in the evening which was provided by the amazing Roger Miles. A solo artist of the highest calibre who broke the night up perfectly and even managed a rendition of ‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua at the request of Leanne. Wedding march was a little unconventional with Leanne making her entrance to The Chain by Fleetwood Mac (the last 40 seconds or so, think F1 on the BBC!). First dance was ‘You’re All I Need To Get By’ by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | No bridesmaids but a beautiful flower girl, Rae Goldthorpe who is Leanne’s niece and was 8 years old at the time.
THE FLOWERS | Wild flowers were the theme for the day. We wanted them to look like they’d just been randomly picked in the woods (no roses though). Suzie did an amazing job capturing what we wanted and everything looked perfect.
THE CAKE | A number of individual pink and yellow French Fancies (Victoria sponge centre) which were provided by Betty’s of Harrogate.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The amazing Gavin Hardy. We loved his approach and style to a wedding shoot preferring more natural shots to the traditional group photos. We couldn’t have asked for a better person to capture our day. The results were brilliant.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Vintage was the theme. Bunting hanging from the rafters, vintage tea sets full of old buttons as table decorations. Jars of old sweets with pink and white stripy paper bags for people to fill up and help themselves. Floral napkins and on old rusty bird cage with the seating plan on display. Seats were only taken for the speeches as the meal was a BBQ mainly eaten outside.
THE HONEYMOON | We haven’t had one as such but we took a mini-moon so to speak. We stayed one more night after the wedding in Kent and then had a few days in Marlow eating at the wonderful Hand & Flowers restaurant on the first night. A quick stop off for one night in Nottingham completed our little road trip back to Leeds just in time for our Wedding Part 2. We did plan to take a few weeks holiday but we are now expecting our first child and are also going through the process of buying our first home together.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Calling Leanne by her middle name during the ceremony will last in people’s minds (and as film on someone’s phone unfortunately). Seeing Leanne in her dress for the first time was pretty emotional as was doing the Groom’s speech. People’s reaction when the Ice Cream van arrived and more so when they realised it was all for us and free! Roger singing Barbie Girl (and actually making it sound half decent). We bought a Polaroid camera (Gavin’s idea) and Rae the flower girl went around taking peoples photos wearing silly props. These were then stuck in a guest book with comments from the people in the photo. Amusing to read back as you can clearly tell which ones were done later in the evening.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t lose sight that it’s all about you two! Relax and enjoy what should be the best day ever. Ours certainly was.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Drinks | Hop Fuzz Brewery
Photographer | Gavin Hardy
Venue | Willesborough Windmill
Cake | Betty’s in Harrogate
Entertainment | Alive Network
Ice Cream van | Dollys Lollies
Glass Hire | Jubilee Hire
Tailor | Rhodes Wood
Wedding Dress | Elizabeth of York
Accessories | Victoria Walker Boutique
Oh my, what a wonderful happy celebration.
Thanks so much to Gareth and Leanne for sharing their gorgeous day with us here at WWW XOXO Lou