June 2nd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
A perfect combination of pretty and personal, today’s real wedding features a romantic colour palette combined with individual touches for a day that’s a true reflection of the bride and groom.
There are subtle references to Katie and Simon’s roots, interests and hobbies through their flower, cake and décor choices, showing others how to incorporate special touches into their special day.
The highlight of this wedding for us though has to be Katie’s beautiful high-neck wedding dress – she was ahead of Pippa Middleton on that trend!
With images by Katie Sidell Photography.
katie says: We got engaged on the 26th August 2014, in Rome at a beautiful square with a fountain called Piazza Novana. We had planned to go out for an evening meal and a few drinks that evening. After our meal we walked to Piazza Novana. When we arrived at the square Simon asked me to go and have a look for a nice place to drink. Unbeknown to me he was trying to ask someone to take a video of him proposing. Unfortunately they didn’t understand English so that plan failed. When I came back Simon got down on one knee (right in front of the big water fountain) and showed me the beautiful ring. He then asked me to marry him. I was so overwhelmed as I really wasn’t expecting it. I remember crying with happiness and of course said yes. It was so romantic.
We set the date for 25th June 2016. We definitely wanted a summer wedding so wanted the weather to be nice but not too hot. On record June tended to be the nicest month. We were fortunate to get the weather because it had rained in the morning as I was walking into the church but when we came out it was glorious.
Our ceremony was held at St Michael and All Angels Church in Bramhall. I have lived in Bramhall all my life and I’m very fond of this church. We chose Adlington Hall for the reception. The venue blew us both away. It is beautiful and we liked the fact it is an exclusive venue where we would be the only party there. The staff who worked there were so lovely and really made us feel special. We never looked back.
Our wedding had a rustic theme overall, which went particularly well with Adlington Hall and the beautiful high beams in its hunting lodge. There were a few subthemes too, which brought some personal elements to the day. As I was born in Scotland and Simon in England, so the men’s buttonholes included thistles and roses, and we also had thistles and roses within the bouquets. We had a park theme for the table plan. We chose ten parks throughout the world we had both been to, such as Central Park in New York and Villa Borghese Park in Rome. As we both represent our counties in tennis (Simon for Derbyshire and myself for Cheshire) we had Wimbledon themed cupcakes for our wedding cake. We also met each other through tennis and have known each other since we were about ten-year-old as we competed in the same tennis tournaments.
The colour scheme was lilac. This has always been my favourite colour and as a little girl I always dreamt of lilac flowers for my wedding. For our invitations, Michelle from Smileyhiley used rustic hearts and purple lace to help set the scene for the theming of the wedding.
I chose a Ronald Joyce wedding dress from Isaac Charles in Poynton. It was a drop waist design with a high neck because I felt these type of dresses were the most flattering for my figure. The wedding dress was made from very delicate lace, which I always wanted. It had pretty diamonds scattered throughout the dress and a shoulder/elbow length veil.
I actually thought I would go for something very simple with not much detail, when in fact the dress I chose was the complete opposite. When I put the dress on I knew it was the one straight away and never wanted to take it off. It was so beautiful and elegant and like nothing I had ever seen before.
On the day of the wedding, makeup artist Chloe Alexandra did my makeup and stylist Lisa Marshall did my hair.
Simon wore a navy suit with a tail coat, a lilac cravat to match the theme and a tweed waistcoat, all from Best Man. The groomsmen wore the same but didn’t have the waistcoat.
My bridesmaids wore beautiful floor-length dresses made by the designer Alfred Angelo, which we got from Cheadle Bride. Two of the dresses were lilac and the other two were purple. I really liked how both colours complemented each other. The dresses had lovely beading on the neckline which complemented the high neck of my wedding dress.
For our wedding transport, we hired a Regent Tourer from Horgans Wedding Cars. The name of the car was also “Katie” so this was a definite sign when we hired it.
Photographer Katie Sidell captured our day. She’s not only an amazing photographer but she is also a very good friend who I have known for years since I was a little girl. She takes such amazing natural photos which capture the moment. She is so talented and friendly and was so calm on the day. She made it such a memorable experience.
Our day was also filmed by videographers Karen and Alan of Chapelford Films.
For the wedding flowers, myself, the bridesmaids and flower girls all carried bouquets made up of a mixture of Lilac Freesia, Gypsophila, Memory Lane Roses, Ivory Avalanche Rose, Thistles and Astrantia. Jill Naughton from Special Days supplied them.
We used the same flowers to decorate the tables at the venue, a mix of high and low arrangements; high arrangements of flowers in the tall conical vases and low arrangements which included little cake stands with flowers wrapped around them. We also had flowers on the staircase leading up to the Hunting Lodge. Again these were supplied by Special Days. Jill Naughton did the flowers and Emma Casson did the room dressing.
We also had a vintage ladder for the table plan which really complemented the décor at Adlington Hall and the high beam ceiling.
As favours we gave the ladies personalised candles and the men had personalised mini bottles with Jack Daniels in as this is Simon’s favourite drink. The children had personalised activity books to keep them entertained throughout the meal.
A friend who I know from school, Lisa Quin who runs The Cakery in New Mills, made our Wimbledon themed cupcake tower, complete with a giant cutting cupcake on the top.
After a canape and drinks reception we had a wedding breakfast of pate for starter, lamb for main and sticky toffee pudding for desert. We chose these dishes as they tasted divine at the food tasting prior to the wedding and we thought they would appeal to most of our guests too. In the evening we had sausage/bacon, fish finger and chip sandwiches, purely because you can’t go wrong with this type of food and it’s easy for everyone to grab while they’re still socialising and having a good night. Barretts Event Caterers supplied all the food. The quality was out of this world and the service was exceptional.
In terms of entertainment, we had a piper in the church called Derek Davies who was fantastic (bringing out my Scottish routes). This was also a surprise for my dad as I didn’t tell him we were having a piper until we arrived at the church. His words to me were “is that a real piper” – bless him he was very emotional! My niece also sang two beautiful songs at our wedding which was extremely touching. She sang How Long Will I Love You and All You Need Is Love – there were not many dry eyes in the church! Sam Burrows, who is a very talented singer and guitarist, played during the drinks reception and then The Old School Band did a ceilidh in the evening to get everyone up dancing. We also had a DJ later in the evening.
Following our wedding, we would definitely recommend Adlington Hall to other couples. It was not only beautiful but it was exclusive. The staff there go above and beyond to make everything so special for your perfect day.
Looking back, I’d say that the ceremony and the drinks reception were my favourite parts of the day. The ceremony was very personal and intimate. My niece Sofia Hizem sang and my mum and one of our closest friends did a reading each. I enjoyed the drinks reception because it gave everyone a chance to mingle with each other and listen to Sam the guitarist whilst they were having their drinks in the sunshine. I wish we had more time in the day to take this part in.
For our honeymoon, we decided to go on a little road trip. We first started out by flying to Las Vegas, where we stayed at the Venetian Hotel and did the usual tourist things in Vegas. We stayed here for four nights before we flew straight from there to Mexico. We stayed at the Excellence resort in Playa Mujeres just outside of Cancun for ten nights where we were treated like royalty. And to cap the trip off we flew to New York for three nights staying near the Empire State Building. The whole trip was incredible and the most wonderful experience of our lives.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – enjoy every moment of the day because it goes so quickly. Take time throughout the day for yourselves and sit back and take it all in. Also, choose a venue which is exclusive to your wedding party so you’re their number one priority. Finally, don’t worry about the day. Everything will just fall into place. If you pick the right suppliers to help you on the day it will all just work, believe me. They are the experts and any blip they will control without you knowing anything. So, just relax and enjoy the best day of your life!
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Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...
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