This afternoon we are going all classic and so very beautiful.
Katherine and Martin were married on the 12th April 2014 at Ramster Hall in Surrey. Their key focus was great food and drink with a traditional yet relaxed atmosphere. They had a pretty and subtle lilac colour scheme, with bridesmaids in sweet 60s feel dresses, delicate blooms and elegant décor choices.
Katherine looked absolutely stunning, donning a custom made dress and romantic long veil by Emma Hunt.
Thanks so very much to the fabulous Victoria Phipps for sharing her exquisite photographs with us.
THE PROPOSAL |Martin proposed while we were away on holiday in Turkey. We had been out for dinner and went for a walk along the beach when he got down one knee! A small squeak came out and I said yes and cried! We went and had a lovely celebration drink in the bar by the beach, with big smiles on our faces.
THE VISION | We wanted it to reflect both of us; traditional but relaxed.
THE PLANNING PROCESS |We organised it in 6 months – I had had to wait for 12 years for the proposal so didn’t think we needed a long engagement! The first thing was to sort out a date that all our close family and friends could do, which was not an easy task! We then started looking for venues which still had that date available. We looked in Suffolk and Essex as they were close to were we grew up and I had lots of holidays in Suffolk as child. We also looked in Surrey as that is where we both live now. After a few false starts, we found two venues we really liked and ended up choosing Ramster Hall as it felt like a home from home. The rest of the planning then flowed from there with the dress, catering, DJ etc. We noticed that Hampton Court Palace had a free wedding fair in Autumn last year so went to that where we found the lady to do the cake & favours, as well as someone to do the invitations & stationery. My Aunty does flower arranging, so she kindly offered to do the table centrepieces which was great. She helped us to source the bouquets as well. My Mum helped us to work through everything we had to arrange which was great, so nothing was missed! Overall, it was not a very stressful process as we were both quite decisive; we knew what we liked and what we didn’t.
THE VENUE |Ramster Hall, Chiddingfold, Surrey.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES |Dress and veil from Emma Hunt. Hair clip from Debenhams. The pearls were a present from Martin, so it was lovely to be able to where them on the day with my wedding dress.
FINDING THE DRESS | I had been to see Emma Hunt with a number of my friends over the years and had always hoped that I would get my dress from her, but I was still keen to look around just in case. Quite quickly I realised I wanted beaded lace, either empire line or straight and I always liked the idea of a long veil. I eventually narrowed it down to two dresses. One from Louise Selby which was a dress that she had made for a wedding show and fitted me like a glove, so I would have bought it from her with hardly any modifications. The second from Emma Hunt which would be made for me and I could add a few extra things and go for a cream lace. It was a hard decision but in the end I decided on the Emma Hunt dress. I thought the style was more me and I liked the idea of having some made specially! The whole process with Emma was great and a lovely way to build up to the wedding; seeing the dress taking shape really helped to make it all feel more real and exciting!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We hired grey tails for all the groomsmen along with lilac cravats to match the bridesmaid’s dresses. Martin wore a slightly different waistcoat so that he stood out from the others. Unfortunately Martin’s outfit was the one thing that went wrong on the day, as they had given him the wrong size trousers – short instead of long! He didn’t discover this until he was actually getting ready, so it was not a great moment. Luckily between the 6 men in suits, they managed to get something together so that they looked OK. Key lesson – always check that the right sizes have been provided by the hire company in advance!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had a harpist playing as people came into the ceremony room and during the drinks reception. She played 3 songs that we chose, one as I walked down the aisle, one during the signing of the register and the last one as we all walked out. Choosing those songs was difficult, but it was really nice to have a number of songs associated with the wedding rather than just the first the dance. The songs were – Can you feel the love tonight (Elton John), Where ever you will go (The Calling) and Hey Ho (Luminaires). The two readings were done by my sister & bridesmaid Victoria with her husband and by Martin’s two brothers, Ian and Graeme. Victoria and Algy did the ‘Wedding Day’ which I had read at a friend’s wedding – it made me cry the first time I read it. Ian and Graeme did ‘I am love’ which was a harder choice as they didn’t anything too girly, but was a lovely reading.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS |Fiona Sewell and Victoria Brinton were my two bridesmaids, both were easy choices! Fiona is my best friend from school. We have known each other since we were 12 and I was her bridesmaid 18 months before. Victoria is my little sister, by 20 months. Over the years we have become much closer than we were when we used to fight all the time at the home! They were both great with the planning and on the day they really helped to support me with everything. The dresses were from Dessy, which was great as we chose the colour/material that we liked and it then gave the girls the chance to chose a dress style that worked for them. In the end they both liked the same sixties shaped dress, which really suited both of them.
THE FLOWERS |My Aunty Lynne helped to do the flowers for the tables. Luckily she was very patient with Martin and I as neither of us are very good with flowers. We worked out that we both liked the idea of having the flowers in a large Martini glass and I found a picture of a bouquet that I liked. Working off that she came up with a design for the centrepieces and worked with the florist to get the flowers that she needed to compliment my bouquet. The fun started when she had to actually make the arrangements for all 11 tables! We were lucky enough to get access to the venue on the Friday so she could start preparing the flowers. On Saturday she arranged for 3 of her friends to come over from the Isle of Wight to help make the arrangements. They worked tirelessly until about 2.30pm when Lynne was finally able to go and get ready for our 4pm wedding herself! The arrangements looked amazing and she did a lovely arrange on the top table as well, everyone was so impressed by what she had achieved and we had lots of compliments from the guests. It was great to have had a nice personal touch to the flowers.
THE CAKE |We found Elle at the Hampton Court Palace wedding show and noticed that she did both wedding cakes and macaroons, which we wanted as our favours. We had a few tasters and spoke to her about a design that I had found and liked. We arranged to meet with her again to try some other flavours and discuss prices, it was great to be able try lots of different flavours and talk through with her what we were looking for with the design. Elle had also worked with Laura who did the stationery, so we were able to sort out the labels for the favour boxes as well and see some examples. We kept the cake flavours secret from most people who had helped us in planning the wedding day as we wanted a few surprises. We chose Chocolate Orange, Lemon and Fruit cake. They all went down very well as did the macaroons and we still have some cake left in my parents freezer for a rainy day!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I put my sister and her husband in charge of looking for a photographer as they are both in the industry and know the difference between a good photo and a bad one. They also knew about the different cameras, film etc which Martin and I know nothing about. They also regretted not having a proper photographer at their wedding, as they had a friend do it. They found Victoria Phipps and they loved her photos. We also met with one of the photographers recommended by the venue but we felt that Victoria had the better photographs and we were more relaxed having someone our age taking the pictures. We had a great engagement shoot – it was one of the days in February when it was sunny one minute and raining the next! We met Victoria at the venue so that she could see it before the big day and had a few photos in the gardens as the sun was out. We then got in the car and drove around to find the next location, as the sun came out we ended up using a village green which had some lovely trees, pond etc. Our main aim of the engagement shoot was to get to know Victoria and for her to know how we work together and what poses looks good and what didn’t. We got some great shots and have a number of them up around the house. On the wedding day, Victoria came to the cottage where I was getting ready and took various photos of us getting ready. When she arrived it suddenly started to hit home that this was really happening. During the whole day she was great, she sorted us all out when she needed to and blended in with the guests as well. We were very excited and pleased to see the photos come in as they looked amazing.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The themes that we had were lilac and butterflies. The venue didn’t really need much adding to it as it has a lot of character already, so apart from the flowers we didn’t touch it.
The only key part of the day was the food! The caterers did an excellent job and we organised a surprise palette cleanser after the starter before the main which was excellent too. We have been to lots of wedding and the food is sometimes OK / not bad, but the food from Jacaranda was amazing and we had loads of positive comments from people about it.
We also had fun sourcing the wine for the meal and the bar in the evening. Martin and I went into Laithwaites one weekend to speak to them about wedding wine and they were really helpful. They let us try various wines and take bottles home to try and share with the family. During the Christmas offers we found some lovely champagne from Waitrose which was on offer so bought a lot of that and then we had the rest of the bar to source. We went a little bit over board on the drinks but we did not want to run out – we had been to a wedding where the bar ran dry! Again we were able to benefit from the Christmas deals on spirits and beer. Creating our own bar was a great experience.
THE HONEYMOON | We went on a mini-moon straight after the wedding to Morocco for 6 nights which was great! It was nice to relax and see a few sights as well. We even treated ourselves to a private pool which was great to be able hide away.
We are going on main honeymoon on 8th November to Mexico for 2 weeks, which we are both really looking forward to. We have a 5 nights exploring and seeing some Mayan ruins and local Mexico towns and then 9 nights in a luxury all-inclusive resort on the coast. I can’t wait!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking down the aisle and seeing everyone I love there to share the day and watching me – it set me off crying straight away.
Dancing with my Grandparents later on in the evening was great fun, old people have some great classic dance moves!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Something that my Aunty Julia told me was when I got to the top of the aisle to stop and look around at the people in the room – it is a picture that will stick in your mind forever. She was right, I can still see and remember who was where in the room and seeing Martin at the end of the aisle. Pausing to savour the moment did set me off crying, but it was worth it.
There is always going to be something that doesn’t go to plan on the day, acknowledge this before the day and remember that the most important thing is the marriage. We were relaxed about most things and tried not to specify that something ‘had to be exactly like X’ as we knew then there would be a larger chance of being disappointed on the day.
Make sure that you have some time just the two of you, we found going and doing the photos with the photographer straight after the ceremony was great as we could relax and just be with each other for some of the day.
The day will go quickly (especially if you have a later wedding time like we did) enjoy every moment of it and occasionally take the time to stop and really look at everything that is going on.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Dress | Emma Hunt
Venue | Ramster Hall
Caterers | Jacaranda
Photography | Victoria Phipps
Cake | Designer cakes by Elle
Stationery | Laura Ritchie Designs
Timeless and just perfect.
Thanks so much to Katherine and Martin for sharing all about their wonderful wedding with us here today XOXO Lou