We’re in for a lot of fun day with the wedding of Kat and Sam, a bespoke, colourful affair with a touch of vintage and lots of laughter. Everything took place at Oakwell Hall in Batley, West Yorkshire on 22nd June 2019. Their ceremony was held in the Great Hall with its dramatic wood panelling, then there were drinks in the walled garden before the party continued in the barn.
You can see so much of Kat and Sam’s personality in their nuptials, from the colour, to the tea themed centrepieces and a special moment after the first dance. I’m also a huge fan of Sam’s ‘pocket meadow’, how cool!
Our pair chose Jenna Kathleen to capture their day and aren’t the images just beautiful? Thank you so much for sharing with us Jenna.
Saturday 4th November 2017, the day before our seventh anniversary at Fountains Abbey. Sam had organised a mystery overnight trip with a detour, which was a little tricky considering I was driving! We’d set off a little later than planned so by the time we arrived I suggested doing the short walk around the lake. Sam however was insistent that we walk up to Anne Boleyn’s seat, which has a stunning view of the abbey ruins and Georgian water gardens. It was there as I admired the view that Sam got down on one knee to ask the question!
Our venue allowed us to source all our own suppliers, which worked perfectly for us. We wanted to create opportunities throughout the day for people to mix and get to know one another, since our guests were travelling from all corners of the country, even abroad. We hoped to do this through family style rather than fine dining, a pub quiz and games such as beer pong! We also didn’t want to be restricted by a colour theme but for each aspect of the day to say something about us and reflect our personalities.
The Planning Process
We started looking at venues straight away but it took a little while for us to decide what we wanted. Fortunately from the time we booked the venue, we had about 15 months to sort the rest, which proved very useful due to the amount of organising we had to do. It also gave us a chance to revisit our budget and decide our priorities. We took a systematic approach to planning and attacked the biggest things first such as the band and caterer. There were a couple of hitches along the way but we managed to overcome those, and Bridebook was hugely helpful to keep us on track!
We initially aimed to spend £12k which we exceeded by about £3k.
The bulk of the cost was the venue, caterer/bar and seven piece brass band combined. The bridesmaid dresses were probably the biggest bargain, costing less than £100 for the three, despite their combined RRP being just shy of £300!
Oakwell Hall, Batley. A seventeenth century house and gardens with barn. The ceremony took place in the Great Hall with its dramatic dark wood panelling.
Following a confetti shot at the front of house, the drinks reception took place in the walled garden behind the house, during which guests were able to explore the house and gardens. After a couple of hours we moved across to the barn which we had spent about five hours the day before setting up.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was from Elite Bridal in Wakefield. I only went on one trip to find a dress and tried on about five before choosing this one. Elite has so many designs on site and for a range of prices so it made it an easy choice for me. I went from thinking that I wanted a tea length dress to buying a full length dress!
The earrings were bought on a wedding show outing (when we were still on a high having discovered the dangerous amount of cake samples on offer at these things!) and the bracelet was a gift.
Groom and best man – Sam decided very early on that he wasn’t keen on having blue or grey suits, and for a while it was difficult to see what our alternatives were, until we found the olive green French Connection suits! Green suits were really scarce at the time with only two similar and we agonised over whether it was justifiable to spend 1.5 times the cost of the wedding dress alone, but they looked so good and made such a statement that we were really pleased with the decision.
Our florist, Daisy Hoban, designed some amazing buttonholes and Sam’s affectionately termed ‘pocket meadow’ which really complimented the choice of orange tie. Sam’s shoes were brown and burgundy, from Oliver Sweeney and were a real step above your typical brown brogues. They felt really special!
The night before, both our mums and some people from both sides got together in my room for gin & tonics and to have our nails done by a couple of mobile nail techs. It was really lovely and helped me to feel relaxed going into the next day. It also helped break the ice for some people who hadn’t yet met. Other than that there wasn’t really a night before beauty regime, unless you count ‘last shots as a miss’?!
Hair was done by the amazing Charlotte Laverty who also conducted a hair trial and cut/colour for me in the run up to the wedding. Charlotte and Leanne, who did make up for all of us including my mum, were both so lovely and such a calming presence. Charlotte is hyper organised and had even put together a suggested schedule with timings for me to share with Leanne before the day.
I spent ages on Pinterest and Instagram searching for a local supplier who had the style we were after for the flowers: relaxed, modern and colourful. Daisy spent time on a consultation with us in which she gathered lots of information about our preferences, key colours, and even the type and colour of ribbon we wanted. She also suggested the amazing idea of the meadow pocket, which we are so glad we went with as an alternative to the buttonhole for the groom!
The Details & Décor
Sam’s known amongst his friends for being a tea lover, and so some form of china needed to feature in the centrepieces! Along with the old books (we met during university as English Lit students), lace style bunting and mismatched picture frames, this all contributed to the vintage style we were leaning towards and complimented the setting perfectly. The barn in itself is really stunning, so we actually didn’t need to do much to the barn itself, instead focusing on the centrepieces and cake table.
I found Robyn online through Instagram and was really struck by how beautiful her cakes were. She was really lovely and fitted us in for a consultation, after which she sent a lovely sketch of our cake (totally unexpected but it made me so excited for the real thing!). She also kindly lent us a cake stand for the day too. We had three tiers of different flavours: carrot cake, lemon drizzle and chocolate. Each equally delicious and it went down a storm with the guests. We almost didn’t get any ourselves!
I had one maid of honour and two bridesmaids, all beautiful ladies who I’ve been friends with since secondary school.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Little Mistress and were found on a #bridetribe outing in London. It was really lovely to get them together and we had such fun trying on dresses and looking at shoes! The bridesmaids wore their own shoes as the dresses were full length.
The suits were from French Connection and complimented by Oliver Sweeney shoes, TM Lewin ties and bright orange socks! Sam’s best man was a childhood friend from home who wrote a pretty awesome speech that was the perfect combination of funny, nostalgic and PG cringe!
The Readings & Music
My entry music was The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel version) which made me really emotional as I walked down the aisle with my dad. Other songs used during the signing of the registers and exit were Strasbourg St Denis, Signed, Sealed, Delivered (of course!) and Everywhere.
The ceremony was short and sweet as we didn’t have a religious ceremony, nor any readings.
Jenna was fantastic from the outset and really chilled when we first met her in a pub local to our venue. She talked us through her service and process and made us feel really at ease. She was kind enough to traipse out to Fountains Abbey for our engagement shoot too because she knew the location was so significant for us. Her style is not particularly directive which helps to take away the nerves, and yet she turns out the most beautiful pictures!
Our honeymoon was a week in New York City! We’re not sun seekers. We much prefer city breaks and absolutely love FOOD so NYC was the perfect choice for us. You could say I needed a project post wedding as I planned the heck out of the honeymoon and have the google maps pins to prove it! We had an amazingly packed time there, from watching a Yankees game, to seeing Central Park and the John Lennon memorial, visiting Ellis Island, and loads more. Somehow a week still wasn’t enough time and we will definitely be heading back sometime! Absolutely would recommend to anyone considering NYC as their honeymoon destination!
Definitely the bit where Sam broke away from our first dance and was handed his trumpet to play the outro to ‘We Have All the Time in the World’ before our brass band gatecrashed the venue and played a set!
Also during the groom’s speech where embarrassingly, Sam told the room that I had once said I wouldn’t marry him unless he knitted me a nose cosy (I get a very cold nose during winter) upon which he produced the fruits of his efforts from the last few months.
Finally, the pub quiz, which was compered by a friend, included trivia about the bride and groom, a playdoh round and crucially a trophy!
Advice For Other Couples
Consider what’s important to you from the outset. It’s really easy to get carried away, especially if you’re on wedding groups (which I do recommend as they are a great source of advice and inspiration), and think you need everything but having that conversation at the start can help to keep you grounded.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Groom and Best Man suits
Weddings at Oakwell Hall
Back Chat Brass
Thank you so much Kat and Sam for sharing your wonderful wedding day with us, I love how much of your personalities you put into the day. Rachel x