It’s cold outside, people – so let Emma-Kate and Lee’s gorgeous wedding bring a little warmth to your day.
Even though the couple swapped their vows in October, they were lucky enough to enjoy mild temperatures, meaning the glowing bride could stroll around the grounds of their venue in her sleeveless wedding gown without so much as a shiver.
On the subject of sleeves: Emma-Kate had always imagined her wedding gown would always have them. However, she just knew she’d found the one when she fell in love with her Jesus Peiro dress; what it lacked in sleeves, it more than made up for in every other way. Isn’t it a stunner?
This couple planned their wedding with gorgeous traditional details at the core of the celebration but were determined to add their own personal twists to it, too. Scroll on to find out how, exactly, they did it, and to explore all the elements of their beautiful big day. Happy reading!
With photography by Jules Barron
We got engaged on August 13th 2018. We were away for a few days in Paris and on the way down from the top of the Sacre Coeur, while no-one else was around, Lee called me back. I turned and he was down on one knee!
He’s pulled this trick before so I laughed at first thinking it was a joke… But then I saw the ring box. He’d bought a decoy, so we then spent the day walking the entirety of Paris searching for an engagement ring together.
We got married on October 26 2019. October is a beautiful time of year – it’s also the month we met, and we had held our engagement party in October 2018! We got married St. Joseph and Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in Richmond and had our reception at Middleton Lodge.
As a Catholic, we were always going to get married in church. I’m a teacher at a Catholic school, so invited my school choir and priest to play a part in the mass. The choir’s performance was absolutely beautiful and really made the mass special. They also prepared a surprise rendition of Isn’t She Lovely, which they sang after we signed the wedding register. We had no idea it was coming and it was really touching. So many of our guests commented on how special and memorable it was!
We both loved Middleton Lodge as soon as we saw it. We liked the fact it felt like everyone would be able to mingle together. We had certain ideas – such as when we wanted the speeches to take place, for example – that the team were really helpful with. The late-night cellar bar was also a selling point for us… We loved the idea of our celebrations being able to carry on!
The venue listened carefully to everything we wanted and made the days leading up to the wedding really stress-free. Once we took everything over and dropped it off, they simply set it all up. Our wedding planner was so easy to talk to and she quietly looked after us all day. Even when little things were going wrong, like our photo booth being set up in the incorrect venue, she dealt with it subtly, taking away any stress we might have had otherwise.
We had my best friend as our Master of Ceremonies, which was really personal and it was important that he could play a special part in our day.
My brother and Lee’s dad also did speeches – it was a little unorthodox but we are so glad that they did. We loved that they were able to contribute and be involved in our celebration.
We didn’t start with any particular theme or style in mind but as we kept looking and gathering ideas, all of our favourite things began to come together. We added personal touches like our table plans: we’re keen walkers, so decided to name each table after some of our favourite routes, which we displayed with pairs of our old walking boots as planters.
We didn’t stick to a strict colour scheme and many of our choices fell together by chance. I started by finding our bridesmaids’ dresses but as they were grey, this still left us quite free to make other choices. We knew we wanted some darker autumn colours and wild flowers and we also went with pheasant feathers in our bouquets and buttonholes. Our florist was really helpful in listening and looking at our ideas and tailoring it to us.
I found my wedding dress the first time I went looking. As soon as I saw the material, which was really unique, I wanted to try it on. It was actually the last gown I tried on that day as it had no sleeves and I had been determined that this was something I wanted my dress to have. I tried other Jesus Peiro dresses on which were similar but I loved the back, material and pockets of this one!
We tried several places for our bridesmaids’ dresses as them feeling comfortable was my priority. I ended up finding some from Dorothy Perkins – I didn’t even realise they sold them! The gowns we chose flattered every bridesmaid, and I loved the neckline and beaded detailing on the top. They got so many compliments.
Our flower girls wore ivory lace dresses from Matalan with cute bow detailing on the back.
Lee wore a navy suit from Peter Posh, which he matched with a tweed waistcoat and maroon tie.
We hired our cars from Classic Wedding Cars NE; we booked a Beauford and Daimler Limousine for our bridesmaids.
Our photographer was Jules Barron. Jules was absolutely fantastic. We loved the look of her portfolio so planned to meet her and as soon as we did, we felt so at ease and comfortable. Neither of us were naturally comfortable having our photograph taken but after a few minutes with Jules on a practice shoot, we felt so much better about it.
On our wedding day, there were moments we genuinely forgot she was taking pictures and used the time to catch up and talk about the day- something she had said from the word ‘go’ she wanted us to do. She kept in touch after the wedding while she was editing and putting our pictures together and we were over the moon with the results!
Kerry Todd from Songbird Films was our videographer. Much like with Jules, we loved the look of Kerry’s work and just clicked when we met her. She was so lovely and listened to what we wanted. She involved us in the whole process, asking us for our song choices, suggesting what type of music might go well for certain parts and also allowing me sneak peaks to compare and choose from!
Kerry and Jules had never worked together before but got on so well on the day and gelled amazingly – it was like having two extra friends in the room!
For our wedding we booked Pip & Hatty Bloom. In September, we got a call to say she would now be working collaboratively with Ruffled Flowers. Both were fantastic in ensuring all our thoughts and ideas translated on the day. We wanted dark, wild flowers with some sprays, as well as pheasant feathers in my bouquet and in the buttonholes.
We went minimalist on the tables, following the wild theme of the bouquets with trails of eucalyptus down the middle, as well as an array of glass jars and bottles with flowers. These were mixed in with little tealight holders.
We gave out scratch cards and had activity boxes for our flower girls and pageboys.
A friend made our cake. After scouring ideas, we went with a rustic three-tiered cake, which was decorated with flowers from our florist.
Each tier of the cake was a different flavour; we had lemon sponge with lemon and elderflower ganache, chocolate sponge with chocolate ganache and red velvet.
We had a range of canapes on arrival as we knew there would be a wait until the wedding breakfast. We decided to go for a buffet for the wedding breakfast; this was something I would never have imagined us choosing but after lots of deliberation about how best to please everyone, we decided this was the simplest way.
Middleton Lodge provided the wine and the staff were brilliant at gauging which wines were going down the best with guests and adjusting the bottles accordingly.
We had a string quartet along with my school choir at the church and the quartet played during our wedding breakfast, which went down really well with guests of all ages!
On arrival at the venue, we booked Abbie Lince Acoustic Music to perform. She really set the atmosphere as you walked into the main house.
As our evening guests were arriving, we had Magic Matt, magician and professional pickpocket. He had been at our friends’ wedding the previous October and as a big fan of magic, Lee insisted it had to be him. He was well worth it with his scathing sense of humour and unbelievable tricks!
Abbie came back and played for us as evening guests were arriving; she also played our first dance before the band Shiver played for the evening.
I literally cannot pick one moment or thing: we didn’t stop smiling and laughing all day and the whole thing was perfect. We just had the best day! We knew we’d love it but could not anticipate how much. The people make it: all of our guests were on top form and being surrounded by all your favourite people in one place has to be one of the best things.
For our mini-moon, we went to Grasmere in the Lakes over half-term. We took our dog with us and did plenty of walking; including Helvellyn, Old Man of Coniston and Cat Bells; there was also plenty of eating and drinking!
We plan to have our honeymoon in the summer as we are going to customise a van and go travelling around Europe for a few weeks.
Don’t procrastinate too much. We went with our gut on everything and it all came together. Whatever you do, it’ll be the most amazing day whatever!
Also, do things your way. On the face of it our wedding was quite traditional but we had personal touches like the speeches and the top table and banquet tables, which made it unique to us.